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OpenMarket: Risk and Consumer Freedom

  • House Democrats’ Third Coronavirus Supplemental Appropriation Bill Is an Outrage

    March 26, 2020
    The Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act is the most irresponsible piece of fiscal legislation to come out of the profligate Congress for a long time, at $2.5 trillion. It is an insult to a nation in the throes of a scary pandemic, witnessing horrific deaths from oxygen starvation, with no obvious end in sight.
  • Regulation, Not Offshoring, Is Hindering Industry from Ramping up Production

    March 25, 2020
    In his latest Bloomberg column, Noah Smith argues that offshoring production led to the current shortage of medical masks and equipment in the face of the coronavirus. The real question is: Why can’t we suddenly switch production and churn out millions of masks a day in the face of an unanticipated calamity? The answer to that is not offshoring, but regulation.
  • Toilet Paper Economics: Emergency Capitalism Still Better Than Normal Socialism

    March 17, 2020

    There are quite a few hot takes circulating at the moment about how grocery stores temporarily running out of toilet paper amid the current coronavirus pandemic is a stinging indictment of a capitalist economy. Most of those takes are not serious enough to be worth refuting, but apparently it bears repeating that consumer choice in a free society during difficult times is still better than the options that are available under normal conditions in a socialist society.

    I blogged a while back about how most Americans who tell pollsters that they approve of “socialism” aren’t talking about the life they would experience under an actual socialist regime. When they say they like socialism they mean...

  • Liberty in the Time of Coronavirus Part 1

    March 16, 2020
    A recent headline at The Atlantic declared, “There are No Libertarians in an Epidemic.” But, just as there are atheists in foxholes, there are libertarians present in a crisis; it’s just that nobody listens to them. And because those in power tend to exploit the widespread fear that accompanies national emergencies, often in ways that infringe on civil liberties, an epidemic is exactly when libertarians are needed most.
  • HHS Price Disclosure Rule Will Not Make Medicines More Affordable

    February 12, 2020
    In his State of the Union Address, President Trump renewed his commitment to “lower[ing] the cost of health care and prescription drugs” and “requir[ing] drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring costs way down.” His administration’s plan to lower pharmaceutical prices by tying them to foreign countries’ price controls has attracted significant criticism. Unfortunately, while more transparency in health care pricing would be beneficial, the price disclosure mandate Trump wants would do nothing to help consumers and would have no effect on price competition. It’s also unconstitutional.
  • Dangerously Inaccurate Reporting on Vaping-Linked Outbreak Persists

    January 27, 2020
    Coverage of the outbreak of illness linked to “vaping” has been handled poorly in general, but the New York Post's recent reporting is especially egregious. Not once does a recent article mention that illicit marijuana vapes—not nicotine e-cigarettes—are the products linked to the outbreak. That information might have been useful to residents who use these products and might want to know how they can best protect themselves against the “vaping linked” lung injuries.
  • CDC Confirms Black Markets, not "Vaping," Caused Outbreak

    January 16, 2020
    A new CDC report puts the final nail in the coffin of the idea that the spat of lung injuries that occurred beginning last summer were caused by “vaping.” The CDC admitted this week that the injuries appear to be exclusively linked to marijuana vapes—not nicotine e-cigarettes, most of which were purchased on the black market, a fact that CEI knew nearly six months ago. 
  • Mitt Romney Made Millions off Cigarettes, Now He Wants to Kill its Competition

    January 2, 2020
    Though they (probably) aren’t car surfing or eating Tide pods,  lawmakers and government bureaucrats are as susceptible to passing fads as bored teenagers. For government folks, efforts to prevent death and disease from smoking is so last century. Cigarettes are “out,” e-cigarettes are “in.”
  • 2019: A Great Year for Light Bulb Freedom

    December 23, 2019
    Whatever else one may say about 2019, it was a banner year for consumer choice when it comes to light bulbs, culminating in the December 20th decision by the Department of Energy (DOE) declining to regulate them any further.  
  • Blame Anti-Tobacco Advocates for Youth Vaping "Epidemic"

    December 20, 2019
    Like most teenage crazes, youth interest in e-cigarettes once seemed a passing fad. In the early years youth vaping skyrocketed, but by 2016 began to plummet. Teens remained uninterested in e-cigarettes in 2017. But, the following year, something suddenly rekindled their interest. In 2018 the number of high school students who vaped jumped by 78 percent.

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