Anybody Else, but Not You

November 29, 2017

Imagine that you own a house on a one-acre lot. The neighboring lot is vacant, and zoning rules allow anybody to build a similar house on it. So you decide to buy it and build a house for your daughter so she can live closer. Sorry, not allowed. The zoning rule actually means that any […]

Read the full article →

No More Meetings – With Anyone, Ever

October 24, 2017

The front-page headline screamed in 40-point type: “EPA chief Pruitt met with many corporate execs. Then he made decisions in their favor.” A rare two-sentence headline! The Washington Post has broken the ultimate scandal, perhaps eclipsing even its own now-legendary 1973 Watergate coverage. Channeling Watergate’s famous duo of Woodward and Bernstein, this new scandal was […]

Read the full article →

Roasting Marshmallows, Not Forests

October 13, 2017

If you have fond memories of roasting marshmallows around the campfire, and making s’mores with the kids, you may be surprised to learn that you’ve been doing it wrong all this time. Fortunately, the U.S. Forest Service has finally published guidelines on the correct method for roasting marshmallows and making s’mores. The government’s advice begins […]

Read the full article →

Those Pesky Farmers Again

October 2, 2017

The notorious legal case of California farmer John Duarte was finally settled last week. But the fact that it ever got to court should worry everyone who likes to eat. The case continued the decades-long devolution of a society that apparently places a fairly low priority on feeding itself. Wetlands are considered more important. The […]

Read the full article →

How Do You Get to Work?

September 29, 2017

Most Americans who commute to work every day drive their own cars, at their own expense. There are a few exceptions, companies that offer some employees the use of a company car as part of the benefit package, but those are usually the top managers. There is one other notable exception – the U.S. government. […]

Read the full article →

Guess Who Owns That

September 22, 2017

A Northern Virginia utility needed to cross a small parcel of private land near the Dulles Airport access road. Utilities contact property owners and negotiate such easements every day, but in this case county property records showed that the land was owned by the Federal Aviation Administration, which apparently owns the entire 28-mile length of […]

Read the full article →

My Decision May Change Your Life

September 15, 2017

A quick search on the Internet easily finds hundreds of famous quotes about how the everyday decisions we make can change our lives. Motivational speaker Anthony Robbins says, “Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.” Seven-Habits author Steven Covey asserts, “I am not a product of my circumstances; I […]

Read the full article →

I’ll Take That!

September 8, 2017

Suzette Kelo bought what she thought was her dream house, a little pink cottage in Connecticut with a great view, where the Thames River flows into Long Island Sound. She lovingly restored the home, but her dream didn’t last. When a pharmaceutical plant was built nearby, the City of New London decided the residential section […]

Read the full article →

Hello, McFly, Are Your Rich Yet?

August 31, 2017

Speaking at a conference in Los Angeles last week, I got acquainted with Howard Hyde, editor of the CitizenEcon.com website. He is also a prolific and gifted writer, author of the entertaining book, “Escape from Berkeley,” chronicling his philosophical transformation after growing up in radical leftist Berkeley, California in the 1960s and 70s. Among Hyde’s […]

Read the full article →

Returning Science to the EPA

August 21, 2017

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt recently delivered a strong message that EPA’s regulation of pesticides and other chemicals will be based on sound science, not political activism. It is welcome news for both the economy and the environment. Mr. Pruitt denied a petition filed by anti-pesticide activists to ban chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate pesticide used around the […]

Read the full article →