You are here

OpenMarket: August 2019

  • Sealand, from Pirate Radio to Seastading

    August 21, 2019
    Setting up a sovereign free territory has long been a dream of libertarian mavericks, from the ill-fated Republic of Minerva to the nascent Free Republic of Liberland. Yet arguably none has achieved the longevity of the Principality of Sealand. A major reason for that longevity—and accompanying notoriety—is the fact that Sealand, while perhaps whimsical in its origin, wasn’t merely a utopian experiment.
  • Will T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Increase Prices?

    August 21, 2019
    Lots of things influence prices and, of course, not all are influenced by the same factors. However, the lawsuit filed by several state attorneys general against T-Mobile/Sprint merger explicitly links the number of competitors in wireless market places to lower prices in several places.
  • Antitrust Basics: Corruption and Rent-Seeking

    August 21, 2019
    Rent-seeking is economics jargon for chasing after unfair special favors from government. Businesses and individuals have a large menu of rent-seeking options to choose from, and antitrust regulations are one of the items. Licensing regulations and other restrictions can make it harder for startups to enter a market, favoring incumbent businesses.
  • Where Facebook Interim Report on Bias Falls Short

    August 20, 2019
    Today former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), in fulfillment of an arrangement with Facebook, released an independent Interim Report (and accompanying op-ed) cataloging the primary concerns of conservatives who, as is now well known, regard Facebook as unfairly biased and opposed to conservative viewpoints.
  • Debt Collectors Keep Credit Market Flowing

    August 20, 2019
    Debt collecting is a profession that gets little love, but given the social good done by debt collectors who operate ethically and follow the rules, maybe it’s time that we show them some affection. If not that, we should at least give them reasonable rules to play by—rules that would also benefit consumers and entrepreneurs who participate in the credit market.
  • Cataloging Regulatory Costs of Cronyism and Rent-Seeking in a Self-Interested Administrative State

    August 19, 2019
    Rent-seeking as a policy concern has been done to death: It’s been described over and over how regulation is often not about elevating the public good, but instead about disadvantaging rivals and snagging their customers, or creating artificial scarcity—whatever transfers wealth.
  • PRO Act Undermines Employee Choice

    August 19, 2019
    Democrats in Congress introduced the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act with the state goal of strengthening union power and increasing union membership, which is near all-time lows. But to produce such a result, the rights of workers during union organizing campaigns are curtailed.
  • Business Roundtable Restates Obvious: Stakeholders Matter (and Always Have)

    August 19, 2019
    There’s a flurry of news coverage this morning about the Business Roundtable releasing a new public statement on “the purpose of a corporation.” Whereas previous versions stated that “corporations exist principally to serve their shareholders,” the new statement emphasizes the way in which the signatory CEOs “create value for all our stakeholders, whose long-term interests are inseparable.” Opinion writers like the Washington Post’s Steven Pearlstein consider this shift in language “significant,” but it seems more a clarification of what has always been true for American businesses than any real change in direction.
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    August 19, 2019
    Last week was the Federal Register’s busiest of the year, with its 3,075 pages almost tripling a normal week’s count. A new economically significant regulation targeting immigrants also pushes the compliance costs of this year’s new economically significant regulations above 2018’s total, with more than three months to go. Rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from Wisconsin landfill R&D permits to modernizing children’s television.
  • Climate Study Urges Blacklisting of Contrarians

    August 16, 2019
    Authors of a study published recently in the journal Nature Communications want editors and journalists to blacklist “climate change contrarians.” Of course, the study doesn’t put it quite that way, but that clearly is the upshot.

Pages

Subscribe to OpenMarket: August 2019