Bottleneckers

Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit

Author: William Mellor,Dick M. Carpenter II

Publisher: Encounter Books

ISBN: 1594039089

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 440

View: 5601

Bottlenecker (n): a person who advocates for the creation or perpetuation of government regulation, particularly an occupational license, to restrict entry into his or her occupation, thereby accruing an economic advantage without providing a benefit to consumers. The Left, Right, and Center all hate them: powerful special interests that use government power for their own private benefit. In an era when the Left hates “fat cats” and the Right despises “crony capitalists,” now there is an artful and memorable one-word pejorative they can both get behind: bottleneckers. A “bottlenecker” is anyone who uses government power to limit competition and thereby reap monopoly profits and other benefits. Bottleneckers work with politicians to constrict competition, entrepreneurial innovation, and opportunity. They thereby limit consumer choice; drive up consumer prices; and they support politicians who willingly overstep the constitutional limits of their powers to create, maintain, and expand these anticompetitive bottlenecks. The Institute for Justice’s new book Bottleneckers coins a new word in the American lexicon, and provides a rich history and well-researched examples of bottleneckers in one occupation after another—from alcohol distributors to taxicab cartels—pointing the way to positive reforms.

How Do I Tax Thee?

A Field Guide to the Great American Rip-Off

Author: Kristin Tate

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 1250169666

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 7235

Libertarian journalist Kristin Tate provides a look into the wild world of frivolous taxation, aimed at educating members of her own generation in the evils of big government. In How Do I Tax Thee?, libertarian commentator and rising media star Kristin Tate takes us on a tour of the ways the government bleeds us dry in innumerable daily transactions and at various stages of life. We all know the government taxes our pay: federal, state, and local taxes are withheld by employers, as are social security payments. But what about the many other ways the government drains money from our wallets? Have you studied your cell phone bill? Customers in New York State pay an average of 24.36% in federal, state and local taxes on their wireless bills. They’re also charged for obscure services they didn’t ask for and don’t understand like a universal service fund fee, an FCC compliance fee, a line service fee, and an emergency services fee. These aren’t taxes, strictly speaking. The government imposes these administrative and regulatory costs, and your wireless provider passes them along to you. But the effect is exactly the same. What about your cable bill? Your power bill? Your water bill? The cost of a gallon of gas, a cab ride, a hotel stay and a movie ticket are all inflated by hidden fees. How much of what you pay at the pump, the box office, or the airport is really an indirect tax? In a series of short, pointed, fact-laden, humorous chapters, Tate exposes the vast government shakedown that consumes up to half of your income—and also explains where these hidden fees and taxes come from.

The Wall Street Journal Guide to Power Travel

How to Arrive with Your Dignity, Sanity, and Wallet Intact

Author: Scott McCartney

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 006186479X

Category: Travel

Page: 320

View: 8699

Imagine a world without late planes, missed connections, lost luggage, bumped passengers, cramped seating, high fees and higher fares, surly employees, and security lines. . . . Ordinary travel is an extraordinary ordeal. Yet despite the high prices and huge hassles, travel is essential—along with the need for tips, tricks, and techniques to improve the journey. The Wall Street Journal Guide to Power Travel is an entertaining road trip and a helpful guide, drawn from Scott McCartney's popular Middle Seat column, which explains why bad things happen to good travelers and what you can do to improve your lot. Expert advice and tips include: How to get cheap fares, first-class upgrades, and better seats. How to minimize chances of lost luggage and what to do when baggage doesn't show up. How to avoid delays, get around TSA bottlenecks, and minimize the chances you'll get stuck at some distant airport—and what to do if you do get stuck. How to complain to an airline and get some attention, right down to what to ask for in compensation and how to get the government's attention.

