Day: July 22, 2022

CCC joins coalition urging republicans to reject Klobuchar antitrust bill

Dear Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy,

We write in opposition to S. 2992, the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act,” legislation that would massively expand the size and scope of the federal government.

Despite what some politicians may claim, Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s antitrust bill gives the Biden Administration vast new regulatory authority over American businesses, fails to address conservative censorship concerns and would make inflation worse for American families.

Conservatives have legitimate concerns over Big Tech’s targeting of conservative speech and the creeping influence of non-economic issues in the business decisions of America’s largest companies. In reaction to this problem, a few Republicans have co-sponsored the Klobuchar bill with the hope that it will help reduce discrimination against conservative voices online.

In reality, the bill would worsen these issues by forcing targeted companies into a “mother-may-I” relationship with the federal government. The institutional Left is in universal agreement about the effects the bill will have. The Center for American Progress endorsed the bill on the grounds that it will spur “much needed improvements in content moderation and technologies.”

Whatever so-called “improvements” that the left has in mind for content moderation will certainly not work out in favor of conservatives’ free speech. If conservatives are unhappy with the status quo, just imagine Big Tech targeting conservative speech on behalf of Biden bureaucrats.

S. 2992 outlaws a slew of routine business activity for companies with over $550 billion in market cap and 50 million monthly users. If a business runs afoul of these new government mandates, the government can levy a fine of up to 10 percent of the business’ revenue.

Supporters promise the bill will only apply to four or five American companies…for now. This bill opens the door for future government regulation based on the size of a company, a government cap on innovation and a permanent dial that
Democrats can use to trap more companies under the heavy hand of government control.

While supporters claim this is the first serious antitrust bill in nearly a century, S. 2992 hardly resembles antitrust law as traditionally understood. For almost 50 years, the consumer welfare standard has anchored American antitrust law. Antitrust enforcers generally do not act unless consumers are being harmed via tangible effects like higher prices, reduced innovation, or lower quality.

S. 2992 would push the U.S. towards a European-style approach, where the government picks economic winners and losers and targets politically disfavored companies with frivolous lawsuits. Bureaucrats win, consumers lose.

For policy and political reasons alike, it seems foolish for Republicans to help Democrats ram through such a sweeping regulatory bill as the midterms approach. Pocketbook issues like generation-high inflation and skyrocketing gas prices are top of mind for American families.

A recent Gallup poll shows 52 percent of Americans name inflation as their top issue – antitrust does not even rank. The last thing families and consumers need is a law that would restrict access to the generic products that they reach for in order to make ends meet.

Even some Democrats admit that S. 2992 will increase inflationary pressure on American families. One Democrat
aide blasted the bill as Sen. Klobuchar’s “pet project” with little political payoff, saying “We should be focused on items that will help consumers deal with rising costs…[and] nobody can figure

out why it would be a priority.” Another aide was quoted asking, “Does the Klobuchar bill reduce rising costs in the short term for consumers? No. So why would it be a focus between now and the election?”

The Klobuchar bill would grow the size and scope of government, worsen conservative censorship, and increase inflationary pressure on American families. Instead of addressing pocketbook issues, Sen. Klobuchar’s top priority is empowering Biden bureaucrats before Democrats lose control of Congress. Republicans should not throw Sen. Klobuchar a lifeline.


Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

Robert H. Bork, Jr.

Dr. Arthur B. Laffer

Richard Rahn

Stephen Moore 

Marty Connors
Chair, Alabama Center-Right Coalition

Dick Patten
President, American Business Defense Council

Phil Kerpen
President, American Commitment

Steve Pociask
President/CEO, American Consumer Institute

Richard Manning
President, Americans for Limited Government

Brent Wm. Gardner
Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity

Kevin Waterman
Chair, Annapolis Center Right Coalition Meeting

James L. Martin
Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis 
President, 60 Plus Association

Hannah Cox
Co-founder, BASEDPolitics

Ralph Benko
Chairman, The Capitalist League

Daniel J. Mitchell
Chairman, Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Andrew F. Quinlan
President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Jeff Mazzella
President, Center for Individual Freedom

