Day: June 24, 2021

If president’s goal is high-speed internet for all, government regulations still stand in the way

The COVID-19 pandemic has, if nothing else, demonstrated the need for high-speed internet service.

It was shown in schools as teachers sought to instruct students via remote learning. It was shown in businesses as they sought to bolster their online presence. It was shown in everyone who learned about Zoom meetings for the first time back in March 2020 and now probably can’t imagine everyday life without them.

President Joe Biden and many members of Congress recognize that. That’s why, as part of the president’s American Jobs Plan, it’s been proposed to spend $100 billion to bring high-speed broadband service to every American.

But is throwing more tax dollars at the situation really the best solution?

Yael Ossowski, deputy director of the Consumer Choice Center in Washington, D.C., doesn’t think so. He argues that simply spending money won’t address the real challenges — the myriad of different rules between municipalities and states overseeing internet infrastructure that serve as a true barrier to getting more Americans connected.

Mr. Ossowski points to a recent study by the Federal Communications Commission that found more than 700 examples of laws and statutes that hamstring internet providers before they can connect one home. These include ambiguity on application processes, high permit fees for networks, slow approval processes and burdensome rules.

A different study, this one done by the University of Pennsylvania, found that local government internet utilities — which are prevalent in some parts of the nation as compared to private firms providing the service — are often too expensive to maintain.

Plus, there’s the assumption in the president’s plan that the solution centers on primarily focusing on broadband fiber connections. An argument can be made that investments in mobile and satellite networks are worthy of consideration, too. But those efforts also have been hampered by burdensome government regulations.

What is clear is that as mobile networks expand and speeds improve, and as fiber technology makes it way to more rural areas across the nation, more Americans will be connected to faster and better internet. However, in order to do that, what’s needed is a focus on the power of private investment, clear regulatory rules, and the removal of red tape. This is another case of where those in Washington, D.C., may have good intentions and the ability to do some good, they don’t have a stranglehold on the best ideas.

Originally published here.

Alternatives to media royalties

Streaming has provided part of the answer.

Back in 2017, Swiss referendum campaigners fought against the mandatory media royalties in Switzerland. They campaigned for the abolishing of a yearly tax of 450 CHF (€385/$453), used to finance public TV and radio stations. One of the most common criticisms howled at them was that such a move would get rid of these public broadcasters and their cultural enrichment. But how accurate is such a statement, realistically?

The gaming industry is in a constant move of revolutionising itself. After the standard act of just gaming, came online multiplayer modes, which made games more interactive, and extended the time during which they stayed relevant. Today, games such as “Grand Theft Auto 5” can be held alive for years, due to constant patches and upgrades to the game. Then came the so-called “Let’s Play!” online videos, during which gamers played the game and commented on them for the entertainment of a particular audience. This was a particular success in the case of YouTuber “PewDiePie”, a Swedish gamer who is now racking up a stunning 110 million subscribers on the Google platform.

Streaming on the other hand has turned the concept of online entertainment upside down. Online video streamers live-stream their content for an audience that voluntarily gives donations for the content they receive. Now, there are streamers making up to $4 million a year, through t-shirt sales, gambling and company sponsorships, but the average streamer can also make a living from their work. According to a CNBC source, the average streamer on the popular website Twitch makes between $3,000 and $5,000 if he/she plays 40 hours a week. This wouldn’t include ad revenue, currently at $250 per 100 subscribers. One thing is for certain, the system works.

I keep getting the same impression when I observe crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe or Ulele: people voluntarily contribute to a product they enjoy, having no issue to invest money nobody requires them to spend. The question therefore is: what would Swiss media users, or any tax payers in the EU, do with their extra money if it wasn’t for the government’s redistribution?

We know that entertainment can easily be produced by the free market, so how exactly can we be certain that we’d end up with a cultural product at the end of the process, if we were to rely on advertising revenue, or patron donations? The answer is: we don’t know. But we can take an educated guess, especially since some publicly-owned channels are already producing blockbuster movies and shows that they sell to streaming platforms.

