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OpenMarket: August 2016

  • 31 Is the Loneliest Number... on the CEI Calendar

    August 31, 2016

    We just realized that August 31st is missing from CEI's 2016 Cartoon Calendar.

    We can’t blame this on global warming alarmists. There is no blame for state Attorneys General. We can’t even blame this on the federal bureaucracy. We’ve got only ourselves to blame; we goofed. 

    We hope this doesn’t cause any scheduling chaos...

  • Brexit: A Liberal Britain?

    August 31, 2016

    There is a great risk in Brexit Britain. It’s the possibility that the country’s leaders will listen to all the calls for protectionism, subsidies, and metaphorical wall-building that are increasing as the idea that Britain is going to leave the European Union sinks in. A recent example is the...
  • Rewards and Risks of a Federal Regulatory Budget (Part 3)

    August 31, 2016

    Monday in this space, I advocated the idea of a regulatory cost budget but noted there exist looming pitfalls and political traps that could derail it or easily make it not worth supporting, or even rendering it something to actively oppose. Yesterday I noted how, in the way the federal government treats tax breaks as an “expenditure,” budgeting could inadvertently lead to government expansion. Here’s the second potential pitfall, with more to come later.

    Hazard 2: The Elevation of Utilitarianism Over Individual Rights

    Although critics contend cost‑benefit analysis trades lives for dollars, tradeoffs in the public sphere have long been known as “a necessity logically...

  • Settlement Insurance Shows Need for Court Skepticism in Class Actions

    August 31, 2016

    A plaintiffs’ attorney and an insurance executive have created a business, Risk Settlements, that offers a “post-lawsuit settlement insurance product specifically designed to manage settlement risk, cap exposure and provide certainty to the uncertain world of class action settlements.” That this business model is viable—and that it purports to save class-action defendants millions of dollars in claims-made settlements—demonstrates the need for courts to provide scrutiny of what class-action settlements actually provide consumers, and to structure incentives for class counsel to minimize conflicts of interest.

    Under Risk Settlements’ class action settlement insurance, “in exchange for a fixed premium payment, the insurer covers all valid claims made pursuant to...

  • Rewards and Risks of a Federal Regulatory Budget (Part 2)

    August 30, 2016

    Yesterday in this space, I advocated the idea of a regulatory cost budget but noted looming pitfalls and political traps that could derail it or easily make it not worth supporting, or even render it something I'd actively oppose. Let’s get started with the first pitfall today, with more to come later.

    Hazard 1: The Perverse Expansion of Government

    The most elemental risk of a regulatory budget was submitted by Christopher DeMuth during the era when the idea was being framed (that is, the 70s disco era and then the early 80s before hair metal). DeMuth wrote a lengthy defense of cost budgeting concepts, but cautioned that a regulatory budget could potentially bring more of the economy’s private expenditures under purview of government by incorporating them...

  • National Right to Work Committee Wrong on Air Traffic Control Reform

    August 29, 2016

    The handful of conservative critics of air traffic control reform get the facts all wrong. Previously contained in the House’s AIRR Act, the reform plan would put the nation’s air traffic control system in the hands of a nongovernmental nonprofit controlled by a board of directors representing aviation stakeholders.

    That reform model has solid...

  • For Affordable Housing, Ditch Prevailing Wage Laws

    August 29, 2016

    For residents of some of the nation’s major cities, it’s hardly news that housing costs are high, with little likelihood of their coming down any time soon.

    However, in two of the country’s largest states, construction unions are highlighting a possible solution, albeit unintentionally, by their opposition to affordable housing ...

  • Rewards and Risks of a Federal Regulatory Budget (Part 1)

    August 29, 2016

  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    August 29, 2016

    In one of their busiest weeks to date, agencies passed more than a hundred new regulations covering everything from rubies to frogs. Look for the 2016 Federal Register to pass 60,000 pages this week as it continues its record pace.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 101 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 67 the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every one hour and 40 minutes.
    • With 2,429 final regulations published so far in 2016, the federal government is on pace to issue 3,658 regulations in 2016. Last year’s total was 3,406 regulations.
    • Last week, 2,647 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 2,560 pages the previous week.
    • Currently at 59,039 pages, the 2016 Federal Register is on pace for 88,915 pages. This would exceed the...
  • RealClear Radio Hour: Budding CEOs, Women, and Politics

    August 29, 2016

    On this week’s episode, Jeff Sandefer tells how children younger than 10 are wowing Shark Tank investors and Sarah Skwire compares the feminism of free markets with the sexism of politics.

    My first guest this week is Jeff Sandefer, co-founder and middle school teacher at the Acton Academy. Jeff shares his novel approach to education—emboldening children to be heroes on a hero’s journey. Sandefer recounts stories from the Acton Children’s Business Fair, and explains how children as young as five adeptly embrace entrepreneurship.



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