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OpenMarket: June 2013

  • IRS: Double Standard Benchmark

    June 6, 2013
    Americans expect that federal agents will enforce the law with integrity, and they expect the ever-prying eyes of an independent media to help ensure that integrity.
  • Time for an official end to federal employee union subsidies

    June 6, 2013

    Did you know you're paying for union officials to do union business with your tax dollars, a practice known as "official time"?

  • France Needs a "Power-Up" When It Comes to Labor Reform

    June 5, 2013
    In its annual country report released on Monday, the IMF turned up the heat on France for labor reform. The Washington-based lender called for a “powering up” of Hollande’s labor reforms to tackle the “significant rigidities hinder[ing] the economy’s capacity to grow and create jobs.” Socialist President Francois Hollande, who has suffered since inauguration the largest fall in popularity of any French President in the past 50 years, has already been under considerable pressure from a citizenry fatigued from anemic and oftentimes negative economic growth and rising unemployment since 2008. Yet he still hasn’t delivered on reviving France’s flailing job market. That’s because he’s too focused on devising government schemes, such as giving...
  • Epic Union Walkout a Total Failure

    June 5, 2013
    Ten years is a long time. For example, ten years ago Facebook did not exist. “Friends” was still in its 9th season. iTunes was only a 2 year-old toddler. A ten year-old in 2003, when the U.S. first invaded Iraq, is now old enough to fight in the war.
  • Two Decades of Regulatory Growth

    June 5, 2013
    Over at The American Spectator, Wayne Crews and I marvel at how much the regulatory state has grown over the last twenty years. We also offer up a few ideas for reform:
  • U.S.-EU Trade Talks -- The Precautionary Principle Rears its Ugly Head

    June 5, 2013
    Even before substantive negotiations have begun, a major problem has surfaced in talks on a U.S.-EU trade agreement. Last month, the European Parliament passed a resolution stating the EU’s objectives and positions on major issues relating to a proposed trade agreement. One provision in that resolution started an outcry by the U.S. agriculture, food, dairy, and meat producers. The provision deals with the “precautionary principle” and reads:
    17.  Emphasises the sensitivity of certain fields of negotiation, such as the agricultural sector, where perceptions of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), cloning and consumer health tend to diverge between the US and the EU; sees an opportunity in enhanced cooperation in agriculture trade, and stresses the importance of...
  • Pennsylvania's Liquor Privatization Plan Forgot about the Beer

    June 5, 2013
    Beer wholesalers are testifying yesterday morning in the Pennsylvania Senate, expressing their opposition to the proposed plans to privatize the state-run liquor store system. As John McGinley, vice president of Wilson-McGinley Inc. in Pittsburgh noted, “The beer industry is private. We don't need to privatize an already private business.” He is right, the beer market in Pennsylvania is private, but that doesn't mean it's free and certainly doesn't mean it couldn’t be improved. Currently, Pennsylvanians wanting to buy beer have few choices. In most parts of the state they have two options; either buy a six-pack at high cost from a bar or buy a full case from a distributor shop. And for brewers wishing to get their beer into those bars or shops, unless they are based in Pennsylvania...
  • Graph: More Visas, Less Illegal Immigration

    June 4, 2013
    The graph below comes from University of Pennsylvania economist Douglas Massey. Graph Immigration Smaller It depicts the three ways Mexican migrants have come to the United States--guest work programs, permanent residency visas, or illegally. You can see how low illegal immigration was during the 1950s, despite basically no border security—just a few thousand daily crossers. But as the Bracero program, which granted unlimited guest work visas to Mexican workers, was phased out, illegal entries begin to tick up, and after it is eliminated in 1965...
  • Union Invasion: UAW Targets Tennessee

    June 4, 2013
    One hundred and fifty years ago an invading Union army was halted at Chattanooga by the Confederate Army of Tennessee under General Braxton Bragg. The Battle of Chickamauga was one of the bloodiest days of the entire Civil War, and a resounding defeat for the Northern forces. Today Southeastern Tennessee faces invasion from another union— an actual labor union, the United Auto Workers (UAW). The UAW has its heart set on organizing Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant, which employs several thousand and supports thousands more throughout the Southeast.
  • Wisconsin Town Criminalizes Parents for Kids' Bullying and Offensive Speech

    June 4, 2013
    Law Professor Eugene Volokh has an interesting post on a Wisconsin town's "bullying" ordinance, which criminalizes speech by minors as "bullying" or "harassment" if it creates an "offensive" or "hostile" environment, or if it is deemed "emotionally abusive." I explain here why the ordinance in Monona, Wisconsin, is unconstitutionally vague, and how it would chill speech protected by the First Amendment. What is perhaps most...

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