CEI Daily - GM IPO, TSA Patdowns, and Frankenfish




GM raised $20 billion this week in an initial public offering.


Senior Counsel Hans Bader points out that GM stock is valuable because is it essentially backed by public funds.


"GM stock is worth money partly because its government ownership stake allows it to claim up to $45 billion in tax savings that it would otherwise have had to forfeit as a result of its bankruptcy. GM is also receiving lots of taxpayer subsidies for its Chevy Volt, despite recent revelations that it lied about that car, which it was trumpeting in a 'publicity stunt' to curry favor with politicians crusading against global warming. GM still owes taxpayers at least $29.4 billion, and its finance arm owes taxpayers an additional $14.6 billion. In a sense, taxpayers lost money on the sale."




TSA Patdowns


Increased security measures at airports will likely encourage some people to drive instead of fly.


Research Associate Brian McGraw points out that more people on the road means more travel deaths.


"The problem is that per mile traveled, driving is much more dangerous than flying. The researches estimate that in the 4th quarter of 2002, there were approximately 129 automobile deaths attributable to the switch from air travel to driving. Annually that would equal about 515 people.  This is a non-significant number of individuals. Do these new security features save enough lives to justify the real effects of American citizens deciding to drive rather than fly? I’d guess that there are numerous other ways where sufficiently similar levels of security could be achieved without hassling customers and encouraging them to skip air travel."






Europe is shying away from genetically-modified plants and animals.


Watch Senior Fellow Greg Conko discussing so-called "frankenfish" on Stossel.