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PolicySphere Morning Briefing – May 21, 2024

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#DEI – “Congress is Preparing to Restore Quotas in College Admissions” Stewart Baker at the Volokh Conspiracy explains: “Republicans and Democrats in Congress have embraced a precooked ‘privacy’ bill that will impose race and gender quotas not just on academic admissions but on practically every private and public decision that matters to ordinary Americans. The provision could be adopted without scrutiny in a matter of weeks; that’s because it is packaged as part of a bipartisan bill setting federal privacy standards—something that has been out of reach in Washington for decades. And it looks as though the bill breaks the deadlock by giving Republicans some of the federal preemption their business allies want while it gives Democrats and left-wing advocacy groups a provision that will quietly overrule the Supreme Court’s Harvard decision and impose identity-based quotas on a wide swath of American life.”

#AI – We’ve written about states’ patchwork attempts to regulate AI, and how that may not be desirable. R Street’s Adam Thierer takes a closer look at Colorado’s misguided AI regulation attempt.

#AI – Speaking of AI and bad regulation, here’s an op-ed pointing out that regulation could scupper a genuinely important and life-saving innovation: autonomous vehicles.

#PublicHealth #NationalSovereignty – We have previously talked about how Brownstone Institute is doing yeoman’s work covering the planned WHO pandemic treaty. A lot of these accords are just good intentions written on paper and don’t really mean anything. Not this time, argues Ramesh Thakur: “two sets of changes to the architecture of global health governance […] will effectively change the WHO from a technical advisory organisation offering recommendations into a supranational public health authority telling governments what to do.”

#Antitrust – At City Journal, Corbin K. Barthold writes against the FTC’s Lina Khan’s attempts to increase her powers.

#Unions – The UAW lost 13,000 members in the last year. As CEI’s Sean Higgins points out, “the broader labor movement has been bleeding members for decades. Currently only 10 percent of the overall US workforce is unionized according to the Labor Department, down from 11 percent in 2014 and 12.5 percent in 2004.” He points to higher membership fees and pointless strikes as reasons for the UAW’s decline in membership. This is probably true. We suspect there may be another factor: national unions’ increasing affiliation with the increasingly woke national Democratic Party, which is often in tension with unions’ working class base. Could this be an opportunity for savvy conservative political entrepreneurs?

#Elders – Important from the Bipartisan Policy Center: how to promote kinship caregiving to avoid foster care.

#Budget – In times of fiscal discipline, what should happen to the defense budget? Even many defense hawks argue or at least concede that it could do with a little trimming. Not so fast, writes Manhattan Institute’s Brian Riedl.

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