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OpenMarket: March 2012

  • Supreme Court Begins Hearing Challenges to Unconstitutional Obamacare Provisions

    March 26, 2012
    At CNN, George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin explains why Obamacare's requirement that individuals buy health insurance is beyond Congress's power under the Interstate Commerce Clause. GMU law professor David Bernstein explains why Obamacare's defenders are wrong, and have contradicted themselves, in trying to defend Obamacare based on a cost-shifting rationale. Vanderbilt law professor James Blumstein, an...
  • Department of Labor Companionship Rule Doesn’t Comply with Best Practices

    March 26, 2012
    Openmarket.org Last Wednesday, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Administrator Cass Sunstein sent a memo to executive agency heads concerning the cumulative effects of regulation and offered best practices for rulemaking. The memo reveals the prominent federal agency responsible for workers does not meet the Obama administration’s standards. In particular, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) latest regulatory initiative, amending ...
  • The $400 Pizza

    March 26, 2012
    The reason it cost $400 was not because of restaurant business practices but because of television labor practices.
  • Human Achievement of the Day: At-home Brain Scanner

    March 26, 2012
    While traditional brain scanning techniques -- such as positron emission tomography (PET scans), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRIs), and traditional electroencephalograms (EEGs) -- provide significantly more data about brain activity, the bulky and expensive equipment is uncomfortable for patients and must be conducted in hospital or research labs, providing a biased picture of brain activity. That is why the mobile EEG device created by a research team at the Milab at the Technological University of Denmark has been called a “game changer” in understanding how the brain works. The Emotiv EEG headset, which is used in conjunction with a smartphone, can be worn throughout the day to observe subjects’ brain activity “in the wild.”...
  • Department of Labor Companionship Rule Doesn’t Comply with Best Practices

    March 26, 2012
    Last Wednesday, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Administrator Cass Sunstein sent a memo to executive agency heads concerning the cumulative effects of regulation and offered best practices for rulemaking. The memo reveals the prominent federal agency responsible for workers does not meet the Obama administration's standards. In particular, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) latest regulatory initiative, amending companionship and live-in worker rule, diverges sharply from Sunstein’s best practices. The memo to agency heads is purported to reinforce President Obama's Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory...
  • Today's Links: March 26, 2012

    March 26, 2012
    OPINION SHIKHA DALMIA: "Obamacare's Terrible Twos" "[T]he court has given Congress expansive powers to regulate economic activity under the Commerce Clause that it can’t just take away. The original sin here dates back to Wickard vs. Filburn in 1942, when the court upheld Uncle Sam’s authority to prevent an Ohio farmer from producing wheat on his own farm to feed his own livestock because that would supposedly undercut federal efforts to boost national wheat prices. Randy Barnett of Georgetown University, however, argues that despite Wickard’s sorry jurisprudential lineage, there is no precedent for allowing Congress to regulate economic 'inactivity.' To date, Congress has only regulated economic activities that Americans...
  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    March 26, 2012
    75 new final rules were published last week, up from 72 the previous week. That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • More Space Socialism From Republicans

    March 23, 2012
    Over at the Beyond the Black blog, Bob Zimmerman does what I haven't had time to yet --he excoriates the chairman of the House space appropriations subcomittee and Senator Hutchison after hearings this week:
    Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) asked NASA Administrator Charles Bolden during a March 21 hearing on the agency’s 2013 budget the same question he asked of the White House’s chief science adviser last month: would NASA’s partnership with commercial companies to develop astronaut transports be cheaper if the companies competing for NASA funds combined their efforts into a single “all for one and one for all” project?
    Similarly, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) made the same stupid argument in her continuing effort to keep...
  • Troubling Provisions Being Added to the Violence Against Women Act: Due Process Rights Threatened

    March 23, 2012
    Provisions are being added to the 1994 Violence Against Women Act that could undermine due process on campus and in criminal cases, as civil liberties groups like the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and civil libertarians like former ACLU board member Wendy Kaminer have noted. The changes are contained in a reauthorization of the Act that is likely to pass the Senate over objections from some Republican senators like Charles Grassley of Iowa, who has also objected to the lack of safeguards...
  • Twenty Years without Hayek

    March 23, 2012
    F.A. Hayek died twenty years ago today. In his long career—his first book was published in 1929, his last in 1988—he made important contributions to economics, philosophy, and even psychology. He even won a Nobel Prize along the way. If there is a unifying theme to Hayek’s diverse body of work, it is an emphasis on intellectual humility. He was a dogged opponent of capital-C Certainty, and was always quick to remind would-be social engineers that there are limits to their knowledge. The unintended consequences of their grand plans are somewhat less limited. Hayek’s grandfather was a professor of natural science, and his father was a doctor who moonlighted in botany. As happens to many boys growing up in scientifically minded households, the young Hayek was fascinated with evolution. This would profoundly influence his economic thought when he grew up, especially his concept of...

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