TCS Daily : April 2003 Archives

An AIDS Mirage

In the fight to help the victims of AIDS, Brazil's treatment program is seen by many as a beacon of hope. And while there is much to learn from Brazil, the lessons are not what most of its supporters believe.... Read More

Business Press Mess

"Have They No Shame?" screamed the headline of the cover story of one of the magazines, adorned with a picture of five ravenous pigs eating cake amid piles of money. The subhead: "Their performance stank last year, yet most CEOs... Read More

Ethics Must Play Catch Up

After criticizing modern architecture and genetically modified foods, Prince Charles has now weighed in on nanotechnology: The Prince is said to fear a worst case scenario in which nanotechnology spin-offs would annihilate life on earth. It is claimed that... Read More

Weasel, Poodle or Bear?

The international menagerie seems to grow with each passing day. First there was the appearance of the "poodle" in the form of Tony Blair, who was derided by British skeptics for his support of the U.S. military action in Iraq.... Read More

The Inflection Point

As the FCC draws up the order implementing its February 20 decision on phone network access, competition in the telecommunications industry is at an inflection point. The vast majority of the Bell operating companies' lines are now allowed to carry... Read More

A Tale of Two Business Climates

Entrepreneurship drives economic growth. Startup firms grow 20 times as fast as large, mature companies, and according to the National Commission on Entrepreneurship, fast-growth, high-risk startups create more than half of all new jobs. So, what's the best way... Read More

It's a Gas

Although he's in Houston and I'm in Washington without one of those phone cams that the Iraq war made famous, I can see Marshall Adkins jumping up and down with enthusiasm. "Rigs are going to go berserk for the next... Read More

Barriers to Barriers

Venetians can put their boots in the attic, according to Italy's minister for infrastructure, Pietro Lunardi. On 3 April 2003, the Italian government's Committee for Policy, Coordination and Control (Comitatone) gave Project Mose definitive approval after 37 years Read More

The Highest-Cost Producer

As an economist, I am dismayed by the cavalier way in which politicians add to the roster of goods and services provided by the government. I cringe when I hear an official begin a sentence with the phrase "We need... Read More

The Road From Serfdom

Two reporters relay this anecdote from Thailand: One of the half-dozen men and women sitting on a bench eating was a sinewy, bare-chested laborer in his late 30's named Mongkol Latlakorn. It was a hot, lazy day, and so... Read More

Not So Hot

History is written, Herodotus says, "in the hope of preserving from decay the remembrance of what men have done, and of preventing the great and wonderful actions of the Greeks and the barbarians from losing their due meed of glory."... Read More

Another Coalition Enemy, II

My recent TCS article on the Clinton administration's impairment of military training and readiness by means of destructive, radical environmental rules and policies generated much discussion. So did a shorter version that appeared subsequently as a letter in the. Read More

Statistical Traffic Wreck

Last week we heard on every news channel and read in every newspaper the disturbing news that more people had been killed in traffic accidents in 2002 than the previous year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had announced... Read More

Nash Monkey

You might not expect monkeys to act like Nobel Prize-winning economists. But consider an experiment performed by neuroscientist Paul W. Glimcher and colleagues, and described in his new book Decisions, Uncertainty and the Brain: The Science of Neuroeconomics. The. Read More

Right to Be Wrong

Many years ago I developed a habit that many people find deplorable: When I discover I am wrong, I change my mind. To some, there could be no greater indication of an irresolute will; and sometimes when events are... Read More

We Like the Odds

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just released its preliminary traffic fatality figures for 2002 and they show a slight increase in auto accident deaths over 2001. And guess what? Those damn SUVs are the biggest cause for the... Read More

Look Up to the UN

You've seen it. The emails have died down a bit, but by now most online readers have seen a photo of the Twin Towers digitally retouched to illustrate what should be built on the site of the World Trade Center.... Read More

The Healthy Society
and Its Enemies

China has finally admitted the scale of its problem with the pneumonia-like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Denial has been replaced by a crack-down, when on Friday Beijing officials ordered 4,000 people to stay at home and they closed a... Read More

