Heartland Institute Quotes ACI on Municipal Broadband Failures

Repeating History — Steve Pociask, president of the American Consumer Institute, says taxpayer-funded Internet service leads to higher tax bills. “I think the thing that consumers need to know, is that when you look at all the empirical evidence, time and time again the public provision of private goods such as broadband services seems to […]

Pensions: Be Careful of Government Involvement

The shortfall in retirement funds for American families is about $4 trillion.  Much of that gap is attributable to the demise of defined benefit pensions. Some government plans may help ease the shortfall, but they carry dangers of their own. Few employees are active in a defined benefit pension plan, which means that, for a […]

Underfunded Retirement Plans May Sink Us All

As we wriggle out from the worst recession in about 70 years, unfunded state and local pensions, and federal egos, could trigger the next financial calamity. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2011 that states and local government owed $2-3 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities for government employees. One state and one city at a […]

Net Neutrality Hypocrisy and Government Toll Roads

Large sellers with attractive video packages want reinstatement of Net Neutrality so they can continue wedging bandwidth-intense content down broadband lanes.  One might think that video packagers like Google (market cap $395 billion), Netflix (market cap $24 billion), Viacom ($37 billion) and Disney ($128 billion) are not delicate startups in need of subsidized bandwidth. Despite […]

Energy Storage – a Better Target

A recent CBS 60 Minutes segment called “Cleantech Crash” served an important purpose by reminding us of failures in government grant-making.  Even with plentiful funds, government often lacks the good judgment needed to pick winners over losers in commerce and science, especially if the topic is the ever-so-stylish “green energy.” 60 Minutes reviewed Solyndra, a […]

Time to Repurpose Federal Spectrum

Just days before the close of 2013 came the year’s second bill attempting to address the country’s impending wireless spectrum shortage. The most recent bill, proposed by Senators Guthrie (R-KY) and Matsui (D-CA), again proposes an auction of currently underutilized spectrum, but shifts the focus of the auctions from the private sector to the public. […]

Constructive Roles for Government

The private sector is the primary incubator for new jobs in the US, but unfortunately the pace of new hires has been disappointing since 2008.  While the recession is over, the recovery remains painful, challenged by serious budget deficits and slow private sector revenue growth.  We cannot afford a profligate spending government but there are […]

A Little Hypocrisy Goes a Long Way

Recently, we witnessed four instances of government seizures of private information against the owner’s will.  One seizure looks like a genuine probe into reporting that could disruption anti-terrorism measures.  Another two seizures were nominally about criminal investigation but they are more convincingly explained as staunchly embarrassing and targeting Fox News. The Department of Justice (DoJ) […]