CEI Daily - Third-Hand Smoke, Gender Quotas, and Ray LaHood


Third-Hand Smoke


Anti-smoking groups are now saying that touching a smoker's clothing can cause neurological damage.


General Counsel Sam Kazman laments the hysterical campaign against second and third-hand smoke.


"In a free society that respects individuals, that should end most political battles over smoking: let’s prohibit kids from lighting up, punish whoever sells or markets cigarettes to them... and let grown-ups live their lives as they please. Unfortunately, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Yes, adults can smoke, but they’re constantly bombarded by higher taxes, more restrictions on the products available to them, more limits on advertising, and more rules on where they can light up."



Gender Quotas


The editor of Directors & Boards recently proposed a rule requiring that at least 40% of corporate boards be women.


CEI President Fred Smith notes that change in the private sector often happens naturally rather than as a result of a rule. Many corporations seek to have a diverse board because that diversity benefits the corporation.


"The private world experiments and adopts changes as they prove their competitive value.  It is not surprising that these factors will operate very differently in different business sectors.  But, when innovations prove their worth, they are adopted.  Politicians may gain voter support by promoting such policies, but they may well harm consumers far more than we realize.  It is far better to strengthen competition and allow the market to determine what firms do — and with whom they select to do it."



Ray LaHood


DOT Secretary Ray LaHood answered criticism of the TIGER II grant program by arguing that some of the grant money will indeed go to relieving congestion, and that if people are complaining about the lack of grant money allotted, they should talk to Congress.


Policy Analyst Marc Scribner responds.


"No, Secretary LaHood. Our criticism is not about you lacking a bigger pot of money to dole out to your preferred projects; it’s about a significant portion of the transportation grants going to projects that harm mobility. These include diverting scarce transportation resources to projects that aim to narrow roads, convert a highway section to a lower-speed city street, and build expensive bike/pedestrian trails in low-density areas with nonexistent bicycle commuters (apparently, DOT has become an extension of the Park Service). Not to mention the $100 million that went to wasteful rail transit projects."