Both of the nation’s retail hardware behemoths, Home Depot and Lowe’s, recently sold out to activists in ways that are the corporate equivalent of a dog’s putting his tail between his legs and slinking away from a bully. Home Depot announced that by the end of this year it will stop selling vinyl flooring that contains a class of chemicals called phthalates. It described the move as an effort to “continually challenge our suppliers to develop new, innovative options for our customers.” Baloney. What the company did was abandon both science and its customers under pressure from the activist group Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, which sponsors the “Mind the Store” campaign that has been strong-arming retailers to remove safe, useful, and affordable products from shelves.
You may not have noticed it when out buying things in the marketplace in the context of your personal budget, but according to the Wall Street Journal (April 24, 2015) the world is awash with too much stuff. We seemingly have too much of, well, almost everything: too many raw material commodities, too much capital, and too much labor. The world, claims the Journal, is suffering from global gluts.
Over the past few years, innovative new services such as Airbnb and Uber have sprung up across the nation, creating what’s been termed the “sharing” economy or “peer-to-peer” economy. These services have endured varying levels of resistance from local and state governments, as lawmakers have applied 19th- or 20th-century modes of regulatory theory to 21st-century technologies.
The agency has extended its comments period until April 15 as it considers a rule that would regulate a range of chemicals within a group called phthalates. These chemicals, among other purposes, keep plastics from shattering when bent, and play a useful role in a range of consumer products.
In this episode of the Budget & Tax News podcast, managing editor, Jesse Hathaway is joined by Heartland Institute policy advisor and Johnson & Wales University associate economics professor Adam C. Smith. Smith and Hathaway discuss Virginia’s recent legalization of sharing-economy transportation companies Lyft and Uber.
Mythological trolls — described as old and ugly creatures living under bridges or in caves — are known for one central feature: generally troublesome and injurious to human enterprise. Much of the same can be said for today’s patent troll — the dubious business entity again drawing the ire of Congress that exists solely to acquire patents and make claims of infringement in court.
We all expect to pay a price for missing deadlines—fail to pay a ticket on time, and you may find a warrant out for your arrest. But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can apparently miss deadlines with impunity.
The Internet ecosystem just added a new tool to preserve the property of rights holders even while encouraging greater use of broadband. The Motion Picture Association has announced the launch of a new search engine called WheretoWatch.com.
Nothing has changed my mind that it would be “unthinkable” for the FCC to classify Internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act, the part of the 1934 communications law derived directly from the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. The purpose of the Interstate Commerce Act was to constrain what was then seen as the monopolistic power of the railroads. The railroads were deregulated in the 1980s – long before the emergence today’s broadband Internet providers.
After years of rising gasoline prices, people are puzzled by the recent drop that has a gallon of gas at levels not seen in nearly four years. Typically in times of Middle East unrest, prices at the pump spike, yet, despite the violence in Iraq and Syria, gallon of gas is now at a national average of $3.
Back in 1997, then-FCC Chairman Reed Hundt titled a speech, “Thinking About Why Some Communications Mergers Are Unthinkable.” In his address, Mr. Hundt explained why, in his view, it was “unthinkable” to contemplate a merger between AT&T and one of the Bell Operating Companies. A principal reason had to do with what Mr. Hundt claimed would be the “resulting concentration” of “the long distance market.”
For almost eight years, I have been urging, along with other Free State Foundation scholars, an end to the costly so-called “integration ban.”This outdated, costly FCC regulation bans cable operators from integrating the security and programming navigation functions in set-top boxes.
When I was in elementary school, my teacher taught our class about the food pyramid and the importance of a balanced, healthy diet. If we were going to grow up to be big and strong, we needed to eat the right amount of food from each of the basic food groups: grains at the base of the pyramid, fruits and vegetables on the second tier, meats and dairy diary products third, and fats, oils, and sweets, the smallest portion, at the top.
In the past two decades the Internet has come to be a dominant part of people’s lives. For work, pleasure, communication, and countless other uses, the Internet is an indispensable tool to many individuals. Without it, much of the information-based civilization that has been built up would stop working the way we are accustomed to.
For many decades in most states, the auto dealers lobby has persuaded legislators to make it illegal for automakers to sell their products directly to buyers. Instead, new-car buyers must[…]
Retail stores are opening even earlier than usual for their annual Black Friday sales this year, in an intensifying competition for scarce consumer dollars. Big retailers such as Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, Sears, and Toys R Us will open Thursday night and feature “doorbuster” bargains to lure tryptophan-laden customers into their emporia (if they can fit through the doors).