Body scanner makers doubled lobbying cash over 5 years

Fredreka Schouten
USA Today
2010
23

"The companies with multimillion-dollar contracts to supply American airports with body-scanning machines more than doubled their spending on lobbying in the past five years and hired several high-profile former government officials to advance their causes in Washington, government records show.

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"Q: When is a job not a job? A: When it's a green job."

Federal employees whose compensation averages more than $126,000 and the nation’s greatest concentration of lawyers helped Washington edge out San Jose as the wealthiest U.S. metropolitan area, government data show.

The companies with multimillion-dollar contracts to supply American airports with body-scanning machines more than doubled their spending on lobbying in the past five years.

With the FTC breathing down its neck, Google has stepped up its lobbying spend in the last year, shelling out $4.03 million in 2009. That's up 44% from the year prior.

"Such profit-loss signals coordinate millions of sellers and buyers in the complex, evolving modern economy. The 'dollar democracy' of the market ensures that buyers get more of what they want and expend fewer resources on what they do not want. Competitive prices thus work like radio signals; they are easy to perceive, and we do not need to know where they came from. There is no need to...

"Gordon Tullock is not a household name. It's a shame that he's not. In contrast, disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is a household name. It's a shame that he is.

These two men have little in common except that Mr. Tullock, an eminent economist, is the first scholar who systematically grasped and explained why the actions of politicians such as Mr. Blagojevich are so...

The FBI suspected that former Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and lobbyists close to him were running a scheme to funnel earmarks to sham companies and nonprofits to benefit the lawmaker’s friends and former staffers.

The nation's financial malaise is finally catching up to K Street, where federal lobbying activity plateaued for the first time in a decade, the Center for Responsive Politics’ research indicates.

"George Soros is pledging $2 million to two outside groups supporting progressive causes and helping President Barack Obama's re-election campaign and other Democrats running in November, a Soros advisor said on Monday.

Soros adviser Michael Vachon said in an email that the billionaire investor is concentrating his giving on grassroots organizing and 'holding conservatives accountable...

"'Rent-seeking,' therefore, may explain the long, more or less steady rise in government spending as a fraction of GNP. Political rules may limit the government's ability to hand out money to more than a few new pressure groups in each session of Congress. If so, we would expect the long, gradual increase in government spending that we observe. It cannot be said, however, that the data prove...

"Williams Scotsman In testimony delivered March 16 on Capitol Hill, ABC General Counsel Maurice Baskin, a partner with Venable, L.L.P., stated that recent administration efforts to make project labor agreements (PLAs) part of the federal procurement process are 'threatening to violate the longstanding Congressional mandate of full and open competition in federal procurement—at taxpayers’...

Halliburton, the oil and construction conglomerate formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, dramatically reduced what it spent on lobbying Congress and the federal government after the Bush-Cheney administration took office in January 2001.

"Two recent audits of the oil industry reviewed by Reuters show billions of dollars in irregularities despite years of government promises to clean it up."

"I'm always happy to use my favorite phrase ('It's a feature, not a bug') to describe the problems of corporate-state entanglements, and this AP report, which details the incestuous relationship between off-shore gas and oil companies and the regulatory agencies responsible for overseeing them, provides an opportunity. The revolving door here spins at least as fast as in the banking industry...

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), a lobbying and trade group for the hotel industry, has even solicited donations to a legal 'defense fund' aimed at fighting the new wage rule. According to an email looking for contributions to the fund, the amount needed to roll back the rule before it kicks in is an estimated $300,000.

Lobbying expenditures are up in the second quarter of the Obama administration, reports the Center for Responsive Politics.

Shocking news in this season of lobbyist bashing -- many lobbyists not only are good people but also represent real people.

"Gallup's annual update on the honesty and ethical standards of people in various professions finds a new entry ranking at the bottom of the list. For the first time, Gallup asked the public to rate the honesty and ethical standards of lobbyists, and only 5% describe their ethics as 'very high' or 'high.' Lobbyists, car salesmen (5%), and advertising practitioners (6%) are the lowest-rated...

"Unemployment rose to 9.8 percent Friday, prompting taxpayers to ask yet again, 'Hey, what happened with all those jobs that were supposed to be created with that $814 billion stimulus bill?'

There are a lot of reasons why the Obama stimulus failed, but perhaps the bill's most insidious problem is that it was used to pay off special interests, especially the labor unions. In fact, this...

More than three dozen unions spent a total of $2.6 million lobbying Beacon Hill lawmakers during the first six months of 2011, well ahead of the $1.9 million they spent during the same time period in 2010.

A fascinating, and very depressing, story from the NYTimes. Convinced that markets, supply and demand, and voluntary production would be insufficient to protect us from a bioterror attack, the government took on the job, and project BioShield was born.

One day, you're the victim. The big, bad, established corporations are using their influence with Congress to beat up on you and stall important business deals. All you're trying to do is defend yourself from the onslaught.

"Corruption in Nigeria's state-run fuel subsidy scheme drained $6.8bn from the country's coffers over a three-year period, a parliamentary report said on Thursday."

"Nigeria's main oil union has threatened to shut down output from Africa's biggest producer if the government did not reverse its decision to remove popular fuel subsidies."

