Free speech is a core value in any free society. But what are its limits? Senior Attorney Hans Bader discusses a U.N. resolution to ban anti-religious speech and a court case involving a professor who sent anti-immigration e-mails. The best remedy for hateful speech, he argues, is not to silence it with laws and courts. It is to rebut it with speech of one’s own.
Policy Analyst David Bier thinks the world could use more Americans. And an easy way make happen is through increasing legal immigration. America’s superior economic institutions give immigrants the ability to create more wealth and value than they could in their home countries. Expanding legal channels would also curb dangerous immigration black markets for labor and human smuggling.
The Magna Carta is 797 years old. But according to Vice President for Strategy Iain Murray, it is directly relevant to today’s political debate. Its guiding principle is that power must be limited. Besides influencing the U.S. Constitution and institutions such as separation of powers and no taxation without representation, this timeless principle sheds light on everything from the current health care debate to the proper role of the judiciary.
CEI Policy Analyst David Bier is author of the new study “The Case for Abolishing the Economic Development Administration.” The agency’s impact goes well beyond its modest $286 million budget. On average, the EDA only pays for about one seventh of its projects. The rest of the burden falls on state and local governments and the private sector. Those projects include $2 million for a wine-tasting room, $35 million for a convention center that is projected to lose money, and other boondoggles.
The EPA has been stonewalling a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Competitive Enterprise Institute since 2010. Since the EPA has no intention to comply with the law, CEI has sued the EPA in a case that could set a major precedent in government transparency. Energy Policy Analyst William Yeatman explains how agency officials have been using private email accounts to conduct official business, arguing that non-governmental email accounts are exempt from outside scrutiny. CEI argues that basic transparency demands that public information be made public.
Senior Fellow Greg Conko discusses his new paper, “Is There a Future for Generic Biotech Crops? Regulatory Reform Is Needed for a Viable Post-Patent Industry.” Patents will soon expire for several popular biotech crops, opening the way for cheaper generic versions. But because, unlike prescription drugs, biotech crops have to be re-approved every few years, the future of generic biotech crops is very much in doubt. Conko recommends getting rid of re-approval requirements to put them on the same footing as other products.
America’s air traffic control system can be charitably described as an antique. Land-use and Transportation Policy Analyst Marc Scribner describes some of the problems the FAA has encountered in its attempt to move from the vacuum tube to GPS, and suggests a better path to modernization.
Major forthcoming rules from a variety of agencies have been delayed until after the November elections, possibly for political reasons. Among them are FDA food safety regulations with a $1.4 billion annual price tag. Senior Fellow Greg Conko argues that these rules should be scrapped altogether for two reasons: 1) They will do little to improve food safety, and they will give large food corporations an unfair competitive advantage over smaller producers.
Senior Fellow Matt Patterson argues that when government is big and powerful enough to dispense favors like bailouts, special interests will flock to Washington to get a piece of the pie. Corruption is the inevitable result, as the GM/Delphi/UAW bailout showed. The only effective way to limit corruption, Patterson argues, is to limit government.
Severe drought in the Midwest has driven corn prices to record levels. Policy Analyst Brian McGraw argues that ending the federal government’s ethanol mandate could help families who are struggling to pay their heightened grocery bills. Under the mandate, nearly 40 percent of this year’s corn crop will be used for fuel instead of food.