In March of this year, the first FAA-approved autonomous commercial drone delivery to an urban residence took place in Nevada. This milestone highlights the exciting opportunities that unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) can present. If we get our policies right, UASs can yield dividends in cost savings and economic growth in areas like consumer delivery, agriculture, industrial management, and journalism. A new FAA report suggests that a poorly considered regulatory regime could severely inhibit the growth of this promising industry before it has a chance to take flight.
According to the federal government’s latest estimates, government programs for fiscal year 2015 paid out $137 billion “improperly”—meaning that these payments violated guidelines or rules in some way. Fraud is not the only reason, as the federal government reports. Rather, an improper payment can also result from simple clerical error or failure to confirm that a recipient was eligible to receive the amount of money that was disbursed. Whether due to fraud, the complexity of program rules, or bureaucracy, $137 billion is a significant amount of taxpayer funds. Federal spending has grown too massive for the government to provide adequate oversight.
The FBI’s recent conflict with Apple over accessing a locked iPhone in its investigation of the San Bernardino terrorist attack eventually settled out of court when an external party was able to unlock the device. Contrary to the government’s claims that this incident was about just one iPhone, this was far from the first time that law enforcement cited the All Writs Act of 1789 (AWA) to compel private companies to compromise secure devices. This week’s chart shows that law enforcement agencies have attempted to apply this law numerous times in recent years for a range of criminal offenses, particularly drug-related crimes.
Compared to a scenario where regulations are held constant at levels observed in 1980, the study finds that the difference between the economy we are in and a hypothetical economy where regulatory accumulation halted in 1980 is approximately $4 trillion.
The White House has been among those who believe in the productivity-pay gap claim that workers’ productivity rose at a high rate over the last four decades but growth in real earnings failed to keep pace and instead changed at a nearly flat rate (see the green line in the chart below). These arguments continue to fuel the debate on contested labor policies such as the overtime pay rule and minimum wage increases. A more careful and comprehensive analysis of real worker pay and productivity data, however, shows that worker compensation is closely tied to worker productivity.
The purpose of Food and Drug Administration’s Devices and Radiological Health Program is to provide assurance of the safety, effectiveness, and quality of medical devices. The work of the Devices Program is carried out by the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, plus field work done by the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA). Most observers, and particularly the FDA, believe that user fees have been successful in helping the Devices Program meet its performance goals in reducing “the total time it takes to make decisions.” But the evidence presented here suggests that greater capacity and spending for the Devices Program over the last decade has not yet led to an increase in the number of new-product applications and reviews.
In 2006, more patent lawsuits were filed in the Eastern District of Texas than in any other federal judicial district. But EDTX was just getting started. By 2015, more than 9.5 times as many cases were filed in the courthouse in Marshall, TX, where two judges with a reputation for siding with patent plaintiffs preside.
CON programs do not promote access to rural care in the form of more rural hospitals. Instead, CON laws are associated with a decrease, not an increase, in the number of hospitals and ASCs, rural or otherwise. CON laws should not be the tool of choice for policymakers seeking to protect access to health care in rural areas.
The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Human Drugs Program provides assurance of the safety, effectiveness, and quality of pharmaceuticals. The work of the Human Drugs Program is carried out by the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), plus fieldwork done by FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs. In this short presentation we focus on one key measure of the Human Drugs Program’s productivity.
But it is interesting to note that even a simple glance at the empirical evidence brings into question the theory that regulations are created because of new technologies. Credit cards, in some form or another, have been around for at least 50 years. On the other hand, the usage of credit cards has proliferated over this time period, and the features of credit cards themselves have evolved. The recent surge may reflect a response to either the evolution of the size of the credit card market, or the features of credit cards themselves.
As the world’s first decentralized digital currency, Bitcoin has the potential to revolutionize online payment systems and commerce in ways that benefit both consumers and businesses. Individuals can now avoid using an intermediary such as PayPal or submitting credit card information to a third party for verification—both of which often involve transaction fees, restrictions, and security risks—and instead use bitcoins to pay each other directly for goods or services.