"Armed officers reportedly opened fire in a poor suburb of Lagos, the commercial capital, as crowds refused to break up their protests, which accompanied a nationwide strike."

Requiring all the carriers to sell this sort of plan creates a level playing field,’ said Ben Price, executive director of the Colorado Association of Health Plans. 'This is one of those unusual situations where we’re asking for more competition. If everyone else is in the market, the risk is spread across the entire market. Each company can afford to take on more risk.

The pharmaceutical and health products industry -- it includes not only drug manufacturers but also dealers of medical products and nutritional and dietary supplements -- is consistently one of the top industries for federal campaign contributions.

"The Tillman Act of 1907 made it a crime for corporations to give financial 'contributions' to federal political candidates. Today, the act bars not only direct 'contributions' to a candidate’s campaign, but also “independent expenditures” that are spent on behalf of a candidate but are not coordinated with the candidate. Corporations, in short, are barred from making 'hard money' donations in...

"According to Wikipedia, market failure is 'a term used by economists to describe the condition where the allocation of goods and services by a market is not efficient.' One source of market failure is related to the distribution of...

This piece provides information on the lobbying expenditures of public sector unions.

"Regulation consists of requirements the government imposes on private firms and individuals to achieve government’s purposes. These include better and cheaper services and goods, protection of existing firms from 'unfair' (and fair) competition, cleaner water and air, and safer workplaces and products. Failure to meet regulations can result in fines, orders to cease doing certain things, or,...

"'Rent seeking' is one of the most important insights in the last fifty years of economics and, unfortunately, one of the most inappropriately labeled. Gordon Tullock originated the idea in 1967, and Anne Krueger introduced the label in 1974. The idea is simple but powerful. People are said to seek rents when they try to obtain benefits for themselves through the political arena. They...

"The effects of a tariff, which is an excise tax on imported items, are the same as any excise tax: the tariff will raise price, reduce quantity, and decrease the consumers' surplus. A quota is a restriction of imports that also raises price, reduces quantity, and decreases the consumers' surplus. For example, in 1985, the world price of sugar was a bit over three cents a pound, whereas the U....

Sometimes the people aim to correct for market failure. Sometimes they promote laws and administration that benefit themselves at the expense of other members of the collective. Actions of the latter sort are called rent seeking.

A calm has descended over the federal government’s initiatives in energy amid the furor over health insurance legislation.

"As Director of the Master of Public Administration Program for UNC-Chapel Hill in the early 1990s my job was training city and county managers, sending them out to serve the public weal. Public grants were the mother's milk of city management; why would any city official think twice about getting free money to help citizens?

The answer is one of the paradoxes of public choice: free...

"Taxing your competitors to subsidize your industry is a rent-seeker’s dream. Usually you have to be more subtle about it. But if you have a 'green' business idea, you can get liberal journalists to write gushing stories about you without even stopping to ask, 'Hey, aren’t you going to benefit from these initiatives and laws you’re pushing? Isn’t that sort of like, you know, corporate welfare...

"Adam Smith divided income into three types: profits, wages, and rents. The essential feature of profit is risk: capital is ventured in the hope of a return, and there may be a very great return, or little, or none. There is no guarantee of a profit in any enterprise, which is why businesses, both large and small, go bankrupt all the time -- unless, like Chrysler, they have enough political...

The difference between profit-seeking and rent-seeking is akin to that between peaceful trade and armed robbery.

"But in the presence of artificial rents like this drug enforcement subsidy, the link between 'make money' and 'produce something of value' is broken. It is an artificial rent. And the resources devoted to seeking the rent, to the extent that such resources are taken away from other useful purposes (preventing property crimes, protecting citizens) are wasted."

Solyndra LLC, the failed company that House Republicans said may have benefited from White House political connections, unsuccessfully sought a meeting with environment chief Carol Browner to argue for the use of solar panels on government buildings, e-mails show.

"International trade presently reflects the consequences of a mass lapse of memory. During the dark days of the Great Depression the world learned the painful lesson that rampant economic nationalism leads to a breakdown in world trade. The 'isolationist economics' of the 1930s did much to prolong and deepen the agony of depression."

"The substance of Roberts’ arguments is not aimed at improving the quality of the federal judiciary, but at reinforcing the privileged status afforded 'elite' lawyers such as himself. As with his criticism of courthouse 'rents', Roberts’ concerns can only be addressed by ending the government monopoly on judicial services and allowing the market to act. But Roberts simply wants more...

"Some business leaders are cozying up with politicians and scientists to demand swift, drastic action on global warming. This is a new twist on a very old practice: companies using public policy to line their own pockets.

The tight relationship between the groups echoes the relationship among weapons makers, researchers and the U.S. military during the Cold War. President Dwight...

A reconstruction of the lobbyist's rise and fall shows that he was an ingenious dealmaker who hatched interlocking schemes that exploited the machinery of government and trampled the norms of doing business in Washington -- sometimes for clients but more often to serve his desire for wealth and influence.

"The law requires that the judgement of a few bureaucrats in Washington be substituted for the individual decision-making of hundreds of millions of Americans. This is an impossible task, no matter how smart or well-motivated our rules claim to be, because every individual has his or her own unique incentives, information, and preferences in making price-value trade-offs for care.

