The closer to sheer revenue maximization, the farther from justice: “California is filled with people who are one traffic ticket away from losing their means of independent transportation. They get a ticket for a busted tail light or a small-change moving violation. On paper, the fine is $100, but with surcharges, it’s more like $490. …In 2013, more people — 510,811 — had their licenses suspended for not paying fines than the 150,366 who lost their licenses for drunken driving.” [San Francisco Chronicle]
Occupational licensure, defended: “All those geology companies in Georgia and Alabama that have that certificate of authorization under their state will come into Florida to do that work and then our geologists will end up unemployed.” [Jim Ash, WFSU]
Related: “California’s Bipartisan Push Against Occupational Licensing” [Steven Greenhut, Reason]
The federal seat-belt-law mandate was the result of a 1980s deal between Reagan-era Transportation secretary Elizabeth Dole (proof, long before Mayor Bloomberg, that nanny-state tendencies transcend partisan labels) and Detroit automakers, who calculated that regulating their customers would help stave off regulating their own design decisions. And now? Less individual liberty, more scope for police discretion, and in some states a taste for revenue: “In California, a single seat-belt violation can be as much as $490.” [Radley Balko] Earlier on mandatory seat belt usage laws here, here (“saturation detail” police stops), here, etc. (“doggie seat belt” laws), here (Germany: Pope in Popemobile), here, and here (England: Santa’s sleigh), among others.
He came to stay: “A Telegraph Hill resident who was squabbling with his building co-owners allegedly duped them into renting him their unit by using a false identity on Airbnb, according to a complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court. Then, after two months in the apartment, he claimed he qualified for tenants’ rights and said he planned to stay indefinitely.” [San Francisco Chronicle, earlier in series]
- “The business model of Wall Street is fraud” line is, well, vintage B.S. (that’s Bernie Sanders to you) [Steve Chapman/Chicago Tribune, Bret Stephens/WSJ. More: “Sorry Bernie, Wall Street Wasn’t Deregulated Pre-Crash” [Jared Meyer, Forbes]
- Auto lender shakedowns by Obama CFPB and DoJ continue, latest is Toyota for $21.9 million [WSJ] “Obama bullied bank to pay racial settlement without proof: report” [Paul Sperry, New York Post]
- Delaware Chancery Court takes step toward countering plaintiff lawyers who sue on almost every deal, still has many miles to go [Ronald Barusch, WSJ “Dealpolitik”]
- New York Times endorses financial transactions tax with unconvincing regulatory rationale [Peter Van Doren/Cato, earlier]
- California insurance commissioner pushes politicized investing, which can actually complicate solvency risk by harming portfolio diversification [Business Insider]
- “Smaller community banks appear to have a valid concern that their compliance burden is rising and the playing field is becoming more uneven” [Preston Ash, Christoffer Koch and Thomas Siems, Dallas Fed via Kevin Funnell] Marshall Lux/Robert Greene study ties trend to Dodd-Frank law [Harvard Kennedy School via Todd Zywicki]
- Laws against money laundering hurt more good guys than bad guys, latest installment [Jeff Miron, Cato]
The California Public Utilities Commission has voted to approve a $7.6 million dollar fine levied against ride-sharing app provider Uber “for not adequately reporting legally-demanded data on its service to the disabled.” The paperwork dispute is distinct from any actual proceedings over claims of service denial. [Brian Doherty, Reason; earlier and related on what Doherty calls California’s “regulatory war on Uber” here (employee status of drivers), here (CEQA), etc.]
- “Outdoor guides to Obama: Take a hike” [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner; Labor Department imposes higher federal-contractor minimum wage on outfitters operating in national parks, though they do not fit conventional definition of contractors]
- Los Angeles: “Gov’t Emails Cast Doubt On Berkeley Minimum Wage Study” [Connor Wolf, Daily Caller]
- Video: David Boaz (Cato) debates Chai Feldblum (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) on identity in the workplace [Atlantic “Ideas”]
- Oyster visas: when even Sen. Barbara Mikulski says labor regulations go too far, maybe they go too far [Rachel Weiner, Washington Post]
- Lawsuit: California shouldn’t be letting private employees work seven days in a row whether they want to or not [Trevor Burrus, Cato; Mendoza v. Nordstrom brief, Supreme Court of California]
- One hopes U.S. Senate will think carefully before ratifying international labor conventions [Richard Trumka and Craig Becker, Pacific Standard]
- “We’re going to overturn every rock in their lives to find out about their lifestyles”: union chief vows to go after lawmakers seeking to break county liquor monopoly in Montgomery County, Maryland [Bethesda Magazine]
“Do you donate to the Sierra Club or the National Rifle Association? California Attorney General Kamala Harris wants to know who you are, what your address is and how much you give….
“Every American has the right to support the causes we believe in without the fear of harassment and retaliation. Disclosure mandates undermine this basic freedom, dry up donations to charities and silence political speech.” [Jon Riches, Sacramento Bee]
“…How can we help you commit fraud today?” [Coyote]
Related, an entry of mine from Twitter’s #ExplainaFilmPlotBadly:
— Walter Olson (@walterolson) December 13, 2015
30-employee Woof ‘N’ Poof, which manufactures stuffed collector dolls and other novelty accessories in the northern California community of Chico for sale in Nordstrom and other stores, may soon call it quits [Debbie Cobb/KHSL via Richard Rider, Flash Report]:
[Owner Roger] Hart says a raise in minimum wage and workers compensation are just a couple of issues that have made it difficult to keep the business financially afloat here. Hart said, “The high cost of doing business in California coupled with ridiculous regulatory environment makes it virtually impossible to do business.” He says he has seen an 11% hike in payroll.
…A recent visit by an inspector with the Department of Consumer Affairs set the company back. The inspector from Sacramento cited him for having the wrong size font on the decorative pillow labels. He was told to take the labels out, or they would have his inventory seized. It was a costly fix.
Government is just another word for the things we do together, like threatening to seize pillow inventories with wrong-font labels.