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Entries in CEI (1385)

Thursday
May242012

CEI Today: JOBS Act success, California regulators, and property rights in fisheries 

JOBS ACT - JOHN BERLAU

Openmarket.org:
H.R. 1909 — Unfinished Free-Market Business to Lift Barriers to Lending

They said it couldn’t be done. That Congress couldn’t pass a bipartisan bill in an election year to help the economy. Particularly one that lessens the burdens of government on consumers and entrepreneurs. The parties’ ideological positions were just too different. And besides, no one had an interest in the other side getting credit for a legislative accomplishment as campaign season was approaching.


Yet Congress and President Obama proved them wrong last month when both houses passed and Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which broadens exemptions for small and young firm from some of the most onerous regulations from the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank financial acts. As I noted last week here and in the Daily Caller, the JOBS Act is already paying dividends as there has been a noticeable uptick in smaller firms raising capital through initial public offerings.  > Read the full comment on Openmarket.org


> Interview John Berlau



 

GOOGLE DRIVERLESS CAR - MARC SCRIBNER

Openmarket.org: Techno-Phobic California Politicians “NHTSA” Google’s Driverless Car

 

Last week, I wrote about Google’s amazing new self-driving car, which CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman and I had the opportunity to test-ride in downtown Washington, D.C. The potential for this technology is huge, and it will likely revolutionize the way we think about travel, in addition to dramatically improving congestion, air quality, and auto safety.


But leave it to California to be a wet blanket of over-regulation and techno-pessimism. Late yesterday, California’s Senate unanimously passed a bill that greatly restricts certain advanced testing of driverless vehicles, particularly when it comes to the promising functions of on-demand driverless ride-shares or taxis. > Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org

 

> Interview Marc Scribner

 

 

PROPERTY RIGHTS - IAIN MURRAY & ROGER ABBOTT

CEI.org: Give a Man a Fish,The Case For a Property Rights Approach to Fisheries Management

 

Some policy makers and environmental advocacy groups are beginning to realize that the solution lies not in further government regulation, but in investing fishermen with property rights. However, government bureaucrats are also attempting to utilize this insight to gain even more power over fisheries, threatening to derail the momentum toward a more rational allocation of ocean resources. That would be bad news for both fish populations and the people who depend on them for their livelihood.  > Read the report on CEI.org and blog post at Openmarket.org


> Interview Iain Murray or Roger Abbott



 

New!

Ten Thousand Commandments 2012

An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State
May 15, 2012


The scope of federal government spending and deficits is sobering. Yet the government’s reach extends well beyond the taxes Washington collects and its deficit spending and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions—perhaps trillions—of dollars every year over and above the costs of the official federal outlays that dominate the policy debate.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

Wednesday
May232012

CEI Today: Obama regulations, saving Greece, and EPA chemical regulation

OVER-REGULATION - WAYNE CREWS

Openmarket.org:
Regulating Obama’s Regulators — And Those of Future Presidents

This month, President Obama released a new Executive Order building upon and making permanent the quest for regulatory savings in his January 2011 order called “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.”

The idea is to ensure that benefits “justify” (alas, not as strong as “exceed”) costs, and to emphasize the “least burdensome” means for achieving regulatory ends.


A problem though, is the paltry $10 billion or so in savings so far, touted as a significant achievement by Cass Sunstein, the head of President Obama’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at OMB.  > Read the full comment on Openmarket.org


> Interview Wayne Crews



 

GREECE - BILL FREZZA

Realclearmarkets.com: 10 Ways the Greek People Can Save Themselves

 

The tragedy that is Greek democracy has entered its final act. Nothing can save the Greek government. Nothing can save the Greek banks. Nothing can keep Greece on the euro. But the Greek people still have the power to save themselves.


