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    Tag: Rent seeking

    Eggs At 75 Yards

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Fri Dec 23, 2011 at 11:00:54 AM EST
    Tags: Michigan, Business, Rent Seeking, Playing both sides of the fence, Democrats, Republicans (all tags)

    Have conservatives and conservative Republicans ever felt that no matter how correct we are, the wind is always in our faces?

    No Surprise.

    Jack Hoogendyk has an interesting look at something that shows those of us on the conservative side of the fence face opposition from even those who are presumably our friends.  An analysis of contributions apparently reveals we (or at least "Republicans') face roughly complete financial opposition from union interests, and a fence sitting 50% from business interests.

    "I did a little research using OpenSecrets.org, the web site that tracks campaign contributions. Here is what I found. No matter how far down the list you look, union PAC's all give donations to Democrats at about a 24 to 1 rate. 96% of all union PAC dollars go to the Democrats. But what about "business" PAC's? This is where it gets interesting.

    Of the top 8 business PAC's, 52% of the dollars go to Republicans, 48% goes to Democrats. The union bosses are putting all their eggs in the Democrats' basket. The business groups like to play both sides of the fence."

    So did Humpty Dumpty.  We know how THAT ended.

    At this point, best advice to business would be that its time to pick a side, as chances of avoiding the crossfire are less with that fence between you and the enemy.  

    (1 comment) Comments >>

    EPA Puts Crosshairs On Michigan

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Fri Dec 23, 2011 at 09:13:26 AM EST
    Tags: Dan Benishek, Marquette, Michigan, Jobs, Electricity, Coal Fired, EPA, ALA, Lung Association, Rent Seeking, Chesapeake Energy, Natural Gas, Obama Administration, Agenda 21, Health, Manufacturing (all tags)

    Obama Admin Takes Rent Seeking To A New Level.

    I have been adding to this all week, and have tried to make it as concise as possible, but as more information became available, editing was required.  Let me know if any clarification is needed.

    I wrote at the beginning of the month about the coal fired plant in Marquette being threatened by a new and extremely aggressive set of EPA  rules.  The shutdown of that plant of course would leave in question the future of paper mills, and the electrical needs of yoopers.  At least the future of the cost being at all affordable.  The jobs that would be lost as higher costs come to bear also joined by a literal health care crisis as fewer would be insured, and less money in the pockets of those Michiganders would encourage poorer health choices.

    Health, of course is the victim of the 'boogeyman' coal fired power industry.  You've seen the ubiquitous American Lung Association "coughing baby" ads supporting the Obama EPA's push to shut down the coal industry, right?  What might surprise you is that those ads are funded in part by Chesapeake Energy, the country's second-largest natural gas producer.

    Coming amidst an impending decision by the EPA on the Utility MACT (maximum achievable control technology)  rule that is expected to lead to job loses, plant shutdowns, and rolling blackouts across the country, this strange partnership raises a question.  What does Chesapeake stand to gain, by pouring money into a seemingly disparate organization with extremely different objectives and priorities? Politico writes:

    The ads come as the coal industry is at war with the Obama administration over new rules to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants. The EPA is expected to issue new rules on Friday to curb air toxics from power plants, which are estimated to cost industry about $10.9 billion each year.

    Stricter rules for power plants are expected to offer a competitive advantage to the cleaner-burning natural gas industry.

    Oh, so its an end-justifies-the-means kind of thing.  Rent seeking.  But when questioned, Chesapeake officials have stated that the flood of cash to ALA is merely business as usual for the company, which donates to "a wide variety and number of health and medical-related organizations.  Well that's very responsible of them, bravo for being so charitable.

    Or is it?  (Below)

    (2 comments, 3045 words in story) Full Story

    A Message To Our Legislators - Beware False Choices

    Crush Your Competition

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 11:27:28 PM EST
    Tags: Rent Seeking, Michigan, Towing Companies, Rules, Regulations, SB287, Business Wreckers, Crushed Dreams (all tags)

    With the wrecker of government involvement.

    The rent seekers are back.  Those folks who cannot compete properly in free markets take advantage of ignorant lawmakers who want to simply provide a "safer environment," yet do not look forward far enough to see the effect of their actions on hundreds of small businesses.

    In this case, it is the towing industry.  Undoubtedly, the high cost of fuel, insurance, and the reduced traffic and safer cars situation has taken a toll on tow operators in our great state.  Particularly the larger less efficient operators with greater overhead to worry about.  So much so, that they have sought and are receiving the assistance of legislators in requiring greater licensing by the removal of certain exemptions with MI-SB287.

    Jeez.  When the vote names come out on this, it ain't going to be pretty. Sorry to see this happening again to Michigan's small tow truck operators.

    I was there once

    (more below)

    (8 comments, 355 words in story) Full Story

    The Adventures Of Huckleberry Gillman

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 at 11:11:23 AM EST
    Tags: Traverse City, Rotary Charities, Michigan, Boardman River, Dams, Philanthropy, Planning, Rent seeking, Huckleberrys, Liberty, Charity (all tags)

    One of the payments one must make for the ability to peruse Michigan's top rated political blog is having to put up with an occasional update on my own unapologetic exploits in the hinterland.

    Today's story finds the hero (that would be me) again on the front page in opposition to the way things are.  A story that targets in some way how my misfit shenanigans are unacceptable to so many people, at the same time will help to shine light through debate and understanding of what goes on behind the scenes in government and the willing accomplices. Power, Greed, (possible) Corruption.

    "Gillman attacks charity."

    That is of course, the intended effect of the headline.  The Traverse City Record Eagle title "Commissioner to challenge Rotary" highlights my perverse attempts at wrangling away the 501(c) status Rotary Charities enjoys. "The poor, the afflicted, the disadvantaged, will be hurt by this crazed commissioner's antics!" being the unprinted subtext.

    Except Its not even clear that they serve those constituencies any more.  Something I wondered about early in my term as commissioner, and watched as a Rotary grant check for the master plan of the county was issued.  At the time it was curious to me why they might be interested in such things, but had no objection, as I had no knowledge of why they might do such a thing.

    Well, once upon a time, there was the Dam issue. (below)

    (1 comment, 1213 words in story) Full Story

    This makes the point

    By JGillman, Section Multimedia
    Posted on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:13:10 PM EST
    Tags: rent seeking, permits, licensure, right to contract (all tags)

    About carpentry licensing, and those who support draconian legislation that takes all measure of options off the table for someone who has talent, but not the ability to fight 'gubmint' for 'permission' to earn a living.  

    As is often the case, I found this gem over at Capitol confidential as a video of the day.

    Worth checking daily.

    (14 comments) Comments >>

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