His promising career in politics having come to an inglorious – and no doubt temporary – end, Anthony Weiner has turned to punditry. In his first column for Business Insider, his subject is the controversy over the Tesla automobile and the campaign by its maker to sell directly to the consumer rather than through dealers as required by myriad state laws. This passage is a fair example of his prose style:
Coverage of this fight in the tech press seems to have toed the Tesla line that these regulations are a roadblock to innovation designed to protect entrenched interests and reward the car dealers’ lobby for the cash they’ve thrown around over the years. I think that’s missing the point and I’ve been surprised that anyone is all that shocked by the opposition Tesla’s seen to their plan.
Okay. So he could use a shot of literary steroids. But what about his willingness to engage? To stake a controversial claim?
How about this?
Reasonable people may think regulations that get in the way of tech companies are all just bad laws. In Tesla’s case, some might consider bans on direct auto sales to be part of a protectionist regime set up by a powerful lobby — neighborhood car dealers — and unchallenged by a lazy industry that didn't want to antagonize its sales force. Still, dismissing all existing regulations out of hand without recognizing them as the product of reasoning and careful consideration isn’t the answer.
Though the Obama administration has been promoting the benefits of Obamacare for several years now, one perk of coverage through the exchanges that has gone largely unnoticed is a mandated three-month grace period for unpaid premiums. The rule, however, only applies to those receiving subsidies via tax credits advanced to the insurers by the government (§155.430 and §156.270 of the Code of Federal Regulations).
Last week in these pages, Ike Brannon noted that Europe is outstripping the United States in reducing the role of government in the economy (“Europe Leads the Way?” October 14). Now it seems that our European brethren are also taking a more sensible view of the regulatory state. The European parliament surprised observers by refusing to regulate electronic cigarettes as medical devices, which would have subjected them to onerous regulations.
The Supreme Court closed shop weeks ago, not to return until October. And for the third summer in a row, no Supreme Court confirmation fight occupies headlines. But in its absence, President Obama has thrust another court—often called the “second-highest” court in the land—into the spotlight.
Every spring the Office of Management and Budget releases the president’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. While Congress invites senior administration figures to testify before various committees, and the media pore through the document to elucidate the administration’s priorities, by the end of a week everyone agrees that most of what’s in the budget has little chance of becoming enacted. Afterwards, Congress goes through the motions of passing a budget of its own, with scant regard to what the White House has proposed.
Corporate governance is a much-discussed topic, and the operation of corporations has proven a fertile field for investigative journalism. But even though many colleges and universities are multibillion-dollar-a-year operations, the subject of university governance has been largely neglected. This is unfortunate because university governance raises fascinating questions of great public interest involving the complex intersection of law, morals, and education. Nasar v. Columbia is a case in point.
President Obama, take note. Small business owners think Washington has become increasingly hostile in recent years to free enterprise and thus to job creation, a survey conducted last week found. And his policies are part of the problem.
Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has been hammering her Republican opponent, incumbent Scott Brown of Massachusetts, for "undermining" the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill Brown helped pass, even though Warren expressed agreement with Brown's proposed changes to the bill during the debate in 2010.
In a campaign statement Monday, Warren blasted Brown for his behind-the-scenes maneuvering to loosen the banking regulations in Dodd-Frank, after the financial regulatory bill passed.