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Capitol Comment 247 - Are You Down with OPP and Internet "Unregulation?"
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 247 - Are You Down with OPP and Internet "Unregulation?"

A new study released by the Office of Plans and Policy (OPP) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) celebrates the success of a policy of "unregulation" for the Internet.1 "Unregulation," as opposed to deregulation, is the total absence of regulation, not the removal of regulation. This study coincides with the FCC’s recent stance against state attempts to regulate Multiple Service Operators (MSOs), such as cable providers who offer advanced services like Internet access.

08/19/1999
Capitol Comment 248 - The Future Begins Now: Welcoming Regulators Into the Information Age
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 248 - The Future Begins Now: Welcoming Regulators Into the Information Age

"Over the next five years, I believe the future of this medium will be determined more by policy choices than by technology choices." -America Online Chairman and CEO Steve Case, speaking on the future of the Internet at the National Press Club, October 26, 1998

08/18/1999
Capitol Comment 246 - “Saving” Salmon in the Pacific Northwest: The Endangered Species Act Hits Home
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 246 - “Saving” Salmon in the Pacific Northwest: The Endangered Species Act Hits Home

Salmon have long been a symbol of the Pacific Northwest, and an important part of the region’s culture and industry. However, in recent years, salmon have become a heavily regulated symbol as federal, state, and local governments have struggled to address a decline in the population of these fish.

08/12/1999
Capitol Comment 244 - Smart Growth or No Growth: A Case of Euro-Envy
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 244 - Smart Growth or No Growth: A Case of Euro-Envy

"Smart growth is great, as long as you keep the dumb ideas out of it."1 Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. Recently there has been much talk in Washington about how so-called "suburban sprawl" is ruining our quality of life, and how "smart growth" is the answer. Many "smart-growthers" argue that since Europeans seem able to control the spread of their urban areas, we should follow their example. But can European policies that prevent "suburban sprawl" be incorporated into a sensible quality-of-life agenda for America?

08/12/1999
Capitol Comment 244 - Smart Growth or No Growth: A Case of Euro-Envy
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 244 - Smart Growth or No Growth: A Case of Euro-Envy

"Smart growth is great, as long as you keep the dumb ideas out of it."1 Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. Recently there has been much talk in Washington about how so-called "suburban sprawl" is ruining our quality of life, and how "smart growth" is the answer. Many "smart-growthers" argue that since Europeans seem able to control the spread of their urban areas, we should follow their example. But can European policies that prevent "suburban sprawl" be incorporated into a sensible quality-of-life agenda for America?

08/12/1999
Capitol Comment 246 - “Saving” Salmon in the Pacific Northwest: The Endangered Species Act Hits Home
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 246 - “Saving” Salmon in the Pacific Northwest: The Endangered Species Act Hits Home

Salmon have long been a symbol of the Pacific Northwest, and an important part of the region’s culture and industry. However, in recent years, salmon have become a heavily regulated symbol as federal, state, and local governments have struggled to address a decline in the population of these fish.

08/12/1999
Capitol Comment 243 - Class Action Lawsuits: America's New Boom Industry
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 243 - Class Action Lawsuits: America's New Boom Industry

The class action lawsuit: a good idea gone bad. A class action lawsuit allows adjudication of the claims of many similarly situated plaintiffs in one trial, as opposed to each individual plaintiff bringing his or her own claim. For instance, if a credit card company wrongly overcharged every cardholder by $1,000, cardholders could join together in a class action, rather than each suing the credit card company individually.

07/20/1999
Capitol Comment 241 - Kennedy Strikes Back: The Return of Nationalized Health Care
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 241 - Kennedy Strikes Back: The Return of Nationalized Health Care

In 1994, President Clinton tried to nationalize the health care industry in an ill-advised attempt to help the millions of Americans without insurance. Now, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and the president are at it again – only this time, they want to take control of private health plans and leave uninsured Americans out in the cold. What’s worse, under the guise of their "Patients’ Bill of Rights," millions more would lose the health insurance they currently enjoy.

07/13/1999
Capitol Comment 245 - Congress Needs to Pass Comprehensive Civil Justice Reform
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 245 - Congress Needs to Pass Comprehensive Civil Justice Reform

When the editorial pages of the conservative Wall Street Journal and the liberal Washington Post agree on an issue, both politicians and voters should take notice. Recently the Post described America’s legal system as a "kind of lottery in which clever trial lawyers and a few victims get very rich at the cost of society's confidence in the justice system." The Journal opined that recent verdicts have "corrod[ed] the public’s, and the world’s, belief that courtrooms are serious places."

07/12/1999
Capitol Comment 242 - Class Action Torts and Federalism
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 242 - Class Action Torts and Federalism

Before Congress adjourns for its summer recess, the House Judiciary Committee is set to consider legislation designed to enhance federal "diversity jurisdiction" over class-action liability cases. The purpose of H.R. 1875, the Interstate Class Action Jurisdiction Act, is to make it easier for defendants in multi-state class-action torts to transfer their cases from state courts to federal court. As it becomes more and more a form of regulation, tort law will become more susceptible to structural tinkering designed to benefit special interests, much like the tax code.

06/20/1999

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