“Letter to a Liberal Friend”

Great.

One of the classmates I contacted this year is a Washington tort lawyer. He told me how he recently represented an entrepreneur who got a permit from the Department of Interior to develop a coal mine in Tennessee, spent $3 million developing infrastructure, and was then told by the bureaucrats that they had changed their mind — the mine was too close to a national forest.

“I won a $300 million settlement before a federal administrative judge, working on contingency,” he said. “But when it went up to the appeals level, the three-judge panel threw it out. They said the government can do anything it wants. It makes me sick.”

“Isn’t that the sort of thing the Tea Party is complaining about?” I asked.

“Tea Party!” He was astounded. “You’re not one of those Tea Party people, are you? They’re all crazy.”

Craig Newmark

Associate Professor of Economics, North Carolina State Univ.

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