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OpenMarket: April 2012

  • Central Bankers are Playing a Losing Game

    April 30, 2012
    The supposed economic “recovery” is faltering. The sugar high of freshly printed money from the world’s central banks is beginning to wear off. In RealClearMarkets, I address how misguided central bank policy led to Europe’s recession and I explain how to restore growth. Click on the previous link for the entire quantitative analysis.
    Europe's problem is the same as the U.S.'s - insolvency. The past 17 years have seen the greatest expansion of global credit in the history of the world. But this didn't happen because the world economy became more prosperous. While the world was sleeping, central bankers around the globe have been printing money to fuel the booms of the past two decades. The inevitable result will be an even greater bust than the current...
  • Student Loans Drive Up Tuition, Create Demographic Time Bomb and Higher-Education Bubble

    April 30, 2012
    Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds writes in the New York Post about how student loan programs have contributed to skyrocketing debt and rising defaults:
    The student-debt problem is that too many students are borrowing too much money to finance educations that won’t earn them enough to repay the loans. This leads to misery. A recent Wall Street Journal story noted that many students are postponing marriage, children and home-buying because of the difficulty — in some cases, the impossibility — of keeping up student-loan payments. This is bad for them and the economy, because they won’t be available to soak up the excess houses built during the housing bubble, which also was fueled by cheap government loans. If...
  • The Deregulator Who Wasn't

    April 30, 2012
    Washington Examiner columnist Conn Carroll refutes President Barack Obama's attempt to blame the nation's ongoing economic problems on his predecessor. In a recent interview, Obama tried to portray the Bush administration as a deregulatory free-for-all. The reality, however, is that Democrats and Republicans are not that far apart in their shared failure to restrain the federal regulatory behemoth.
    Love him or hate him, Bush did not preside over some great era of deregulation. Quite the opposite, in fact. During Bush's term, money spent by regulatory agencies increased 44 percent, from $27 billion in 2001 to $44.9 billion in 2007. The number of people employed by federal regulatory agencies rose by 41 percent from 172,000 in 2001 to 244,000. And the Code of...
  • Today's Links: April 30, 2012

    April 30, 2012
    OPINION JO-ANN ARMAO: "The Big Easy's School Revolution" "Most of the buzz about the city’s reforms focuses on the banishment of organized labor and the proliferation of charter schools, which enroll nearly 80 percent of public school students, up from 1.5 percent pre-Katrina. But what really distinguishes New Orleans is how government has redefined its role in education: stepping back from directly running schools and empowering educators to make the decisions about hours, curriculum and school culture that best drive student learning. Now, state and school-district officials mostly regulate and monitor — setting standards, ensuring equity and closing failing schools. Instead of a traditional school...
  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    April 30, 2012
    81 new regulations passed last week, covering everything from Medicare to fishing for northeast skate.
  • Diversity Training Doesn't Work, But It Persists Anyway, Due to Compulsion

    April 27, 2012
    Diversity training doesn't work, according to an article in Psychology Today. In it, Peter Bregman notes, “Diversity training doesn't extinguish prejudice. It promotes it." But don't expect it to stop. Government regulations often require that a school be accredited, a condition that accreditors like the American Bar Association use to force law schools to run costly diversity and sensitivity-training programs or use...
  • Alcohol Regulation Roundup: April 27, 2012

    April 27, 2012
    It's time once again for a review of the ever-changing, increasingly complex, regulation of alcohol around these United States. This should give you something to cheer and/or lament at happy hour tonight. Connecticut: With only 20 days left in the state’s legislative calendar, supporters of liquor-law reform are getting nervous. Though we learned last month that an edited version of Governor Malloy’s proposal had wide-reaching support, Malloy brought the process to a halt. He says while the new proposal would legalize Sunday sales, the new striped-down version doesn’t do enough to help consumers. He wants to get rid of pricing laws that make liquor in the state more expensive than neighboring territories....
  • My Weekend with Hitchens at NASCAR

    April 27, 2012
    Last weekend, there was a public memorial service at Cooper Union in New York to commemorate the voice of the late Christopher Hitchens. I missed that gathering, unfortunately, but this weekend, there is another big event that will remind me of my most cherished memories of the man. No, it’s not the White House Correspondents Dinner tomorrow night. I never had the opportunity to attend one of the Vanity Fair after-parties in his apartment near the Washington Hilton. No, the event I’m talking about is the NASCAR race this weekend at the Richmond International Raceway, the same race that he and I traveled to one weekend in 2005. "What?" you ask. It seems to you...
  • Today's Links: April 27, 2012

    April 27, 2012
    OPINION HENRY BLODGET: "Don't Mean To Be Clueless, But Why Does The U.S. Have A Law Against Bribing Foreign Governments?" "Walmart's in serious hot water because its executives allegedly paid $24 million in bribes to Mexican government officialsto facilitate store openings. [...] Why does the U.S. have a law against bribing foreign government officials? After all, in some countries, like China, giving 'gifts' to business partners is just...
  • The Awful Truth about the Highway Bills

    April 26, 2012
    If you ever needed additional proof that the politics of Washington are not just broken, but soaked with gasoline and set ablaze in a ditch near Baltimore, take a look at Congress’s recent highway bill dog and pony show. The Senate passed the obnoxiously titled Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) bill on March 14 in a 74-22 vote. While ostensibly passed in a bipartisan fashion, it soon became clear most of the Senate Republicans who voted for MAP-21’s passage had no clue what was in the bill and how it would be paid for. Gary Hoitsma, a transportation analyst who previously served as a senior aide to Senate Environment and Public...

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