Street Smart

Competition, Entrepreneurship and the Future of Roads

Author: Gabriel Roth

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351487892

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 581

View: 1911

The poor health of today's roads--a subject close to the hearts of motorists, taxpayers, and government treasurers around the world--has resulted from faulty incentives that misdirect government decision-makers, according to the contributors to Street Smart. During the 1990s, bad government decision-making resulted in the U.S. Interstate Highway System growing by only one seventh the rate of traffic growth. The poor maintenance of existing roads is another concern. In cities around the world, highly political and wasteful government decision-making has led to excessive traffic congestion that has created long commutes, reduced safety, and caused loss of leisure time.Street Smart examines the privatization of roads in theory and in practice. The authors see at least four possible roles for private companies, beyond the well-known one of working under contract to design, build, or maintain governmentally provided roads. These include testing and licensing vehicles and drivers; management of government-owned facilities; franchising; and outright private ownership. Two chapters describe the history of private roads in the United Kingdom and the United States. Contemporary examples are provided of road pricing, privatizing, and contracting out are evident in environs as diverse as Singapore, Southern California, and Scandinavia, and cities as different as Bergen, Norway, and London, England. Finally, several chapters examine strategies for implementing privatization. The principles governing providing scarce resources in free societies are well known. We apply them to such necessities as energy, food, and water so why not to "road space"? The main obstacle to private, or semi-private, ownership of roads is likely to remain the reluctance of the political class to give up a lucrative source of power and influence.Those who want decisions about road services to be controlled by the interplay of consumers and suppliers in free markets, rat

The Black Box Society

The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information

Author: Frank Pasquale

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674967100

Category: Law

Page: 319

View: 539

Every day, corporations are connecting the dots about our personal behavior—silently scrutinizing clues left behind by our work habits and Internet use. But who connects the dots about what firms are doing with all this information? Frank Pasquale exposes how powerful interests abuse secrecy for profit and explains ways to rein them in.

The Market Meets Its Match

Restructuring the Economies of Eastern Europe

Author: Alice H. Amsden,Jacek Kochanowicz,Lance Taylor

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674549845

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 250

View: 3363

Under free-market shock therapy, the economies of Eastern Europe have plunged into crisis. Shortages may have disappeared, but so have social services, a living wage, and equitable income distribution. Political unrest increases apace as output plummets. Why so much stagnation, inflation, and de-industrialization, and what can be done to turn this risky state of affairs around? This book, the first critique of the free-market economic policies that have jolted Eastern Europe, addresses these questions in penetrating detail. The authors also propose a sensible approach to reform, including a restructuring of the state itself so that it can play a more positive role in this difficult transition. With close attention to the history and institutional realities of the region, The Market Meets Its Match explains the failure of the simplistic market medicine administered in the first five years of transition. Merely "getting the prices right" - lowering wages and raising interest rates and energy prices - won't improve competitiveness, the authors argue, as long as nonlabor costs such as the quality of goods, product design, outmoded technology, and inefficient distribution channels remain problems. Easing these bottlenecks requires long-term capital accumulation and profit maximization. The institutions necessary for such growth have not developed under Eastern Europe's new "pseudo-capitalism, " as the authors demonstrate, and "pseudo-privatization, " while distributing state property to citizens, has not provide them with the capital and technology they need to succeed. This book shows that the market mechanism alone will not transform Eastern Europe's potentially productive enterprises into international competitors without careful government coordination and support.

A Republic No More

Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption

Author: Jay Cost

Publisher: Encounter Books

ISBN: 1594038686

Category: Political Science

Page: 408

View: 5922

After the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin’s response: “A Republic—if you can keep it.” This book argues: we couldn’t keep it. A true republic privileges the common interest above the special interests. To do this, our Constitution established an elaborate system of checks and balances that disperses power among the branches of government, which it places in conflict with one another. The Framers believed that this would keep grasping, covetous factions from acquiring enough power to dominate government. Instead, only the people would rule. Proper institutional design is essential to this system. Each branch must manage responsibly the powers it is granted, as well as rebuke the other branches when they go astray. This is where subsequent generations have run into trouble: we have overloaded our government with more power than it can handle. The Constitution’s checks and balances have broken down because the institutions created in 1787 cannot exercise responsibly the powers of our sprawling, immense twenty-first-century government. The result is the triumph of special interests over the common interest. James Madison called this factionalism. We know it as political corruption. Corruption today is so widespread that our government is not really a republic, but rather a special interest democracy. Everybody may participate, yes, but the contours of public policy depend not so much on the common good, as on the push-and-pull of the various interest groups encamped in Washington, DC.

