Today’s Links: September 18, 2012


RAMESH PONNURU: “The Right Is Wrong to Pin Obama’s Edge on Welfare State
“The underlying idea is that the more people rely on the federal government, the more they will support government activism and the party that favors it. Whatever one thinks of that activism, it’s a plausible idea — just as it’s plausible, though Republicans never say it, that defense spending might promote an unhealthy interest in the defense budget among the Americans who benefit directly from it.”

RICHARD RAHN: “America in Free Fall
“The annual Economic Freedom of the World report, including an index of country rankings, has just been released, and it should be a wake-up call. The United States was known as the bastion of economic freedom for more than two centuries, and it was because of its economic freedom that the nation became the pre-eminent economic power. However, in just a few short years, the U.S. has fallen from No. 3 in 2000 (behind the city-states of Hong Kong and Singapore) to No. 8 in 2005 and to No. 18 in 2010, the last year for which complete statistics are available. Worse yet, the U.S. decline continues, and in next year’s ranking, it is almost certain to be lower.”

NEW YORK POST: “Unions win, New York loses
“Unions speak, politicians jump. That’s the summary of organized labor’s latest “successful” mission — keeping Walmart out of the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. With little fanfare, the developer Related Cos. announced Friday that Shop-Rite would be the tentpole store for its Gateway II Plaza. That ended months of reported talks between the developer and Walmart — whose entry into the five boroughs has been opposed by unions and kowtowing politicians, even as multiple surveys show strong support from New Yorkers.”


BUSINESS – Whole Foods CEO: Here’s Why We Pay Our Employees More Than We Have To
“Walter Robb, Whole Foods’ co-CEO, says the company’s ‘Team Members’ make an average of $15 an hour. The majority of them also get benefits and stock options, which many retail employees don’t. […] Whole Foods is trying to practice a philosophy it calls ‘conscious capitalism’ in which the interests of three different groups of ‘stakeholders’ in a company are balanced: shareholders, customers, and employees.”

HEALTH – BPA in Food Packaging Tied to Child Obesity: Study
“The common chemical bisphenol A (BPA), found in the lining of many aluminum cans and a variety of food packaging, may be adding to the obesity epidemic among children and teens, according to a new study. […] Another expert commented on the new findings, noting that they do not prove that the chemical causes obesity.”

FCC – AT&T faces formal FCC complaint for blocking cellular FaceTime use
“A coalition of liberal advocacy groups has announced plans to challenge AT&T’s policy of blocking FaceTime video chat over its cellular network. AT&T has insisted that the policy does not raise network neutrality concerns, characterizing the uproar over the policy as ‘another knee-jerk reaction’ by the consumer groups. Three of those groups—Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute—are planning to make the knee-jerking official with a formal complaint to the Federal Communications Commission.”