CEI Daily - Traffic Congestion, Bootleggers and Baptists, and Jobs


Traffic Congestion


The Transport Politic's Yonah Freemark argues that the Parisian model for traffic management proves that regulation--not congestion pricing--is the best way to alleviate road congestion.


Policy Analyst Marc Scribner argues that the Parisian model was an inefficient "traffic calming" scheme.


"Congestion pricing seeks to align traffic patterns with economic order — when demand for scarce road space increases, price increases. Poof! We can get something approaching allocative efficiency. Traffic calming schemes such as the one in Paris — rather than allowing the invisible hand to wave its magic wand — seek to give drivers a big, extended middle finger. The fewer the cars the better — mobility and effective revenue capture be damned!"




Bootleggers and Baptists


Many regulations are put into place because of alliances between "bootleggers and baptists" -- those seeking to gain economically and those seeking moral high ground.


Policy Analyst Ivan Osorio explains how the Bootlegger-Baptist alliance works in Washington.


"The 'Baptists' are the self-appointed moral guardians who strive to ban certain products or behaviors under the justification of protecting the public’s morals. The 'Bootleggers' are the clandestine entrepreneurs who take advantage of the prohibitions supported by the Baptists by charging (often exorbitant) prices for giving people the ability to consume or do what they want, contra the law."






Private businesses cut 39,000 jobs in September.


Senior Counsel Hans Bader explains why.


"If you were an employer, why would you hire somebody in an economy that’s barely growing, when you could be hit by all sorts of employee-related expenses in the future, the way employers have already been hit by increased costs due to Obamacare?  Employers are worried about additional costs that could force them to lay off newly hired workers if Congress passes cap-and-trade global warming legislation (which would impose massive costs on many industries, requiring cutbacks in production).  Recent EPA rules aimed at global warming will wipe out at least 800,000 jobs, with a blizzard of additional new rules expected to follow.  And the stimulus package, despite its $800 billion cost, did little for employers, wiping out export-sector jobs, and funneling green-jobs money to foreign firms."