The greatest art works of our time weren’t created through government programmes, but because individuals enjoyed the art, and upheld it over other things they could have spent their money on. I’d argue that by reasonable standards, video games are art. This of course continuously sparks a controversial debate, that has classic artists up in arms at the mere idea that they could be rivalled. But a more interesting question is, why is it so important to some people that games are NOT art? Your average streaming consumer won’t spend his or her time in an art gallery if the stream were to disappear, neither would it be fair to claim that he or she is any more or less cultured because of that.

Maybe there is a claim to be made that this is not art, but quite frankly, it isn’t as evident as it was during the time of Tetris and Pong (which are now probably retro art).

This also doesn’t divert from the fact that conventional art can benefit from technological advancements if it chooses to appropriate it. Why not livestream an art gallery, and cash in donations and advertising money? Why be dependent on subsidies, when technology and the good-will of customers gives us the ability to be independent creators?

We might not have all the answers to the critics of the Swiss referendum campaign or any other campaigns in the EU to abolish media royalties, but we have pretty good leads.

Originally published here.

West Virginia is the 6th lowest state when it comes to electric vehicle sales

Electric vehicles are becoming more popular through out nation, but West Virginia isn’t contributing much to that rise.  

Electric Vehicle analysts said that West Virginia is the 6th lowest state when it comes to EV sales. In the year 2020 the state only accounted 0.45% EV sales out of all car sales. That means out of the 1,000 new cars purchased in 2020 in West Virginia, only 4.5 of them were electric cars. 

“From 2011, which is kind of, what we refer to as the modern EV phase, up through February of this year West Virginians have purchased 1,374, what we refer to as, BEV’s and PHEV’s,” Loren McDonald, who does analysis, data, consulting and marketing services for the EV Industry, said.  “So, the BEV’s meaning they’re basically the full electric, there is no gas engine in the car, the PHEV’s, plug in hybrids.” 

But if the industry does take off analysts said that could benefit the state in several ways. One being more jobs. 

“So, I think we’re going to see a lot of the programs shifting to sort of thinking about green jobs,” McDonald said. “So it’s everything from solar installation to wind. But sort of combining that with the EV jobs. So, charging there are literally thousands of companies jumping into the EV charging industry everything from the equipment to the networks to basically installing it.” 

The Consumer Choice Center released a US Electric Vehicle Accessibility Index.

The index analyzes how consumer friendly each state is for buying an EV. The index said that West Virginia tied for last because of its ban on direct-to-consumer sales, and its EV licensing fees which are 4X higher than standard passenger vehicles. 

“The state government in West Virginia needs to get out of the way if West Virginia is going to join the EV revolution,” David Clement, North American Affairs Manager for the DC based Consumer Choice Center and co-author of the index said. “West Virginia’s ban on direct-to-consumer vehicle sales actively discriminates against EV manufacturers, which does nothing but make these vehicles more expensive, and less accessible. In today’s modern age of limitless information, there is no serious justification for a ban on direct sale, other than protecting the existing industry from disruption and competition.” 

Originally published here.

Opinion: Iowa shouldn’t be last in access to electric vehicles

The tide is certainly rising for electric vehicles, but with misguided regulations handcuffing consumers, Iowans may end up watching from the shore line.

A major component of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill is adequately preparing the country for the electric vehicle, or EV, revolution. The Biden administration earmarked $174 billion for transportation electrification, sparking a flurry of investment from auto manufacturers.

GM announced it’ll be opening a $2.3 billion plant in 2023 to manufacture 500,000 EV batteries, Honda committed to sell only EVs by 2040, Hyundai will invest $7 billion for US EV production, and Ford announced that half of all Lincolns produced could soon be emissionless. Even here in Iowa, EV consumers can now charge their vehicles for free at the famous World’s Largest Truck Stop on Interstate Highway 80.

