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Tag Archives: David Davenport

David Davenport: The Coming War In Data Privacy Is From Europe Not Washington


While Mark Zuckerberg has been busy defending Facebook over data collection and privacy, a much more ominous threat is quietly coming from Europe. The European Union is implementing tough new standards on data privacy with stiff fines for violators. What many don’t realize is that these rules do not apply only to European companies, but to anyone who has data from Europeans.

For example, American universities enroll students from abroad and they will now be subject to this law.  Complying will cost millions and those who violate the new law could be subject to fines up to $23 million dollars.

Europe’s view is that the individual controls his or her data, not companies that collect it.  With an amazing overreach around the world, this now becomes a new global standard.  On top of trade wars, brace yourself for a new—and costly—cold war over privacy and data.

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David Davenport: Questions About Walls


President Trump loves walls—besides a border wall with Mexico, he wants to erect trade walls to protect American steel and aluminum with tariffs of 25 and 10 percent, respectively.

In his famous poem about walls, Robert Frost said, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” adding that before he built one, “I’d ask to know what I was walling in or walling out, and to whom I was likely to give offence.” Those are good questions for Mr. Trump’s policy.

He wants to wall out foreign products that are cheaper than American products. But this will trouble not only nations that produce them, but also American consumers who like to save money.

There’s also a question of constitutionality, since the president’s power to do this is based on national security. And the biggest question:  will tariff walls even work in a global economy?

Many important questions about walls.

 

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David Davenport: Will the U.S. Be Prosecuted in the International Criminal Court?


As if President Trump did not face enough legal challenges, there are now two threatened prosecutions of Americans at the International Criminal Court.

First, the Palestinian territories have filed a complaint against both President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu over relocating Israel’s capital to Jerusalem. While an important matter for Middle Eastern politics, it’s difficult to see how this could be a criminal matter for the court.

Second, the prosecutor is seeking authority to investigate whether the U.S. military is guilty of torture and other war crimes in Afghanistan. Although the U.S. is not a member of the court, Afghanistan, on whose territory the alleged crimes occurred, is.

If either of these moves ahead, it would be the first time the ICC has sought to prosecute Americans and would set up a major confrontation between the U.S. and the court.

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David Davenport: The Rise of Millennial Voters


A wave of change is coming in the 2018 and 2020 elections:  the rise of millennial voters.  In those elections, millennials, born between 1980-2000, will finally pass baby boomers as the largest voting generation.

What we know is that millennials hold different political views than their boomer parents.  They are more fearful, saying 4-1 that America is on the wrong track.  They believe less in political institutions such as Congress and the President.  They are more open to socialism, less committed to freedom. Seventy-one percent say we need a new political party.

What we don’t know is how many millennials will actually show up to vote.  So far, their voting percentage is low:  only half or less of eligible voters in 2016.

It seems likely that millennial concerns will change the conversation in future elections, but we’ll have to wait and see whether they actually vote and change the outcome.

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David Davenport: Power to the States

One encouraging development is that power is leaving Washington, DC and heading to the states. Policy wonks call it devolution, I call it progress.

 

After 15 years of federalizing K-12 education, for example, Washington turned its back on No Child Left Behind and passed a bill returning power over schools to the states.  There’s no need for Washington to act, as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says, as a national school board.

 

There’s discussion in Congress that the states should not only manage the trees, plants and flowers in their territory, but wildlife as well, including endangered species.

 

Welfare reform may be the next big issue and any solution is likely to create a larger role for states. Only the marijuana laws are moving the other way, toward Washington.

 

It’s heartening that Washington may finally be reading the Tenth Amendment—that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution belong to the states or the people.  Not everything needs to be a federal case.

 

I’m David Davenport.

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The Tax Bill Needs Follow-On Spending Cuts

Compromise

Although a tax cut may have been a nice Christmas gift, it needs some follow-on spending cuts to work.  At best, Republicans have eaten their dessert first, waiting to eat their spending cut vegetables later; at worst, they will have increased the federal deficit by another trillion dollars or more.

 

By most estimates, even stimulating economic growth will not fully pay for the tax cut.  Republicans will now have to undertake the politically courageous step of cutting federal spending.

 

It will be difficult to make spending cuts without touching Medicare or Social Security, which President Trump has said are off limits. Meanwhile there is pressure to undo the sequester, automatic cuts on spending no one liked, but which have at least kept spending growth down.

 

Ideally, Republicans would have disciplined themselves to do tax and spending cuts at the same time. Tax cuts may come and go, but the federal debt remains forever, it seems. And—without spending cuts—it grows.

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David Davenport: Free Speech On The Decline

Compromise

One reason to be concerned about the future of America is the reduced commitment of its young people to freedom, starting with free speech.

A recent survey from the Brookings Institution indicates that 44 percent of millennials do not believe hate speech is protected by the Constitution. Moreover, 51 percent believe it is appropriate to shout down a controversial speaker, with 19 percent saying it is ok to use violence for that purpose. Mistakenly, 62 percent say the First Amendment requires one controversial speaker to be balanced by another speaker.

Today’s college students are coddled by helicopter parents and seek safe spaces on campus, not freedom. And, with little or no civic education, students do not understand the First Amendment.

Founder Benjamin Franklin said that “whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech.” Wake up, America, the message from our campuses is that free speech is on the decline and, ultimately, so is freedom itself.

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