Risk and Animal Spirits

Editor's note: The following is a speech TCS host James K. Glassman delivered last week in New Orleans. Perhaps it's too early in the morning to intone dramatic, principled phrases, but let me start with one anyway: we are, says... Read More

'No Experiments'

In 1957, 'no experiments' became the leitmotif of those opposing integrating free-market Western economics into the German 'Wirtschaftwunder'. Back then, economic improvements abounded. Exports and domestic consumption grew exponentially - with near full employment Read More

France Needs Rupert

The black prophecies of the anti-war camp, and their affiliated media, failed to come to pass: No new Vietnam, no new Stalingrad, no heroism from the 'elite' Republican guard, no fierce resistance from the Iraqi people to their 'invaders' and... Read More

Beyond The Village People

Fareed Zakaria, the influential writer and author of the important new book The Future of Freedom, provided some useful perspective on globalization and technology in a recent interview with New York magazine. Describing his support for economic liberalization -.. Read More

Halliburton's Unfair Burden

DOHA, Qatar - Let's give our own a break here. Operation Iraqi Freedom got off to a great start. Then, instead of applauding the American armed forces for sound planning and courageous efforts, some critics second-guessed them because they... Read More

Democratic Plant

So how 'bout that Rick Santorum? At the moment that Republicans are riding high, he finds a way to bring them down. Consider: in April 2003, George W. Bush has united the Republican Party-and more importantly, the country-around the American... Read More

'A More Attractive Choice'

For decades, individual investors in the United States have had to pay taxes on dividends that they receive, which in turn were paid out by corporations from after-tax income. The double taxation of dividends - once at the hands of... Read More

Conflict of Loyalties

Independent agencies inhabit an odd constitutional universe. They are independent of both the President and Congress, yet are executive branch creatures that exercise both quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial powers. Agency chairmen characteristically command agen Read More

Sick Man Is Europe

Despite a lot of rhetoric to the contrary Europe has not ceased to labour under persistent Eurosclerosis. Back in the seventies, it was the Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck, who coined the notion 'socioeconomic arteriosclerosis'. In the eighties, because of the... Read More

Carbon Copy Coalition

The state by state effort to implement the Kyoto protocol came to Concord, New Hampshire this week as the state's environmental groups launched the "Carbon Coalition" to keep the issue on the front burner and stir the political, policy and... Read More

Turkey's Historic Blunder

After weeks of the geopolitical equivalent of friendly fire casualties, Ankara has finally allowed U.S. aid to move to Northern Iraq. Two weeks earlier, and after lengthy delays, it permitted the U.S. Air Force to use Turkish airspace for strikes... Read More

Law and Spamconomics

"Get the Iraqi 'Most-Wanted' Deck of Playing Cards - only $5.95 a Set!" This message is one of the most recent spam campaigns hitting email boxes around the world. Spam, the junk mail of the digital age, is the... Read More

Fish Tales

Earlier this month, the state of California announced plans to sue sixteen national restaurant chains. Their crime? Serving fish. That's right. Fish. The healthy food. Under the state's Proposition 65, it's illegal to expose another Californian to chemicals known t Read More

Don't Smoot the Weasels

If there were a Hall of Fame for economic policy blunders, then the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930 would get in on the first ballot. The consensus among economists is that this protectionist legislation exacerbated and contributed to the Great Depression... Read More

3-G Vision

Recently, France Telecom absorbed a record 20 billion euro charge on earnings for the past year, primarily due to its write-off of overvalued licenses. Even with the incestuous relationship between many large European utilities and governments (who often hold a... Read More

Information Sexternalities

Senator Rick Santorum recently compared homosexuality to incest. In a provocative article William Saletan considers "if gay sex is too private to be banned [why can't the same] be said of incest[?]" Avoidable information externalities provide the answer. Read More

United Nonsense

Here they go again, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan's famous quip - bestowing on the United Nations what President Bush called a "vital role." Someone should tell the State Department: Been there. Done that. The only "vital role" the U.N. should... Read More

Dictating Double Standards

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, w. J. "Billy" Tauzin's federalism arabesque pointing towards States' rights on energy and towards a uniform national policy on local phone service is reminiscent of philosopher Sam Johnson's dog walking on its hinder le Read More

