TCS Daily : September 2003 Archives

Air Force One Lands At The Reagan Library

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum in Simi Valley California hosts a 3.5 by ten foot segment of the Berlin Wall. If all goes according to schedule, in mid-2004 it will open a pavilion that houses the Air Force... Read More

Publius vs. Demos

"I just want you to know that I have a part for you in 'Terminator 4.'"   California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger lobbed that smiling shell at columnist Arianna Huffington during this week's five-way recall candidate debate. But it is... Read More

Food Taster for the King

Like millions of my fellow Americans, I've watched my 401K tank over the last few years to the point where my thoughts of retirement focus on finding a nice shack in a warm third world country where I can spend... Read More

Is Arnold Good for Silicon Valley?

The political theater produced by California's recall election is fitting given that one of the serious contenders to replace Governor Gray Davis is a Hollywood mega-star. Arnold Schwarzenegger is famous for hi-tech movies such as "Terminator" and "Total Recall," b Read More

Running Away From Safety

Remember Jim Fixx? Not many people do, and that's a shame. Fixx was a jogging guru who ran 60 miles a week. He popularized the sport of running, and his "The Complete Book of Running" became a best seller. Thanks... Read More

A Man Called Hoop

Just outside Brussels lies a village called Tervuren. It's a charming place, with parks, ponds and a main square lined with pleasant cafés. Mention its name, and most people in Brussels will give you a knowing smile. But with Jaap... Read More

Making a Federal Case Out of It

To much acclaim, President Bush recently signed the Prison Rape Elimination Act, which will "call for the gathering of national statistics about the problem; the development of guidelines for states about how to address prisoner rape; the creation of a... Read More

Bleeding-Heart Libertarianism

"I am a bleeding heart libertarian. Because I'm a nice guy and want to address society's problems and I want disadvantaged people to become better advantaged. By instincts and experience I believe that government seldom delivers the benefits the "bleeding... Read More

Revisiting "The New Utopians"

As I was reading, enjoying -- but also strongly disagreeing with -- Yuval Levin's serious-minded essay, "Science, Politics, and the New Utopians," posted recently on TCS, I found myself scribbling comments in the margin of my printout. When I was... Read More

The Kids Stay in the Picture

The past three years have been tough on the Under 30 crowd, especially that subset of Internet-savvy whiz kids who taught America to buy books at Amazon, find information on Yahoo, and trade collectibles on eBay. Once acclaimed as the... Read More

The Un-Education of Lee Harris

You often hear about men who are self-taught, some of whom achieve quite staggering degrees of erudition through their intense personal dedication to learning. But seldom do you hear about men who are self-untaught; and this is why I want... Read More

The Wright Stuff

"Conceived by genius. Achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith." -- Inscription on the Wright Brothers monument at Kitty Hawk, N.C. Somewhere you've probably seen the old photos. The two men are wearing bowler hats and sack suits and celluloid... Read More

Go Tell It on the Mountain

"Inasmuch as one is prominent in power, just as much one ought to be prominent in virtue." -- Photius, Letter to Michael, Prince of Bulgaria.   There must be an unwritten law which holds that, as programs for universal government... Read More

Are Small Particles Such a Big Problem?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, small particles in the air pose the greatest threat that it or any other regulatory agency is currently addressing. A host of major rules currently control this pollutant and many more are in the... Read More

Un-bear-able Relationship

Poland's leading politicians rush to President Bush's side, defending his Iraq policy with determination matched by no one but the U.K.'s Tony Blair. Their reward: Thanks, and the privilege of committing thousands of their troops to duty in Iraq.  ... Read More

The Iraq -- Al Qaeda Connections

Every day it seems another American soldier is killed in Iraq. These grim statistics have become a favorite of network news anchors and political chat show hosts. Nevermind that they mix deaths from accidents with actual battlefield casualties; or that... Read More

Swedish Sense

By saying "No" to the euro, whether for good or bad reasons, the Swedes have done a great favor for themselves and other Europeans. As Professor Jean-Jacques Rosa demonstrated in his book The European Error, the euro is economic nonsense... Read More