Last summer, I penned a column in Forbes titled "Give Greece What It Deserves: Communism." It generated an outpouring of bile from offended Greeks, many of whom blamed everyone but themselves for their troubles. The most recent Greek elections ignited another round of hateful accusations, along with the question, "What would you do to solve the problem?" Here is my answer.  > Read the full commentary on Realclearmarkets.com

> Interview Bill Frezza



 

EPA CHEMICAL REGULATION - ANGELA LOGOMASINI

Openmarket.org: EPA’s Design to Strong-Arm the Chemical Industry

 

If you believe the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, its Design for the Environment (DfE) program is an example of a voluntary effort to protect the environment. In reality, it’s nothing less than a tool designed strong-arm industry into abandoning useful products.


The program calls on companies to eliminate certain chemicals from their products voluntarily, largely based on hazard rather than actual risk. > Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org

 

> Interview Angela Logomasini

 

New!

Ten Thousand Commandments 2012

An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State
May 15, 2012


The scope of federal government spending and deficits is sobering. Yet the government’s reach extends well beyond the taxes Washington collects and its deficit spending and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions—perhaps trillions—of dollars every year over and above the costs of the official federal outlays that dominate the policy debate.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

Tuesday
May222012

CEI Today: EPA's Friday afternoon surprise, drug imports, Google's self-driving car, H-1B visas

PREEMPTION BY THE EPA

Resourcefulearth.org:
EPA Overreach Threatens Entire U.S. Economy

On Friday afternoon, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a watershed document that provides a dangerous and misleading analysis of the Pebble Mine in Alaska. Not only does the report fail to recognize that Pebble will be state-of-the-art and one of the most modern, environmentally-friendly mines in the world, but the report also disregards the thousands of desperately needed Alaskan jobs that the mine would provide.


Serious implications await if the EPA preemptively denies Pebble’s permits, as this move would effectively give the EPA massive (and unconstitutional) powers. By allowing the EPA to deny Pebble, precedent would allow the agency to also kill any building project that has the potential to impact American waterways without ever going through the permitting process – and without the input from local, state, or other federal agencies.  > Read the full comment on Resourcefulearth.org


> Interview Myron Ebell


> See related: EPA’s Design to Strong-Arm the Chemical Industry

 

DRUG IMPORTS - GREGORY CONKO

WashingtonTimes.com: High price of cheap drug imports

With the Senate set to vote on one of the few “must-pass” bills of the year, pharmaceutical industry critics are plotting ways to add poison pills to the Prescription Drug User Fee Act. PDUFA, as it’s known in health policy circles, was first enacted in 1992 and has significantly sped up the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) drug-approval process, giving new hope to millions of patients suffering from debilitating and fatal diseases that a cure is on the way. It is arguably the most important piece of health care legislation you’ve never heard of. > Read the full analysis on WashingtonTimes.com

> Interview Gregory Conko



 

GOOGLE'S SELF-DRIVING CAR - MARC SCRIBNER

Openmarket.org:
The Future of Automobility Is (Almost) Here: Google’s Self-Driving Car

 

This morning, CEI’s resident transportation policy junkies — General Counsel Sam Kazman and myself — had the opportunity to test-ride Google’s prototype self-driving car in downtown Washington, D.C. In October 2010, I wrote about the Google driverless car’s feat of secretly logging 140,000 miles on U.S. public roads without a single accident.

Google’s car uses a wide variety of sensors that detect pedestrians, objects, and infrastructure in real time. It is the sustained rapid collection of conditions data that allows the car to slow or stop suddenly if a pedestrian enters the street, a car suddenly changes lanes or pulls away from the curb, or a lane is closed for construction or an event.
> Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org

>Interview Marc Scribner

 

IMMIGRATION - DAVID BIER

FoxNews.com: Why is Team Obama making it so hard to hire highly-skilled foreign workers?


Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced a bill Tuesday that would allow more Ph.Ds, scientists, and other high-skilled workers trained at U.S. universities to remain in America. The bill (S. 3185) would increase the H-1B visa quota by 55,000, but for some, the proposal doesn’t go far enough. 

 

 

> Interview David Bier

 

New!