Corrupt Cities

A Practical Guide to Cure and Prevention

Author: N.A

Publisher: World Bank Publications

ISBN: 9780821346006

Category: Political Science

Page: 162

View: 9593

Much of the devastation caused by the recent earthquake in Turkey was the result of widespread corruption between the construction industry and government officials. Corruption is part of everyday public life and we tend to take it for granted. However, preventing corruption helps to raise city revenues, improve service delivery, stimulate public confidence and participation, and win elections. This book is designed to help citizens and public officials diagnose, investigate and prevent various kinds of corrupt and illicit behaviour. It focuses on systematic corruption rather than the free-lance activity of a few law-breakers, and emphasises practical preventive measures rather than purely punitive or moralistic campaigns.

Lawlessness and Economics

Alternative Modes of Governance

Author: Avinash K. Dixit

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400841372

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 176

View: 2590

How can property rights be protected and contracts be enforced in countries where the rule of law is ineffective or absent? How can firms from advanced market economies do business in such circumstances? In Lawlessness and Economics, Avinash Dixit examines the theory of private institutions that transcend or supplement weak economic governance from the state. In much of the world and through much of history, private mechanisms--such as long-term relationships, arbitration, social networks to disseminate information and norms to impose sanctions, and for-profit enforcement services--have grown up in place of formal, state-governed institutions. Even in countries with strong legal systems, many of these mechanisms continue under the shadow of the law. Numerous case studies and empirical investigations have demonstrated the variety, importance, and merits, and drawbacks of such institutions. This book builds on these studies and constructs a toolkit of theoretical models to analyze them. The models shed new conceptual light on the different modes of governance, and deepen our understanding of the interaction of the alternative institutions with each other and with the government's law. For example, one model explains the limit on the size of social networks and illuminates problems in the transition to more formal legal systems as economies grow beyond this limit. Other models explain why for-profit enforcement is inefficient. The models also help us understand why state law dovetails with some non-state institutions and collides with others. This can help less-developed countries and transition economies devise better processes for the introduction or reform of their formal legal systems.

Liberty's Nemesis

The Unchecked Expansion of the State

Author: Dean Reuter,John Yoo

Publisher: Encounter Books

ISBN: 1594038384

Category: Political Science

Page: 576

View: 6516

If there has been a unifying theme of Barack Obama’s presidency, it is the inexorable growth of the administrative state. Its expansion has followed a pattern: First, expand federal powers beyond their constitutional limits. Second, delegate those powers to agencies and away from elected politicians in Congress. Third, insulate civil servants from politics and accountability. Since its introduction in American life by Woodrow Wilson in the 20th Century, the administrative state’s has steadily undermined democratic self-government, reduced the sphere of individual liberty, and burdened the free market and economic growth. In Liberty’s Nemesis, Dean Reuter and John Yoo collect the brightest political minds in the country to expose this explosive, unchecked growth of power in government agencies ranging from health care to climate change, financial markets to immigration, and more. Many Americans have rightly shared the Founders’ fear of excessive lawmaking, but Liberty’s Nemesis is the first book to explain why the concentration of power in administrative agencies in particular is the greatest – and most overlooked – threat to our liberties today. If we fail to curb it, our constitutional republic might easily devolve into something akin to the statist governments of Europe. President Obama’s ongoing efforts to encourage just such a devolution, and the problems his administration faces as a consequence, present a critical opportunity to defend the original vision of the Constitution.

