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OpenMarket: August 2020

  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    August 31, 2020
    The last week saw another political convention, another police shooting, and two hurricanes. There was at least one major positive story, though. Polio has finally been eradicated from Africa, one of the last places on Earth where people were still suffering from it. It now exists only in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Regulatory agencies issued new regulations ranging from respirators to orbital debris.
  • This Labor Day, Let’s Celebrate Individual Worker Rights

    August 28, 2020
    Labor Day 2020 is definitely an ironic moment: The federal government is having a holiday to celebrate working Americans at a time when record numbers of people are prevented from going to their jobs by force of law. Be that as it may, those working Americans still deserve a day of praise now more than ever. They’re the ones whose contributions will put the economy back on the road to recovery.
  • Anti-Nicotine Zealots Only Care about Science When it Says What They Want

    August 27, 2020
    Opponents of nicotine vapor products like to claim the scientific high ground. For years, they have asserted there isn’t enough evidence on the long-term risks associated with e-cigarettes or their effectiveness for smoking cessation. But, even as evidence supporting the relative safety and effectiveness of e-cigarettes emerged, opponents balked.
  • The Washington Post Plays Fast and Loose in Coverage of CFPB performance During Pandemic

    August 26, 2020
    In a recent piece, Washington Post Opinions Contributor Helaine Olen slammed CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger for doing too little to protect consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. While it’s true that Kraninger went forward with a modest measure to revise the bureau’s preexisting small-dollar loan rule in July, it’s wrong to argue that this was without cause or anti-consumer.
  • Are Scandinavian Countries Socialist?

    August 25, 2020
    Are modern Scandinavian countries actually socialist? This question must be asked because it is a common rhetorical device of “democratic socialist” politicians to wave away objections about the horrors of past socialist regimes by saying that all they want is to be like Scandinavia.
  • Demise of ESG Investing Overstated

    August 24, 2020
    The Department of Labor’s recent notice of proposed rulemaking on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in pension fund investments has received a lot of responses. One that seems to be common is that the department’s rule would represent some kind of major attack on—or even “death knell” for—ESG investing itself. Those criticisms are overstated.
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    August 24, 2020
    The spring 2020 Unified Agenda was published on August 17. Due four months ago, it collects every rulemaking agency’s plans for upcoming regulations. The number of new rules this year surpassed 2,000 last week. Regulatory agencies issued new regulations ranging from cooking with energy to contact lens prescriptions.
  • Conservative Carbon Tax: Bad Politics, Bad Policy

    August 21, 2020
    A recent article in National Review suggests conservative politicians would be smart to advocate a carbon tax, enabling them to show they care about the planet while offering an alternative to the growth-chilling mandates beloved of the climate left. That is naive. A carbon tax is bad conservative politics and bad public policy.
  • A Discussion on Saving Bluebirds through Private Conservation, and a Tribute to Andy Thompson

    August 21, 2020
    The following interview of CEI Senior Fellow R.J. Smith was inspired with the encouragement of former CEI staff member Andy Thompson, who passed away recently. Like R.J., Andy was a nature lover and highly knowledgeable birdwatcher—a hobby that connected the two and promoted their shared appreciation for private conservation.
  • App-less in Sacramento? Uber and Lyft Allowed to Postpone California Departure

    August 21, 2020
    On August 20, an appeals court in California allowed Uber and Lyft to halt their plans to flee the Golden State rather than comply with the state’s AB5 law. The ruling was a relief to the companies and, one suspects, California politicians as well. Both sides are having to follow through on threats they previously made—threats that would be as harmful to them as to the other side.

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