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OpenMarket: October 2009

  • Kerry-Boxer's not-so-hidden fangs: Why its bite is worse than its bark

    October 27, 2009
    Today, on MasterResource.Org, the free-market energy blog, I examine the Kerry-Boxer bill's not-so-hidden fangs. Like its House companion bill, Waxman-Markey, Title VII, Part A of Kerry-Boxer contains language that will:
    1. encourage CO2 tort litigation against businesses smaller than those subject to the cap-and-trade program, and
    2. pressure policymakers to "move the goal posts" (amend the legislation to tighten the caps).
     Bottom Line: The costs of climate legislation may greatly exceed the most pessimistic estimates of recent modeling studies. Those looking for "regulatory certainty" in these bills haven't read the fine print.
  • "Cities are probably the greenest thing that humans do."

    October 27, 2009
    Environmental guru and author of the Whole Earth Catalog Stewart Brand has a new book out in which he argues that "My fellow environmentalists have been wrong about a couple of issues and were getting in the way of important things we should be doing, both with biotechnology and with nuclear technology, and in terms of how we think about cities, and in terms of how I know we're going to think about geoengineering--that is, direct intervention in the climate."
  • Obama Administration's Pay Caps Reward Failure and Political Connections

    October 26, 2009
    The federal government has no problem paying exorbitant sums of money to people who head failed government agencies like Freddie Mac. Its CEO will receive compensation estimated at $5.5 million. The Federal Housing Finance Agency took direct control over Freddie Mac, a government-sponsored enterprise, after it ran up tens of billions of dollars in red ink buying risky mortgages, without adequate capital reserves. At the direction of the Obama administration, Freddie Mac is now running up $30 billion in losses to bail out mortgage borrowers, some of whom have...
  • New CEI Release: One Nation, Ungovernable?

    October 26, 2009
    Question: What do you get when you combine a $700 billion "stimulus" package, $1.1 trillion in wealth-destroying regulatory compliance costs, a mountainous non-discretionary entitlement obligation, bailouts for large manufacturers, an small army of unelected czars, and a $1.4 federal budget deficit? Answer: Way too much government! In a new CEI paper, One Nation, Ungovernable?, Clyde Wayne Crews lays out an agenda for setting America on the path to economic recovery. From lifting burdensome regulations and restrictions on executive compensation to fostering competition and restraining federal spending, Crews calls for an end to the "bailout culture" that's spread throughout the capitol, and a return to more responsible policies that promote growth and...
  • LibertyWeek 66: The War on Commerce

    October 26, 2009
    Join Richard Morrison, Jeremy Lott, William Yeatman and special guest Ryan Radia for episode 66. We take on net neutrality, cap-and-trade legacy, campaign finance, healthcare insurance profits and more.
  • Nanny State: No End in Sight?

    October 26, 2009
    It’s not just bottled water. It’s not just soda taxes. It’s not just fast food. There seems to be a never-ending crusade by big government do-gooders to chip away at the family budget and our personal freedoms. Why?  They think know what's best for the rest of us.  As usual, California leads the way with this stupidity.  They're now mandating that California automakers use "metallic reflective window glazing" on the windows of all new cars in the state starting 2012. Supposedly that will translate into drivers using less a/c, which will help save the planet from global warming. Wow. That’s even dumber than the state of Virginia’s law against certain levels of window tinting! But as...
  • "Public Option" Is a Gimmick That Won't Improve Healthcare

    October 26, 2009
    In the Washington Post, Robert J. Samuelson explains in the "Public Plan Mirage" how the so-called "public option" contained in congressional health-care reform bills is just a gimmick: "It pretends to control costs and improve access to quality care when it doesn't." Steve Chapman wrote earlier about the "'Public Option' Health Care Scam." In other news, a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers found that the provisions in the Senate health care "reform" bill sponsored by Sen....
  • Sure, just what we need: yet another regulatory government agency

    October 26, 2009
    Here's my letter published in the Oct. 25th edition of the Boston Globe responding to an editorial advocating the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency:

    Your editorial, “To Fix Financial System, Protect Consumers First”, claims that a Consumer Financial Protection Agency will prevent a “recurrence” of the “financial pathology” that caused the banking crisis. But the source of that “financial pathology” was bad government policy, and your editorial calls for more of it.

    ...
  • Competition in Wireless Communication: Android Edition

    October 26, 2009
    The New York Times reports that several cell phone manufacturers are turning to Google's free operating system, Android, to run on their upcoming smartphone models. The switch to Android is likely to hit Microsoft and its clunky Windows Mobile platform the hardest, as companies that previously used Windows for their high-end PDA-phones seek to cut costs and offer consumers a more customizable product. With Google joining the ranks of Nokia, Research-in-Motion, Apple, and Microsoft developing in mobile phone operating systems, the big four wireless carriers signing on to offer Android phones within the coming year, the deployment of 4G networks slated to take place in 2010, mounting consumer anticipation for Motorola's soon-to-be-released...
  • Obama's swine flu "emergency" declaration

    October 25, 2009
    It's a bunch of hog droppings. Watch for my upcoming article. In the meantime, read here on why we should not panic.

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