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Twitter Rant Against Local Control: Implications

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments | July 20, 2017

After sending out my 29 tweets on local control, which were all theory, I sent out these 14 specific implications of coming to understand that local control is a false doctrine:

That was all theory. Now, implications (1/14) #txlege

The state can limit the ability of municipalities to tax, including property taxes and sales taxes (2/14) #txlege

The state can limit the ability of municipalities to establish protected classes and so-called “non-discrimination” ordinances. (3/14) #txlege

The state can limit municipalities from passing plastic bag bans and tree ordinances (4/14) #txlege

Read More >>

Twitter Rant Against Local Control: Theory

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments | July 20, 2017

I'm working on a paper in which I lay out all my arguments against the idea that local control is some kind of sacred government principle, and that states have no right to pre-empt local governments from doing pretty much whatever they want to do.

I had hoped to have the paper done before the start of Texas' special legislative session, but I had hoped to have it finished before the start of Texas' regular legislative session back in January, too, and that didn't happen either.

So I decided to post some of the most important points last night in a series of Twitter posts. But since Twitter must be the stupidest platform for lengthy, organized arguments, I'm posting them here in this blog as well.

This post contains the 29 tweets that lay out the general argument. In a second post I'll list the 14 additional tweets that lay out some implications of the argument.

1. [begin local control rant] #txlege Read More >>

Great Decision from the Supreme Court of Canada overturning Canada's Harmful "Promise Doctrine"

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments | June 30, 2017

Today the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) issued a significant ruling overturning Canada’s harmful “Promise Doctrine,” which was a completely novel and ill-advised standard Canada has been using since 2005 to overturn patents on innovative pharmaceuticals and biologics.

Canada’s Promise Doctrine, wholly invented in Canada and finding no basis in domestic or international patent law, turns out to not have even been consistent with Canada’s own Patent Act, according to the Supreme Court, which stated that “The Promise Doctrine is incongruent with both the words and the scheme of the Patent Act.”

Instead of simply granting a patent based on a non-obvious and useful inventive step, the Promise Doctrine insisted that a drug must be able to meet the nearly impossible test of predicting exactly how the product will be useful and then living up to that standard at the time the patent is applied for. This means that a court could be highly subjective in determining that a given patent did not live up to that standard at a time long after the patent was granted, which Canadian courts have been doing, invalidating 26 patents over the last decade based on this faulty Promise Doctrine.

The US Chamber has an excellent statement on the ruling, and Philip Stevens and Mark Schultz at the Geneva Network have a great explanation how the Promise Doctrine (now defunct) threatened innovation in Canada and beyond.

Canada’s Supreme Court apparently understands the importance of not weakening patent protection. Unfortunately, the US Supreme Court seems determined to go in the opposite direction, which is why Congress is beginning to contemplate new legislation to strengthen patent protection in the US. Read More >>

The Surprising Agenda Item for Texas's Special Legislative Session

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | June 9, 2017

Can We Get More Health Care Transparency? (Audio: Interview)

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | May 23, 2017

In an interview with WIBA and WISN host Vicki McKenna, IPI’s Dr. Merrill Matthews discusses the problems consumers face trying to price out healthcare services and products. Matthews is author of a new publication with CMPI’s Peter Pitts, “Selective Transparency.” Audio begins at 18:43.  Read More >>

Light-Touch Regulation and Internet Freedom

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | May 19, 2017

Can the Revived GOP Obamacare Replacement Bill Succeed?

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | April 27, 2017

There's a new proposal from Republicans for a replacement for Obamacare. What's in it? Can it pass? The WBAP Morning News asked IPI resident scholar Dr. Merrill Matthews. Read More >>

Mark Your Calendars for This Year's World IP Day Celebration

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | March 13, 2017

Save the date to join us for IPI's annual World Intellectual Property Day Celebration on Tuesday, April 25 at the Reserve Officer's Association (ROA) Building on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.

