The world has changed. Although few yet understand it, the revolution in the production of oil and natural gas from shale has altered the course of global energy, affecting most of the world’s people. This is not a short-term event. Citizens, industries and nations will be impacted for decades to come.
Lawmakers in Congress introduced a plan to apply sales taxes to Internet purchases, hoping this time they’ve ironed out the problems that scuttled previous attempts. They haven’t, and this attempt at grabbing e-commerce tax revenue has the same flaws as previous attempts.
A little more than a year ago, oil prices were above $100 a barrel. The national average for gasoline was in the $3.50 range. In late spring, oil was $60ish and the national average for gas was around $2.70. The price of a barrel of oil has plunged to $40 and below—yet, prices at the pump are just slightly less than they were when oil was almost double what it is today.
There should be no innovation or competition double standard where government politically picks winners and losers by rigging competition via denying some companies the freedom to innovate and compete spectrally while granting it to their competitors.
With many cities and states struggling to balance their budgets and financially strained taxpayers unable to sustain liberal spending sprees, elected officials are being compelled to choose between raising taxes and service fees or cutting back on the quality and quantity of services provided.
Passed into law with the stated intention of protecting consumers from low-quality service providers, occupational licensing laws in fact hurt consumers by insulating existing businesses from competition and preventing people from using their talents to earn a living in ways that might serve consumers better.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Jesse Hathaway, managing editor of Budget & Tax News speaks with Leonard Gilroy. Gilroy is director of government reform at the Reason Foundation. Gilroy joins Hathaway to discuss the benefits of privatization.
One year ago, Gina McCarthy, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, announced the controversial centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s climate change legacy: the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The rule is slated for finalization this summer.
The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent decision to claim full regulatory power over the way the Internet works was bad enough, but the next battle in the government’s war on consumer-friendly innovation is approaching fast.
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.”