Unfortunately for Iowan consumers, poor policy at the state level has created a major hurdle. Iowa, which currently ranks tied for last in the US Electric Vehicle Accessibility Index produced by our organization, the Consumer Choice Center, is actively discouraging the purchase of EVs with a ban on direct-to-consumer sales and disproportionate registration fees for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Under the guise of consumer protection, Iowa made it illegal for electric vehicle manufacturers, like Tesla, to sell directly to consumers. Dealer franchise laws, which ban direct sales, are antiquated policies implemented to protect consumers from vertical integration and monopolization. With today’s digital economy and healthy competition within the auto industry, this restriction is far past its expiration date as it limits consumer choice while providing no consumer protection value.

That’s why many EV manufacturers have opted out of the dealership model entirely. Operating stand-alone dealerships increases costs and adds a middle-man into the sale process, often inflating prices for consumers. And, we know from the success of direct-to-consumer platforms in the used car market that online purchasing is on the rise.

Beyond the direct-sales ban, Iowa punishes EV consumers with higher registration fees. Consumers making the eco-conscious choice with EVs must currently pay the standard registration fee as well as an additional fee of $97.50, although that fee will increase to $130 on Jan. 1, 2022. This is incredibly discriminatory; a better approach would be to simply treat EVs on par with standard passenger vehicles.

Unfortunately, some legislators have justified the additional fee to help recover lost gas tax revenue. The purpose of the gas tax, currently at 32 cents per gallon in Iowa, is to encourage consumers to reduce their emissions. It’s unfortunate that the reward EV consumers get for their eco-friendly decision is inflated registration fees that shoulder more of the financial burden when they are in fact responding to the gas tax as intended.

These policy changes are easy to implement and have the benefit of encouraging EV purchases without taxpayer manufacturing subsidies or complicated tax credits, which have rightfully been criticized for favoring the wealthy.

The EV revolution is here, and by simply getting out of the way, legislators in Iowa could enhance consumer choice, lower costs, protect the environment, and do so without all of the logistical issues that come with corporate welfare and boutique tax credits.

As the famous idiom goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” The tide is certainly rising for electric vehicles, but with misguided regulations handcuffing consumers, Iowans may end up watching from the shore line.

Originally published here.

After this crisis, let’s not give in to protectionism

We don’t need more tariffs

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, we are hearing more and more calls for a protectionist economic policy. However, this policy has been intellectually bankrupt for centuries and is detrimental to consumer welfare.

At the political level, COVID-19 has shown us one thing: political positions are very much stuck. All political sides feel confirmed in their worldviews prior to this crisis. The socialists say that this crisis ensures that social security is not developed enough. For nationalists, it is globalisation and open borders that have caused this pandemic. European federalists believe that the COVID-19 crisis demonstrates the importance of centralised decision-making in the European Union. Finally, environmentalists find that the drastic decrease in production allows for a cleaner society and that it is possible to live with much less.

Like all these groups, the protectionists play their own political game and say that we need more tariffs and that we need to “bring production back” to Europe. 

They complain about Europe’s dependence on countries like China or India and that this crisis has shown the value of repatriating industries they consider more “essential” than others. Protectionist ideas have the particularity of being represented as much on the extreme left as on the extreme right and even in the centre of the political spectrum. It turns out that protectionism has been embedded in our political mindset for centuries.

Colbertism seems eternal

Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Minister of Finance under Louis XIV, engaged in an avalanche of granting monopolies, luxury subsidies and cartel privileges, and set up a powerful system of central bureaucracy governed by civil servants called intendants. Their role was to enforce the network of controls and regulations he had created. 

His system also relied on inspections, censuses and forms to identify citizens who might have deviated from the state’s regulations. The Quartermasters used a network of spies and informants to uncover any violations of the cartel’s restrictions and regulations. In addition, the spies monitored each other. Penalties for violations ranged from confiscation and destruction of production deemed “inferior”, to heavy fines, public ridicule and even banned from the profession.

Colbert was also convinced that international trade was a zero-sum game. Drawing on the ideas of mercantilism, he believed that state intervention was necessary to ensure that more resources were kept within the country. The reasoning is quite simple: to accumulate gold, a country must always sell more goods abroad than it buys. Colbert sought to build a French economy that sold abroad but bought at home. Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s set of economic measures was known as “Colbertism”.

