Should Government Break Up Tech Monopolies?

from IBD:

Calls To Break Up Tech Giants Ignore History

Calls to break up tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google have been increasing. But while the sentiment is understandable, the free market is far more likely to tame these giants without any government intervention.

We can remember when everyone was promising that the internet would unleash competition by lowering barriers to entry and often by cutting out the middle man. But in some ways the opposite has happened, as three companies wound up controlling the lion’s share of online advertising and commerce.

That, in turn, has generated growing interest in breaking these companies up, or heavily regulating them as monopolies. read more

Gun Safes and Trigger Locks Defeat the Purpose of Home Defense Weapons

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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Yesterday the HuffPo continued its assault (pardon the pun) on guns by pretending to be reasonable. Something new for the Huffington Post. But it wasn’t really reasonable. It was just a veiled attempt of the unreasonable to sound reasonable.

The article ,posted as a result of the Santa Fe school murders, is entitled, “Texans On Both Sides Of Gun Debate Agree On Safe Storage, But Not On How To Support It.”

They write that the 17 year old took “his father’s pump-action shotgun and .38 revolver, concealed them under a trench coat and walked into an art class before opening fire on students, teachers and a responding school resource officer.”

They added that, “…people from across the political spectrum have stressed the importance of securing firearms to keep minors and others from getting ahold of them without permission,” and that, “If you’re a parent and you own guns, lock your guns safely away,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a staunch pro-gun Republican, said at a press conference on Friday. “It’s a serious issue and one big step we can take.” read more

The EPA is Only Useful When the Left Controls It

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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Let me state for the record that there should be no federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. If States wish to regulate themselves to death, let them.

Despite my misgivings that these types of federal regulations are unconstitutional, if CAFE Standards are to become law, they should, at the very least, have to be passed by Congress, where all laws must originate.

That being said, the last time Congress passed a law which included fuel efficiency standards was 2007 – more than a decade ago.

Congress first established CAFE standards in 1975. They set the average fuel economy of the new car fleet to 27.5 mpg by model year (MY) 1985. Then, under “conservative” George W. Bush, Congress passed and the president signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Don’t you love the bogus names they give these egregious pieces of legislation?

Anyway, the new legislation raised the fuel economy standards of America’s cars, light trucks, and SUVs to a combined average of at least 35 miles per gallon by 2020—a 10 mpg increase over 2007 levels—and required standards to be met at maximum feasible levels through 2030. read more

Say Goodbye to the Obama Era

from IBD:

Trump Dismantles Another Obama ‘Achievement’ — Just One More To Go

This week, the Trump administration announced that it would revise President Obama’s draconian auto fuel economy mandates. That alone is big news. But it marks the near total reversal of Obama’s anti-growth domestic policies. That’s bigger news.

EPA head Scott Pruitt said Tuesday that the administration would rewrite Obama’s fuel economy standards starting with model year 2022. Obama’s plan was to mandate that all cars sold average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, up from 38.3 mpg this year.

As we have repeatedly explained in this space, Obama’s fuel economy mandate was little more than a thinly disguised electric car mandate, since hitting that level would have required a substantial increase in plug-in sales. As it stands, there are only a handful of powered cars that can go more than 54 miles on a gallon of gas.

Pruitt said that, instead of trying to force consumers into more expensive cars that environmentalists like, the focus at the EPA will be “on making cars that people actually buy and that are efficient.” read more

Government Should Not Regulate Social Media

from IBD:

Facebook Privacy Scandal: Why Regulation Is Not The Answer

As Facebook’s privacy crisis grows, so too are calls for the government to regulate it, including from Republicans, the tech industry and Mark Zuckerberg himself. What could be wrong with that?

Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart, for example, told CNN that “I actually think it probably is” time to regulate Facebook (FB) and other social media companies because “these companies gather our private information and they monetize it.”

Speaking at a China Development Forum in Beijing, Apple (APPL) Chairman Tim Cook said, when asked about Facebook, “I think that this certain situation is so dire and has become so large that probably some well-crafted regulation is necessary.”

Zuckerberg himself says that “I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated,” adding that “I actually think the question is more ‘What is the right regulation?’ rather than ‘Yes or no, should it be regulated?’ ” read more

You Must Comply…With Your Dentist

from Michelle Malkin at Townhall:

The Snitches in Your Kids’ Dental Office

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth to have a despotic pediatric dentist.

