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OpenMarket: Property Rights

  • Warren Wealth Tax Proposal Raises Constitutional Questions

    January 25, 2019
    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has proposed a new wealth tax. We don’t know a lot of details on what is being proposed, but what little we do know suggests there is a constitutional problem. The Washington Post reported yesterday that Warren is being advised by two economists “on a proposal to levy a 2 percent wealth tax on Americans with assets above $50 million, as well as a 3 percent wealth tax on those who have more than $1 billion.”
  • Courts Should Protect Economic Liberty Rights As Originally Understood

    January 23, 2019
    The prohibition on taking a person’s liberty without due process of law is enshrined in the Constitution’s Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. But what does this mean? Does “liberty” only mean not being imprisoned, as some people have claimed, or is it far broader than that? In a new post on the Federalist Society’s blog, I argue that liberty, as originally understood by our Founders, was far broader than lack of imprisonment.
  • How to Articulate a Free-Market Vision for the Future

    October 16, 2018

    The Competitive Enterprise Institute views most market failure rationales for government intervention as wrong, overstated, or unproven (or all of the above). The Competitive Enterprise Institute views most market failure rationales for government intervention as wrong, overstated, or unproven (or all of the above). That belief is very difficult to test, however, because government has seized control of the relevant resources and blocks the market discovery process. 

  • Energy Dominance: Department of Interior Breaks Previous Records for Oil and Gas Lease Sales

    September 7, 2018

    “In a testament to the Trump Administration's America First Energy Plan, the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) third-quarter oil and gas lease sale in New Mexico broke all previous records by grossing nearly $1 billion in bonus bids for 142 parcels,” the Department of Interior announced in a press release on September 6th.

  • Reform Endangered Species Act to Contain Costs

    August 22, 2018

    The Endangered Species Act (ESA), passed in 1973, has had several decades to accumulate a record of costs and benefits. Despite bureaucrats and activists often pointing to it as a success story of environmental policymaking, its record is one of enormous costs and shockingly few benefits. The time is long since due for a formal reckoning of the ESA’s economic impact—and a plan for how Congress and the executive branch can reform it. You can find the beginning of such a plan in the new CEI study “‘Whatever the Cost’ of the Endangered Species Act, It’s Huge.  

  • Claim that 99% of Species Are Saved by ESA Not Supported by Data

    August 22, 2018

    An urgent fundraising appeal from The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) “Global Policy Lead[er]” warns of congressional and administration efforts to change—and from the perspective of many—improve implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). As a recent Competitive Enterprise Institute analysis demonstrates, the overall costs of the federal ESA program are easily in the tens and more likely hundreds of billions of dollars, begging the question, are we getting what we pay for? Campaigners for the current law like TNC skip over such information and make nice-sounding claims like: “the Endangered Species Act is one of our nation’s most effective environmental laws. 99% of the species it's protected have been saved from extinction!”

  • Hernando de Soto: How To Make the Third World Richer than the First

    August 17, 2018

    Our good friend Nick Gillespie interviews Peruvian economist and property rights activist Hernando de Soto about the future of prosperity in the developing world, and how legal reform can be the path to wealth for traditionally impoverished communities around the world.

  • Four Reasons the Endangered Species Act Desperately Needs Reform

    August 8, 2018

    The Department of Interior recently announced proposed revisions to enforcement of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These revisions are designed to lessen the regulatory burdens of this ineffective and outdated piece of legislation. The Endangered Species Act was passed almost 45 years ago in 1973. It was inspired by the environmentalism of the 1960s-70s and the growing fear that certain animals were facing extinction due to human impact on the natural world. Environmentalists defend the ESA with the assertion that its regulations are saving species, but it just takes time.

  • Real Sin for Social Media Companies Not 'Censorship,' but Getting into Bed with Government

    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.

  • Environmental Protection Agency to Streamline Permits for Major Projects

    June 30, 2018

    In a move that furthers the Trump administration’s goal of reducing unnecessary and duplicative red tape while also helping refocus his agency’s efforts on its statutorily-defined core functions, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a memorandum announcing that the agency would limit its interference with the Army Corps of Engineers’ permitting process under the Clean Water Act. In particular, Administrator Pruitt said the agency will prepare a proposed regulation that restricts EPA’s ability to override the Army Corps’ permitting decisions either before or after the fact. 

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