We are proud to announce we will be featuring featuring Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and WIPO's Deputy Director General of Patents and Technology John Sandage.  Read More >>

Intellectual Property Protections Key to Medical Innovation, Economic Growth in Texas

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments | March 7, 2017

United Nations bureaucrats want to mess with Texas.

The UN High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines recently recommended weakening intellectual property protections that drive and sustain biopharmaceutical innovation. Panelists hope their proposals will make it easier for foreign companies to create knock-offs of treatments researched, developed, and manufactured in America and distribute them around the world.

The Panel's misplaced focus on intellectual property resulted in a series of damaging recommendations that would suffocate medical innovation and stunt economic growth in Texas and across the nation -- all without helping patients one bit. Patents and other intellectual property protections are not barriers to access to medicines. The vast majority of treatments on the World Health Organization's Essential Medicines List are no longer protected by patents, yet millions of people around the world do not have access to them.  

Innovation is expensive and risky. Bringing a new drug to market takes an average of a decade and costs roughly $2.6 billion.[1] Additionally, only one out of every 5,000 promising compounds makes it out of the lab and through clinical trials to receive FDA approval. And just twenty percent of approved drugs ever turn a profit.[2]

Strong IP protections allow inventors to profit from their rare successes by restricting copies for a limited amount of time. That's essential, especially given that these companies need to earn back not just the development costs of the successful drug, but of all the ones that failed too. Read More >>

Controversial Immigration Executive Order also Implements Policy Suggested by IPI

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments | January 30, 2017

Amid all the chaos of the Trump administration’s executive order on immigration, not until Monday afternoon did I realize that Section 7 of the executive order actually begins the implementation of the biometric entry and exit system that I described and advocated in my August, 2016 paper.

Specifically, the Order says:

Sec. 7.  Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System.  (a)  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

     (b)  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President periodic reports on the progress of the directive contained in subsection (a) of this section.  The initial report shall be submitted within 100 days of the date of this order, a second report shall be submitted within 200 days of the date of this order, and a third report shall be submitted within 365 days of the date of this order.  Further, the Secretary shall submit a report every 180 days thereafter until the system is fully deployed and operational.

In my paper, I explain the importance of knowing whether legal immigrants are still in the country or not, which we literally do not know today because there is no biometric exit system.

This will require airports to be reconfigured a bit, so it is not without expense or inconvenience. But it’s important to remember that most of the 9/11 hijackers were holders of legitimate US visas, but had overstayed their visas. A biometric exit system would have notified officials that those visas had been overstayed.

Perhaps more controversially, I also advocate a biometric tracking system for legal immigrants, which would require them to check in at regular intervals, so officials would know whether, for instance, a foreign student on a visa to attend Washington State University was ever actually on the campus.

FYI, I don’t defend the way the executive order was poorly drafted, vetted and implemented. But I do believe we must take steps to transform our immigration system into one that actually functions in the best interest of the nation, and that includes ensuring that legal immigrants comply with the terms of their visas. There’s no way to do that without a working biometric entry, exit and tracking system. Read More >>

Importation of Prescription Drugs: A Bad Idea

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments | January 9, 2017

“Reimportation” of prescription drugs is back as an issue, but only because Democrats seek to distract from the effort to repeal and replace Obamcare, according to Politico. By importation we refer to the ability of American consumers to buy their prescription drugs from overseas rather than from domestic sources, and particularly to large-scale importation, such as US drug distributors sourcing their drugs from overseas.

There has always been some cross-border traffic on pharmaceuticals, as drug prices in Canada can be cheaper than in the US. But the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, which came into effect in 2006, has significantly reduced this traffic by making prescription drugs available to seniors at more affordable prices.