Parents who decide, for whatever reason, that they don’t like their children’s oral care provider should be forewarned. Empowered by government “mandatory reporter” laws, dental offices are now using their authority to threaten families with child abuse charges if they don’t comply with the cavity police.

Mom Trey Hoyumpa shared a letter last week on Facebook from a dental office called Smiles 4 Keeps in Bartonsville, Pennsylvania. It informed her that if she did not make a dental appointment for “regular professional cleanings” for her child, she could be charged with “dental neglect.”
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Donald J “Smoot-Hawley” Trump – It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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Here we are again – our government doing what they do best – picking winners and losers. President Trump has done a lot of good things for this nation thus far, but protectionist tariffs aren’t one of them.

The first protectionist tariff, the “Dallas” tariff, was enacted in 1816. It happened again in 1824, in 1828, the infamous “Tariff of Abominations,” in 1832 to fix the problem in 1828 (which it didn’t), and in 1842, the “Black” tariff.

All these were passed to benefit the Northern States at the expense of the South, and all were major contributing factors in the run-up to the Civil War. No, the Civil War was not just about slavery.

And then there was the infamous “Smoot-Hawley” tariff of 1930. It was named after its authors, Utah Senator Reed Smoot and Oregon Congressman Willis Hawley. The purpose was to support U.S. farmers who had been ravaged by the Dust Bowl.

By the time 1930 rolled around, practically every legislator had added protections to Smoot-Hawley for their states’ industries. The bill ended up with proposed tariffs on 20,000 individual imported goods. Does this sound eerily familiar to anyone? It’s why bills are thousands of pages long – to attempt to hide such things.

This time, instead of agriculture, our government has chosen the American Aluminum and Steel industries to be the temporary winners. Yay! read more

Graffiti Artists Make Big Bucks

by: Brent Smith at The Common Constitutionalist

Warehouse building owner discovers the hard way that he really can’t do what he wants with his own building.

What would happen if your young child drew all over his or her bedroom walls? Of course as a doting parent, you would say it was art. I mean – what’s a coat of paint. It’s not worth getting upset about. The child is too young to understand anyway. So instead you say: “You did such a great job I think we’ll just leave it be.” And accept it you do, at least for a while, as the work of art it was intended. You even have him or her sign it, or make some sort of identifying mark to make their own.

Now years go by and your son or daughter is grown up and moves out. You then decide to rid the room of the once great work of art. But wait…not so fast. Instead of the shoulder shrug response you would expect from the lad or lass, he or she protests, and doesn’t want you to defile the masterpiece. What then?

You pull out the old, “This is my house” card and paint over it. A month or so goes by and you receive a letter from an attorney. It seems your child is suing you for damages under 17 U.S. Code § 106A – Rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity. read more

Does Apple Need to Curb Your Child’s Smartphone Use?

from IBD:

No, Apple Is Not Responsible For Your Kids’ Smartphone Addiction

Apple is now coming under fire from two big investors for not doing enough to curb childhood addiction to smartphones. What’s next? Government warnings and a class-action lawsuit against Big Smartphone.

In an “open letter” to Apple, Janus Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System — which combined own roughly $2 billion in Apple stock — scolded Apple for failing to “take steps” to curb overuse of smartphones by children.

The letter goes on at great length citing research into the harmful effects of too much smartphone use — from increased risk of depression and suicide risk to sleep and learning problems. read more

Trump is a Regulation Slashing Machine

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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As I have said many times over the past several months – that left to his own, President Trump is getting a lot accomplished, and virtually all of it is conservative-friendly. I’ve also stated ad nauseum, that I wasn’t a Trumpster, but have begun to come around. I will still never be a Trump apologist or mouthpiece. You know – those who go on Fox News and excuse everything the man has ever done, or will do. That’s just absurd.

But let’s give credit where credit is due. With all he’s had to contend with this past year, he’s done a remarkable job. Just imagine where we could be if the establishment would have given up their quest to torpedo his Presidency and come along for the ride.

One thing he’s begun, but not near completed, is government regulatory restraint. It is not as glitzy, and seemingly not as important as elections or scandals, but in fact, it as at least as important, if not more so, in the grand scheme of things.

And why is this? Well, I’ll you why. read more