South Park in the Blue States

"I feel the people of California have been punished enough. From the time they get up in the morning and flush the toilet, they're taxed. When they go get a coffee, they're taxed. When they get in their car, they're... Read More

Two Tax Myths

The vacation season is past. The days are getting shorter. The new school year looms interminable. No more barbeques, ice cream, and beer. Dieting can be postponed no more. Work beckons rudely, and the boss -- tan, rested, ready --... Read More

Needed: A U.S. Foreign Legion

The French have got one thing right: their Foreign Legion. Of course unlike France, America doesn't need to hire foreigners to fight for us. What the U.S. should do, however, is create a foreign legion to take on non-combat military... Read More

The Game Theory of Nuclear Proliferation

Today's newspapers are filled with tales of nuclear proliferation. North Korea claims to have at least one nuclear weapon and Iran appears to be not far behind. More generally, the spread of science soon will put nuclear weapons within the... Read More

Living in the Delta

Living -- working and aging -- has changed. You can't expect to shop at the same store for the same products all of your life. You can't expect to do the same thing for the same company all of your... Read More

Amazing Gracie

Hi, my name is Nina, and I'm a planner. But I don't really want to join Planners Anonymous, because planning doesn't really interfere with my life -- unless you count the mirth and merriment it causes those near and dear... Read More

'Lay Values'?

The European Commission is introducing new precautionary procedures for all chemicals produced in volumes greater than one ton per year. The new regulations are known as REACH, which stands for the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals. They propo Read More

More Scenes From a Mall

Last week's column on Build-a-Bear and the mall experience got me to thinking about malls and their role in modern American society. My sense is that it's a subject that's not getting enough attention.   A couple of years back,... Read More

Making Something Out of Nothing

What shall we put at Ground Zero? For two years, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has been trying to answer that question, with the help of the Port Authority, the Mayor's office, and representatives of every "community group" with three... Read More

Dusty Baker, Philosopher

It pains me to say this, but our society is childish about race and foolish about language. These two embarrassments came together recently when Dusty Baker, the African-American manager of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, made a comment about... Read More

In Defense of Price Gouging

A little more than a month before Hurricane Isabel made landfall, North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley, one of the first governors to plead for federal aid to clean up after the storm, signed a bill that outlaws price gouging during... Read More

Greetings From Camp Arkansas

Editor's note: What follows is an email sent from Jay Hallen to his friends and family back in the United States. Hallen recently arrived in Baghdad and is working for the Coalition Provisional Authority on its efforts to get the... Read More

'Tater Technology

  French (v. tr.) To cut into thin strips before cooking. -- American Heritage Dictionary My first memory of French fries is associated with the Blue Ridge Restaurant. It was a 24-hour place on Route 30, just west of Ligonier,... Read More

The UN Party vs. The US Party?

"[The Bush Administration] has rejected a long list of multilaterally negotiated agreements: the comprehensive test ban, the Kyoto treaty, the Law of the Sea Treaty, the Biological Warfare Convention Protocol, the International Criminal Court, the Landmine conventi Read More

The Bomb Maker

In the opening decades of the 20th century, Europe created the revolutionary quantum physics, the theory of the atom and its interaction with light, a theory that overturned the 19th century's mechanistic view of the cosmos. In Copenhagen one of... Read More

An Open Letter to the Party of Wilson and Roosevelt

A lot of liberals and moderates are vexed with a troubling question: In the age of terrorism, is it still safe to support the Democratic Party? The fact that Howard Dean, darling of the anti-war activists, is the front-runner in... Read More

The "Rights" of Future Generations

During the 1990s, "the greenhouse effect" became a sinister phrase. According to radical environmentalists, "excessive" economic growth is pushing up the earth's average temperature. They argue that this will determine a radical change in humanity's current situati Read More

Are We All "Damn Fools"?

