Tag Archives: Regulation

3 Reasons Why Facebook’s Zuckerberg Wants More Government Regulation, by Ryan McMaken

Business people love regulation when they can use it to their advantage. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants more government regulation of social media. In a March 30 op-ed for The Washington Post, Zuckerberg trots out the innocent-sounding pablum we’ve come to expect from him:

I believe we need a more active role for governments and regulators. By updating the rules for the Internet, we can preserve what’s best about it — the freedom for people to express themselves and for entrepreneurs to build new things — while also protecting society from broader harms.

But what sort of regulation will this be? Specifically, Zuckerberg concludes “we need new regulation in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability.”

He wants more countries to adopt versions of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Needless to say, anyone hearing such words from Zuckerberg should immediately assume this newfound support for regulation is calculated to help Facebook financially. After all, this is a man who lied repeatedly to his customers (and Congress) about who can access users’ personal data, and how it will be used. He’s a man who once referred to Facebook users as “Dumb F-cks.” Facebook lied to customers (not to be confused with the users) about the success of Facebook’s video platform. The idea that Zuckerberg now voluntarily wants to sacrifice some of his own power and money for humanitarian purposes is, at best, highly doubtful. (Although politicians like Mark Warner seem to take it at face value.)

Continue reading

Advertisements

Goodbye to the Internet: Interference by Governments Is Already Here, by Philip Giraldi

It’s only a matter of time before governments fully tame and domesticate the internet. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:

There is a saying attributed to the French banker Nathan Rothschild that “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws.” Conservative opinion in the United States has long suspected that Rothschild was right and there have been frequent calls to audit the Federal Reserve Bank based on the presumption that it has not always acted in support of the actual interests of the American people. That such an assessment is almost certainly correct might be presumed based on the 2008 economic crash in which the government bailed out the banks, which had through their malfeasance caused the disaster, and left individual Americans who had lost everything to face the consequences.

Be that as it may, if there were a modern version of the Rothschild comment it might go something like this: “Give me control of the internet and no one will ever more know what is true.” The internet, which was originally conceived of as a platform for the free interchange of information and opinions, is instead inexorably becoming a managed medium that is increasingly controlled by corporate and government interests. Those interests are in no way answerable to the vast majority of the consumers who actually use the sites in a reasonable and non-threatening fashion to communicate and share different points of view.

Continue reading

The Disappearance of the American Conservative, by Bill Bonner

What use to be conservatism is no more, replaced by conservatism that’s adopted  the same premises and tenets regarding government of its supposed enemies. From Bill Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – As the quality of government declines – from Jefferson and Adams… to Dubya and The Donald – the observer needs a broader sense of humor.

Where he used to titter over a bon mot… or smile wryly at a double entendre, now he can only give a hoarse laugh, like a half-wit watching The Three Stooges.

For now, there’s not even a single entendre. It’s just mud wrestling and pie throwing.

Big Jamboree

Conservatives held their big jamboree last weekend. We sent our own eyes and ears.

“There was hardly a conservative in sight,” he reported. “There were no Ron Pauls here. No Eisenhowers. No Howard Buffetts. Certainly no Thomas Jeffersons.”

The essence of traditional conservatism is humility, doubt, and cynicism about what government can achieve.

Activists, on the other hand, think they can use the feds’ muscle like a ball-peen hammer, to knock the country into whatever shape they want.

But conservatives doubt that civil society is so malleable. In nearly every proposal, they see ugly dents, not a smooth and elegant new shape.

“Balance the budget… and mind your own business,” said the old-timers.

But there was no mention of either at the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) shindig.

The importance of this observation from our financial standpoint is that the country needs conservatives. It used to count on them to keep the books in balance.

Conservatives were wet blankets, reliably voting “no” to expensive schemes and deficit spending.

“There was some talk about smaller government,” said our informant.

“But nobody wanted to touch the reality of it – challenging The Swamp by cutting back government spending. And while people seemed to be in favor of bringing the troops home, nobody really wanted to confront the military arm of the Deep State. I heard no proposals that the Deep State wouldn’t like.”

Continue reading

Decentralization Is the Solution to the Government Shutdown, by Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken is correct as far as he goes: decentralization in government would be a wonderful thing. Not much analysis, though, on why centralization occurs (hint: it’s in somebody interest for it to occur), or how decentralization can happen. From McMaken at mises.org:

The partial shutdown with the federal government has helped, perhaps more than any other recent political event, to illustrate some of the biggest problems that come with centralizing an ever-larger number of government activities within a single, centralized institution.

Were the US government more decentralized, we’d not now be facing a nationwide systemic failure that has continues to cripple the private sector in many ways.