Ten Thousand Commandments 2012

An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State
May 15, 2012


The scope of federal government spending and deficits is sobering. Yet the government’s reach extends well beyond the taxes Washington collects and its deficit spending and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions—perhaps trillions—of dollars every year over and above the costs of the official federal outlays that dominate the policy debate.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

Saturday
May192012

CEI Weekly: New Edition of Ten Thousand Commandments Released 

Friday, May 18, 2012

 

 

 

Feature: This week CEI published the 2012 edition of Ten Thousand Commandments, an annual report on regulatory costs.

FEATURE: New Edition of Ten Thousand Commandments Released

 

Ten Thousand Commandments is an annual report prepared by Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews on the costs of federal regulations. The public already knows about climbing federal spending; but when government increases the cost of doing business through new regulations, the consequences are largely hidden from public view. The purpose of the Ten Thousand Commandments report is to restore accountability and transparency to Washington by drawing attention to the staggering burden of federal rules and regulations. Read more on the report here. For more information about the project and archives of past reports, see here.

 

 

 

 

SHAPING THE DEBATE

 

Give a Man a Fish

Iain Murray and Roger Abbott's CEI OnPoint

 

Driving the Market From the Marketplace of Ideas

Fred L. Smith's op-ed in The Washington Times

 

Obamacare's Killer Device Tax

Henry I. Miller's op-ed in The Wall Street Journal

 

Companies Have Right to Engage Political Process

Fred L. Smith's letter to the editor in The Oklahoman

 

The Flawed Case Against Immigration

David Bier's op-ed in The Huffington Post

 

Light Bulb Battle Pits Tea Party Against Manufacturers

Myron Ebell's citation in Bloomberg News

 

From Watergate to Weidgiegate

Hans Bader's citation in The Washington Examiner

 

Horses in the Dining Room

CEI's citation in The Daily Herald

 

Wind Turbines Endanger Eagles

R.J. Smith's citation in Newsday

 

 

                     

 

 

CEI PODCAST

 

May 17, 2012: Ethanol's Overstated Benefits

 

Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis takes apart a study claiming that ethanol lowers gas prices by more than a dollar per gallon in some regions. Unrealistic assumptions and dodgy methodology make the results less than trustworthy. Ethanol, Lewis argues, is widely used only because the federal government requires it to be. If it had to compete on a level playing field like most other products, it would be a flop.

 

 

BEST OF THE BLOGS

 

Facebook, Overregulation, and the "Cheers IPOs"

By John Berlau

 

Tuna-Dolphin Issue--Again a WTO Decision

By Fran Smith

 

Bailouts Wanted--All Taxpayers Solicited!

By Fred L. Smith

 

Corn Is Busting Out All Over

By Marlo Lewis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday
May192012

CEI - Corporate Campaigns: How Unions Take the Secret Ballot Away from American Workers

New Report on Union Tactics to Intimidate Companies

Washington, D.C., May 18, 2012 - Labor unions are resorting to imtimidation strategies called "corporate campaigns" to strong-arm companies into eliminating the secret ballot in union elections, a new report shows.  The Labor Watch report, "Corporate Campaigns: How Unions Take the Secret Ballot Away from American Workers," is authored by CEI labor policy experts, Trey Kovacs and F. Vincent Vernuccio and published by the Capital Research Center.

 

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka once called a corporate campaign the “death of a thousand cuts.” He was referring to a type of union organizing strategy that uses an arsenal of legal, political, and public relations attacks to wear down a company’s resistance to unionization. These tactics are intended to impose financial and legal liabilities on the target company, sully its reputation with its suppliers, shareholders and customers, and hurt its standing in the community by subjecting corporate officers to personal embarrassment.

The report goes on to highlight instances in which unions have pressured companies to sign "neutrality agreements" to take away the right of employees to a secret ballot, used an anti-immigration bill against foreign auto companies hiring American workers, and engaged in shocking activities such as putting plastic cockroaches on food and claiming hospital food was contaminated.

So, what can be done?

The authors recommend some specific actions to fight back.  Mainly, passing ballot measures to guarantee secret ballot union elections, passing a federal bill to do the same, and getting Congress to pass legislation allowing workers to re-elect their union every three years.

> View the CRC Labor Watch report, Corporate Campaigns: How Unions Take the Secret Ballot Away from American Workers