The accomplished British humorous songwriters Flanders and Swann (Donald Swann put JRR Tolkien's various Middle Earth songs to music for him) used to disparage the song 'There'll always be an England' by complaining, "There'll always be a North Pole, provided... Read More


When it comes to non-compliance with EU rules or international law there are two kinds of perpetrators. The first type is subject to legislative and administrative problems resulting from organizational, legal, technical and financial factors. The second one sees n Read More

War and Wishful Thinking

The war metaphor is the basis of the Bush administration's reference to Iraq as the new front in the war on terrorism. It is the image invoked in Bill O'Reilly's assertion that we are currently in the midst of World... Read More

The Non-Innovator's Dilemma

The Gehman Report on the Columbia disaster was recently released, and it had appropriately harsh criticism of NASA's management, and in particular, its "culture." Most observers lauded the report, but there have been a few dissenters (including yours truly, at... Read More

General Clark and Anybody But Dean

It is an article of faith among professional politicians that a divisive primary battle can be fatal to a successful general election campaign. Richard Nixon once told a bewildered group of visitors to his Saddle River Elba that Rep. John... Read More

The Zen of Feedback

"Accuse the other party of your worst faults. Insist that you are an avatar of the Truth and that the other person is Falsehood incarnate" --Joel GAzis-SAx, Rules for Flame Wars   I like receiving feedback on my TCS essays,... Read More

Wes Clark's Military

Turn on Fox News, and you'd think America's technology-driven military sprung from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's head, fully formed.   But many of the high-tech hallmarks of the American campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq -- Predator drones and satellite- Read More

What Might Trip Up the WTO

Although I have strenuously argued in favor of completing the Doha round of World Trade Organization talks, there is a nagging concern I have about the WTO's future direction. For this I blame John Opel and Edmund Pratt.   In... Read More

What Would Sun Tzu Do?

The place of battle must not be made known to the enemy. If it is not known, then the enemy must prepare to defend many places. - Sun Tzu: The Principles of Warfare, Chapter Six: Weakness and Strength   The... Read More

The Monster Awakens

CANCUN, Mexico -- If international lawyers can't turn human rights law into the next launching pad for billion-dollar lawsuits, it won't be for lack of trying. Even now, human rights activists are sloughing off their old preoccupation with protesting and... Read More

A Marriage of Inconvenience

This week, the last of the invited Central and Eastern European countries decide whether to join the European Union. So far, all of the incoming states chose to join the EU and thus to benefit from reduced trade barriers, increased... Read More

Science, Politics, and the New Utopians

In a thoughtful recent article on TCS, Eugene Miller offered a map of the ongoing technology debates, dividing participants past and present into their differing views regarding the harms and benefits of technology, and the need for and possible efficacy... Read More

Who's Distracted?

A favorite refrain of critics of the decision to go to war in Iraq is that the war distracted from the general war on terrorism, and on the need to defeat al Qaeda. Most of the candidates for the Democratic... Read More

Powerful Medicine

Transplants of a variety of human tissues -- among them cartilage, tendon and bone -- have become big business. Increasingly, they are being used to replace or reconstruct injured or aging body parts. Procedures such as the insertion of cartilage... Read More

Seizing the Pre-Pubescent Pirates

"We really look at it as stealing, because to us, it's black and white. Either you pay for it or you don't."                           -- Nelly, Read More

A Mayor Mistake

Editor's note: After Newton, Mass., Mayor David Cohen and Worcester, Mass., Mayor Timothy P. Murray published an op-ed in the Sept. 1 Boston Globe calling upon the Bay State to put in place a climate action plan to combat global... Read More

Build-a-Bear Basics

My daughter had her birthday recently, and during her party I experienced what I'll call a Virginia Postrel moment. The party was at Build-a-Bear, a place that I thought was sure to go out of business when it first... Read More

Bear and Camel Rapprochement

Geopolitical tectonic plates have shifted as the de-facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Abdullah, completed his recent visit to Russia.   No longer sure of its prior close relationship with Washington, the Saudi monarchy is reaching out to... Read More

Against Neo-Carterism

According to the tenets of the Bush Doctrine, the Bush administration has one, and only one, legitimate goal to pursue in Iraq: it must make Iraq less likely to be a source of catastrophic terror against the United States than... Read More

'What WTO?'

