November 10, 2008Bret Swanson, a senior fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation and friend of CEI had an excellent piece in the Wall Street Journal today. Swanson draws incredibly interesting parallels between Obama's tactics in the election and the free market policies that Obama often rejects.
The most compelling example of this is Swanson's recognition of the Obama campaign's tactic of empowering grassroots networks with modern communications and organization tools:
The results of Mr. Obama's decentralized Web effort were staggering: 8,000 Web-based affinity groups, 50,000 local events, 1.5 million Web volunteers, and 3.1 million donors who contributed almost $700 million....
November 10, 2008CEI President Fred Smith and Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, John Berlau, wrote a piece for the Washington Times addressing the international economic summit to take place at the White House later this month. The piece, published Sunday, pointed that transferring power from millions of American investors to a select few in Washington makes little sense:
The bailouts and partial nationalizations are still premised on what Friedrich A. Hayek, Nobel laureate in economics, called the "fatal conceit." Once again, it is assumed that government bureaucrats can plan the direction of the economy better than millions of consumers and investors...
November 7, 2008There are all sorts of pieces about the future of "New Media" floating around these days from Andrew Sullivan's "Why I Blog" in the Atlantic to Wired's Paul Boutin proclaiming that blogging is dead.
Boutin's assertion is flat wrong. Blogging isn't dead, it's just matured. Boutin claims that because blogging is no longer the next big thing that it doesn't matter as much as the new next big things. Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and other online mediums are supposed to be where it's at now.
Boutin's argument makes sense if a blogger is a...
November 7, 2008What will life be like under an Obama administration with even larger Democratic majorities in Congress? CEI's Vice President for Policy, Wayne Crews, spoke with G. Gordon Liddy today on America under liberal rule.
To listen, visit Radio America or CEI.org.
November 7, 2008According to WCBSTV.COM U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia announced yesterday that Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer will not face criminal charges for paying high-profile prostitutes to travel across state lines to "engage in prostitution."
The Department of Justice determined that campaign funds were not used to pay the prostitutes, which is apparently all the DoJ cares about. That's right, because Spitzer didn't violate the sanctity of a campaign, the fact that he had multiple illegal inter-state sex purchases doesn't matter. Garcia state this was a matter of DoJ policy:
In light of the policy of the...
November 6, 2008"Yes We Can" is a good slogan. It's short, it's simple, it's positive, and it makes people feel like part of something significant. Its certainly been shown to be effective.
Some have complained that this slogan encapsulates who President-elect Obama really is, a man talented in oratory, but light on actual policy solutions. I don't think this outlook is true. He clearly has policy proposals—some more detailed than others—I just don't agree with them.
But my worries about President-elect Obama extend beyond policy objections, which is why his "Yes We Can" mantra is worth talking about. "Yes We Can" encapsulates Obama's approach to governance. His proposals for addressing problems in health care, education, employment, retirement and many of the other...
November 5, 2008I've started a new Facebook discussion on if/how advocates for free markets can work with the new administration. Sen. Obama claims to respect free markets, but he advocates many policies that would restrict markets.
- Government-Run Health Care
- Income Tax Increases
- Capital Gains Tax Increases
- Estate Tax Increases
- The Employee Free Choice Act (euphemism for banning secret union ballots)
- Banning Oil Exploration/Drilling
- Taxing Energy via a Kyoto-style system
Do believers in the free market have reason for hope facing such a set of policies? Should...
November 5, 2008Last night after President-elect Obama had given his acceptance speech the punditry machine started up again. Tom Brokaw, a veteran anchorman at NBC, surprisingly made what I found to be the most hyberbolic statement of the night. He said that the challenges awaiting Obama as president were on the scale of the challenges the nation faced during World War II.
This is, of course, absurd. America is in rough shape, to be sure, but to liken our current financial crisis and trouble overseas to the incredible financial crisis and world-changing warfare of the 1940s is the height of hyperbole.
The differences between today's down economy and the unmitigated disaster of the Great Depression are staggering. During the depression unemployment reached 25%....
November 4, 2008The Hill reports today that:
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday defended the so-called Fairness Doctrine in an interview on Fox News, saying, “I think we should all be fair and balanced, don't you?”
CEI has always opposed the doctrine, noting that placing the government in charge of determining what is "Fair" and what isn't in what is supposed to be a free press runs counter to everything we hold sacred about our democracy.
Not only that, but with media becoming more and more atomized—more and more people are turning to...
November 4, 2008Since Bill Clinton ran in 1992 and MTV decided to "Rock the Vote" the youth vote has been something often talked about, but something that never materialized. It may be a huge force this year, not necessarily because politicians have been reaching out to youth more, but because there has been an easy way for young people to buy into a campaign.
Young people get enthusiastic about issues, but getting them to the polls has always been a problem. We can't underestimate the significance of a donation on a person's likelihood to vote. If you gave $25, you want to make sure it was money well spent....