Today, this system is known as “protectionism”, and is still quite common in political thinking. In Europe, we have abandoned this economic philosophy (although the European Commission accepts that some member states subsidise their local industries in times of crisis), but externally, the EU has maintained three categories of protectionist measures:

Customs duties through the common external tariff,

Production standards that impose convergence costs,

Subsidies to local producers, through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

The question is whether these measures really protect the European economy. If we need to go back in time to explain the origins of protectionism, we should also draw some lessons from the past. In his 1841 Treatise on Political Economy, the French economist Jean-Baptiste Say explained:

“The importation of foreign products is favourable to the sale of indigenous products; for we can only buy foreign goods with the products of our industry, our land and our capital, for which this trade, therefore, provides an outlet. – It is in money, it will be said, that we pay for foreign goods. – When this is the case, our soil not producing money, it is necessary to buy this money with the products of our industry; thus, whether the purchases made abroad are paid for in goods or in money, they provide the national industry with similar outlets.

To view international trade, especially from a “trade deficit” perspective, as a zero-sum game is wrong. The idea that industry should be brought back to Europe, probably through trade measures, is also misleading. It turns out that liberalising trade links is beneficial to both exporting and importing countries: the incoming resources give us the opportunity to improve our economic situation. 

The act of trade benefits both actors, not just one. To believe that only the seller wins (because he or she makes money) is a serious economic misunderstanding.

Certainly, the COVID-19 crisis is very problematic, and we indeed see a shortage of certain medical materials. However, producing gloves and masks in Europe will not be economically viable and who is to say that the same tools will be needed for the next health crisis? This shows us once again the fatal error of thinking that it would be possible to organise society and its economy through central planning managed by the state.

As Jean-Baptiste Say said in his works, to (re)launch economic activity, we must remove the measures that slow us down, including excessive bureaucracy and excessive taxes. In other words, it is not a question of hindering trade but rather of allowing trade to multiply.

Originally published here.

Правда про фінансовану Блумбергом Кампанію за майбутнє дітей без тютюну

Глобальна анти-вейпінгова стратегія через підкуп державних службовців.

Для американців мільярдер Майкл Блумберг найбільш відомий як колишній мер Нью-Йорка, який витратив багато грошей на безуспішні президентські вибори.

Але по всьому світу благодійні організації та окремі групи, яким він надає мільйони доларів стали своєрідним приватним урядом, який впливає на голів держав, фінансує зарплату державних службовців у сфері охорони здоров’я та ініціює законодавство, яке потім вноситься до законодавчих органів. Яскравим прикладом є нещодавні заборони вейпінгу в Мексиці та на Філіппінах.

Деякі з цих Блумбергових організацій безпосередньо очолюються та контролюються Bloomberg, включаючи Bloomberg Philanthropies, але більшість – це різні агітаційні групи, які значною мірою покладаються на фінансування та керівництво нью-йоркського мільярдера, включаючи ті, що зосереджені на навколишньому середовищі, освіті, громадському здоров’ї та контролю за курінням.

Мішель Мінтон з Інституту конкурентоспроможності підприємств (Competitive Enterprise Institute) нещодавно опублікувала резонансну статтю на цю тему. Мілтон отримала доступ до внутрішніх документів організації Кампанії за майбутнє дітей без тютюну (Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids), що фінансується Блумбергом, згубний вплив якої на країни, що розвиваються, виходить далеко за рамки стандартних антитютюнових заходів, таких як податки, вікові та/чи рекламні обмеження.

Вплив Кампанії та підкуплені уряди

Серед засобів впливу використовуються прямі виплати державним органам та службовцям охорони здоров’я за впроваджують законів та регуляцій зі списку бажань Кампанії за майбутнє дітей без тютюну. Оскільки країни, що розвиваються, витрачають на заходи та програми охорони здоров’я менше, ніж розвинені країни, іноземні неприбуткові організації, які пропонують мільйони доларів в обмін на просування та запровадження конкретних законодавчих ініціатив, отримують величезний вплив.