"By...

In the ongoing war of ideas in American history, those who advocate government action as an engine of economic development have been encouraged by a general and all-too-human tendency to avoid thinking deeply.

"All the ire at banks and multinational companies by dangerous communists and anti-globalisation hippies is misdirected. They should reserve their venom for the rustic rich-world farmer living the life of Henry David Thoreau."

"In detailing how the lawmakers approached their earmarking, however, the ethics report and accompanying reports by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) made clear that the wall between grants and donations in their offices was in many instances very thin. Key individuals in their offices played at least some role in both activities, starting with the lawmakers and typically including...

"Through this special series on green-energy crony-corruption, we've been highlighting specific examples of green-energy loan guarantees and grants. What connects each of these cases is that they received fast-tracked approval from the Department of Interior (DOI) for their projects. Of course, they also have many other dots that connect, such as key players with White House visits, raising...

"Who's got the most juice on Capitol Hill? Here's a list of the top industries contributing to members of the 111th Congress during the 2009-2010 election cycle. The first list shows the overall 50 biggest industries. The other two highlight the top 25 industries giving to members of each of the two major parties. In all cases, the Top Recipient listed is the individual member of the 111th...

"Let's pretend that we have the political guts to expand economic opportunities for people at the lower end of the economic spectrum. What vested interests should be attacked, and what economic regulations should be targeted for elimination?"

Chart or Graph

A potential counter-argument to Harberger’s estimate is provided by the theory of rent seeking.

In their quest for value, people choose between two paths. They can obtain value through exchange by providing a good or service that others consider valuable. Alternatively, they can seek to have value transferred to them without providing anything in return.

This chart provides the expenditures of public sector union lobbying efforts from 1998-2011. The link provides a detailed breakdown of individual public sector union expenditures.

This chart provides the expenditures of pharmaceutical/health product companies on lobbying efforts from 1998-2011.

The life insurance industry is a lobbying giant. In the first half of 2010, for example, the entire industry – all the companies together with their trade groups – spent about $10 million per month on lobbying Washington, according to an analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

This chart displays the 20 companies that spent the most on lobbying in 2010.

We decided to take a look at lobbying from tech companies after we ran a chart looking at ad spending for tech companies.

Governmental policies are sometimes used to improve resource allocation and overcome inefficiencies in the marketplace. However, these policies usually end up benefiting one group at the expense of another. Thus, effected parties lobby to influence these policies through a process called rent seeking.

This chart specifically itemizes some of the National Education Association's receipts and disbursements. Schedule 16 describes the NEA's lobbying expenses.

This chart provides the receipts and disbursements of the National Education Association.

During the first two years of the Obama administration, health care reform, financial regulatory reform, the stimulus and cap-and-trade climate proposals dominated the nation’s legislative agenda.

Lobbyists, car salesmen (5%), and advertising practitioners (6%) are the lowest-rated professions. Nurses, typically the top-rated profession each year, again get the highest ratings. Ratings of congressmen are the worst Gallup has ever recorded.

The chart ... shows the food and beverage industry's quarterly lobbying (the light blue line) rising from the levels of its peers in the beer, wine and spirits and tobacco industries

Figure 2 shows a commodity part of the consumption of which is imported and part produced domestically.

Who's got the most juice on Capitol Hill? Here's a list of the top industries contributing to members of the 111th Congress during the 2011-2012 election cycle.

Analysis Report White Paper

This paper argues that high-handed moralizing about lobbying misses the point: Lobbyists are not inherently corrupting, nor does their primary influence stem from some devilish power to automatically compel legislative outcomes through campaign contributions and/or personal connections, as is commonly believed.

"The original design of the First Amendment petition clause -- stemming from the right to petition local assemblies in colonial America, and forgotten today -- included a governmental duty to consider petitioners' grievances."

"The connection between corruption and poverty, or the lack of growth, is more often assumed, than demonstrated (Mauro, 1995, 1998), and if the question remains still controversial, I suspect that this is largely because commentators work with different definitions of corruption."

In this paper I argue that the wealth transfer theory also helps to explain the areas where legislated deregulation will occur.

"Firms expend less when competition is greater, particularly in collective lobbying. While a firm can benefit from free riding, there is no prisoners’ dilemma in collective lobbying because the other firm’s optimal spending is positive if a firm free rides."

Why has the macroeconomic impact of foreign aid seemingly been so poor? Is there a relationship between the widespread level of corruption and other types of rent-seeking activities and concessional assistance? To answer these questions we provide a simple game-theoretic rent-seeking model.

This book is intended as an introduction (or primer) for newcomers— students and the general public—to the latest developments in the study of the government that rules much of their lives.

"During the third quarter of 2011, more than 400 companies, unions, trade associations and other groups reported lobbying the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, popularly known as the debt supercommittee, according to a new analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics of reports filed last month with the U.S. Senate."

"The rise of the professional lobbyist has meant an incredible – and potentially dangerous – concentration of power over government within a small, elite cadre of people. This concentration of power, in turn, means it is ever-so essential for legislators and the public to know who is paying the lobbyists how much to lobby whom on what."

