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OpenMarket: Regulatory Reform

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations  

    August 12, 2019
    Rumblings of a “Navarro recession” are growing louder, and the 2019 Federal Register will likely crack the 40,000-page mark early this week. Rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from rebranding the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to Autographa californica.
  • VIDEO: Where the Regulatory State Came From

    August 9, 2019
    Our friends at the Pacific Legal Foundation have a funny and insightful explainer video on the historical development of the regulatory state (also known as the “administrative state”), and how the power of administrative agencies threaten our constitutional rights.
  • Limits of 'Soft Law' Approach to Tech Regulation

    August 9, 2019
    Can the regulation of new technology be voluntary and non-coercive? In a recent op-ed for The Hill, Mercatus Center law and technology analyst Jennifer Huddleston argues that manifestations of “soft law” can be superior to the hard requirements of statutes and binding federal regulations.
  • Guidance Documents of the Week: Agriculture, Housing, Management

    August 6, 2019
    Guidance documents are statements of policy issued by your favorite alphabet soup of agencies, which more often than not translate into law, despite rarely going through the notice-and-public comment period required of most regulations. Wayne Crews’ study “A Partial Eclipse of the Administrative State” puts the number of guidance documents—just one form of “regulatory dark matter”—at more than 13,000 over the period 2008-2017.
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations  

    August 5, 2019
    In a pre-recess Parthian shot, the Senate passed a massive new spending bill that would increase federal spending by $320 billion over two years and delay the next debt ceiling vote until after the next election. Within hours of the Senate’s adjournment, President Trump also announced a new round of tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods.
  • Is White House 'Guidance on Compliance with the Congressional Review Act' Restraining Agency Rulemaking?

    July 30, 2019
    At a time of trillion dollar runaway peacetime deficits, big-spenders can take smug comfort knowing that regulation is even less disciplined, especially where ostensibly sub-regulatory guidance documents, notices, bulletins, circulars, interpretations and the like are concerned.
  • Guidance Documents of the Week: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Friends

    July 29, 2019
    Guidance documents are statements of policy issued by your favorite alphabet soup of agencies, which more often than not translate into law, despite rarely going through the notice-and-public comment period required of most regulations.
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    July 29, 2019
    Congress has adjourned for its August recess, so the republic is safe for another month. Rulemaking agencies are still on the job, however, and published new regulations ranging from the Army’s real estate handbook to lactic acid tolerance.

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