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WARNING: This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
    There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
    Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.


Smoking-Gun docs.


Cash-for-comment economists' network
General TI networks
James E Long
George Berman
James Savarese
Ctr.Study Pub.Choice
James Buchanan
Robert Tollison
Anna Tollison
Richard Wagner
James C Miller III
Carol M Robert
Elizabeth A Masaitis
Committee on Tax & Economic Growth
Harold Hochman
Fred McChesney
Thomas Borcherding
Delores T Martin
Dennis Dyer
George Minshew
Fred Panzer
Susan Stuntz
Peter Sparber
Carol Hrycaj
Debra Schoonmaker
Jeff Ross
Cal George
William Prendergast
Bill Orzechowski

Dominick Armentano
Burton A Abrams
Lee Alston
Ryan C Amacher
Gary Anderson
Lee Anderson
William Anderson
Terry Anderson
Scott E Atkinson
Roger Arnold
Richard W Ault
Michael Babcock
Joe A Bell
Bruce L Benson
Jean J Boddewyn
Peter Boettke
Thomas Borcherding
William J Boyes
Charles Breeden
Lawrence Brunner
Henry N Butler
Bill Bryan
Cecil Bohanon
John H Bowman
Dennis L Chinn
Morris Coates
Roger Congleton
Jeffrey R Clark
Michael Crew
Allan Dalton
John David
Michael Davis
Arthur T Denzau
Clifford Dobitz
John Dobra
Robert Ebel
Randall Eberts
Robert B Ekelund
Roger L Faith
David Fand
Susan Feigenbaum
Clifford Fry
Lowell Gallaway
Celeste Gaspari
David ER Gay
Kenneth V Greene
Kevin B Grier
Brian Goff
James D Gwartney
Sherman Hanna
Anne Harper-Fender
Kathy Hayes
Dennis Hein
James Heins
Robert Higgs
Richard Higgins
F Steb Hipple
Harold M Hochman
George E Hoffer
John Howe
Randall G Holcombe
William Hunter
Stephen Huxley
John D Jackson
Joseph M Jadlow
Cecil Johnson
Samson Kimenyi
David Klingaman
Roger Kormendi
Michael Kurth
David Laband
Sumner La Croix
Dwight R Lee
Dennis Logue
James E Long
C. Matt Lindsay
Donald P Lyden
Craig MacPhee
Mike Maloney
Dolores Martin
Chuck Mason
Charles Maurice
Fred McChesney
James E McClure
Robert McCormick
William McEachern
Richard McKenzie
Robert McMahon
Arthur Mead
Paul L Menchik
John F Militello
William C Mitchell
Greg Neihaus
James A Papke
Allen Parkman
Mark Pauly
William Peterson
Harlan Platt
Michael D Pratt
Thomas Pogue
Barry W Poulson
Edward Price
Robert Pulsinelli
Raymond Raab
Roger Riefler
Terry Ridgeway
Mario Rizzo
Morgan Reynolds
Simon Rottenberg
Randy Rucker
Richard Saba
Todd Sandler
David Saurman
Mark Schmitz
Robert Sexton
Gordon O Shuford
William Shughart
Robert J Staaf
Thomas Stimson
Wendell Sweetser
Mark Thornton
Robert Tollison
Mark Toma
David G Tuerck
Gordon Tullock
Richard Vedder
Bruce Vermeullen
Richard Wagner
J Keith Watson
Burton Weisbrod
Walter E Williams
Daniel ('Dan') Williamson
Paul W Wilson
Thomas Wyrick
Bruce Yandle
Boon Yoon
Richard O Zerbe
Benjamin Zycher




Bruce Yandle     [ Prof Jr.]    

— Another cash-for-comments academic economist from Ryan Armacher's stable at Clemson University who also worked through the American Enterprise Institute. —  

A right-wing libertarian economist from Clemson University and the American Enterprise Institute who worked for the tobacco industry for a few years, but never produced much of value.

As far back as 1979, Bruce Yandle was well known by the tobacco industry as a compliant economist who would produce the right sort of material to counter any threats of increased cigarette taxes if required. He appears to have worked for the chemical industry for some time.

Yandle doesn't figure in the tobacco documents excessively in the 1970s. However Ogilvy & Mather PR (mainly Jim Savarese),working for the Tobacco Institute, began to use Robert Tollison and his associates in the Public Choice Society in various ways. Savarese and Tollison began building a network of academic economists willing to work for the tobacco industry and Yandle became an early member of this network.

The Tobacco Institute's network contractors (essentially Tollison and Savarese) kept a registry of those academics willing and available to write articles or letters on demand, provide witness services at legislative or local ordinance hearings, etc. or give lectures to various influential bodies — or have one-to-one meetings with legislators.

They were not to divulge the industry connections, and they were never required to make any outright statement in support of smoking. In fact, the complete opposite was the case ... those who could maintain proudly that they were non-smokers were seen to be more sensible, and to have more credibility with gullible readers who thought that political influence involved brass-bands and flag waving zealots.

