…most recently in our financial markets. Now the Feds are expanding their hectoring of our financial institutions over their fees. The Federal government already has chosen to prevent them from making money the old fashion way—through lending—with its artificially suppressed interest rates. It’s already inveighed against them over one set of fees which they charge as a means of earning a profit for their owners—our fellow Americans.
Now the government is going after another set of fees, with their objection centered on the fact that these Know Betters just don’t like the fees.
The Federal government wants to nationalize another American private industry, this one nascent rather than burgeoning. The State Department wants to classify privately owned and operated manned space vehicles as weapons and then to control these as such.
In a proposed Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (recall that Secretary of State John Kerry says in all seriousness that the US will sign the just concluded international arms control “treaty”), State insists pretty much that anything that flies into space must be a weapon, and so cannot be allowed to leave the United States government’s control. The immediate effect will be to hinder, if not destroy, a budding space tourism industry, an industry that has such serious enterprises as Virgin Space, Xcor, and SpaceX, as major players.
North Carolina is moving a bill along that would protect automobile franchisees in the state from competition.
Tesla says it is cutting out the middleman by allowing people to view different options in a showroom, but then ordering the car direct from the company online rather than buying from a salesman. …lobbying groups say franchise dealers invest more locally and provide customer service that Tesla cannot.
The North Carolina law…prevents customers in the state from making electronic purchases directly through manufacturers….
Matthew Payne, writing in The Wall Street Journal this weekend on a related subject, had this little tidbit. Quoting a Chief Executive Magazine poll of business-worthy states, he wrote,
CEOs are well disposed to Texas, and it’s not hard to understand why. 52 Fortune 500 companies now call Texas home.
That’s 10% of the Fortune 500 that live here.
If those 500 companies were spread evenly across the 50 states, there would be 10 of them here. If the 500 were spread proportional to each state’s population relative the nation’s population, Texas would have 4 of them.
In a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to the Japan Society of Monetary Economics, a few short years ago, he said
In economics textbooks, the idea that people will save rather than spend tax cuts because of the implied increase in future tax obligations is known as the principle of Ricardian equivalence. In general, the evidence for Ricardian equivalence in real economies is mixed, but it seems most likely to apply in a situation like that prevailing today in Japan, in which people have been made highly aware of the potential burden of the national debt.
The Indian Supreme Court has rejected the idea of patent protection for Novartis’ drug Glivec, saying that an active ingredient in Glivec was well-known prior to the development of the drug. Those worthies also rejected Novartis’ argument that the innovation that deserved patent protection was their transformation of that active ingredient into a “beta crystal” form, which made it a viable treatment for cancer.
Never mind, said the Court, India doesn’t feel like patenting this and making it harder for an Indian company to profit from the foreign Novartis’ work.
Under Obamacare, writes Emily Chasan in The Wall Street Journal, employers will be required by 2018 to pay a tax of 40% on health care plans that President Barack Obama and his minion, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, decide for themselves are somehow “excessively rich” in the benefits they pay out.
The excuse these two and other Progressives make for this is that these Cadillac plans, with their low deductibles and “generous” medical coverage, will encourage overuse of our health-care system. Sure. Everyone needs to be covered. But only to a government-approved degree. And never mind that those low deductibles make the policy purchasers ineligible for Health Savings Accounts—Progressives don’t want Americans to have those, anyway.
Spiegel International Onlinenotes that the Cypriot government may be figuring out some of the foolishness of the troika’s (ECB, EC, and IMF) demand concerning the latter’s “offered” bailout as well as some of the variants under discussion. Some of those variants include reallocating the confiscationtax according to more deposit account sizes than just two, and hitting the highest—still those over €100,000 with a 15.6% claim.
[C]oncerns have emerged that a large number of foreign investors and depositors will withdraw their money from the country en masse. Critics warn this would devastate Cyprus as a financial center and also threaten the country’s entire economy.
Congressman Ted Poe (R, TX) is wondering about sequester cuts to tuition aid for our military veterans while we continue to send education aid to Pakistan. The Marines, for instance, had spent $47 million tuition aid in 2012, while nearly $13 million went to Pakistan for “higher education.” And then, post-sequester, the Obama administration committed another $37 million to the Pakistan program.
And there’s this example of Obama cynicism. Recall that the US Department of Agriculture would be forced to “furlough” a significant portion of its meat inspectors, among other personnel. In the meantime, though, and again post-sequester, the Obama administration