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OpenMarket: Regulatory Reform

  • Regulation of the Day: Solid Waste

    June 25, 2009
    When an agency screws up really badly, political leaders will sometimes change the agency's name. The EPA’s Office of Solid Waste is now called the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery.
  • Obama's Job-Killing Stimulus Package Replaced Investments With Welfare, Out of Political Correctness

    June 25, 2009
    Obama's $800 billion stimulus package was purged of most investments in roads and bridges, and filled instead with welfare and social spending, out of political correctness, after feminist leaders complained that building and repairing roads and bridges would put unemployed blue-collar men to work, rather than women. Christina Hoff Sommers points out that "of the 5.7 million jobs Americans lost between December 2007 and...
  • Regulation of the Day: Rice Inspection Certificates

    June 24, 2009
    Our rice is in crisis. Inspection certificates currently contain some data in the grade line section that better belongs in the results section. Fortunately, the USDA is stepping in to right this horrible wrong.
  • Obama Backs Corrupt Status Quo in Financial Rules Overhaul

    June 23, 2009
    The mortgage crisis was caused largely by the reckless government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and by federal affordable-housing mandates. But Obama's proposed financial rules overhaul does absolutely nothing about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, admits Obama's Treasury Secretary,...
  • Hearings Open on Coercive and Counterproductively Costly Health Care Bill

    June 23, 2009
    Congressional Democrats are pushing hard to complete their health care bill before next week's recess, but their hopes for a quick passage and the fulfilling of Obama's goal of signing by October look increasingly bleak--especially since the drafting was done without Republican input, leading, of course, to a political firestorm.  The bill would mandate health insurance coverage for all Americans at enormous taxpayer expense and require major employer contributions, though there is not yet full agreement on the specifics of the burdens that will ultimately be imposed on employers.  All that is clear so far is that...
  • FDA Tobacco Regulation May Harm Public Health By Blocking Healthy Alternatives

    June 23, 2009
    FDA regulation may actually undermine public health by making it harder to market to smokers other tobacco products, like snus, that are not as lethal as cigarettes.
  • FTC to Monitor Blogs for Undisclosed Compensation

    June 22, 2009
    So much for the idyllic "free information" model of the internet. The Federal Trade Commission is drafting new rules that would extend its authority to encompass bloggers who promote products in exchange for compensation or giveaways. The FTC's new oversight could be quite extensive, even covering the common marketing practice of affiliate links, as the Associated Press reports:
    New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest. It would be the first time the FTC tries to patrol systematically what bloggers say...
  • Obama Administration's Anti-Travel Policies Hit New Low

    June 22, 2009
    A few weeks ago, I wrote about the new passport requirements implemented at the U.S.-Canada border. As I noted at the time, most Americans--including two former presidents--were unaware of this change in policy, which will increase the travel costs by $500 for the average American family. Now the Obama administration is imposing new restrictions on civilian aviation, requiring private pilots to reveal detailed personal information about their passengers and to seek government permission to leave the country, a first in American history. Even more frightening is the Department of Homeland Security's claim that it is free to conduct random, warrantless searches of civilian aircraft. From a concerned...
  • U.S. Senate Investigates Mobile Phone Exclusivity Deals

    June 21, 2009
    A group of US Senators has sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission expressing their concern that the exclusive arrangements that are common between wireless service providers and mobile handset manufacturers may be hindering competition and innovation. Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) are worried that the prevalence of such exclusivity arrangements (for example, AT&T and Apple's iPhone, or Sprint-Nextel and the Palm Pre) restrict consumer choice. Are consumers getting a bad deal? In an essay published last year by The Progress and Freedom Foundation,...
  • E-Cigarette Smokers Could Be Left Out in the Cold

    June 21, 2009

    The “smokes” may be different, but the Food and Drug Administration’s ever-vigilant watch to keep us safe from ourselves in its quest to quantify and purge all health risks from society continues. Their latest target? Smokeless cigarettes, or so called “E-cigarettes.”

    The devices in question utilize an atomizer to vaporize a nicotine and propylene glycol (a substance commonly found in fog machines) solution that the user inhales and exhales as a vapor. Since there’s no tobacco, combustion, smoke, or smell involved, savvy individuals have taken advantage of the devices, which can be bought online or in mall kiosks here in the States, to get around heavy taxes on tobacco products and stringent smoking bans in public places.

    But that hasn’t stopped the FDA, which as of this writing has "refused [the...


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