Tuesday, January 02, 2007


In today's news we here about the efforts of self-appointed good government groups to get Governor Spitzer to adopt a wide range of government ethics reforms. NYPIRG, a self-styled public interest group, goes beyond this ambitious agenda to include 50 separate "Good Government" suggestions for the new chief executive.

One of these initiatives is for the governor to include the "revenue" from the "Bigger, Better Bottle Bill" in his first budget message. Now the Alliance has opposed the expansion of the bottle law because of its impact on New York City's food retailers. What we'd like to see is the governor adopt an amended bottle law that, while expanding the number of containers included under the law, would look to remove the returned containers from food stores into free standing redemption centers.

All of which falls on deaf ears with the good government folks at NYPIRG who have never, to our knowledge, promoted any pro-business policy (except perhaps by coincidence) in the thirty years that we have been following their activities. Just ask yourself, how does a group call itself a public interest group (in a country whose abundance and democratic freedoms derive precisely from its free market economic system) when it almost never supports pro-business policies?

This is especially glaring when we consider just how the tax and regulatory burdens in New York State makes it difficult for firms to do business here. Nowhere do we see that NYPIRG ever understands these kinds of issues. Hey Blair Horner (and Rachel Leon), how about a tax cut? What about regulatory reform? Support for entrepreneurism? None of these things is ever in the vocabulary of the self-appointed guardians of the public interest.

What we have from these groups is an unreflected liberalism- with a thinly disguised hostility to the economic principles that make America uniquely prosperous. Any business (even those that may employ thousands of New Yorkers), is pejoratively labeled a "special interest," and is de-legitimized in this jaundiced worldview.