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Tag Archives: regulation

Chicago to Apply 9% ‘Netflix Tax’

Again, I ask. Why does anyone live in these cities? The governments are corrupt. They are violent. They are crowded. They are dirty. They are running out of money. They are dysfunctional. They are expensive. And yet people stay.

There are highways. You can leave. I don’t have much sympathy if you stick around and let the local government just abuse you.

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Leaked: Obama’s TPP will raise cost of medicine, creates protections for pharmaceutical industry

You’ve got to hand it to Obama in a weird way. He does a good job of placating his populist flank while his administration does the bidding of large corporations. Obamacare is one example, net neutrality is another, the TPP yet another.

One of the reasons we have generally opposed the Trans Pacific Partnership, even though we are big fans of international free trade, is because the agreement is likely chock full of crony deals. There’s a reason why so much secrecy surrounds the thing.

But we have been getting glimpses of the paper beast. The most recent comes from Politico.

Looks like the drug companies are about to have a big (and ongoing) international payday. Thing is this payday comes not from innovation and the satisfaction of customers but from privileges written into the TPP for pharma. At least they appear to be in the agreement at this point.

Obama is arguably the best friend Big Pharma ever had.

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How the Feds Asked Me to Rat Out Commenters (Not us, Nick Gillespie at Reason)

As far as I am concerned Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason.com, is one of the good guys. He is smart, fair, funny, and just generally a good read. Years ago he published one of my articles at Reason when I had a readership of about 5. I like him and we feature his work regularly.

We are alarmed by his account of a recent run in with a federal judge.

It seems this judge didn’t like that some of Reason’s commenters used over the top language about her. Soon Reason was presented with a subpoena. The Feds wanted the information, IP addresses etc., of the commenters. Then the Feds instituted a gag order around the subpoena.

Yikes.

We reported on this earlier HERE.

(From The Daily Beast)

Is there anything more likely to make you shit your pants out of a mix of fear and anger than getting a federal subpoena out of the blue?

Well, yes, there is: getting a gag order that prohibits you from speaking publicly about that subpoena and even the gag order itself. Talk about feeling isolated and cast adrift in the home of the free. You can’t even respond honestly when someone asks, “Are you under a court order not to speak?”

Far more important: talk about realizing that open expression and press freedom are far more tenuous than even the most cynical of us can imagine! Even when you have done nothing wrong and aren’t the target of an investigation, you can be commanded, at serious financial cost and disruption of your business, to dance to a tune called by the long arm of the law.

Click here for the article.

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Introduce Sheldon Adelson-Backed Bill to Ban Online Gambling

Senator Graham and Senator Rubio reintroduced Adelson’s bill.

In April of 2013 Marco Rubio had this to say;

“I blame that primarily, quite frankly, on decisions made by the Republican Party in the past to embrace crony capitalism and corporate welfare as conservatism, when, in fact, that’s not what we’re about. We are about upward mobility. We’re about the true free enterprise system.” 

Et tu Rubio?

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King v. Burwell, Supreme Court rules and “rewrites”, Obamacare subsidies in all states

King vs. Burwell decided whether Obamacare subsidies extend to those who live in states where “healthcare exchanges” haven’t been set up.

In what Justice Scalia says amounts to a “rewrite” of the law, the Supreme Court decided today, that such subsidies do in fact extend to people in all states whether or not they live in a state which has established an exchange.

The full text of the ruling can be read HERE.

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Atlas Society Crony Contest Winners Announced

At a dinner at the organization’s annual Atlas Summit, this year in Nashua, New Hampshire, the organization “dishonored” those who use government to enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers and competitors as well as those with political power who empower these cronies. TAS CEO Aaron Day explained the origins of the contest. Nick Sorrentino, a contest advisor and operator of the againstcronycapitalism.com website, gave the keynote address documenting the current crony plague. And TAS scholar Edward Hudgins announced the winners. (Pictured at right.)

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The Cartel That Makes Sure Airplane Tickets Never Get Cheaper

Open this industry up. I don’t mean “deregulation” like in the 1970s. I mean let’s examine why it took forever for Virgin to get routes within the USA. (A fantastic airline by the way. I encourage anyone with the opportunity to fly Virgin to do it. It’s almost pleasant.) Let’s make it easier for international carriers to do business here. Let’s stop protecting the legacy carriers and start getting some of those lay down seats on domestic flights.

As the great economist Murray Rothbard observed, cartels and monopolies don’t last very long unless they are protected by the government.

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Obama’s Unilateral Presidency Crashes Into the Constitution

I remember in college my professor explaining to us that the US system of government was too slow. That it was inherently difficult – too difficult he argued. A parliamentary system was much better and would allow “things to get done.” My professor, it was clear resented the restrictions placed on government by the Constitution.

One gets the sense that Obama feels the same way.

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Fed’s worst nightmare: The ‘ghost of 1937′ (Will the “Great Recession” be given new life soon?)

In 1937 after years of a meager “recovery” the economy slumped again as artificial economic props were taken away. The Great Depression was born anew. 4 years later we were in a global war.

Let’s see, depression, then mediocre growth underpinned by artificial economic stimulants, sounds pretty familiar.

This is what happens when interest rates are set by a politburo instead of by the market.

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New Regulations To Wipe Out 80% Of Airbnb Rentals In California’s Santa Monica

The “sharing economy” is here. It makes sense to deploy capital (in various forms, cars, empty rooms, etc.) which is latent.

There are those however who fear the emergence of this new part of the economy. Usually these folks are those for whom the old non-sharing economy worked relatively well, cab drivers, hoteliers, wealthy retirees in a comfy California beach town who bought their houses a million years ago who don’t want to see hipsters walking down the street, etc. (One can’t blame them for that I suppose.)

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