Small-town America did not trust Washington politicians or ivory-tower gurus, but they did often accept pronounciations by their own local academics. So writing economic and political op-ed pieces and letters to the editor were the easiest way for these academics to earn some quick cash without sticking their neck out enough to be noticed. In their articles they attacked the principle of cigarette taxes, not the taxes themselves. They also attacked the idea of the FDA extending its mandate to supervise nicotine as a drug, rather than question whether nicotine was addictive.

However, since Clemson University had a number of network members looking after the local newspapers in South Carolina, Yandle was never given the franchise of his own state [most network economists had their own state to focus on]. He worked more erratically for the network, mainly serving the tobacco industry through paid speaking engagements at economists conferences, and writing chapters for tobacco-funded books.

Payments were laundered through a couple of channels linked to the George Mason University's Center for the Study of Public Choice and its director Robert Tollison, and also through a James Savarese & Associates (and probably some tobacco lawfirms).

The scam ran very successfully for a couple of decades. It was considered influential enough for the Tobacco Institute to continue its funding when other projects suffered budget cuts. Savarese created networks of academic lawyers, air-quality experts, advertising lecturers, in addition to this group of about 100 economists. As a result of these corruption networks, many hundreds of op-ed articles appeared in many dozens of influential newspapers across America.

For more background information on how Savarese, Tollison and the Tobacco Institute operated these networks, see:

Some key documents

• Professor of Economics, Clemson University.
    Yandle worked closely with other cash-for-comments economists from Clemson University, particularly Richard B McKenzie.

Bruce Yandle was a core member of the Public Choice Society group and he had the required right-wing libertarian credentials through his associations with the

  • American Enterprise Institute
  • Cato Institute
  • Center for the Study of American Business (Uni of Washington, St Louis).
  • The Wise Use movement,
  • Regulation magazine, etc.
  • Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)
  • Independent Institute
  • Hoover Institution.

1978: Bruce Yandle and Arnold Hite (both economists from Clemson University) publish a report "Market Share Stability in the Cigarette Industry" They acknowledge the help of Brown & Williamson, the Ligget Group and the Tobaco Mercants Association.

1979: [Written on 1980 December 23] Richard Wagner and Robert Tollison, writing on Consumer Protection, Public Policy and Cost-benefit Analysis, mention a book edited by Yandle and his comrade James Miller III. They are both later members of the economists network.

Benefit-Cost Analyses of Social Regulation: Case Studies from the Council on Wage and Price Stability, ed. by James C. Miller III and Bruce Yandle (Washington: American Enterprise Institute, 1979)

    A memo to Sam Chilcote at the Tobacco Institute quotes from their book [in April 13 1982]. The quote is to counter...
... the criticism most likely to be encountered in advocating a cost-benefit analysis on a health-related issue is that one cannot place a dollar value on suffering or illness.

    The tobacco industry, the argument will state, is only interested in profits, to the detriment of the public health.

1979 Feb 16: Fred Panzer at the Tobacco Institute to State Affairs Director Jack Mills on the subject of Excise Tax Legislation.

Basically what I have done is to position us to produce arguments and potential witnesses in case of hearings. Ihe following is a rundown of the steps I have taken so far:
  • Arranged for tobacco lawyers Covington & Burling (C&B) to prepare an analytical paper
  • Used C&B as a front to commission the Wharton School [Uni of Penn] to prepare tables on taxes
  • Prepare a list of questions for a member of the Ways & Means Committee in order to get them to ask for analysis by the Congressional Research Service [they had 'friends' in the CRS]
  • Canvassed the field of economic experts with the US Chamber [of Commerce] and the American Enterprise Institute. The following are possible consultants:
    • Norman B. Ture Inc., [used extensively by the tobacco industry.]
    • Arthur Anderson Inc. [Embroiled in Enron scandal]
    • Prof. Charles Meiberg (U. of Va.) [No sign of him in archives],
    • Prof. Bruce Yandle (Clemson U.)
    • Dr Rudolph Penner, American Enterprise Institute.[The AEI provided commissioned services for tobacco]

    In a Confidential report at this time Jack Mills explained to the Institute's Board of Directors [re Federal taxes]
We oppose any increases of any variety for any reason under any circumstances.

    To bolster this, we are contacting economists and experts in tax policy in order to prepare a strong position paper. (We have talked to nine so far, and have interest from three — Norman Ture, Bruce Yandle of Clemson, and Rudolph Penner of AEI. We have two more to contact).

1981 July: Regulation Magazine [Then part of the American Enterprise Institute] carries an article by Yandle attacking the FTC over its strict regulation of advertising. In this file the article is included as an example of clever public relations techniques [see the other material attached]

    Another article here [From National Journal] is "Did Hill & Knowlton put one over on Us?"

1983 May: Regulation magazine (AEI) carries an article by Bruce Yandle, "Bootleggers and Baptists — The Education of a Regulatory Economist." It promotes the line that Puritans like the Baptists can introduce draconian restrictions like alcohol prohibition... but the consequence is the Chicago crime families fostered by bootlegging.