Таким чином, замість опирання на фактичний внутрішній демократичний попит на заходи проти тютюну та вейпінгу, включаючи заборони на ароматизатори та технології вейпінгу, ці країни приймають закони в обмін на гранти, часто набагато більші, ніж їхні внутрішні бюджети. В іншому контексті це було б справедливо назвати підкупом.

Беручи до уваги, що благодійні організації Майкла Блумберга витратили майже 700 мільйонів доларів у всьому світі на реалізацію цих заходів. Як наслідок, довга рука глобального антитютюнового пропагандистського руху здобула кілька перемог.

“Стосовно взаємодії з урядами, Кампанія за майбутнє дітей без тютюну та її партнери беруть участь у лобіюванні, як і більшість інших зацікавлених груп, але стратегія в неї інша. Ціллю Кампанії за майбутнє дітей без тютюну є презентувати і зацементувати себе як незамінний ресурс для регуляторів та законодавців. Наприклад, у плані Кампанії перелічено безліч прикладів підтримки, яку вона надавала державним структурам, як, наприклад, сприяння у судових процесах проти тютюнової промисловості Бразилії, Перу, Уругваю, Уганди, Нігерії та Кенії. У Панамі відзначається “співпраця з Міністерством охорони здоров’я Панами, яке зацікавлене у фінансуванні регіональних зусиль” щодо антитютюнових судових процесів.”

– Мішель Мінтон, Викрито: Антитютюнова пропаганда Bloomberg у країнах, що розвиваються

Опубліковані документи окреслюють зусилля учасників Кампанії щодо прийняття різних заходів боротьби з тютюном та протидії вейпінгу в таких країнах, як Бразилія, Китай та Нігерія, включаючи “фінансову підтримку” міністерств та урядових установ.

Як свідчать документи, надмірне фінансування з метою підсилення основних послань та цілей Кампанії за майбутнє дітей без тютюну надається не лише державним службовцям та органам охорони здоров’я, університетам та медіаустановам.

Димова завіса

Значна частина діяльності Кампанії за майбутнє дітей без тютюну зосереджена на забороні або суворому обмеженні технологій, які зменшують шкоду від куріння, як вейпінг, особливо в країнах, що розвиваються, таких як Індія, Філіппіни, Китай, Бразилія, Перу, Уругвай, Уганда, Нігерія, Кенія та інші.

Відволікаючись від своєї справжньої місії “майбутнє дітей без тютюну”, організації афілійовані з Блумберг натомість сконцентрували свій згубний вплив на інноваційних технологіях, які доносять аерозольний нікотин і не мають нічого спільного з тютюном.

Натомість такі організації, як Кампанія за майбутнє дітей без тютюну, використовують потужну риторику щодо необхідності знищення куріння як димову завісу для усунення або суворого обмеження всіх негорючих нікотинових альтернатив, включаючи вейп-пристрої, нікотинові пакетики та більше.

Ці інновації продемонстрували свій потенціал у сфері охорони здоров’я як засіб кинути курити та були рекомендовані міністерствами охорони здоров’я Великобританії та Нової Зеландії. А тому мільйони доларів, витрачені на підрив цих зусиль у країнах, що розвиваються з відносно високим рівнем куріння є скандалом епічних масштабів.

Але, на жаль, ці дії не опиняються на шпальтах головних газет. Натомість ми чуємо про багаторазові політичні перемоги, які обмежують вибір споживачів та доступ до альтернатив. Таким чином, фактичне здоров’я населення не враховується взагалі.

Справжній шлях до здоров’я населення

Найбільш разючим є те, що підхід Кампанії і подібних гравців не враховує нюанси щодо того, чи слід вважати нові тютюнові пристрої та інші альтернативи, які не містять тютюну, тютюновими виробами. Такі організації, як Рамкова конвенція про боротьбу з тютюном, Всесвітня Організація Охорони Здоров’я, заявляють, що вони нічим не відрізняються.

Але вони помиляються. Підтвердженням цього є наростаюча кількістьакадемічних досліджень та урядових звітів, які демонструють, що вейпінг є на 95% менш шкідливий, ніж горючий тютюн.

