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OpenMarket: March 2018

  • Consumers Lose in European Union's Struggle against Google

    March 26, 2018

    Anti-technology hysteria continues to build in the European Union. Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition, confirmed today that she is still considering breaking up Google into smaller companies, ostensibly to protect online competition. This follows the Commission’s proposals for “Fair Taxation of the Digital Economy” that appeared on March 21st, which seek to redefine where profits for digital companies are registered and subject to corporate taxation, as well as introducing a new “interim tax” on revenues to generate more money for the Commission’s coffers.

  • Arizona Becomes First State to Establish FinTech Sandbox

    March 24, 2018

    As the only state where all four North American deserts reside, it’s fitting that Arizona became the first state to establish a “sandbox” for financial technology firms. Earlier this week, Governor Doug Ducey followed the lead of the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, and other nations by signing House Bill 2434 and establishing an innovative framework for regulating FinTech firms.

  • California Climate Change Litigation: Will Big Oil Learn How to Fight? 

    March 23, 2018

    This week, Chevron lawyer Ted Boutrous told federal Judge William Alsup that “There’s no debate about climate science.” His company “accepts the consensus of the scientific community” that recent climate change is real and caused primarily by industrial activity. According to the San Francisco Examiner, the lawsuits filed by San Francisco and Oakland against Chevron and four other oil and gas companies “ask for financial compensation, possibly in the billions of dollars, to pay for seawalls and other infrastructure to protect people and property against rising sea levels and global warming.”

  • Will Government Allow Gene Editing for Cancer Treatment?

    March 23, 2018

    The idea of genome editing is no longer a theoretical concept studied only within the confines of labs and scientific research institutions. In August 2017, scientists reportedly managed to successfully use the genome editing technique to correct a disease-causing mutation in viable human embryos. This is just one of the many applications of the technique scientists want to use to alter, and ultimately prevent, damaging mutations in plants, animals, and humans.

  • Outlook for Economy's 'Master Resource' Bright

    March 23, 2018

    Yesterday my colleague Marlo Lewis and I sat down for a Facebook Live interview (archived here) on this week’s big event, Human Achievement Hour, our annual celebration of innovation and progress. Because of the role of energy as the “master resource” in the economy (and of Marlo’s own extensive expertise in the field), much of our conservation revolved around how important supplies of affordable energy are to human health and well-being.

  • Liberate Dishwashers from Federal Efficiency Mandates

    March 23, 2018

    Thirty-five years ago dishwashers cleaned dishes in about an hour. Sadly, today there are no dishwashers that do so due to federal government regulations. This isn’t progress, it is the failure of government to allow consumer choice. The Competitive Enterprise Institute this week petitioned the Department of Energy to fix the problem.

  • 3 Proposals to Temper the Federal Payday Loan Rule

    March 23, 2018

    When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized a rule regulating payday loans in October last year, I wrote that this could be the end of the road for millions of desperate customers who rely on these loans to get from paycheck-to-paycheck. It's now March 2018, and there aren’t many options left for these marginal consumers.

  • Natural Isn't Necessarily Better: Celebrating Human Achievement

    March 23, 2018

    Human Achievement Hour is the Competitive Enterprise’s Institute’s annual celebration of innovation and progress. During this hour, people around the world pay tribute to the advancements that inventors and entrepreneurs have created in every field, from health and energy to communications and transportation. These advancements allow us to live richer, fuller lives and protect us and our families from unpredictable hazards, both in everyday life and during emergencies and disasters.

  • Next Steps in Facebook Privacy Fallout 

    March 22, 2018

    Privacy policies at Facebook—and, by extension, other major online platforms—have sparked furious debate in recent days because of the revelations regarding unauthorized data mining prior to the 2016 general election by the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The controversy has, understandably, left many people wondering what can be done to better protect the data of Internet users, and even what new government policies might be called for.  

  • History Lesson in Technological Optimism: Simon, Jevons, and Lardner

    March 22, 2018

    Through his publications and scholarly work in the 1980s and 90s, the economist Julian Simon challenged the conventional wisdom and the intellectual position of the “anointed,” that resources were becoming increasingly scarce and human demand for them ever larger and more threatening to the survival of the planet. The response of the elites to their own prognostication was the endorsement of a (for some) centrally-planned government bent on regulating, rationing, controlling, and suppressing human individuality and agency. 

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