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 […]

Beer Cronyism

Last week, the Texas House passed a bill that will establish new regulations for craft brewers who sell directly to consumers. The bill will require brewers who produce more than 175,000 barrels per year to sell their product to distributors, and then buy it back from the distributors before selling it to consumers.

In theory, […]

Segregation and Choice

While acknowledging that Houston is the most ethnically and racially diverse city in the nation, the Chronicle has been regularly publishing articles showing how segregated Houston is. According to these articles, most Houstonians live in neighborhoods that are predominantly of their own race or ethnicity.

If these articles were simply pointing out demographic facts, that […]

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 […]