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OpenMarket: June 2015

  • Excerpts from Carly Fiorina's Address at CEI's Annual Dinner

    June 18, 2015

    Keynote address by business and nonprofit leader Carly Fiorina delivered at the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s annual dinner on June 11, 2015.

    Excerpts from text as prepared for delivery:

    When I was a little girl, my mother told me: “What you are is God’s gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God.” My mother and father would encourage me always to work hard, to aim high, to find and make the most of my gifts. I didn’t feel gifted as a young girl or a young woman, but my mother’s words seemed like both a promise and a challenge.

    I would start my career as a secretary in a little nine-person real estate firm. One day, two men who worked there approached my desk and said: “We’ve been watching you and we think you can do more than type and file. Do you want to learn about business?”

    They saw potential and possibilities in me...

  • Negotiators Leave Empty Handed, Greek Bank Withdrawal Begins

    June 18, 2015

    Greece’s neglected payment to the International Monetary Fund on Friday, June 5, has caused escalated tensions in the negotiation process between creditors and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. As the pressure to settle on a deal increases, Greece decided last week that they would take the option, posed to them by the IMF, to settle all four of their June loan repayments at the end of the month. This has spurred unrest for the people of Greece, as well as its creditors and Troika.

    After the announcement that Greece would be missing its scheduled repayment, Tsipras took the stage to address the Greek Parliament on the latest deal proposed by European Commission President Jean-Claude...

  • California Labor Commission Rules Uber Drivers Are Employees

    June 18, 2015

    A recent ruling by the California Labor Commission found that an Uber driver is an employee, not independent contractor as the ridesharing company argues. The order requires Uber to pay the driver $4,000 in expenses. Uber plans to appeal the decision, but if it stands, it could potentially destroy the popular ridesharing company's business model and others like it.

  • Reasons to Oppose the Ex-Im Bank, Part 4: False Economic Catastrophism

    June 18, 2015

    The Export-Import Bank’s charter expires on June 30. This series of posts makes the case for closing Ex-Im, one argument at a time. See also parts 12, and 3.

    General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt is claiming that closing the Export-Import Bank would mean “economic catastrophe.” He must use the term differently than most people do. A bit of math shows why.

    According to page 6 of Ex-Im’s 2014 ...

  • FCC Ignores Rule of Law in Attempt to Fine AT&T for Throttling Wireless Users

    June 17, 2015

    Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), on a three-to-two vote, found that AT&T violated federal regulations by failing to disclose that it was throttling certain wireless customers on an “unlimited” data plan. The FCC claims AT&T owes a $100 million fine. This announcement follows a lawsuit filed in October 2014 by another federal agency, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), arguing that AT&T violated federal consumer protection law by throttling its unlimited data plan customers. AT&T has pledged to take both agencies to court to defend itself against these allegations.

    By way of background, for many years, AT&T and many other wireless providers offered data plans—used for Internet browsing, email, video, and so forth—on an all-you-can eat, unlimited...

  • The IRS, Obamacare, and the English Language

    June 17, 2015

    In the days just before the March 4 Supreme Court hearing in King v. Burwell, I got a number of calls from total strangers who had read about the case and who wanted to be plaintiffs in it. I explained to them that it was too late to join the case then, but listened to their stories of cancelled insurance policies and jobs jeopardized by Obamacare. One call stood out in particular. It was from a woman in California who had moved to the U.S. years ago from the Ukrainian city of Donetsk. After explaining her health care predicament, she asked me: Do you understand how crazy this is? I left a totally dysfunctional country to come here, and now I find myself trapped in this insanity!

    That’s an interesting contrast to the disaster stories that we’ve been hearing for months, about what will happen if the Supreme Court rules in our favor in King. At issue in the...

  • Obama Administration Pressures Colleges to Adopt Unconstitutional Speech Codes

    June 17, 2015

    Under the Obama administration, the Education Department has pressured schools and colleges to restrict speech, including off campus speech, even when it is protected by the First Amendment, and is not severe and pervasive. It claims this is required by federal anti-discrimination laws such as Title IX and Title VI. It also expects colleges to investigate off-campus sexual misconduct by students, even though most federal appellate court rulings say schools have no such duty under Title IX. 

    As I recently...

  • Reasons to Oppose the Ex-Im Bank, Part 3: It Favors Big Business

    June 17, 2015

    The Export-Import Bank’s charter expires on June 30. This series of posts makes the case for closing Ex-Im, one argument at a time. See also parts 1 and 2.

    Ex-Im officials claim the vast majority of its lending activities go to smaller businesses. This is true by number of loans—in 2013, 2,160 out of 2,775 businesses receiving Ex-Im financing were small businesses, or just more than 78 percent. But Ex-Im’s claim is false by the more important metric of dollar value of loans. In most years, more than 80 percent of Ex-Im financing, measured in dollars,...

  • Significant Labor and Employment Issues in FY 2016 Labor-HHS-Ed Appropriations Bill

    June 16, 2015

    Stamped June 15, 2015 (5:55PM), the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee Department on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies has produced a draft bill for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16).

    Virtually every year this Labor-HHS-Ed bill faces significant challenges for individual enactment. However, every year the bill is enacted, albeit normally as part of a larger appropriations act.

    In every case, the initial draft of the bill sets the tone for the eventual enactment and frames the issues for debate.

    This initial FY16 draft contains the following significant verbatim provisions for increasing employment, bettering incentives for workers, reducing deadweight loss to the economy, augmenting workers’ income growth, and...

  • Trade Supporters Opt for More Breathing Room

    June 16, 2015

    House leadership will delay reconsideration of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)—up to a July 30 deadline they set—to give more time for President Obama to gain Democratic support for the measure, which is necessary to move “fast track” legislation. Last Friday, the House handily defeated TAA by a vote of 126-302, with 156 Republicans and 144 Democrats voting against it. It’s ironic that the Democrats used TAA, which was their long-supported package for worker assistance, to bring down Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). Many of the Republicans who voted against TAA thought it was a wasteful and unproven program. 

    Meanwhile on Tuesday, White House officials were planning to meet with...

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