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OpenMarket: Business and Government

  • Coronavirus and the Limits of "Flash Policy"

    March 12, 2020
    The coronavirus outbreak is serious, and it deserves a serious response. If you’re healthy, help people out. If you have elderly relatives or neighbors, reach out and see if they need anything. If you need help yourself, don’t be embarrassed to ask for it. If you need to cancel travel, work from home, or even self-quarantine, do so. It might be unpleasant, but it’s likely better than the alternative. And, of course, be diligent about washing your hands. But what about public policy? The real meat of Washington’s coronavirus response should focus on the long term, not the short term. Congress should refrain from passing what my colleague Wayne Crews calls “flash policy,” such as a crisis-inspired stimulus package, or bailouts, or rash monetary fixes.
  • Sen. Toomey Defends Capitalism

    March 12, 2020
    This week Sen. Pat Toomey gave an excellent and much-needed speech at the Heritage Foundation on capitalism and its right-leaning critics. Toomey made clear that he anti-market measures promoted by self-described nationalists and populists would be a failure if enacted.
  • Big-Mouth CEOs Less of a Threat than Crusading Politicians

    March 4, 2020
    Free-market advocates are understandably skeptical of “stakeholder” capitalism—the idea that corporate managers should focus not just on returns to shareholders, but on pleasing a potentially long list of other groups that claim an interest in the operations (and on the profits) of a company. Any given board and management team can apportion their own resources as they see fit, of course, but we small-government types are wary of theoretically voluntary guidelines for social and environmental awareness being transformed into binding legal requirements down the road.
  • Regulatory Hurdles Already Impeding Competition to Big Tech

    March 3, 2020
    Calls to regulate “big tech” firms continue to grow louder. Concerns range from the ability of these firms to influence the political landscape to allegations of anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions. Regardless of the specific gripe, the accompanying purported solutions almost universally involve more government regulation. However, these sentiments are just the latest versions of a problem that has plagued antitrust law since its inception: the relevant market fallacy.
  • VIDEO: Trade Is Not a Four-Letter Word

    February 28, 2020
    Former Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg recently made an appearance at the American Enterprise Institute to promote his new book, Trade Is Not a Four Letter Word: How Six Everyday Products Make the Case for Trade. Readers who are familiar with CEI’s position on Ex-Im will know we are not fans of its operations (or existence), but we are fans of international trade, so we were eager to hear what Hochberg had to say. Hochberg made a case for the advantages of open trade, using six different products to tell his story.
  • Two Cheers for Nikki Haley's Defense of Capitalism

    February 27, 2020
    Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has written a bold and, for the most part, very good op-ed on the future of capitalism for The Wall Street Journal.
  • "Scientocracy" Highlights Problematic Incentives in Government Research

    February 25, 2020
    Yesterday CEI put on an excellent event on science policy on Capitol Hill on the new book Scientocracy: The Tangled Web of Public Science and Public Policy. The quick take is that government-funded and government-endorsed science is subject to at least as many problematic and confounding issues as any research funded by a profit-seeking corporation. The argument is not that science isn’t important enough for the government to become involved, it’s that it is too important to let the perverse incentives of political control hold it back.
  • New Analysis on Tax and Regulatory Issues for Carsharing Companies

    February 21, 2020
    Our friend and Tech Policy Podcast host Ash Kazaryan recently recorded a fascinating interview with Reason Foundation Policy Analyst Spence Purnell on how Florida (and some other states) are regulating platform economy firms, in particular carsharing services like Turo.
  • Sustainability Disclosures, Meant to Protect, Could Create Additional Risk for Investors

    February 21, 2020
    The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) claims that it focuses on issues that are “financially material” to the companies they are assessing. But materiality is in the eye of the beholder. Critics of the SASB would say that very few, if any, investors actually care about many of the detailed sustainability topics that companies are supposed to provide disclosures on. Instead, many of the topics line up better with the agendas of left-wing advocacy groups who are hostile to market economies in general.
  • Exploring History of Black Entrepreneurs

    February 20, 2020
    Madam C.J. Walker founded and built a company specializing in hair care products that eventually made her a millionaire and international celebrity. Her army of mostly female sales representatives covered the United States and Caribbean and Latin American territories decades before Mary Kay distributors started driving their pink Cadillacs on American highways.

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