Simple Rules

How to Thrive in a Complex World

Author: Donald Sull,Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544409906

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 3899

Outlines an approach to high-performance problem-solving and decision-making that draws on insights from survival guides, pop culture and other sources. Co-written by the award-winning author of The Upside of Turbulence. 75,000 first printing.

The Responsible Company

What We've Learned from Patagonia's First 40 Years

Author: Yvon Chouinard,Vincent Stanley

Publisher: Patagonia

ISBN: 1938340108

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 160

View: 2788

The Responsible Company, by Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia, and Vincent Stanley, co-editor of its Footprint Chronicles, draw on the their 40 years' experience at Patagonia – and knowledge of current efforts by other companies – to articulate the elements of responsible business for our time. Patagonia, named by Fortune in 2007 as the coolest company on the planet, has earned a reputation as much for its ground-breaking environmental and social practices as for the quality of its clothes. In this exceptionally frank account, Chouinard and Stanley recount how the company and its culture gained the confidence, by step and misstep, to make its work progressively more responsible, and to ultimately share its discoveries with companies as large as Wal-Mart or as small as the corner bakery. In plain, compelling prose, the authors describe the current impact of manufacturing and commerce on the planet’s natural systems and human communities, and how that impact now forces business to change its ways. The Responsible Company shows companies how to reduce the harm they cause, improve the quality of their business, and provide the kind of meaningful work everyone seeks. It concludes with specific, practical steps every business can undertake, as well as advice on what to do, in what order. This is the first book to show companies how to thread their way through economic sea change and slow the drift toward ecological bankruptcy. Its advice is simple but powerful: reduce your environmental footprint (and its skyrocketing cost), make legitimate products that last, reclaim deep knowledge of your business and its supply chain to make the most of opportunities in the years to come, and earn the trust you’ll need by treating your workers, customers and communities with respect.

Organizational Assessment

A Framework for Improving Performance

Author: Charles Lusthaus,Inter-American Development Bank,International Development Research Centre (Canada)

Publisher: IDRC

ISBN: 9780889369986

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 202

View: 7940

Organizational Assessment: A framework for improving performance

The Republic of Virtue

How We Tried to Ban Corruption, Failed, and What We Can Do About It

Author: F. H. Buckley

Publisher: Encounter Books

ISBN: 1594039712

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 316

Public corruption is the silent killer of our economy. We’ve spawned the thickest network of patronage and influence ever seen in any country, a crony capitalism in which business partners with government and transfers wealth from the poor to the rich. This is a betrayal of the Framers’ vision for America, and of the Constitution they saw as an anti-corruption covenant. Most Americans get it, and this explains the otherwise improbable rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. When a country is corrupt, legislative efforts to make things better can actually make them worse. That’s what has happened with our campaign finance laws, says the conservative, and not entirely without reason. We’ve criminalized political speech and sent the message that it’s unsafe to get involved in politics without a lawyer at one’s side. Donor disclosure requirements have also unleashed Internet mobs that attack political opponents. We’d be better off without any of them, Buckley argues in this provocative book. They’re a net with the curious feature that the big fish swim through safely while only the little fish are caught, and those with the wrong political beliefs. All such rules are a disaster, and should be replaced by a different set of laws that focus on crony capitalism and the nexus of legislators and lobbyists that prey on our economy.

Information and Communications for Development 2012

Maximizing Mobile

Author: World Bank

Publisher: World Bank Publications

ISBN: 0821395874

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 238

View: 8895

Assessing what has worked, what hasn't, and why, this triennial report is an invaluable guide for understanding how to capture the benefits of information and communication technology around the world. This year's report focuses on mobile applications.

