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OpenMarket: January 2013

  • It's Official: Obama's NLRB Appointments Unconstitutional

    January 25, 2013
    From the Duh! files:
    A federal appeals court has ruled that President Barack Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate to fill vacancies on a labor relations panel.
    The contested nominees, including Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, were appointed last January along with Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The nominations were made without the "advice and consent" of the Senate, as prescribed by the Constitution in Article II,...
  • It’s Official: Obama’s NLRB Appointments Unconstitutional

    January 25, 2013
    Openmarket.org From the Duh! files:
    A federal appeals court has ruled that President Barack Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate to fill vacancies on a labor relations panel.
    The contested nominees, including Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, were appointed last January along with Richard Cordray as...
  • More Evidence For Austerity's Success

    January 25, 2013
    Third-quarter unemployment data from Eurostat, Europe’s statistical agency, provides still more proof actual cuts in teh size of government -- what I call "real austerity" -- contributes to real economic growth. Baltic countries continued a three-yeear trend of decreasing unemployment. Those, primarily in Western Europe, who engaged in phone austerity --  when government claims to have tightened its belt but actually increased overall spending and taxation -- saw unemployment continue to increase. Unlike their peers, Latvia and Estonia both made fast and deep reductions in government spending and in tax revenue during their 2009-2010 austerity programs. Unemployment spiked in 2009 as these economies took the painful-but-necessary steps to restructure themselves to become competitive and productive. Since then, their unemployment rates plummeted faster than any other European country...
  • CEI Podcast For January 24, 2013: Gov. McDonnell's Transportation Plan

    January 24, 2013
    Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell recently released a headline-grabbing plan for the state's transportation funding that would abolish the state's gasoline tax and raise other taxes to make up the difference. Land-use and Transportation Policy Analyst Marc Scribner is critical of the plan.
  • SEC's White May Be All Right, But Cordray's CFPB Still A Constitutional Catastrophe

    January 24, 2013
    Today, President Obama will send to the Senate two nominations for two key financial regulatory posts. Noting that both of the nominees subject to Senate confirmation "are former prosecutors," The New York Times declares that "the White House is sending a signal about the importance of holding Wall Street accountable for wrongdoing." But the signals are, to say the least mixed, and one of the nominations almost mocks the importance of holding government regulatory bureaucracies accountable to Main Street. Obama will nominate Mary Jo White, U.S. attorney for New York under the Clinton administration, to replace Mary Schapiro as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). And he will renominate Richard Cordray, the Democratic attorney general of Ohio until his defeat in...
  • Adam Smith's Recommendation To End Illegal Immigration

    January 24, 2013
    Restrictions on immigration have created a black market in labor and movement. Currently, the U.S. government issues only 10,000 green cards to workers who lack higher education, special skills or family connections. These restrictions have incented (as opposed to “caused”) desperate workers from around the world to circumvent the legal process and enter or reside in the United States illegally. The lesson of this aspect of immigration policy is: Ignore the market at your own peril. Policy makers have little respect for this market. Adam Smith famously called the legislator “the man of system” who “seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon...
  • REINS Act Introduced In The House

    January 24, 2013
    CEI has been pushing a common-sense regulatory reform idea for years: Congress should vote on all regulations with an annual cost of $100 million or more. The Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny, or REINS Act, introduced today in the House by Rep. Todd Young (no relation), would do just that.
  • Economic Freedom Declines Again; Government Control Is Bad For Your Health

    January 24, 2013
    Economic freedom has declined under the Obama administration, and America's rank has repeatedly fallen on the Index of Economic Freedom and other rankings issued by think-tanks and research foundations. (The Heritage Foundation just released the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom.) In their Economic Freedom of the World rankings, Canada's Fraser Institute and the U.S.-based Cato Institute note that "The United States, long considered the standard bearer for economic freedom among large industrial nations, has experienced a substantial decline in economic freedom during the past decade. From 1980 to 2000, the United States was generally rated the third freest economy in the world, ranking behind only Hong Kong...
  • Great Stagnation?

    January 24, 2013
    In a wonderful piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, Don Boudreaux and Mark Perry beg to differ.
  • Greens Complain About BPA-Free Products They Helped Spur

    January 23, 2013
    Anti-chemical environmental activists rarely consider the consequences of their policies. They demonize chemicals that have been used safely for decades and advance chemical bans based on weak science without considering whether the replacement products will be any safer. This is why it is particularly ironic that they are now complaining about the replacement chemical for bisphenol A (BPA), which greens have pressed government to ban.  BPA is used to make hard, clear plastics and resins that line food cans among other things. Suddenly, greens are up in arms because new clear plastics are made with an alternative product to BPA called bisphenol S (BPS). "[S]wapping out...

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