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OpenMarket: Property Rights

  • Emoluments Clause Does Not Ban Sales to Foreigners

    June 9, 2017

    The Constitution is not hostile to the free market or international trade. Indeed, many Constitutional provisions are designed to protect them, such as the Contracts Clause, the Takings Clause, and the Constitution’s ban on state taxes on exports and imports.


  • Gates Foundation Should Credit Market Reforms for Poverty Reduction

    February 24, 2017

    Last week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released its annual letter, celebrating its investments in the developing world. Following their typical upbeat style, this year’s letter served as a thank-you note to their friend and fellow philanthropist, Warren Buffett. Buffett, who has donated a substantial portion of his fortune to the Foundation over the years, recently wrote a letter asking what humanitarian return there has been on his investment. The Gates Foundation provided this summary of its report back:

    It’s a story about the stunning gains the poorest people in the world have made over the last...

  • Susette Kelo Eminent Domain Battle Hits Big Screen in 'Little Pink House'

    February 3, 2017

  • Blockchain Business Council to Help Secure Property Rights for World's Poor

    January 27, 2017

  • RealClear Radio Hour: Executive Actions and Blockchain Technology

    December 26, 2016

    In this episode, Andrew Grossman proposes executive actions Trump can take to undo problematic portions of Obama’s pen and phone legacy and Donatien Adou discusses how blockchain technology is being used to secure property rights in the Ivory Coast. 

    Up first is Andrew Grossman, a partner at the law firm BakerHostetler and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. Andrew discusses the extra-Constitutional tactics of the modern presidency that have given unbridled, unprecedented discretion to executive branch agencies. He outlines executive actions of the Obama administration—from the Clean Power Plan and delays to implementation of parts of the Affordable Care Act to various Dear Colleague letters and regulation by blog post—that are ripe for executive undoing by the new administration.

  • Property Rights Are the Key to Protecting Land

    December 23, 2016

    We often hear that only government can protect the environment through outright land ownership or heavy regulatory control of private land. Yet, time and again, private landowners’ stewardship has proven to be far superior to that of public land managers and regulators. That’s because private property and secure...
  • Can Trump (or Congress) Rescind Obama's Arctic Drilling Ban?

    December 21, 2016

    Talk about midnight regulations. President Obama yesterday designated “the vast majority of U.S. waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas as indefinitely off limits to offshore oil and gas leasing.” He also prohibited oil and gas operations in 26 underwater canyons in the Atlantic Ocean. In all, he “protected” (locked up) more than 125 million acres “for a time period without specific expiration.”

  • RealClear Radio Hour: City Extortion and Cities' Heroine

    December 19, 2016

    In this episode of RealClear Radio Hour, Brian Hodges discusses West Hollywood’s extortion of local developers and Robert Kanigel shares stories of Great American Cities heroine Jane Jacobs.

    Opening the show this week is Brian Hodges, Principal Attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF). Brian tells the story of how his organization, the first public interest group to defend property rights and challenge government overreach, has helped change the American legal landscape. As an example, he details a current case in which PLF is defending an entrepreneurial couple from an unconstitutional attempt by the City of West Hollywood, California to extort a half-million dollar “affordable housing” permitting fee on their new condominium development.

  • Free Market Opportunities for the Trump Administration

    November 10, 2016

    This election has given us one more demonstration that knowledge is dispersed and “trusting the experts” to know the future is foolish. The unexpected success of Donald Trump in the general election, however, has a lot of relevance for CEI’s policy work.

    Trade: The core element of Trump’s rhetoric is that free trade has...

  • The Real Victim in the Dakota Access Pipeline Controversy Is the Company behind the Project

    November 2, 2016

    The real victim in the controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline is Dakota Access Services, the company behind the $3.7 billion project that would move almost 500,000 barrels of oil daily from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to a refining hub in Illinois. The operators of the pipeline are being jerked around by the government, environmentalists, and the Standing Rock Sioux, all of whom are acting in varying degrees of bad faith.

    President Obama Yanked the Rug out from under Dakota Access Partners

    The pipeline route is 99% on private land. As such, the federal government’s role is quite limited. In fact, the U.S. government’s jurisdiction extends only to the immediate area where the pipeline crosses navigable waterways.

    After jumping through all the appropriate hoops, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitted construction of the...


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