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OpenMarket: June 2011

  • CEI Podcast for June 29, 2011: Stealing You Blind

    June 29, 2011
    Vice President for Strategy Iain Murray talks about his new book, Stealing You Blind: How Government Fat Cats Are Getting Rich Off of You.
  • Federal Appeals Court Upholds Obamacare's Individual Mandate in Divided 2-to-1 Vote

    June 29, 2011
    The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the individual mandate contained in the 2010 healthcare law by a 2-to-1 vote, claiming that Congress has the power to force individuals to buy health insurance under its authority to regulate interstate commerce. I earlier explained why the individual mandate violates the Commerce Clause here at this link. In my amicus brief filed in another federal appeals court, I explained at pages 27-29 why the "cost-shifting" rationale for the individual mandate is meritless. Other provisions of Obamacare also violate the...
  • Senate Judiciary Committee Pushes False Claim that Supreme Court is "Pro-Business"

    June 29, 2011
    The Senate Judiciary Committee is bashing the Supreme Court today as pro-business in a hearing that began at 10:30 a.m. Two of the three witnesses at the hearing were involved in the massive class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart that the Supreme Court recently decertified and found to be in violation of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. I earlier explained why that class-action was meritless here. I explain how...
  • Union Sign Shows Big Labor Distaste for Competition

    June 29, 2011
    UAW local 599 President Bill Jordan misses the forest for the trees, as is typical for union officials. A photo from the Carpe Diem blog shows a sign from the UAW local parking reading, “Only American-Union Made Automobiles, Trucks & Motorcycles Are Allowed In This Parking Lot. Violators Will Be Towed.” This photo portrays the mindset of Big Labor perfectly and why union membership is on the decline. Union officials do not have in mind the best interests of their members, workers in general, or the overall U.S. economy. For the working class and the economy, any production of automobiles is positive no matter if the cars are union-made. The more production of foreign cars in America is good for the economy, creates jobs, and increases competition. The working man does not care if he is employed by a foreign automaker that is not unionized...
  • Setting the Record Straight: Trade Creates Wealth

    June 29, 2011
    In his article "Suffering of Many Continues to Serve the Greed of Others," Thomas Gibson argues we should convince our politicians to change the “destructive trade laws” that have caused business to locate overseas and as a result have “ravaged communities and families all over our country.” In support of his claim, Thomas list several specific examples where small...
  • Morning Media Summary

    June 29, 2011
    Tech: Survey: Consumers want government to protect their privacy online: “Two-thirds of consumers want the government to safeguard their privacy online and 81 percent want to add their names to a Do Not Track list, according to a May poll released Tuesday by Consumers Union.” Supreme Court to weight in on warrantless GPS tracking: “In a move with far-reaching privacy implications, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear a case involving the government's authority to conduct prolonged GPS tracking of suspects in criminal cases without first obtaining a court warrant.”...
  • Food Stamp Nation

    June 29, 2011
    "Millionaires are now legally entitled to collect food stamps as long as they have little or no monthly income. Thirty-five states have abolished asset tests for most food-stamp recipients. These and similar 'paperwork reduction' reforms advocated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are turning the food-stamp program into a magnet for abuses and absurdities," notes James Bovard in The Wall Street Journal. As he points out,
    The number of food-stamp recipients has soared to 44 million from 26 million in 2007, and costs have more than doubled to $77 billion from $33 billion . . . Wisconsin food-stamp recipients routinely sell their benefit cards on...
  • Trade Pacts to Have "Mock" Mark-ups in Senate -- Drafts Include Trade Adjustment Assistance

    June 28, 2011
    As summer heats up, so does Congress as it looks at legislation that should be considered before the August recess. The three pending Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) -- with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia -- are a case in point. Each of those agreements has to have implementing legislation submitted to and then voted on by Congress. But there are still some thorny issues that divide the Republicans and the Democrats, especially in the House. The Obama administration, after coming around to reluctant support of the FTAs that have been languishing for almost five years, just last month said that the trade pacts couldn’t be considered unless Congress also passed Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) -- legislation that would give hefty monetary and other...
  • Stealing You Blind: The Fate of Greece

    June 28, 2011
    Rioters have taken to the streets in the Greek capital of Athens. While not as unusual an occurrence as it is in Athens, Georgia, these latest riots underline one thing -- that the Greeks do not understand their complicity in their country's disastrous economic state. Former UPI Business Editor Martin Hutchinson has a useful essay up at the Prudent Bear website that describes exactly how Greece got into this mess, which all goes back to when Andreas Papandreou, father of the current Prime Minister, managed to get Greece into the EU when its economy just wasn't ready:
    Instead of steering the Greek economy to reap the enormous potential benefits of its premature EU...
  • DOL Looks to Increase Fiduciary Standards without Following Procedure Standards

    June 28, 2011
    Openmarket.org The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a new rule to broaden the definition of fiduciary. Fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) include persons who have discretionary authority over a plans management and provide investment advice. DOL’s original interpretation assigns fiduciary responsibilities only to individuals who provide advice regularly and are the primary provider of investment advice. The proposed rule change expands fiduciary duties by removing the language of primary and regular, leaving anyone who gives investment advice liable for losses to the plan. Besides the increased costs to the financial industry to comply with the rule change and loss of service to small and medium...

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