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OpenMarket: Tech and Telecom

  • Sharing Economy Is Opposite of Servant Economy

    April 4, 2019
    In a bleak take on the sharing economy, Atlantic writer Alexis C. Madrigal says it has created a “servant economy,” where sharing economy platforms provide “low-paying work that deliver on-demand servant services to rich people.” He likens this to the domestic service prevalent before the Second World War. This take gets things almost completely backwards.
  • Facebook's Call for Regulation Could Lead to Government Censorship

    April 3, 2019
    The Internet is unique in history not because it lacked “rules” about free expression, but that it expanded that broadcast freedom to all, not just the few. Facebook, Google, and other social media firms do not “censor”—only government can do that.
  • Move Slowly and Establish Rules: Facebook's Call for Regulation

    April 2, 2019
    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s motto used to be “Move fast and break things.” Now that his company is under increased political scrutiny—and facing calls for breakup from both right and left—he has changed his tune to “move slowly and establish rules.”
  • America’s Tech Regulators Should Not Follow Europe's Lead

    March 26, 2019
    This week The Economist endorsed European “tech doctrine”—a combination of antitrust, tax, privacy, and regulatory policies that is rapidly being imposed on a mostly American tech sector seemingly powerless to resist it. The magazine said, “If the doctrine works, it could benefit millions of users, boost the economy, and constrain tech giants that have gathered immense power without a commensurate sense of responsibility.” That’s a big “if.” American regulators should avoid this doctrine like the plague.
  • VIDEO: Building a Living on eBay

    March 22, 2019
    At a time when socialism seems determined to crawl back from the dustbin of history, it can be a challenge defending the moral legitimacy—and humanity—of a capitalist economy. Efforts like that of my colleagues Fred Smith and Ryan Young are certainly welcome, as is new research from academics like Prof. James Otteson. It’s especially nice, however, to also see individual businesspeople telling their own stories of hard work and success.
  • Net Neutrality Regulation Still a Bad Idea

    February 7, 2019
    The debate at today’s House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing was largely between making blocking, throttling, and fast lanes illegal and going further to also place the Internet under heavy-handed Title II authority.
  • Agenda for the 116th Congress: Tech and Telecom

    January 28, 2019
    As technology and telecommunications evolve, new challenges inevitably arise for policy makers. New mandates or prohibitions should be avoided in all but the most exceptional circumstances. Ill-conceived rules could stifle the high-tech economy, saddling innovative firms with arbitrary regulations or draconian liability regimes.
  • New Cable Franchise Rules to Benefit Consumers

    January 24, 2019
    In September of last year, the Federal Communications Commission issued a further notice of proposed rulemaking clarifying how the amount that cities are allowed to charge cable companies in franchise fees is calculated. If these changes are adopted, it will be much to the benefit of consumers.
  • End of the Road for Net Neutrality Comeback Attempt

    January 4, 2019
    The end of the 115th Congress meant the end of using the Congressional Review Act to void the Federal Communication Commission’s repeal of Obama-era net neutrality regulation. Sadly, advocates of more government control over the Internet will almost surely try to pass new net neutrality legislation in the new Congress. And just as the old regulations were bad for innovation, news ones legislators may dream up in 2019 will likely be a detriment to consumers if enacted.
  • Year in Review 2018: Internet Sales Tax

    December 26, 2018
    On June 21, 2018, in South Dakota v. Wayfair, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed fifty years of precedent by allowing states to collect sales taxes from businesses located completely outside that states’ borders. Allowing this remote taxation undercut healthy tax competition among the states, introduced the threat of crippling compliance costs for smaller online retailers, and emboldened 31 states to move forward with their sales tax expansion plans.

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