Cronyism (page 5)

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    So did Raleigh leaders reward crony donors by naming them Dix Park advisors?

    The News & Observer reports on a marked lack of debate or modicum of process in naming advisors to “one of the biggest public projects in Raleigh’s history”: City staff compiled a list of recommended appointees that wasn’t available to the public until hours before the City Council meeting…
    Jon Sanders, July 21, 2016
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    There are many ways to ensure safety without the policy extreme of occupational licensing

    Reforming occupational licensing is one of those rare political ideas that unites right, left, and center. But it faces fierce opposition from the highly self-interested cronies, which to anyone who knows public-choice economics means it’s a hard slog. Earlier this month, for example, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, wrote…
    Jon Sanders, June 14, 2016
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    Startups in garages vs. government ‘startups’

    Julie, I posted that advertisement a while back to contrast that history with the only-government-builds-that, massively expensive folly of the Obama administration. Namely their “innovation institutes,” including one at NC State: $70 million from the Department of Energy in the next five years, “an amount that will…
    Jon Sanders, May 13, 2016
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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