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OpenMarket: November 2015

  • Will DOL's "Fiduciary Rule" Silence Dave Ramsey?

    November 30, 2015

    It is indeed sad that 40 percent of millennials favor the government banning speech that some deem offensive, according to a recent Pew poll. Even more distressing is that college students have plenty of company with members of other age groups and professions who want to shut down speech they disagree with.

    Take speech about personal finance. This is an area where there would certainly seem to be room for a diversity of opinion, given the complexity of the topic and differences in individual financial goals and circumstances. That’s why there is no shortage of books and radio and television shows with differing viewpoints about financial planning. If you don’t subscribe to what Suze Orman or others have to say, you can always read or tune in ...

  • RealClear Radio Hour: Rocker Conservationist and Apocalypse Averted

    November 30, 2015

    As we approach the COP-21 climate conference in Paris this December, RealClear Radio Hour brings our focus back to the only sustainable solutions for environmental concerns: common sense science and prudent environmental stewardship. My two guests this week are living examples of such solutions.

    My first guest is Chuck Leavell, long-time Rolling Stones keyboardist, conservationist, and award winning tree farmer at Charlane Plantation. Chuck sat down with me to share his passion for sustainable forestry and common sense approaches to land use, wildlife management, and balancing the needs for production and aesthetics.

    Listen to Chuck Leavell’s interview on Soundcloud or ...

  • Pennsylvania Legislature Begins Process of Firing Attorney General Kathleen Kane

    November 30, 2015

    Last month, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane stubbornly clung to office, refusing to resign even after she was suspended from practicing law for her alleged crimes and ethical violations by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (crimes including official oppression, perjury, and obstruction of justice).

    Even before she was suspended from the bar, we had already ...

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

    November 30, 2015

    Despite a respite for Thanksgiving, the 2015 Federal Register is now on pace to set an all-time record page count. It began publication in 1936. New regulations from the short week cover everything from California raisins to recombinant DNA technology.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 60 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 67 the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 48 minutes.
    • So far in 2015, 3,085 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,383 new regulations this year, fewer than the usual total of 3,500-plus.
    • Last week, 2,227 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,556 pages the previous week.
    • Currently at 74,670 pages, the 2015 Federal...
  • Douglass North, 1920-2015

    November 27, 2015

    Many great economists live long lives. James Buchanan, Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and Gordon Tullock all lived into their nineties. Ronald Coase died a centenarian. Sadly, Douglass North has joined that august club at age 95. Keynes’ prediction about the long run once again proves correct.

    North’s ideas and influence will live even longer than he did; consider that his successful rebuttal to Keynes. North won the 1993 economics Nobel for his work as an economic historian, and for showing the importance of institutions in economic development. He also played a large role in inspiring the New Institutional Economics (NIE) movement, which has its own scholarly society.

    What are institutions? North and the many economists he...

  • Much to Be Thankful For

    November 25, 2015

    Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and all of us have much to be thankful for. Over at Inside Sources, I have a Julian Simon-inspired take on the holiday:

    This Thursday is an opportunity to give thanks for a wonderful fact: In all of human history, there has never been a better time to be alive than right now. This might seem an odd thing to say at the moment. War, terrorism, poverty, political repression and hunger still plague many countries. The most recent wounds, inflicted in Paris, Syria, and elsewhere, are still fresh.

    But life is improving in unprecedented ways.

    Over the last century or so, the typical American’s income has grown sixfold. Life expectancy increased 30 years during the 20th century...

  • Thanksgiving: Massachusetts Discovers Property Rights

    November 25, 2015

    Thanksgiving is a day layered in tradition and myth. The standard story makes much of the creative efforts of our ancestors, the assistance provided by the friendly Indians (aka Native Americans) and the richness of the land and seas. That view is romantic, but obscures the fact that over half the original settlers died in the first year, bloody wars between the settlers and the Indians soon dominated the frontier, and that for the first three years, the “bountiful” earth provided little food to the starving colonials.

    The Pilgrims were a highly religious group seeking to live as an extended family in a communal order. Initially they placed all farm lands into a “commons” which all would farm and harvest from collectively. That system goes back to tribal societies with strong cultural rules. Protestant culture, it turned out, ...

  • Washington's Thanksgiving Turkeys: Here's Your Chance to Fill Up on the White House's 218 Economically Significant Rules

    November 24, 2015

    The president will pardon a couple turkeys again this year for Thanksgiving.

    The birds will take a carbon-intensive cross country flight from San Francisco International Airport to meet the POTUS.

    For us, there is no reprieve coming from Washington’s big-government ways.

    In fact, you could stuff a lot of Thanksgiving turkeys with the red tape and paperwork pouring out of Washington.

    There are thousands of rules and regulations every year, in every administration.

    The Fall 2015 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (mostly regulatory), released just before the Holiday break,  ...

  • Fracking: The Gift Keeps Giving

    November 24, 2015

    “U.S. proved crude oil reserves hit levels not seen since 1972, surpassing 39 billion barrels in 2014, according to newly released federal data,” Michael Bastasch reports in The Daily Caller. He continues:

    America’s proved crude oil reserves have grown for the past six consecutive years, according to the Energy Information Administration, and are now at levels not seen in 42 years. Crude reserves jumped 3.4 billion barrels from 2013 to 2014—a 9 percent increase.

    Similarly, U.S. proved reserves of natural gas are higher than at any time in the past 50 years.

    ...
  • 3 Political Food Developments to Be Thankful For

    November 24, 2015

    For most of us in the U.S., we don’t have to worry about getting enough food. Quite the opposite actually; holidays like Thanksgiving can be anxiety-inducing for anyone trying to lose or keep off excess weight. But so long as you take care to have a healthy diet for most of the year, there’s no harm in a little indulgence to celebrate hard work and blessings well-deserved. So, in addition to great food, family, and friends, here are a few food-related things I am thankful for.

    BPA-lined canned goods: As my colleague Angela Logomasini noted, “BPA—which is short for bisphenol A—is a chemical manufactures have used for 60 or so years to make hard plastics and resins used in food packaging without ever being traced back to any actual health problems.” That, of course, hasn’t...

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