The Locker Room

July 31, 2008

Easley signs drought bill

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:58 PM

The governor and his successors will have more power to address drought emergencies in the future, an issue David Bass covered earlier this month for Carolina Journal.

It's too bad the bill relies more on coercion than on the power of free-market principles


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Free-market environmentalism

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:00 PM

The idea that a market-based approach can work better than government regulation to protect the environment owes much of its strength to the pioneering work of economist Milton Friedman.

So says Richard Stroup, visiting professor of economics at N.C. State and one of the founders of free-market environmentalism. Stroup discussed market-based environmental policies during today's special Shaftesbury Society luncheon honoring the late Milton Friedman's 96th birthday.

7 p.m. update: Watch the entire presentation here.

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It's the end of the world as we know it

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 11:46 AM

I feel fine when even a San Francisco environmental lawyer tells USA Today, "I started off believing in regulation, but government agencies compromise and change rules" and "These private deals are a pragmatic way to accomplish good things."

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Success can change people's minds

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 11:15 AM

Click here to see a graph illustrating the growing sense within the electorate that the troop surge in Iraq has had positive benefits.

A corollary is the growing concern about energy prices, a topic Donna Martinez and Chad Adams will discuss in an upcoming edition of Carolina Journal Radio:

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What a CON game

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 11:05 AM

If it strikes you as odd that hospitals must ask the state for permission to expand almost any type of service, you'll enjoy reading Roy Cordato's research on the topic.

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More on Milton Friedman

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 10:49 AM

You can watch his classic "Free To Choose" videos here

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Don't hold your breath waiting for a ruling in the TVA suit

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:52 AM

The judge has told lawyers they can file final documents by Sept. 15.

Meanwhile, you'll recall that much of North Carolina's argument in the case is based on bad science.

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Latest dispatches from the political trail

Posted by John Hood at 07:27 AM

The Chicago Tribune speculates about the possible effects of the Ted Stevens story on competitive Senate races around the country, including Kay Hagan's challenge to Elizabeth Dole. Bloomberg's Laura Litvan (a friend of mine from college days) and Daniel Whitten describe Republican efforts to gain political traction on energy issues. They include Dole's turnabout on offshore drilling.

Pat McCrory brings back his Andy Griffith vs. Andy Taylor routine during the grand opening of a new GOP headquarters in Mount Airy. Beverly Perdue helps to commend the outgoing commander of Camp Lejeune for his service.

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Friedman's birthday

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:53 AM

Today would have been the late economist Milton Friedman's 96th birthday. The John Locke Foundation will take part in a celebration with a special noon meeting of the Shaftesbury Society.

Meanwhile, I came across George Will's column marking Friedman's 90th birthday. It's included in Will's new book, One Man's America. Will calls Friedman "America's most consequential public intellectual of the twentieth century" and notes the impact of his "great manifesto" from 1962, Capitalism and Freedom:

Capitalism and Freedom inserted into political discourse such (then) novel ideas as flexible exchange rates, a private dimension of Social Security, tuition vouchers to empower parents with school choice, and a flat income tax. Gary Becker (Nobel Prize, 1992), Friedman's colleague at the University of Chicago and the Hoover Institution, notes that when Friedman began arguing the case, most nations had top tax rates of at least 90 percent (91 percent in America). Today most top rates are 50 percent or less, so the world has moved far toward Friedman's position.

Rick Stroup of N.C. State will offer us more evidence of Friedman's impact during his noon speech at the John Locke Foundation's office in Raleigh. 

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Today's Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:35 AM

Today's Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Eli Lehrer's new report about the need for reform in North Carolina's auto insurance rate-making process.

John Hood's Daily Journal offers a flashback to a 2005 column about the UNC system's contradictory responses to competitive forces. 

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