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OpenMarket: June 2019

  • Reuters Poll: Do Americans Want Aggressive Action on Climate?

    June 27, 2019
    Do Americans want “aggressive action” on climate change? That’s the subject of a new opinion poll conducted by Reuters. “Americans demand climate action (as long as it doesn’t cost much),” according to the headline of the published analysis of the results. The words in parenthesis confirm what has long been obvious. Support for “climate action” drops precipitously when people consider the costs.
  • More to Like in Zuckerberg's Aspen Talk Than Not

    June 27, 2019
    Yesterday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg touched on some of the most pressing issues facing his company and big tech as a whole. While his continued calls for government regulation of social media companies and other online services are dismaying, many of the principles Zuckerberg laid out represent exactly why such government intervention is not necessary and likely won’t produce better results.
  • State Legislatures Seek to Undermine 'Janus' Decision

    June 27, 2019
    Labor unions continue to deny the First Amendment rights of public employees despite the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which ruled one year ago that non-union workers cannot be compelled to pay union fees as a condition of employment. Many public employees that want to drop their membership have found it can be exceedingly difficult to do so.
  • 'Gundy' Decision Could Signal Fundamental Reform of Administrative State

    June 26, 2019
    It is hard to describe how important the Supreme Court decision last week in Gundy v. United States is. In one sense, nothing changed—no case was overturned, no new law was made, and Mr. Gundy is still going to jail. But in another way, the Gundy ruling suggests that the way our government works will be substantially changed towards greater democratic involvement.
  • Costs of Deadweight Effects of Federal Spending and of 'Budget' or 'Transfer' Rules

    June 26, 2019
    Theoretically, policymakers distinguish between economic and social regulation when examining and reporting on costs, effects, and employment.
  • White House Releases Revised Guidance for Climate Policy

    June 25, 2019
    The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) recently released the pre-publication draft of their proposed National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. If finalized, this guidance will replace the Obama administration’s August 1, 2016 final guidance, which was withdrawn on April 5, 2017, pursuant to President Trump’s Executive Order 13783.
  • If Facebook and Apple are Feuding, How Are they Monopolies?

    June 25, 2019
    An article in today’s Wall Street Journal recapped a recent war-of-words between a European Facebook executive, Nick Clegg, and Apple CEO Tim Cook. At issue is the differing revenue models of the companies. Apple sells devices and subscription-based services. Facebook of course does not charge for the services it provides users and instead relies on advertising revenue.
  • Post-'Janus', Unions Continue Undermining Public Workers' First Amendment Rights

    June 24, 2019
    It has been nearly one year since the U.S. Supreme Court restored the First Amendment rights of public employees, but many members are still having difficulties exercising these new rights. In the landmark Janus v. AFSCME decision, public employees who are not members of a union can no longer be forced to pay agency fees, better known as forced union dues, as a condition of employment.
  • Federal Grants to 'Children's Health Centers' Fund Junk Science

    June 24, 2019
    Environmental activists threw an ever-predictable tantrum after Environmental Protection Agency officials indicated last month that they may eliminate EPA grants to a number of university-based children’s environmental health centers. Headlining their rhetoric were assertions that defunding these centers represents a heartless attempt to undermine children’s health. Lost in this melee is the fact that these centers don’t have any measurable impact on children’s health, nor do they add much to the body of research on that topic.
  • Antitrust Basics: Relevant Market Fallacy

    June 24, 2019
    If a firm is charged with having market power, the question naturally arises: in which market? Does Facebook have a monopoly over social networking, especially now that it owns additional networks such as Instagram and WhatsApp? Or does Facebook compete with other uses of leisure time such as movies, television, books, sports, concerts, and countless other ways people can spend their time? Which is the more relevant market? The answer is subjective—a significant problem for a legal case with multi-billion dollar stakes.

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