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Stop the presses: Ocasio-Cortez says something intelligent

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 08/08/2020 - 1:34pm

File this under the infinite monkey theorem, I suppose

The post Stop the presses: Ocasio-Cortez says something intelligent appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Evidence from Italy: Less Regulation = More Jobs and Higher Earnings

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Sat, 08/08/2020 - 12:26pm

There are all sorts of regulations, some of which affect the entire economy and some of which target certain sectors. Moreover, regulations vary widely since – depending on the example – they may tell people and business what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and who to do it with.

This is why it’s probably best to think of government red tape as an obstacle course that increases the difficulty of engaging in commerce.

An expensive obstacle course.

Some new research published by Italy’s central bank gives us an opportunity to understand the consequences of red tape.

The study, authored by Lucia Rizzica, Giacomo Roma, and Gabriele Rovigatti, looked at a real-world example of product market regulation (PMR) governing retail hours in Italy.

In this paper we focus on how the regulation of shops opening hours affects the relevant market size and structure. This dimension of PMR has traditionally been a controversial issue in the policy debate, as it involves social, political, economic, and even religious considerations. …we tackle these questions empirically and estimate the effects of full deregulation in shop opening hours on the level and composition of employment and on the number of shops and their size distribution…we focus on Italy and build a novel dataset of Italian municipalities 2007-2016, including their regulatory status, and exploit the variation provided by the staggered implementation at the municipal level of a deregulation reform enacted from1998 onwards.

Here’s a visual from the study, showing the variation over time in the number of municipalities with no regulation, medium regulation, and heavy regulation.

The good news is that Italy actually got rid of rules dictating when stores could be open and this gave the economists an opportunity to measure what happened.

Our estimates show that, in the context of a general contraction of the retail sector and of the economy as a whole, deregulating shops opening hours helped lowering the decrease in both the number of workers and establishments, with an estimated positive impact of about 3% and 2%, respectively. …On top of it, individual-based estimates show that the sector’s labor force structure changed towards a higher prevalence of employees over self-employed, together with a general increase in the number of hours worked and earnings of employees, especially of those with permanent contracts. Our results are robust to a number of checks… In Table 2 we present our baseline results. In columns (1)-(2) we report the estimates of the liberalization effect on the number of workers, and in columns (3)-(4) those on the number of plants in each municipality. …the resulting estimated effect of liberalization in the newly liberalized municipalities is a 3.4% increase in the number of individuals working in the wholesale and retail sector, and a 2.1% increase in the number of shops. …Finally, we show that the reform also had a positive effect on the activity of complementary services, such as restaurants and financial services and, overall, on total employment in affected areas.

For wonky readers, here’s the table mentioned in the above excerpt.

So what’s the bottom line?

…from a policy perspective, our results provide support to the idea that a more flexible regulation of the business environment boosts economic growth… We find no evidence that this leads to a worsening of employment conditions, on the contrary permanent dependent workers enjoyed an increase in their earnings.

It’s great to see that deregulation produced more jobs and higher earnings.

But one thing that we don’t find in the study, unfortunately, is any estimate of how deregulation also benefited consumers thanks to lower prices and greater convenience.

In other words, eliminating or reducing red tape is a win-win situation for just about everybody (with the only exception being the cronyists who gain undeserved advantages because of regulation).

P.S. While I’m glad that Italy got rid of rules limiting retail hours, the country – as measured by the World Bank – still has a lot of needless red tape.

Man accused of rape, jailed without bond, freed because of COVID, murders accuser

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 08/08/2020 - 10:51am

Credit where credit's due. The criminal justice system functioned properly at least part of the time in this case. Unfortunately, it was the at the most critical phase that justice went off the rails.

The post Man accused of rape, jailed without bond, freed because of COVID, murders accuser appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

More than 100 NYPD officers have been injured in protests since June 10

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 08/08/2020 - 9:27am

NYPD officers have been hit by cars and pelted by a variety of objects, according to NBC 4. One policeman was struck so hard in the head with a brick that it cracked a heavy-duty riot helmet. Another needed 10 stitches to close a laceration on his head after a glass bottle was hurled at him, the local outlet reported in June.

The post More than 100 NYPD officers have been injured in protests since June 10 appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Biden: I was always labeled as one of the most liberal members of Congress

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 08/08/2020 - 9:07am

Nevertheless, when in Biden's fevered imagination was he considered ‘one of the most liberal members of Congress’ and by whom? He certainly wasn't billed that way by The Guardian in September 2019 in an article titled ‘The problem isn't Joe Biden's centrism. It's that he's the wrong kind of centrist.’

The post Biden: I was always labeled as one of the most liberal members of Congress appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

As Durham prepares to interview Brennan, a particular payoff looms

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 08/08/2020 - 3:59am

Whether it was a plan or not, it seems to be coming together.

The post As Durham prepares to interview Brennan, a particular payoff looms appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

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