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EPA chemical scare, Krugman's bad economics and EEOC's speech restrictions

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EPA chemical scare, Krugman's bad economics and EEOC's speech restrictions

Today in the News

EPA CHEMICAL REGULATION - ANGELA LOGOMASINI

Forbes.com: Regulators' Anti-Chemical Smear Campaigns Will Breed An Unsafe World

Useful consumer products may soon disappear from the market and innovation dwindle as regulators—state and local—expand what basically amounts to smear campaigns. These campaigns include listing chemicals on “concern lists” without scientific justification as well as “voluntary” initiatives to reduce “hazardous” products.

The crux of the problem is the focus on “hazard” rather than likely risks. “Hazard” simply represents the potential for danger given specific circumstances and/or exposures. For example, water is hazardous because excessive consumption can produce fatal “water intoxification” or hyponatraemia. But we don’t need to regulate it or place it on a “concern list.”

Yet bureaucrats at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are developing a list of “chemicals-of-concern” based largely on the hazardous quality of chemicals. That way, they don’t have to demonstrate that the chemicals actually pose real concerns—enough to justify regulations under the nation’s chemical law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). > Read the full comment on Forbes.com

 

KRUGMAN'S BROKEN WINDOW FALLACY - RYAN YOUNG

Spectator.org: A Tsunami of Bad Economics

Japan was hit by a tsunami last year on March 11. That’s not news, but the reaction of some economists sure is. Just imagine looking up at a hundred-foot tall column of water rushing towards you at highway speed. This was the last thing some people ever saw. According to official estimates, that wave killed more than 15,000 people and injured nearly 27,000 more. What’s the upside to this natural disaster? I’ll be blunt. There isn’t one. But some economists think there is.

 

FREE SPEECH - HANS BADER

Openmarket.org: EEOC Restricts Speech in Viewpoint-Discriminatory Manner in Dawson v. Donahoe: De Facto Ban on Confederate Flags

Now, the EEOC is suggesting that mere repeated exposure to the Confederate flag is illegal, even though the federal court’s First Amendment ruling in the Confederate Veterans case presumably requires such exposure by DMV employees. Is the EEOC effectively thumbing its nose at the federal courts?

Although the EEOC’s ruling involved a federal agency — the Postal Service — its reasoning would apply equally to private sector employers, who likewise are forbidden to allow “racial harassment” of their employees through a “racially hostile work environment” (and can be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and attorneys fees over “harassing” conduct or speech by employees that they supposedly should have known about and prevented).

The EEOC is engaged in statutory overreaching, in addition to First Amendment violations.