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OpenMarket: July 2018

  • Five Reasons Banning Plastics May Harm the Environment and Consumers

    July 13, 2018

    Consumers beware: In response to plastic waste collecting in the oceans, states, businesses, and even the European Union have proposed absurd bans on the use of everyday plastic straws, cups, and other items in an attempt to solve ocean pollution.

    This week, Starbucks pledged to remove plastic straws from its nearly 30,000 stores worldwide by 2020. Starbucks joins a going list of companies supporting this effort to decrease or ban the use of plastics: IKEA, Royal Caribbean, McDonald’s, Hyatt, American and Alaska Airlines, and more.

    Recently, the city of Seattle became the first U.S. city to ban plastic straws and utensils...

  • Free Trade Makes Us All Richer (Even If Other Countries Don't "Play Fair")

    July 13, 2018

    This week my colleague Ryan Young rightly warned that the White House’s newly announced tariffs on Chinese goods will harm Americans consumers and workers. Simon Lester of the Cato Institute also notes that confusion about the nature of trade deficits is a bipartisan one. This is a good opportunity to get back to basics and remember what tariffs are and how they affect economic behavior and consumer welfare.

  • Climate Change, Fossil Fuels, and Human Well Being

    July 11, 2018

    Climate campaigners demand ever-greater government control over energy markets, resources, and infrastructure. Many believe the best thing governments can do with fossil energy is “keep it in the ground.” They claim fossil-fueled civilization is “unsustainable” and headed for a climate catastrophe. Are they correct?

    Prediction is difficult—especially about the future! Nonetheless, an abundance of information from high quality sources, like Our World in Data, reveals that the long-term trends in human health and welfare are strongly positive.

    According to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warming of the climate system is “...

  • Priorities for DOL's Office of Labor-Management Standards

    July 9, 2018

    The Trump administration recently installed Arthur Rosenfeld as the head of the Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS), which administers and enforces the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. The LMRDA was enacted to ensure union leaders are accountable to their members. Now, with the vacancy at the OLMS filled, here is shortlist of priorities the sub-agency should seek to accomplish.

  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    July 9, 2018

    America celebrated its 242nd birthday on Wednesday, and new tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods came into effect on Friday. Meanwhile, during a four-day work week, regulators added new rules ranging from documenting non-immigrants to loan seasoning.

  • A Quick Lesson in Antitrust: Netflix and Comcast

    July 8, 2018

    Every time a major corporate merger is announced, pundits predictably warn of impending doom if regulators allow it to happen. Yet, pundits and regulators don’t know any better than you or I how a merger will turn out. And unlike investors and entrepreneurs, they don’t have their own money at stake, so they don’t have any incentive to innovate or react to changing conditions.

  • VIDEO: Your Next Government? From the Nation State to Stateless Nations

    July 6, 2018

    Since the early days of classical civilization, when (a notably imperfect form of) democracy was born, at least some people in the world have had an expectation that they should have a voice in the laws under which they live. As civilization grew and representative democracy became the norm rather than a rare exception, human beings everywhere began to demand a choice in their form of government.

    Even within long-established countries, subgroups of citizens are working for more autonomy today. The Free State Project pioneers in New Hampshire and doing it one way, and others are agitating for California, for example, to be...

  • Pruitt Leaves EPA Well Positioned to Advance Trump Pro-Growth Agenda

    July 6, 2018

    Scott Pruitt resigned as EPA administrator following months of controversy over a growing list of purported administrative improprieties. Ousting Pruitt has been a progressive movement objective from day one. Progressives may regret getting what they wished for, as EPA staff will now be able to concentrate on advancing the reform agenda Pruitt successfully launched.

  • Guidance on How to Curtail Time Federal Employees Spend Performing Union Business

    July 6, 2018

    If the Trump administration wants to achieve its stated goal to use tax dollars as effectively as possible, ending the practice known as official time, which allows unionized government employees to perform union business while being paid by taxpayers, should be high on its to-do list.

  • Congressional Democrats Seek to Undermine Janus Decision

    July 5, 2018

    Despite union hysterics, the Supreme Court's Janus decision does not impede or prohibit public employees’ right to unionize or collectively bargain. Instead, government unions will simply have to compete for membership and funding like every other membership-based organization. But Democrats in Congress are seeking to undermine the decision via legislation.


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