Той факт, що мільйони людей змогли кинути палити, використовуючи нікотинові вейпінг пристрої є яскравим підтвердженням того, що ринок може запропонувати реальні рішення для покращення громадського здоров’я.

Але як зазначила Мінтон з Інституту конкурентних підприємств, ціллю стратегії Кампанії за майбутнє дітей без тютюну та ширших зусиль, спрямованих на боротьбу проти тютюну, є перемога в політичних битвах та прийняття законів, без врахування того, чи призведе це до фактичного зменшення рівня куріння.

Якщо ці Блумберг організації є обличчям сучасного антитютюнового руху за контроль, то ми тепер знаємо, що охорона здоров’я насправді не є їхньою метою.

Originally published here.

5G lobbying through fake news

Keeping everyone safe is good… but preventing progress based on false information is bad for everyone.

Every technology generates some degree of scepticism. Whether it’s the discovery of electricity, the invention of the train, or the arrival of microwaves in our kitchen equipment, critical voices are asking important questions about safety. The 5G network is no exception. However, at some point, we have to accept the scientific results. Type “5G” and “health” into search engines. You will find several articles that cannot give you exact answers about the health implications of the network, but they do suggest several fatalistic scenarios.

The type of radiation involved in wireless communications is in the radio wave range, and these waves carry much less energy than ionising radiation, such as X-rays and cosmic rays, which can break chemical bonds in DNA and lead to cancer. In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates the number of waves that can be emitted. The only known biological effect of radio frequencies is heating: your body temperature can rise under these conditions.

However, the existing limits are such that they avoid the risk of overheating. If the limits set by the current regulations are respected, there are no biological consequences. It should also be added that 5G frequencies are different from what is assumed in the media. Opponents of 5G technology claim that the technology’s high frequencies will make new phones and cell towers extraordinarily dangerous.

The truth is exactly the opposite, as scientists explain. The higher the radio frequency, the less it penetrates the human skin, reducing exposure to the body’s internal organs, including the brain.

So what is the point of the myths against 5G?

On the one hand, we have the general and regular scepticism of anti-progress environmentalists and anti-corporate conspiracists. Such opposition can never be refuted with scientific evidence. On the other hand, we are witnessing scepticism from the general population, organised through different mediums, including the Russia Today (RT) website. In the US, the New York Times explains that RT America is flooding social networks with anti-5G messages. The idea is to stop the US from making progress to the benefit of Russia.

Much more simply, misinformation is often to the benefit of certain competing companies. We saw this in the discussion on car connectivity – 5G versus wi-fi: manufacturers were lobbying Brussels to convince the EU to support one or the other. In July 2019, the German government published its position on these future technologies. It is preparing to support the use of wi-fi technology to link connected cars, arguing that 5G technology is not yet mature enough to deliver results. The document published by the German government states that “the industry should focus on technology that uses short-range, wi-fi-based signals”.

In response, some car manufacturers have come out in favour of the German government’s position, while others have argued that Berlin should support 5G technology instead.

The lobbying battle is being waged through traditional communication channels. At this level, a basis of verifiable facts must first be established in order to discuss on an equal basis of knowledge.

In the case of 5G, this debate will be crucial for Europe’s technological future.

Originally published here.

These are the 9 worst states to buy an electric car in

Unsurprisingly, EV accessibility is unevenly distributed across the country.

William Gibson’s quote about the future being here, just not very evenly distributed, is a cliché at this point. But I was reminded of it this morning when I saw a new report on electric vehicle accessibility. Compiled by the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), the report scores all 50 states based on how hard they make it to buy an EV, whether that’s banning direct-to-consumer sales or requiring extra registration fees or road charges. Unsurprisingly, the United States is a bit of a patchwork in this regard. But it’s not quite as simple as red states making it hard and blue states making it easy to buy an EV.

The top 10

Ten states score top marks with the CCC: Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. All these states will allow direct sales of cars to individuals, and none will make you pay more to register your new EV than you’d pay for a new car with an internal combustion engine (ICE). (The District of Columbia would also go in this group if DC-based CCC had included it.)

