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OpenMarket: November 2011

  • Is the Constitution a Threat to Liberty?

    November 11, 2011
    Liberty lovers look to America’s Founding Fathers as patron saints, rightly revering the documents those men drafted as bulwarks of individual freedom. How ironic, then, that those very Founders may have  inadvertently planted the seeds of liberty’s demise in the U.S. Constitution itself. Article 1, Sec. 8, the infamous “Commerce Clause” grants the federal government the power to “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” And ever since it was written, this seemingly open-ended phrase has been used to justify the federal government’s ever-expanding scope and power. In 1942, for example, the Supreme Court used the Commerce Clause in its Wickard ...
  • CEI Weekly: CEI Challenges Big Labor Corruption at AFP Conference

    November 11, 2011
    CEI Weekly is a compilation of articles and blog posts from CEI’s fellows and associates sent out via e-mail every Friday. Also included in the weekly newsletter is a brief description of CEI’s weekly podcast and a feature on a major CEI breakthrough made during the week. To sign up for CEI Weekly, go to http://cei.org/newsletters. CEI Weekly November 11, 2011 >>Featured Story Last week, several CEI policy analysts spoke at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation's Fifth Annual "Defending the American Dream Summit." CEI Labor Policy Counsel Vincent Vernuccio participated in the "Big Labor vs. Jobs and Freedom" event on Saturday, November 5. Watch the highlight reel of his appearance...
  • Alcohol Regulation Roundup: Beer for Our Soldiers Edition

    November 11, 2011
    Not to overshadow the once-in-100-year numerically sequenced date, but today is also Veterans' Day. This isn't a great way to get free drinks at the bar by telling people you're a vet (unless you actually are), but a change to give thanks for mind-blowing bravery and committment of those around us who defend our freedoms with their lives. If anyone deserves a taste of the high life, it's those folks. While there's no word on having the legal drinking age lowered so that 18-year-olds who can sign up for military service can also drink a cold beer before they ship out, there's plenty of other alcohol regulation news...
  • CEI Podcast for November 10, 2011: Eminent Domain Abuse

    November 10, 2011
    Land Use and Transportation Policy Analyst Marc Scribner explains why allowing the government to seize land from its owners and give it to developers is a bad idea.
  • When the Lights Go Out

    November 10, 2011
    There was a lot of noise in the news this past week, so you may be forgiven if you let this little nugget slip past you. From Reuters: "Alabama's Jefferson County filed for bankruptcy court protection on Wednesday in the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history." There are three words in there that should never be in the same sentence -- biggest, bankruptcy, and history -- but there you go. Jefferson County has now followed Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (a state capital, incidentally), Vallejo, California, and Central Falls, Rhode Island, in going recently -- and literally -- belly up. First cities then counties, the collapse is upward. People waiting for an economic apocalypse are anxiously watching banks, financial institutions, and national governments, but they are looking...
  • U.S. Sugar Program Hurts Businesses and Kills Jobs

    November 10, 2011
    CBS San Antonio affiliate KENS 5 reports that a San Antonio candy company, Judson-Atkinson Candy Company, has ceased operations after 110 years of making candy. The company has been forced to lay off more than 100 employees, and currently has only 14 people in its production facility. The family-run business says that the company simply can’t compete with firms outside the U.S., since domestic companies pay more for candies’ main ingredient: sugar. According to the owner of the company, Amy Atkinson Voltz, the candy company pays more than twice the international price for sugar, which caused an additional $2 million in costs for the company...
  • Today's Links: November 10, 2011

    November 10, 2011
    OPINION NATE ANDERSON: "Remember the Borderless Internet? It's Officially Dead" "'The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there,' wrote L.P. Hartley in his terrific novel The Go-Between. But Hartley knew nothing of the Internet when he wrote his novel of adolescent sexual awakening; if he had, he might have been shocked at just how quickly the past became a foreign place. Indeed, from the perspective of the recently introduced Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would set up US website blacklisting, require search engine censorship, and divide the...
  • Fred Weekly: Occupy Wall Street

    November 10, 2011
    In the latest episode of "Fred Weekly," CEI President Fred Smith discusses the Occupy Wall Street movement and why the protesters ought to be targeting crony capitalism, not free markets. Watch it below:
  • 2011 Federal Register Tops 70,000 Pages

    November 10, 2011
    The next time someone complains about America's unregulated cowboy capitalism, you should ask them where such a thing might actually be found.
  • Big Labor's Ohio win doesn't end states' fiscal crises

    November 10, 2011
    The Washington Examiner Everyone knows state governments are swimming in red ink, but how deep exactly is the fiscal hole? The nonprofit watchdog group State Budget Solutions has conducted an extensive analysis of state government finances, and the results are not unlike what one might find after an audit of a college freshman following her first-credit card spending binge. Reuters sums up the dismal findings: "State Budget Solutions combined states' major debt and future liabilities, primarily for pensions and employee health care, unemployment insurance loans, outstanding bonds and projected fiscal 2011 budget gaps. It found that in total, states are in debt for $4.2 trillion." : http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2011/11/

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