Ashley Baker
Director of Policy, Committee for Justice

Curt Levey
President, Committee for Justice

James Edwards
Executive Director, Conservatives for Property Rights

Yaël Ossowski
Deputy Director, Consumer Choice Center

Christopher Butler
Interim Director, Digital Liberty

John Tamny
Vice President, FreedomWorks

George Landrith
President, Frontiers of Freedom

Mario H. Lopez
President, Hispanic Leadership Fund

Heather R. Higgins
CEO, Independent Women’s Voice

Tom Giovanetti
President, Institute for Policy Innovation

Sal Nuzzo
Vice President of Policy, James Madison Institute

Caden Rosenbaum
Tech & Innovation Policy Analyst, Libertas Institute

Charles Sauer
President, Market Institute

Rodolfo E. Milani 
Miami Freedom Forum

Stephen Stepanek
Chairman, New Hampshire Republican Party
President, Pine Tree Public Policy Institute
Co-chairman, New Hampshire Center Right Coalition Meeting

William O’Brien
Former Speaker, NH House of Representatives
Chairman, Pine Tree Public Policy Institute
Co-chairman, New Hampshire Center Right Coalition Meeting

Eric Peterson
Director, Pelican Center for Technology and Innovation

Lorenzo Montanari
Executive Director, Property Rights Alliance

Doug Kellogg
Executive Director, Ohioans for Tax Reform

Jonathan Small
President, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

Tom Hebert
Executive Director, Open Competition Center

Bryan Bashur
Executive Director, Shareholder Advocacy Forum

Karen Kerrigan
President, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Maureen Blum
President, Strategic Coalitions & Initiatives LLC

Patrick Hedger
Executive Director, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Rusty Cannon
President, Utah Taxpayers Association

Casey Given
Executive Director, Young Voices

Cc: House Republican Conference 
Senate Republican Conference

Time to get modern on this topic; and community policing

Hollywood Casino in Kansas City, Kan. is just a stone’s throw away from Platte County and a very short drive for those of us who live along the I-435 corridor. Hollywood Casino is about to become more popular with a lot of folks who live in Platte County. That’s a Between the Lines prediction for you.

And that prediction is based on the fact that sports betting has been legalized in Kansas. You can bet Hollywood Casino is gearing up to offer legalized sports betting about the time the football season opens this fall. Hollywood Casino plans to be ready to take your sports wagers when the NFL regular season opens around Sept. 11. The Kansas Speedway, coincidentally, will host the Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR race that same weekend. And that’s another sports wagering opportunity.

Kansas officially legalized sports betting effective July 1. By now you probably know where I’m headed with this. Sports betting is not legal in Missouri. Look to your legislators at the statehouse for the reasons why. Our legislators can be an interesting group on certain topics, sometimes slow to come around to modern times on some issues. This is one of those issues.

Read the full text here

Consumer Group Says Legalizing MO Sports Betting Key to Stopping Illegal Bets

The only way to stop a bad guy from taking unregulated bets is with a good guy taking legal bets, more or less the message from Consumer Choice Center manager David Clement, who targets his attention on North American sports betting affairs, an active topic these days.

In a recent statement, Clement had this to say regarding Missouri’s stalled legal sports betting market:

The key to stamping out the illegal sports betting market is legalizing sports betting and having an open and competitive market where legal sports books compete for consumers. Not only does this help grow the legal market, it actively discourages consumers from placing bets in the illegal market which is ripe for fraud and abuse.

The Consumer Choice Center is a “consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice,” and what manager Clement is suggesting is nothing new to Missouri lawmakers who are struggling to pick a betting bill and go with it.

It’s a battle between state House and Senate ideas of what a Missouri sports betting market should look like, something Consumer Choice Center manager Clement seems qualified to weigh in on.

Read the full text here

Pentingnya Meningkatkan Penelitian Produk-Produk Tembakau Alternatif di Dalam Negeri

Vape atau rokok elektrik saat ini merupakan produk yang kerap menimbulkan pro dan kontra dari berbagai kalangan. Bagi sebagian kalangan, vape atau rokok elektrik merupakan produk yang sangat berbahaya bagi kesehatan, sehingga harus dilarang secara penuh, atau setidaknya diregulasi secara sangat ketat.

