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OpenMarket: Regulatory Reform

  • Virginia Postrel on Her Own Brush with Cost-Effective Drug Research

    April 1, 2009
    One letter writer argues that Herceptin was a poor example because "Multiple cost-effectiveness analyses have shown that, despite its high cost, Herceptin is both effective and cost-effective." That, of course, was Postrel's point. She replies, "its very cost-effectiveness makes it such a striking example. New Zealand chose to ration the drug (and not to cover it at all for early-stage cancer until July 2007) despite its significant benefits."
  • Verizon, AT&T See the Regulation Writing On The Wall

    March 31, 2009
    AT&T and Verizon are indicating that there is a chance that they will not seek funds from the broadband stimulus portion of the American Recovery Act. Verizon Executive VP Thomas Tauke has stated that, "We don't have any plans to apply; we also have not made a decision not to apply." Similarly, AT&T Senior Executive VP told reporters that, "We do not have our hand out seeking government funds."  But, "[AT&T is] open to considering things that might help the economy and might help our customers at the same time." This reluctance to accept government funding shows that major ISPs realize that acceptance of stimulus funds puts them squarely under the FCC Network Neutrality principles.   These principles could bleed into the other networks—such as Verizon's FiOS TV...
  • Capitalist-David rally versus Goliath-protests for Socialism

    March 31, 2009
    During the G20 summit something like 40,000 plus protesters slated to descend upon London. Of that number, there is a small but growing and prodigiously brave group of idealists planning to throw their message and bodies into the breach. They are not there to demand government action against climate change, stricter business regulations, nor are they requesting money for the poor, hungry, or infirm. Their message is simple, but profound: Get out of our way. This small band, comprised mostly of university students and recent graduates wants only to communicate the message to the world that capitalism is not to blame for the current economic crisis. In fact, they want people to...
  • Organic Pesticides Fail EU Safety Review

    March 30, 2009
    Ask people who buy organic food what they like about it, and chances are, most will say "they're grown without pesticides." That's not actually true. But, the EU may be forcing the hype to become a reality.
  • With or Without You

    March 30, 2009
    The Obama administration's ouster of GM CEO Rick Wagoner won't solve the auto giant's problems. It does, however, show the power that government now wields over industry.
  • Feds Make Freddie Mac Even Worse, Ripping Off Taxpayers

    March 27, 2009
    After federal regulators took over failing mortgage giant Freddie Mac, they didn't stop its risky lending practices. Instead, they ramped up its risk-taking, making it run up even bigger debts at taxpayer expense to try to artificially pump up the economy. They made Freddie buy countless risky mortgage loans. Recently, the Obama Administration forced it to incur $30 billion in losses as part of the administration's bailout for irresponsible mortgage borrowers, which caps mortgage payments for even high-income borrowers at a ridiculously low level....
  • Utah Gov. Vetoes Bad Gaming Bill, Self-Regulation Triumphs

    March 26, 2009
    Last night, the first amendment, self-regulation, consumers, parents, entrepreneurs, gamers, and business won a huge victory in Utah. In early March, I posted about the "Truth in Advertising" bill running through the Utah legislature.  The bill, in effect, would have made the voluntary Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) rating system for video games a mandatory system by adding stiff fines ($2,000 per incident) for businesses that sold restricted games to teens or children that did not meet the age requirement for purchase. The proposed enforcement for this rule was wrapped up in advertising.  So, if a business didn't advertise that they followed the ESRB system—they didn't "card" customers buying adult-rated games—they'd be off the hook if they eventually did sell a violent or graphic game to a...
  • Obama's Policies Are "A Road to Hell," European Leader Says

    March 25, 2009
    "The president of the European Union on Wednesday slammed U.S. plans to spend its way out of recession as 'a road to hell.' Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, told the European Parliament that President Barack Obama's massive stimulus package and banking bailout 'will undermine the liquidity of the global financial market.'"
  • Post-Modern Food Fetish

    March 25, 2009
    There’s very little that’s romantic about keeping a big backyard garden, and less still about the actual practice of producing meaningful amounts of food. But, last Thursday’s photo op may be the last time any member of the First Family has to actually do it. “By Mrs. Obama’s own admission, the White House vegetable patch will be tended mostly by the White House staff.” It would be good for this country’s kids to know more about where there food comes from. But, the First Lady’s Potemkin Garden certainly won’t teach them.
  • $2 Trillion Tax from Obama: Hidden Costs of "Cap-and-Trade" Scheme

    March 24, 2009
    Obama's proposed "cap-and-trade" carbon tax on energy use and utility bills is expected to raise up to $2 trillion, more than the $646 billion the Administration earlier estimated. The Washington Examiner's Tim Carney explains how this hidden tax works. (Before his election, Obama explained that electricity bills would "skyrocket" under his Administration, but the press by and large wasn't interested in reporting it). The $2 trillion raised by Obama's cap-and-trade scheme may be ...


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