Tag: Regulation

Surgery, Regulations, and the Rainbow Connection


Actually, the latter topic is much more pleasant than the former two, so let’s start with the Muppets. The Rainbow Connection was the theme song for The Muppet Movie, back when there was only one Muppet movie and the title could afford to be general. Kermit the Frog is sitting in a swamp playing a banjo singing that song. A hopelessly lost talent scout wanders by; Kermit corrects his path. In return, the talent scout tells this frog he may have a chance in Hollywood. And so Kermit sets out on a journey.

Why are there so many songs about rainbows? What’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions but only illusions; rainbows have nothing to hide.

Executive Orders: CDC Rule on Masks On Local Travel


I intend to maintain a series of posts on Biden’s executive orders over the length of his term.  In this edition, I’m following up on the CDC implementation of his “Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel” from January 21.  The CDC issued a rule on Saturday, January 30 to implement this order.  A Federal Register notice is posted here, with the full 11-page text available here.  But the key part of the order is just two sentences:

People must wear masks that cover both the mouth and nose when awaiting, boarding, traveling on, or disembarking public conveyances. People must also wear masks when entering or on the premises of a transportation hub in the United States.

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Donald Trump is many things, but a conservative is not one of them. He did, however, demonstrate that a light regulatory touch and competitive tax rates can unleash the animal spirits and grow the economy. He might not have achieved a sustained 3% growth in GDP, but his policies did improve employment and income for […]

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Gene Marks, President of the Marks Group PC and writer for outlets like The Guardian and The Hill, joins Carol Roth to discuss the state of small business coming out of 2020 into 2021. Gene and Carol break down Trump’s business legacy and what might be in store in the new administration. Plus, some great tax tips and breaks of which you may not be aware. 

Plus, a “Now You Know” on how to hack getting on the train at Penn Station.

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The most recent Goodfellows conversation ends with a little debate about illegal immigration. As usual, an important subtext is left unaddressed. Yes, even many Republicans welcome lawless immigration in lieu of any impetus to reform legal immigration standards. Businesses like cheap labor.  Preview Open

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The fourth year of any presidential term is driven by a sense of urgency, and the administration’s regulatory or deregulatory agenda is no exception. President Trump’s fourth year has been further complicated by the Covid-19 outbreak, and the administration’s regulatory and deregulatory responses. To put the last few months into perspective and to look ahead to the coming months, Adam White chats with Bridget Dooling of George Washington University’s Regulatory Studies Center, and Philip Wallach of the R Street Institute.

James R. Copland joins Brian Anderson to discuss how America’s uniquely cumbersome regulatory system impeded the national response to the Covid-19 crisis and how costly litigation could damage the economy even further.

The FDA and CDC’s administrative failings in the early days of the crisis proved costly. The federal process for reviewing and approving drugs and medical devices, writes Copland, still leaves much to be desired. And a wave of coronavirus-related lawsuits poses a serious threat to future business viability.

Elizabeth Warren, Corporate Bully


The fast-shifting winds of American politics have increased the odds that Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts will be the next Democratic nominee for President of the United States. Joe Biden has been lackluster at best, and his potential conflicts of interest arising from his son’s dealings in both Ukraine and China may well derail his candidacy even before the primary season begins. Bernie Sanders’s heart attack will likely scare voters, and the rest of the pack—Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar—have failed to connect with the public.

The bad news is that a Warren presidency would be one of the most terrifying prospects ever to hit the American system. Long on confidence but short on judgment, Warren uses her fake professorial air to support proposals that are so dangerous to the nation’s economic welfare that even potential Democratic Wall Street backers are now shying away from her candidacy.

The most recent illustration of her destructive behavior is found in her October 3 letter to Jamie Diamond of JP Morgan Chase, which demands that he follow through on the Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation that the Business Roundtable (“BR”) published to mixed reaction during the summer. The BR blundered by arguing that every corporation should be committed to delivering value to all of its stakeholders. The dodgy term “committed” blurs the line between legal obligation and business relations. As Milton Friedman argued long ago, the only stakeholders in a corporation with legal entitlements are its shareholders.

Autumn Colors: The Color of Law, an in-depth review


When people are free to associate as they please, we can’t be surprised if they sometimes self-segregate. People self-sort along many affinities, including ethnic affinities. This is what lawyers call de facto segregation, and it’s none of the law’s business. De jure segregation — segregation imposed by law, including segregation promoted by public policy — is, on the other hand, very much the law’s business.

