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OpenMarket: February 2007

  • Sen. Inhofe Calls Climate Action Partnership What It is...

    February 13, 2007
    At a Senate hearing today to discuss the rent-seeking cartel masquerading as the Climate Action Partnership, Fred Smith will present the testimony here. Senator Inhofe's opening statement asked whether he, during his 25 years as a CEO, would have made a bunch of money for his shareholders knowing it would be bad for the economy. That's the issue in a nutshell.
  • CEI's President Testifies on Climate Action Partnership

    February 13, 2007
    CEI President Fred Smith is testifying before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee this morning on the Climate Action Partnership and the effects the companies' cap and trade plan will have on the American economy. Stay tuned for updates from CEI Senior Fellow Iain Murray throughout the hearing.
  • First on a plane, now in the sewer!

    February 12, 2007
    This week's new episode of  the Fox animated series"King of the Hill" centers around a great -- and hilarious -- illustration of the public choice insight that government officials act for self-interested motives as much as do actors in the market. The episode begins when a python that belongs to Lucky, the boyfriend of the Hills's naive and gullible niece, Luanne, escapes down the toilet and into the sewer. Hank Hill (for the unitiated: the show's main character) asks the local government animal control agency to catch the monster. However, rather than rush to solve this emergency, Heimlich County's two animal control agents -- who complain constantly about their being underpaid and their agency underfunded -- seize on the giant...
  • The Tim Carney Unemployment Act

    February 12, 2007
    Ivan has an excellent take on the unintended consequences of raising the minimum wage (below), so I'll limit myself to highlighting a recent Bureaucrash video on the issue, featuring former Warren Brookes Fellow Tim Carney. Tim gives us a quick first-person testimonial on the effect of the minimum wage on teenage workers. [youtube]_sW5ob0WLuQ[/youtube]
  • YouTube music video stars become real music video stars

    February 12, 2007
    Open Market readers may have seen this already, but I wanted to point out one interesting development from last night's Grammy awards. The award for best music video went to the band OK Go, for “Here It Goes Again.” Remember that funny video clip from YouTube of the four indie rock guys dancing around on treadmills? The one that got forwarded around millions of times by amused Internet users? Well, it just won a Grammy award, beating out established bands from huge labels, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers (who won three other awards last night). It was made for almost no money, got no marketing or airplay other than YouTube and MySpace, yet it's been seen by millions of people and has now won the biggest award in the music industry. Truly, friends, the future is now. Here's the big winner: [youtube]pv5zWaTEVkI[/youtube]
  • Entry Level Job Elimination Act Does its Work

    February 12, 2007
    It shouldn't be surprising. In Arizona, the state's minimum wage hike, which went into effect last month, has led to teenagers being laid off, reports The Arizona Republic.
    Some Valley employers, especially those in the food industry, say payroll budgets have risen so much that they're cutting hours, instituting hiring freezes and laying off employees. And teens are among the first workers to go. Companies maintain the new wage was raised to $6.75 per hour from $5.15 per hour to help the breadwinners in working-poor families. Teens typically have other means of support. Mark Messner, owner of Pepi's Pizza in south Phoenix, estimates he has employed more than 2,000 high school students since 1990. But he plans to lay off three teenage workers and decrease hours worked by others. Of his...
  • let the little people take mass transit

    February 12, 2007
    So, as I ponder the massive pressure group assault against passenger aviation and comparative per capita emissions (the city of Aspen having wonderfully shown us the horrors of private planes), far worse than Hummers as they are typically employed: a half-full G-II [not typical, per Aspen, but usually a single passenger] has a per capita carbon footprint of a Hummer carrying only a driver!], something occured to me. Commercial airplanes are just as much the mass transporation that we are supposed to be so enamored with as buses or metros: far bigger than any bus, and the long-haul planes certainly holding more passengers than any train. The objection to air travel comes down to the old "use what you make, make what you use" argument against long-haul transport of anything. They just don't want people going places, and this offers an instance where this is easily demonstrated. They...
  • Policy experts blast Bush fuel mandate at Hill briefing

    February 12, 2007
    At a Capitol Hill policy briefing on February 9 for congressional staff and media, sponsored by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Dennis Avery of the Hudson Institute and Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute blasted the rampant ethanolism that is becoming the closet thing we Americans have to a state religion. Jerry Taylor debunked what he calls the “12 Lies of Ethanol,” explaining inter alia why a bigger ethanol mandate will increase our pain at the pump, won't contribute to energy independence, and will harm hog, cattle, poultry, and soy farmers. I attach the witty and footnoted outline of his remarks. Dennis Avery waxed eloquent on the “massive land costs of corn ethanol.” He explained by the numbers why Bush's proposed mandate would be a disaster for consumers and the environment. I attach...
  • Will France Embrace the New Royal-ism?

    February 11, 2007
    In the least surprising headline of the weekend, Drudge alerts us: "Socialist candidate in France unveils far-left platform..."
    Je suis l'état socialiste
    In a set of policy proposals ten times as ambitious as the Contract with America, Socialist presidential candidate Ségolène Royal has released a 100-point program for the future. Of special interest is her take on private enterprise in France and her attitude toward profits:
    A substantial part of her speech was dedicated to social and economic issues, on which Royal took a hard-left line. "The unfettered rein of financial profit is intolerable for the general interest," she said. "You [French voters] told me simple truths. You told me you...
  • Chambers of Rent Seeking

    February 11, 2007
    In the weekend Wall Street Journal, Stephen Moore, quotes former CEI Warren Brookes Fellow Tim Carney from his book The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money. At issue is the recent turn towards lobbying for big government by many state and local chambers of commerce:
    In as many as half the states, state taxpayer organizations, free market think tanks and small business leaders now complain bitterly that, on a wide range of issues, chambers of commerce deploy their financial resources and lobbying clout to expand the taxing, spending and regulatory authorities of government. This behavior, they note, erodes the very pro-growth climate necessary for businesses -- at least those not...


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