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The Competitive Enterprise Institute Daily Update

Daily Update

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The Competitive Enterprise Institute Daily Update

Issues in the News

 

1. SAFETY

President Bush hosts a swearing-in ceremony for incoming Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: General Counsel Sam Kazman on the Department of Transportation’s poor record on vehicle safety:

“A National Academy of Sciences report estimated [federal fuel economy program] CAFE's toll at 1,300 to 2,600 deaths annually. In the words of Dr. Leonard Evans, president of the International Traffic Medicine Association, ‘CAFE kills, and more stringent CAFE standards will kill even more.’ This fact, however, has been consistently pushed aside by proponents of higher CAFE standards. They point to the National Academy's study as supposedly demonstrating that technological advances can give us both higher fuel economy and increased safety. But the report made clear that higher fuel economy without further reductions in safety was only a possibility, not a foregone conclusion. And it did not suggest that the lethal effects of the current standard would be magically cured.”

 

2. TECHNOLOGY

Microsoft plans to launch Vista in Europe on schedule, despite implied threats from antitrust officials.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Technology Analyst Peter Suderman on the unfortunate example set by Microsoft’s compromises:

“If anyone isn’t convinced that much of what passes for antitrust hinders technological development, this is prime evidence. In this case, foreign governments (who, for all we know, have little to no expertise in software design) have, for all practical purposes, been given a soft veto over Microsoft’s product functionality. That’s not just bad for business: It’s a terrible and dangerous precedent likely to impede progress in tech markets and have a chilling effect on software designers fearing onerous regulation.”

 

3. BUSINESS

Wal-Mart makes plans to expand its operations in China.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Adjunct Analyst Zachary Courser on what Wal-Mart has done for America:

“What has been Wal-Mart's real effect on the U.S. economy, and is it as dire as some of the critics suggest? The answer is that Wal-Mart has proven to be an enormously positive influence on the economy, single-handedly increasing overall productivity and keeping retail prices low throughout America. The company has managed this while maintaining pay and benefits for its workers well in line with the rest of the retail industry. Considering the facts, on balance, Wal-Mart has been -- and continues to be -- good for America.”

 

Blog feature: For more news and analysis, updated throughout the day, visit CEI Open Market.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To contact a CEI expert for comment or interviews, please call the CEI communications department at 202-331-2273 or email to pr@cei.org.