California is conspicuous by its absence in that top 10. The state is the leading market for EVs within the US, with the highest adoption rate and the most public chargers. Nearly half of all US-registered EVs are on its roads. But California also has an escalating EV license fee that’s currently $100 but is now linked to the consumer price index.

Because it’s possible to register some gasoline-powered vehicles in California for less than $100, the state joins the “somewhat accessible” group, along with Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming. Most of those states, like California, lost points because they have extra EV registration fees, but Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania all have some restrictions on automakers selling cars directly to the public.

The “barely accessible” states were Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. A few of these states prohibit direct auto sales but don’t charge more to register an EV than an ICE vehicle, others allow Tesla (but no other automaker) to sell direct to the public, and some do both.

The bottom 9

Finally, there are the inaccessible states: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Each of these place plenty of roadblocks between their citizens and a new EV, banning any direct sales within their borders as well as making it more expensive to register an EV than an ICE vehicle.

In total, 28 states make it more expensive to register an EV, and 17 have completely banned Tesla and others from selling their cars straight to the public. Twelve other states have some restrictions on direct sales, including allowing Tesla (but no other automaker) to make them.

“It is clear that consumers want more access to electric vehicles. Therefore legislation should make the purchase and ownership of them as convenient as possible, and we urge legislators to put forth better policies that will reduce the significant barriers currently preventing consumers from fully accessing EVs,” said CCC’s North American affairs manager David Clement, co-author of the study.

Originally published here.

May 2020

With a new month comes a renewed focus on increasing consumer choice around the globe!

Tides are shifting everywhere, as you well know, but our team is pumped and primed to defend consumers and advocate smarter policies in hotspots of regulation.

To that end, we just announced yesterday our Consumer Innovation Manifesto, our multinational policy prescription for revamping policies that affect citizens and consumers post-Coronavirus.
We have a version for the European Union, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the U.S.

Some of the topics covered: fast and easy access to medicine, gene-editing, patient choice, alcohol and food delivery, free trade, easing restrictions on sharing economy services, and more.

The next step is to meet with legislators and regulators in each jurisdiction to promote our ideas and get them shaped into legislation. Please let us know if you’d like to help with our cause!
Download the Consumer Innovation Manifesto

–>We’re now featuring the Consumer Choice Center Policymaker Corner, where we give policymakers a platform to communicate directly with consumers and share their thoughts on the pressing issues concerning consumer choice and rights.

–>This section of our website is dedicated to the personal opinions of legislators.

–>You can comment, share, and send us your questions and we will pass them on anonymously creating a safe constructive place for conversation that aims to put consumers at the center of the legislative agenda.

–>Be sure to sign-up for tomorrow’s Consumer Choice Center webinar with Member of European Parliament Svenja Hahn, who will discuss Artificial Intelligence and the opportunities for improving consumers’ lives.

–>You won’t want to miss it!



–>For the last few months, we’ve been leading a campaign to reform tort law in the United States, hoping to create a more just and nimble legal system for every day Americans. You may have read my articles in the New Jersey Star-LedgerNewsday, and Inside Sources, drawing attention to the Netflix series that highlight the injustice that is rampant in our courts, and the thousands of coronavirus lawsuits currently making waves around the country and the world.

–>At the same time, we weighed in on the vaping debate in New York State, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has taken the time off his coronavirus response to ban flavored vaping. Aren’t there other priorities right now?

–>We know y’all love catchy graphics, so we’ve been doing our part to explain the world of consumer regulation through our handy maps. The first is the map of which U.S. states allow alcohol delivery:

–>And another related to same-day delivery of cannabis across Canadian provinces:

Specific to Canada, our very own David Clement has been slugging any in national media on the need for intellectual property in the vaccine and medical innovation race and pushing for more consumer-friendly cannabis delivery policies.

David’s recommendations on cannabis delivery have now been applied in the province of Ontario. Policy win!

And if you’ve been listening to our weekly Consumer Choice Radio program, you’ll know we’ve interviewed the likes of Steve Forbes, Jerry Buting (the attorney from Making a Murderer), Ashley Baker from the Committee For Justice, Corey DeAngelis, and many more!