    This was a message that the tobacco industry was promoting at that time as a counter to threats to curtail public and workplace smoking — so it is likely that this article was funded by the tobacco industry in some way. It is taken up and used by later cash-for-comment economists.

1984 Apr 26-27: Proceedings of a Conference on "Consumer Protection Economics" sponsored by the FTC's Bureau of Economics. [Note Ryan Amacher of Clemson had just left the FTC]

    This document contains a study by Richard S Higgins (then FTC) and Fred S McChensey (then Emory University) "An Economic Analysis of the FTC's Ad Substatiation Program" which is an attack on the new principle that advertisers had to be able to prove that their claims were true — as against the FTC being required to prove that they were false. Cigarette filters and health claims were one of the FTC's main focusses at this time.

    The article carries the footnote

* The views expressed here are the authors'. They doubtless do not reflect the views of some Commissioners, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission itself.

    We received helpful comments on earlier drafts from Ronald Bond, Gerard Butters, David Haddock, Cotton Lindsay, Robert Mackay, Michael Maloney, the late Steven Marston, Robert McCormick, William Shughart, Robert Tollison and Bruce Yandle
[The two authors, Ryan Amacher and the six [bold] commentators were all tobacco network academics.]

1984 Apr 30: This 109 page DRAFT Tobacco Institute "Cigarette Excise Tax Plan" which was aimed at the Reagan Administration They had an immediate requirement of

  • One public finance economist for 10 days @ $1,000, [Total $ 10,000 ] including meetings with coalition members and/or the Governor's staff; research and preparation; and testimony.
  • One economist for a union workshop on the tax issue, [Total $5,000] including 3 or 4 training sessions over the course of a convention.
  • Six economists @ $5,000 and one senior economist 53,000 @ $20,000 for a tax symposium, including publishing of the proceedings at $3,000. [Total $53,000] The senior economist would play an oversight/organizational role and would be responsible for editing the proceedings. Such a symposium would be staged for regional or national impact.
  • One economist provided to a public employee union to do original research on the need for adequate services to be funded by broad-based taxes; this would include the final report and testimony. [Total $ 25,000]
It has draft copy and designs for a couple of different booklets aimed at different states, and at labor/union and racial groups.
    It also identifies the targetted Congress Committeemen and state Assembleymen most likely to be influenced, and adds an appendix which lists economists who can be enlisted to help.
Potential Economic Consultants
    Following is a list of economists in key states who might assist us as consultants. We have begun contacting them to ensure their willingness and expertise. We are asking each about past experience; work with similar issues; previous work with the indusry; published articles or research; and speaking availability.

    As discussed in the body of this program, our intent is to have a group of individuals who we can call upon regularly to testify, conduct special research projects, and discuss their research and/or views on excise taxes with the media.
  • California, Thomas Borsherding, Claremont College
  • Connecticut, William McEachern, University of Washington
  • Florida, Richard Wagner, Florida State University
  • Georgia, Fred McChesney, Emory University Law School
  • Illinois, James Heins, University of Illinois
  • Massachusetts, Harlan Platt, Northeastern University
  • Minnesota, Thomas Stimson, University of Minnesota (St. Paul Campus)
  • New York, Harold Hochman, City University of New York
  • Ohio, David Klingaman, Ohio University
  • Pennsylvania, Mark Pauly, University of Pennsylvania
  • Texas, Charles Maurice, Texas A&M University
  • Washington, Yoram Barazel, University of Washington
  • Washington, D.C. Robert D. Tollison, George Mason University
  • Wisconsin, Burton Weisbrod, University of Wisconsin

    Tollison is the most influential and prestigious on this list; he would be hired to consult on federal tax situations and to oversee efforts of the others throughout the country.

See last page
Yoram Barazel is the only name on this list who appears to have resisted the Institute's overtures.

1985–86: The Center for Policy Studies at Clemson University appeared to be publishing studies by the cash-for-comments economists, McKenzie, Shughart, Tollison, Kimenyi, Yandle, Matt Lindsay, Maloney, McChesney, Staaf. Laband — and others not apparently in the network.

1986: Public Choice. "Regulating the Function, Not the Industry," by Bruce Yandle and Elizabeth Young

1988 June: /E Excise Tax Letter-Writing Fact Sheet. This is a list of points that the Tobacco Institute wanted the economists to include in their op-ed articles.

  • Excise taxes are regressive
  • Excise taxes are fundamentally inequitable
  • Excise taxes are an unfair burden on minorities
  • Government data demonstrates the unfairness of excise taxes.
  • Excise taxes are arbitrary
  • Excise taxes are hidden taxes
  • Excise taxes are an unfair burden on businesses
  • Excise taxes are bad economic policy
  • Excise taxes are historically controversial.
This was followed by
  • pages of data so that the economists got their facts right,
  • a series of quotes that could be incorporated into the article.
  • pages of State-by-State data including the number of jobs that the Tobacco Institute estimated would be lost by higher cigarette excises
  • lost revenues for each State, due, it was claimed, to cross-state bootlegging and smuggling.
  • a list of Congressmen to be contacted in every region.
  • Tollison's C/V

1988 July 27: Richard Wagner, writing on the letterhead of the Center for Study of Public Choice at George Mason University, writes to James Savarese [as surrogate for the Tobacco Institute] outlining a book editing project being mounted by himself and Robert Tollison.

