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OpenMarket: November 2013


    November 28, 2013
    If you’re one of the millions of Americans who will visit a Wal-Mart on the biggest shopping weekend of the year, don’t be surprised if you encounter protestors agitating for “workers’ rights.”
  • COOL Protectionism Still a Hot Issue

    November 27, 2013
    A protectionist meat labeling rule requires complicated labeling of beef, pork and poultry to indicate where the animals were born, raised, and slaughtered. Called country-of-origin labeling or COOL, the U.S. Department of Agriculture labeling scheme means that cattle from Canada moved to the U.S. for slaughtering, for example, will have to be tracked, segregated, and recorded to show that the meat is from cattle “Born in Canada, raised in Canada, and slaughtered in the U.S.” Meat products from animals born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S. would have labels indicating that. The rule particularly affects major U.S. trading partners, Canada and Mexico, which are part of an increasingly integrated system of meat production for those three countries. But the rule also hits domestic meat processors and...
  • CEI Podcast for November 27, 2013: Toxic Turkey Day?

    November 27, 2013
    Senior Fellow Angela Logomasini debunks scare stories about chemicals in your family's Thanksgiving dinner, from BPA in canned foods to naturally occurring pesticides in potatoes.
  • Disregard Toxic Advice on Turkey Day

    November 25, 2013
    thanksgiving-dinnerplate Toxic chemicals lurk in the "typical" Thanksgiving meal, warns a green activist website. Eat organic, avoid canned food, and you might be okay, according to their advice. Fortunately, there's no need to buy this line. In fact, the trace levels of man-made chemicals found in these foods warrant no concern and are no different from trace chemicals that appear in food naturally. The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) illustrates this reality best with their...
  • Cataloging Washington's Hidden Costs, Part 3: The Costs of Regulatory Benefits

    November 25, 2013
    In the first installment of "Cataloging Washington's Hidden Costs," the topic was loss of liberty; in Part 2, unmeasured economic costs. Regulators assume their regulations create net benefits; here I note that those benefits may really be costs. Governmental decisions, not just private action, can adversely impact health and safety. The ways risks are best identified, prioritized and society made safer and healthier have not all been discovered by beltway residents. The...
  • CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    November 25, 2013
    60 new regulations, from salamanders to beans from Jordan.
  • Senate Abolishes Filibuster, With Potentially Profound Implications for the Rule of Law

    November 22, 2013
    Yesterday, the Senate voted 52-48 to effectively abolish the filibuster for nominations to federal offices, such as federal appeals courts and trial courts, and cabinet departments. It used a tactic Senate Democrats once insisted violated Senate rules. As Reason Magazine notes, "The Senate struck down a rule requiring 60 votes to cut off a filibuster of an appeals court judicial nominations, voting 52-48 along party lines to disregard it, effectively overturning more than 200 years of Senate precedent, not only on the judicial filibuster, as the Washington Post notes, but by moving to...
  • CEI Podcast for November 22, 2013: Daniel Hannan on Inventing Freedom

    November 22, 2013
    Daniel Hannan is a member of the European Parliament, representing South East England. He discusses his latest book, Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World.
  • I, iPad – Sir Jonathan Ive and Leonard Read Sing the Same Tune

    November 21, 2013
    Apple recently released an ad for the new iPad Air that -- whether intentionally or not -- mimics CEI’s I, Pencil short film. In the new ad, a pencil sits on a table as the narrator describes the many purposes of this simple machine. At the end of the 1:03 ad, the pencil lifts to reveal an iPad Air that’s been hiding behind the slim writing tool. Hark, Leonard Read fans! Take heart, disillusioned entrepreneurs! The iPad is a wonder of capitalism just like the pencil. And contrasting a pencil – seemingly simple, but used far less in our digital age – with an iPad reminds us that the collaboration that made possible the manufacture of old tools still works the same way today. An iPad and a pencil aren’t that different, after all. As the ad notes, both can “start a poem or finish a...
  • Taxpayer-Funded Propaganda to Show the "Evils" of Private Alcohol Sales

    November 21, 2013
    As if there wasn’t enough money in politics, now government agencies are using taxpayer dollars—our dollars—in an attempt to influence state policy. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded The Public Health Institute’s Alcohol Research Group almost $650,000 a year for five years to research the effects that alcohol privatization in Washington State has had on prices and alcohol-related harms. At first glance, it may seem like a perfectly appropriate research topic for the NIH to support, but the details make one wonder whether the motives for such research are scientific curiosity or pure politics. The organization that received the grant and its scientists have a long history of...


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