Sweden's Skeptical Environmentalist

Sweden has for a long time been a bastion of "green" ideology, and the EU and the rest of the world has monitored Sweden's environmental policies closely for new ideas and inspiration. One of the areas in which Sweden has... Read More

Clear Skies, Hazy Logic

The Bush administration contends coal-fired power plants kill tens of thousands of Americans each year. The administration claims its Clear Skies Initiative, which would cut power plant emissions by about 70 percent, will reduce this toll by 12,000 per year... Read More

Truth Will Set You Free

Last week, I wrote about the advantage that the United States possessed over Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and still possesses over just about all of its potential foes: an advantage bred of openness, individual initiative, and broad access to knowledge.... Read More

It's a Slugfest

It's always fascinating to read about how makeshift markets always find ways of emerging, even in the unlikeliest of places. On April 21, for example, this site featured a piece by Pete Geddes, which explained how markets and entrepreneurship took... Read More

Howard's End

Professor Howard Zinn, who has spent his life endlessly re-cycling all the discreditable information he can find about his country, had decided to lecture us on what true patriotism is; and, not surprisingly, he informs us that it is not... Read More

Earth Day Victory

Today Americans celebrate our 33rd Earth Day. Since the early 1970s we've seen great environmental progress. The air and water are cleaner and people, especially young people, are more environmentally sensitive. While serious problems remain, the easy fruit has bee Read More

Loved or Feared?

This Wednesday North Korea, the second leg of the now bipartite Axis of Evil, will sit down to talks with the Bush administration and China in Beijing. That meeting follows Pyongyong's startling 180 a week ago Saturday - about 48... Read More

A Mexican Mistake?

A year and a half ago in Doha, Qatar, long before it became the center of the Iraqi war effort, the war on AIDS was supposed to be re-charged by the World Trade Organization. At the Doha WTO Ministerial meeting... Read More

Seeing Is Believing

The poignant pictures of 12-year-old Ali Ismaeel Abbas, who lost his arms and his family from a missile explosion in Baghdad April 5, made an immediate impact on the world thanks to modern communications. Quickly, the photos spread in... Read More

Down In Front

The SEC is investigating possible abuses by the "specialist" firms that match buyers and sellers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The probe comes after revelations that the exchange itself had launched an investigation last year that... Read More

Social Software

In 2003, it feels as if someone hit the "pause" button on the innovation machine that drove the economy for the previous twenty years. The existing infrastructure is sufficient to support the applications of word processing, spreadsheets, email, and web... Read More

Iraq's Dead Teacup

Did war planners misjudge the value of Iraq's National Museum of Antiquities, a resource that in future tourism dollars (or dinars) was imaginably worth an oil well in itself? Probably. Yet soldiers may have arrived too late in any event.... Read More

An Empowered World

Poor villages in Thailand have found a great way to improve their lives and make a little money. They generate electricity using micro-hydroelectric equipment, and then sell on any surplus to neighbouring settlements. Instead of waiting for the state-sponsored elec Read More

Economic Evolution

My colleague John Baden has long argued that economics is best understood as a branch of evolutionary biology. Like biological systems, economic life evolves as people and organizations learn, respond, and innovate. Markets, like DNA-driven organisms, are highly ef Read More

Constitutional Deliberations

"Two steps forward, one step back," is how one Conventioneer described the deliberations on the proposed European Constitution to me-an analysis with which most participants would agree. Where they differ is that those who support further European integration (some Read More

The New Colonialism

This week Nigeria will elect a new President. Of course, whoever wins the election won't be new exactly, since both are former Nigerian dictators, but at least the elections are likely to be relatively free and fair. That is a... Read More

Spoiling the Spoils?

