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Mark Perry

Mark Perry

Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

Articles by Mark Perry

Quotation of the day on how the neo-Marxist harassment-industrial complex is out of control….. – Publications – AEI

10 hours ago

AEI
Quotation of the day on how the neo-Marxist harassment-industrial complex is out of control…..
….. is from Abigail Shirer’s Wall Street Journal op-ed “Hillary Clinton Is Right—Her Husband’s Affair Was No ‘Abuse’“:
Mrs. Clinton was right: Monica Lewinsky was technically an adult at the time of the infamous affair with Mr. Clinton in 1995-96. She was also old enough to know what she wanted and to be held accountable for it. What she wanted—very much, it seems—was the spectacularly successful, charming, married occupant of the White House.
To believe a woman is being abused the moment her supervisor demonstrates a romantic interest is to regard employees as akin to slaves. This is neo-Marxism at work: The notion that an employee occupies such a fundamentally compromised posture, vis-à-vis

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In 1962, Milton Friedman made the case for unilateral free trade as the best and fastest path to economic prosperity – Publications – AEI

1 day ago

AEI
In 1962, Milton Friedman made the case for unilateral free trade as the best and fastest path to economic prosperity
In Milton Friedman’s 1962 classic book Capitalism and Freedom, Friedman makes the case for unilateral free trade as a path to greater prosperity and freedom, regardless of what path our trading partners take:
Given that we should move to free-trade, how should we do so? The method that we have tried to adopt is reciprocal negotiation of tariff reductions with other countries. This seems to me a wrong procedure. In the first place, it ensures a slow pace. He moves fastest who moves alone. In the second place, it fosters an erroneous view of the basic problem. It makes it appear as if tariffs help the country imposing them but hurt other countries, as if when we reduce a

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Some economic lessons about trade for Donald Trump from Milton Friedman and Henry George – Publications – AEI

1 day ago

AEI
Some economic lessons about trade for Donald Trump from Milton Friedman and Henry George

In the video above Donald Trump’s uninformed, economically illiterate, and childlike views on international trade and trade policy are contrasted with Milton Friedman’s informed, economically sophisticated and mature views on trade. Toward the end of the video, Milton Friedman paraphrases what he considers to be the best argument he’s ever heard for free trade, from 19th century American economist and free trade advocate Henry George, who criticized protectionist trade policies in his 1886 book Protection or Free Trade at a time when President Grover Cleveland was pushing for reductions in US tariffs from an average rate of 47% at a time when Britain had tariffs of less than 1% and France of

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Trade proverb: Two protectionist abuses/wrongs don’t sum to one right…. they sum to two abuses/wrongs – Publications – AEI

2 days ago

AEI
Trade proverb: Two protectionist abuses/wrongs don’t sum to one right…. they sum to two abuses/wrongs
That’s what we learn from Don Boudreaux, who responds to the frequent, but unfounded and false claim that it is ethical for Uncle Sam to impose tariffs on Americans “because of the chance that US tariffs would force other countries to cut theirs – meaning we’d be freer then to trade with other people:”
The US government acts unethically whenever it, in order to pressure foreign governments to reduce their economic abuse of their citizens, inflicts economic abuse on American citizens. Adding one wrong to an existing wrong does not sum to one right. Protective tariffs are wrong. They are aggression against people engaged in peaceful commerce. Nothing justifies this aggression. Nothing.

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More evidence that it’s really hard to ‘beat the market’ over time, 95% of finance professionals can’t do it – Publications – AEI

2 days ago

AEI
More evidence that it’s really hard to ‘beat the market’ over time, 95% of finance professionals can’t do it

S&P Dow Jones Indices, the “de facto scorekeeper of the active versus passive investing debate,” just released its SPIVA U.S. Mid-Year 2018 report (see other reports here for Europe, Latin America, Canada, Australia, India, Japan, etc.). Here’s an overview of the SPIVA Scorecard:
There is nothing novel about the index versus active debate. It has been a contentious subject for decades, and there are few strong believers on both sides, with the vast majority of market participants falling somewhere in between. Since its first publication 16 years ago, the SPIVA Scorecard has served as the de facto scorekeeper of the active versus passive debate. For more than a decade, we have

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The Hillsdale solution for Harvard: Give up federal money and run admissions the way you want – Publications – AEI

4 days ago

AEI
The Hillsdale solution for Harvard: Give up federal money and run admissions the way you want