    The tobacco industry is fighting to block the 'ear-marking' of cigarette excise taxes for Federal health programs. .

Bob and I both think we have an excellent chance of getting [libertarian journalist Henri] Lepage, as well as having a strong chance of getting [Nobel Prize-winner James] Buchanan.

    You may not know of Lepage. He is a prominent French journalist-economist, who several years ago had an international best seller that was translated into English as Tomorrow, Capitalism. Lepage is presently conducting a major research project into pricing in French utilities, and finds that the actual conduct of French utflities bears no relation to the normative economics of user-charging [actually a gross overstatement], but bears a strong relationship to the theory of public choice.

    I think you will agree that we have the makings of a strong and interesting book on user-charges and tax earmarking, one that will challenge very strongly the halo that seems to surround these terms in ordinary discourse about tax policy.
All of those involved [apart from LePage] were cash-for-comment economists.
Chapter 3"User Charges, Rent Seeking, and Public Choice," by Bruce Yandle, alumni Professor of Economics, CIemson University.
This chapter shows how government employs user fees and corrective taxes to change the behavior of consumers and producers." The author says user charges are "the antithesis of capitalism." He also explains the economics behind pollution control user fees.

The Tobacco Institute's Tax Hearing Readiness Plan in the following year had a note saying:
Several new excise tax-related studies are underway and will be completed by spring 1989. In addition, an update of the Chase economic impact study has been commissioned.

    Due by mid-year is a book examining earmarking and "user fees" from a public choice perspective. The treatise will contain 8-10 chapters written by respected economists, including, Henri LePage and Nobel laureate James Buchanan.

    Preliminary research has been conducted assessing public attitudes toward excise taxes.

    Specialist PR firm Fleishman-Hilliard were then contracted to promote this book and its authors around the various states in the USA.


1988 Oct: 6-9 Dwight Lee sends the Tobacco Institute a formal report on the Atlantic Economic Association meeting "User Charges from a Public Choice Perspective" in Philadelphia which has a fair number of the tobacco industry network economists as speakers:

  • Dwight Lee, Uni of Georgia
  • Richard Wagner, George Mason University
  • Bruce Yandle, Clemson University
  • Henry N Butler, George Mason Uni Law School
  • Robert Staaf, Clemson University
[Note that there are two speakers from Clemson. This university seems to have been a stud-farm which bred tame network economists as a revenue source. There are a number of reports from this meeting in the archives, with about half stored in the files labled "Consultants - James Savarese Tax Economists."]

    See the full speech by Yandle as copied to the Tobacco Institute.
It is titled "A Public Choice Interpretation of Environmental User Charges and Superfund."
[To his credit he does mention (as an afterthought) that the Tobacco Institute 'supported the research'. However he doesn't say that they funded the whole operation, including paying him to speak.]

1988 Nov 28: Debbie Schoonmaker at the Tobacco Institute writes to Savarese about Social Cost Research Papers.

Enclosed are drafts of the Wagner and Ekelund social cost papers.
Each has been reviewed and will not need further clearance provided the recommended changes are incorporated into the final versions of the papers.

    The legal comments are fairly straight-forward. If you or the authors need an explanation or wish to discuss further, please call.

    You'll also see that I've enclosed a copy of the California Health Department's "social cost" study. We can discuss this example in our "SWAT team" meeting.
She also attaches three lists of cash-for-comments speakers who have been selected to talk at various meetings of local economic associations they wish to influence.
[See earlier list]:
  • Atlantic Economic Assn., Philadelphia, Oct 6-9 , meeting on User Charges: has
    • Dwight Lee Chairman + paper, "Some Bureacratic Implications
    • Richard Wagner "User Charges: Principles and Practice"
    • Bruce Yandle, "User Charges: Evaluation and Critique.
    • Discussant: Robert Staaf.

  • Western Economic Association, Los Angeles, June 30 — July 3 meeting on Tax Earmarking and User Charges.
    • Dwight R. Lee, "The Political Economy of Tax Earmarking"
    • Richard Wagner, "The Fiscal Politics of Tax Earmarking"
    • Paul Wilson,"User Charges and the Problem of Externalities"
    • Discussants: Thomas Borcherding and Benjamin Zycher

  • Southern Economic Association, San Antonio, Nov 20-22 on Excise Taxation
    • Robert Ekelund, Chairman:
    • Dwight R. Lee, "Political Economy of Corrective Taxation"
    • Randall Holcombe, Auburn University. "Excise Taxes in Theory and Practice"
    • Richard E. Wagner, "The Fiscal Politics of Excise Taxation"
    • Discussants: Joseph Jadlow, and Henry Butler,

    In May 89 the Tobacco Institute report on the issue of Excise Taxes says that they were $50,000 over-budget because of unplanned payments to economist for presentation at the Southwest Social Science Association meeting.

