Category: Regulation

By Kevin Glass Government Internet is coming to a city near you. The only question is if anything can be done to stop the politicians scheming to bring it. Across the country, there’s been an explosion in what are euphemistically called “municipal broadband” projects – government-funded and operated broadband services that are competing with community service providers that have been operating for years. All across the country, from Newark, Delaware, to Seattle, Washington, government officials are exploring the possibility of sinking hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into these projects. This isn’t a new fad: Government broadband networks have been pursued by officials since the late ’90s, when smaller locales like Ashland, Ore., and Marietta, Ga., built out their own… View Article
By Jon Sanders The rhetorical case for renewable energy seems, at its core, to be this: Why rely on traditional sources that burn expensive energy and emit carbon dioxide when you can replace them with energy freely provided by nature that emits nothing? Seems like a slam-dunk. If that were truly the choice, no doubt it would be. But unfortunately, it isn’t. Not even close. Industry advocates know that, which is why they work in concert with friendly politicians and media true believers to make the choice seem that way. Nature, economics, and simple math are their biggest obstacles. Not politics, not irrational hatred of renewable energy, not even donations from bugbear philanthropists. The renewable energy sources (wind and solar) … View Article

Snake Oil in the Clean Power Plan

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help,” Ronald Reagan famously said. After new energy regulations were announced this week, Americans should ask government, “With friends like you, who needs enemies?” This nation has never been sold a bigger, costlier bill of goods than the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (climate action plan) to reduce carbon emissions, which the administration has fervently tried to relabel as carbon “pollution.” According to President Obama: With this Clean Power Plan, by 2030, carbon pollution from our power plants will be 32 percent lower than it was a decade ago.  And the nerdier way to say that… View Article
This commentary is excerpted from testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. By Todd Zywicki An animating premise of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) was the belief that a primary source of financial instability was an inadequate consumer financial protection regime at the federal level.  Dodd-Frank sought to address those perceived deficiencies by creating the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) and vesting that new super-bureaucracy wielding an unprecedented combination of vast, vaguely defined substantive powers with no democratic accountability.  At the outset, allow me to stress that I personally agreed with the proposal to combine the administration of federal consumer financial protection laws under one agency’s roof. The preexisting system was too… View Article

Dodd-Frank’s Dire Legacy: Durbin Amendment

By Iain Murray This week was the fifth anniversary of the passage of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, better known as Dodd-Frank. As the Mercatus Center revealed this week, it may be the biggest law ever written, because it gives the administration so much discretionary power to make secondary law. It has harmed consumers by reducing choice in financial services and failed to solve the problems it was purported to solve, as I outline in my new paper, How Dodd Frank Harms Main Street. One of the worst examples of this stems from the Durbin Amendment, a last minute addition to the bill that gives the Federal Reserve the power to cap interchange fees charged… View Article
A new study from North Carolina’s John Locke Foundation suggests a market-oriented alternative to state professional licensing. Read the press release below: North Carolina could promote job creation, lower consumer prices, and boost opportunities for low-income families by replacing most of the state’s occupational licensing with voluntary certification. A new John Locke Foundation Spotlight report explains why. “North Carolina’s aggressive occupational licensing faces considerable concerns about its fairness, efficiency, scope, and more,” said report author Jon Sanders, JLF Director of Regulatory Studies. “A ready answer to these concerns would be to transition most jobs currently under state regulation away from licensure and into private certification.” Sanders releases his report as the state’s occupational licensing system faces questions on multiple fronts.… View Article

The Ethanol Scramble

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation The Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS) were enacted to solve perceived problems with energy independence, carbon footprints, job creation and the farm economy, among others. They are proof positive that government solutions are always complicated, especially with mandates that address future, undefined problems. The legislation mandated fuel uses that were not yet developed and of questionable benefit. Proposed rules in the Federal Register announced in 2006 that, “Under the Clean Air Act … the Environmental Protection Agency is required to promulgate regulations implementing a renewable fuel program.” The most controversial mandate was for the use of ethanol as a fuel. The main goal was to replace petroleum fuels with renewable… View Article
The Wall Street Journal published an essay by Charles Murray last week, “Regulation Run Amok — And How to Fight Back,” arguing that “America is no longer the land of the free” due to the modern regulatory state. He cites Thomas Jefferson’s definition of good government as one “which shall restrain men from injuring on another” and “shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.” This presumption of freedom, says Murray, no longer holds. He says that at last count there are nearly 5,000 federal crimes you can commit. He states that “No individual can know how to “obey” laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley (810 pages), the Affordable Care Act (1,024 pages) or… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen  KELLY McCUTCHENPresident, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Many older Georgians recall our economic leadership in what were called the “Four Ps” – peanuts, poultry, pine trees and pecans. These were solid building blocks of the Georgia economy decades ago, and we can be proud that Georgia still leads in these areas. Over the years, Georgia became home to worldwide industry-leading businesses like Delta, UPS, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Aflac, Gulfstream, AGCO, Shaw Industries, Mohawk Industries, Newell Rubbermaid, Flowers Industries and many others. Moving into the 21st-century economy, Georgia added highly innovative communities of industry to the state. The state has become a leader in health care information technology, financial technology, information security, video game development, interactive marketing, logistics, communications… View Article

The Bitter Battle Over Bogus Butter

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Government regulations have unintended consequences. Winners are protected, losers are punished, perhaps. Effects are often unpredictable and change with time and conditions. Nothing illustrates the vagaries of government management better than the protection of butter. Most Americans believe the oleomargarine-butter controversy to be a mild competition between two ordinary foods that began in mid-20th century, but it’s much older and more significant. Mark Twain (“Life on the Mississippi,” 1874) overheard a conversation between two salesmen on a Mississippi steamboat that included, “… look at it – smell of it – taste it. Put any test on it you want to. Take your own time – no hurry – make… View Article

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U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell more quotes