November 28, 2006 9:36 AM
Idea Channel TV has the classic 1980 Milton Friedman series Free to Choose streaming on your desktop. One can only assume Milton would have approved.
November 28, 2006 9:36 AM
Dr. Crippen, a doctor who has the misfortune to work in the British National Health Service, has an interesting story about the critical faculties of the BBC. Blessed Auntie Beeb simply posted a news release from a firm that makes artificial milk posing as a healthcare advocacy group as a news story, then when found out altered the story without notice. I wonder what could have attracted the BBC to the story in the first place? Claims of babies dying - check. Claims that normal part of diet is causing it - check. Authoritative-sounding statistics - check. General suspicion that industry actually enjoys killing its customers - check. Who could blame them? The story was simply too good to fact-check...
November 28, 2006 8:32 AM
Chrissie Thompson of the Washington Times has written the best newspaper story of the day: a profile of Bureaucrash and our very own Jason Talley. You'll want to read the whole story, of course, but I particularly liked the quote from Fred:
Fred L. Smith Jr., president of CEI, said he founded the think tank with the goal of using left-wing groups' vertical organization formats, in which they focus on one issue and sponsor both policy analysis and activism on it. Bureaucrash, therefore, fit in with his vision and gives younger people an arena in which to tout pro-freedom principles.
"I'm now 65," Mr. Smith said. "I'm not going to jump off a building unfurling a flag saying, 'Economic liberty for the world.'"
Personally I think Fred is cutting himself short...
November 27, 2006 4:47 PM
In the current issue of Doublethink, Baylen Linnekin, founder of the libertarian blog "To the People," asks the burning question: "Is Anthony Bourdain a libertarian?" To get to the answer, you'll need to read the interview of the celebrity chief and TV travel host. But to whet your appetite (no pun intended), consider these choice bits of Bourdain in his own words:
On New York City's smoking ban:
"We're in such a headlong rush to become the next Singapore, I find [it] horrifying and completely, well, un-American."
"I think glamorizing poverty -- as long as they wear cute, indigenous clothes and look good from the tour boat -- I think is a danger...
November 27, 2006 3:55 PM
In his latest column, The Miami Herald's Andres Oppenheimer gives reason for hope for Latin America's water supply challenges, and offers policy makers there good advice. While many parts of the region suffer water shortages, and some conspiracy theorists claim that the United States is out to take over water supplies there, he cites experts who claim that "water is not likely to become a rapidly disappearing natural resource." He goes on:
"On the contrary, water may become more easily available in the future, because one of the most important technological innovations of the 21st century will be drought-resistant crops. These crops will allow farmers to grow food using half of the water they use now, they say.
"That will be a watershed...
November 27, 2006 3:49 PM
Hot on the heels of John's op-ed on credit cards fees (and the retailers who want price controls on them) comes a piece by investor (and podcaster) Ryan Krueger on the campaign against payday loans. Some activists want payday loans banned, or at least more tightly regulated, because they point out it's poor working people who are paying all those high fees. Yet it's exactly their uncertain financial situation which keeps them out of the market for other financial tools like credit cards. Clearly what they need is greater access to financial services, not less. So how exactly does banning the practice of one of the few money management tools they have make things better?
Krueger also points out some of...
November 27, 2006 2:33 PM
The current debate over whether the SEC should strengthen shareholder participation “rights” in public companies (subscribers see the Wall Street Journal editorial “Board Games” of November 27) is a replay of the old debate over whether society is better organized by “voice” (a broader participation in the management of the institution) or by “exit” (the decision to move oneself or one's assets to some entity). That distinction discussed in Albert O. Hirschman's Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States in many ways distinguishes those favoring the politicization of society and those favoring liberty. The SEC...
November 27, 2006 2:30 PM
The classic motto of Garrison Keillor's bucolic world — “where all the children are above average” — has now been adopted by David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party now challenging Labour in the UK. In a recent speech, Cameron noted “â€¦we used to think of poverty only in absolute terms — [but in the future] we need to think of poverty in relative terms — the fact that some people lack those things which others in society take for granted.”
November 27, 2006 11:19 AM
Here at Open Market, we're big fans of Penn & Teller, particularly their emmy-nominated Showtime program, Bullshit! Our own Angela Logomasini was even a guest on the episode they did on recycling. We are therefore excited to bring you, via Google Video, their episode on environmental hysteria, featuring the now-legendary petition drive to ban dihydrogen monoxide. Thanks to Wayne for passing along.
November 27, 2006 11:01 AM
Maura Reynolds of the Los Angeles Times takes note today, as we here at Open Market did last week, of the staggering age and, ahem, "experience" of the 110th Congress' new committee chairmen. When returning House Energy & Commerce Committee chair John Dingell was first elected to Congress, for example, the birth of his House colleague Patrick McHenry (R-NC) was still 20 years in the future. Reynolds also diplomatically makes reference to Dingell's hard-earned reputation for being (as Henry Miller has pointed out) imperious and rude as chairman:
When Rep. John D. Dingell...