Sementara itu, bagi kalangan lain, vape atau rokok elektrik dianggap sebagai produk yang sangat penting, khususnya untuk membantu para perokok untuk berhenti merokok. Untuk itu, bila pemerintah melarang atau meregulasi produk-produk vape secara sangat ketat, maka kebijakan tersebut merupakan sesuatu yang tidak tepat, kerena hal tersebut akan membatasi kesempatan para perokok untuk mendapatkan produk alternatf lain yang dapat membantu menghilangkan kebiasaan merokoknya.

Terlepas dari pro dan kontra tersebut, tidak bisa dipungkiri bahwa, fenomena penggunaan produk-produk rokok elektrik merupakan hal yang kian meningkat dari waktu ke waktu, khususnya bagi mereka yang tinggal di masyarakat urban. Pada tahun 2017, diperkirakan ada sekitar 900 ribu pengguna vape di Indonesia. Dalam jangka waktu 3 tahun, tepatnya tahun 2020, angka tersebut meningkat pesat menjadi 2,2 juta pengguna vape di negara kita (medcom.id, 22/01/2021).

Fenomena semakin meningkatnya pengguna vape ini juga bukan merupakan hal tarjadi di Indonesia saja, tetapi juga di dunia secara keseluruhan. Berdasarkan laporan dari Global Harm Reduction 2021 misalnya, secara total diperkirakan ada 82 juta pengguna vape di seluruh dunia. Angka ini meningkat dari sebelumnya sekitar 68 juta pengguna vape aktif di dunia pada tahun 2020 (tribunnews.com, 22/06/2022).

Untuk itu, tentunya kerangka kebijakan yang tepat dalam menghadapi fenomena ini merupakan sesuatu yang sangat penting yang harus dilakukan oleh para pembuat kebijakan. Tanpa adanya kebijakan yang tepat, tentunya konsumen menjadi salah satu pihak yang paling dirugikan, selain tentunya para pekerja yang mendapatkan penghasilannya dari industri tersebut.

Untuk mampu merancang kebijakan yang tepat, salah satu langkah utama yang sanga penting untuk dilakukan tentunya adalah dengan melakukan riset dan penelitian terlebih dahulu terkait dengan produk-produk rokok elektrik, dan juga produk-produk tembakau alternatif lainnya secara lebih luas. Tanpa adanya penelitian yang memadai, tentunya akan sangat sulit bagi kita untuk bisa menemukan kebijakan yang tepat dalam merespon fenomena semakin tingginya pengguna vape di Indonesia.

Di berbagai negara lain, penelitian terahdap produk-produk rokok elektrik atau vape merupakan sesuatu yang sudah sangat banyak dilakukan, salah satunya adalah Britania Raya. Pada tahun 2015, lembaga kesehatan publik asal Inggris, Public Health England (PHE), mengeluarkan laporan yang menunjukkan bahwa, vape atau rokok elektrik 95% jauh lebih tidak berbahaya bila dibandingkan dengan rokok konvensional yang dibakar (www.gov.uk, 19/08/2015).

Hasil dari penelitian tersebut tentunya memiliki dampak yang sangat signifikan terhadap para pembuat kebijakan di Britania Raya untuk menyusun kebijakan terkait vape dan produk tembakau alternatif lainnya secara tepat. Britania Raya sendiri akhirnya menjadi salah satu negara pelopor yang menjadikan produk tersebut sebagai produk alternatif untuk membantu para perokok untuk berhentu merokok (insidesources.com, 03/05/2021).

Negara kita tentu bisa belajar dari langkah yang dilakukan oleh Pemerintah Inggris. Riset dan penelitian mengenai vape dan produk tembakau alternatif lainnya masih cukup kurang di negara kita, yang membuat masih banyaknya berbagai kabar misinformasi terkait dengan produk-produk tersebut, seperti vape atau rokok elektrik memiliki kandungan yang sama bahayanya atau bahkan lebih berbahaya dari rokok konvensional yang dibakar.

