Commentary

Commentary

Drug ads a form of free speech

David Lazarus claims that direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising results in “forcing physicians to respond to people’s demands for heavily touted drugs.” (“Ads spur urge for drugs,” Consumer Confidential, Feb. 6.) Actually, physicians have a government-granted monopoly on prescribing drugs, and no patient can “force” a physician to do anything. Rather, research …

Business & Economics

Satellite radio held hostage

THE $4 BILLION merger of satellite radio companies Sirius and XM continues to languish in the hands of government regulators, despite hopes that the 10-month antitrust investigation wouldn’t drag into 2008. An otherwise clear-cut approval process has been hijacked by competitors seeking to prevent consumers from receiving better service, more …

Agriculture

Ethanol craze boosts food prices, world hunger

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA), February 15, 2008 Press Dakotan, February 15, 2008 Billings Gazette (MT), February 12, 2008 Investor’s Business Daily, February 11, 2008 WASHINGTON – The red-hot congressional love affair with the alternative fuel ethanol is starting to leave many supermarket customers feeling mighty blue these days as they pay …

California

Lessons for Arnold from Milton Friedman

Sacramento Union, February 15, 2008 SACRAMENTO – Jan. 29 was Milton Friedman Day, which may have escaped Californians’ notice. I wonder: Could Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gain inspiration from the ideas of the late Nobel laureate and lauded economist? One in three California public school students is now in a public …

Commentary

Commentary: Vicki Murray

Forbes.com, February 15, 2008 That steep mortgage may not buy your kids a decent education. A growing number of middle-income families are in homes they can barely afford to keep and cannot afford to sell at a loss–all so that their children can go to “good” suburban public schools. But …

Commentary

NY’s “Cuomortician” Strikes Again! Attorney General to “Fix” Prices

It’s been a couple of months since New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, scourge of the health insurers, has caused me to address the sorry state of the Empire State’s political direction on health reform. Last time, I expressed concern (and perhaps a little contrition) that I was too hard …

California

What Now for California Health Care?

Last month the Senate health committee dumped the Schwarzenegger/Núñez Model ABX1 1, California’s trend-setting gadget for health-care repair. Senator Sheila Kuehl, who chairs that committee, tossed it for more personal reasons, other than the obvious $14-billion price tag and state budget deficit of similar size. Senator Kuehl wants to bring …

Business & Economics

Who Can Own the Air? FCC Gives, Can Take Away

“Purblind Auction” (Review & Outlook, Feb. 7) incorrectly describes wireless spectrum as “real estate.” The government may be selling these choice airwaves to the highest bidder, but who really owns them? Certainly not the auction winner. Not only do the FCC’s rules dictate how the new “owner” can use his …

Business & Economics

State-subsidized broadband a bad idea

There are some in government intent on improving what already works just fine, often to the detriment of nearly everyone. The latest unnecessary fix of what’s not broken is a preposterous, counter-productive, exorbitantly expensive proposal to use state-issued bonds to bring ultra-fast Internet connections to every remote California nook and …

Business & Economics

Building a digital bridge to nowhere

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s California Broadband Task Force concluded last month that high-speed Internet access should be a public investment, much like roads and power lines. The CBTF proposes “state-issued broadband bonds” to bring ultrafast connections to the state’s most desolate locales. Without public subsidies, however, California already ranks first in …

Commentary

Drug ads a form of free speech

David Lazarus claims that direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising results in “forcing physicians to respond to people’s demands for heavily touted drugs.” (“Ads spur urge for drugs,” Consumer Confidential, Feb. 6.) Actually, physicians have a government-granted monopoly on prescribing drugs, and no patient can “force” a physician to do anything. Rather, research …

Business & Economics

Satellite radio held hostage

THE $4 BILLION merger of satellite radio companies Sirius and XM continues to languish in the hands of government regulators, despite hopes that the 10-month antitrust investigation wouldn’t drag into 2008. An otherwise clear-cut approval process has been hijacked by competitors seeking to prevent consumers from receiving better service, more …

Agriculture

Ethanol craze boosts food prices, world hunger

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA), February 15, 2008 Press Dakotan, February 15, 2008 Billings Gazette (MT), February 12, 2008 Investor’s Business Daily, February 11, 2008 WASHINGTON – The red-hot congressional love affair with the alternative fuel ethanol is starting to leave many supermarket customers feeling mighty blue these days as they pay …

California

Lessons for Arnold from Milton Friedman

Sacramento Union, February 15, 2008 SACRAMENTO – Jan. 29 was Milton Friedman Day, which may have escaped Californians’ notice. I wonder: Could Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gain inspiration from the ideas of the late Nobel laureate and lauded economist? One in three California public school students is now in a public …

Commentary

Commentary: Vicki Murray

Forbes.com, February 15, 2008 That steep mortgage may not buy your kids a decent education. A growing number of middle-income families are in homes they can barely afford to keep and cannot afford to sell at a loss–all so that their children can go to “good” suburban public schools. But …

Commentary

NY’s “Cuomortician” Strikes Again! Attorney General to “Fix” Prices

It’s been a couple of months since New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, scourge of the health insurers, has caused me to address the sorry state of the Empire State’s political direction on health reform. Last time, I expressed concern (and perhaps a little contrition) that I was too hard …

California

What Now for California Health Care?

Last month the Senate health committee dumped the Schwarzenegger/Núñez Model ABX1 1, California’s trend-setting gadget for health-care repair. Senator Sheila Kuehl, who chairs that committee, tossed it for more personal reasons, other than the obvious $14-billion price tag and state budget deficit of similar size. Senator Kuehl wants to bring …

Business & Economics

Who Can Own the Air? FCC Gives, Can Take Away

“Purblind Auction” (Review & Outlook, Feb. 7) incorrectly describes wireless spectrum as “real estate.” The government may be selling these choice airwaves to the highest bidder, but who really owns them? Certainly not the auction winner. Not only do the FCC’s rules dictate how the new “owner” can use his …

Business & Economics

State-subsidized broadband a bad idea

There are some in government intent on improving what already works just fine, often to the detriment of nearly everyone. The latest unnecessary fix of what’s not broken is a preposterous, counter-productive, exorbitantly expensive proposal to use state-issued bonds to bring ultra-fast Internet connections to every remote California nook and …

Business & Economics

Building a digital bridge to nowhere

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s California Broadband Task Force concluded last month that high-speed Internet access should be a public investment, much like roads and power lines. The CBTF proposes “state-issued broadband bonds” to bring ultrafast connections to the state’s most desolate locales. Without public subsidies, however, California already ranks first in …

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