Tag: Technology

Film for Compulsory Sterilization from the 1930s (Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s Reference) »

In this disturbing 1934 propaganda film for eugenics, “Tomorrows Children,” the judge ordering a sterilization paraphrases “progressive,” Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s infamous line from the majority opinion in Buck v. Bell: “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The High Cost of Solar »

Residents of Hawaii were dismayed to see this recent front-page headline: “Hawaii Solar Savings Spark Higher Electric Bills.” Since so many consumers have sought electrical savings from installing solar panels, the state-monopoly electric utility is losing revenue and now needs to make it up in higher rates. At least Hawaii’s perennially sunny weather will...
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The Lawless Executive Branch and the Irrelevance of Congress »

Despite Congress’s decision, in response to a huge backlash on the internet and in Silicon Valley, not to pass SOPA last week, the executive branch shows that it essentially has all the powers in that legislation already—the power to accuse a website of deliberately facilitating “piracy” and shut it down and confiscate its assets...
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SOPA and Questioning Intellectual Property »

Hollywood, the big recording companies, and the rest of the old entertainment industry have strongly supported the Stop Online Piracy Act and its companion, the Protect IP Act. These bills, sponsored by big-government Democrats like Chuck Schumer, pose unprecedented threats to online liberty. If there is one free frontier remaining in modern life, it...
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Every Single Day, Every Word You Say, I’ll Be Watching You »

The Department of Homeland Security has declared its intention to gather personal data on journalists or others who might use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed.” I suppose that would include those of us at the Independent Institute who blog, tweet, and update Facebook. New...
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Alex Tabarrok Interviewed on Restoring Innovation and Entrepreneurship »

Independent Institute Research Director Alexander Tabarrok is interviewed here by Ray Lehmann on the FIRE (Finance, Insurance & Real Estate News) Podcast for the Heartland Institute. The interview discusses many government barriers that exist that block innovation and what policy reforms could be adopted now to restore entrepreneurship and prosperity. Issues addressed include patents...
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Build It and They Might Not Come »

An article in a recent issue of The Economist (“Sweet Land of Subsidy,” December 3rd to 9th, 2011, p. 42) tells the story of Iuka, Mississippi, a small community (2000 pop. 3,059) in Tishomingo County, where the local economic development foundation “invested” an unreported sum of the taxpayers’ money in the mid-1990s to build...
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More “Green” Energy Cronyism and Corporate Welfare »

The New York Times reports in “A Gold Rush of Subsidies in Clean Energy Search” that NRG Energy is receiving nearly $1.6 billion in government subsidies for its new compound in California of almost one million solar panels. The Times further notes that: Similar subsidy packages have been given to 15 other solar- and...
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Fisker Karma: Solyndra on Wheels? »

The title of this post comes from the fantastical Andrew Fox, who laments another case of corporate welfare promoted in the name of energy conservation: the Fisker Karma, a new electric luxury automobile touted by its manufacturer as “a bold expression of uncompromised responsible luxury.” Mr. Fox caught wind of the farce as he came...
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Internet Taxes »

The following updates a column published in the Utah Statesman on September 14, 2011: Proposals to allow the collection of taxes from consumers making purchases online are like vampires or zombies. They apparently cannot be killed unless stakes are driven through their hearts or their heads are blown off. I don’t know how to...
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