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OpenMarket: March 2017

  • Two Potential Outcomes for the Office of American Innovation

    March 28, 2017

    Yesterday the White House announced the launch of an Office of American Innovation. This is the latest of several moving and overlapping parts to President Trump's streamlining, swamp-draining, and “deconstructing the administrative state” agenda.  

    The new Innovation office seeks to bring private sector management expertise, lessons, and methods to the bloat of a federal government that otherwise seeks only to expand, as well as to shore up faltering entities like the Veterans Administration. Were we starting with a blank sheet of paper, we would not maintain the same goals and roles, and perhaps not even keep many of the agencies themselves. But since we are far from a blank sheet, the president’s plans for this new office should be considered carefully in order to be effective.

    This new Office of American Innovation has the potential to actually streamline parts of...

  • Six Reasons FCC Rules Are Not Needed to Protect Privacy

    March 27, 2017

    The Competitive Enterprise Institute has been long been skeptical of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) approach to regulating how Internet service providers (ISPs) use subscriber data. We filed comments expressing our concerns to the FCC in July 2016, before the agency adopted the rule, and again in March 2017. The FCC’s privacy rule, adopted by the agency in October 2016, regulates broadband providers’ data security practices and dictates how providers must obtain consent from their subscribers before collecting or disclosing user information. Last week, the Senate...

  • President Trump Expected to Block Blacklisting Rule

    March 27, 2017

    Today, President Trump is expected to approve a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval to repeal what is known as the Blacklisting rule. Upon signing, federal government agencies are prohibited from issuing a similar regulation. The regulation stems from a 2014 Executive Order that established excessive reporting requirements on federal contractors.

    In short, the Blacklisting rule requires contractors who bid on federal contracts over $500,000 to report alleged, as well as actual labor violations over the last three years. Reported violations can be used to block a company’s bid.

    As I previously wrote:

    This is exactly the kind of red tape...

  • March 27 Is International Whisk(e)y Day!

    March 27, 2017

    Cheers! It’s International Whisk(e)y Day! Not to be confused with World Whisky Day (May 20). What should you do to celebrate? Anything you like!

    International Whisk(e)y Day doesn’t discriminate. It embraces those who prefer whiskey and those who prefer whisky! Meet up with friends and try something new, open that mysterious bottle you’ve been saving, introduce someone new to your favorite spirit. Raise a glass! But International Whisk(e)y Day is bigger than just a glass of whiskey, because we know, “there’s more to whiskey than what’s in the glass.”

    International Whisk(e)y Day celebrates the life and birthday of Michael Jackson. No, not that Michael Jackson, the other Michael Jackson. Who? The renowned British beer and spirits writer who published The World Guide to Beer in 1977. Imagine...

  • New Report: Federal Employee Union Subsidy Costs $162 million

    March 27, 2017

    Last Friday afternoon, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released its biennial report, “Official Time Usage in the Federal Government—Fiscal Year 2014.”

    The survey uses a flimsy methodology to calculate how much time federal employees spend performing union business instead of serving the taxpayer. In FY 2014, federal employees spent 3,468,170 hours on official time, at a total cost of $162,522,763.18—a $5 million dollar increase from FY 2012. Unfortunately, union official time undoubtedly costs more than the report suggests.

    A 2014 Government Accountability Office...

  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    March 27, 2017

    The Trump administration’s 60-day regulatory freeze is now over, but many of this week’s new regulations are simply extensions of previous delays. So despite a relatively normal count of final rules, few of them actually implement new policies. Delayed rules range from imported lemons to hybrid car noise.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 67 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 55 the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 31 minutes.
    • Federal agencies have issued 668 final regulations in 2017. At that pace, there will be 2,982 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,616 regulations.
    • Last week, 791 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 937 pages the previous week.
    • The 2017 Federal Register totals 15,105 pages. It is...
  • Cheers to the Whiskey-preneurs

    March 27, 2017

    On International Whisk(e)y Day, we toast this spirit’s storied history and the countless individuals responsible for its global renaissance today. As you enjoy your favorite tipple, take a moment to give homage to the knowledge and craft charted over millennia—from the earliest distillers in...
  • Let's Make a Commitment to Human Ingenuity

    March 24, 2017

    Tomorrow, between 8:30 and 9:30 PM, environmental activists will show their commitment to Mother Nature by sitting in the dark for so-called “Earth Hour.” But paying homage to the Earth for an hour a year, isn’t going to change anything. It only showcases the fact that green activists choose to ignore what really makes the world a safer and better place to live: human ingenuity. 

    That is why, as the greens bump around in the dark, CEI urges individuals to turn on the lights and celebrate Human Achievement Hour. We turn on the lights and acknowledge that human creativity, fostered by free markets and free minds, is the source of improving people’s quality of life.

    And these achievements are not exclusive to those who live in wealthy nations. Expanding economic activity and technological development is...

  • Capitol Hill Staff Meet the Experts on Policy

    March 24, 2017

  • Human Achievement of the Day: The Written Word

    March 22, 2017

    What makes human beings unique? It isn’t tool use. Finches, otters, baboons, and many other of our fellow animals use sticks, rocks, and more to build nests and find food.

    Nor is it agriculture, though that particular revolution remains one of the most important events in human history...

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