From the Wall Street Journal op-ed by William McGurn “What Hillsdale Can Teach Harvard” about the charges that Harvard discriminates against Asian-Americans in admissions the same way it once discriminated against Jews, largely because of Asian-Americans are so successful academically compared to other ethnic groups — see chart above of the large and growing Asian SAT Math Test Score gap:
There’s just one teensy problem for Harvard. It’s called the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and it “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in any program or activity that receives Federal funds or other Federal financial assistance.” Harvard receives millions from

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How free market capitalism often acts as a solvent for racism and discrimination – Publications – AEI

4 days ago

AEI
How free market capitalism often acts as a solvent for racism and discrimination

From today’s Washington Post article “Sears’s ‘radical’ past: How mail-order catalogues subverted the racial hierarchy of Jim Crow“:

A lesser-known aspect of Sears’s 125-year history, however, is how the company revolutionized rural black Southerners’ shopping patterns in the late 19th century, subverting racial hierarchies by allowing them to make purchases by mail or over the phone and avoid the blatant racism that they faced at small country stores.
“What most people don’t know is just how radical the catalogue was in the era of Jim Crow,” Louis Hyman, an associate professor of history at Cornell University, wrote in a Twitter thread that was shared more than 7,000 times Monday in the wake of the news

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How San Francisco’s $15-an-hour minimum wage law is exacerbating homelessness – Publications – AEI

4 days ago

AEI
How San Francisco’s $15-an-hour minimum wage law is exacerbating homelessness
Allan Stevo explains in the City Journal article “Minimum Wage, Maximum Waste”
San Francisco’s central business corridor, down Market Street and adjacent streets, is a testament to the failures of the mandatory minimum wage. In these buildings, growing companies are eager for labor, some of it unskilled. Outside, people down on their luck, out of work, and in need of stability are camped out, doing nothing. Everything that we know about homelessness tells us that many, perhaps even most, of these people are not suitable for work, primarily because of problems with mental illness, drug addiction, or both; some others can work, and want to work. But in San Francisco, they effectively cannot.
Politicians tout

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The best sentence I read today…. – Publications – AEI

5 days ago

AEI
The best sentence I read today….
… is from Richard Epstein’s August 6, 2018 article for the Hoover Institution “Harvard Asian Exclusion“:
As a matter of sheer logic, any admissions protocol that is not race-neutral on its face engages in intentional discrimination, for it is not possible to favor some groups in the admissions process without disfavoring others.
Here’s more from Epstein:
Harvard and its supporters at peer universities “speak with one voice to emphasize the profound importance of a diverse student body for their educational institutions.” Sadly, it is quite worrisome that these leading universities entertain no diversity of opinion among themselves on the role of diversity in academic institutions. In practice, they care only about diversity of race and ethnic origin and

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Monday afternoon links – Publications – AEI

5 days ago

AEI
Monday afternoon links

1. Chart of the Day (above) displays new IRS data that were released recently for tax year 2016. Reflecting the steep progressivity of federal income taxes, the share (and dollar amount) of total federal income taxes paid by the top 1% of American taxpayers has been almost equal to the share (and dollar amount) of taxes paid by the entire bottom 95% of taxpayers. For 2016, the 1.4 million Americans in the top 1% of taxpayers earned 19.7% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and paid $538 billion in federal income taxes or 37.3% of all income taxes collected. The 134 million tax filers in the bottom 95% of Americans by income earned 64.8% of AGI and paid $602 billion in federal income taxes in 2016, representing 41.8% of taxes collected.
2. Markets in Everything.

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The best sentence I read today…… – Publications – AEI

5 days ago

AEI
The best sentence I read today……
… is from Richard Salsman’s American Institute for Economic Research article “Fallout from the Trade Wars,” where he exposes some of the Mercantilist-in-Chief’s upside-down, illogical, and childlike “understanding” of trade (bold added):
Since Trump defines an actual gain (net imports) as a loss for Americans, he’s equally comfortable with the illogic of defining an actual loss (higher tariffs on Americans) as a supposed gain for Americans.
And there’s a lot more great material from Salsman’s article:
At root, of course, the notion of a trade war is oxymoronic; trade entails mutual gain (the net production of value), while wars entail mutual harm (the net destruction of value). Only immoral people believe strongly in oxymoronic notions and seek to

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Thomas Sowell quotations on the ‘vision of the political left’ – Publications – AEI

6 days ago

AEI
Thomas Sowell quotations on the ‘vision of the political left’

Here are 15 quotations from Thomas Sowell, the master of “idea density,” on one of his favorite topics — the “vision of the political left” and the many defects, deficiencies and imperfections of that flawed vision.