For the French, Germans and Russians, things weren't supposed to happen like this. The long, hard march on Baghdad turned into a sprint, and within days, the talk was already of seizing oilfields, reconstructing Iraq and doling out contracts to... Read More

Debts, Moral and Financial

One particular issue poses an obstacle to economic recovery in Iraq: the debts that the country has outstanding to France, Germany and Russia. Much of that debt stemmed from Iraq's purchase of weapons from those countries. Little to no part... Read More

Syria Surrounded

As the volume of warnings from Washington increases, there's growing speculation that Syria may become the next country to tangle with the U.S. military. While Bashar Assad could always play his hand poorly, those on the left and the... Read More

The Dangers of Forgetfulness

The looting in Iraq appears to have shocked public opinion in the United States. This is worrisome. Not the looting itself, but the fact that the looting would could possibly come as a surprise to us. Because it shows... Read More

Shareholder Values

As the season for annual meetings begins, activists are presenting shareholders with resolutions seeking social change and better corporate governance. A few of the proposals have merit; most are obnoxious but harmless. And nearly all will be rejected - mainly... Read More

Half a Loaf is Pretty Good

With the budget season upon us, browbeating and horse trading are the order of the day. President Bush signaled that he would be willing to accept a compromise bill that reduced his original tax cut proposal by about $200 billion.... Read More

Foreign Concepts

An entrepreneurial mindset requires curiosity, courage and the desire to increase one's financial and social position. In Germany, however, this mindset is blocked by a variety of social taboos, such as cultural disapproval of individual initiative in the market, a Read More

Boycott the Boycott

According to the President of the Mouvement des Entreprises de France, that country's chief trade group, "Certain French enterprises are suffering today from the differences that have arisen among states over the Iraqi question." Similarly, French wine exporters cl Read More

In My Name

The rallying cry of those who opposed war in Iraq has been "Not in My Name." They sought to wash their hands of the war, to abdicate moral responsibility for its consequences. Fair enough. But I have been arguing... Read More

Quiet Riot

There's a mountainous policing job ahead in Iraq for the U.S. military. A few projects in the Pentagon's research pipeline might have helped in that effort - but they're not quite ready for keeping order on the streets of Baghdad.... Read More

Cheers for Fears

This week in Ur we witnessed what may have been the birth of a new national government in Iraq. That meeting, and the Iraqi anarchy resulting from the fall of Baghdad, has given us an excellent chance to observe in... Read More

Reform Sham

Seventy-three percent of Germans endorse the anti-war course of their chancellor because they are convinced that the invasion of Iraq by British and American forces was a violation of international law. Gerhard Schröder rides high these days, more than any... Read More

Frank Considerations

This past weekend in St. Petersburg, French, German, and Russian leaders meet to coordinate the next stage in the their diplomatic battle against the US over Iraq. France, Germany, and Russia want Iraq's reconstruction to be handled by the UN... Read More

The CIA/Zionist 'Plot'

World affairs are being manipulated by a CIA/Zionist cabal. Evidence for it can be found in the fact that most people blame Islamo-fascists for 9/11. But you see, given the damage that 9/11 and other recent events have caused... Read More

The Elastic Economy

"For years I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors and vice versa. The difference did not exist. Our company is too big. It goes with the welfare of the country." - Charlie Wilson, 1953... Read More

Trickle Down Solutions

Gerald Keusch, the director of the Fogarty International Center at the NIH, and Carol Medlin of the University of California, San Francisco observed recently in a commentary in the journal Nature that health R&D has been officially designated a "global... Read More

Unhealthy Lifestyle

Anyone who reads health news or watches it on TV must surely be aware of the recent spate of reports on the increasing adiposity of the American public-by some estimates well over half of adults are overweight or frankly obese.... Read More

Killer Lies

The more you know in warfare, the less you have to do. The best example of that comes from the use in this war of so-called "concrete bombs" - bombs that are, literally, bomb-shaped lumps of concrete with laser guidance,... Read More

Victory Not Enough

Three months ago, President Bush proposed reviving the economy with a package that would cut the tax bills of 92 million Americans. The president has had other things on his mind since then, and the opposition of only a few... Read More

Explain Game

Saddam Hussein's regime has collapsed and Americans and Britons are welcomed as liberators by Iraqis. The coalition forces have not only defeated Saddam Hussein but also the anti-war camp led by Jacques Chirac and Dominique de Villepin. But from Europe's... Read More

