Reason Alert: Gen. Petraeus, iPhone Whiners

  • Gen. Petraeus Didn't Mention Democracy in Iraq
  • Managed Competition Can Save San Diego $80-$200 Million a Year
  • iPhone Whiners
  • Recent Reason Policy Studies
  • New at and

Petraeus Didn't Mention Democracy in Iraq
Reason's Michael Young, opinion editor of the Daily Star in Beirut, writes, "The Bush administration has abandoned the democratization goal, showing perhaps that it never seriously cared about it in the first place. But that shouldn't undermine a deeper truth. The only grand project that can ever really work in the Middle East is democratization, because only democracy won't leave behind bitter losers. But the Arab world may yet be a long way away from that enlightened step, despite what the optimists—present company included—believe. That Petraeus never mentioned democracy shows that he's integrating into the region."
» Steve Chapman: More False Optimism on Iraq
» Radley Balko: Bin Laden Still Free, US Mired in Iraq
» Jacob Sullum: No Exit Strategy

Managed Competition Can Save San Diego $80-$200 Million a Year
San Diego taxpayers could save $80 to $200 million per year by allowing the private sector to compete with government agencies to do things like clean city buildings, perform maintenance on government vehicles, and run golf courses, according to a new study by the Reason Foundation and San Diego Institute for Policy Research. With San Diego facing a nearly $400 million cumulative budget deficit by 2012, the study identifies 11 areas of city government that are ripe for managed competition.

iPhone Whiners
Apple slashed iPhone prices and was greeted with outrage. Reason magazine's Katherine Mangu-Ward writes, "Apple was trafficking in very basic economics. The practice of offering different sets of buyers different prices is called price discrimination, and all the cool kids are doing it. And some, like Apple, have taken a lot of flack for it...Sure, it's good economics-even if it's bad PR, Apple did manage to sell one million iPhones in 74 days-but is it fair? Is it just? To find out, we need look no farther than the question posed by rubber bracelets everywhere: WWJD? Not What Would Jobs Do?, of course, since we already know: he'd give in to the whiners and offer $100 credits good for Apple products in the future. The parable of the workers in the vineyard is the Bible's final word on this point, and takes a much harder line than Steve Jobs. Jesus tells the story of a group of workers looking for employment. A few are hired in the morning for one denarius. As the day drags on, more and more workers were hired, with the last batch brought to the field only at the eleventh hour. Then it comes time to cash out: The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.' 'But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money?' As one writer put it: 'if you're still upset about ‘paying too much' for your iPhone, take it up with the man upstairs.'"

Recent Reason Policy Studies
» How Many Jobs Require a License In Your State?
» State-by-State Rankings in Annual Highway Performance Report
» Rudy Giuliani and Jeb Bush on Gov't Reform for Reason's Innovators In Action
» Annual Privatization Report

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