Held Hostage by a Shuttered Regulatory State

The federalization of resources and regulatory power over the past century has created a situation in which numerous industries depend on licensing and regulatory approval from federal regulators to function. And yet, thanks to the shutdown, these industries can do little when facing a federal government that imposes mandates, but won’t provide the agency “services” necessary to allow agencies to function under those mandates.

For example, As The Washington Post has reported , those areas where the federal government has a large regulatory footprint — such as Alaska — are at the mercy of politicians thousands of miles away.

Most (61 percent) of Alaska is government land managed by five different federal agencies, according to the congressional Research Service. The state’s main industries, including fishing, tourism and oil and gas, all depend on the day-to-day actions of federal workers and regulators.

The fisheries have so far avoided major disruption, despite a few close calls. Most boats are still getting by on licenses and inspections which occurred before the shutdown.

But time is running out. Major commercial boats are required to carry onboard observers to monitor their catch. But when they return from a trip, those observers must be debriefed by the National Marine Fisheries Service — and it’s not holding debriefings during the shutdown.

Continue reading

Deregulation, by Tom Woods

Deregulation’s many benefits are seldom noticed, and it’s often blamed for the sins of regulation. From Tom Woods at lewrockwell.com:

Ten years after the financial crisis of 2008, your friends are still saying the same thing:

“Don’t you libertarians know the financial crisis was caused by deregulation?”

It was not in any way caused by deregulation. We have to get this right, and we can’t let it pass.

F.A. Hayek once noted how important history was to current events: if we misunderstand history, we’re going to do the wrong things in the present. So if we think the late nineteenth century was characterized by “monopolies” from which wise government officials rescued us (and, unfortunately, this is indeed what most people believe), we’ll have different views on antitrust law than we otherwise would. Likewise, if we think the Great Depression was caused by “laissez faire,” that will influence the kind of economic policy we advocate today.

Continue reading

Atlas Shrugged, er, Mugged, by Jeffrey Harding

Elizabeth Warren could be one of the villains in Atlas Shrugged. From Jeffrey Harding at anindependentmind.com:

Current events have revealed that Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged is not just fiction, but almost a prophesy. Elizabeth Warren’s Accountable Capitalism Act and the cronyism of Trump’s tariff policies are straight out of Rand’s novel. It won’t end well.

Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged depicts a world where freedom and free markets are crushed by not-so-well-meaning politicians and bureaucrats. The story is a blueprint for the creation of a command economy where prices, wages, and production are dictated by bureaucratic apparatchiks. Like all regimes seeking autocratic power, the outcome, as she chillingly reveals, is cronyism, corruption, economic depression, and the rise of dictatorship.

Continue reading

These People Lost Everything to Big Government … Are You Next? by Mark Nestman

Sometimes putting human faces on what the government does to people is more effective than reams of statistics and denunciations. From Mark Nestman at nestman.com:

In one of his most memorable statements, former President Ronald Reagan said in his 1981 inaugural address, “Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.”

When faced with a truly intractable problem, it’s tempting to throw our hands in the air and wait for the government to solve it. Whether it’s ensuring sustainable development, fighting the war on drugs, or any other difficult issue, the mainstream media tells us time and again that government ought to pass a law to fix it.

I beg to differ. Here are two stories about people who lost everything to government through no fault of their own. And you could be next.

Retirement Wiped Out by Executive Order

Tom and Jane Flagg have lived in Jersey City, New Jersey for the past 42 years. Only 24 hours before they were scheduled to sell their property there and retire in Tennessee, their lives fell apart.

The Flaggs arrived in Jersey City in the 1970s. The city was rife with crime, but property was cheap. They took a chance and purchased two small homes, both over 100 years old. The homes were well-built, but they needed a great deal of renovation, which the Flaggs did mostly themselves. The family lived in one home and rented out the other.

Forty years later, the neighborhood they bought into has gentrified. Property values have skyrocketed.  The Flaggs, now much older, wanted to cash in on the modest nest egg they had painstakingly created. They put the homes up for sale and quickly found a buyer. The closing date was March 24, 2018.

But at the last minute, it was all snatched away from them. On March 23, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop destroyed their retirement with the stroke of a pen. He issued an executive order to stop granting demolition permits for homes that housed four or fewer families. This directly affected the Flaggs, because their buyer planned to tear down both homes and build new structures in their place.

Fulop justified his order in the name of “architectural preservation.” The only way a builder can obtain a demolition permit now is to get approval from the Jersey City historic preservation officer. If that person turns the permit down, the builder can appeal to the Historic Preservation Commission.

To continue reading: These People Lost Everything to Big Government … Are You Next?