That people on the political left have a certain set of opinions, just as people do in other parts of the ideological spectrum, is not surprising. What is surprising, however, is how often the opinions of those on the left are accompanied by hostility and even hatred.
Anyone who studies the history of ideas should notice how much more often people on the political left, more so than others, denigrate and demonize those who disagree with them — instead of answering their arguments.
In a sense, the political

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More on the ‘Dr. Ford’ honorific controversy – Publications – AEI

9 days ago

AEI
More on the ‘Dr. Ford’ honorific controversy
As a follow-up to my recent CD post “What’s up with the media’s ubiquitous use of the term ‘Dr. Ford’?” that generated more than 170 comments, here are some excerpts from today’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Canadian writer Rondi Adamson titled “Is There a Doctorate in the House?“:
‘If you can’t write a prescription, you shouldn’t be called ‘Doctor.’ ” So said my late and beloved brother, Alan, many years ago. He had a doctorate in mathematics. He often told me that even being called “Professor” struck him as silly, except in a classroom. He saw those who insisted on such honorifics as preening or insecure.
I thought about Alan during the Kavanaugh confirmation madness. Christine Blasey Ford was scrupulously referred to by media and

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The best sentence I read today….. – Publications – AEI

9 days ago

AEI
The best sentence I read today…..
…. is from Steve Horwitz on Facebook: “Instead of ‘trade wars,’ let’s call them what they really are: economic suicide bombings.”

MP: With a lot of collateral damage and deadly friendly fire on Americans!
 
The best sentence I read today…..
Mark Perry

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Video: $15 minimum wage disrupts NYC’s car wash industry leading to closings, automation, job losses and black market lawbreakers – Publications – AEI

9 days ago

AEI
Video: $15 minimum wage disrupts NYC’s car wash industry leading to closings, automation, job losses and black market lawbreakers

The video above by Reason TV’s managing editor Jim Epstein “The $15 Minimum Wage Is Turning Hard Workers Into Black Market Lawbreakers” is in-depth look at New York’s car wash industry, and the real world consequences of politicians interfering with a complex industry they don’t understand by artificially raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
MP: To paraphrase Thomas Sowell: Many New York politicians and minimum wage proponents who have never run one business for one day are nevertheless confident that they know exactly how much business owners should be mandated to pay car wash workers — a minimum of $15 an hour. Despite their professed expertise, the

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Backfire Economics — Ford prepares for mass layoffs after losing $1B to Trump’s tariffs – Publications – AEI

10 days ago

AEI
Backfire Economics — Ford prepares for mass layoffs after losing $1B to Trump’s tariffs

Ford is the latest American business casualty in Trump’s trade war, as the automaker experiences significant collateral damage and deadly friendly fire from Trump’s trade tariffs. From Fortune:
Ford is having a bad year in 2018. Its stock is down 29% (see top chart above vs. +4.8% for the overall market year-to-date and bottom chart showing Ford’s stock price now at an 8-year low, the lowest level since the fall of 2009), and the tariffs imposed by President Trump have reportedly cost the company $1 billion, as the company is in the midst of a reorganization. Now, the company is announcing layoffs.
Jim Hackett, Ford’s CEO, is working to engineer a $25.5 billion restructuring of the automaker,

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A disturbing plunge into protectionism….. – Publications – AEI

11 days ago

AEI
A disturbing plunge into protectionism…..
… is the title of George Will’s latest column in the Washington Post, here’s an excerpt:
“China,” says President Trump strangely, “is now paying us billions of dollars in tariffs.” Tariffs are taxes collected at the border and paid in one way or another by various residents of the importing nation. Bloomberg Businessweek notes that Coca-Cola blamed metals tariffs for its decision to raise product prices. The billions China is supposedly paying “in tariffs” are figments of the president’s remarkable misunderstanding of the protectionism that is the centerpiece of his agenda.
…..
It is hilarious, but helpful, that the president thinks, or at any rate says, that this week’s mild modernizing revisions of NAFTA have transformed what he previously

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Looking back at the remarkable history of the Nobel Prize from 1901-2018 using maps, charts and tables – Publications – AEI

12 days ago

AEI
Looking back at the remarkable history of the Nobel Prize from 1901-2018 using maps, charts and tables

