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  • Great Modern Economists, Podcast Style

    October 16, 2006 5:14 PM

    Thanks to Fred for passing along (by way of Don Boudreaux) the link to the EconTalk podcast for this week. Host Russ Roberts interviews Walter Williams about his influences, his intellectual journey and his choice of grocery stores.

  • When Cosmic Rays Attack

    October 16, 2006 4:59 PM

    Our friend Steve Milloy has an excellent column on a new global warming study out of Denmark, and the unsurprising reasons it doesn't seem to be getting the coverage every alarmist publication does.

  • Race-Based Student Assignments

    October 16, 2006 10:17 AM

    In a case pending before the Supreme Court, the Seattle
    School District argues that it should be allowed to use race when assigning
    students to schools. It argues that its
    decision to use race should receive deference because it knows better than the
    courts how to run a school system.

    CEI filed an amicus
    brief
    with the Supreme Court arguing that the school district shouldn't get
    any special deference. Our brief points
    out that the Seattle Schools have made
    wacky statements, such as claiming that planning ahead is acting white, that “individualism”
    is a form of “cultural racism,” and that minorities cannot be racist. These statements undercut the school
    district's claim that it has special insight into race-related educational
    issues to which the courts should defer...

  • She's Huge in Europe

    October 13, 2006 4:36 PM

    More fame for Angela! Her concise and pithy assessment of
    the EU's proposed
    chemical regulations
    made it as environmental news service Greenwire's
    Quote of the Day:

    "Quite frankly they have no idea what they are doing in Europe."

    — Angela Logomasini of Competitive Enterprise Institute, on a sweeping
    European Union plan for regulating chemicals.

    Read about the most recent developments with the program here.

  • Why All of Human History Has Been Leading Toward Google

    October 13, 2006 2:03 PM

    Former Random House editorial director Jason Epstein has an
    interesting take on Google's place in history, and how the Google Library project
    could be the next step in the
    evolution of human knowledge
    . He waxes a bit much when he suggests that Google's
    compromise with the Chinese government “calls to mind the expulsion, naked and
    trembling, of our ancestral parents from prelapsarian Eden,” but overall it's a good piece.

    One of the most interesting details is the existence of the
    world's first “ATM for books” — and the fact that it's only a
    few blocks away
    ...

  • Making Decisions on the Fly

    October 13, 2006 11:56 AM

    Our occasional journalisitic nemesis George Monbiot, as part of the promotional flurry surrounding his new book, is taking the presidents and directors of big green groups in the UK to task. Are they not working hard enough? As it turns out, they're working all too hard, traveling all over the globe for conferences and speeches and - you guessed it - emitting that ole devil called CO2 everywhere they go.

    Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth responded to the scolding with an appeal to necessity, saying “We do all we can to cut travel but we need to do some flying to make decisions.” It's not clear why airborne decision making is so essential to running a large organization, but I...

  • Nobel Laureate Edmund Phelps opposes minimum wage

    October 12, 2006 4:41 PM

    There's a saying that the most revealing part of Academy
    Awards speeches is who isn't thanked. There is often a similar truism about
    policy documents signed by economists.

    This should be kept in mind with Wednesday's statement
    released by the union-backed Economic Policy Institute that boasted the
    signatures of more than 600 economists, including 5 Nobel Laureates. The
    statement read, “We believe that a modest increase in the minimum wage would
    improve that well-being of low-wage workers and would not have the adverse
    effects that critics have claimed.”

    The “critics” referred to are the bulk of economists who
    dominate the profession. As Bloomberg noted in
    August, “prominent economists of all...

  • Libertarians Know How to Swing

    October 12, 2006 4:06 PM

    Cato's David
    Boaz
    and AFF's David
    Kirby
    have a fascinating new study out on trends
    among the voting public, charting the recent swing in major-party support by the
    libertarian-minded:

    Analyzing data from the Gallup
    Poll, the Pew Research Center,
    and the American National Election Studies, we find that about 13 percent of
    the electorate and 15 percent of actual voters are libertarian -- not
    libertarian in the Mill-Hayek-Cato intellectual sense, but distinguishable from
    both liberals and conservatives on questions about values and issues. “They are
    a larger share of the electorate than the fabled ‘soccer moms' and ‘NASCAR
    dads,'” we note....

  • You Want that Social Conscience Expression for Here or to Go?

    October 11, 2006 2:36 PM

    One of capitalism's greatest virtues is the wide array of preferences it allows entrepreneurs to cater to—including the preferences of those who claim to disdain capitalism. I noticed just just how wide this week while attending an event on antiwar voters at Washington, D.C.'s Busboys and Poets, a new establishment—combination restaurant, bar, café, and lefty bookstore—that seems to be trying to establish itself as a hub of left-wing activism and networking. Just the place to for bandanna-wearing college kids to unwind after an afternoon of hurling epithets towards the World Bank headquarters? Well, not exactly. The first thing I noticed about the place is how new, sleek, and busy it was. In fact, my first reaction was, “What a successful business!” Of course...

  • Registering Some Problems With REACH

    October 11, 2006 1:24 PM

    The Wall Street Journal reports today that U.S. and European
    firms were unsuccessful in an attempt to make the proposed chemicals policy in
    Europe more affordable during committee consideration of the bill in the EU
    Parliament. But even if business had succeeded in reducing paperwork
    costs, the policy would still have adverse effects around the world.

    The program, known as REACH—for the registration,
    authorization, and evaluation of chemicals—would require companies to register chemicals
    they produce, import, or use. The paperwork
    alone will be expensive, but the program is also likely to produce expensive
    bans and other regulations on many chemicals.

    Industry has continually tried to make REACH a more
    reasonable program, but unfortunately they are fighting a losing battle.
    The problem is that REACH is...

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