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The Balance Sheet

The Media Research Center

Free Market Project - Auditing the media's coverage of the free enterprise system

Volume 1 Issue 17 December 7, 2005

In this issue:  Dark and Stormy Coverage • Santa’s List • Shoppers Unite • Good, Bad & Ugly
  Global Warming • Taxes • Free Market • Property • Education • Events

New from the Free Market Project

Media Myths: Global Warming is Causing Stronger Hurricanes
The 2005 hurricane season was destructive and tragic for thousands of Americans. Unfortunately, the media did a disservice by cluttering the coverage with sensationalized portraits of the storm season. Despite scientists’ repeated assurances that global warming wasn’t to blame for this year’s storms, journalists continued to link the two. And those scientists weren’t the only ones who were ignored – the historical record putting the 2005 season in context was also largely absent, as this new Free Market Project analysis shows.

Get our Fact Sheet on global warming and hurricanes.

Econ 101: Has the Economy Been Good or Bad?
No matter how hard the media try, they can’t get the U.S. economy on the naughty list. And as FMP Adviser Gary Wolfram explains, the secret of its continued success is tax cuts.
Ask the professor: Do you have a question about an economic issue covered in the news?

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like … a Very Good Christmas
As a clichéd broadcast journalist would say, those aren’t sleigh bells you hear; they’re cash registers ringing! But how can this be? The media told us we’d get nothing but lumps of coal this year. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond, eager shoppers have been proving them wrong.

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly tracks the best and worst media coverage of business and economics. Readers are invited to submit suggestions or news tips to staff writer Ken Shepherd.
This week:  The smell of good news in the morning; confusion on CNN; and Dobbs strikes on CBS.

Also from FMP:

CNN’s Dobbs Gives Hot Economy a Cold Shower

Morning Shows Return to Pessimism on the Economy

CNN’s Serwer Huffs and Puffs about Bad News from Detroit

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Research, News & Commentary

Global Warming

Research: Even though atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increased in the same time period, “there was no net change in either the mean onset or duration of snow cover for the entire continent of North America” from 1950 to 2002, reports the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change.


Commentary: “Japanese lawmakers recently were dealt a sharp lesson in the power of popular opposition to bad tax policy,” writes the Tax Foundation’s Andrew Chamberlain. The economist argues the failure of the iPod tax in Japan is just the latest example of how “the days of selective excise taxes as reliable revenue sources are numbered.”

Research: Cato Institute’s Director of Tax Policy Chris Edwards looks at how flat tax reforms have helped countries that adopted them.

Commentary: CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis concludes that windfall profits taxes are “just energy taxes by another name, and cannot but stifle investment and increase U.S. dependence on foreign oil.”

Free Market

Commentary: James Womack of the Lean Enterprise Institute chalks up Detroit’s woes to labor unions and pension arrangements, which haven’t responded to the market, and urges the Big Three automakers to learn from Toyota.

Research: Cato’s Doug Bandow examines how the Medicare drug benefit could lead to price controls on medicine, and with it, starving pharmaceutical companies of funding for research and development.

Property Rights

Commentary: Heritage's Ronald Utt argues the President and Congress have been too slow in curtailing abuse of eminent domain.

Commentary: Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn asks “Whatever Happened to the Ownership Society?” in the November issue of Imprimis.

School Vouchers/Education

News: “The growth of school choice in Milwaukee has led to more than $118 million in spending on new and remodeled schools in Milwaukee” reports Mike Ford for the Heartland Institute’s School Reform News.

Upcoming Events

Tell us about events coming up in your area!

Controlling the Growth of Government: It Is Simple, Just Not Easy
Sponsored by The Federalist Society
Arizona Biltmore Resort
Dec. 9, 9:00 a.m.

Does Supplemental Security Income Enduringly Reduce Child Poverty?
American Enterprise Institute

Dec. 12, 2:00 p.m.

Economic Development without Political Liberalization
American Enterprise Institute

Dec. 14, 9:00 a.m.

Join Us in Telling 50 Million Americans Every Week About Liberal Media Bias!

Editorial Staff
Dan Gainor, Free Market Project Director
Amy Menefee, Balance Sheet Editor
Charles Simpson, Research Analyst
Ken Shepherd, Staff Writer

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