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OpenMarket: April 2014

  • Driverless Cars, Innovation, and Regulation: Let's Not Mess it Up

    April 23, 2014
    CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman about to take a spin in Google's self-driving car. (Photo by Marc Scribner) CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman about to take a spin in Google's self-driving car. (Photo by Marc Scribner)

  • Pseudoscience and Clickbaiting Results in Beer Fear

    April 22, 2014
    There’s a lot of pseudoscience about food out there. From genetically modified crops to organic foods to corn syrup, to preservatives, passionate opinions abound, but well-reasoned, well-researched reporting on the issues is scarce. Normally, I selectively address the more egregious offenses and ignore the rest. But once in a while, an article comes along that is so misinformed, so hyperbolic, and so viral that it cannot be ignored. When such an article maligns one of my favorite food items, beer, I am duty-bound to come to its defense. Recently, Organics.org turned a post by the blogger Vani Hari, better known as the “Food Babe,” into the worst kind of clickbait with the sky-is-falling headline, “8 Beers That You Should...
  • Victory for Maryland Parents and Consumers: Energy Drink Ban Voted Down

    April 21, 2014
    A bill that would have banned the sale of energy drinks for minors in Maryland was recently voted down in committee almost unanimously. The bill was introduced after the death of 14-year-old Anais Fournier, which was reportedly linked to the consumption of energy drinks, and several news stories linking energy drinks to an increased number of hospitalizations fueled the panic over energy drinks potential hazards. However, Maryland lawmakers, to their credit, did not rush to legislate on a matter that would affect all Marylanders based on a few anecdotal cases. While it’s understandable that parents would want lawmakers to do something to protect their children from potentially hazardous products, legislating based on anecdotal evidence isn’t...
  • Taxable Bitcoins 2: We're Not Gonna Pay it!

    April 21, 2014
    Reason magazine’s Brian Doherty recently addressed the IRS’s recent announcement that bitcoin transactions are taxable. As I addressed in my last piece, while the IRS may have sought to clarify their taxation process for bitcoins, it has only caused further confusion. I agree with Doherty that this announcement is not detrimental to bitcoin, but there are unresolved issues that need to be considered. The plan is for the IRS requires users to self-report their transactions to the IRS; it is easy to see why compliance might be a problem. For a currency based upon subverting government regulations, there will likely be a group of Bitcoin users who choose to avoid payment of taxes to the IRS wherever possible. The...
  • CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    April 21, 2014
    84 new regulations, from stair-climbing wheelchairs to crustacean irradiation.
  • UAW Drops Volkswagen Union Election Appeal

    April 21, 2014
    Remember when the United Auto Workers lost in a unionization vote at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and filed an appeal to overturn the election results? It was all a charade.
  • The NLRB Shows Union Favoritism

    April 18, 2014
    Unions have always had special privileges in America, but ever since 1973, when United States v. Enmons exempted them from compliance with the Hobbs Act, unions have received privileges that no one else could even dream of. U.S. v. Enmons held that violence for the cause of “legitimate” union objectives is not counted as extortion. That is an extraordinary privilege to say the least.
  • CEI, Former State Department Officials Defend Freedom of Contract in Supreme Court Case against Argentina

    April 17, 2014
    [caption id="attachment_74355" align="alignright" width="300"]Argentina President Cristina Kirchner Argentina President Cristina Kirchner[/caption] Can a country seeking to welsh on its debts invoke sovereign immunity to evade not just court orders to pay those debts, but also post-judgment discovery aimed at collecting on those judgments? Can it do so to prevent not just discovery directed at it, but also at third-party banks? Most importantly, perhaps, can it do so even though it contractually waived sovereign immunity? The answer is yes, according to...
  • CEI Podcast for April 17, 2014: Brexit Strategy

    April 17, 2014
    Iain Murray, CEI's Vice President for Strategy, along with Freedom Association Director Rory Broomfield, won second place Institute for Economic Affairs' Brexit Competition. The goal of the competition is to devise a strategy for Britain's exit from the European Union.
  • Paycheck Protection and Union Dishonesty

    April 16, 2014
    Paycheck protection and right-to-work are under siege in Missouri’s continuing labor fight.

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