Jonathan Wilson is an
Atlanta attorney with more than 19 years of experience guiding growing private and public companies. He currently serves
as the outside general counsel of several companies and is the former general counsel of Web.com.com (NASDAQ: WWWW) and EasyLink
Services (NASDAQ: ESIC). He is also the founding chair of the Renewable Energy Committee of the American Bar Association's
Public Utility Section.
Monday, July 28, 2008
How Would You Spend $10 Billion?
1:43 pm edt
Bjorn Lomborg outlines
the role that choice plays when making policy decisions in today's WSJ.
As I've argued before
, debating policy responses to climate change is a fool's errand unless it is put in the context of comparing costs against
other potential expenditures.
If you want to pass a law that cuts emissions by N%, that's fine, but
be prepared to count the cost of implementing that change and compare it to the economic benefits that should result.
You should also count the opportunity cost of the benefits you forgo by spending $N on cutting emissions insteading of spending
that same amount on some other project, like immunizing children, improving education, etc.
project seems to compare the cost of emission reductions against the cost of other projects inwhich nations give away benefits
to less developed countries (like immunization, infrastructure improvements and the like). But if the quickest way to
prosperity, democracy and general well-being is economic development, why not put money towards that end?
would challenge Lomborg's project to develop a model to contrast against any alternative policy an expenditure of $10
billion spent against economic development in Africa and some other developing regions.
Lomborg often proposes
disease prevention as a superior use of funds that emissions controls, and I would tend to agree. But is disease prevention
really the "best" use of funds? Disease prevention might save lives in the short run, but it wouldn't
contribute much to the longer-term problem of economic development. Wouldn't economic development (creating the
legal and physical infrastructure that allows capital to develop and industries to grow) create more human benefits in the
Friday, July 25, 2008
Obama in the Promised Land
7:43 am edt
Gerard Baker skewers
And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger
(The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a
Child appeared in the wilderness.
The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring
of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in
the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.
When he was twelve
years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the
Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily,
who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”
Monday, July 7, 2008
Obama's Line in the Sand
12:16 pm edt
After the candidate's surrogates fell all over themselves last week to declare that Obama "was not wedded" to
an Iraq pullout timetable, E.J. Dionne draws a line in the sand
for the candidate, warning him not to flip on his Iraq position.
At this point, though, the candidate is stuck
in a dilemma. Either he "ignores the evidence on the ground" and sticks with his original position (all troops
out in 18 months) or he flips his original position and essentially adopts the same position as McCain (we get out when Iraq
is stable and perhaps maintain a longer term presence).
The real question is whether the Netroots lefties
will punish Obama when he inevitably makes the choice that he must make if he is going to campaign in the way that he would
Saturday, July 5, 2008
NY Times Scolds Obama Over Flip-Flops
7:44 am edt
The Grey Lady, a bastion of uncritical liberal opinion, has taken the presumptive Democratic nominee to task for his recent multiple flip-flops. The piece ends with this warning:
"We are not shocked when a candidate moves to the center for the
general election. But Mr. Obama’s shifts are striking because he was the candidate who proposed to change the face of
politics, the man of passionate convictions who did not play old political games.
There are still vital differences
between Mr. Obama and Senator John McCain on issues like the war in Iraq, taxes, health care and Supreme Court nominations.
We don’t want any “redefining” on these big questions. This country needs change it can believe in."
A change in his philosophy on Supreme Court nominations is too much to hope for, but a change in policy on Iraq
is inevitable as Charles Krauthammer writes and as this column noted.
Where will the NYT go when Obama's Iraq flip is complete? How far will anger over that change
go in eroding the intensity of Obama's support within his base?
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Obama "Not Wedded" to Iraq Withdrawal Timetable
5:17 pm edt
After spending the last two years berating President Bush and his Democratic competitors for not having a timetable for withdrawing
troops, presumptive nominee Barack Obama's top advisors are now saying that he is "not wedded" to any particular
timetable for withdrawing from Iraq according to a report
from the Politico.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
RI Supremes say "No" to Lead Paint Nuisance Theory
1:59 pm edt
PointofLaw has coverage
, and today's WSJ has an editorial
on the case and favorably comments on the loser-pays rule.
Phone: 404-353-4833 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan B. Wilson is an Atlanta attorney at the law firm of Taylor English Duma LLP. Jonathan B. Wilson
provides legal advice to investors, companies and business executives involving corporate law, securities law, SEC matters,
intellectual property, website and Internet legal issues, start-ups, limited liability companies, partnerships, 1934 Act matters,
outsourcing, strategic alliance agreements, contracts, and other matters of importance to growing private and publicly-traded