Hal ini juga diakui oleh beberapa pihak terkait di Indonesia, salah satuya adalah Asosiasi Vapers Indonesia (AVI). AVI menyatakan bahwa, industri vape dan produk-produk tembakau alternatif lainnya merupakan industri yang saat ini sedang mengalami perkembangan di Indonesia, dan untuk itu dibutuhkan penelitian yang lebih besar terkait dengan produk-produk tersebut (tribunnews.com, 22/06/2022).

Melalui penelitian yang memadai, tentu hal tersebut dapat membantu para pengambil kebijakan untuk mengeluarkan kbeijakan terkait vape dan produk tembakau alternatif lainnya yang tepat, agar tidak merugikan para konsumen dan juga para pekerja. Jangan sampai, regulasi dan juga auran yang diberlakukan etrsebut justru menjadi kontraproduktif, dan justru merugikan para konsumen karena membuat mereka lebih sulit untuk mendapatkan produk alternatif tembakau yang memiliki resiko jauh lebih rendah.

Sebagai penutup, adanya penelitian yang memadai terhadap rokok elektrik, dan juga produk-produk tembakau alternatif lainnya, merupakan hal yang sangat penting, agar para pembuat kebijakan bisa menyusun kerangka kebijakan yang tepat terkait dengan produk-produk tersebut. Dengan demikian, diharapkan para pembuat kebijakan dapat menyusun kebijakan yang tepat, yang dapat membantu jutaan para perokok di Indonesia untuk menghentikan kebiasaan merokoknya yang sangat berbahaya bagi kesehatan.

Originally published here

Consumer group encourages Missouri to enable sports betting

After another legislative session came and went without sports betting passed in Missouri, a global advocacy group is among those urging the state to go all-in next year.

David Clement, the North American affairs manager for Consumer Choice Center and co-author of a new study diving into sports betting policies from state to state as well as the revenue they pull in, encouraged the Show-Me State to enact its own version in the near future to cut down on illegal gaming and reap the financial benefits of a new market.

“The key to stamping out the illegal sports betting market is legalizing sports betting, and having an open and competitive market where legal sports books compete for consumers,” Clement said in a statement. “Not only does this help grow the legal market, it actively discourages consumers from placing bets in the illegal market which is ripe for fraud and abuse.”

He added, “Missouri should immediately legalize sports betting, and do so in a way that opens the market and encourages competition.”

Read the full text here

Utah Dead Last In US Sports Betting Index

A new report published by the Consumer Choice Center evaluates all 50 states on how consumer friendly their sports betting markets are. Unfortunately, with sports betting still illegal in Utah, Utah ranks dead last in the index. Utah, and the 14 other states who have maintained their ban on sports betting are in large part why the illegal betting market in the US is still thriving. It is estimated that the illegal sports betting market generated $50-$200 billion in revenue in 2020.

The Consumer Choice Center’s North American Affairs Manager, and co-author of the report, David Clement explained stating, “The key to stamping out the illegal sports betting market is legalizing sports betting, and having an open and competitive market where legal sportsbooks compete for consumers. Not only does this help grow the legal market, it actively discourages consumers from placing bets in the illegal market which is ripe for fraud and abuse”

Read the full text here

Report Says Georgia Should Legalize Sports Gambling

Illegal gambling continues to thrive in the United States because of states like Georgia that ban betting on sports.

That’s according to a new report from the Consumer Choice Center, an advocacy group fighting for “lifestyle freedom, innovative technologies, and smart regulation.” The group looked at all 50 states to evaluate how consumer-friendly their sports betting markets are and, unsurprisingly, Georgia ranked last.

According to the report, Georgia and 14 other states have a ban on sports betting. Despite the bans, the illegal sports betting market generated an estimated $50 billion to $200 billion in revenue in 2020.

“The key to stamping out the illegal sports betting market is legalizing sports betting, and having an open and competitive market where legal sportsbooks compete for consumers,” David Clement, North American affairs manager for the Consumer Choice Center and co-author of the report, said in an announcement. “Not only does this help grow the legal market, it actively discourages consumers from placing bets in the illegal market which is ripe for fraud and abuse.

