By Andy Blom, TES Washington Editor
An election! The Supreme Court! And a pandemic! The politicians and the pundits are delirious, and there’s no place to hide for the weeks ahead. Still, free market advocates and organizations will still go (somewhat) sanely about their business — offering policy and programs to combat the problems of the day. Here’s this week’s news …
High Speed Rail — It’s Not Working in California, Let’s Try It in Texas! In yet another brutal boondoggle, taxpayers are paying for the proposed California high speed rail project, originally to link LA and San Fran. Now, with costs projected to triple, the “Interim Service” will run from Merced to Bakersfield, about a third of the original route. Cost overruns on high speed rail are virtually automatic, so now Texas, in somewhat the same pickle on the proposed Houston to Dallas “Texas Central” line is setting up to break promises of not ever needing taxpayer money. Around the bend for the onrushing train wreck of high speed rail? Joe Biden’s commitment to a “second great railroad revolution”. Get ready to open your pocketbooks for the tax man, and look at the ugly details here.
De-Weaponizing Antitrust: An Important Coalition Letter. In our staggeringly divisive world, politics is consuming everything. Serious thinkers are concerned that the political weaponizing of antitrust laws in dealing with high tech giants violates basic antitrust principles and threatens harm to consumers. More than a dozen thought leaders have voiced their concerns in a letter to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, citing a move away from the consumer welfare standard and to use of antitrust as a tool for unrelated concerns. It’s a call for reason in a heated moment. Learn more about the coalition, and the issue here.
COVID-19: The Best Defense is a Biodefense? An intriguing new word carrying an intriguing new idea. The American Biodefense Institute is proposing an initiative to ReOpen America, offering a biosecurity multi-layered strategy to contain the spread of COVID-19, provide protective measures for essential workers and the population at-large, and convey the essential information to large segments of the population. Quite a promise. See more here.
Movie Night: Denver in Decay. It’s not fun, but spend a worthwhile hour watching this important documentary that traces the deterioration brought on by homelessness and mismanaged programs and policies. Denver may not be your home, but the lessons are there for all of us.
Government Overreach — The Sex Bureaucracy. In case you thought there was any escape from an overly meddlesome Government, meet the Sex Bureaucracy — or more accurately, Title IX Sex Coordinators. No, they don’t coordinate get togethers for those unable to find sex partners for themselves. Sex Coordinators, or Title IX Coordinators, are part of the Obama Administration’s expansion of enforcement of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Their original role was to see that schools implemented the ruling. But under guidelines put out under Obama’s leadership their numbers, and efforts have expanded greatly, sticking their noses, and authority into questionable areas of advising and consulting on sex and relationships to college students. Alison Somin, a legal fellow at Pacific Legal Foundation, calls for restraint here.
Behind Every Great War Effort is a Woman Doing the Work. During the Second World War millions of women were doing the work that kept America running and gave our boys at the front the tools they needed for victory. Now, those brave, hard working women, those “Rosies” are getting their due…the U.S. Department of Labor has inducted into its Labor Hall of Fame those women…the Rosie the Riveters…who did the tough industrial jobs that needed to be done. Read their story and tip your hat to those ladies.
Andresen Blom is a Washington based policy and political analyst and author who has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, and Politico.