Monopolies

The FCC thinks it has a problem with the pending T-Mobile-Sprint merger, worrying that such a thing would anti-competitive and lead to rising prices for consumers.  The WSJ‘s editorial board demurs from the FCC’s attitude.

But greater economies of scale in industries with high fixed costs can create efficiencies that benefit consumers. DOJ’s position should evolve as markets and technology have.

Indeed, and the FCC’s regulators presently are illustrating another problem with government intervention in the market, whether by Republican or Progressive-Democrat regulators. The FCC’s regulators’ worries are purely speculative, not realized fact.

Mores and the Patent and Trademark Office

The Supreme Court has taken up the case of Iancu v Brunetti and heard oral arguments Monday.  Erik Brunetti wanted a copyright on the label for a clothing line of his that he’d named FUCT, an acronym for Friends U Can’t Trust.  Iancu is Andrei Iancu, who is duel-hatted as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Wearing that second hat, Iancu and his fellow USPTO bureaucrats said they were scandalized and morally offended, and they denied Brunetti’s copyright application.  The Wall Street Journal, at the link, said

The Federal Reserve Bank and Presidential Pressure

“A string of central bankers,” the entire Precious lot of them, at last weekend’s IMF conference expressed their concerns over the independence of our Federal Reserve Bank System and the members of its Board of Governors.  They think the BoG is being unduly pressured by President Donald Trump because he demurs—enthusiastically—from the interest rate regime they’re setting.

I have to ask, though: what pressure? Trump has certainly spoken zealously and forcefully about what he thinks the Fed ought to do, but he’s made no threats.  He’s just argued.

A Recognition

At last, the racism inherent in affirmative action is starting to be recognized.

Civil rights officials at the US Education Department are requiring the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center medical school to cease factoring race into admissions decisions, putting other institutions of higher education on notice that their continued use of affirmative action policies will draw federal scrutiny.

The rest of the Texas Tech University System has already eliminated the use of racist (and sexist) affirmative action policies in its admissions process.

There’ll continue to be resistance, though, in the “academic” community.  Here’s Peter McDonough, Vice President and General Counsel for the American Council on Education

Regulating State Tax Incentives

There Ought to be a Law was the title of an old Reader’s Digest humor column: every little pet peeve came in for a jokingly recommended law barring it.  Because More Government is always the solution.

Barton Swaim, in his Wall Street Journal op-ed, actually takes that seriously, and he wants to apply it to the idea of States and cities offering businesses tax incentives to get them to build in those jurisdictions.  He wants the Federal government to…regulate…what those State and local jurisdictions can do to entice businesses.

He’s even holding up the European Union as a paragon in this venue.

Backwards

A 9th Circuit District Judge has said that illegal aliens claiming to seek asylum in the US cannot be sent back to Mexico to wait for their day in court.  The judge’s ruling held, in essence, that

…the administration lacked a legal basis under current law for adopting the policy. He also found the policy ran afoul of the US’ legal obligations not to remove people to a country where their lives or freedom are threatened.

Protection

Facebook’s MFWIC Mark Zuckerberg wants the Federal government to regulate the industry in which Facebook plays such a significant role. As cited by The Wall Street Journal, Zuckerberg claims that

such intervention is vital to protect both the welfare of users and the fundamental values of an open internet.

He closed his op-ed, originally published in WaPo and the Irish news outlet Independent with this gem:

People shouldn’t have to rely on individual companies addressing these issues by themselves….

Take It or Leave Us

Here is one of the final steps in Brussels’ studied refusal to deal in good faith with Great Britain’s leaving the EU in all the long “negotiations.”  With the Brits’ departure now set for 12 April, the EU’s Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union, Michel Barnier, has issued the EU’s ultimatum:

  • The possibility of a successful “meaningful vote” on the withdrawal agreement in the next few days. “The only way to avoid a no-deal Brexit is and will be through a positive majority. We should continue to make this point in the public debate,” Barnier said.

Yet Another Veterans Administration Failure

Here is another failure of the VA to take care of our veterans as they are charged to do, and as the VA’s motto promises they’ll do.  Here is another casual dishonor of that promise [emphasis added].

More than 1,000 Department of Veterans Affairs patients in Kansas didn’t get proper follow-up care after initial colonoscopies last year, a problem that was addressed only after a whistleblower repeatedly reported it, according to a government watchdog.
The watchdog found patients didn’t get follow-up screenings on time and when they did, often didn’t get the results in a timely manner because of [a string of excuses].

A Thought on Medicare for All

University of Massachusetts-Amherst Economics Professor and Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute, Robert Pollin, had a thought on this.

Of course, so do I.

Pollin opened his tract with this:

All Americans would be able to get care from their chosen providers without having to pay premiums, deductibles or copayments.

No, we’ve already seen the lie in this. We experienced the broken, falsely presented promise with the sales job on Obamacare and the oft-repeated lie that if we liked our doctor, we could keep him and the associated lie of lower premiums.