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OpenMarket: December 2011

  • CEO of Land-Based Casino Morally Opposed to Online Gambling

    December 13, 2011
    File under Hypocrisy 101. Sheldon Adelson, the CEO and Chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which owns some of the largest casinos in the world including the Venetian in Las Vegas, is "morally opposed" to online gambling. Adelson is the 8th wealthiest man in America, and the 16th wealthiest man in the world. His wealth is only relevant because he got wealthy through the casino business and is now engaged in what is likely blatant protectionism under the guise of moral opposition to an incredibly slight variation of an industry he's been involved with for the majority of his adult life:
    Last week, Adelson went to Asia to lobby for legalization of casinos in Japan and...
  • Today's Links: December 13, 2011

    December 13, 2011
    OPINION BILL WILSON: "Internet Piracy Bill: A Free Speech 'Kill Switch'" "What began as an attempt to restrain foreign piracy on the Internet has morphed into a domestic 'kill switch' on First Amendment freedom in the fastest-growing corner of the marketplace of ideas. Proposed federal legislation purporting to protect online intellectual property would also impose sweeping new government mandates on internet service providers – a positively Orwellian power grab that would permit the U.S. Justice Department to shut down any internet site it doesn’t like (and cut off its sources of income) on nothing more than a whim." JONATHAN MACEY:...
  • Immigration is Good for Natives

    December 13, 2011
    Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia are joining the list of states with tough anti-immigration laws. On January 1, most of those laws are going into effect. Undocumented immigration may seem like a serious threat, but the so-called solutions are nothing more than intrusive economic regulations that destroy economic growth and hurt Americans. Misconceptions about immigration explain these laws. First off, immigration is not a zero-sum game. There are not a finite number of...
  • Medicaid Payments Go to Dead People, As Do Food Stamps and Stimulus Package Money

    December 13, 2011
    The State of Maryland spends millions of Medicaid dollars on dead people, "about half of it from the federal government," notes The Washington Examiner. Maryland officials ignored information in a federal Social Security database, and even information in their own computers, in approving this spending. Of the millions in improper payments, "$426,403 in postmortem Medicaid benefits had been paid to just 10 deceased individuals, nine of whom were enrolled in managed care organizations. In one case, Medicaid payments to a nursing home began eleven months after the individual had died."
  • Teddy Roosevelt's Legacy

    December 13, 2011
    If there's any lesson to be learned from presidential candidates' shared T.R. fetish, it's that only those truly in love with power can endure the the hell of the campaign trail to acquire it.
  • In a Nation of Immigrants, Being Anti-Immigration is a Loser

    December 13, 2011
    As most of the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination try to outdo each other in blasting undocumented immigrants, they should take a break to look at new survey data from Vanderbilt University that show that anti-immigration rhetoric costs Republicans votes among Hispanics, the nation’s fastest growing ethnic minority -- including third- and fourth-generation ones. As Vanderbilt Political Science Professor Efren Perez explains, the data show that, “[W]hen politicians make very aggressive references to illegal immigrants, they are in essence turning off many Latinos, a growing segment of the American electorate…. There are many third and fourth generation Latinos who have very little connection to Latin America anymore. These folks are very integrated into American society. They are business owners and...
  • Phoenix Government Unions Look for More Money for Nothing

    December 13, 2011
    Openmarket.org Recently, the Goldwater Institute filed suit against the city of Phoenix for inappropriately subsidizing government unions. The complaint alleges that collective bargaining agreements between the city and unions requiring “release time” for union officials are illegal. Release time allows union officials to exclusively conduct union business while being paid by the city — or more accurately, the city’s taxpayers. The lawsuit coincides with Goldwater Institute reporter Ken Flatten’s investigation, “Money for Nothing: Phoenix taxpayers foot the bill for union work.” The report reveals that Phoenix government unions receive 73,000 hours of release time, costing the taxpayers $...
  • Newt's Moon Mines

    December 12, 2011
    Over at National Review Online today, I have some thoughts on the little dust up between Newt and Mitt Saturday night on space policy:
    Asked how his policy positions differed from those of Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney surprisingly offered as his first example something space-related: “We could start with his idea to have a lunar colony that would mine minerals from the moon. I’m not in favor of spending that kind of money to do that.”
    As I note over there, Romney's statement implies that this "lunar colony" would be a government-funded project. It also implies that he knows just what "kind of money" it would entail. But as I explain, Gingrich doesn't (at least explicitly) propose any such thing and has in fact been quite critical of NASA, dismissing it as too "...
  • Print Out Your Durbin Dollars

    December 12, 2011
    Senator Dick Durbin has a truly backwards view of how capitalism is supposed to work. Thanks to price controls produced by his amendment to the infamous Dodd-Frank legislation, now consumers have to pay for the privilege of having access to their own money. Why? Because America's retail stores would rather squeal to Big Government's authority figures like schoolchildren than negotiate the cost of doing business with banks and credit unions themselves. The Durbin Amendment is the fruit of their cowardice. And card-issuers, stuck with the bill, have to pay for it using money from the only group that doesn't have an army of paid lobbyists in Washington: ordinary American consumers. Is your checking account no longer "free"? Is your bank introducing monthly debit card fees? Have you seen your card's reward program benefits dry up? Thank the Durbin Amendment. In a...
  • After 959 Days, Still No Federal Budget Passed by Senate

    December 12, 2011
    Freshman Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) said “there’s no excuse” for Senate Democrats’ failure to pass a budget in nearly three years (959 days). On MSNBC, Manchin, who used to be the governor of West Virginia, explained that he “would have been impeached” for refusing to put together a budget for his state. Senate Democrats don't want to pass a budget containing all the spending they've authorized through individual spending bills, since doing so would further expose their complicity in the Obama administration's record deficit spending. During the Obama administration, the federal government has run up the...

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