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Ethics in Congress, Urban Renewal and the Luxury of Environmentalism

Daily Update


Ethics in Congress, Urban Renewal and the Luxury of Environmentalism



Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is facing ethics charges.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Attorney Hans Bader gives some background on Rep. Waters’ career.

“Waters, notorious for her race-baiting and hard-left ideology, earlier praised the Los Angeles race riots that destroyed scores of Korean-owned businesses as an ‘uprising’ against injustice. Waters once told a CEO in a public congressional hearing, ‘This liberal will be all about socializing . . . would be about, basically, taking over and the government running all of your companies.’”



Elected officials in Minneapolis and St. Paul try to lure suburban residents and shoppers back into the area’s downtown city centers.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Policy Analyst Marc Scribner on the Twin Cities’ utter failure at urban revitalization.

“Downtown Minneapolis’ Block E remains one of the most controversial projects ever undertaken by the city. In 1987, the city council voted to condemn the entire block, after years of redevelopment saber rattling. Prior to its razing, the block was dominated by adult-oriented businesses which attracted a clientele that city officials found undesirable. And nearly overnight, Block E went from a somewhat seedy business district to full-blown urban wasteland, complete with gang-controlled open-air drug markets. The neighborhood’s astronomically high crime rates (according to police statistics, about 25 percent of all downtown crime took place on Block E in the late 1980s) likely led to local residents dubbing the city ‘Murderapolis.’”



A new academic study analyzes the relationship between the business cycle and concern for the environment.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Vice President for Strategy Iain Murray argues that environmentalism should be regarded as a luxury good.

“One of the central insights of Free-Market Environmentalism is that people treat the environment as a luxury good.  They are willing to pay for it when they have spare money, but not when they don’t.  That’s why treating the environment as a tax, which is how statist environmentalism works, arouses resentment, while treating it as a privately-owned asset, like FME does, promotes stewardship and conservation.”