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Op-ed Placement

A European Decision That Could Dismantle the Internet

In response to a recent legal decision in Europe, Google has released a new form for its European users that will allow them to request that links to certain articles about them be removed from the search engine. While European privacy advocates who have been pushing for a "right to be forgotten" may applaud this effort, the impact on the flow of information across the Internet is substantial. As Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard Law School puts it, "The most important harm of this decision is not to the search engine companies, but to the public at large, and its ability to find accurate public information." Rather than an open and public exchange of information, Europe's new law injects an online censor to govern the accessibility of freely available public information.

06/04/2014
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Op-ed Placement

Desperate To Be Relevant, the FCC Pounces On the Internet

Spurred on by advocates of net neutrality, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that has the potential to drastically reshape the Internet. While the possibility of a "fast lane" on the Internet has the proponents of net neutrality up in arms, the looming threat of regulation is far more troubling. The proposed rulemaking is exploring a number of options, including the possibility of reclassifying Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as a telecommunication service, which can then be regulated like the telephone system. Despite the lack of any evidence of market failure, Chairman Wheeler appears bent on expanding the FCC's regulatory reach on the Internet.

05/20/2014
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Op-ed Placement

The FCC's Mission Pivot Imperils the Internet

The Federal Communications Commission has sparked controversy with talk of new broadband policies that may have granted Internet service providers (ISPs) a degree of flexibility in pricing for purposes of traffic management. While the recognition of the economic realities of broadband management is significant, proponents of net neutrality have sounded the alarm bells, decrying the creation of a "fast lane" for those companies big enough to afford it. As a result, the FCC has been flexing its regulatory authority to appease its critics.

05/02/2014
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Op-ed Placement

It's Time to Rein In IRS and SEC Snooping

With each passing generation of technology, the online world and real world are becoming seamlessly integrated. Today's Internet and smartphones connect consumers and machines, and the world wide web has more than 2.4 billion users. So it's not surprising that a data breach like Heartbleed is setting off alarm bells. Millions of consumers are at risk of having sensitive data exposed to hackers, criminals and perhaps even the NSA. While businesses have rushed to implement fixes to this latest breach, there's still one privacy breach that remains impermeable: federal snooping on private citizens.

04/25/2014
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Op-ed Placement

The Growing Regulatory Burden, and the Challenge of Reform

According to the Office of Management and Budget, Americans currently spend 10 billion hours wading through federal paperwork requirements. In fact, in just one week in March, regulators added $1.4 billion to the regulatory burden, along with another 6.7 million hours of paperwork. And according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the largest problems for small businesses in February were regulation and red tape. Overall, the costs of regulation have become a significant problem. With the economy still enervated from the financial collapse of 2008, perhaps it is time to address the increasing regulatory burden, which can stifle the best laid schemes for economic growth.

04/01/2014
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Op-ed Placement

Retailers Seek a Wealth Transfer From the Banks

On Friday, March 21, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia handed retailers a considerable setback in their ongoing war against banks over price controls on interchange fees-the fees charged to retailers when they accept debit cards as payment. The court's decision is the latest salvo in the wake of the Durbin Amendment, which was hurriedly and quietly added to the Dodd-Frank financial services reform legislation of 2010. The amendment mandated that the Federal Reserve Board establish price caps for debit card interchange fees. Retailers claimed the caps were necessary to protect consumers, but the reality of the Durbin Amendment has been a direct transfer of resources from banks to retailers, with consumers facing higher costs as collateral damage.

03/25/2014
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Blog

Educating Activists on the Role of the Judiciary

FreedomWorks Foundation has launched a new educational program to educate our activists on the role of the judiciary and its important check on legislative and executive branch power. In addition to the new issue page and new courses for FreedomWorks University, we are including an activist education program to highlight this important issue. Recently FreedomWorks Foundation sponsored a series of talks in South Carolina and Florida that examined the role of the judiciary and the dangers of a judicial branch that fails to check the power of the other branches of government.

03/12/2014
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Blog

President Obama is Standing on Standing

The U.S. Constitution attempted to create a blueprint for government that includes three co-equal branches of government: the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judiciary. While the legislature enacts laws and the executive branch implements those laws, the judiciary has the important role of checking any overreach by both the executive and legislative branches. These checks and balances are what protected the new constitutional republic from the tyranny of majority rule.

03/12/2014
"Check out Dr. Brough's Op Ed: Would Fredric Bastiat Support High Speed Rail?"
"Would Fredric Bastiat Support High Speed Rail? President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers say the $780 billion stimulus package was a success. Yet a closer examination raises questions, making it difficult to embrace. "
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Op-ed Placement

Would Fredric Bastiat Support High Speed Rail?

Recently, President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers released their final assessment of the president's $780 billion stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Mandated by Congress, this year's report celebrates the fifth anniversary of ARRA. Not surprisingly, the CEA asserts that the spending program was an unqualified success, creating jobs and boosting the nation's output. Yet a closer examination of the report raises a number of questions, making it difficult to embrace the study's findings. Fundamentally, the administration is taking credit for improvements in the economy, without demonstrating that ARRA is the source of the benefits. While it is normal for administrations to take credit for economic growth, correlation does not equal causation.

02/26/2014
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Op-ed Placement

As His ACA Implodes, Obama Makes It Up—Illegally

The patchwork quilt that is ObamaCare remains a work in progress, with recent news that President Obama once again has extended the employer mandate deadline for certain businesses, this time pushing the enforcement date comfortably beyond the next election cycle. The latest delay has created heartburn even among Democrat supporters of the health care law. But President Obama's regulatory rollercoaster is indicative of a larger problem in Washington: the emergence of the administrative state, with the government increasingly becoming a third party to what used to be private transactions.

02/14/2014

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