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OpenMarket: March 2015

  • State Labor Law Reform Beyond Right-to-Work

    March 12, 2015
    Governor Scott Walker and Wisconsin's legislature are not alone. A number of states are introducing legislation that enhances worker freedom and holds unions accountable to the workers they represent.
  • Chaffetz Tells States and Lotteries: If You Don’t Want an Online Gambling Ban, Introduce Your Own

    March 11, 2015

    According to a Gambling Compliance story (paywall) posted today, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) participated in a conference call last week with about 20 state and lottery officials to discuss his proposal to create a nationwide ban on Internet gambling. Chaffetz’s bill rewrites the 1961 Wire Act, which he claims was “reinterpreted” by Obama’s DOJ in 2011—which opened the door for states to legalize online gambling. When the participants voiced their concerns that Chaffetz’s bill would also criminalize lottery activities that were legal prior to 2011, Chaffetz responded by brazenly suggesting that when his bill passes, they can try to pass their own federal bill. “You can come back and re-start if you want,” Chaffetz concluded.

    The call was organized by the Commerce...

  • Steelworkers Allegedly Intimidate Members that Just Want to Work

    March 11, 2015
    On February 1, the United Steelworkers (USW) instigated a strike at several oil refineries around the country, a first since the 1980s. After contract negotiations deteriorated between the union and Shell Oil, thousands of USW's members went on strike, which is still ongoing.
  • Marketplace Fairness Act Is More about Tax Revenue and Rent-Seeking than Fairness

    March 11, 2015

    Yesterday, Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wy.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) reintroduced the speciously named Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) in the 114th Congress. The legislation would authorize state tax collectors to reach across borders and tax out-of-state businesses, therein subjecting online retailers to taxation without representation.

    Certainly, there are inequities in the way remote sales are taxed, but the MFA’s approach is a cure worse than the disease. It would unfairly burden remote retailers by forcing them to calculate for approximately 10,000 distinct tax jurisdictions—each with their own rates, definitions and tax exemptions—while leaving brick and mortar shops to simply apply and remit tax based on the point of sale. Not much of a level playing field there.

    So if not “fairness,” as supporters of the bill claim,...

  • 6 Ridiculous Myths about Legal Internet Gambling Busted

    March 11, 2015

    Should the United States government ban online poker? One billionaire casino owner thinks so. In the quest to convince Americans that they shouldn't be able to do what they want with their own money in their own homes, proponents of the ban have spent big bucks and spread big lies. Below are some of the biggest whoppers.

  • How Not to Fix, and Fix, Federal Surface Transportation Policy

    March 9, 2015

    A lot of misinformation and scaremongering swells around transportation infrastructure policy in Washington. We are told our highway network is on the verge of collapse (false), that the federal role is the most critical component of government transportation infrastructure funding (false), and that things will only get worse unless we submit to massive federal gas tax increases (false). To be sure, there are many transportation projects that should be completed over the next two decades. But the “crisis” is politically manufactured. The infrastructure lobby does no one any favors by...

  • Remembering M. Stanton Evans

    March 9, 2015

    What do best-selling author and New Yorker correspondent Malcolm Gladwell, ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Terry Moran, popular conservative journalist and author John Fund, and this writer have in common? We are all graduates of the National Journalism Center internship program, under the leadership of M. Stanton Evans.

    Stan, as he was called by friends (and whom I was privileged to call a friend after I graduated from the program), died last week at 80 of pancreatic cancer. He had no children, but left behind a legacy of students dispersed in prominent positions in media and public policy. All of us benefitted from the lessons he imparted on the importance of finding facts, regardless of opinion, on the subjects we were researching.

    “I tell my students even if you are an opinion journalist, your opinion should be based on facts,” Stan told New York...

  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    March 9, 2015

    The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the King v. Burwell case last week. The decision, likely to appear in June, will determine in part whether regulatory agencies are allowed to rewrite legislation passed by Congress. Other than that, it was business as usual, with new regulations covering everything from 15 EPA rules to school lunches.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 72 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 65 new regulations the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 20 minutes.
    • So far in 2015, 488 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 2,542 new regulations this year, which would be roughly 1,000 fewer rules than the usual total.
    • Last week, 1,242 new pages were added to the...
  • University of California Dean: Academic Freedom Makes Students "Feel Unsafe"

    March 6, 2015

    Recently, the dean of the School of Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley condemned a professor’s constitutionally protected remarks, including but not limited to his mention of black-on-black crime at a Black Lives Matter event. A complaint has also apparently been filed against the professor with the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination.  

    Rather than defending academic freedom, Dean Jeffrey Edelson said “we deeply regret the reported incident” involving Steven Segal, a tenured professor, who has taught at Berkeley for more than 40 years and is world-renowned for his...

  • Gov. Scott Walker Aims to Make Wisconsin 25th Right-to-Work State Monday

    March 5, 2015
    No individual should be forced to financially support an organization they disagree with or risk penalty. Thankfully, Governor Scott Walker is determined to ensure that Wisconsin law won't let that happen anymore by planning to sign the right-to-work (RTW) bill into law on Monday.

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