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OpenMarket: June 2015

  • "Worker's Choice" Proposal

    June 4, 2015
    On June 2, 2015, Vincent Vernuccio, the Director of Labor Policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and one of my predecessors here at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, released a new paper proposing a policy he entitles “Worker’s Choice.”
  • The Value of Trade

    June 3, 2015

    WTO's new video, titled “Trade matters to me,” captures the consumer value of trade on an everyday basis, from pants to fuselage. Reminiscent of CEI’s “I, Pencil,” the video shows how pieces of everything we wear and use are made available through international trade. And developing countries are a vibrant part of those activities, as shown by jeans that are sewn in Mauritius, leather from Morocco for shoes,...

  • Texas Court Upholds NLRB Ambush Election

    June 2, 2015
    On June 1, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas upheld the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) ambush election, which dramatically alters longstanding union election procedures, invades employee privacy, limits employers involvement during union organizing campaigns, and heavily favors labor unions.
  • Ex-Im and Boeing, Sitting in a Tree

    June 2, 2015

    In most years, nearly half of the Export-Import Bank’s business is for Boeing’s benefit. The relationship between the two is so cozy that Ex-Im’s informal nickname around Washington is the “Bank of Boeing.” Yet, in an interview with Politico, Ex-Im president and chairman Fred Hochberg said, “We don’t lend a single penny to Boeing.”

    Oddly enough, both assertions are true—Boeing really is by far Ex-Im’s biggest beneficiary, despite no direct loans. That’s why Hochberg’s statement is misleading. Ex-Im does make loans, but most of its business is in guaranteeing loans made by other banks. As Hochberg puts it, Ex-Im does this “so that Egyptian Airways can choose a Boeing plane over an Airbus plane. That way they can make their choice on the basis of the...

  • Employment Effects of the NLRB's Joint-Employer Cases

    June 2, 2015

    Following the script of the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Administrator David Weil in his book The Fissured Workplace, the National Labor Relations Board is pushing big businesses to hire people in-house rather than utilize small, specialized businesses, which would suffer. Weil’s theory is that bigger businesses are more sensitive about brand reputation and thus more susceptible to pressure from unions and trial lawyers. Using a line of cases concerning joint employment, the NLRB has specifically targeted such industries as franchising, trucking, contracting, temping, and outsourcing.

    If the NLRB were to get its way, job creation would falter for several reasons. First, franchising itself could be imperiled, and franchising creates jobs faster than other businesses do. Second, small...

  • Here Are All 205 "Economically Significant" Rules in the Spring 2015 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations

    June 2, 2015

    The Spring 2015 Unified Agenda of Federal Deregulatory and Regulatory Actions was released by the Obama administration just before Memorial Day weekend.

    It’s less of a “memorial” to the American idea of liberty than a monument to red tape.

    Many recognize that the already obscure (but eye-opening) document tends to be released just before holiday weekends, as if to escape notice.

    The Agenda is a twice-annual cross-section of the regulatory state. It’s a pipeline showing the flow of rules and regulations at the "Active" (pre-rule, proposed and final rule states), "Completed" and "Long-term" phases.

    The total number of rules in the Agenda is 3,260; that consists of 2,323 Active...

  • Understanding the EPA’s Power Grab through the “Waters of the U.S. Rule”

    June 1, 2015

    Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) promulgated the Waters of the U.S. Rule, a regulation that purports to clarify which waters of the United States are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

    Background

    The CWA regulates the discharge of pollution into navigable waters. Rather than limit the definition of “navigable waters” to mean waters that are interstate and “navigable in fact,” the Clean Water Act broadens the definition of “navigable waters” so as to include non-navigable waters, in order to afford federal regulators a greater degree of environmental oversight. Federal jurisdiction, therefore, extends beyond waters that are strictly “navigable.”

    However, the Clean Water Act fails to establish an exact limitation on federal...

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

    June 1, 2015

    It was a four-day work week because of the Memorial Day holiday, but regulators still had a busy week, with new regulations covering everything from potato-handling to area code overlays. The Federal Register also topped the 30,000-page mark.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 70 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 49 the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 24 minutes.
    • So far in 2015, 1,236 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of exactly 3,000 new regulations this year, which would be several hundred fewer rules than the usual total of 3,500-plus.
    • Last week, 980 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,780 pages the previous week.
    • Currently at 30,...

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