Archive for the ‘EPA’ Category

Capitalism, fiscal woes; contempt for economic liberty

November 9, 2008

There has always been contempt for economic liberty. Historically, our nation was an important, not complete, exception. It took the calamity of the Great Depression to bring about today’s level of restrictions on economic liberty. Now we have another government-created calamity that has the prospect of moving us even further away from economic liberty with the news media and pundits creating the perception that the current crisis can be blamed on capitalism.

We see comments such as those in the New York Times: “The United States  has a culture that celebrates laissez-faire capitalism as the economic ideal.” Or, “For 30 years, the nation’s political system has been tilted in favor of business deregulation and against new rules.” Another says, “Since 1997, Mr. Brown [the British prime minister] has been a powerful voice behind the Labor Party’s embrace of an American-style economic philosophy that was light on regulation.”

By Walter E. Williams
The Washington Times

First, let’s establish what laissez-faire capitalism is. Broadly defined, it is an economic system based on private ownership and control over of the means of production. Under laissez-faire capitalism, government activity is restricted to the protection of the individual’s rights against fraud, theft and the initiation of physical force.

Professor George Reisman has written a very insightful article on his blog titled “The Myth that Laissez Faire Is Responsible for Our Financial Crisis.” (http://georgereisman.com/blog/2008/10/myth-that-laissez-faire-is-respo nsible.html) You can decide whether we have an unregulated laissez-faire economy. There are 15 Cabinet departments, nine of which control various aspects of the U.S. economy. They are the Departments of: Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Education, Energy, Labor, Agriculture, Commerce and Interior. In addition, there is the alphabet soup cluster of federal agencies such as: the IRS, the FRB and FDIC, the EPA, FDA, SEC, CFTC, NLRB, FTC, FCC, FERC, FEMA, FAA, CAA, INS, OHSA, CPSC, NHTSA, EEOC, BATF, DEA, NIH and NASA.

Here’s my question to you: Can one be sane and at the same time hold that ours is an unregulated laissez-faire economy? Better yet, tell me what a businessman, or for that matter you, can do that does not involve some kind of government regulation.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov
/09/capitalism-and-fiscal-woes/

Beijing’s Environmental Plan Cites Need for Enforcement

November 27, 2007

By Maureen Fan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

BEIJING, Nov. 26 — The Chinese government released a long-delayed environmental protection plan Monday that promises added efforts to tackle the country’s increasingly foul air and water and for the first time emphasizes a need to reduce greenhouse gases, officials said.

The 11th Five-Year Plan to protect the environment, for 2005 to 2010, also pledges to make polluters pay for cleanup. The plan left unclear whether the government will force local officials and businesses to abide by its terms.

“This time, it’s stated clearly which areas should be taken care of by the government, and which areas are the responsibility of enterprises,” said Liu Youbin, a spokesman for the State Environmental Protection Administration. Compared with the previous five-year plan, this document “makes its goals clearer and simpler.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/26/AR2007112601968.html?hpid=moreheadlines