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OpenMarket: September 2013

  • Obamacare Quadruples Rates for Some, Subsidizes Some Wealthy Who Retired Early

    September 30, 2013
    Due to Obamacare, North Carolina "will see individual-market" health insurance rates "triple for women, and quadruple for men." In Tennessee, Obamacare will triple men's premiums, and double women's, in the market for individual health...
  • Green Policies Translate Into Less Food, Higher Prices

    September 30, 2013
    Thanks to misguided bureaucracy and fear mongering from environmental activists, myriad valuable products are disappearing from the marketplace. Walmart, Proctor & Gamble, and Johnson and Johnson are leading the way by following green advice to phase out a host of valuable chemical technologies because of misinformed green hype. Pesticides—which are needed to feed a growing world population and fight vector-borne diseases—are often found on the regulatory chopping block, thanks to environmentalist scare campaigns...
  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    September 30, 2013
    80 new regulations, from bird hunting to fluted kidneyshells.
  • California Labor Board Rejects Farm Workers' Petition to Decertify Union

    September 27, 2013
    On September 25, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board denied a petition submitted by Gerawan Farming workers to decertify the United Farm Workers union.
  • Environmental Regulations Threaten Refining Sector Jobs

    September 27, 2013
    I had the privilege of meeting with Charlie Drevna, President of American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers this week. He had some extremely interesting things to say about the way mounting environmental regulations are threatening jobs in the refining sector that he represents. A particularly compelling insight he provided was that many of the Obama administration's environmental regulations actually contradict each other. For instance, CAFE regulations require higher fuel efficiency from automobiles. Yet the Renewable Fuel Standard, which mandates the use of less efficient ethanol, reduces fuel efficiency. Meanwhile, the Tier III rules from EPA contradict the rulemaking on greenhouse gas emissions: refineries need to do more processing to reduce sulfur in gasoline, which increases emissions at a refinery by up to 2.3 percent, while at the same time they are required to reduce...
  • Modest Food Stamp Cuts Are Long Overdue

    September 26, 2013
    The House of Representatives recently voted to cut the "food stamp program by $39 billion over the next 10 years, while reforming the program to tighten eligibility and emphasize the importance of work." As the Cato Institute's Michael Tanner notes, the "outcry among congressional" liberals and administration officials in response to the vote "is just plain silly given how modest" the cuts are. As he observes, these cuts "simply trim around the edges of the program," which has mushroomed from $18 billion to...
  • CEI Podcast for September 26, 2013: "The Cupboard Is Bare"

    September 26, 2013
    Senior Communications Director Brian McNicoll lists off a series of programs and departments that should be removed from the very full federal cupboard.
  • Massive Marriage Penalties in Obamacare Health Insurance Exchanges

    September 26, 2013
    On the Obamacare health insurance exchanges, being married can cost you a lot. Get divorced (or avoid getting married, if you live together), and you save $7,230 per year if you are a fairly typical 40-year-old couple with kids (example: the husband working full-time, and the wife working part time, with the husband making $70,000, and the wife making $23,000). If you are a 60-year-old couple with equal incomes and no kids, and you make $62,041 a year, you save $11,028 a year by getting divorced or remaining unmarried. These are the amounts of money you will lose if you get married, since you will lose this amount of taxpayer subsidies due to Obamacare's discriminatory treatment of married versus unmarried couples. That's the reality confirmed by an Obamacare “...
  • Farm Workers Resist Union Representation

    September 25, 2013
    Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Labor Relations Board show that less than 10 percent of employees actually voted for their union representation. This happens because, under federal labor law, private-sector unions do not have to stand for reelection. The only way for employees to displace a union is through a rigorous decertification process.
  • Don't Nudge On Me

    September 24, 2013
    In a recent New York Times column, David Brooks describes American culture as “mentally lazy.” Overcoming that, he argues, requires a dose of what he calls “social paternalism” in public policy. Is he right? I thought about that yesterday, as I drank a can of pink grapefruit-flavored San Pellegrino while sitting in an old family friend’s living room. The friend had just returned from swimming laps and wore Speedo jammers—knee-length, spandex-tight swim trunks, a jarring sight on an adult male. “Mary,” he said. “Here’s the problem with the media today: No one can just sit with someone they disagree with and listen to their point of view anymore.” (Was I not listening to a man in Speedo jammers with all manner of civility?) He continued, “America wants a media outlet that will...


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