CEI Planet: June – July 2008

View the new Montly Planet by downloading the PDF of the issue. Below you’ll find previews of the articles in this issue:

Is Schumpeter’s Vision of Capitalism’s End Still Relevant?
By Václav Klaus
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: It is really a pleasure for me to be here. I mean it seriously. Thanks to Fred Smith for proposing an inspiring topic for my speech which, I must confess, I wouldn’t have chosen myself—“Schumpeter and his Vision of the End of Capitalism.”

Thoughts on Revolution
By Fred L. Smith, Jr.
Our theme for our dinner this year was revolution. Revolutions can be bloody or peaceful, tyrannical or liberating, physical or intellectual. Our revolution is against political correctness, conventional wisdom, ossified hierarchies, and expanding bureaucracies. We seek a revolutionary expansion of freedom, and of the institutions of liberty that make it possible.

Unfairness Doctrine
By Cord Blomquist
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously wrote that the best test of truth “is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.” Yet today many are turning away from this ideal, calling for greater government intervention in media ownership over the perceived lack of fairness in the press. As Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) recently proclaimed, “We really do literally have five or six major corporations in this country that determine for the most part what Americans see, hear, and read
every day.”

CEI’s 2008 Annual Dinner
For the first time ever, the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Annual Dinner hosted a sitting head of state, as both keynote speaker and recipient of the Julian Simon Memorial Award—President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic.

News from Bureaucrash
Embassy Crashing with New Friends
In May, we joined forces with other organizations, including the Hispanic American Center for Economic Research, to crash some stops on embassy row. We held a crash outside the Argentine embassy to protest the harmful redistributionist and protectionist policies of that nation’s populist president, Cristina Fernandez, which have already produced massive local unrest. We joined with others outside the Zimbabwean embassy to register our strong disapproval of the murderous, famine-causing Mugabe regime. These and other activist exploits are available on Bureaucrash TV (www.youtube.com/bureaucrash).

Is the Truth Powerless?
Before his speech at CEI’s Annual Dinner, President Václav Klaus spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on the subject of that drove him to write his new book, Blue Planet in Green Shackles, recently published in English by CEI. Below are excerpts of that talk.

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

The Good: Ireland Votes Down Terrible Treaty
In a June 13 referendum, Irish citizens unexpectedly voted
down the European Union’s (EU) Lisbon Treaty, which would have centralized significantly more power in the body’s Brussels-based bureaucracy. The EU has poked its nose into everything from the shifts of bus drivers to how much bust barmaids are allowed to show to disallowing dogs at bed and breakfasts.
The Bad: Google Flirts with Regulatory Evil
Internet giant Google was accused in June of a minor violation of California’s privacy laws. The violation? The company had failed to link to its privacy policy from the front page of its popular search engine, though users could get to it with a few simple clicks. However, rather than challenge this regulatory silliness, Google responded to the flap by endorsing a nationwide privacy law.
The Ugly: Farm Bill Dishes Out the Pork
In May, Congress’s latest Farm Bill passed easily with over 75 percent of Representatives and 80 percent of Senators voting for it. The bill provides nearly $300 billion over five years for farming interests. To his credit, President George W. Bush made good on his pledge to veto the bill, but Congress promptly overrode that veto.

Media Mentions
Compiled by Richard Morrison

Senior Fellow Eli Lehrer reminds Florida residents of the precarious financial position in which their governor has put them:

"Florida’s state government easily could end up bankrupt this year unless the Legislature and Governor Charlie Crist change the state’s homeowners’ insurance laws…"

– Ocala Star-Banner, May 11