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FDA's Tobacco Powers, Credit Card Fees and Cult-like Union Behavior

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FDA's Tobacco Powers, Credit Card Fees and Cult-like Union Behavior

Anti-tobacco activists observe the “Great American Smokeout.”

The Government Accountability Office finds that controlling credit card processing fees

could hurt consumers.

Union officials are accused of using manipulative and “cult-like” strategies for controlling their own organizers.

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here.

1. HEALTH

Anti-tobacco activists observe the “Great American Smokeout.”

CEI Expert Available to Comment: General Counsel Sam Kazman on the Food and Drug Administration’s new powers to regulate tobacco products:

“Government agencies covet power. More power means bigger budgets, larger staffs, higher profiles, and an increased chance to do good. Well, hold off on that last point; in the case of cigarettes, is there an adult with a pulse in this country who does not know that smoking is a damn risky activity? Prohibiting cigarette sales to minors is clearly a valid government function, but sales to minors are already illegal and have been for decades. Did those laws need to be strengthened? Perhaps, though smoking among high-school students is at a historic low.”

 

2. TECHNOLOGY

The Government Accountability Office finds that controlling credit card processing fees could hurt consumers.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of the Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs John Berlau on the real world experience with limiting interchange fees:

“The GAO draws on the recent experience of interchange fee caps in Australia, where consumers have been socked with annual fees and suffered from a reduction in rewards such as airline miles to make up for retailers’ reduced payments. Consumers in Australia did not see any tangible reduction in prices stemming from retailer savings.”

 

3. LABOR

Union officials are accused of using manipulative and “cult-like” strategies for controlling their own organizers.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Editorial Director Ivan Osorio on how this has turned into another public battle between the nation’s big unions:

“According to The New York Times, several UNITE-HERE organizers have complained about a practice known as ‘pink sheeting,’ in which union members are pressured to reveal private and potentially embarrassing personal information about themselves. Union organizers then allegedly use those workers’ stories to present as testimonials that illustrate the kind of hardships that the union has helped its members overcome. UNITE-HERE President John Wilhelm denied that pink sheeting was common, and denounced ‘the organized campaign to condemn it’ as an effort by SEIU to discredit UNITE-HERE. As I’ve noted here before, SEIU is not above bullying its own members.”

 

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here.