Category Archives: United States

Chicago’s Sheriff Crusades against Online Ads

Prior restraints—legal prohibitions on disseminating information before publication—are an odious burden on the freedom of expression and come with a “heavy presumption” against their constitutionality. Indeed, they are so disfavored in the law as to be virtually impossible to obtain outside of wartime.

Informal prior restraints—government pressure without formal sanction—are even more unconstitutional than formal ones, as the Supreme Court noted in Bantam Books v. Sullivan (1963). In that case, the Court forbade the Rhode Island Commission to Encourage Morality in Youth from sending threatening letters to book distributors in an attempt to nudge the distributors into not carrying “obscene” material.

Read the rest on The Cato Institute here.

New York’s Taxi King Is Going Down

Evgeny “Gene” Freidman is no fan of Uber. The increasing popularity of this vehicle-for-hire (or ridesharing) company has lost him millions of dollars. He has even asked New York City taxpayers for a bailout. As difficult as bailing out the big banks was to swallow, bailing out a taxi mogul—who at one point owned more than 1,000 New York City taxi medallions—is an even harder sell. A bailout would be especially outrageous considering that Freidman and his financial backers are actively working to make consumers pay more for fewer options.

Freidman reluctantly took over his father’s modest yellow taxi business as a young man. He brought his experience in Russian finance to the industry, and started to accumulate increasing numbers of taxi medallions using highly leveraged financing. Freidman expanded a company with just a few taxis into a conglomeration of three- to five-car mini-fleets.

Read the rest on The Federalist here.

Congress’s Highway Bill Falls Short

The nation’s highway fund is running out of money. This is not news to readers of the DC Leviathan, but the case remains that transportation funding is still one of the nation’s most pressing issues.

Faced with a looming legislative deadline, representatives on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee have introduced the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, or STRR Act.

The bill proposes about US$16 billion less spending over six years than its Senate counterpart, and includes a number of welcome regulatory reforms. A few of these will remove layers of red tape which slow the building of new transportation projects.

Read the rest on the PanAm Post here.