Coffee Robots, Struggling Lobbyists, and Questionable Diets

Weekend Reads: April 19, 2019

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Electric Scooters Have Zipped by Docked Bikes in Popularity

Cathy Bussewitz | The Associated Press | Tweeted by Jennifer Huddleston

In the heated competition between micromobility startups, people took two million more rides on shared electric scooters than docked bikes last year.

Face It: You (Probably) Got a Tax Cut

Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley | The New York Times | Retweeted by Alex Tabarrok

Data shows that most Americans got a tax cut this year, but only 40% think so. This stems from a sustained effort by opponents of the new tax law to rebrand it, as well as under-the-radar implementation.

Net Neutrality Debate Is Really about the Ballooning Regulatory State

Will Rinehart | Washington Examiner | Retweeted by Brent Skorup

If the debate around net neutrality seems wide-ranging and complex, that’s because it’s about more than just the regulation. It’s about the size of the regulatory state and the relationship between Congress and administrative agencies.

Coffee Robots are Not Causing Homeless People to Starve

Art Carden | American Institute for Economic Research | Shared by Donald Boudreaux

A viral tweet insinuated that a new fully-robotic coffee bar neglected the poor and homeless who could have otherwise worked there, but economic theory debunks that argument.

The Key to Glorifying a Questionable Diet? Be a Tech Bro and Call It ‘Biohacking.’

Monica Hesse | The Washington Post | Retweeted by Veronique de Rugy

Trends like intermittent fasting have been brought to the forefront by Silicon Valley executives. This new start-up treatment of questionable diets could show a double standard between men and women.

Lobbying in Donald Trump’s Washington

The Economist | Shared by Tyler Cowen

While there’s a growing narrative that big business has successfully ramped up lobbying during the Trump administration, but an interrogation of data and lobbyists dispute that claim.

Trump Ally Doubts Auto-Tariff Report Is ‘Intellectually Honest’

Jenny Leonard and Lauren Davison | Bloomberg | Tweeted by Christine McDaniel

The Commerce Department produced a report that could lead to tariffs on automobiles, but after the White House declined to release it, some of the President’s allies doubt its legitimacy.

Credit Denial in the Age of AI

Aaron Klein | The Brookings Institution | Tweeted by Brian Knight

Artificial intelligence has the potential to change how credit is allocated, but it could also necessitate a change to the regulatory framework for protecting consumers against predatory lending.