This is an update of my annual CD post on Nobel Prizes, see last year’s post here.
The map above showing Nobel Prizes by regions around the world was inspired by a similar one featured in an October 15, 2013, Washington Post article by Max Fisher (now at the NY Times) titled “The Amazing history of the Nobel Prize, told in map and charts.”
According to the Nobel website (not updated yet for 2018), “896 Laureates and 27 organizations have been awarded the Nobel Prize between 1901 and 2017. Of them, 79 are Laureates in Economic Sciences. A small number of individuals and organizations have been honored more than once, which means that 892 individuals and 24 unique organizations have

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Happy belated birthday to Henry George — he wrote Milton Friedman’s favorite book on trade – Publications – AEI

14 days ago

AEI
Happy belated birthday to Henry George — he wrote Milton Friedman’s favorite book on trade
I had marked my calendar to remember to post something this year for what would have been Henry George’s 179th birthday on September 2; he was born on that day in 1839 in Philadelphia and he died on October 29, 1897. But I somehow missed that date in September, so am posting a belated tribute to one of the greatest trade economists of all time, Henry George!
The excerpts below are from Henry George’s 1886 book Protection or Free Trade, which  was Milton Friedman’s favorite book on trade, according to Cato Institute’s Jim Powell, who wrote about the Henry George classic in his 2016 Wall Street Journal op-ed “Milton Friedman’s Favorite Book on Trade.” Friedman called it the most rhetorically

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Best TED Talk ever? A feminist — Cassie Jaye — comes to terms with the men’s rights movement – Publications – AEI

15 days ago

AEI
Best TED Talk ever? A feminist — Cassie Jaye — comes to terms with the men’s rights movement

The October 2017 TED Talk above may be the best one I’ve ever seen — “Meeting the Enemy: A feminist comes to terms with the Men’s Rights movement” — featuring documentary filmmaker Cassie Jaye, who produced the controversial 2016 film “The Red Pill,” see trailer below. Interestingly, the Tomatometer reading for “The Red Pill” was only 29% (based on 7 reviews) while the Audience Score was 91% based on more than 1,200 user ratings with an average rating of 4.6/5.
From the TED talk above:
There is no denying that there are many human rights issues that uniquely or disproportionately affect men:

Paternity fraud uniquely affects men
The United State selective service in the case of a draft

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Today is Manufacturing Day, a good time to recognize that US factories are alive and well, producing record output – Publications – AEI

15 days ago

AEI
Today is Manufacturing Day, a good time to recognize that US factories are alive and well, producing record output

Today is Manufacturing Day, an event sponsored and organized by the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute every year on the first Friday of October. To help recognize Manufacturing Day this year, I’m featuring the chart above that I think summarizes the two most important trends in manufacturing:
1. Manufacturing Output, measured by “Real Value Added” (in 2009 dollars) reached an all-time record high in the first quarter of this year of $2.0 trillion. So despite the gloomy narrative we hear all the time about how America doesn’t produce anything anymore, and how the US manufacturing sector has been “hollowed out” because everything is now

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Why cripple the US economy with tariffs when it’s hitting full stride? – Publications – AEI

15 days ago

AEI
Why cripple the US economy with tariffs when it’s hitting full stride?
Good question, and it’s one asked today in a joint op-ed in The Hill by Deirdre T. Flynn (VP of the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers), Sandy Kennedy (president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association), Brian Kuehl (executive director of Farmers for Free Trade), Nathan Nascimento (VP of Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce) and Matthew R. Shay (president/CEO of the National Retail Federation). Here’s the “money quote”:
Proponents of tariffs say they are necessary to deal with unfair trade practices committed by other countries. But punitive measures have done nothing to end these practices; instead they will do more damage to American businesses, workers and consumers than they’ll ever do

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Chart: US factory jobs as a share of US payrolls have been in steady decline for 75 years starting in 1943, and it’s not because of trade – Publications – AEI

16 days ago

AEI
Chart: US factory jobs as a share of US payrolls have been in steady decline for 75 years starting in 1943, and it’s not because of trade

From Nick Gillespie’s Reason article “Donald Trump Is Wrong about Manufacturing and Economic Patriotism“:
Trump’s understanding of trade is notably screwy, a fact he makes clear every time he insists that trade deficits are a bad thing. As a candidate in 2016, he excoriated NAFTA, which he said: “destroyed this country economically.” That is simply false on every meaningful level. What NAFTA did was effectively lower the cost of American goods and services being sold in Canada and Mexico. (Tariffs were already on the low side.) In the United States, unemployment fell and factory wages increased after the passage of NAFTA; the country had been

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The damage done to Puerto Rico by the Jones Act illustrates the need to repeal the law – Publications – AEI