Unity 5: Learning C# by Developing Games

Author: Greg Lukosek,John P. Doran,Chris Dickinson

Publisher: Packt Publishing Ltd

ISBN: 1787129101

Category: Computers

Page: 899

View: 4256

Explore every nook and cranny of Unity 5 to turn your imaginations into reality About This Book Demystify the C# programming language in Unity 5.x. Unleash the power of Unity to create a wide variety of projects in numerous genres and formats. Master the art of optimization for Unity 5.x applications with tips and techniques that will further enhance your game. Who This Book Is For Beginner level Unity developers who do not have much programming experience. What You Will Learn Master the art of applying C# in Unity. Get to know about techniques to turn your game idea into working project. Use loops and collections efficiently in Unity to reduce the amount of code. Create and code a good-looking functional UI system for your game. Find out how to create exciting and interactive games using GUIs. Work with different animation assets and components to enhance your game further. Personalize your game by learning how to use Unity's advanced animation system. Create, visualize, and edit animated creatures to add to your already amazing game. Familiarize yourself with the tools and practices of game development Discover how to create the Game Manager class to, generate game levels, and develop UI for the game. Use the Unity Profiler to find bottlenecks anywhere in your application, and discover how to resolve them. Implement best practices for C# scripting to avoid common mistakes In Detail Unity is a cross-platform game engine that is used to develop 2D and 3D video games. Unity 5 is the latest version, and adds a real-time global illumination to the games; and its powerful new features help to improve a game's efficiency. If you love games and want to learn how to make them but have no idea where to begin, then this course is built just for you. This learning path is divided into three modules which will take you in this incredible journey of creating games. The course begins with getting you started with programming behaviors in C# so that you can create 2D games in Unity. You will begin by installing Unity and learning about its features. You will learn how to perform object-oriented programming and discover how to manage the game play loop, generate game levels, and develop a simple UI for the game. By the time this module comes to a close, you will have mastered the art of applying C# in Unity. It is now time we put into use what we learned in the previous module into reality as we move onto the second module. Here, we will be building 7-8 action-packed games of different difficulty levels. Each project will focus on key Unity features as well as game strategy development. This module will mark your transformation from an application developer to a full-fledged Unity game developer. Who wouldn't love a game that is fully perfect, functional, and without any glitches? The third module deals with just that by teaching how to enhance your game by learning game optimization skills. Here, you'll gain an understanding of possible solutions to any problem and how to implement them. You will then learn everything you need to know about where performance bottlenecks can be found, why they happen, and how to work around them. With this massive wealth of knowledge, at the end of this learning path, you will be able to leverage an array of game development techniques to create your own basic games while resolving any issues that you encounter. Style and approach This learning path should be treated as the complete package necessary for building games. It is a step-by-step guide to develop a game from scratch by applying the fundamentals of C# and Unity scripting, with a reference guide in the end to solve all your gaming problems.

Managing the Regulatory Process

Design, Concepts, Issues, and the Latin America and Caribbean Story

Author: J. Luis Guasch,Pablo Tomas Spiller

Publisher: World Bank Publications

ISBN: 0821344978

Category: Political Science

Page: 319

View: 7305

'...developing countries, complementing their far-reaching privatization programs, are engaged in deregulating various sectors of their economies and devising new regulatory frameworks for others, particularly the utilities sectors.' As economies become more open, pressures on countries to become more competitive drive the call for regulatory reform to reduce costs and foster increased productivity, competitiveness, and growth. This report provides an overview of the costs and benefits of regulation throughout the world. It provides case histories of regulation in different countries, developed and developing and in various sectors, such as, transportation, utilities, and power. It presents different strategies that were employed. Furthermore, it identifies lessons learned and lays the foundations for a best practice scenario for other countries to adopt. While the challenges to regulatory reform are considerable, so are the efforts that developing countries are making to face them. These lessons, when properly adapted to each country's own environment, can significantly increase the likelihood of effective regulation.