It's the Investments, Stupid

The inability of Europe's financial markets to keep pace with the economic growth of the US in the 1980s and 1990s has produced plenty of sleepless nights at the European Commission over the past few years. One important reason for... Read More

Larcenies Petty and Grand

Erratic law hikes risks and dampens business activity. Punitive damages are emblematic. Juries intermittently return astronomical awards pursuant to open-ended standards that invite caprice and whimsy. Such freakish law makes liability insurance for punitive verdi Read More

Tax the Dog

I have long advocated the elimination of dividend taxation. My arguments have relied on basic, immutable concepts from corporate finance and microeconomics. I am not alone. Finance jock and NYU Professor Aswath Damodaran analyzed [PDF] the Bush dividend tax... Read More

Bush's Blunder

When I first heard that we were announcing our attack on Iraq as a war of liberation, I was horrified. I thought that it was possible that we could be greeted by segments of the Iraq people as liberators;... Read More

What's Left?

Has the left lost it? That's the question posed by veteran British journalist John Lloyd in The Guardian on April 11. "A large part of the British left-and the left elsewhere-has made a fundamental mistake," he writes. "In opposing... Read More

War as Art

Much has been made of the accuracy and precision of the "smart weapons" the Coalition forces are using in the war in Iraq. These technological marvels have indeed proven their worth by effectively destroying targets while minimizing collateral damage. However,... Read More

'Greatest Cultural Disaster'

By 1258 A.D. Baghdad had enjoyed almost five centuries of growth and development. It was an East-West commercial crossroads and one of the world's leading centers of culture and learning, where the study of mathematics, medicine, philosophy and science had... Read More

Over the Radar

As free Iraqis were tearing down the grotesque statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad Tuesday, another earth-moving event was taking place back here: Vice President Dick Cheney was giving the B-2 stealth bomber a ringing endorsement. This most futuristic of... Read More

Confronting the Myth

Late last week on one of the cable news programs I saw an obviously well educated Jordanian woman being interviewed for her response to the sudden and ignominious collapse of the regime of Saddam Hussein. She expressed the common shock... Read More

No Day at the Beach

Perhaps the world's agriculture trade negotiators thought they'd get to lounge on the beach and sip margaritas when they arranged for their September 2003 session to occur in Cancun. If so, they must be sorely disappointed by the members of... Read More

Heavy Hitters

Alex Rodriguez is a heavy hitter, Sammy Sosa even more so. And not just because they hit home runs. The two sluggers each passed milestones in the first week of the new Major League season, the Texas Rangers' Rodriguez... Read More


April 15 is almost here and taxes are on everyone's mind. It's a tough time of year for those who get unexpected or hefty tax bills, and the situation could get worse if state legislators around the country win the... Read More

Climate in Wonderland

Suppose you are Minister for the Environment of a cute compact sized country, Wonderland, somewhere in Europe. You are a prominent member of the biggest party in the country, the Christian Democrats, and within that party you are a champion... Read More

Sins of Omission

I was shocked and disgusted by an op-ed piece I read today in the New York Times. No, it wasn't by Paul Krugman. It was far more serious: Eason Jordan, chief news executive at CNN, revealing what the headline... Read More

Looting an Ideology

Political ideologies tend to lose credibility and adherents after their tenets are shown to be grossly at odds with reality. I recently wrote about how ideologies that glorify military prowess-such as Mussolini's Fascism and Saddam's Baathism-fare poorly after thei Read More

Leap of Faith

COOPER, Maine - Maine's legislature is poised to pass "An Act to Provide Leadership in Addressing the Threat of Climate Change." The bill would implement the New England governors/ Eastern Canadian premiers Climate Change Agreement (CCA). The legislation will put.. Read More

Hit the Deck

If you are considering a new deck, act fast. Federal regulators are poised to ban the most popular and affordable decking material - wood treated with the preservative chromated copper arsenate (CCA). Junk science has indicted CCA, despite the fact... Read More

Kicking Butt

For many Italians, a cigarette at the end of a meal is as de rigueur as an espresso coffee. But those lighting up outside their own homes should watch out for the Carabinieri della Salute. The health police. Starting on... Read More

