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OpenMarket: Eli Lehrer

  • Roberts' All-Too-Numerous Rules

    March 12, 2007
    CNN anchor Thomas Roberts has come forward with a story about how a Catholic priest abused him as a child. Roberts went through a terrible experience. By coming forward, he has shown tremendous courage. I admire him. His abuser, however, spent only 10 month in prison and another 8 in home detention.

    That just isn't enough. Like everyone else with a pulse and a moral center, I hate pedophiles. If it did not create a perverse incentive to commit murder, I would support the death penalty for all second-time child molesters. But the desire for "more laws to protect our children" has had the perverse consequence of confusing the entire issue. Child pornography, to my knowledge, has never been legal anywhere in the United States. Every state has an age-of-consent law. No school district, summer camp, or day care center...
  • Leave the wind to Uncle Sam?

    March 9, 2007
    A newish Congressional Research Service report raises some very interesting questions about current proposals that the federal government begin to provide wind insurance. Paired with existing federal flood insurance, wind (aka multi-peril) insurance would make the federal government the primary source of catastrophic-loss coverage for most homeowners in coastal areas.

    Given that a California Democrat, Maxine Waters, is currently the first listed co-sponsor, I'd suspect that the proposal could well evolve to include earthquake coverage as well. (For the moment, however, the bill looks unlikely to move forward.) Still, the idea has real appeal. In the short term, federally backed wind insurance would make a lot of people happy: this year, Gulf Coast Mississippi...
  • Caring for Vets: A Healthy Plan

    March 9, 2007
    I have a piece in yesterday's NR Online--my first CEI publication--that may seem a little counterintuative coming from a free market organization like CEI. In essence, I argue that the key to making Walter Reed work better is making it more like the Department of Veteran's Affairs Health System. While it's not perfect (what is?) the VA health system is one of the Federal government's best run agencies. It works a lot like Kaiser Permenente—incidentally, probably the best sizeable private health system in the country. It's really a giant HMO with a great computer system. While the care quality and outcomes are good, consumer choice is limited.

    While I think the military can learn a lot from the VA, for a number of reasons, I think it's a terrible model for the country as a whole. It does...

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