1989 Jan: (Winter) Cato Journal "Taxation, Political Action, and Superfund." by Bruce Yandle

1989 Jan 11: Carol Hrycaj at the Tobacco Institute writes to Debby Schoonmaker on the "Promotion of Economic Conference Papers."

Of the six papers presented during those sessions, only two that were discussed at the Western meeting may be suitable for public consumption: Lee's paper, "The Economics and Politics of Tax Earmarking;'1 and Wagner's paper, "Fiscal Norms, Fiscal Practice and Tax Earmarking."

    Paul W. Wilson, Thomas E. Brocherding and Bruce Yandle also submitted papers; their relationship with our consultants is unclear. Regardless, the Wilson, Brocherding and Yandle papers are technical treatments of the subject matter and would be difficult to repackage for the general public.

[Remember that Tollison and Savarese organised these economists, keeping them at a distance from the Tobacco Institute staff.]

1989 Mar 17-19: The Annual Meeting of the Public Choice Society together with the Economic Science Assocition. These are Hayek-oriented neo-con economists of the kind which gave us the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-9. The speakers list mentions many active members of the economists network: — some of whom spoke more than once. (William Hunter in particular.) It is clear that this society was a profitable recruiting ground for Tollison and Savarese.

    The large group of speakers were connected with Tollison's Center for the Study of Public Choice at George Mason University, and Tollison's group completely dominated the conference session on Public Health.

    This document contains a list of the Public Choice Society participants, who were also members of the economist's network.

Both Network and Public Choice Society members
  • Robert Tollison
  • Richard Wagner
  • David ER Gay
  • Dwight Lee
  • Morris Coats
  • Robert Higgs
  • Mark Toma
  • William C Mitchell
  • Burton Abrams
  • Cecil E Bohanon
  • Charles Breeden
  • William J Hunter
  • Bruce Benson
  • Burton Weisbrod
  • Bruce Yandle
  • Roger L Faith
  • Roger Congleton
  • James Buchanan
  • George Tullock
  • Gary Anderson
  • Peter J Boettke
  • Jeffrey R Clark
  • Robert J Staaf

1989 May 31: Debbie Shoonmaker recommends funding of Tollison & Wagner's "Earmarking Book Proposal" with a chapter by Yandle.

1989 June: The Tobacco Institute's Public Affairs progress report says:

  • Professor Bruce Yandle's review of Smoking and the State was published in the latest edition of the Public Choice Journal.
  • Next Month's Goals: Travel to Texas with Dick Wagner for Smoking and the State media tour
[The review, the book and the promotional media tour were all commissioned by the Tobacco Institute]

1989 July 27: An article, "Economists Criticise Notion of "Social Cost" in the Evening Post, Charleston SC. It has been written by Claire Pooser as interview with Robert Tollison during his visit to Charleston SC. It also offers a review of the Tollison/Wagner book "Smoking and the State" by Bruce Yandle.

[Yandle praises the fact that Tollison and Wagner have "acknowledged support of the Tobacco Institute in the Preface."

    But nowhere in his own review does Yandle "acknowledge support of the Tobacco Institute" in paying him $3,000 to write and plant this review on the Evening Post. Nor does he mention that Tollison is, in fact, his immediate employer, and that Anna Tollison send him his checks. In this, he reaches the height of human hypocrisy.]

1989 Dec: /E The Annual Report of the Center for Study of Public Choice at George Mason University boasts that:

Professor Wagner is editing a book on the benefit principle of public finance. In particular, these days numerous proposals for user charges and earmarked taxes are being justified not as taxes but as means of charging beneficiaries directly for the services they receive from government.

    This book will explore from several angles the discrepancy between justification and reality concerning proposals for user charges and earmarked taxes, and will indude contributions by Gary Anderson, Dwight Lee, Henri Lepage, Fred McChesney, and Bruce Yandle, as well as contributions by Professors Buchanan, Tollison, and Wagner.

Roger Congleton continued work on the politics of public finance. Two papers (one with William F. Shughart II of the University of Mississippi and one with William Hunter of Marquette University) assess the relative merits of median voter and special interest group models of the politics of Social Security benefit levels (forthcoming in Economic Inquiry) and state highway construction.

[Every economist named here was then in the employ of the tobacco industry. However they were probably also working for other industries willing to pay for their propaganda services.]