Synthetic Worlds

The Business and Culture of Online Games

Author: Edward Castronova

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226096319

Category: Computers

Page: 344

View: 7956

From EverQuest to World of Warcraft, online games have evolved from the exclusive domain of computer geeks into an extraordinarily lucrative staple of the entertainment industry. People of all ages and from all walks of life now spend thousands of hours—and dollars—partaking in this popular new brand of escapism. But the line between fantasy and reality is starting to blur. Players have created virtual societies with governments and economies of their own whose currencies now trade against the dollar on eBay at rates higher than the yen. And the players who inhabit these synthetic worlds are starting to spend more time online than at their day jobs. In Synthetic Worlds, Edward Castronova offers the first comprehensive look at the online game industry, exploring its implications for business and culture alike. He starts with the players, giving us a revealing look into the everyday lives of the gamers—outlining what they do in their synthetic worlds and why. He then describes the economies inside these worlds to show how they might dramatically affect real world financial systems, from potential disruptions of markets to new business horizons. Ultimately, he explores the long-term social consequences of online games: If players can inhabit worlds that are more alluring and gratifying than reality, then how can the real world ever compete? Will a day ever come when we spend more time in these synthetic worlds than in our own? Or even more startling, will a day ever come when such questions no longer sound alarmist but instead seem obsolete? With more than ten million active players worldwide—and with Microsoft and Sony pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into video game development—online games have become too big to ignore. Synthetic Worlds spearheads our efforts to come to terms with this virtual reality and its concrete effects. “Illuminating. . . . Castronova’s analysis of the economics of fun is intriguing. Virtual-world economies are designed to make the resulting game interesting and enjoyable for their inhabitants. Many games follow a rags-to-riches storyline, for example. But how can all the players end up in the top 10%? Simple: the upwardly mobile human players need only be a subset of the world's population. An underclass of computer-controlled 'bot' citizens, meanwhile, stays poor forever. Mr. Castronova explains all this with clarity, wit, and a merciful lack of academic jargon.”—The Economist “Synthetic Worlds is a surprisingly profound book about the social, political, and economic issues arising from the emergence of vast multiplayer games on the Internet. What Castronova has realized is that these games, where players contribute considerable labor in exchange for things they value, are not merely like real economies, they are real economies, displaying inflation, fraud, Chinese sweatshops, and some surprising in-game innovations.”—Tim Harford, Chronicle of Higher Education

The Transport System and Transport Policy

An Introduction

Author: Bert van Wee,Jan Anne Annema,David Banister

Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing

ISBN: 0857936905

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 399

View: 2171

ÔThis very interesting book provides an excellent multi-disciplinary introduction into the functioning of transport systems and the interaction with their environments.Õ Ð Erik Verhoef, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands ÔThe editors of this important book have clearly identified that few writings on transport treat the transport system as a whole. Implicit in this is a need for a genuinely multidisciplinary approach. An impressive list of contributors ensures that the book draws on the latest research whilst providing new insights into some of the key challenges facing transport students and researchers, transport providers and policy makers.Õ Ð Roger Vickerman, University of Kent, UK ÔSince ancient times transportation has brought our world together. But the need for connectivity and accessibility in a spatially differentiated world has prompted the emergence of very complex transportation systems. This book offers a fresh and operational contribution to a better understanding of the complexity and manageability of a mobile world, by addressing in a balanced way both conceptual and applied or policy aspects of modern transportation systems.Õ Ð Peter Nijkamp, Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands Transport impacts on people and businesses in many different ways, and presents some of the key problems that decision-makers need to address. This comprehensive textbook introduces the transport system in a holistic and multidisciplinary way, bringing together the myriad components of transport. This textbook is written for an international readership of undergraduate and postgraduate students in transport and related subjects, as well as for professionals and policy decision-makers across both public and private sectors. Key features include: ¥ Discussion of the importance of transport accessibility and the impacts of transport on the environment and safety ¥ Policy issues relating to all of the discussed issues and prescribed future options. ¥ Transport evaluation methods and modelling approaches. ¥ Examples to highlight the linkages between components of the transport system Ð for example infrastructures, land-use, vehicle technologies Ð and the relevance of these linkages for decision making.