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OpenMarket: February 2012

  • Today's Links: February 29, 2012

    February 29, 2012
    OPINION LAWRENCE LINDSEY: "Geithner and the 'Privilege' of Being American" "Last week Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said that the "most fortunate Americans" should pay more in taxes for the "privilege of being an American." One can debate different ways of balancing the budget. But Mr. Geithner's argument highlights an unfortunate and very destructive instinct that seems to permeate the Obama administration about the respective roles of citizens and their government. His position has three problems: one philosophical, one empirical, and one logical." MATTHEW LASAR: "Why Wait? Six Ways...
  • Think of the Children

    February 28, 2012
    Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers’ Union, has alleged that Rahm Emanuel privately told her that “25 percent of the students in this city are never going to be anything, never going to amount to anything and he was never going to throw money at them." This is only the latest example of a classic teachers’ union tactic: using the children they are supposed to care for as human shields during contract negotiations. Mayor Emanuel is pushing back against the CTU’s request for 30 percent raises across the board over the next two years and...
  • CSR: Business's Shampoo?

    February 28, 2012
    To the Editor, Financial Times: Gillian Tett notes the vogue among CEOs for “corporate social responsibility” (When Making Shampoo Becomes a Service to Society). CSR is a response to those demanding business assume responsibility for ending pollution, poverty, income disparities, discrimination, and the other ills of the world. As Tett notes, charging business with CSR is a back-handed complement.  The critics have more confidence in business’s abilities than they do in governments’.  But, should business accept this assignment? Will the CSR shampoo really wash those attacks right out of business’s hair? Market tests say no. The marketing notion that the customer is always right -- useful in enhancing brand reputation -- has mistakenly been transmuted to politics -- our...
  • Today's Links: February 28, 2012

    February 28, 2012
    OPINION DAVID CARR: "Blurred Line Between Espionage and Truth" "Last Wednesday in the White House briefing room, the administration’s press secretary, Jay Carney, opened on a somber note, citing the deaths of Marie Colvin and Anthony Shadid, two reporters who had died 'in order to bring truth' while reporting in Syria. Jake Tapper, the White House correspondent for ABC News, pointed out that the administration had lauded brave reporting in distant lands more than once and then asked, 'How does that square with the fact that this administration has been so aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the United States by using the Espionage Act to take...
  • Mazie Slater misquotes a case

    February 27, 2012
    In Dewey v. Volkswagen, the parties negotiated and the district court approved a settlement that violates Supreme Court and Third Circuit precedent, which makes reversal likely. What's a class counsel to do? Make up new precedent! After talking the clerk's office into letting them include a sur-reply to the lead appeal's reply brief in their cross-appeal's reply brief, class counsel invented a quote in a recent Third Circuit en banc...
  • Alcohol Regulation Roundup: February 27, 2012

    February 27, 2012
    National: A Sioux tribe in South Dakota has filed a landmark suit against national beer makers for knowingly contributing the tribe's alcohol problems. The Pine Ridge Reservation, infamous for its troubles in the 1970s, is seeking $500 million in damages the tribe says it incurred as a result of the alcoholism fueled by nearby Nebraska beer stores selling to residents of the reservations where alcohol is prohibited. Alabama: The legislative session began on February 7, and will consist of no more than 30...
  • Today's Links: February 27, 2012

    February 27, 2012
    OPINION RUSS ROBERTS: "The Insanity of Health Insurance" "It is insane that we get our health care from our employers. That happens because we have given a tax advantage to in-kind compensation such as health care. It’s a horrible idea and it leads people to complain about our employers deciding what health care we can receive. Our employers are just a conduit for government mandates, rent-seeking and inefficiency related to health care." SEN. JOHN THUNE: "Obama Policies Threaten America's Energy Boom" "During our historically slow economic recovery, the energy industry has been a bright spot amid otherwise gloomy economic news. Domestic energy production is increasing, and...
  • CEI Weekly: Happy Presidents Day!

    February 24, 2012
    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 February 24, 2012 >>Featured Story FEATURE: Happy Presidents Day! This Monday, Americans celebrated Presidents Day. Of course, the holiday is scheduled around George Washington's birthday. In RealClearMarkets this week, CEI Director of the Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs John Berlau explained why George Washington should be remembered not only as our first president, but as a truly brilliant entrepreneur...
  • How Worrisome is the Race to the Bottom Argument?

    February 24, 2012
    Michael Greve’s recently released, The Upside-Down Constitution, traces the evolution of federalism in of our Constitution. He persuasively documents the transition from competitive federalism (a Constitution that protected the citizenry from exploitation by government at all levels) to today’s cartel federalism (one that empowers governments at all levels to exploit the citizenry). One of several factors that encouraged this upheaval was the Progressive notion that competition encouraged a “race to the bottom”: relentless pressures to maximize profits would force businesses to employ abusive practices (such as child labor). An interesting argument that we still hear often today. It remains the basis for national and international regulation in fields ranging from...
  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    February 24, 2012
    It may have been a short work week, but it was still a busy one in the world of regulation. Here are the highlights:

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