Read the full text here

Report: Tennessee’s online-only sports betting structure receives mid-pack grades nationally

Tennessee received mid-level marks for its legalization of sports betting, according to a recently released report, which says fewer restrictions would help the state curtail illegal gambling.

The Consumer Choice Center is an advocacy group that says it fights for “lifestyle freedom, innovative technologies, and smart regulation” and it analyzed how bettor-friendly sports betting marketplaces are in the 50 states.

Tennessee was in a three-way tie for fourth place along with Virginia and Rhode Island. The 14 states that ban sports betting completely, including neighboring states Alabama and Georgia, were at the bottom of the rankings.

Tennessee was penalized for its marketplace, which only allows online and not in-person betting. There are 12 independent sportsbooks taking bets in the Volunteer State and prop betting on collegiate sports is prohibited.

Read the full text here

Inflação nos EUA atinge o maior valor em 41 anos

‘Recessão econômica no país é inevitável’, diz analista, para quem ‘coisas que realmente reduziriam os números não estão na agenda de Biden’

Divulgado hoje, o Índice de Preços ao Consumidor (CPI) nos EUA apontou que a inflação no país bateu 9,1% (ante 8,8% esperados pelo mercado), no acumulado de 12 meses encerrados em junho. Foi o maior nível para o período em 41 anos. Ante maio, a alta foi de 1,3% (mais que o 1,1% esperado pelo mercado).

Para Felipe Sichel, sócio e economista-chefe do Banco Modalmais, o índice teve leitura acima do esperado tanto no headline como na leitura subjacente (0,7% em comparação com a expectativa de 0,5%).

“Tanto o headline como a composição do índice são bastantes negativas para a trajetória da inflação nos EUA.”

Resultados preliminares do PIB americano entre os meses de abril a junho apontam para uma contração da atividade econômica. Enquanto isso, o Fed está considerando que taxas acentuadamente mais altas podem ser necessárias para conter a inflação.

Read the full text here

Bill Would Give US Production of Vital Electronics to China

The consequences of a bill in Congress will make you want to buy a new phone and laptop, provided that inflation leaves you with enough disposable income to do that.

While Americans are dealing with the effects of record-high gas prices, Democrats in Congress are suggesting the so-called PFAS Action Act, which would declare perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances as hazardous chemicals. This legislation would open the gates for a ban on a large set of substances needed to produce everything from consumer electronics and vital medical equipment.

In an effort to preserve clean drinking water and protect consumer health, Democrats (and a handful of Republican co-sponsors of the bill) are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. PFAS, according to the CDC, englobes over 9,000 chemicals, which all have varying uses and severity.

Lawmakers in Washington are relying on cases of malpractice, when companies violated their duty to protect local communities by failing to ensure safe use, transport and disposal, to pull the rug out from this large set of substances.

Ultimately, why care? No citizen likes the idea of potentially toxic chemicals being in use at all, so why not just endorse this piece of legislation?

In fact, while within the set of 9,000 chemicals, some of them may very well need phasing out, others are essential to key American industries.

For instance, these chemicals are vital for the production of semiconductors, predominantly the use of coolant, and a ban would worsen the already existing chip shortage, which affects anything from mobile phones to electric cars. Computer chip shortages cost the U.S. economy $240 billion in 2021.

That said, waiting another six months for your electric vehicle or stomaching a significant price increase on your latest smartphone is just the tip of the iceberg. While regulators in the United States or Europe may decide to ban PFAS, manufacturers are unlikely to follow suit.

In fact, Beijing is famously less concerned than Western nations when it comes to chemical regulation, and would be more than happy to rake up the market shares made available by destructive environmental restrictions.

What message is Congress sending to American companies by considering this bill? Intel has announced it will spend $20 billion on a chip factory in Ohio, to stop the increasingly endemic lack of semiconductors. Presumably, Washington is thanking them by stripping the company of the tools to manufacture components and outsourcing the task to producers abroad.

When dealing with consumer goods, we should prefer that they are made with a transparent and reasonable regulatory framework that punishes wrongdoing to the full extent of the law, instead of relying on imports from nations that do not share our vision of safe manufacturing.

Originally published here

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