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OpenMarket: July 2009

  • Policy Translated: The Homeowners' Defense Act

    July 31, 2009
    [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmzVgg0tpmo 285 234]
  • Billions More for Wasteful Auto Bailouts

    July 31, 2009
    The auto bailouts keep expanding. Billions more are going to be spent on wealthy auto-dealers, cash-for-clunkers, politically-correct cars few people will buy, and excessive benefits for autoworkers who are richer than the average American. The Administration's cash-for-clunkers program has already run out of money, burning through the $1 billion it was supposed to cost. The program rewards people who bought ancient gas-guzzlers, giving them, and not more environmentally-responsible people, federal tax credits for trading them in to buy new cars. The new cars purchased can be almost as gas-guzzling as the ones being traded in, getting as little as 2 miles a gallon more than their old gas-guzzler. The new purchases are supposed to boost the Detroit automakers that the Administration recently bailed out at a...
  • The Antitrust Religion still Has Many Adherents

    July 31, 2009
    Why bother with the ongoing challenge of competing in the marketplace if one can merely go to Brussels or Washington?
  • Ebell ranked in top 10 of most-respected global warming skeptics

    July 31, 2009
    Myron Ebell may be enemy #1 to the current climate change community. Ebell works for the free-market thinktank Competitive Enterprise Institute and, according to his own bio, has been called a climate "criminal" and a leading pusher of misleading ideas.
  • Regulation of the Day 24: The Width of Ladders

    July 31, 2009
    It is illegal for a portable metal ladder to have steps narrower than 12 inches.
  • Bonus pay bill: CBO predicts huge costs to private sector, broad swaths of employees affected

    July 31, 2009
    After the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calculated the enormous costs of an all-encompassing health care scheme with a bloated public option, members of Congress from both parties asked for more due diligence before rubber stamping the plan.  Yet today, the U.S. House of Representatives may rush through another piece of poorly designed command-and-control legislation that the CBO just yesterday said could have its own tremendous costs.  Though advertised as giving shareholders more "say" over CEO pay, the "Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act of 2009 [H.R. 3269]," would give the government the power to ban performance bonuses for a wide variety of employees - including even office assistants and clerks - at a wide variety of firms.   On Thursday, July 30, the CBO Cost Estimate for the bill, sponsored by House Financial Services Chairman Barney...
  • Penn and Teller on Organics

    July 31, 2009
    The irreverent and hilarious comedians Penn and Teller have produced another episode of their television show Bullshit about organic foods. Friends of CEI, Ron Bailey and Alex Avery, make appearances. The episode, titled “The Organicsons” blew the proverbial whistle on alleged “local-ness” or organics.
  • Policy Peril Segment 3 - Hurricanes (updated 8/19/09)

    July 30, 2009
    Is global warming making hurricanes more destructive? Did global warming contribute to the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina? Would Kyoto-style energy rationing help avert future weather-related catastrophes? Well, just ask Al Gore! In An Inconvenient Truth, Gore claims there's a "strong new emerging consensus" that global warming is increasing the duration and intensity of hurricanes (AIT, p. 81), he depicts New Orleans as a global warming victim (pp. 94-95), and the threat of increasingly powerful storms is a major part of the alleged "climate crisis" that Gore proposes to solve by restricting our access to carbon-based energy.
  • Argumentum Ad Governmentum

    July 30, 2009

    One of the most popular logical fallacies I’ve encountered has been a heavy reliance on what I’ve come to call argumentum ad governmentum.

    Relying on government to fight our ideological battles for us is a shaky means of convincing others to see things our way by arguing for majority standards and controls over minority beliefs. At its worst, argumentum ad governmentum is a way of getting others to act and think the way we would like them to by using a collective force of will to persuade local and central governments to exercise force against others on our behalf.

    Unfortunately, utilizing government and legislative force as a value-laden battering ram will never win over hearts and minds to a cause, no matter how noble or...

  • More on the Microhoo Deal

    July 30, 2009
    The long-awaited collaboration of Microsoft and Yahoo on search has the tech business community abuzz. CEI analysts Wayne Crews and Ryan Young made their original statements here. Media outlets immediately took note, as seen in this Investor's Business Daily story (posted, fitting enough, at Yahoo Finance) from yesterday:
    Ryan Young, a fellow of regulatory studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, says the deal should be approved. "It will make Google stay on its toes," he said. "Bing and Yahoo should improve from the proposed partnership. This is how a competitive, contestable market works."
    We also got some love from Erika Morphy at E-commerce Times in...

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