National Journal’s Sam Baker (and others) has recently said that the Department of Health and Human Services does not know how many people signing up for health insurance on healthcare.gov were previously uninsured. Applicants appear to be providing this information to HHS, however.
A few local governments have banned retailers from packing groceries and other goods in disposable bags, or taxed consumers who want them. These regulations are typically portrayed as good for the environment because they encourage consumers to reuse bags or replace them with canvas. Writer Judy Gruen is the latest to bemoan the opportunity costs of these regulations, but for some reason she has not stumbled on the obvious, market-based method of circumvention.
Frequent flyers know from experience that there have been numerous unintended (or at least undesirable) consequences resulting from most airlines’ decision to charge fees for checked luggage. Some of these consequences were entirely predictable, such as the increase in the number and volume of carry-ons–including luggage that exceeds normal size constraints. Passengers respond to incentives, and by charging for checked luggage airlines created an incentive to carry luggage onboard that otherwise would be checked.
Apparently, United Airlines has begun enforcing limits on carry-on luggage.
A proposal by the Federal Communications Commission to embark on a politically sensitive survey of the news business (the “Critical Information Needs” study) recently ran into a firestorm of criticism. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler responded quickly by putting on the brakes.
If the Paperwork Reduction Act were as effective now as it was when it was first enacted in 1980, it’s likely that this survey would not have proceeded as far as it did. The Paperwork Act, which Congress enacted to reduce burdens on the public, has become an empty letter.
Minimum Wage, Part 6:
If raising it to $10/hour causes no unemployment, why not raise it to $100/hour?
Richard Epstein has published an accessible analysis and commentary on the adverse economic effects of President Obama’s proposed increase in the minimum wage. Read More →
A trade magazine says Consumer Reports is trying to force the FDA to strictly regulate an impurity in the manufacture of caramel colors that the agency believes isn’t harmful.