Be sure you’re subscribed to the podcast version we also release.

–>In Europe, our managing director Fred Roeder published an article in Euractiv to argue for continued innovation in agriculture in the European Union. There is still much improvement to adopt newer technologies that are increasing yields, lowering food prices, and feeding hundreds of millions of Europeans like never before.

–>This is the gene-editing revolution, and Consumer Choice Center is there making sure that message is heard. It’s also in French and Spanish.–>Our senior policy analyst Bill Wirtz also hit back with a similar article on modern agriculture, mycotoxins, and scientific crop protection to keep feeding the world.–>Demonstrating our ability to influence world bodies, the WIPO and EUIPO heads responded to our letters about the importance of intellectual property for innovation. The letter we sent was co-signed by 17 MEPs. 

–>In Ukraine, our European Affairs Associate Maria Chaplia published an article on the need to avoid food export bans. Now is the wrong time to increase the price of food for consumers.


–>Of course, you won’t just find us in print. Our staff has also been floating around on television and radio to promote our ideas.

–>Fred was interviewed on TRT International to discuss COVID-19 and the World Health Organization, and the differences between the UK and German response on UK TalkRadio.

–>Bill Wirtz was featured on the Free Market Series show to discuss paternalism and the mission of the CCC.

–>Luca Bertoletti was featured on Radio Lombardia to discuss his latest article on the healthcare system in Lombardy, Italy.

–>And I discussed the ongoing lockdowns, plans for recovery, and lawsuit epidemics during my weekly radio hit on the Joe Catenacci Show.

There is so much more we could share with you, but time is short and so is the week. Be sure to follow us on our social media channels for all the latest and great updates in our global fight for #consumerchoice!

On behalf of the entire CCC team,

Yaël Ossowski
Deputy Director 
Consumer Choice Center

April 2020


We at the Consumer Choice Center are excited to share this first comprehensive annual report with you.
Download Annual Report 2019
The year 2019 was definitely our best years so far. 
We were able to promote choice and evidence-based policies on four different continents and change policies and regulations towards more innovation and choice in several countries.

We helped to preserve streaming and payTV in Brazil, made cannabis more accessible for consumers in Canada, promoted smarter alcohol regulation in the several US States, and showed the risks for consumers of 5G infrastructure providers that are de facto controlled by the Communist Party of China. We wrote several policy papers on innovative topics such as ‘The Consumer Case for Intellectual Property’, ‘The Return of Supersonic Passenger Travel’, and ‘The Gene Revolution: Make Britain a Biotech Bonanza’.

Our indices on Europe’s most passenger-friendly airports and railway stations got hundreds of media hits and were even prominently featured in the annual reports of bluechip companies. Our reports also helped consumers to plan their trips and navigate airports and railway stations around Europe, choosing those more friendly and open for innovation. 

The current COVID-19 crisis shows how much the legacy model of civil society engagement is challenged by social distancing and self-isolation. Fortunately, we at the CCC have always had a large digital component in our campaign strategies.

We have been a remote organization from the beginning on, and our daily work routine has not much changed. In late February, our web traffic began exploding as more and more people started staying home and reading up on policy suggestions on how to tackle this public health crisis. 

Right now. we see that more digitization, liberalization, and the sharing economy are usually the catalysts that enable our society to cope with all the restrictions imposed on us. We are happy to take on the fight to ensure smart rules such as the online ordering of alcohol, expansion of retail shopping hours, and fast-tracking of innovative medicines and devices, much beyond COVID-19. At the same time, we will fight against bad policies and proposals that are being considered or implemented in times of crisis: Some of them are ideas such as infringing on intellectual property rights, banning alcohol consumption, and limiting consumers’ freedom of movement.

The next twelve months will be challenging but we as a team are very eager to fight for our core principles: consumer choice, unbiased evidence, and innovation. On behalf of the Consumer Choice Center Team,

Fred Roeder
Managing Director 
Consumer Choice Center

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