Cronyism (page 5)

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    Another solar company reaching its failure tipping point

    An Investors Business Daily report carries the headline “SunEdison Bankruptcy Whispers Char SolarCity, First Solar, SunPower“: SunEdison’s (SUNE) inferno continued Wednesday, a day after rumors flared that it might be in debtor-in-possession talks with creditors — often seen as a precursor to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. In afternoon trading on…
    Jon Sanders, March 23, 2016
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    MIT Technology Review: ‘Suddenly, the Solar Boom Is Starting to Look like a Bubble’

    …it's well known that the renewable energy industry's business model is entirely based on and utterly dependent on capturing public subsidies. It's all about winning government goodies.—Yours truly, 8/28/15 You've probably heard this one. And if you have only a topical understanding of solar energy, you probably believe it. It takes a lot of lobbying and also a lot of media repetition and deliberate memory-holing to keep people thinking that solar is a viable, one-for-one replacement for traditional energy sources. See if this sounds familiar: Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute lamented the untimely scale-back of tax breaks for renewable energy, since the competitive viability of wind and solar technologies was "one to three years away." Was that in yesterday's News & Observer? Was it in this week's email blast to legislators by solar lobbyists? Was this at a recent university event? No. It was from thirty years ago. That is, 1986.
    Jon Sanders, February 15, 2016
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    Teeth whiteners case underscores cartel arrangement of licensing

    George Will discusses the issue at stake in the Connecticut teeth whiteners’ dispute: The case concerns a minor economic activity, teeth whitening, but a major principle: Can a state limit Americans’ opportunities by restricting access to particular professions for no reason other than the enrichment of people entrenched in those…
    Jon Sanders, February 12, 2016
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    When comparing net energy subsidies…

    As my colleague Roy Cordato explained in his 2013 Spotlight report on energy subsidies, the proper way to compare energy subsidies is not by looking at gross subsidies, but net subsidies. Why net subsidies are economically more relevant is because they “include not only the monetized value of policies that subsidize the relevant industries but also…
    Jon Sanders, January 27, 2016
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    Goldberg on an unintended consequence of the president’s gun actions: collusion

    National Review’s Jonah Goldberg sees as I do that the president’s executive actions regarding firearms are likely to be fraught with potential for cronyism. Goldberg writes: Progressives claim to dislike corporatism because they think it means “rule by corporations.” It doesn’t. The reality is they love it. They…
    Jon Sanders, January 12, 2016
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    Musing: potential camel’s nose of Obama’s executive actions on guns

    While commentary from the media and left have reflexively praised the president’s announcement, some commentary on the right has remarked primarily upon how little new the president actually proposed. E.g., National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke argued that the long-term result would be counter to the president’s stated goal, as he…
    Jon Sanders, January 5, 2016
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    Voluntary certification, not occupational licensing

    Carolina Journal reports on a Texas Supreme Court ruling against requiring those who practice eyebrow threading to be licensed cosmetologists. The ruling is important because the hurdles to getting a license as a cosmetologist are especially burdensome in terms of time as well as money. Requiring such practices as eyebrow…
    Jon Sanders, August 24, 2015
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    The folly of the ethanol mandate

    University of Georgia Professor Emeritus Harold Brown writes of “The Ethanol Scramble” for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. An excerpt: The mandate for ethanol use was met or exceeded every year until 2010 when the mandate and consumption were just under 13 billion gallons. Consumption has levelled off since…
    Jon Sanders, May 15, 2015