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OpenMarket: July 2014

  • CEI Ranks States' Pension Debt and Analyzes the Consequences

    July 9, 2014

    Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute released the first installment of CEI’s new three-part series, The High Cost of Big Labor, which looks at the economic impact of labor policies on U.S. states.

    In “Understanding Public Pensions: A State-by-State Comparison,” economist Robert Sarvis ranks the states based on their pension debt. This debt burdens labor markets and worsens the business climate. To get a clear picture of the extent of this effect around the nation, this paper amalgamates six studies of states’ pension debts and ranks them from worst to best. Today, many states face budget crunches due to massive pension debts that have accumulated over the past two decades, often in the billions of dollars. There are...

  • Puerto Rico Governor Vetoes Workplace Bullying Bill Passed by Legislature

    July 8, 2014

    Puerto Rico’s economy has been in recession for years, and its public utilities are on the verge of defaulting on their debts. Judging from a recent New York Times story, tax increases designed to prevent Puerto Rico from defaulting have crushed many small businesses. Hiring, especially by small businesses, is also discouraged by local labor laws that make it harder to discharge problem employees than in any other jurisdiction in America. (Puerto Rico is not an at-will employment state, unlike 49 of the 50 U.S. states. That makes it dramatically harder to fire lackluster employees in...

  • Cronyism and the Export-Import Bank

    July 8, 2014

    Over at Rare, I have a piece on the cronyism angle of the Export-Import Bank debate. The Senate will likely vote this on month on whether or not to end the bank:

    [I]f government is going to dole out corporate welfare, the most efficient way to do it is to hand out cold, hard cash. Straight subsidies don’t distort international markets or invite corruption the way export subsidies do.

    But most cash gifts to corporations are political non-starters. They’re a little too obvious. So companies and allied politicians need cover stories. The Export-Import Bank fits the bill.

    An official logo, sophisticated-sounding economic rhetoric, and appeals to American jobs and patriotism are designed to make...

  • Dodd-Frank Is Obamacare for Non-Health Insurance

    July 7, 2014

    “If you like your life, home, and auto insurance, you can keep them.”

    President Obama didn’t make this promise when he signed into law the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul on July 21, 2010, as he did regarding the health insurance law – Obamacare – that he signed into law a few months earlier that year. But as syndicated columnist Jay Ambrose points out, “if the Dodd-Frank regulatory law does what is now plotted, though he will still share responsibility for the insurance provision that, along with others, could bloody lots of noses.”

    As Dodd-Frank approaches its fourth anniversary, Obama is singing its praises. He told National Public...

  • Amicus Brief to NLRB regarding Unionization of Collegiate Athletes

    July 7, 2014
    For the National Labor Relations Board’s full consideration of unionizing student athletes, I submitted an amicus brief opposing the regional director’s decision and direction of election.
  • Red Tapeworm 2014: Over 24,000 Pen and Phone “Public Notices” Annually

    July 7, 2014

    This is Part 16 of a series taking a walk through some sections of Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State (2014 Edition)

    Executive orders matter increasingly in a realm where the domain of private sector authority and control yields to governmental bodies and bureaucracies. (Read more about them in the July 4 special edition of “Red Tapeworm.”)

    “Public Notices” published in the Federal Register also matter more as a regulatory state ages and accumulates bulk.

    While there are ...

  • The Left’s Labor Blind Spots

    July 7, 2014
    As you may have heard, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito handed public sector unions a minor defeat this Monday.
  • CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    July 7, 2014

    It was a short work week due to the 4th of July holiday, but a busy one. Monday’s Federal Register topped 500 pages, and Tuesday alone saw 29 new final regulations.

  • The American (Business) Revolution

    July 3, 2014

    On our nation’s 238th birthday, a flood of public events, political speeches, and TV specials will remind us of the courage of our colonial ancestors in throwing off the authoritarian government of King George III. The Revolutionary War sparked a movement for democratic government that spread rapidly, eventually serving as an inspiration to billions around the globe.

    But the separation from Great Britain was also a revolution for commerce. In the 1770s, American merchants and consumers labored under a burden of high taxes, administrative red tape, and punitive import duties. It was the passage of the Tea Act in 1773, which worsened that burden, which drove the patriots known as the Sons of Liberty to destroy the East India Company’s famous cargo during the Boston Tea Party.

    We often forget that the taxes and regulations on tea that the Sons of Liberty found so odious...

  • New York Court Voids Cyberbullying Law, Thus Casting Doubt on Proposed Workplace Bullying Law

    July 3, 2014

    A law firm notes, “Since 2003, twenty-one states have introduced legislation to combat private workplace bullying but none have been passed into law.” However, a bullying bill known as the so-called “Healthy Workplace Bill” (S. 3863) recently passed the New York Senate Labor Committee.

    A recent ruling by the New York Court of Appeals provides additional fodder for critics of overly-broad bullying legislation, such as bills that restrict supervisors’ criticism of employees or hold employers liable for hurtful or offensive remarks by a worker’s peers.

    On July 1, New York’s ...


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