A Victory over Evil

For three years, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) investigated Spec’s Wine, Spirits, and Finer Foods, the state’s largest liquor retailer. At the conclusion of its investigation, the TABC sought to pull the licenses for Spec’s 164 stores, unless the company paid a fine of $713 million.

The TABC alleged that Spec’s had accepted millions […]

In the Name of Competition

This past Sunday, the Chronicle editorial board revealed how confused and unprincipled it is. An editorial called for the federal government to use antitrust laws to block Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods.

Amazon’s business model is to become a monopoly. Buying Whole Foods gives the online retailer its first major foothold in the brick-and-mortar grocery […]

Why Discrimination is Inescapable

Last week, California banned state-funded travel to Texas, saying that a new adoption law passed by Texas is discriminatory. California law restricts the use of state funds to travel to places that “authorize discrimination” on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Seven other states are on California’s no-travel list.

Ironically, in issuing such […]

Lobbying and Cronyism

Chronicle columnist Chris Tomlinson makes an issue out of the fact that Uber lobbied the Texas legislature to block local efforts to regulate the company:

When Houston’s city council refused to bend to Uber’s demands, and Austin voters threw Uber out of the capitol, Kalanick hired a team of high-priced lobbyists to buy friendly statewide […]

The Evil of Occupational Licensing

A bill is being considered in Austin that will redefine what it means to be a psychologist. Anyone who engages in certain conversations with others will be considered a criminal if he doesn’t meet the state’s criteria. The bill would force life coaches, hypnotherapists, spiritual healers, business coaches, positive thinking coaches, and countless others to […]

Safe Buildings and City Regulations

The City of Houston makes building owners jump through outrageous hoops to obtain permission to occupy and use their property. Ostensibly, these regulations are intended to ensure the safety of those use the building. But as a recent audit of the Life Safety Bureau of the Houston Fire Department discovered, those regulations are nothing more […]

California (and the Chronicle) Vs. Texas

Last week, the Chronicle announced that California is winning in its rivalry with Texas. Over the past year, the paper reports, the Golden State has outperformed the Lone Star State. Wages grew faster, the economy grew more, and unemployment was lower in California. Perhaps, the article opines, it wouldn’t be so bad for Texas to […]

Protecting the Middlemen

The Internet has revolutionized how we shop. We are no longer limited to the brick and mortar store down the street–we can literally purchase products from companies almost anywhere in the world. But some businesses do not like the choices that the Internet has given consumers. Auto dealerships are one example.

For the third time, […]

Do It For the Birds

In May, a flock of migrating birds crashed into a 23-story building in Galveston, killing approximately four hundred birds. Claiming that the birds were confused by floodlights that illuminated the building, an online petition is demanding that the city of Galveston require building owners to turn their lights off at night.

The petition states:

Experts […]

Tyranny for Me, Tyranny for Thee

Chronicle business writer Chris Tomlinson is opposed to freedom. In a recent column, he opined that those who don’t like a law need only “hire a friend in Austin”–a state legislator. Tomlinson then goes on to point out several examples of businesses lobbying state legislators to override local ordinances or rewrite state laws.

As one […]