New Research on Tariffs, Section 230, and Georgia Regulations

Six Tariff & Trade Facts

Veronique de Rugy and Justin Leventhal | Chart/Data Visualization

From the publication: For the middle- and low-income categories of nations, tariff rates have been falling since 1988, even taking into account the reporting problems of lower-income nations. High-income nations’ tariffs have remained relatively stable over that same period. There are some missing data in early years owing to the previously mentioned lack of reporting from poorer nations. Unsurprisingly, the data for years with lackluster reporting are noisier than data for later years. Despite this noise, there is a clear pattern in all four national income groups that tariff rates are falling over time. There was a slight rise in tariffs for the low-income group in 2017, but as noted above, 2017 is one of the exceptions in later years for which fewer than half of this group reported. As such, this may represent an actual increase for these nations, or it may represent noise owing to fewer countries being included. None of the other three groups show this pattern in 2017—only the low-income group.”

The Erosion of Publisher Liability in American Law, Section 230, and the Future of Online Curation

Brent Skorup and Jennifer Huddleston | Working Paper

From the summary: "As internet businesses began to emerge in the 1990s, online content distributors were taken to court for allegedly defamatory or otherwise objectionable material they published or republished. While one court found that an internet-based company was not liable, a second arrived at the opposite conclusion. Congress resolved the ambigu­ity by enacting the Communications Decency Act of 1996, whose Section 230 established a broad liability shield for online content distributors. 

Critics argue that Section 230 is a deviation from standard liability law that should be corrected. Brent Skorup and Jennifer Huddleston explain why they disagree in “The Erosion of Publisher Liability in American Law, Section 230, and the Future of Online Curation.” They argue that Section 230 accelerated a common-law shift away from liability for media distributors both online and offline over the past 50 years..”

A Snapshot of Georgia Regulation in 2019

James Broughel | State Snapshot

From the snapshot: "State RegData also reveals that the 2019 RRSG [Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia] contains 109,112 restrictions and 6.0 million words. It would take an individual 334 hours—or more than 8 weeks—to read the entire RRSG. That’s assuming the reader spends 40 hours per week reading and reads at a rate of 300 words per minute. By comparison, there are 1.09 million additional restrictions in the federal code. Individuals and businesses in Georgia must navigate these different layers of restrictions to remain in compliance.”