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Copyright Law Favors Oracle as It Faces Off with Google in Supreme Court

Curt Levey - September 25, 2020
On October 7th, two famous tech companies, Google and Oracle, will battle in the Supreme Court over the copyrightability of computer code. It is a landmark case that gives the justices a unique opportunity to confirm our nation’s deep commitment to property rights, the original understanding of the Constitution’s Copyright and Patent Clause, and sound textualist principles of statutory interpretation. Google v. Oracle America arises from Google's decision to copy more than 11,000 lines of computer code from the Java SE software platform without obtaining a license. One of the most...

A Guillotine for the American Dream

Carl Szabo - September 24, 2020
It used to be the American way that anybody with a dream could work hard and achieve success. We look back on the Fords and Carnegies as pioneers of the American entrepreneurial spirit. But lately, American tech companies forged from that same entrepreneurial flame face renewed calls for and from the government to attack big business, regardless of their impact on society. As anti-capitalist protesters set up a French revolution-style guillotine outside Jeff Bezos’ home, the Department of Justice rushes an antitrust filing, and Congress drags America’s tech innovators by their...

Pennsylvania Democrats Want to Empower Lawyers, Not Voters

Adam Brandon - September 23, 2020
A ruling last week by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court all but guaranteed that we will not know the results of the 2020 presidential election on the night of November 3. In response to challenges from the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, the court extended the deadline for acceptance of absentee ballots to three days after Election Day. That’s a prescription for trouble, because if this year’s primaries — in which more than half a million mail ballots were rejected — tell us anything, it’s that in-person voting remains the smartest way to go about presidential...
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Unemployment is Improving Far Faster Than Projected – Unlike After the Great Recession

Matt Weidinger - September 23, 2020
Current unemployment rates show the US job market is bouncing back from the coronavirus recession far faster than experts recently predicted. That stands in stark contrast to 2009, when Americans experienced much higher unemployment rates than projected by proponents of the Obama stimulus plan. As Democrats’ February 2009 stimulus law was in its final drafting stages, the lead economists for the incoming Obama-Biden administration released a report summarizing their expectations for the “Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.” That January 2009 report...


US Leadership in AI Is Not Guaranteed, But It’s Possible. Here’s How.

Will Hurd & Robin Kelly - September 22, 2020
The United States is the global leader in artificial intelligence. We have an innovative private sector, world class universities and remain the top destination for international AI talent. However, American leadership is no longer guaranteed. In fact, Eric Schmidt and Bob Work, the chairman and vice chairman of the congressionally established National Security Commission on AI (NSCAI), wrote, “[T]he United States is in danger of losing its global leadership in AI and its innovation edge.” The Chinese Communist Party is the biggest threat to America’s leadership in this...

California's Job Killing Legislation Is Already Hurting Other States

Ericka Andersen - September 22, 2020
California’s job-killing AB-5 law, which has already shuttered jobs for as many as 1 million state residents, is influencing other states to weaponize similar regulatory laws against independent contractors.  I live in Indiana, and I'm already losing work with major clients. After being commissioned to write a story for Good Housekeeping Magazine, I began working on it — scheduling interviews and sketching an outline. Days later, I received an email informing me that Hearst, the magazine empire that owns Good Housekeeping and 25 other prominent titles, no longer hires writers...

How to Save – and Improve – the Textile Industry

Jen Sidorova - September 17, 2020
With an estimated $2.5 trillion in losses and looming uncertainty, the textile industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. But even before COVID-19 swept the nation, clothing manufacturing was in a tough spot. From the 92 million tons of waste it created per year to the violations of human rights it’s committed, the industry was overdue for a change long before the coronavirus outbreak affected its financials. Economic upheaval from the pandemic is a challenge to be sure, but it also presents a unique opportunity to change an industry in desperate need of reform, providing better...

Pass the Reforms Pennsylvanians Actually Need

Nathan Benefield - September 17, 2020
In recent weeks, Gov. Tom Wolf called on state legislators to enact parts of his political agenda — including legalizing recreational marijuana and mandating small businesses provide workers with paid leave benefits. Such proposals exhibit Wolf’s disconnect from what Pennsylvanians care most about during this crisis: schools, jobs, and health care. Wolf, moreover, hasn’t called lawmakers to discuss his ideas or to hear their proposals. In fact, at a recent press conference, the governor couldn’t remember the last time that he spoke with legislative leaders....


To Make Online Learning Work, Invest in Teachers

Ji Soo Song & Amanda Adams - September 16, 2020
As Congress debates the second federal education relief bill, including the HEALS Act, the issue of effective technology use is gaining increasing attention. During a June hearing on reopening schools, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) remarked, “This shift [to online learning] underscored the need to help educators effectively integrate a wide range of technologies… and use them to educate students who may have… specific needs.” This sentiment was echoed by an educator quoted in Baldwin’s recent article coauthored with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.),...

It’s Time for Congress to Get Its Act Together on COVID-19

Tim Phillips - September 15, 2020
As part of my job, I’ve been traveling the country — responsibly — for months, talking with Americans. And the thing I’m hearing most is: How do we get things back to normal? Six months into this unprecedented crisis, communities across our nation continue to weather extremely high unemployment claims and an economy that's in recession. The pain of businesses and those who can't find work is real and lasting. Though states have begun to reopen, businesses are getting back on their feet, and people are getting their jobs back, it’s not happening as quickly...