1990 Jan 23: Robert Tollison sends Martin Gleason at TI the

"Preface and first five chapters of the book + the 'third of the four billings for this project" = $36,250
(The Total must have been $145,000)

This bundle consists of the contributions from Richard E Wagner, Gary M Anderson, Bruce Yandle, Dwight R Lee, Henri LePage, Mwangi S Kimenyi, James M Buchanan and comments from Michael T Buckley a tobacco lawyer with Covington & Burling. Of Bruce Yandle's contribution it says
Chapter 3, by Bruce Yandle, illustrates the potential disparity between common justifications for user charges and the actual practice, with particular attention give to environmental protection under the American "Superfund" program.

Chapter 4, by Dwight Lee, examines how the actual operation of government bureaus is influences by user charges, and builds upon some the issues treated by Yandle in the process.

    The main aim of this exercise was to discredit the idea that cigarette taxes were a version of 'user-fees' which are additional charges made by governments by those who use a product or service (like road maintenance fee for truckers). They wanted to rebrand them, as a 'sin tax' — and then use the "prohibition leads to crime" argument.

    Yandle made his comparison with the Superfund pollution tax, slated for cleaning up toxic waste dumps.

[The book was finally published simultaneously in the USA and Canada, with the title "Charging for Government: User charges and earmarked taxes in principle and practice."]

1990 Apr: /E Tollison and Savarese have sent the Tobacco Institute a proposal to run special tobacco-oriented sessions at various regional conferences of economists.

    They plan to run one for the Western Economic meeting in San Diego (June 30) on "Smoking and Public Policy", and another at the Atlantic Economic Society conference (October) on "User Fees" [The then current Tobacco Institute obsession]

    They will use six or seven cash-for-comments economists from a pool consisting of: Robert Tollison, Richard Wagner, Dwight Lee, Fred McChesney, Bruce Yandle, Kevin Grier (George Mason University) Gary Anderson, Dan Williamson (Cal Poly San Luis), and Benjamin Zycher (The Rand Corporation) [Plus a couple of other listed in a later document].
[Notes on the letter from Martin Gleason, Carol Hryjak and Susan Stuntz show that they think this is a good idea — "an opportunity for promotion". Carol Hryjak is given the go ahead and Ogilvy & Mather is to be advised to promote. James Savarese is asked to do further development work on groups like this.]

1990 Oct 14: The Tobacco Institute has funded network economists to make presentations at the Atlantic Economic Association. Yandle's task was to act as a Discussant, to add credibility to the papers presented by Dwight Lee, Fred McChesney and Robert Tollison (all cash-for-comment economists).

    He has prepared his "Discussant" paper in advance, and sent it to the Tobacco Institute for clearance. It has a tinge of pseudo criticism, and is reasonably light-hearted, which avoids the pit-fall of being overly supportive or over-serious in a climate of economic disputation.

1990 Oct 19: Richard Wagner is reporting to James Savarese about a session a group of the network economists have just had at the Atlantic Economic Society meeting.

I began the session with some introductory remarks about the kinds of normative arguments in support of user fees and how these arguments are being used profusely in budgetary discussions these days.

    The participants did the rest. Dwight Lee, Fred McChesney, and Robert Tollison each presented their papers dealing with aspects of the session's theme, and Kevin Grier and Bruce Yandle offered some interesting observations in discussing the papers.

    Indeed, one of Bruce Yandle's comments was to the effect that the three papers together provided a quite coherent, alternative body of analysis to the conventional literature on user fees.

1990 Oct 19: Richard Wagner, as section-chairman of the Atlantic Economic Society [subtitled "Patriots of the Future", Williamsburg] reports to James Savarese on a session he has run on "User Fees and Budgetary Politics." [The document is clearly designed as proof of payable services to the TI]

    He outlines his introductory remarks, then writes:

The participants did the rest. Dwight Lee, Fred McChesney, and Robert Tollison each presented their papers dealing with aspects of the session's theme, and Kevin Grier and Bruce Yandle offered some interesting observations in discussing the papers.

    Indeed, one of Bruce Yandle's comments was to the effect that the three papers together provided a quite coherent, alternative body of analysis to the conventional literature on user fees.

[All speakers and pre-selected discussants were members of the cash-for-comments network]

1990 Oct 30: Savarese bills the Tobacco Institute for the services of his economists, at $18,500 — and expenses for each — at the Atlantic Economists meeting. Yandle has billed up a modest $658 in airfares, hotel and meals (plus his 1/6th share of the $18.5k).

1991 Feb: The draft copy of a long media release to be used in Alaska when Richard Wagner was conducting his media tour of the state, promoting the institute-funded book with chapters by cash-for-comments economists. Yandle's contribution to the book is now being described as:

Chapter 3
"User Charges, Rent Seeking, and Public Choice," by Bruce Yandle, alumni Professor of Economics, Clemson University.

    This chapter shows how government employs user fees and corrective taxes to change the behavior of consumers and producers. The author says user charges are "the antithesis of capitalism." He also explains the economics behind pollution control user fees.

1991 Apr: "Why Environmentalists Should Be Efficiency Lovers" by Bruce Yandle,: Washington University, Center for the Study of American Business, Formal Publication No. 103, (St. Louis, MO).

