There’s no business like show business – thank goodness. No other industry would make a name for itself attacking the very businessmen who make it a success. Hollywood goes even further, undermining the very concept of free enterprise that supports its industry. Already the movies this year are repeating the anti-business slant of the previous 12 months. One-sided, anti-business documentaries like “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Who Killed the Electric Car?” have filled the screen where similar stories like “Syriana” and “North Country” left off. Now we get Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada” to take over from... continue reading
The Senate recently blocked a vote on the bill that would have reduced the inheritance tax. In the media and in Congress, people have asked a lot of questions about the tax. Why would we want to reduce or eliminate it? Wouldn’t this be a tax break for the rich? Wouldn’t its reduction result in a major addition to the federal debt? Doesn’t the tax reduce the disparity of income and isn’t that a good thing? The Rich First, if we learn anything from the study of economics it is that individuals respond to incentives. When we place a tax... continue reading
The news media have been living in a bubble since before 9/11. Despite facts that indicate the market is cooling as many experts had expected, journalists insist there is a housing crisis. It’s unsurprising that the home market came back to earth a bit after its meteoric rise. But news that it was “cooling,” as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke had predicted, was treated as “kinda boring” by Gerri Willis of CNN’s “American Morning” on July 21. That’s pretty amazing, given that reporters have been cautioning us about the housing bubble as far back as September 2001, when Forbes and BusinessWeek... continue reading
Last week White House officials announced that the current year’s budget deficit estimate had shrunk by more than 25 percent, to $296 billion. The fiscal picture has brightened due to a surge in revenues from the ongoing economic expansion, which itself was fueled by income and investment tax cuts. This positive development shouldn’t be surprising, even to critics of the Bush administration. After all, federal receipts grew faster after John F. Kennedy’s proposed income tax reductions took effect, while capital gains tax cuts enacted under Bill Clinton preceded a stock-market boom. But what does the fiscal future hold for progress... continue reading
It hasn’t been long since the cowboy was the defining image of America – to friends and enemies alike. The cowboy stood strong and tall – always willing to fight for a good cause. And where he stood, he stood for something important, something truly American. John Wayne was once the embodiment of that cowboy to people in America or overseas. Now, thanks to Hollywood, that icon has evolved – replaced by a smaller, cheaper, sleazy stereotype of the American businessman. When people around the world look to America, that is what they see. The new icon is ideal for... continue reading
Dr. Sylvester Graham – who was born in 1794 and died in 1851 – has been re-incarnated. His new name is Michael Jacobson, founder and director of the Washington-based “food police,” operating under the name the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Like his modern-day counterpart, Graham pontificated about “good” foods and “bad” foods – and urged people to eat only fruits and vegetables, avoid “artificial preparation” of food, and eschew salt, meat, white flour, sugar and alcohol. He had his own journal, Graham’s Journal of Health and Longevity. The only difference between the two: Graham started his own... continue reading
The news media were singing the praises of businessmen this week because one executive did something many journalists support: He gave away most of his money. Warren Buffett, founder of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and perhaps the world’s foremost investor, earned justifiable praise for his incredible gift of almost $31 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with $6 billion in other charitable contributions. Reporter Dawn Fratangelo described Buffett in glowing terms on the June 26 “NBC Nightly News.” “Bill Gates coined what may be Buffett’s new title: the greatest investor for good,” she said. Buffet already held most... continue reading
On primetime television, the gray flannel suit has been replaced by the orange prison jumpsuit. Long after executives from Enron, WorldCom, and HealthSouth first graced the 24-hour news cycle, the four major networks have outdone the evening news with anti-business themes. In “ripped from the headlines” programming on shows like NBC’s “Law and Order,” you were 21 times more likely to be kidnapped or murdered at the hands of a businessman than the mob. This anti-business agenda in entertainment television was uncovered by a new Business & Media Institute study, “Bad Company.” That analysis looked at 129 episodes from Nielsen’s... continue reading
“Progressive” thinkers everywhere will soon celebrate the first anniversary of Kelo v. City of New London , the Supreme Court case that finally made the jurisprudence of property rights “progressive.” In Kelo , the Court ruled that the Constitution permits government to seize property from one private citizen and give it to another. The only Constitutional restraints on this power, said the Court, are government’s obligation to pay “just compensation” to the losing property owner and its obligation to believe really and truly, cross-its-heart-and-hope-to-die, that the forced transfer of property benefits the public. The “progressive” see the importance of this... continue reading
When most people hear the word “Enron,” they mentally complete the phrase by adding the word “scandal.” As reporter Lester Holt of NBC’s “Today” put it in a January 1 story, “Enron has been the poster child, if you will, of corporate scandals.” It isn’t the only one, though. There’s $40-billion scandal with most of the same elements – even connection to prominent politicians. Just don’t expect to see much about it on TV. After all, the top people involved here are Democrats. Welcome to Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored mortgage giant. As part of a scandal that’s been running nearly... continue reading