How Education Can Better Prepare Students for the Workplace

Roberts Jones - September 15, 2020
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has left 14 million Americans without jobs. And yet, amid such unprecedented levels of unemployment, there are still 5.9 million unfilled jobs. This fact speaks to the ways many of our education and training programs have failed to keep up with the skills today’s employers demand. This challenge existed long before the pandemic. In recent years, record full employment created a tight labor market where nearly 3 in 4 employers said they had a hard time finding graduates with the right kinds of soft skills. Jobs were aplenty, but recent...

A Reform 'Law and Order' and 'Defund' Supporters Can Agree On

Geoff Holtzman - September 14, 2020
Americans are being told right now that our country has two options when it comes to delivering justice: A) institute law and order, or B) spend more on social programs. Turns out, voters actually want both.   Currently, 4.4 million people in the U.S. — 30% of them black — are on probation or parole. That’s about half the population of Virginia, where I live. Any one of these folks, at any time, could be sent to jail for doing something as harmless as missing a check-in with a supervising officer because they couldn’t leave work. As a result, each day in America...


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Five Facts on Voter Turnout

No Labels - September 11, 2020
As Americans get ready to cast their ballots for the 2020 election, over 235 million people are eligible to vote. Here are five facts on voter turnout in the U.S. No Labels Voter turnout in the 2016 general election was roughly 56%. During the 2016 general election, 255 million Americans were over the voting age of 18, but only 140 million ballots were cast. Turnout for registered voters was significantly higher than for eligible voters, at 63%. The 2018 midterm elections had the highest voter turnout in five decades. Since 1970 voter turnout in midterm elections has ranged...

A Look Into Our Fiscal Future

James C. Capretta - September 11, 2020
Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its first ten-year budget forecast since the COVID-19 pandemic upended the global economy. It’s a sobering assessment. The nation was facing a daunting fiscal challenge over the coming decades even before the crisis erupted; the surge in near-term borrowing has exacerbated the problem in dramatic fashion. The right political response is not immediate austerity but adoption of a long-term plan to align multi-generational spending commitments with achievable levels of tax collection. According to CBO’s projection, the federal...

COVID-19 Exposed Widening Gap In Digital Divide

John C. Yang - September 11, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the digital divide in the United States, dramatically affecting the ability of families and households without high-speed internet service to fulfill basic needs, such as health, education, and safety. Because the pandemic is unlikely to subside anytime soon, Congress and the administration must take bold and meaningful strides to expand broadband access for all Americans. An important step in eliminating the digital divide is to ensure that we have accurate national broadband coverage maps.    Here, details matter. No one seems to have a true...

The War on Big Tech Threatens Consumer Welfare

Liam Sigaud - September 11, 2020
A movement to put aside a half-century of jurisprudence in order to go after large technology companies is gaining steam, with potentially severe implications for American consumers. The call to break up Big Tech — an idea championed by former presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren — threatens to undermine the consumer welfare standard, a mainstay of antitrust law, in favor of a simplistic, misguided mantra: big is bad. We’ve been there before. In the decades after the Sherman Act of 1890, the first federal antitrust law, courts struggled to interpret vague...


No New Tech Bureaucracy

Adam Thierer & Trace Mitchell - September 10, 2020
“Big tech” has become a favorite bogeyman of both the left and the right. From calls for more aggressive antitrust enforcement to proposals to break up increasingly powerful tech players, many Republicans and Democrats seek a move toward European-style tech regulation. But of all the things the United States needs right now, this type of bureaucracy is not on the list. In some cases, domestic fears over the path of technology have led to pushes for a powerful new federal agency. Academic critics have floated a variety of new laws and programs, including an “Artificial...

America Is Its Own Worst Enemy on 5G Rollout

Olive Morris - September 9, 2020
As the Trump administration continues to mount charges against China-based Huawei and ByteDance’s TikTok, a recent Morning Consult survey showed that over half of U.S. adults said they saw China as a “major threat” to America’s technology and innovation dominance. China is pushing ahead of the U.S. to develop and deploy several next-generation technologies, most notably 5G, which would generate trillions of dollars in economic output from medical innovations, autonomous vehicles, and streamlined manufacturing in the coming years. The U.S. has moved to prevent scores of...

The White House Tried Something Old. Americans Shouldn't Buy It.

Livia Lam & Thomas Showalter - September 4, 2020
In introducing her father at the Republican National Convention last week, Ivanka Trump cast the administration as having met its pledge to support American workers. In fact, she recently launched “Find Something New,” a new career navigator aimed to help jobless workers look up “no-college-required” job postings.     Since then, the economy has continued to collapse as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: GDP has taken its worst plunge ever, unemployment rates have stayed put in the double digits, and the 31 million workers either receiving unemployment...

Abolish The Postal Monopoly.

Aaron Tao - September 4, 2020
It was just recently that Democrats, fearing the size and influence of Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Google, subjected these corporate titans to serious antitrust scrutiny. So it’s particularly ironic that they’re now reflexively defending a literal government monopoly. The latest squabble in the 2020 news cycle involved accusations of political meddling at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Ever since Trump’s appointment of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, Democrats have feared that changes to national mail delivery policies could undermine mail-based voting. Meanwhile,...