Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Intellectual Activism: A call for nominations

I had a vision yesterday: it's awards season and the Center needs to do its share to honor the deserving. We're a small group though and we need to give credit in a way that stands out from the rest. Accordingly, I propose three new awards and ask for your help in finding worthy candidates.

Award #1: The Tonya Harding Award for Achievement in the Advance of Antitrust. The "Tonya" should identify that special someone, perhaps a lawyer, politician, academic, or looting businessman who though their actions last year have busted up some knees in the name of "protecting competition." Had this tribute been around a few years back, US District Court Federal Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson of Microsoft fame or Timothy Murris of the FTC would most certainly been nominees.

Award #2: The Hypocritical Capitalist Award for Making a Lot of Money While Undermining the System that Made it All Possible. The "Hippy-Capitalist" should bring attention to the businessman or woman who does the most to undercut (or perhaps misdirect) the moral case for capitalism, yet makes a pile of money for themselves regardless. For this honor, its going to be hard to beat Microsoft's Bill Gates, who along with his wife Melinda, have given millions of dollars in handouts to relieve African poverty while simultaneously ignoring the fact that Africa's woes are caused by dictatorship, tribalism and the absence of the rule of law. There are other businessmen and women out there who are at least deserving of Honorable Mentions, and I ask your help in finding them.

Award #3: The Looting Politician Award for Unprecedented Generosity with Other People's Money. Lastly, the "Lootie" should honor the political leader whose leadership has been crucial to out-of-control government spending and outrageous government spending. Ex-majority whip Tom Delay is a strong contender for arguing that there was absolutely no fat in the federal budget, as well Alaska Senator Ted Stevens of the "Bridge to Nowhere" fame.

I ask for ROR visitors to help me with this project by finding the most worthy candidates. Together, I think we could have a lot of fun with this. Nominations will close January 29th.

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