A mathematical study of the effects of monopolies and oligopolies on market prices.

This paper incorporates two aspects of political rent seeking into the standard rent-seeking game.

"This paper analyses the efficiency consequences of lobbying in a production economy with imperfect commitment."

"The Federal Estate Tax (aka, death tax) is currently repealed, due to a provision in the 2001 Economic Growth Tax Relief and Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA). However, on January 1, 2011, the tax comes back at the rate of 55 percent on all estates above $1 million."

"We analyze a centralized system as one in which a political authority finances by general taxation two local public goods each one associated with a particular region. Because individuals in the two regions have different preferences, they engage in rent-seeking activities to influence centralized policy-making in their preferred direction."

"This Article advances an alternative rationale which could support some, though not all, of the recent wave of new lobbying regulations: the state’s interest in preventing the socially inefficient activity of rent-seeking. Less technically, the government’s interest is in promoting national economic welfare."

"During the first two years of the Obama administration, health care reform, financial regulatory reform, the stimulus and cap-and-trade climate proposals dominated the nation’s legislative agenda."

"Tobacco has become an arena of civil warfare throughout the Western world over the past half-century or so. This war has been fueled by an ideological rhetoric that speaks of the costs that smokers place on nonsmokers (Office of Technology Assessment (1985)(1993))."

"We support our argument documenting that there is a significant effect of oil rents on corruption in countries with a high share of state participation in oil production while no such link exists in countries where state participation in oil production is low."

"The theory of rent seeking pioneered by Gordon Tullock (1967) demonstrates that monopoly and other market imperfections created by state action for private benefit entail more than deadweight losses and economically neutral wealth transfers."

"The current paper demonstrate that rent extraction can persist even if voters are fully informed and ideologically homogenous."

We study the role of political (dis)integration in the determination of economic performance.

The establishment of new environmental regulation, such as emissions taxes and tradable pollution permit markets, create rents that can be captured through a process of socially wasteful rent seeking.

Drawing on examples from auto safety, employment, environmental, and pharmaceutical regulation to illustrate what has come to be known as the ‘Peltzman Effect,’ he also explores why many counterproductive regulations remain in place while others are repealed.

"This paper examines the relationship between rent seeking and economic performance when governments cannot enforce property rights. With imperfect credit markets and a fixed cost of rent seeking, only wealthy agents choose to engage in it, since it enables them to protect their wealth from expropriation."

We find that RSA [Rent Seeking Activity] does indeed impair economic growth and that RSA is exogenous—that is, there is no significant feedback from economic growth to RSA.

"The private advantage of rent seeking is largely determined by the 'rules' of the rent-seeking contest. These 'rules' determine both the acceptable range of rent-seeking methods and the payoffs of private investments in rent-seeking contests."

"The productive elements of the US economy are caught between powerful financial interests, e.g., banks seeking speculative gains, political constituencies seeking entitlements and government entities at all levels whose budgets and deficits are too large compared to their revenues."

"All too often, however, environmental regulations are designed to serve narrow political and economic interests, not the public interest."

This article examines the compatibility of rent seeking with corporate social responsibility by utilizing Thomas Dunfee’s idea of a marketplace with morality.

"This study examines the political economy of one contentious trade dispute that has arisen under the SPS Agreement, the import of Mexican Haas avocados into the United States. The history of the dispute is traced and new evidence is provided on the rent-seeking activity of U.S. producers."

"In this paper an interest group model of rent seeking behaviour between sugarcane farmers and environmental protectionists is developed. The motivation for this scenario comes from the debate over fertilizer run-off and its possible impact on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef."

There is increasing use of the concept of rent seeking to describe resource-wasting activities of individuals and groups seeking wealth transfers.

This paper argues that liberalism enabled the West to escape from longstanding rent-extracting regimes and created long term institutional sources of competitive advantage in trade and economic development.

"When the public sector itself is selfish and behaves rationally, we may experience the worse of public and private rent-seeking together."

"What were the purposes for establishment of central banks? Central banks are historically relatively young organizations. Their main purposes are to regulate money supply through interest rates, regulate the banking sector and act as a lender of last resort to banking sector during the time of financial crises."

"The purpose of this paper is to review some of the recent literature on rent-seeking, and to highlight the relevance of the insights of this literature for the current policy debates on economic reforms and appropriate institutional structure for maximizing the welfare impact of the emerging technologies."

"An economy is considered where a possibility to seek rents (a particular case of this activity is corruption) exists along with production. A producer is able to hide part of his output from both bribery and taxation. It is shown that the presence of a shadow sector has different effects in economies with high and low rent-seeking."

"A country's most talented people typically organize production by others, so they can spread their ability advantage over a larger scale. When they start firms, they innovate and foster growth, but when they become rent seekers, they only redistribute wealth and reduce growth."

"The costs of rent seeking exceed traditional measures when opportunity cost is considered. When the quantity of resources consumed by rent seeking is large, rent seeking draws consumer surplus out of alternative resource employments."

This essay, however, is about the concept of rent-seeking as it evolved in the literature of political economy.