1991 Nov: Yandle publishes "A Primer on Marketable Pollution Permits" in the Journal of Regulation and Social Costs. [The Independent Institute]

    The first chapter is by tobacco lobbyist Paul H Rubin, while the next chapter is by Thorne Auchter, a life-long tobacco (and other) industry lobbyist (Federal Focus, Multinational Business Services and ex-head of OSHA) and the next is by W Kip Viscusi [Who travelled the world promoting the tobacco industry view of risk analysis].

    This edition of the journal has all the appearances of being a tobacco industry funded project.

1991 Nov: Yandle's associate and fellow networker, Dwight R Lee, publishes an obviously-tobacco-funded booklet (37 pages) "The Next Environmental Battleground: Indoor Air" It is supposedly produced by the National Center for Policy Analysis in Texas, which is a long-standing tobacco front organisation.

    It's theme is to promote the idea of the Sick Building Syndrome (deliberately confused with Legionaires' disease) as a standard industry scapegoat for headaches and sinus problems in offices filled with tobacco smoke.

In the workplace, Americans are exposed to hundreds of airborne toxic chemicals every day. Carpets, furniture and walls emit small quantities of the carcinogen formaldehyde. Laser printers and copiers emit ozone. And almost anything in the outdoor air may be brought indoors.

    Are we at great risk? Probably not Human beings have always been exposed to carcinogens that occur naturally in the air we breathe and the food we eat. If small quantities of carcinogens could kill us, the human race would have been extinct long ago.

    However, there are problems. Poorly ventilated buildings have harbored Legionnaires' disease and tuberculosis. Largely because of federal policy, some excessively insulated buildings have become "sick" — leading to increased absenteeism and lower productivity.

    Most indoor air problems are caused by poor ventilation, and building owners are discovering that improving ventilation is often profitable.

    [The profitability is with the cigarette companies when workplace smoking bans don't cut down their sale of cigarettes.]

    Lee has overnight become an expert on indoor air and ventilation rates. He advoctes the use of Boston fers and other plants which 'remove toxic chemicals from indoor air" and criticises the...
... new Clean Air Act [which] require that the private sector spend $6.5 billion for every life hypothetically saved.

    In one case, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) imposed a rule that would require $5.7 trillion per life hypothetically saved — which implies that the EPA is willing to spend the entire GNP to save a single life.
He also uses a table from Bruce Yandle's "Why Environmentlists Should be Efficient Lovers" Wastefulness In the Regulation of Outdoor Air

1992 May: The South Carolina Superfund Experience: Assessing the Effects of
    the Statute on Local Communities
by Brett A. Dalton and Bruce Yandle for the Strom Thurmond Institute.

1992 Sept 14: An article in Forbes magazine "Should we abolish the EPA?" quotes many enthusiastic supporters of deregulation, including Yandle "whose most recent book is The Political Limits of Environmental Regulation: Tracking the Unicorn (Quorum Books )." He is a free-market fanatical economist and neo-con anti-environmentalist from Clemson University who wanted the EPA to be corporatised and 'sell its services.' This was entirely with the prevailing ideology being promoted by Clemson University.

About this time Bruce Yandle appears to have dropped out of tobacco's cash-for-comments network. He was never given a state to look after, and at this time the Tobacco Institute was cutting back on budget expenditures.

1994 March 16: A group of academic economists including almost all the members of the Tobacco Institute's cash-for-comments network sent an "An Open Letter to President Clinton on Healthcare Reform." This had been organised by David J Theroux, the founder and operator of the Independent Institute apparently with the assistance of an academic network member, Simon Rottenberg. [The institute was well-funded by the tobacco industry]. They say:

In The Open Letter to President Clinton, 565 economists and 76 other scholars from all 50 states and the District of Columbia state their firm opposition to any form of direct and indirect price controls in any healthcare program.

    Rationing Health Care: The New Threat of Price Controls, by Simon Rottenberg and David J. Theroux

    They use the old straw-man scare techniques of the sky-falling.
In countries that have imposed these types of regulations, patients face delays of months and years for surgery, government bureaucrats decide treatment options instead of doctors or patients, and innovations in medical techniques and pharmaceuticals are dramatically reduced.

[Which is pure rubbish — as anyone who has lived in England, Canada, Australia, etc. knows from experience.]

    Along with Yandle, also on this list of signatories were a number of think-tank lobbyists [including most of the Hoover Institute] and others who worked for the tobacco industry, and the Research Director of the Independent Institute, Robert Higgs, who was also a fill-in network economist for Washington State.

1994 Aug 1: Yandle was on the National Policy Forum of the Republican Center for the Exchange of Ideas — run by professional lobbyist Haley Barbour [who worked for tobacco], who doubled as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

1994 Dec: /E Roy Marden, who ran Philip Morris's 'contributions' operations (to maintain a group of grassroots 'allies') is involved with the Wise-Use movement — as is Bruce Yandle, who has edited "The Land Rights Rebellion."

