September 21, 2018
Free speech protections in the United States are pretty far reaching, including protections for commercial free speech and occupational free speech. If you make your living by giving tours or lecturing students or instructing trainees, the First Amendment still applies. Unfortunately, many states encroach on that freedom of expression when it comes to occupational licensing. The Institute for Justice is currently representing Jon and Tracy McGlothian of Virginia, who are challenging their state’s requirements that they be licensed and otherwise regulated for operating a vocational training business.
September 11, 2018
Today the Competitive Enterprise Institute has released my colleague Chris Horner’s new study on how special interests have been buying influence in governors’ offices, “Government for Rent.” The shady arrangements he details between activist groups, major environmental donors, and government officials constitute an inappropriate contratcing out of government authority and deserve greater investigation by state legislators, many of whom are only just now finding out about the details.
August 7, 2018
Social media outlets have been filled with commentary this week about the decisions by Apple, Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify to remove content created by talk show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. This is a useful opportunity to clarify what actually counts as “censorship” and what responsibilities that media platforms have to the public.
June 15, 2018
Last week I was in Atlanta enjoying the excitement and intellectual ferment of FEEcon, the annual conference held by the Foundation for Economic Education. On Friday I posted some of the content that the FEE team has produced on the long, sad slide of Venezuela into socialist chaos, and now, fortunately, some additional—and more optimistic—video content is available from the conference itself.
June 1, 2018
Congratulations are in order to our friends at the Cato Institute on their recent big event in New York, the Friedman Prize Dinner. Every two years they gather with friends and supporters to present the organization’s highest honor (besides being accepted for an internship), the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty.
April 22, 2018
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) this week held a panel discussion titled “What did they know, and when did they know it?” on the growing swirl of state and municipal lawsuits alleging that ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies knowingly hid climate change risk from the public. The litigants—cities and counties in California and Colorado—hope to score billions in climate change “damages.”
April 21, 2018
Boulder, Colorado and Boulder and San Miguel Counties filed suit in state court this week against ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy. The suit claims that petroleum products sold by the companies contribute to climate change and that leads to all sorts of bad things—such as droughts, wildfires, and severe storms—that affect tourism and agriculture in the city and two counties.
April 13, 2018
I’ve been interested over the last several years to see Dave Rubin’s metamorphosis from stand-up comedian to podcast co-host to serious public affairs interviewer and host of The Rubin Report. This week he has released a pair of conversations with one of my favorite academics, Prof. Rajshree Agarwal of the University of Maryland.
April 11, 2018
Facebook is not a tool designed to violate privacy nor fan the flames of hate, but it and other social media platforms have been some of the most transformative innovations in recent memory. Neglect of the benefits that Facebook has conferred may lead to the “danger that Congress will rush in and over-regulate” as mentioned by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) yesterday.
April 9, 2018
Much of the political class in Washington, D.C. is currently holding its breath for the big event of the week: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s long-awaited Capitol Hill testimony, starting tomorrow morning before a joint session of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees and continuing the next day before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.