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OpenMarket: December 2011

  • Record Red Tape

    December 27, 2011
    Over at Big Government today I noted the Federal Register of 2011 has almost reached the level of last year's record. Given that 2011's still with us for the remainder of the week, we're looking at another record year. The Federal Register is the daily depository of proposed and final regulations, plus presidential documents, executive orders, agency directives, and other notices. Today's edition (Tuesday, December 27, 2011) reached 81,245 pages for the year, with three days left in 2011 for still more rules. Tomorrow's Federal Register stands to surpass last year's all-time high of 81,405, as cataloged in the...
  • Newt's "Zany" Space Policy

    December 27, 2011
    Over at PJMedia over the weekend, I asked some space policy questions of Mitt Romney:
    So, Governor, if you want to talk space policy, let’s talk space policy. How about answering some serious questions, instead of pretending that it’s an unserious subject, of no value except to mock your opponent? In 2008, you said that you supported President Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration, a fundamental part of which was a manned lunar base. Now you criticize Newt Gingrich for the same thing, and imply that it is a frivolity. What happened in the interim to make you change your opinion? How much do you think that a “lunar colony” would cost? How do you think that Speaker Gingrich would propose to bring one about? Do you think that he would agree with your characterization of his plans? If...
  • Washington Post: "Obama's Green Technology Program was Infused with Politics at Every Level"

    December 27, 2011
    The Obama administration's green-energy programs were driven by politics, not the public interest or sound policies. As The Washington Post recently noted in discussing the Solyndra scandal:
    “Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats, and White House officials. The records, some previously unreported, show that when warned...
  • Today's Links: December 27, 2011

    December 27, 2011
    OPINION DOUG BANDOW: "The Top Ten Things Santa Claus Forgot to Give Me" "Top of my list is for Americans to stop confusing Uncle Sam with Santa Claus. The idea of some rich guy from far away showing up to fulfill one’s most devout desires is really quite attractive. When people expect the government to do the same things quickly get ugly—and quite expensive. No wonder economist Lawrence Kotlikoff figures that we face total debts and unfunded liabilities totaling some $211 trillion, 14 times America’s annual GDP. We’ve been racking up the red ink in the belief that someone else would pay the bill." TIMOTHY B. LEE: "...
  • Gov. Mark Dayton (D-Big Labor)

    December 27, 2011
    National Right to Work Committee Trey Kovacs looks at Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton’s quest to empower union bosses by any means necessary:
    Minnesota State Senator Mike Parry (R-Waseca) recently caused a stir with strong accusations against Governor Mark Dayton. “It’s no secret that the labor unions helped buy the Governor’s Office for Mark Dayton… he began to return the favor, most recently by trying to help unionize some of Minnesota’s in-home, private child care providers,” said Parry in a fundraising letter. Sen. Parry’s allegations elicited a strong reaction from Dayton, who called it “inaccurate and deeply offensive.” A review of the facts, however, shows that the real reason the governor is so upset: the truth hurts.
  • Festivus update

    December 23, 2011
    • In the Toys "R" Us baby products antitrust case, the E.D. Pa. approved a settlement and fee request that pays $14M to attorneys and $8.1M to class members over our objection. describes it as a "24% recovery for the class"; if that's accurate, that raises the question why there will be another $13 million of payments to cy pres recipients not disclosed to the class instead of to the class. Aside from the fact of attorneys getting nearly twice as much as class members.
    • We also lost in the Franklin Templeton Mutual case, where the judge approved a settlement and fee...
  • CEI Weekly: Merry Christmas!

    December 23, 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 CEI Weekly December 23, 2011 >> Featured Story As we at CEI prepare for the holidays, we've noticed that most of our favorite Christmas movies make capitalists out to be villains. So we put together this short video as a reminder of the Yuletide benefits of the market. Watch above, or at this...
  • Today's Links: December 23, 2011

    December 23, 2011
    OPINION PETER FERRARA: "The Way the World - and the Free Market - Works" "Free market economics is not about a few winners doing really well and then prosperity trickling down to everyone else.  President Kennedy understood what the miseducated Obama doesn’t.  As Kennedy explained the American experience since the early 1700s, 'A rising tide lifts all boats.'  The booming economic growth of the free market is the only means of benefitting working people and the poor, far more effective than counterproductive redistribution, which only retards the prosperity of working people, and consigns the poor to a lifetime of dependency." INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY: "...
  • Regulation of the Day 202: Farting Pigs

    December 23, 2011
    It isn’t often that one sees Nobel-winning economist Ronald Coase’s name and pig farts in the same sentence. Thanks to a recent court decision in Germany, this is one of those times. There is a farmer in Osnabrück, Germany, who owns 1,500 pigs. They might be clean creatures in the wild, but farm pigs can be smelly. This man’s pigs are especially malodorous, possibly because he feeds them raw onions. It got so bad for his downwind neighbors that they went to the city council. Authorities ordered him to stop feeding onions to his pigs, and fined him €2,500. After his day in court, a judge sided with the farmer and against his neighbors, and rescinded the fine. Enter Coase. He believed that disputing parties should be treated as equals. There doesn’t necessarily have to be one winner and one loser. They can both be...
  • Businessmen: Obamacare Stops Them from Hiring

    December 23, 2011
    Journalist John Stossel describes how "three successful businessmen came on" his TV show last week "to explain how Obamacare is a reason that unemployment stays high. Its length and complexity make businessmen wary of expanding." "An owner of 12 IHOPS told me that he can’t expand his business because he can’t afford the burden of Obamacare." Others complained that even experts admit they "can't tell you" how much Obamacare will cost them. "Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy, added that Obamacare makes it impossible to achieve even basic certainty about future personnel costs." Stossel agrees with Robert Higgs of the Independent Institute, who says that "if you wonder...


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