Before Cancun, APEC Ministers avowed in Thailand in May that a successful result from Cancun was essential. At Cancun they stood by as about 100 countries whose share of world trade might reach five percent on a sunny day... Read More

Italy's Greenouts

This June's blackouts in Italy may not have been as newsworthy as those in the US and the UK, but they were just as serious for those Italians stuck in lifts and dark Alpine road tunnels. What difference switching... Read More

Artists Without Pier

Two or three times a week my wife and I drive down the West Side highway to the Lincoln Tunnel for a brief sojourn in New Jersey, often as not to visit one of their super-dos to buy lower-taxed produce.... Read More

Kentucky on Two Wheels

Last weekend I was in Harrodsburg, Ky., joining a couple hundred fellow bicyclists of all ages as we rode 120 miles through the hilly Kentucky countryside in the annual Bike Trek to Shakertown. This charity ride, sponsored by the American... Read More

He Has Returned

General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) was one of the greatest -- and arguably the greatest -- military leaders ever produced by the United States. He graduated first in his West Point class of 1903, rose to the rank of brigadier general... Read More

A Flood of Information

During the July 1997 flooding of the Oder River, tens of thousands were evacuated and about 100 died in Poland and the Czech Republic (Figure 1). In August 2002, severe flooding of the Elbe River in central Europe also took... Read More

Hurricane Madness Hits WTO

CANCUN, Mexico -- Bad weather drives people crazy. It's hurricane season in the Caribbean and the Mexican resort of Cancun is in the zone. This must explain the crazy behavior here this week, because nothing else does.   First,... Read More

Slow Roasted

Our story thus far: A group of early childcare activists teamed up with local daycare providers to gather signatures to put the so-called latte levy on the ballot in Seattle. So-called because they wanted to add a surcharge of... Read More

Groucho's Maxim

CANCUN, Mexico -- Groucho Marx's quip "Any club that would accept me as a member is not worth joining" showed he also understood the psychology of exclusion and the power of not craving it. These principles governed the behavior... Read More

The World's Nicest Holding Pen

"Because maybe college isn't the be-all and end-all that parents make it out to be. You know, I mean, maybe once you get past the rhetoric of all these great books that nobody reads, college is basically just a holding... Read More

Can Americans Make Champagne?

CANCUN, Mexico -- Is American champagne as good as French champagne? The traditionalists of all nations will side with the French and no doubt there are connoisseurs on the other side of the fence. But this question may not... Read More

'We Have All Lost'

CANCUN, Mexico -- "We would have gained; all of us. We have lost; all of us."   These are the words of the EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy speaking in his press conference after the collapse of the WTO Ministerial... Read More

The Green-Gray Alliance

Editor's note: This article is the second of two parts.CANCUN, Mexico -- Could the Greens take over the World Trade Organization -- by using concepts from the late 20th century and tactics from the early 20th century?   "Sustainable... Read More

U.S. Buckles to Pressure?

CANCUN, Mexico -- As the World Trade Organization (WTO) continues its biennial Ministerial talks here, the European Union unveiled a startling new condition for future trade agreements: the inclusion of "Sustainable Impact Assessments" (SIA), a green analysis of p Read More

Beware the World Aid Organisation

CANCUN, Mexico -- Three days into the WTO Ministerial meeting in Cancun it is still unclear if any progress will be made in liberalising global trade in agriculture. Developing countries seem to be well coordinated at this meeting and... Read More

Doth Protest Too Much?