16 days ago

AEI
The damage done to Puerto Rico by the Jones Act illustrates the need to repeal the law
That’s the title of my op-ed The Hill, here’s a slice:
By now, you’d think the case for repeal of the protectionist Jones Act, a century-old relic from the Woodrow Wilson administration, would be so strong that we could close our laptops and declare the battle over. But we can’t, and it’s unfortunate because millions of Americans, including Puerto Ricans following Hurricane Maria last year, are paying hugely inflated prices for gasoline and other consumer products, thanks to a powerful maritime lobby.
The Jones Act keeps otherwise uncompetitive elements of the American shipping industry afloat, but it carries a stiff price. In addition to driving up shipping costs, the protectionist policy stifles

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Video of the day: Remy makes the case for banana tariffs to help bring back America’s banana industry – Publications – AEI

17 days ago

AEI
Video of the day: Remy makes the case for banana tariffs to help bring back America’s banana industry

In the Reason video above, Remy makes the case that we can bring back the US banana industry with protective tariffs.
I especially like this part:
Remy 1: But that trade deficit I can’t applaud
Remy 2: We got a trade deficit with Santa Claus
Free trade’s like a magic wand
Turns what you make best into what you want
Which inspired this…….
You might be a protectionist/scarcityist if….. You turn Santa Claus away when he shows up at your house on Christmas Eve with several huge bags of presents for your family because receiving those free gifts would increase your household’s trade deficit with the North Pole.
And for those of you who would sensibly and eagerly welcome Santa’s generous

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Women earned majority of doctoral degrees in 2017 for 9th straight year and outnumber men in grad school 137 to 100 – Publications – AEI

17 days ago

AEI
Women earned majority of doctoral degrees in 2017 for 9th straight year and outnumber men in grad school 137 to 100

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) released its annual report today on US graduate school enrollment and degrees for 2017 and here are some of the more interesting findings in this year’s report:

For the ninth year in a row, women earned a majority of doctoral degrees awarded at US universities in 2017. Of the 79,738 doctoral degrees awarded in 2017 (Table B.25), women earned 41,717 of those degrees and 53% of the total, compared to 37,062 degrees awarded to men who earned 47% of the total (see top chart above). Women have now earned a majority of doctoral degrees in each academic year since 2009, and the 53% female share last year is a new record high. Previously,

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NAFTA 2.0: ‘A step backwards on trade and investment for Mexico, Canada and US’ – Publications – AEI

18 days ago

AEI
NAFTA 2.0: ‘A step backwards on trade and investment for Mexico, Canada and US’
That’s the conclusion of an analysis posted this morning by Jeffrey Schott of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, here’s an excerpt (bold and italics mine):
NAFTA’s benefits had always been primarily through the strengthening of economic integration of the three economies. Contrary to President Trump’s claims, the new pact moves backwards in this critical regard and imposes new restrictions that will impede regional trade and investment, stifling the potential for economic growth. On autos, the deal is innovative in a perverse way: It is the first free trade agreement (FTA) negotiated by the United States that raises rather than lowers barriers to trade and investment. It adds layer upon

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Tuesday evening links – Publications – AEI

18 days ago

AEI
Tuesday evening links

1. Chart of the Day (above) shows the phenomenal rise in the share of US oil produced in the state of Texas, which has produced more than 40% of US crude oil for the last five months starting in March of this year according to EIA data for US oil production through July that was released last Friday. For much of the decade from 2000 to 2010 Texas was only producing about 20% of America’s crude oil, which makes the current 40% share even more impressive. But once the Shale Revolution started about 8 years ago, America’s daily oil output has roughly doubled from 5 to 10 million barrels while daily oil production in Texas more than quadrupled from just over 1 million barrels in 2010 to 4.5 million barrels in July. As a separate nation, Texas would now be the world’s

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My fourth quarterly rant of 2018 on the misuse of it’s for its – Publications – AEI

18 days ago

AEI
My fourth quarterly rant of 2018 on the misuse of it’s for its
It’s time for my fourth quarterly spelling/punctuation/grammar rant of 2018 (see first rant here, second rant here and third rant here) on what has to be the most common spelling/punctuation/grammar/orthographic mistake in the English language — the misuse of it’s (or its’) for its (or vice-versa). Here are 14 new examples of that misuse collected from CD comments and other sources on the Web over the last quarter. You can review the rules for the correct usage of its here and here.
1. Every organization, every institution I can think of – except the monopoly state – relies on unanimous consent of it’s members, including my local bowling league bridge club.
2. Its a crying shame in it’s essence!
3. …to prevent water runoff

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