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OpenMarket: October 2009

  • Three Cheers for the Nobel Economic Prizes!

    October 13, 2009
    After the weird “future” award to President Obama of the Nobel Peace Prize, another Nobel committee has made a brilliant choice – awarding the Economics prize to Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson. Their work follows the lead of Ronald Coase (himself a Nobel prize winner years ago), which showed that the institutions of liberty are far richer than the atomistic market concepts of buying and selling. Coase asked, the question, “Why are there firms?” – which Williamson has explored further. Like Coase, he sought to understand the reasons why firms take on the structures that they do. His work is a welcome warning of the dangers that overzealous antitrust regulators can pose to economic growth. Eilinor Ostrom is a wonderful choice – coming far outside the normal priesthood of economics. Her work (some together with her husband Vincent) has focused on the ways in which traditional...
  • 2002 Economics Nobel Prize Winner Vernon Smith on 2009 Winner Elinor Ostrom

    October 13, 2009
    In honor of the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Economics to Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson, it's worth recalling a mention of Ostrom's work by a previous Economics Nobel laureate, Vernon Smith, then at George Mason Univeristy, whom I interviewed for CEI's newsletter, the Planet (then Monthly Planet). Here's the 2002 Economics Nobel Prize winner, on the future 2009 winner:
    One of the best pieces of work on public choice was done by Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University, Governing the Commons. She’s looked at a huge number of commons problems in fisheries, grazing, water, fishing water rights, and stuff like that. She finds that the commons problem is solved...
  • Regulation of the Day 59: Pharmacy Interns in Colorado

    October 13, 2009
    It is illegal to intern for a pharmacist in Colorado without a license.
  • Markets vs. Special Interests

    October 12, 2009
    "It is precisely the fact that the market does not respect vested interests that makes the people concerned ask for government interference."
  • This Year's Economics Nobel Winners

    October 12, 2009
    Congratulations to Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson. Both are highly deserving.
  • Windmills for spite

    October 11, 2009
    Clean Energy Splits France: It's Carbon vs. Countryside in Environmental Battle Over Plan for Windmills Near Coastal Shrine." So reads the Washington Post headline. But is it?
  • No "Weekly Flu Watch" this week

    October 11, 2009
    See instead my article "Swine Flu: the Real Threat Is Panic," from the New York Post .
  • How did the President's Council swine flu scenario measure up?

    October 11, 2009
    Sorta depends on who you ask. The read about the flu in the mainstream media, you would think men are going through the streets with carts calling "Bring out your dead." But to look at the statistics, there's not even an epidemic yet. Read my article in the New York Post. "Swine Flu: the Real Threat Is Panic."
  • Mass v. EPA's legacy of "absurd results"

    October 9, 2009
    Last week I posted several excerpts from EPA's "Tailoring Rule," which confirm that the Supreme Court, in Massachusetts v. EPA (April 2007), set the stage for an economically ruinous administrative quagmire. To reiterate:
    • EPA, in response to Mass v. EPA, proposes to establish greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for new motor vehicles.
    • Once those standards are adopted, carbon dioxide (CO2) automatically becomes a "pollutant subject to regulation" under the Clean Air Act's Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) pre-construction permitting program and Title V operating permits program.
    • A firm must...
  • Nobel Prize "Gift" Double Standard

    October 9, 2009
    Drug companies are apparently forbidden from offering freebies to doctors in certain liberal states like Massachusetts and Vermont, under the theory that doctors' loyalty can be bought simply by giving them free pens and beverages worth a few cents. And the FTC just moved to restrict bloggers from praising books they receive as gifts from publishers, without disclosing the gift, under the theory that bloggers would praise dreck in order to receive it for free. Yet when President Obama was awarded a far more substantial gift -- a $1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize -- by a foreign government, questions about its propriety were ridiculed by liberal commentators.  (Nobel Peace Prize winners are selected by a...

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