This paper highlights some of the opportunities presented by the rise of the so-called Internet of Things in general and wearable technology in particular and encourages policymakers to allow these technologies to develop in a relatively unabated fashion. As with other new and highly disruptive digital technologies, however, the Internet of Things and wearable technology will challenge existing social, economic, and legal norms.
We find that union political contributions and collective bargaining are associated with higher incomes for state and local employees and with higher public employment, both across state and local government overall as well as within the education sector. We also find little to no evidence that union activity influences total spending.
Elected leaders delegate rulemaking to federal agencies, then seek to influence rulemaking through top-down directives and statutory deadlines. This paper documents an unintended consequence of these control strategies: they reduce regulatory agencies’ ability and incentive to conduct high-quality economic analysis to inform their decisions.
This week’s chart displays the annual amount of real (2014 $) federal supplemental funding since 1980. As the chart shows, supplemental spending exploded in 2000s during the administration of George W. Bush and a largely Republican-controlled Congress.
This country needs to start making real and credible commitments to cutting government spending. With the president looking to put spending back on an upward trajectory, the new Republican-controlled Congress will need to champion the cause of controlling spending.
RegData is a new database that quantifies federal regulation. It analyzes the text of federal regulations to create novel and objective measures of the accumulation of regulations in the economy overall and across different industries in the United States. In addition, RegData measures the degree to which different groups of regulations, such as those from a particular agency, target specific industries.
In a new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, scholar Hester Peirce shows that such methods undermine public confidence in the regulatory process and harm regulated industries’ compliance efforts due to uncertain requirements and an ever-changing regulatory landscape.
This week’s charts use data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Center for Responsive Politics to display global and US sugar prices, annual lobbying spending by the sugar industry, and government-planned market segmentation of the domestic sugar industry through the USDA’s Domestic Sugar Program. The charts show that Big Sugar is a formidable Halloween haunt: their lobbying efforts pay handsomely in the form of government-driven market segmentation and artificially high sugar prices.
The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers have proposed a rule changing the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Under the status quo, whether or not a water body qualifies as jurisdictional “waters of the United States” is determined case-by-case and based on precedence, science, and case law.
This week’s charts use data from CBO and the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) historical tables to display cumulative federal spending and revenues projected over the next decade along with a time series plotting of the Steuerle-Roeper Index of Fiscal Democracy, developed by Eugene Steuerle and Tim Roeper, which measures the percentage of federal revenues remaining for discretionary spending after mandatory outlays and interest payments have been covered.
The F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center invites you to a panel discussion featuring Todd Zywicki and his new co-authored book Consumer Credit and the American Economy.