Archive for the ‘for’ Category

YES WE CAN! REAL HOPE FOR AMERICA! http://campaignforliberty.org

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YES WE CAN! REAL HOPE FOR AMERICA! http://campaignforliberty.org

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Disclaimer: I was a canvasser in \his 1988 campaign as the Libertarian Candidate

For generations, street vending has been a classic way to succeed with only a strong work ethic and a desire to succeed. It is a path that cities should encourage, particularly in these tough economic times. But rather than fostering entrepreneurship and opportunity, Atlanta is doing its best to smother it.

Larry Miller and Stanley Hambrick own two well-known vending businesses outside the Atlanta Braves stadium. Their businesses create jobs, offer inexpensive snacks and souvenirs to visitors, and make the sidewalks safer by keeping an eye out for fans who need help. But two years ago, Atlanta handed over all public-property vending to a single company—the first program of its kind in the country. Now that company wants to throw Larry and Stanley out of the spots they have worked for decades to build kiosks that rent for almost $20,000 a year. If it does so, Larry and Stanley’s businesses will be destroyed.

Unfortunately, many American cities put up roadblocks that keep would-be vendors from climbing that ladder. In Streets of Dreams, the Institute for Justice reviewed vending laws in America’s 50 largest cities. It found that of those 50 cities, 45 have one or more anticompetitive restrictions on vending. Atlanta has some of the most onerous burdens in the country, and the monopoly Atlanta has created has cost vendors their jobs and threatens to kill vending as a way for ordinary Atlantans to succeed.

To protect the economic liberty of all Georgians, Larry and Stanley have joined with the Institute for Justice to challenge Atlanta’s vending monopoly. This lawsuit, filed on July 28, 2011 in the Superior Court for Fulton County, Georgia, is the second case in the Institute’s National Street Vending Initiative. It argues that Atlanta lacks the power to grant an exclusive vending franchise and that its actions violate the Georgia constitution. A victory will not only free Atlanta’s vending community; it will make other cities think twice before entering into similarly anti-competitive arrangements.

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YES WE CAN! REAL HOPE FOR AMERICA! http://campaignforliberty.com

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Yeah, you know, that Ayn Rand was a nut, huh? That Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog rule doesn’t happen in real life. And government doesn’t partner with favored businesses in “trade associations” to destroy competition and innovation. All that Atlas Shrugged nonsense is, like, totally unrealistic.

Until 2010, sedan and independent limo services were an affordable alternative to taxicabs. A trip to the airport only cost $25. But in June 2010, the Metropolitan County Council passed a series of anti-competitive regulations requested by the Tennessee Livery Association-a trade group formed by expensive limousine companies. These regulations force sedan and independent limo companies to increase their fares to $45 minimum.

The regulations also prohibit limo and sedan companies from using leased vehicles, require them to dispatch only from their place of business, require them to wait a minimum of 15 minutes before picking up a customer and forbid them from parking or waiting for customers at hotels or bars. And, in January 2012, companies will have to take all vehicles off the road if they are more than seven years old for a sedan or SUV or more than ten years old for a limousine.

These regulations have nothing to do with public safety. Nashville could have limited its requirements to those regulations that are designed to genuinely protect the public’s health and safety, such as requiring insured and inspected vehicles, and driver background checks, but instead, Nashville is stooping to economic protectionism to put affordable car services out of business in favor of more expensive services that happen to have more political power. Many Nashville residents who regularly use limos and sedans will be forced to spend twice as much money for exactly the same service and hard-working sedan drivers will be driven out of business.

On April 20, 2011, the Institute for Justice teamed up with three Nashville entrepreneurs and filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee to vindicate the right of Nashville’s limo and sedan operators to earn an honest living free from excessive government regulation.

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Government continues to grow in size and scope, and yet there may be reason for liberty lovers to be optimistic about the future.

In 2007, college students formed the non-profit organization Students for Liberty to aid the growth of libertarian campus groups. Today, Students for Liberty has grown to include more than 400 pro-liberty campus groups and the organization was recently featured in an episode of Stossel on Fox Business Network.

On March 31, 2011, Students for Liberty hosted a Stossel viewing party at Reason’s D.C. headquarters.

Co-founder and executive director Alexander McCobin and communications manager Blayne Bennett sat down with Reason.tv to talk about the organization’s history, it’s success and, why they’re optimistic about the future of liberty.

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When Dwayne Whitney started his trucking business decades ago he had only one truck. Today he has eighteen and 20 employees. But that’s about to change.

“The State of California says my trucks are killing people,” says Whitney. “What do you say to that?”

In a few years, new air quality regulations approved by the California Air Resources Board will render Whitney’s entire fleet illegal.

“New CARB rules are putting me out of business,” he says.

CARB claims that diesel particulates, a type of pollution emitted from buses and trucks, contributes to 2,000 premature deaths in California each year. But UCLA epidemiologist Dr. James Enstrom says the number should be closer to zero.

In 2005 Enstrom authored an extensive study that found no relationship between diesel particulates and premature deaths. He says his study, as well as other evidence that agrees with it, have been ignored by an agency bent on passing ever more stringent regulations regardless of their effect on California’s economy.

Enstrom blew the whistle on CARB for, among other things, failing to publicize that the lead author of the study that was used to justify the new regulations falsified his education history (he purchased his PhD from an online diploma mill).

But UCLA didn’t come to Enstrom’s defense. In fact, officials informed him that, after 34 years at the university, he was out of a job.

“The environmental regulation machine in powerful in California,” says Adam Kissel of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which is defending Enstrom in the fight to keep his job. “When Dr. Enstrom went up against that machine he was retaliated against.”

A hearing that begins on April 4 will determine whether Dr. Enstrom keeps his job, and the final decision rests with UCLA Chancellor Gene Block.

Says Kissel, “If Dr. Enstrom loses his job because he exercised his academic freedom, then it’s a message to other researchers that you’d better not rock the boat because you might be next.”

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