All posts by Jared Meyer

Young Voices’ Jared Meyer interviews ‘Who Needs the Fed?’ author John Tamny

‘Who Needs the Fed?’ author John Tamny explains where Milton Friedman, Austrian economists, and supply-siders go wrong.

For the first time in decades, the Federal Reserve has been playing a non-negligible role in the presidential race. Candidates in both parties took turns criticizing the Fed for either not doing enough to fix the economy, or for going far past its scope and putting the economy at risk.

But moving beyond political stump speeches—and, for that matter, conventional thinking among economists—the question should still be asked: Does the Federal Reserve even matter? Here author John Tamny explains the thinking behind the title of his provocative new book, “Who Needs the Fed?” (Encounter Books, May 24).

Jared Meyer: I want to start with your conclusion. You write, “End the Fed? With great haste,” (emphasis in original), but then you go on to explain why ending the Fed will not “get us out of the woods.” Why did you build up Ron Paul’s “End the Fed” supporters, only to tear down their hopes that the Fed is the source of all our economic ills?

John Tamny: I had to build up Ron Paul’s supporters only to douse their hopes a bit simply because I think all the focus on the Fed misses much greater governmental threats to growth.

About the Fed, end it with great haste simply because it serves no useful purpose on its best day. Think about it. It was formed over 100 years ago as a “lender of last resort” for solvent banks, but the act of solvent banks approaching the Fed for loans is unheard of. It is because banks with good balance sheets don’t need the Fed. Only the insolvent approach the Fed for funds, and those institutions should be allowed to go under so that they can be acquired by better owners.

You can read the full interview at The Federalist

Maryland Restricts Cops Stealing from Innocent People

On May 19, Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan signed into law House Bill 336, which had the support of 167 of Maryland’s 185 elected representatives. Americans are politically polarized, but agree on one matter: they do not like it when government steals from innocent people.

The Maryland bill further curtails the state’s civil asset forfeiture programs. Civil forfeiture, at least according to the Justice Department, “deprives wrongdoers of the proceeds of their crimes.”

Civil forfeiture does not require proof.But there is just one glaring omission from this definition—civil forfeiture does not require any proof (or even claim) that people committed crimes for the government to take their property.

By the twisted logic of civil forfeiture, property itself is charged with the crime. This is why civil forfeiture cases have absurd names such as United States v. One Solid Gold Object in Form of a Rooster or United States vs. $35,651.11 in U.S. Currency.

Since the Bill of Rights covers property owners instead of property, victims of civil forfeiture are forced to prove their property innocent in order to get it back. And they are not entitled to legal assistance. This is why many people do not fight back after their property is seized—it is simply too expensive to win a court case against the government.

Read the full article at FEE.

How The New E-Cig Rules Hurt Americans

The FDA’s new regulations will destroy 99 percent of an industry that offers an option the Royal College of Physicians finds is 95 percent safer than cigarettes.

It is disheartening to see that the media’s near-exclusive focus while covering the Food and Drug Administration’s recent tobacco “deeming regs” has been on the provision that restricts e-cigarette sales to minors. The New York Times published an editorial entitled “Keeping E-Cigarettes Away From the Kids,” and the Huffington Post ran an article with the headline “Finally—Commonsense Protections for Our Kids From Tobacco.”

Most people agree minors should not have access to products that contain substantial levels of nicotine (and “substantial” is used because many foods contain trace amounts of nicotine). But, in focusing on this move, commentators are missing how the FDA’s new regulations will destroy 99 percent of an industry that offers an option the Royal College of Physicians finds is 95 percent safer than cigarettes.

The FDA’s regulations will force all e-cigarette products to go through the costly and time-consuming premarket tobacco product application process, a step that all but the big tobacco companies will not be able to comply with.

Read the full article at The Federalist.

By Losing Uber, Austin Is No Longer A Tech Capital

Two days have passed with no Uber or Lyft service in Austin, Texas. Though Austin has a reputation of being filled with tech-savvy millennials, it is now the largest U.S. city without ridesharing. Local policymakers blame Uber and Lyft for pausing their operations in the city, but the Austin City Council pushed ridesharing out by regulating in search of a problem.

In December 2015, the Austin City Council approved an ordinance that would require ridesharing drivers to go through fingerprint background checks. The ordinance also included restrictions on picking up and dropping off passengers and requirements on maintaining a physical presence in the city, fee payments and proprietary data sharing.

Though the ordinance went into effect on February 1, 2016, the fingerprint requirements were given steadily increasing compliance rates, which had to reach 99% by February 1, 2017. Rather than altering their business models, Uber and Lyft took their protests to the voters by setting up a challenge to the ordinance called Proposition 1. Their efforts were rejected by voters last weekend, and the companies pulled out of Austin on Monday.

Read the full article at Forbes.

FDA’s New E-Cig Regs Will Kill

The Food and Drug Administration released its long awaited e-cigarette regulations on Thursday. E-cigarette users’ worst fears are confirmed—these regulations will destroy the burgeoning industry, leading to increased mortality and higher healthcare costs.

Though the FDA marketed its regulations as restrictions on minors who purchase tobacco products, the 499-page release contains far more. Perhaps the most ridiculous FDA claim is that these regulations will lead to increased innovation—even though the agency admits that 99 percent of the market will not be able to comply.

As stated on page 267 of the regulations, “FDA believes that [premarket review] (and the deeming rule as a whole) will not stifle innovation but could, instead, encourage it.” This is a nonsensical claim that could only be made by a government agency.

Through these regulations, the FDA “deems” that all tobacco products are under its regulatory scope. Hookahs, cigars, pipe tobacco, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) were not previously covered under the FDA’s authority to regulate tobacco, which began with the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Now, all tobacco products that were not commercially marketed on February 15, 2007 (the predicate date) are required to gain FDA approval. Tobacco products that were available on the predicate date are exempt from the FDA approval process.

Newer tobacco products will be able to stay on the market if they show that they are “substantially equivalent” to a product that was commercially available on predicated date. Virtually no ENDS were available to American consumers at that time, meaning each currently available vaping product will have to go through the FDA’s other path to market, the premarket tobacco product application process.

Read the full article at Economics21.