    Around 1990-94 a number of document show that Yandle was allied with the Scaife-funded legal institutes [Mountain States Legal Foundation, etc] and organisations like the National Cattlemen's Association, in attempting to counter the growing tide of environmentalism.

1995: The Independent Institute has published a paper by Donald J Bourdreaux, Professor of Legal Studies, Clemson University, and Adam Pritchard, a Washington lawyer: "Civil Forefeiture As A Tax". They thank four network economists Bruce Benson, Dwight Lee, Bill Shughart and Bruce Yandle for "instructive discussion and comments"

    The Tobacco Institute thought it was a paper worth keeping also.

1999 March: The Freeman journal carries promotional advertisement on an Undergraduate Seminar "Where Liberty and Learning Meet" (run by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)'s Institution) held in New York. Fee paying students are to be shipped in from other States.

[FEE is a subsidiary of the Independent Institute and also closely related to the Mackinac Center]

The seminar begins with the Second Annual John Anthony Krogdahl Memorial Lecture, by Bruce Yandle of Clemson University, on Thursday evening. On Friday and Saturday students will participate in four one-hour lectures. Discussion sections will follow.
Students can be sponsored to attend at $400 each.

    The magazine carries a book review on "For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health" by Jacob Sullum, reviewed by John Attarian.

2000 /E: The Independent Institute publishes two books by tobacco lobbyists: one on Antitrust and Monopoly by Dominick Armento, and the other Regulation and the Reagan Era by Bruce Yandle and Roger Meiners with a foreword by Robert Crandall and reviews by even more tobacco network economists. [Keep it all in the family!]

2003: The Hoover Press published "The Relation Between Net Carbon Emissions and Income" by Robert E McCormick (Clemson Uni). He is in the camp of the climate deniers (as is the Hoover Institute and PERC)

[T]here is no universal agreement about the problem itself. Serious scholars have data on both sides of the question of global warming, and others have interpreted existing facts in myriad ways. The public seems to believe that the Earth is warming, unnaturally, but public perception, although politically important, is not always scientifically accurate. If all this were not enough, there is even disagreement about the impacts of global climate change, assuming it to be real.
McCormick then concludes:
The results presented in this chapter indicate that net carbon emissions will decline if economies grow and people get richer. The analysis supports the view that higher incomes are associated with a better natural environment. Fascination with emissions controls and the Kyoto Protocol is somewhat hard to understand in this context.

    One simple but profound fact remains. Even while US and global total gross emissions are on the rise, there is little or no growth in total or gross carbon emissions per person in either the United States or the world. Moreover, taking sequestrations into account, there is even less of an issue with carbon emissions.
He gives credit for help in the article's preparation to a substantial section of the old cash-for-comments group:
Robert E. McCormick is professor and BB&T Scholar in the John E. Walker Department of Economics at Clemson University and a senior associate at PERC.

    This work borrows extensively from joint work coauthored with Joshua Utt and Walker Hunter (Utt, Hunter, and McCormick 2002). Terry Anderson particularly, but also Richard Stroup, Bruce Yandle, and Daniel Benjamin, provided intellectual stimulation and insights that make this work presentable. I acknowledge a debt to all of them and to PERC while retaining residual rights to the effort.

Independent Institute
The Independent Institute, which is itself a component of the Atlas Group of ultra-free-market think tanks, with links to the Alexis de Tocqueville Institute [all heavily dependent on commissioned corporate funding], appears to have taken over the role of administrator of the Tobacco Institute's cash-for-comments network at the end of the 1990s.

    Their research director and journal editor, Robert Higgs, was already a member of the network. Tobacco funding continued to flow to the Independent Institute which appears to have taken on the role of 'warehousing' these academic supporters to insulate them from discovery. The Institute acquired the bulk of the cabal of cash-for-comments economists who were still operating, and some who had been retired:

Senior Fellows
  • Bruce L Benson, Florida State
  • Robert Higgs, Independent Institute
  • William Shugart, Utah State
  • Richard Vedder, Ohio University
Research Fellows
  • Burton Abrams, Uni of Delaware
  • Gary Anderson, California State at Northridge
  • Dominick Armentano, Uni of Hartford
  • Peter Boettke, George Mason Uni
  • Thomas DiLorenzo, Loyola College, Maryland
  • Robert Ekelund, Auburn Uni
  • Lowell E Gallaway, Ohio Uni
  • Randall Holcombe, Florida State
  • Dwight Lee, Southern Methodist Uni
  • Cotton 'Matt' Lindsay, Clemson Uni
  • Fred McChesney, Northwestern Uni
  • Mark Pauly, Uni of Pennsylvania
  • Richard Stroup, Montana State
  • Mark Thornton, Ludwig von Mises Institute
  • Richard Wagner, George Mason Uni
  • Bruce Yandle, Clemson Uni
Also dozens of other academics and writers who provided independent contract services to the tobacco industry — like Richard Epstein, John Goodman, Peter Huber, Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Rubin, Peter Samuel, S Fred Singer. Russell Sobel, etc.


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