Ideas Have Sex, The Hidden Dangers of "Living Wages," & Ethanol Tax Credits Expire
The Arkansas Project
David Kinkade writes about the continuing tragedy that is Obamacare, focusing on the tax on medical devices. After all, what better way to ensure the availability and affordability of these devices than to make them more expensive?
Also, the Forestry Commission managed to find themselves four million dollars short. No word yet if any officials will be held responsible or if it is just accepted in bureaucracies that these things just happen.
The Rise Of Consumption Equality
Just about every product or service that makes our lives better requires a mass market or it's not economic to bother offering. Those who invent and produce for the mass market get rich. And the more these innovators better the rest of our lives, the richer they get but the less they can differentiate themselves from the masses whose wants they serve. Read more here from Andy Kessler at the Wall Street Journal.
Estimates of Illinois' budget contain more than $2 billion of promises for which there is no money. In addition, the state has carried over $5 billion in unpaid bills from previous years. To make matters worse, many companies, fearing that they and their employees will ultimately have to pick up the tab, are demanding tax breaks to stay in the state. Read more here from the Economist.
The Hidden Dangers Of The "Living Wage"
With 2012 upon us, the next labor market battle, both in the United States and in Europe, will be over the "living wage." Unlike the minimum wage, the proposed living wage law in New York City is targeted only to those individuals who work in projects that receive some sort of government subsidy. The justification for this proposal is that the parties who receive these government subsidies ought to share them with the workers that they hire. Read more here from Richard Epstein at the Hoover Institution's Defining Ideas.
Compliance - Or Else
Michael and Chantelle Sackett bought two-thirds of an acre of Idaho property in 2005, intending to build a new family home. What they got instead was a lesson in the arbitrary power of federal administrative agencies-one that has now taken them all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Read more here by Timothy Sandefur from the Pacific Legal Foundation.
After Three Decades, Tax Credit for Ethanol Expires
The tax break, created more than 30 years ago, had long seemed untouchable. But in the last year, during which Congress was preoccupied with deficits and debt, it became a symbol of corporate welfare. Fiscal conservatives joined liberal environmentalists to kill it, with help from a diverse coalition of outside groups. Read more here by Robert Pear at the New York Times.
Ideas Have Sex, and We're Better for It
An idea walks into a bar. She meets another idea. They get together, and nine months later (or maybe it's nine minutes or seconds? It's not clear how it works with ideas), a new idea is born. A baby idea with the best traits of both parents. When this happens a lot, everyone gets smarter and the world gets better. Read more from John Stossel at Reason here.
Romney Derangement Syndrome
A number of commentators have been remarking on how rarely Mitt Romney gets attacked by his opponents in the GOP debates. What's even more remarkable is what the other candidates are attacking Romney for. Instead of calling Romney to account for his health-policy mistakes, they're going after him for his . . . successful business career? Read more here from Avik Roy at National Review.
OWS In Crisis
The disproportionate media coverage that OWS received - which was more in line with the protesters' deluded sense of self-importance than commensurate with the public's interest or the coherence of their aims - was its greatest achievement of 2011. But there was not much sign of OWS in New York. In the seven hours Charles C.W. Cook had been out of touch with those on the ground, America's media had gone wild with apathy and OWS had gone home. Read more here from Cook at National Review.