'Nobody Knows Anything'

If you're confused about what's going on with gasoline prices join the club. Charter members appear to be the staff of the Wall Street Journal. They have been bungee-jumping over these issues for months; one day fretting that gasoline at... Read More

A Model for OPEC

As the fire-fights in downtown Baghdad continue, the post-Saddam administrations of Iraq - the U.S. one, headed by General Jay Garner, and the Iraqi one, which is yet to emerge - should be planning for the right economic model to... Read More

The Bold Is So Beautiful

Boldness has turned the tide in this war. After an initial burst of action in which the ground war started before the air war and Special Forces denied the Iraqi military large swaths of territory in the West and... Read More

Jefferson at South Park

Last night, I had a Reese's moment. You might remember the candy commercials more than a decade ago. In them, two strangers serendipitously bump into each other and their snacks get mixed up. At first, they complain that "you got... Read More

'Damned Annoying'

Perhaps it's a fitting metaphor for Europe's inability to act decisively even when it comes to the humanitarian aftermath of the apparent US-UK-led victory in Iraq. This week a European Commission spokesman revealed that the allocation of some €24 million... Read More

Creeping Activism

Once again debt-relief demanding activist groups, such as Britain's Jubilee Debt Campaign, have demonstrated they know nothing about how the institutions of a free society work. These groups, which have demanded for the past decade that governments and multilateral Read More

Economic Mecca

America should make Iraq the Mecca of economic freedom for the Muslim world. Taxes, regulation, corruption and instability are normally barriers to economic prosperity. In Iraq, however, the U.S. could craft an economy largely free of these impediments. Taxes... Read More

Time for Apologies

Visitors to the website of International ANSWER, the front organization for the pro-communist Workers World Party, are exhorted to "Stop the War on Iraq" at marches in Washington and San Francisco on April 12. That's this Saturday. Actually, the... Read More

TV Guide, Iraq

We have obtained a copy of the postwar program schedule for Iraqi Television. Although we are not allowed to print it pending word from Coalition high command, we thought we'd share with you a few highlights from the coming season...... Read More

'The Great Boil, Lanced'

ON THE SECOND IRAQ WAR Few wars are ever quite as pure as this. Around the world's round haunch you feel the shriek Of thousands as their burning souls seek bliss, The weight of guilt that bends us week... Read More

Smoke, No Fire

It's a scene being replayed all over Iraq. American soldiers stumble upon a mysterious liquid or powder. The material is tested - and it's shown to be a nerve agent, or mustard gas. Embedded reporters and military flacks rush to... Read More

No Press Box

For Frank Schell it had been a frightening day. Covering war for his newspaper had brought him past curiosity, through exhilaration to revulsion and fear. Everywhere he looked there were bodies. Artillery shells exploded uncomfortably close - as if they... Read More

Durch und durch europdisch

Amerikanisch? Na, dann hat die Sache doch sicher eine unangenehme Seite! Wissen wir doch, dass Amerika die Welt mit Fast Food, Gewalt verherrlichenden Videospielen und dem Rapper Eminem verseucht hat ... Es überrascht also nicht, wenn eine andere Bastion amerikanis Read More

No Tenuous Time

Immediately following victory comes a most tenuous time, Richard Nixon was fond of saying. The victor, naturally feeling a rush of euphoria, eases up the previous laser-like focus. Richard Nixon should know. For after his stunning 1972 victory came his... Read More

Should We Can Spam?

Spam - unsolicited email, not the potted meat product - has become a major concern in business, policy and technology circles. It is estimated that anything from one in eight to half of all emails are spam, and that 90... Read More

Government Is the Solution

Once the fighting dies down in Iraq, new sets of challenges will appear. These involve putting together a new government and a new economy. In order for Iraq to be successful as a democracy, its economy will have to be... Read More


The WTO negotiations to open up world trade have stalled. They have been blocked by France and Germany. It looks like a rerun over long standing difference in the WTO about global protection in farm trade. But a more... Read More

