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OpenMarket: August 2018

  • Confirm Kraninger, Rein in Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection

    August 23, 2018

    Today, the Senate Banking Committee will likely vote to send the nomination of Kathleen Kraninger for director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to the Senate floor. Based on her testimony at her confirmation hearing in July, the Competitive Enterprise Institute supports Kraninger’s nomination to head the BCFP (formerly known as the CFPB).

  • 'Infant Industry' Argument Does Not Justify Trade Barriers

    August 22, 2018

    Most startups fail. The conventional wisdom is that about 90 percent of businesses fail within five years of their founding. For companies making new types of products in brand-new industries, maybe protective tariffs or other trade barriers can give them a little bit of a breather from foreign competition until they become established enough to compete on their own. This is the “infant industry” argument, and was first popularized by no less than John Stuart Mill.

  • Reform Endangered Species Act to Contain Costs

    August 22, 2018

    The Endangered Species Act (ESA), passed in 1973, has had several decades to accumulate a record of costs and benefits. Despite bureaucrats and activists often pointing to it as a success story of environmental policymaking, its record is one of enormous costs and shockingly few benefits. The time is long since due for a formal reckoning of the ESA’s economic impact—and a plan for how Congress and the executive branch can reform it. You can find the beginning of such a plan in the new CEI study “‘Whatever the Cost’ of the Endangered Species Act, It’s Huge.  

  • Republicans Must Take Back Control of National Labor Relations Board

    August 22, 2018

    Since Republicans reclaimed the majority at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Democrats and unions have been conducting an obstruction campaign against the Board by lobbing baseless ethics complaints and calling for Republican members to recuse themselves from cases. This is a transparent attempt by Democrats to block the agency from restoring longstanding precedent that was upended during the Obama administration. The goal is to run out the clock until the next presidential election. The most recent example of obstruction involves a settlement agreement between McDonald’s and the NLRB.

  • Claim that 99% of Species Are Saved by ESA Not Supported by Data

    August 22, 2018

    An urgent fundraising appeal from The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) “Global Policy Lead[er]” warns of congressional and administration efforts to change—and from the perspective of many—improve implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). As a recent Competitive Enterprise Institute analysis demonstrates, the overall costs of the federal ESA program are easily in the tens and more likely hundreds of billions of dollars, begging the question, are we getting what we pay for? Campaigners for the current law like TNC skip over such information and make nice-sounding claims like: “the Endangered Species Act is one of our nation’s most effective environmental laws. 99% of the species it's protected have been saved from extinction!”

  • California Supreme Court Rules Interest Rates May Be 'Unconscionable'

    August 21, 2018

    Last Monday, the California Supreme Court ruled that interest rates on loans over $2,500 could be deemed ‘unconscionable’ even if usury laws permit them. In De La Torre vs. CashCall, the Court was asked to resolve an ambiguity in the California Finance Lender's Law - whether the interest rate on consumer loans of $2,500 or more render the loans unconscionable under section 22302 of the Financial Code.

  • Weed Killer Hype Lacks Scientific Support

    August 21, 2018

    The latest Environmental Working Group (EWG) “study” sounds an alarm regarding the chemical known as glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the herbicide known as “Roundup.” EWG claims that Cheerios, Quaker Oats and other cereals contain dangerous levels of glyphosate. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has also jumped into the fray.

  • Federal Regulatory Cost Disclosure Reports Latest Ever

    August 20, 2018

    Why does it need to be such a headache to get timely reports on the costs and benefits of federal regulation? Government spends and it regulates. The federal budget reliably tells you what it (over)spends, but official reporting on costs and benefits of regulations is deteriorating.


  • Celebrate National Employee Freedom Week 2018

    August 20, 2018

    Every worker should be able to decide whether union membership is right for them. And workers who do not want union representation should be able to negotiate directly with their employer. These principles are celebrated every year during National Employee Freedom Week (NEFW), which runs from August 19-25. During this week, over 100 organizations promote pro-worker freedom reforms and educate workers on their rights.

  • World Trade: The Special Case of China

    August 20, 2018

    While free trade with all nations is the avowed goal of both free traders (as we outline in our paper, Traders of the Lost Ark) and the current administration, it has to be acknowledged that China is a special case. China has repeatedly been a bad actor in trade, breaking international trading norms in several respects. Something has to be done – but what?


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