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February 2016

"A Question of Intelligence"

Yet another terrific piece by Kevin D. Williamson.

In the darkest shadows of ancient telecom history, the federal government wrote rules strictly regulating the use of certain low-power radio-communication devices, out of fear that they would interfere with commercial and government radio. But within a few years, the scientists and engineers began to suspect that this wasn’t necessary. A report — a report written in 1938 — found that in many circumstances “there would be no reason for suppressing their use.” And all of the relevant gentlemen stroked their chins, and did — nothing. It wasn’t until the Reagan administration and the unloosed deregulatory energies of the 1980s that these rules were relaxed, as a result of which we have ubiquitous cellular communication and wi-fi. But that process started decades later than it needed to. Government is what happens when the power to say no meets the power to move slow.

To adapt Jimmy McMillan's famous phrase: the regulations are too damn high

See "In Search of Fixes for a Fossilized Economy".

In sum, the U.S. has been stimulated to death with cheap fuel, near-zero interest rates, massive borrowing, and cheap money. Yet its economy is ossifying.

It is time to try something radically different — or rather, time-honored.

And "Turning back the leviathan of the administrative state".

There are two stacks of papers in Utah Senator Mike Lee's office that should cause all Americans to pause. One stack is 400 pages; the other is over 80,000 pages. The short stack is all of the laws Congress passed in 2014. The 11-foot tall tower is all federal regulations.

And "Bitten by the Unresponsive, Irresponsible FDA".

Among the places where Aedes aegypti lives is the southeastern United States. In 2011, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District — which, like Brazil, was finding other options for mosquito control insufficient — requested the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow a field trial of Oxitec’s mosquitoes. Counterintuitively, that was the agency Florida applied to because in 2009 the FDA asserted regulatory jurisdiction over all genetically engineered animals. Five years after Florida’s request, the FDA has failed to render a decision on this small-scale field trial of a product that has undergone successful field trials in other countries and is approved for sale in Brazil.

What explains this unconscionable five-year delay?

And, very sad, "Government health insurance: the ultimate sickness".

My friend’s dilemma is real. Imagine you’re so poor, you automatically qualified for Medicaid, but the state doesn’t offer a plan that meets ACA requirements, except to a fewreally sick individuals, so you have to buy more insurance… again… because you’re poor. And if you didn’t know you had to buy more insurance, you have to pay again. Because you’re poor.

(Link via Instapundit.)

And let's not forget "How to Roll Back Big Government, for a Free Economy and a Free People".

For the last century, all three branches of government have uprooted the Framers’ system, which intended federal law to be rare and difficult to make. Congress delegates large swathes of power to agencies, which operate in secrecy, avoid deliberative processes, and ignore unambiguous statutory commands and public notice-and-comment procedures. Under the Chevron doctrine, federal judges defer to agencies because of the latter’s claim to technical expertise. White Houses have welcomed this new system because it increases their domestic powers, exactly where the Framers had intended the presidency to be weakest.

I could go on.

"What happens to a tiny town when Walmart disappears?"

Hey, Walmart haters, read this. Reminds me of when national grocery chains pulled out of Detroit. And New York City may well soon acquire a deeper appreciation of those awful, awful Wall Street firms: "Wall Street jobs are leaving New York".

Cue Joni Mitchell.

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone