My old friend Tim Lee acts as a kind of hyper-wonky Crypt Keeper for two harrowing short tales of private interests capturing state power. At his home base of the Show-Me Institute, he reports on a paradigm case of eminent domain abuse: A Saint Louis lessee who decided he'd rather be an owner has sicced a pliant city government on the proprietors of the land his building stands on; if they won't meet his price, he'll just have it seized and turned over to him for "redevelopment." Meanwhile, over at The New York Times op-ed page, Tim notes that the proud tradition of common carrier regulation that advocates of net neutrality keep alluding to wasn't always a shining model. The Internet may not be a dumptruck, but regulation of the trucks that traveled our non-information, non-super highways became so thoroughly coopted that a report by a Ralph Nader study group dubbed the Interstate Commerce Commission "a forum at which transportation interests divide up the national transportation market." Both are worth a read.
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