There’s a reason why such importation is illegal today under most circumstances, and that’s because of safety. The rate of counterfeit drugs in other countries is staggering, and the only way to keep the counterfeit problem from infecting the US drug supply is through the rigorous inspection and supply-chain regime maintained by the FDA. And the FDA has repeatedly told Congress that it cannot guarantee the safety of drugs entering the US from other countries such as Canada, since it does not inspect those facilities. And when the FDA has been permitted to inspect overseas facilities, the results haven’t been encouraging, such as the extensive and discouraging history of the FDA with Indian pharmaceutical manufacturer Ranbaxy.

Some on the free-market side of the political spectrum argue that importation of prescription drugs is simply a matter of “free-trade,” which at least up until the last few months has been a persuasive argument when presented to Republicans. But, as professor Richard Epstein notes in an IPI publication noted below, importation of prescription drugs is actually a perversion of free trade, in that it rewards other countries for their price controls and socialized medicine systems, rewards them for their disregard for the patents of American drug companies, and would likely create shortages of much needed drugs in poor countries as their drug supply was diverted back to the US. Read More >>

Willing Tools of Russian Propaganda in the Denton Fracking Ban Debate

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments | January 9, 2017

One of the tidbits contained in the just-released intelligence report about Russian interference in the US election is a section on other Russian propaganda activities, such as Russia’s propagandizing against fracking in the US.

The report says:

RT runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health. This is likely reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.

This hit close to home for me. In 2014, when my nearby city of Denton was voting on a ban against fracking within city limits, I got very involved. Two of the most vocal and ubiquitous leaders of the fracking ban were UNT professor Adam Briggle and a truly unhinged Twitter activist who goes by the name @TXSharon.

Both Briggle and @TXSharon appeared in interviews on RT regarding the Denton fracking ban. These interviews were used to promote the ban and to give credibility to these otherwise non-credible activists. Here’s Briggle on RT, and here is @TXSharon on RT.

Of course, the story of the Denton fracking ban is fairly well-known. Despite efforts by IPI and many others, it passed on the strength of voting by college students and professors, but was overturned by the Texas legislature before it even had a chance to lose in court. And the city of Denton eventually overturned it.

We said at the time that these activists were willingly allowing themselves to be used as tools of Russia in its attempts to discourage fracking in the US, and we were right. Read More >>

Tom Giovanetti makes the Village Voice's "Ten Worst Rightblogging Ideas of 2016"

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments | January 2, 2017

I was honored to learn this morning that The Village Voice had included me in their listing of the "10 Worst Rightblogger Ideas of 2016."

Here’s a link to the piece, and here’s the money quote:

“Local control is not a trump card that allows municipalities to restrict economic freedom,” declaimed Tom Giovanetti at the Institute for Policy Innovation. Get outta here with this “consent of the governed” bullshit — we’re talking about money!

The macro context here is what Village Voice views as those nutjob libertarians and their insistence on economic freedom, and the micro context is the debate over cities like Austin, Texas regulating Uber out of the city. Village Voice sees this as democracy in action, of course, while I see it as the tyranny of the majority infringing on the economic freedom of the average guy.

Now, I’m being a bit tongue-in-cheek here, of course, but since you know a man by his enemies, I’m delighted that the lefties at the Village Voice find my arguments to be ridiculous. Read More >>

Mike Madigan, Not Sugar Policy, Driving Mondelez Out of Chicago

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments | December 9, 2016

Larry Lessig: All "property" is imaginary

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments | October 19, 2016

Larry Lessig is a well known critic of intellectual property protection, such as copyright and patents. But Larry has always claimed to believe in the basic idea of intellectual property; he just thought it all needed to be "reformed," by which he always seemed to mean "rendered impotent."

Well, a couple of days ago, Larry made a little Freudian slip on Twitter. Or perhaps it was entirely intentional. Regardless, it's instructive.

@thrashRadical @girlziplocked all “property” is imaginary. Some just gets your hands dirty.

— Lessig (@lessig) October 7, 2016Read More >>

 

Total Records: 501
 

 

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