Spots versus stripes? Which do you prefer? Our federal government prefers spots and is moving forward with a million-dollar-a-year plan to remove 9,000 striped owls from western forests.
While politicians continue the budget cut stalemate, entrepreneurs are quick to provide goods and services to the public.
PERC senior fellow Randy Simmons writing on the sequester as an exercise in the Washington Monument strategy.
For more than two decades, special interests have persuaded Congress to mandate Americans buy ethanol whether they want to or not. As a result, 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop is now used for ethanol rather than food.
James M. Buchanan, the Nobel laureate in economics and father of public choice theory, has passed away at the age of 93. Buchanan's work formed the foundation for PERC's early research on environmental issues.
Would the EPA be better run by a bipartisan commission? Reform the agency by politicizing it, says PERC board member Steven Hayward.
Excerpt from "For all the hot air, little of substance on climate change in Presidential race":Some experts think it’s not so bad that the campaigns have pretty much ignored climate change. They say that good policymaking is hard in such a polarized environment. That’s the view of Dino Falaschetti, the executive director and an economist at Montana-based Property and Environment Research Center, a think tank that promotes a free-market approach to environment issues.
There is substantial theoretical and empirical
This morning I received a CNN “Breaking News” alert that “President Obama said today he is elevating the Small Business Administration to a Cabinet-level agency.” My first reaction was utter disbelief.
Today the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the REINS Act, a bill to enhance political accountability over regulatory decisions. The bill has two essential features.
One of the hypocrisies of modern environmental law is its double standard of enforcement: strict application to small entrepreneurs, and exemptions for politically powerful players like large industry and municipalities.
The Clinton administration signed off on the Roadless Rule [PDF] in 2001 to preserve 58.5 million acres of national forest land by preventing road construction, reconstruction
Amid the state's budget crisis last spring, California's governor threatened to close more than 70 state parks by the spring of 2012 to save the state money. This threat of park closure is a common occurrence in California and other states.
Earlier this month President Obama asked the Environmental Protection Agency to shelve a proposal to tighten the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone this year.
A useful principle in business is not to throw good money after bad trying to salvage a mistake.
Don't miss PERC senior fellow Bruce Yandle’s article in the latest issue of Regulation magazine.
ABC's Radio International interviewed PERC's very own Laura Huggins last week about the planned closure of 70 state parks in California later this year.
The threat of park closures is part of the state budget crunch package.
In a new deal with environmentalists, the Obama administration has agreed to work through a backlog list of species that require additional study to determine if they should be given protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Cross-posted at Grist.A recent post on Grist attempted to dismantle the intellectual foundations of free market environmentalism—the application of markets and property rights to solve environmental problems. But far from toppling a burgeoning movement within modern environmentalism, it succeeded only in misrepresenting the subject.To recap: Clark Williams-Derry claimed that while free market environmentalism may be effective in some areas of the environment (e.g., fisheries management), its reliance upon unrealistic assumptions about the real world largely relegates it to useless intellectual theorizing. In particular, the Coase theorem—an important component of market-based environmentalism named for Nobel Prize-winning economist Ronald Coase—amounts to “a quirky but not particularly relevant bit of theoretical math.”While there is certainly much more to free market environmentalism than the work of Coase (see Terry Anderson and Donald Leal’s book Free Market Environmentalism for more details), I focus here mostly on the misinformed critique of Coase that has been used to discredit free market environmentalism.So, who is Coase, what is his theorem, and what does it have to do with free market environmentalism?
It is often believed, and in fact intended, that regulations requiring increased energy efficiency will reduce energy consumption.
by Shawn Regan Over at Forbes.com, Art Carden pens this gem of a poem that retells Dr. Suess's classic "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" using property rights, Pigouvian taxes, and the Coase theorem--important concepts in environmental economics: How Economics Saved Christmas by Art Carden Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot.But the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, DID NOT.He stood and he hated the Whos and their noiseHe hated the shrieks of the Who girls and boysFor fifty-three years he’d put up with it now—He had to stop Christmas from coming, somehow.He asked and he questioned the whole thing’s legalityThen his eyes brightened: he screamed “externality!”He reached for his textbooks; he knew what to doHe’d fight them with ideas from A.C. PigouThis idea has merit, he thought in the frostA tax that was equal to external costAt the margin, would give all the Who girls and boysAn incentive to stop all their screaming and noiseFailing that, an injunction to make them all ceaseAnd they’d have to pay him to have their Roast Beast.
Paul Schwennesen recently appeared on Fox Business to discuss food safety. Paul offers more comments on the issue below.We all want safe food. Question is, how do we get it? “There oughta be a law,” seems to be the generally conceived approach, as evidenced by recent passage of the now-famous food safety bill. A tidy and altogether comforting solution: simply slay the beast of dangerous food with the bludgeon of enlightened bureaucracy. But for the food advocates who support this kind of top-down solution, beware. The kind of government meddling that created cheap-at-any-cost is now about to do the same for “safe” food.But isn’t food safety a pressing concern, a public health problem we can’t afford to fool around with? The problem is, the problem isn’t. Emotional rants that “thousands die every year!” do not help us grapple with the scope or magnitude of this alleged threat. Let’s try some perspective: according to the Centers for Disease Control, the estimated number of deaths caused by food borne illness numbers around five thousand a year. Sounds pretty bad, eh? Time to call in the Salmonella SWAT team? Before you do, consider that the same number of people die by intentionally strangling themselves each year. Or that the same number of people die from Alzheimer’s in California alone each year. Or that four times that number die each year accidentally falling off of things. Moreover, 70% of food borne illnesses result from poor food handling procedures during preparation. Unless you’re also on a crusade to flatten everything or cure Alzheimer’s, I’d think twice about ceding greater authority of our food system to centralized management.True to form, Congress has blithely offered its professional problem-solving services to rid us of the menace of deadly food. And, true to form, it’s about to embark on another unarmed expedition into the tortuous territory of unintended consequences.