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Free Market Accountability Project

Let Rodney Gilstrap Do His Job

By 11.2.15

Patent trolls love to sue inventors for actually building things they could only dream of. After all, the threat of massive court costs is a very effective weapon with which to extort people.

But what if they could also threaten people with having to fight them in a court where victory is almost assured for the troll? As it happens, that’s exactly what many trolls can threaten people with, thanks to the existence of the infamous East Texas district court, also known as the patent “rocket docket,” where inventors are railroaded and trolls reign supreme, thanks to the unfair practices of its one presiding judge, Rodney Gilstrap.


Price and Demand: Cars and Labor

By 11.2.15

A basic principle from Economics-101 is that the downward sloping demand curve — the graph showing an inverse relationship between the price of something and the amount that people are willing and able to buy at that given price — works at all income levels and in both the market for goods and services and the market for labor.

The demand curve illustrates the fact that a price increase will generally produce less demand, fewer sales, all other things being equal.

Another fact, directly related to the aforementioned ability to pay, is that the super-rich are getting richer than ever and controlling an expanding share of the world’s wealth. A January 2015 article in the New York Times, “Oxfam Study Finds Richest 1% Is Likely to Control Half of Global Wealth by 2016,” reports from the Oxfam study that the “80 wealthiest people in the world altogether own $1.9 trillion, nearly the same amount shared by the 3.5 billion people who occupy the bottom half of the world’s income scale. And the richest 1 percent of the population, who number in the millions, control nearly half of the world’s total wealth, a share that is also increasing.”

A Further Perspective

Time We Took the Debates Back

By 11.1.15

For the longest time conservatives have distrusted the mainstream media, and for good reason. For decades we have seen the journalistic double standard in Washington and elsewhere that favored Democrats and liberals and dinged Republicans and conservatives. Why else would Fox News’ “fair and balanced” motto resonate the way it does? The CNBC debate last week should have neither surprised nor outraged most folks. It was par for the course in most ways. The difference is some candidates on the stage were willing to call the moderators on it.

Yet why is it that Republicans always seem to feel they were sucker punched in situations like the debates? The RNC said on Friday that CNBC’s actions were a “betrayal.” Really? As opposed to what? The performances of the debate moderators that were so sterling in 2012? Or ’08? Or ’96?

Media Matters

CNBC Does the Impossible, Unites Crowded GOP Field

By 11.1.15

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had a standout moment early in Wednesday night’s Republican debate when he went after, not other Republicans, but the CNBC moderators, none of whom appeared to have “any intention of voting in a Republican primary.” CNBC’s Jim Cramer and Rick Santelli later asked questions a conservative would ask, but the event began with questions from moderators John Harwood, Becky Quick, and Carl Quintanilla that reinforced Republicans’ belief that the network is in the Democrats’ pocket. The biggest loser of the night: CNBC’s credibility.

Ben Stein's Diary

What Could Be More Important?

By 10.31.15

Many, many years ago, when I was a speechwriter for Mr. Nixon at the White House, my father, Herbert Stein, was Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. He was a brilliant man and a loving, devoted father to my sister and me.

One day in 1974, I needed a statistic for a speech. My father and I both worked at the Old Executive Office Building. I trekked up two flights of stairs and went in to see my Pop, who was, as always, deep in thought.

“Pop,” I said, “may I ask you for a little bit of help finding a number, if you’re not too busy on something else.”

My father put down his Kent cigarette and looked at me with his soft brown eyes.

“Benjy,” he said, “what do you think I have to do that would be more important than helping my one and only son?”

That has stuck with me every hour of every day.


The Cruz Plan: Reagan Reenters the Republican Field

By 10.30.15

The Republican Party woke up new and fresh, and ahead of the curve, yesterday morning, leaving the Democrats stale and old back in the 20th century (Keynesian 1930s), if not the 19th (1870s, when Marx was new and cutting edge).

History books will note the turning point of the 2016 election as the evening of October 28, 2015. At the Republican debate that night in Colorado, Texas Senator Ted Cruz . emerged from the Republican Presidential field as the modern 2016 embodiment of Ronald Reagan.

The tax reform plan he unveiled at that debate is as new, exciting, and politically and economically revolutionary as the historic Kemp-Roth tax rate cuts were in 1980. And that was just one plank in an extremely promising economic growth plan that Cruz intimated that night.

Special Report

A National Portrait of Margaret Sanger

By 10.30.15

Fifteen years ago I came across in an archive “A Plan for World Peace” issued by a prominent American just months before Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany.

The plan advocated “a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.” For the tens of millions of Americans whose genes the author judged objectionable but who themselves judged sterilization objectionable, the plan offered “farm lands and homestead for these segregated persons where they would be taught to work under competent instructors for the period of their entire lives.”

Another Perspective

A Horse Is a Horse… But Not for a Meal

By and 10.30.15

In America, horses are our loyal companions in work and sport. They are iconic symbols of our history, our spirit and our freedom. From their backs, we fought wars and expanded westward. At no time in our country’s heritage have horses ever been considered a meal. 

Yet each year, more than 100,000 American horses — working horses, racing horses and even children’s ponies — are cruelly slaughtered so their meat can be sent overseas to Asia and Europe for human consumption. It’s a wasteful, unnecessary and inhumane practice that not only raises serious concerns about our treatment of animals, but also our values as a country.

Political Hay

The Self-Immolation of Jeb Bush

By 10.30.15

Marco Rubio is another Obama. And oh, by the way, he should resign his Senate seat because he’s running for president.

Remember back there in September when there were gasps from Establishment GOP types and some in the media because Donald Trump said this?

The Carnivore Spectator

Hold the Salami, Meathead

By 10.30.15

When I was a youngster, we were told to eat three square meals a day. Red meat, rich in protein, was considered a staple of a well-balanced diet. 

So, most of us developed a taste, even a passion, for beef. Backyard barbecues became an American way of life. On summer weekends the rich aroma of thick steaks, and hamburgers, and chops of all kinds sizzling on Weber grills throughout the neighborhood was as familiar as the smell of freshly mowed grass. Yes, we were all true carnivores.

Now, the World Health Organization (WHO?) has announced that red meats and processed meats like bacon and salami are dangerous carcinogens that increase the risk of colorectal cancer. The WHO? report concludes that processed meats are as dangerous as cigarette smoke and diesel exhaust.

They say that there is a 17% increase in the risk of colorectal cancer for every 100 grams per day of red meat consumed and an 18% increase for every 50 grams daily of processed meat. Wow! What a reversal of medical opinion a few decades can bring.

Now, I’ve really tried to live a healthy lifestyle. I’ve disdained smoking all my life. Don’t want to die of asphyxiation from lung cancer.