Banning Plastic Bags Isn’t Just Bad Economics—It’s Bad for the Environment

FEE: Measures that intuitively sound sensible might turn out to produce unintended consequences, writes Bill Wirtz of Consumer Choice Center.

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

France limit discounts on food to help farmers

NOVINKY: “This is yet another instance of France putting its farmers’ interests above those of its own citizens. Outlawing ‘buy one, get one free’ may

enrich farmers, but it harms ordinary consumers who take advantage of these lower prices to buy food for their families,” said Luca Bertoletti, European Affairs Manager of the Consumer Choice Center.

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About Luca Bertoletti

Luca graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Milan in December 2014. He worked as a Business Economics Analyst for the Italian magazine TheFielder in Milan and as Think Thank Coordinator for the Austrian Economics Center in Vienna. He is a fellow of Competere Institute in Rome, a columnist for Atlantico Quotidiano, and he sits on the scientific board of New Direction Italia. He has been featured in the New York Times, Radio RAI, RAI 1, El Economista, The National and many other newspapers.

Plastic bag taxes are good intentions but bad economics

EUROPEAN SCIENTIST: EU and UK plastic taxes are not the right policy. They are not only an inconvenience for consumers, their positive environmental impact isn’t quite what it’s made out to be.

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Why the Baltic States Should Reject the Nanny State

EMERGING EUROPE: Before the Baltic nations drown themselves in an avalanche of paternalistic lifestyle regulations, they should consult their own populous about the changes they want to introduce.

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

NGOs in Europe: On Transparency and Double Standards

VOCAL EUROPE: Transparency is a big and oft-heard word these days in Brussels. Every week dozens of private companies and nonprofits register for the EU’s Transparency Register, a mandatory step in order to obtain easy access to the European Parliament and the Commission. While voices have become louder to put corporate lobbyists under even more scrutiny, it’s worth looking at how transparent certain EU funding programs and their grantees are.

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About Fred Roeder

Fred Roder has been working in the field of grassroots activism for over eight years. He is a Health Economist from Germany and has worked in healthcare reform and market access in North America, Europe, and several former Soviet Republics. One of his passions is to analyze how disruptive industries and technologies allow consumers more choice at a lower cost. Fred is very interested in consumer choice and regulatory trends in the following industries: FMCG, Sharing Economy, Airlines. In 2014 he organized a protest in Berlin advocating for competition in the Taxi market. Fred has traveled to 100 countries and is looking forward to visiting the other half of the world’s countries. Among many op-eds and media appearances, he has been published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Die Welt, the BBC, SunTV, ABC Portland News, Montreal Gazette, Handelsblatt, Huffington Post Germany, CityAM. L’Agefi, and The Guardian. Since 2012 he serves as an Associated Researcher at the Montreal Economic Institute.

Bus market liberalisation: the European Commission gets it right

VOCAL EUROPE: Bus market liberalisation ultimately means: more choices for consumers, more competition on the market, higher quality for lower prices.

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Regulatory Capture in European Evidence-Based Policy Making

IREF: The evidence used in policy making then ought not be taken at face value, given the vested interests at play. There is a role for scrutiny of the evidence used in policy proposals, as well as investigating the incentives for the interest groups who are benefitting from them.

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About Ryan Khurana

Ryan Khurana is a Research Fellow at the Consumer Choice Center and at the Institute of Research in Economic and Fiscal Issues. He investigates the economics of technology, especially the impacts of the "gig economy" and Artificial Intelligence. His writings have been featured in CapX, The Huffington Post, and Rare, among others.

The EU Spends Millions to Lobby Itself

FEE: In order to balance the democratic deficit that the European Union has been accused of having, the EU’s Commission has been extensively engaged in the subsidization of civil society. The result: NGOs are non-pluralistic, politically biased in favor of the EU, all while funding remains nontransparent.

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

The EU’s war on competition

CAPX: Both the creation of cartels and the further imposition of tariffs makes the European Single Market less competitive, and, in an important way for all Europeans, less accommodating for consumers.

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Despite End of Sugar Quotas, the European Union Is Still Sweet on Protectionism

PANAM POST: Getting rid of sugar quotas was a good first step. However, the European Union now needs to be consequential and eliminate all market distortions, including those which are irregular payments, in the interests of consumers.

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.