3. Alfred Anaya was a genius at installing secret compartments in cars. If they were used to smuggle drugs without his knowledge, he figured that wasn’t his problem. He was wrong. The DEA put him in federal prison for 292 months (more than 24 years) with no possibility of parole.
6. The Houston real estate market is red HOT: Home sales in February increased 15.5%, and the median sales prices increased 7.9% to the highest price ever for the month. Inventory is the lowest since 1999.
7. Twelve years ago, Portugal eliminated criminal penalties for drug users. Since then, those caught with small amounts of marijuana, cocaine or heroin go unindicted and possession is a misdemeanor on par with illegal parking. Experts are pleased with the results: “This is working.” Go here for Part 1 (“Portugal, 12 Years After Decriminalizing Drugs”) and here for Part 2 (“Drug Users Aren’t Criminals, They’re Sick”).
8. Measure your baguettes: The struggling French economy is being stifled by 400,000 “norms” that cost public bodies and private businesses billions of dollars, warned a report handed to the government this week. According to the report, “The last time a French norm was scrapped was in 1789. Ever since, they have only built up”
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan's Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.