"Despite the Predominance of the public-interest view of the origins of antitrust, there are reasons to be skeptical of this view. This paper reexamines the genuine roots of antitrust -- the state-level antitrust laws that were enacted several years prior to the 1890 Sherman Act."

"If we want to know if and when government can be expected to yield preferable outcomes compared to the market, we must systematically analyze how the political process works. This is precisely what public choice theory does. Public choice analysis is to government what traditional economic analysis is to markets."

"Conditions are identified which guarantee the strategic equivalence of rentseeking, innovation, and patent-race games. Our results permit one to apply theorems and results intended for rent-seeking games to other games, and vice versa. We conclude with several examples that highlight the practical utility of our results."

The potential uses of public resources and powers to improve the economic status of economic groups (such as industries and occupations) are analyzed to provide a scheme of the demand for regulation.

This Article analyzes the secondary market for patent rights. It defines a patent troll as a participant in this market that does not contribute to the social goal the patent system was meant to serve: technological innovation.

The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are often referred to as the time of the 'robber barons.'

"Under the Obama administration, the influence and involvement of trade unions in government policy decisions has surged to unprecedented levels."

In this paper, we explore two reasons why rent-Seeking, meaning any redistributive activity that takes up resources, is so costly to growth.

Video/Podcast/Media

Host Liane Hansen speaks with Jesse Sheidlower, editor-at-large for the Oxford English Dictionary, about the origin of the word 'lobbyist' — and how that word has been used through the centuries.

"With dramatically increased federal spending last year, this year, and in the future, should it be any wonder that lobbying to get that cash into favored pockets is big business?"

Mike Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about private and public rent-seeking.

"This is a short video done by Professor Richard McKenzie at the University of Cambridge based on a section of the textbook 'Microeconomics for MBA's' which explains graphically the concept of rent-seeking."

"The topic we're discussing today, public unionism and its consequences, is very likely to be the most important domestic economic issue of the next decade. If wage demands and pension and health benefits of unionized public employees are not derailed from their current path, public unionism by itself will more than likely bankrupt most of the states and probably the nation as a whole even...

This video discussed the various measures and methods large companies will take to limit the competition in their market such as requiring all companies meet regulations that large companies can handle but that are difficult for small/"up-start" companies to meet.

Professors Don Boudreaux (George Mason University), Susan Dudley (George Washington University) & Bradley Schiller (University of Nevada-Reno) discuss the causes & solutions to Cronyism in America.

"How is our tax code influenced by special interests?

Randall Holcombe, Professor of Economics explains how cronyism in the tax code can benefit special interest groups, and he discusses how we can address this cronyism by reducing the spending power of the government."

Dr. Michael Hudson talks about the importance of economic rent.

A demonstration of an all-pay-auction or Tullock Lottery as an example of the social cost of lobbying and rent seeking.

this video provides a good example of rent-seeking in action.

"Washington is riddled with corruption, much of which actually is legal. The politicians and other insiders claim that more ethics laws and lobbying rules are the solution. Some even say the only answer is campaign finance laws that restrict 1st Amendment rights to fully participate in the political process. This Center for Freedom and Prosperity video explores a different hypothesis and...

In this segment, a lobbyist and a consumer advocate debate what role lobbyists should have in campaigns and government.

This video explains what lobbying is and the purpose and goals of the American League of Lobbyists.

Primary Document

AN ACT relating to: state finances, collective bargaining for public employees, compensation and fringe benefits of public employees, the state civil service system, the Medical Assistance program, sale of certain facilities, granting bonding authority, and making an appropriation.

"How do firms allocate their lobbying resources among their political goals? We approach this question using a game-theoretic model that integrates three concepts from the lobbying literature: the distinction between private and collective rents, the level of competition, and the impacts of political institutions. The model demonstrates how rent competition and political institutions affect...

A Petition, also now commonly known as the Petition of the Candlemakers or the Candlemakers' Petition, is a satirical publication addressed to the French Chamber of Deputies. It illustrates the rent seeking concept by purporting to petition the Chamber to enact restrictions on the sun and the use of "all openings, holes, chinks, and fissures through which the light of the sun is wont to enter...

Abuse of taxpayer funds to subsidize lobbying and political activity : hearings before the Subcommittee on National Economic Growth, Natural Resources, and Regulatory Affairs of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, June 29; July 28; and August 2, 1995.

This economic classic is noted for providing us with terms for and expositions of such key economic ideas as the division of labor, "invisible hand," self-interest as a beneficial force, and freedom of trade.

Transcript of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution.

Blackstone's work is considered the most authoritative statement of the pre-American Revolution common law. It influenced the American founding documents, and continues to be a persuasive legal authority in the United States and other common law jurisdictions.

While Fetter's theoretical work, like much of capital and interest theory in recent decades, has been generally neglected, much of it is still valuable and instructive today.

"New Zealand is a small open economy that is remote from all major markets. The smallness and remoteness of New Zealand combine to imply that this country has, at least quantitatively, distinctive features for the regulation of economic activity by competition law. The isolation and small size of the economy mean that typically all but exporting firms are small as judged on a world scale, and...

Predominantly written by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence formally and eloquently justified the independence of the United States from British monarch King George III.

