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OpenMarket: September 2017

  • Climate Alarmists Exploit Hurricane Harvey to Score Political Points

    September 2, 2017

    Global warming alarmists exploit every weather disaster, and so it is no surprise that they are out in full force for Hurricane Harvey. Joe Romm summarizes the arguments being made at Think Progress.

    For once, most...

  • Economic Growth Rose to 3 Percent in Second Quarter of 2017

    September 1, 2017

    The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3 percent in the second quarter. That was significantly higher than the 2.7 percent expected. The New York Times noted that this is the economy’s best quarterly showing in two years. Growth was a mere 1.6 percent per year under Obama.

    Deregulation could help increase the growth rate. One example is getting rid of unnecessary occupational licensing...

  • Fix Payday Loans with More Competition

    September 1, 2017

    Last week, I wrote about the devastating impact that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new regulation on short-term, small-dollar loans could have upon consumers and businesses. The rule looks to prevent consumers from “rolling over” their loans, that is, remaining in debt for an extended period of time.

    To recap, the rule would be absolutely devastating to the industry and the vulnerable consumers it serves, potentially wiping out 75 percent of the 20,000 payday loan shops across the country. There are around 12 million Americans who use payday loans each year. It is naive to think that when this legitimate option disappears, that they will not be driven to more harmful practices,...

  • Why Africa Needs Economic Freedom

    September 1, 2017

    That is the topic I presented earlier this week as part of the panel discussion, Perspectives on African Development, at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute. The full contents of my presentation can be found here.

    I wanted to challenge the prevailing mindset of those who work in the development “industry,” in particular the idea that we need ever more foreign aid or expert-designed intervention to solve poverty once and for all. Yet the key to African development is just the opposite. I argued for an embrace of the same values that drove the West to unprecedented prosperity, and more recently, drove Asia to the greatest reduction in absolute poverty ever recorded.

    What...

  • Who Benefits from FCC's "No-Blocking" Rule?

    September 1, 2017

    The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2015 Open Internet Order included a “no-blocking” rule that prohibits Internet service providers (ISPs) from charging content providers a fee to avoid having their content, service, or applications blocked from reaching the ISP’s end-user customers.

    Advocates for regulation explain that this stops, for example, Verizon shaking down Netflix for money by threatening to cut off House of Cards to Verizon broadband customers.

    In reality, end-user customers could always switch to a broadband provider that did offer the content the consumer wanted. Market forces protected end-users from blocking for decades with very few (and ultimately unsuccessful) exceptions.

    But maybe the real question is, would it really be so bad for ISPs to charge content providers for access to their end-users?

    Economic literature...

  • White House Suspends EEO-1 Form that Cost Businesses $400 Million to Gather Wage Data

    September 1, 2017

    On August 29, the White House suspended a burdensome reporting requirement for employers that would have cost them $400 million while yielding information of questionable value. It did so in rejecting changes to the EEO-1 form made during the Obama administration.

    In a letter to EEOC Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic, the White House Office of Management and Budget stated that the pay collection and reporting requirements “lack practical utility, are unnecessarily burdensome, and do not adequately address privacy...

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