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OpenMarket: November 2012

  • New Pressure On Schools To Adopt Quotas, Speech Codes, And Low Standards?

    November 30, 2012
    Lawsuits against schools and colleges have nothing to do with our troops and their needs. But that didn’t stop Senators from seeking to add a harmful provision long sought by trial lawyers to the 2013 Defense Authorization bill last night. The provision, proposed in Senate Amendment 3215 by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), would dramatically expand the reach of a federal statute, Title VI, to allow colleges, schools, and recipients of federal funds to be sued for “disparate impact.” Disparate impact is a race-neutral practice that weeds out more minorities than whites despite having no discriminatory motive behind it -- like a standardized test that more minorities fail than whites. The provision would also allow colleges, schools, and other institutions to be sued for unlimited punitive damages. Currently,...
  • Looting The Future: Union Bosses Violate Spirit If Not Letter Of The Law

    November 30, 2012
    Hostess’ union-induced shutdown captures the essence of the modern labor movement–more anti-employer than pro-worker. Workers are taking notice of unions’ negative impact on employers, for example, the loss of jobs in the auto, airline, and steel industries -- and now at Hostess. As a result of union bosses' self-interest trumping the well-being of its beneficiaries or law, private sector unionization has dropped to an all-time low of 6.6 percent. This statistic should not be shocking when considering the conduct of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers union (BCTGM) officials, who represented 5,000 Hostess workers, throughout the bankruptcy proceeding that put the company's 18,500 workers out of a job just in time for the holidays. Since January when Hostess...
  • Today's Links: November 30, 2012

    November 30, 2012
    OPINION VIRGINIA POSTREL: "A Free-Market Fix for the Copyright Racket" "While most of the punditocracy was chattering earlier this month about Mitt Romney’s “gifts”gaffe, another Republican took an unexpectedly bold stand about a huge and controversial special-interest handout that largely benefits Democratic constituencies. A young Capitol Hill staff member named Derek S. Khanna published a Republican...
  • Obama Breaks Pledge Against Middle-Class Tax Hikes By Proposing Tax Increase On Dividends, Capital Gains

    November 30, 2012
    President Obama is now calling for tax increases on dividends and capital gains, even for middle-class families making less than $250,000 per year. This violates his campaign pledge on taxes, in which he said on Sept.12, 2008: “I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes." He repeatedly promised "you will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime.” But the president now calls for an "immediate increase in taxes on capital gains and dividends" as part of a deal to address the...
  • Immigration Reform Is Not A Zero Sum Game

    November 29, 2012
    Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will vote on Republicans’ first post-election attempt at pro-immigration reform. But their bill, the STEM Jobs Act (H.R. 6429), sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, eliminates as many visas as it creates. Worse, it uses the illusion of immigration reform to actually decrease immigration. If the GOP wants to rehabilitate its immigration image, it should not begin by creating winners and losers -- and this bill creates many more losers than winners. The bill grants 55,000 green cards to college graduates of U.S. universities with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics -- the STEM fields. But it simultaneously eliminates the same number of green cards under the Diversity Visa Program, which awards visas mainly to low-skilled...
  • Today's Links: November 29, 2012

    November 29, 2012
    OPINION NATE SILVER: "In Silicon Valley, Technology Talent Gap Threatens G.O.P. Campaigns" "Companies like Google and Apple do not have their own precincts on Election Day. However, it is possible to make some inferences about just how overwhelmingly Democratic are the employees at these companies, based on fund-raising data. (The Federal Election Commission requires that donors to presidential campaigns disclose their employer when they make a campaign contribution.) Among employees who work for Google, Mr. Obama received about $720,000 in itemized contributions this year,...
  • L.A. Public Pension Problem A Microcosm Of California’s Financial Woes

    November 28, 2012
    Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan abandoned efforts this week to gather signatures for a ballot initiative to reform the city’s public pension plan. Riordan said he didn't think he could acquire 300,000 signatures by the December 28 deadline to get his measure, which would require city workers to contribute more toward their pensions and convert all employees to 401K-type plans, on the May ballot. It will come as no shock that Service Employees International Union Local 721, which represents public service workers in Southern California, and the Los Angeles Police Protective League...
  • CEI Podcast For November 27, 2012: Rachel Was Wrong

    November 27, 2012
    Senior Fellow Angela Angela Logomasini talks about her forthcoming CEI study, "Rachel Was Wrong: Agrochemicals’ Benefits to Human Health and the Environment."
  • Guest Workers Can Help End Illegal Immigration

    November 27, 2012
    The debate over immigration reform has focused on its long-term effects on America’s culture as well as its economy. But that obscures the fact that for many foreigners seeking to come to the United States, their goal is not to become Americans, but to alleviate economic problems in their home country. These workers have little interest in assimilating or voting. They simply want to work for a while, sometimes for just a few months, and return home. Last August, the Republican Party adopted a plank in its national platform arguing for “a new guest worker program.” Critics have derided this permission to relocate temporarily without a guarantee of citizenship as either mere crumbs for the workers or corporate welfare for their employers. In fact, a workable guest worker program would expand the market’s ability to accommodate the natural flow of labor, which has been distorted by...
  • Intrade Is Only The Latest CFTC Outrage

    November 27, 2012
    Every so often, a government agency will do something so outrageous it will shock even even everyday critics of "big government," as well as draw criticism even from advocates of so-called "good government" intervention. For the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), that moment was yesterday when it filed a civil lawsuit against the respected Intrade online prediction market and its parent company the Trade Exchange Network (TEN) Limited, accusing them -- according to a CFTC press release -- of being "in violation of the CFTC’s ban on off-exchange options trading." Intrade and TEN responded in kind by closing off participation by U.S. residents. In TV critics' parlance, the CFTC...


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