The Competitive Enterprise Institute Daily Update

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Issues in the News



Consumers nationwide will likely see gas prices over $3 a gallon this summer.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Bastiat Scholar Doug Bandow on the political furor over high gas prices:


“It's time for a congressional investigation! New legislation must be introduced! The administration must confront corporate thieves! No, wait. That all happened last summer. As gas prices rose, customers blamed gas station owners and oil producers alike. Politicians moved from somnolence to frenzy at record speed. Never mind that there were many reasons for rising prices: Officeholders and candidates alike campaigned to stem energy costs.”




Google responds to Viacom’s copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of Technology Studies Wayne Crews on copyright protection:


Using technology to package and protect copyrighted works is a form of intellectual property self-help. Self-help dominates our entire legal system, as influenced by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Self-help arrangements, either contractual or self-defense, occur everyday. Society permits, even encourages, self-help when the legal remedy is less available or less efficient. Copyright owners need to be free—indeed, even encouraged—to protect their digital content.




Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez seizes control of oil fields from foreign investors.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Editorial Director Ivan Osorio on Chavez’s anti-democratic policies:


“Chavez’s contempt for the rule of law is astounding. In the general strike [of 2002], he sent out troops to seize private gasoline-delivery trucks and ordered military commanders to ignore court orders to return the trucks to their owners. He also seized control of the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Caracas police department and defied a court order to return the department to the city's mayor's control. ‘A country where the judicial system is not autonomous and must submit to the executive is not democratic,’ said strike leader Carlos Ortega, president of the country's largest labor federation. ‘Listen well, Venezuela and the world: There is no democracy here.’”



Blog feature: For more news and analysis, updated throughout the day, visit CEI’s blog, Open Market.