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OpenMarket: Business and Government

  • Attorneys General Shouldn't Hold Mergers Hostage

    December 3, 2019
    Last week the attorneys general of Texas and Nevada announced the withdrawal of their support of a multistate lawsuit to block the merger of cellular telephone and Internet service providers T-Mobile and Sprint. This follows similar announcements from the attorneys general of Mississippi and Colorado earlier this year. With these announcements, more state attorneys general now support the merger than oppose it.
  • Negative Interest Rates' Impact on Public Pensions

    November 27, 2019
    One of the main responsibilities of pension fund managers is to work to maximize investment returns in order to grow the plan’s assets and thus meet payout obligations to future retirees. Given the fixed nature of the payout obligations, achieving that requires for a substantial share of investment to go toward relatively safe assets, such as government bonds, for which gains are steady and mostly reliable, rather than spectacular. But what happens when interest rates go negative?
  • Corporate 'Social Responsibility' Must Be Voluntary, Not Mandated

    November 19, 2019
    The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) just wrapped an event on corporate governance titled “The Role of a Corporation: The Shareholder versus Stakeholder Debate,” and it covered some interesting territory. BPC president Jason Grumet led a discussion with former Securities and Exchange Commission members Dan Gallagher and Roel Campos.
  • Ex-Im Reauthorization Vote Today in the House

    November 15, 2019
    The House of Representatives will vote on reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank today. Even if Ex-Im is reauthorized, the fight over it has already yielded a significant nearly five-year-long victory, in savings to taxpayers, with greater chances for victory in the future.
  • VIDEO: Growth and Opportunity in the Beehive State

    November 8, 2019
    I’ve been interested in the work at the Center for Growth and Opportunity (CGO) at Utah State University for some time now, and I was very impressed with what I experienced at a fascinating one-day conference they recently co-hosted on emerging issues in technology policy. The details of that discussion were off the record, but I can say that their smart, practical, and non-partisan take was a refreshing treat.
  • Proposals for and Problems with International Drug Reference Pricing

    November 5, 2019
    Healthcare costs remain top of mind in American politics. Polls consistently show that healthcare is one of, if not the top, priority for voters heading into the 2020 election cycle. Politicians and other policymakers face a looming crisis with healthcare expenditures. Medicare and Medicaid, the federal single-payer programs for the elderly and indigent, comprised over a quarter of all federal spending in 2018. This share is rising.
  • The Unmeasured Costs of Federal Agency Liberation from Congress, Self-Funding, and Permanence

    October 30, 2019
    In considering the overall costs of regulation, little attention is given to the intractability of the administrative state itself. Congress shows little appetite for restraining agencies and, unfortunately, once established, Republicans may be more prone to seek to run the agencies than to eliminate them.
  • VIDEO: Life Is Getting Better

    September 27, 2019
    Despite prominent headlines to the contrary, the world is not actually falling apart. As our friends at places like Human Progress tirelessly work to remind us, global trends on everything from war and famine to longevity and literacy are looking good.
  • Antitrust Astroturf Activism

    September 24, 2019
    Not too long ago, I pointed out that antitrust regulation is often gamed by special interests and rent-seekers. A recent story in The Wall Street Journal gives a fresh example. A group called the Free and Fair Markets Initiative (FFMI) has been advocating for antitrust actions against Amazon. Unsurprisingly, some of its funders are Amazon’s competitors.
  • VIDEO: Prosperity Is More Than Wages

    September 20, 2019
    In a new video for the PolicyEd channel, economist Russ Roberts takes on the popular—though misleading—narrative that ordinary working Americans haven’t made any real economic progress in the last generation or so.

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