New Class Crackup

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that a lot of people seemed to be pretty unhappy with the BBC's coverage of the war, and I linked the BBC's attitudes - odd, I thought, for the national network of... Read More

Fund - amentals

Mutual funds, which were invented roughly 80 years ago and have boomed in the past decade, are a triumph of financial democracy. They give small investors access to the sort of money managers who once worked exclusively for the wealthy.... Read More

Just Ask Mohammed

For the past couple of days, ever since I heard about him, I have been thinking about Mohammed. This is the name that has been given to the man who guided American Special Forces to the hospital in which... Read More

Civil War

"War," Gen. William T. Sherman once wrote, "is at best barbarism." Having lived through (as well as having engineered) some of the bloodiest campaigns in world history, he certainly knew what he was talking about. Sherman would no doubt have... Read More

In Defense of Price Fixing

In February 2003, the Office of Fair Trading in London imposed fines of £17 million on two British retailers, Littlewoods and Argos. These are the biggest fines in the history of British competition law. The offense punished is that... Read More

California Beach Bums

Put two good environmentally smart ideas together - recycling old tires and creating kelp beds, which along with coral reefs are one of the "rainforests of seas" - and what do you get? In California, only litigation and conflict at... Read More

Something Old,
Something New

The heroic sweep into Baghdad by coalition forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom is reminiscent of the swift summer 1944 run across occupied France by General George S. Patton, Jr. when the Allied Forces traded caution for speed to free Europe... Read More

Don't Count On It

While the American media focuses on the spectacular successes of coalition forces in Iraq and the British media asks questions about "friendly fire" incidents, the rest of the world is shown images of devastation in Baghdad marketplaces. To much of... Read More

Rules to Live By

Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, now HealthSouth. Will the scandals ever end? Frankly, no. There are more than 6,000 companies listed on the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange alone, and a few always will be led by unscrupulous managers who lie,... Read More

Lightening Up

Recently the World Health Organisation agreed to a Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. EU Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner David Byrne, praised WHO Director, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, and welcomed the historic agreement as a major advance 'in the.. Read More

The Network For Living In

The concept of home automation has been around for years-the "smart home" that The Jetsons of the early 1960s lived in was simply the logical extension of the myriad of labor saving devices that had been developed throughout the... Read More

American Lower Education

America is not the first society in which children have been systematically taught to despise their parents' values, but it is the first one in which the parents have been willing to pay large sums for the privilege. The first... Read More

Fire and Movement

Battles are won by fire and by movement. The purpose of the movement is to get the fire in a more advantageous place to play on the enemy. This is from the rear or flank. - Gen. George S. Patton,... Read More

Street Fightin' Man!

Will there be a Battle of Baghdad? The answer is important not only for the outcome of the Iraq War, but also for the future of classical war itself. The U.S. has been thinking about urban warfare for decades... Read More

Monopolists' Playpen

Editor's note: The following is testimony from TCS Host James K. Glassman at the Roundtable Forum on "The Impact of Competition on the Telecommunications Industry", Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, April 4, 2003. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Conyers and distinguishe Read More

Recycle This!

Every journalist's dream is to win the Pulitzer Prize and I think there's one to be had for proving that recycling is a sham. I just know that all of this compulsive separating of refuse is a waste of time.... Read More

Can Money Buy Happiness?

Many years ago, some friends of mine who were taking a class from popular Swarthmore economics professor Bernard Saffran thought that it would be amusing to ask him if money could buy happiness. Bernie's answer was, "Yes, to a first... Read More

Globa - lie - zation

In just a few years, Chinese will surpass English as the Internet's most-used language. According to a BBC poll, the most popular movie star in the world is not Tom Green. Rather, it's Amitabh Bachchan, an Indian actor you've... Read More

Good Unintended Consequences

War, what's it good for? Plenty. Some say this war will save lives by liberating Iraqis from a repressive, brutal, regime. But Iraqi lives won't be the only ones saved by the war. For war, as horrible as it is,... Read More

The Ugly Time

It is firepower, and firepower that arrives at the right time and place, that counts in modern war. - B.H. Liddell Hart, Thoughts on War, 1944 The pursuit of victory without slaughter is likely to lead to slaughter without victory.... Read More