In 1866, Congress passed a Civil Rights Act (the 1866 CRA) asserting the equal rights of blacks before the law, including property rights, and real-estate rights in particular. The 1866 CRA warned

Nicole Gelinas and Howard Husock join Seth Barron to discuss New York’s landmark rent-regulation law and its potential impact on housing in the city and state.

Lawmakers in New York recently passed the toughest rent-regulation law in a generation, imposing new restrictions on landlords’ ability to increase rents, improve buildings, or evict tenants. The bill made permanent the state’s existing rent regulations, meaning that future legislatures will find it harder to revisit the issue.

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A California Assemblyman has introduced legislation that would ban paper receipts from being printed and given to customers unless the customer asked for a printed receipt. So I guess I’m behind the times. I thought California had an ongoing problem with wildfires and was staring down the barrel of a crippling pension problem. And had […]

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My company used to contract with Sungard in Philadelphia for backup data-center services. Every year we would head to Philly laden with data backup tapes for our annual disaster recovery tests. The question arose, however, about Sungard’s capacity in the face of a black swan event in which hundreds of companies needed their facilities at […]

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Richard Epstein on Classical Liberalism, the Administrative State, Free Speech, and Silicon Valley Regulation


For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had legendary classical liberal legal theorist and longtime professor at University of Chicago Law School and now at NYU Law — and prodigious Ricochet podcaster Professor Richard Epstein on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • The role that Professor Epstein’s famous book, “Takings” played in Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing — and then-Senator Joe Biden’s hectoring
  • Professor Epstein’s groundbreaking theories on private property rights, eminent domain and the Takings and Commerce Clauses
  • The practical argument against progressivism
  • Whether we should deconstruct the administrative state, and if so how to do it
  • The danger to free speech emanating from college campuses in a world of microaggressions, trigger warnings, de-platforming
  • The folly of regulating Silicon Valley social media companies
  • Classical liberalism versus socialism and libertarianism

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found or download the episode directly here.

Some Thoughts About Facebook, Regulation, and Trade-offs


So Mark Zuckerberg is “actually not sure we shouldn’t be regulated.” The cynical take on that statement is that the Facebook founder and CEO is merely acquiescing to the inevitable and even realizes that regulation might actually help Facebook cement its market dominance. A big, successful business with tremendous financial resources has the ability to a) weather a regulatory storm and b) through lobbying influence the regulatory environment to its advantage.

Before Washington takes rash action against Facebook or other Big Tech companies, policymakers should think hard about the potential unintended consequences for competition and innovation. To start with the ridiculous — but something being mentioned on the Twitters — why not nationalize Facebook? Let the US Postal Service run it! Great idea if you want Facebook to be stuck in amber, never to improve or innovate. And what upstart would be allowed to compete against this new National Champion company? There’s also that $100 billion check taxpayers would be writing to Zuckerberg personally, unless we’re talking property confiscation. Moving on . . .

Another idea would be to replicate here Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, soon going live. But here’s a possible problem: Copying the GDPR might actually entrench Facebook’s dominance since that regulation would seem to make data portability — the moving of one’s social graph to other social networks — pretty difficult if not impossible. In theory, at least, giving Facebook users the ability to do so would make it easier to generate Facebook challengers. (By the way, I recently hosted on this very AEIdeas blog an online symposium on the pluses and minuses of social graph portability.)

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Would mandatory liability insurance for gun owners violate the 2nd Amendment? Congress should realize private industry is in a much better position to regulate the consumer than the federal government and pass a single law: mandatory firearm insurance. Just as it is an offense to not have car insurance, the same approach should be applied […]

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Richard Epstein opines on whether Donald Trump or Barack Obama deserves more credit for the current economic expansion, then tackles the policy agenda the president laid out in his State of the Union address.

Victor Davis Hanson describes how Donald Trump is systematically dismantling the legacy of the Obama Administration … and explains why it’s paying such rich dividends for the country.

John Stossel: Kids Aren’t Learning, So I’ll Teach Them


John StosselJohn Stossel joins the Whiskey Politics Podcast just as we were setting up at Freedom Fest (apologies for the few audio glitches). John spoke on regulations, entitlements, the ongoing drug war, the impact of legalization, why he despises Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and how to ensure future generations will be taught about the benefits of free markets. John can now be found on Reason TV and is focusing on teaching students basic economic principals at Stossel In The Classroom where students can get free DVDs.