U.S. Code definition of lobbying as it pertains to this topic

The English Bill of Rights passed in 1689. It laid out the rights of the citizens of England. It was a restatement of the Declaration of Right stated earlier that year.

This is an executive order by President Barack Obama regarding the institution and enforcement of ethical regulations on government officials and their relation to lobbyists and lobbying organizations.

The subject matter of today’s hearing is the fraudulent letters sent to Congress, letters that attempted to influence the vote on the Waxman-Markey clean energy legislation that passed the House in June.

Nations, like men, are travelers. Each one of them moves, through history, toward what we call progress and a new life or toward decay and death.

An Act To provide greater transparency in the legislative process.

Mises explained economic phenomena as the outcomes of countless conscious, purposive actions, choices, and preferences of individuals, each of whom was trying as best as he or she could ... to attain ... wants and ... avoid ... consequences.

"Interventionism provides Mises’s analysis of the problems of government interference in business from the Austrian School perspective. Written in 1940, before the United States was officially involved in World War II, this book offers a rare insight into the war economies of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy. Mises criticizes the pre-World War II democratic governments for favoring...

I urge the Senate to act quickly on a lobby registration and disclosure bill so that we can have an effective new law by the end of this season.

This bulletin has been compiled to meet this demand. It is an impartial statement of existing legislation upon this subject.

"An Act
To provide for the disclosure of lobbying activities to influence the Federal Government, and for other purposes.
The Congress finds that—
(1) responsible representative Government requires public awareness of the efforts of paid lobbyists to influence the public decision making process in both the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government;
(2...

The American people are tired of a Washington that's only open to those with the most cash and the right connections.

"In the decade since enactment of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (LDA), concerns have been raised about the capacity of Congress to oversee the activities of professional lobbyists. Lobbyists and others who seek to participate in public policy activities through the formation of coalitions and associations whose members may not be identifiable, and the use of grassroots campaigns that...

"On March 21, 1980, Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd launched a unique historical project – an unprecedented series of addresses on the Senate's history and operations. Over the next decade, Senator Byrd delivered more than one hundred speeches on topics ranging from a review of the Senate's impeachment powers to a survey of how the Senate has been portrayed in literature and film. These...

The Magna Carta was the first set of rules curtailing an English king's power. It was formulated and passed under King John's reign. Specifically, it curtailed his right to arbitrarily punish subjects. It has been revised many times over the centuries.

"Marshall, a citizen of Virginia, sued the railroad company, to recover the sum of fifty thousand dollars, which he alleged that they owed him under a special contract, for his services in obtaining a law from the Legislature of Virginia, granting to the company a right of way through Virginia to the Ohio River."

The free fruition of such liberties Immunities and priveledges as humanitie, Civilitie, and Christianitie call for as due to every man in his place and proportion....

My Administration is committed to reducing the undue influence of special interests that for too long has shaped the national agenda and drowned out the voices of ordinary Americans.

In public statements and at the Subcommittee’s hearings on Solyndra, Republican members of the Committee have alleged that the White House rushed the review and approval of the Solyndra loan guarantee in September 2009.

This document records the assets and liabilities of the National Education Association.

The following Notes were written in Virginia in the year 1781, and somewhat corrected and enlarged in the winter of 1782, in answer to Queries proposed to the Author, by a Foreigner of Distinction, then residing among us.

On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation provides analysis of the allocation of money between capitalists, landowners, and agricultural workers in Britain. Through this analysis, Ricardo came to advocate free trade and oppose Britain’s restrictive 'Corn laws.'

"THOSE WHO FIRST pick up this book are likely to share some concern about the problem of poverty; those who finish it may also find some cause for hope. For the great gift that Henry George gave the world was a systematic explanation—logical and consistent—of why wealth is not distributed fairly among those who produce it. But he did not stop there—he also gave us a simple yet far-reaching...

I am very proud to be able to sign this legislation to bring lobbying in Washington into the sunlight of public scrutiny.

"Excessively large government harms economic growth. The evidence is overwhelming, both from U.S. and international experience. The Joint Economic Committee (JEC) has published five studies that document the reasons excessive government reduces economic growth. One particular problem with excessive government is that it unleashes socially-destructive 'rent seeking.' Rent seeking diverts...

"The Commission dedicated extensive resources to this investigation because of the importance of the Internet and the role advertising has come to play in the development and maintenance of this rapidly evolving medium of communication. Online advertising fuels the diversity and wealth of free information available on the Internet today. Our investigation focused on the impact of this...

Today Congress made real progress in the effort to return Government to the people.

This book is a unique blend of economics and political science that helped create significant new subfields in each discipline respectively, namely, the public choice school and constitutional political economy.

"Fifty years ago, Professor Edward S. Corwin wrote an introduction to this treatise that broadly explored then existent trends of constitutional adjudication. In some respects the law of federalism, the withdrawal of judicial supervision of economic regulation, the continued expansion of presidential power and the consequent overshadowing of Congress – he has been confirmed in his evaluations...

At the beginning of his term as Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker took on the task of alleviating the Wisconsin state budget deficit which was projected to be $5.4 billion by his sixth month in office. Believing public sector union pensions and benefits to be a part of this problem, the Governor would eventually propose...

