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OpenMarket: August 2009

  • Regulation of the Day 32: Migratory Birds

    August 14, 2009
    If you’re planning on hunting migratory birds this year, be sure to read all 14 subparts and 61 sections in Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations concerning migratory bird hunting.
  • TARP Transparency: A Good Start, but Not Enough

    August 13, 2009
    More transparency would alleviate some of TARP’s symptoms. But TARP itself is a disease. The sooner Congress gains the political will to recover from its bailout fever, the better.
  • Money Is Not Wealth

    August 13, 2009
    Money is a unit of measure, like a mile or a ton. But it is not itself wealth. Zencey’s confusion is itself an example of why GDP does a poor job of measuring well-being.
  • RIP Les Paul, Legendary Guitarist & Inventor

    August 13, 2009
    Legendary guitarist and inventor Les Paul passed away today. Considering the enormous influence he had on modern music both as musician and inventor, it's difficult to summarize it all. CNN notes:
    In the 1930s and '40s, he played with the bandleader Fred Waring and several big band singers, including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and the Andrews Sisters, as well as with his own Les Paul Trio. In the early 1950s, he had a handful of huge hits with his then-wife, Mary Ford, such as "How High the Moon" and "Vaya Con Dios." His guitar style, heavily influenced by jazzman Django Reinhardt, featured lightning-quick runs and double-time rhythms. In 1948, after being involved in a severe car accident, he asked the doctor to set his arm permanently in a guitar-playing position. Paul also credited Crosby...
  • Recession Ends in France, Without Massive and Costly U.S.-Style Stimulus Package

    August 13, 2009
    The recession has ended in France, which avoided adopting a massive stimulus package like Obama's $800 billion stimulus package.
  • Sugar on the table again

    August 13, 2009
    Sugar got front-page notice from the Wall Street Journal today. The article focused on a letter sent to the Secretary of Agriculture to increase the amount of sugar that can be imported without tariffs.
  • Democratic Senator Blasts Union Boss

    August 13, 2009
    It's not every day that a Democratic Senator blasts a labor union, which is why the recent mini-controversy surrounding the nomination of United Transportation Union General Counsel Daniel Elliott to the Surface Transportation Board is not only amusing, but embarrassing for the Obama administration. The controversy erupted last week, when, as the Journal of Commerce reports:
    Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., denounced a claim by the United Transportation Union of leveraging influence with the Obama administration from its political affairs committee for the appointments of Elliott at STB and Joseph Szabo to head the Federal Railroad Administration. The UTU is the largest rail labor organization, representing mostly train conductors along with some other railroad workers. The FRA oversees rail safety, while the STB...
  • UBS and IRS reach an "agreement"

    August 13, 2009
    Yesterday my colleague at CEI, John Berlau, released a statement about the recently announced deal between Swiss bank UBS and the IRS.  It is being reported that the bank may end up turning over at least a portion of the over 50,000 names just to get the U.S. off its back.  As it seems, any agreement reached in this case will be the result of UBS being bullied by the IRS to divulge its customers names simply because it says so.  The potential slippery slope is evident.  In this scenario, the Federal government can persuade foreign companies to ignore the laws of their home nations basically by force.  Berlau makes the point that I have  been making in all of my blog posts on this...
  • Regulation of the Day 31: Fraud in Wholesale Oil Markets

    August 13, 2009
    If you’re a wholesaler of crude oil or gasoline, a new FTC rule makes it illegal to engage in any business practice that“operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person”.
  • Media Bias: The More, the Better

    August 12, 2009
    An objective media would be nice. But we are unlikely to ever see such a thing. Even the very best reporters are human. And humans are biased. Denying it only avoids the problem. Let's tackle it instead.


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