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OpenMarket: Property Rights

  • CEI Issues Report on the Nation’s Six Worst State Attorneys General

    August 27, 2015

    Today, CEI issued another of its periodic “worst state attorney general” lists, in a lengthy report explaining why those attorneys general received that dubious distinction. (Previous versions were issued in 2007 and 2010.) The Nation’s Worst State Attorneys General 2015 is now available.

    Pennsylvania’s recently...

  • Ten Years After Kelo v. New London

    June 23, 2015

    Ten years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision upholding the City of New London, Connecticut’s “right” to condemn Connecticut homeowners’ properties, transfer them to a state-created entity called the New London Development Corporation, which would then transfer those properties to a private developer of a planned mixed-use redevelopment project aimed at supporting an adjacent Pfizer research facility. (Land of the free, right?) At issue was the interpretation of the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause “public use” standard.

    The Court relied primarily on three previous cases involving the “public use” standard:

    Berman v. Parker (1954)—This case upheld the right of municipalities to declare entire areas blighted, even if the parcel in question isn’t...

  • Super PAC Attacks Kochs on Civil Rights, Endorses “Urban Renewal” Policies that Harmed Minorities

    October 8, 2014

    Last week, Alternet posted yet another bogus smear on the libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch. It has since been reposted by Salon.com. The article summarizes the “findings” of a report titled, “The Koch Brothers’ Record on Civil Rights and Race,” which was produced by an outfit called “The Bridge Project.” This front group is really an arm of a super PAC called American Bridge 21st Century, which was founded by Democratic party activist David Brock and in 2012 was described as “...

  • Maya Angelou, Herb Jeffries, and the Freedom to Prosper

    June 4, 2014
    Competitive Enterprise Institute President Lawson Bader has said, "What CEI does, on a daily basis and at its core, is to celebrate and defend free enterprise," and "free enterprise is just another phrase for what I call the ‘freedom to prosper.'" Lawson makes it clear that "prosperity" does not necessarily mean accumulation of possessions, but enrichment of one’s own life and those of others through individual choice. Free enterprise means freedom to pursue various options, and "we who defend economic liberty view these endeavors with a non-judgmental eye, recognizing them as the choices free individuals make to realize their dreams,'" he writes. These thoughts on the freedom to prosper have been on my mind since last week after the passing of two individuals -- one of whom I was privileged to know -- who used what limited freedom...
  • The Premises of Net Neutrality

    May 19, 2014

    In the electric power industry, if you run an extension cord across the street to serve another, you go to jail. The local utility has a protected monopoly. We’ve put most of that "public utility" vision behind us in communications. Wired and wireless and satellite options abound for Internet service; we'll likely see blimps and communications drones, and who knows what else.

    Yet special interests still want the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the content flows and grid infrastructure, the prices and services of the Internet via something called net neutrality. They actually are quite open about wanting government regulated monopoly power.

    The Internet as a utility, like the power company....

  • FCC's Internet Fast Lanes Should Outrun Net Neutrality Bias

    April 25, 2014
    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will issue proposed rules May 15, rules expected expected to allow premium pricing for Internet fast lanes alongside the lane we have now, for those willing to pay. The open-access tech utopians aren't amused; They see the Internet as some kind of magical public resource, as something that popped fully formed out of nowhere, and need never change. In the modern style, they have demands that others must fulfill, and want to set the terms for others' property deployment. The New York Times wrote,
    Dividing traffic on the Internet into fast and slow lanes is exactly what the Federal Communications Commission would do with its proposed regulations, unveiled this week. And no amount of reassurances about...
  • CEI Sues National Park Service and Interior Department under FOIA over Government Shutdown Documents

    April 23, 2014
    Last night, CEI filed suit against the United States Department of the Interior and the National Park Service for failing to produce documents in response to two pairs of Freedom of Information Act requests. Those requests, sent to them way back on October 9, dealt with these agencies' closures of private businesses and privately-run tourist attractions in the 2013 federal government shutdown, and also with their closures of public monuments and spaces, which are often open to the public even when no federal employee is on duty. The agencies have neither produced documents, nor set an estimated date for when they will be produced, nor indicated how many documents they might...
  • CEI, Former State Department Officials Defend Freedom of Contract in Supreme Court Case against Argentina

    April 17, 2014
    [caption id="attachment_74355" align="alignright" width="300"]Argentina President Cristina Kirchner Argentina President Cristina Kirchner[/caption] Can a country seeking to welsh on its debts invoke sovereign immunity to evade not just court orders to pay those debts, but also post-judgment discovery aimed at collecting on those judgments? Can it do so to prevent not just discovery directed at it, but also at third-party banks? Most importantly, perhaps, can it do so even though it contractually waived sovereign immunity? The answer is yes, according to...
  • CEI Appeals Agency's Withholding of Documents about Its 2013 Government Shutdown Shenanigans

    March 25, 2014
    Earlier, I wrote about how Obama administration officials have been very “tight-lipped in response to FOIA requests" about their “government shutdown shenanigans," such as closing private businesses and non-profit tourist attractions out of spite, and blocking access to...
  • Agencies Withhold Documents about Closures of Private Businesses in Government Shutdown

    March 21, 2014
    In last October's government shutdown, the Obama administration closed down, or blocked access to, many private businesses that had been allowed to operate in earlier shutdowns, such as during the Clinton administration.  After lawyers and legal commentators suggested that these closures of private businesses were illegal, and pointed out that they were an unexplained...

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