Madison's Federalist #10 argues for a large and powerful republic to combat the problem of factions. He argues that factions were the cause of the downfall of the ancient democracies and small republics. The American Constitution, with this in mind, advocates a republican form of government that would solve the problem of factions and prevent internal strife while maintaining liberty.

Prior to 1967, twentieth century neoclassical economists (myself included) taught students that the social cost of monopoly and special privilege was the deadweight loss triangle which shows the loss of consumers' surplus to those excluded from the market by the rise in price above the competitive level.

"It is the purpose of this paper to show some of the ways in which rent seeking is competitive, and to develop a simple model of competitive rent seeking for the important case when rents originate from quantitative restrictions upon international trade. In such a case 1) competitive rent seeking leads to the operation of the economy inside its transformation curve; 2) the welfare loss...

The Reason of Rules, by Geoffrey Brennan and James M. Buchanan, is a book-length attempt to focus the energies of economists and other social analysts on the nature and function of the rules under which ordinary political life and market life function.

Written by Matthew Josephson, this book coined the term "robber baron" and influenced several generations of Americans against the industrial capitalists of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Today, we begin consideration of proposed changes to the Lobby Disclosure Act.

The potential uses of public resources and powers to improve the economic status of economic groups (such as industries and occupations) are analyzed to provide a scheme of the demand for regulation.

Professor Tullock's 1967 article entitled: 'The Welfare Costs of Tariffs, Monopolies and Theft' is a widely cited classic that has generated a major ongoing research program in the political economy of rent seeking.

"Theory and History is primarily a critique of Karl Marx, his materialism, and his prediction of the inevitability of socialism. This book discusses the theory of economics, i.e., the study of purposive human action, and with history, the record of the past actions of individuals. History looks backward into the past, but the lesson it teaches concerns things to come. It opens the...

This was an indictment for conspiracy under the sixth section of the act of May 30, 1870, known as the Enforcement Act (16 Stat. 140), and consisted of thirty-two counts.

The appellees were charged by information with violation of the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act, 60 Stat. 812, 839, 2 U.S.C. §§ 261-270.

Under the resolution empowering it to function, the Committee was 'authorized and directed to conduct a study and investigation of (1) all lobbying activities intended to influence, encourage, promote, or retard legislation

"Nigeria desperately needs 'shock therapy', but has a deeply-rooted statist, rent-seeking establishment that makes this type of treatment unlikely, even given a number of reformers in government."

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Education history in America is important to know. ITO traces how education has changed from the colonial period to present day America.
At Intellectual Takeout, we think it's about time freedom went viral. Before our generation is the opportunity to embrace freedom, to unleash each individual's potential, and to have a prosperous future. And yet it seems that almost everyone running our cities, states, and federal government is intent on destroying freedom and burying us in debt to pay for it. If you, like us, believe that...
In the genre of documentaries revealing the problems with public education, "Kids Aren't Cars" focuses on helping us understand how schools are modeled after a factory system and what we need to do to change them. Understandably, treating kids as if they are a product to be manufactured has had detrimental effects on children going through the system and the overall level of education in America...
"Many parents and taxpayers feel helpless because the problems can seem so monumental. 'Kids Aren't Cars' director Kyle Olson reviews what he learned in the filmmaking process and the small things individuals can do that will add up to make a big difference." Here's Kyle being interviewed on a few things you can do and share with friends, family, and educators: Part 1Part 2
We all know Facebook is awesome for keeping up with friends, sharing about your life, and even distributing ideas. One great new way to get people thinking is to take advantage of the new banner profile with the help of Intellectual Takeout. Here's what one of our banners looks like loaded up on a Facebook profile: If you haven't changed your banner profile, than Facebook is likely ...
Tired of business getting a bum rap? We are, too. Here's your chance to share on Facebook the good news that business is good, beautiful, and makes life better.
While many documentaries on the education system focus on various examples of failure, "Flunked" takes a bit different tack. While certainly acknowledging and exposing the failures of the system, "Flunked" also seeks out individuals and approaches that ARE working in education. The hope is that these points of hope may serve as examples for others working in education.  Here's the trailer:...
Okay, so your friends and family keep telling you to jump on the social media bandwagon, but you have no idea what the fuzz is about. Here’s the deal: The Internet gives liberty-loving folk like us an opportunity we have never had before: to make the case for individual liberty, limited government and free market economics instantly and globally. But with the vast amounts of information...