Taking Stock of War

Observers of Europe's financial markets might have expected investors to be a bit preoccupied or even jittery as US and British forces launched their invasion of Iraq. But the start of the second Gulf war provided something of a spur... Read More

Corrosive Wealth

Many of those opposed to our military action in Iraq shout, "No blood for oil!" They believe our desire for Iraqi oil, not security, motivates our actions. Do these people think in terms of slogans, or causal relationships? If they... Read More

Everyone's a Critic

The media blather about the "unexpected setbacks" to the coalition's war plan has blown up into full-scale criticism of the plan. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has decried its "incoherence". Twice-disgraced television reporter Peter Arnett called it a "fail Read More

Venice's Sinking Ambition

The sirens sound across Venice to warn us that the increasing problem of acqua alta (high water) is forecast. Out go the raised planks to walk above the floods and on go the Wellington boots. But Project Mose to... Read More

Unilateral and Right

When the war in Iraq ends, a renewed clamor for the United States to back harsh restrictions on carbon-dioxide emissions will begin. The reasons are obvious. Environmentalists, politicians and editorialists in the U.S. will complain that, if only the Bush... Read More

When Ideologies Bleed

It is sometimes suggested that "you can't kill an idea." But actually some ideas can be killed-literally, on the battlefield. In particular, ideologies that glorify military conflict tend to fare poorly after their exponents suffer crushing military defeat. And thi Read More

Apples and Arnetts

Remember Afghanistan? Just one week after the U.S. began fighting the Taliban New York Times reporter R.W. Johnny Apple compared the situation to Vietnam, just as he did during the 1991 Gulf War, and warned of a quagmire to... Read More

French Freeze

What if our diplomatic fight intensifies and the U.S. and France go to cold war? Some in France seem to consider President Bush a greater threat than Saddam Hussein. France's diplomatic schemes and pressuring of Turkey to bar U.S. ground... Read More

Battle-Softened Foe

"God and country, baby! That's why were doin' this! And we're gonna' win!" I hope you saw that guy in a tank helmet on Fox News, pumped with adrenaline, standing atop his turret after a skirmish Monday. It was one... Read More

China's Drug Abuse

As if people weren't scared enough by war with Iraq, the recent prospect of a killer virus now jetting around the world has heightened fears of global disasters. Cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) were first detected in China.... Read More

Another Coalition Enemy

The war in Iraq is no cakewalk. The Coalition of the Willing faces tenacious opposition, systematic violations of the rules of war, and a harsh environment. Less obvious is that they are also hampered by a decade of destructive, radical... Read More

Strategic Clarity

Let's get a grip here. The nattering nabobs of negativism notwithstanding, the U.S. is winning a military victory in Iraq. American high-tech is proving itself yet again, performing even more miraculously in Operation Iraqi Freedom (someday to be known as... Read More

Pox Potential

It has only been a little over two weeks since SARS, the Asian "mystery pneumonia" burst onto the world scene, yet already so much has changed. The causative agent is now believed to be an especially virulent form of a... Read More

Beyond 'Us and Them'

War is a time of disillusionment; and the Iraq War is proving to be no exception. But to expect war to confirm our expectations of it, and of our enemy, is to misunderstand the nature of war. War is... Read More

Good Knight

While the war in Iraq is far from over, the fog of uncertainty that obscured the view of what's ahead is lifting. The future is never crystal clear, but, as I pointed out last month, there's a big difference between... Read More

Regulatory Mousetraps

Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door, especially if you've patented that mousetrap. Or, build and patent a mousetrap that isn't necessarily better but is the only one that complies with some new... Read More

Engineering Children

On a recent visit to the European Parliament building in Brussels, a tour guide offered me his own perspective on EU enlargement. "Imagine, Estonian -spoken by less than one million people - will become an official language." Illustrating the impact... Read More

Direct Hit

We've all seen the pictures. A dim, shadowy rectangle described as an Iraqi tank sits in the middle of the grainy screen. A blip streaks diagonally across and then a white blossom of fire and smoke fills the picture. Tank... Read More

TCS Daily Archives