Cronyism vs. Competition

The Texas Legislature is considering a bill that will allow auto makers to sell directly to consumers. Currently, new automobiles must be purchased through a franchised dealership. Not surprisingly, the bill is opposed by dealership owners. Wyatt Wainwright, president of the Houston Automobile Dealers Association, recently met with lawmakers to explain why auto dealers oppose […]

Stay Out of Their Way

Everywhere we turn, someone is demanding that government do something. Often, that something is allegedly intended to correct some perceived injustice. Almost as often, the exhortations pertain to creating jobs, stimulating the economy, or something similar.

As one example, the Chronicle asks if City Hall should do more to encourage startup businesses. The paper discusses […]

Made in Texas

According to The Texas Tribune, “Under federal law, wine can have an appellation of origin from a state if a minimum 75 percent of its grapes are grown in that state. The other 25 percent can come from anywhere.” The Texas Legislature is considering a bill that will require Texas winemakers to use 100 percent […]

The Danger of Deregulation

Many have applauded President Trump’s stated objective to “massively” reduce regulations. Certainly, fewer regulations are better than the mountains of controls and prohibitions that currently stifle American businesses. But reducing regulations is not the panacea some might believe.

Consider the Environmental Protection Agency as an example. Last week, Scott Pruitt, the head of the agency, […]

Title Insurance and Cronyism

Every day, we are subjected to the hidden costs of government regulations. Government drives up the cost of nearly every product and service, including title insurance. While title insurance isn’t a sexy topic, it impacts nearly every real estate transaction, and thus has an impact on housing costs, the cost of doing business, and everything […]

The Real Poop On Bathroom Regulations

Both nationally and locally, there has been much said and written about the propriety of having separate bathrooms for male and female, where at least a small percentage of the public chooses to consider themselves differently sexed than the perceptions of most would indicate. Where sexual identity reassignment is concerned, it is claimed that business […]

Texans Face a Choice

A recent Chronicle editorial tells us that Texas businesses must choose who their allies are in the state legislature. Traditionally, state Republicans have been viewed as business-friendly, but the editorial questions whether that remains true.

That choice isn’t between Democratic or Republican, liberal or conservative. That’s not the divide in Texas anymore. The choice is […]

Opportunity and Freedom

Yesterday, I wrote about a Chronicle article that claims Houston denies opportunities to the children of low-income families by failing to build subsidized housing in wealthier neighborhoods. The article focuses on education, while completely ignoring the most fundamental aspect of opportunity: freedom.

Freedom means an absence of coercion. It means that an individual can pursue […]

Get Out of Their Way

We frequently hear the cry that “somebody needs to do something.” Chronicle business writer Chris Tomlinson has joined the fray, exhorting lawmakers from Washington to City Hall “to boost the economy and create jobs to build a stronger nation.”

What Tomlinson (and many Americans) doesn’t understand is that lawmakers don’t create jobs. All they do […]

The Two Faces of Statism

A recent Chronicle editorial laments the recent trend in Austin to limit the legislative prerogatives of municipalities. Republicans are threatening to pass legislation that will usurp local control on issues like plastic bags, Uber, restrooms, and cutting down trees.

After decades promoting local control, now Republicans in Austin have decided there’s no municipal issue too […]