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Looking for an internship? If so, Intellectual Takeout has an opportunity for you. We have plenty of work to do as well as ideas to spread, and we need your help to get it done. If you're interested in an internship with Intellectual Takeout, you likely share our passion and you're excited about the possibility of working for a great cause. That said, you might have a few questions about what "...
The Association of American Educators (AAE) advances the teaching profession through personal growth, professional development, teacher advocacy and protection, as well as promoting excellence in education so that our members receive the respect, recognition and reward they deserve.
Are you concerned your child isn't getting the education necessary to compete in the global economy or even, perhaps, to carry on the lessons and learning of Western Civilization? If so, you have a number of choices. You could, of course, consider changing schools to a charter school, private school, or even homeschooling. If that's overwhelming for you right now, you can always supplement your...
Curiously, not a few individuals are realizing that their education (K-12 and even college) neglected to provide them with as much understanding of the world as they would like. At Intellectual Takeout, we believe that however you feel about your education, there is still much to be learned. To that end, we'd like to refer you to one book and a collection of "study guides" that serve as...
Sure, the idea of homeschooling is likely overwhelming. Indeed, homeschooling is a big commitment and a lot of work. That said, there's a reason why more and more parents are turning to homeschooling as the best option for their child(ren)'s education(s). Perhaps you are starting to realize that the public school system has changed a lot since you last attended it. Maybe you can't afford private...
Know your rights with Flex Your Rights guide to the "10 Rules for Dealing with Police."
In a highly regulated society such as ours, it's very easy to get yourself in trouble with the law. Learn more about how to protect yourself with the 5th Amendment and how to interact with the police.
Let's face it, most of us love to watch TV and movies. A wonderful way to spread ideas is to embrace our love of the cinema by hosting a movie night with friends and family.  There are numerous documentaries that do a fantastic job of sharing the ideas of liberty. You can pull a small group of friends together at your house or even consider asking a local restaurant or tavern to let you...
Watch "Waiting for Superman" to learn about the problems with the public education system.
Another movie that tells the story of the failing public school model in the United States is “The Lottery”. It takes its own unique look at the systems by focusing on the use of lotteries to choose which children will be plucked from failing public schools and put into more successful public charter schools. Here’s the trailer:  You can watch the whole movie right now with the help of Hulu...
While there are a variety of really good documentaries about the failing public school systems in America, "The Cartel" stands alone in its frontal assault on the teacher unions, particularly those in New Jersey. If you'd like to get an inside look into how some teacher unions operate and the effects they have on education, you'll want to watch "The Cartel."From the movie's website: "This movie...
How often do you hear conservatives being called a bunch of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals? Here's the reality: Conservatism, classical liberalism, and libertarianism have a rich, intellectual heritage reaching back many millennia. Our ideas are not just some historical relics from bygone eras; they are the very foundation of Western Civilization in general, amd the United States in particular....
Sadly (or happily for some), life goes on after college. So does the fight for freedom. Building friendships, networking, and growing the movement is critical after college. If our ideas are to be preserved and promoted, you need to stay involved. Plus, in a time when the individual seems to be ever more isolated and adrift, these groups can help plug you into social networks you can use....
Okay, so we don't expect you to drive a wooden stake into your flat screen. Plus, we're total hypocrites since we watch some TV. But here's the point: People waste a ton of time watching TV. If you're cool with government taking over your future, than keep watching Dancing with the Stars. If you consider yourself to be a free man or woman and want to live in a free society, then watch what you...
A great way to make a difference on your campus by spreading the ideas of individual rights, limited government, and free markets is to tutor. Plus, you can occasionally make a little bit of money. Depending on the subject matter, you will be discussing a variety of ideas, key thinkers, and theories. As anyone who has tutored knows, there are almost always opportunities to expand upon a topic....

On Campus

We've built Intellectual Takeout to provide you with quick, easy access to information. In time, we hope to become your one-stop-shop for the ideas of freedom. If your professor allows you to bring your laptop to class (if not, you can use an iPhone), we recommend keeping a tab open to Intellectual Takeout. As we continue to generate new content on the site, you will be able to fact check the...
When it comes to campus life injustices, student fees rank high on any list. On most campuses across the country a mandatory student fee is assessed to each student at the beginning of the year. A portion of this fee, which may be several hundred dollars, will go toward funding various political, religious, and interest groups.  A college requiring you to support groups espousing ideas which...
If you're not happy with the direction of the country and you want to take back your future, at some point you will have to do something. It's not enough to just know that we're going in the wrong direction. You actually have to step out and get involved. Most college campuses have conservative and libertarian student groups. Find one of them to join. Below is a list of some of the larger non-...
Now that you're at college and the initial excitement has worn off, maybe you're thinking that the course selection is a bit biased and you'd like some options. So how do you (the consumer) get the college (the business) to change up its offerings? It certainly won't be easy. Nevertheless it's something that should be done--particularly since you're footing the bill. A good, education in a free...
Whatever activism you choose to do on campus, you need to get your story out. A popular tactic used by the Left is to isolate and intimidate freedom-loving students. You're not alone and there are a lot of people in your city, state, and country that can probably support your efforts. They just need to know what is happening. Whenever you can, record in-class bias, discrimination against...
The reality is that most students (and people for that matter) won't speak out. It's called human nature and it was recognized in the Declaration of Independence: "...all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." While you might feel alone when debating a teacher,...
In the land of the free and the home of the brave, speech codes are a particularly odious example of politically correct repression on many a college campus. In some ways, college campuses are the least free places for thinking and speech in America. Your best friend for fighting your school's repressive speech codes is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Here's a short clip...
Running for office isn't easy, even in college. Not everyone is cut out for it, either. For those of you who are, this completely non-partisan section is for you. If you are inclined to pursue student government, we're not going to spend time on telling you how to get elected. A good place to go for ideas and training is CampusReform.org. Rather, we want to help you in office, as a believer in...

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