CANCUN, Mexico -- As an academic who has attended countless pointy-headed conferences, I feel quite at home at the WTO meeting.  There is no official head count, but I would wager that social scientists outnumber journalists and politicians at... Read More

Precaution Into Law

Editor's Note: This is the first of a two-part series.     CANCUN, Mexico -- September 11 will be remembered for many things, of course, but something that happened on 9/11/03 will also be remembered. The world may mourn... Read More

Policymaking and Protectionism

CANCUN, Mexico -- Tariffs and non-tariff barriers (NTBs) on industrial products had historically been the focus of GATT negotiations. In today's Cancun jargon, these are market access negotiations on non-agricultural products. At the plenary session to the Fifth M Read More

What China Is Doing

With all the difficulties facing U.S. forces in Iraq, it's easy to forget that the challenges there are modest compared to those a big military power could throw in the American direction. Yet a little-noticed recent report by the... Read More

Postcards From Cancun

CANCUN, Mexico -- Just for the record, according to the affable Riverwind, "provocateurs" were responsible for the infamous calamity of the Seattle protests in 1999. They subversively coerced the police to gas activists. Now, as the World Trade Organization's... Read More

Biopirates of the Caribbean

CANCUN, Mexico -- 'Indian wheat must not be patentable,' said arch-protectionist and guru to the political left, Vandana Shiva, of the Indian Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology. In fact she said that no living organisms should be... Read More

Tree Haze and Cool Days?

Record temperatures in Europe have the greenhouse crusade whipped-up in a frenzy about global warming. As Europeans and North Americans leave their hot, crazy cities and seek some cooler weather in the lazy countryside, they encounter the hazy days... Read More

Let's Make a Deal

CANCUN, Mexico - As the "extremely dangerous" Hurricane Isabel advances toward the Yucatan from the Western Atlantic, delegates from 146 countries are racing to finish work at this resort town on a once-in-a-generation opportunity to slash subsidies and open up... Read More

Euro Nightmare

The tragic murder of Sweden's foreign minister Anna Lindh, by a still unknown assailant in central Stockholm, has wreaked havoc on the debate leading up to this weekend's vote on whether the country will join the euro.   Despite... Read More

Asia Matters Most

CANCUN, Mexico -- Bringing China into the global market economy is the single most important challenge facing the global economy and the most important challenge facing the WTO. It is more important than reform of world agricultural markets.  ... Read More

Second Thoughts

On the second anniversary of 9/11, it is natural to ask the question, Are we safer now than we were two year ago? And no doubt, both today and in the days following, there will be any number of... Read More

Europe's Good Idea

CANCUN, Mexico --While the journalists covering the WTO have focused on the sniping of delegates, they have missed one of the major stories of this meeting. Such an oversight is understandable, since few covering the event are trained in... Read More

'I'm Mo Green!'

CANCUN, Mexico -- "I'm Mo Green!" bellowed the casino owner, suggesting that his uninvited but insistent suitor Michael Corleone appreciate their relative stations in the scheme of Las Vegas, one of many oft imitated moments from the movie in... Read More

Required Viewing

They are images that make the heart heavy, and tear at the soul. For days and weeks after Sept. 11, the public was saturated with the video of hijacked airliners spearing themselves into the World Trade Center Towers. And... Read More

Undone Deal?

CANCUN, Mexico -- 'IT IS DONE!', barked a smiling Claude Burkey, a negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative, yesterday at the World Trade Organisation meeting in Cancun. Mr Burkey's delight was over last week's agreement on changes to the... Read More


I still remember the day my mother gave me the keys to her little bronze Dodge Dart and said with tears in her eyes that she wouldn't be driving anymore. She knew it was a precious freedom she was giving... Read More

Fair Trade? For Whom?

Now that the TRIPS and access to drugs issue has been resolved (for the time being), the make or break issue at the WTO meeting in Cancun is agriculture. Rich country governments are coming under greater pressure to reduce... Read More

Cottage Industry and Societal Change

Last week, I wrote about the way changes in technology are sparking a return to "cottage industry," with all sorts of work that used to be done in offices returning to people's homes -- the traditional place for most... Read More

A Blow to the Labour Mafia

The best of Constitutions, invariably, are not colourless; they tend to take on hues through government policies and judicial interpretations. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, considered the father of the Indian Constitution, created a liberal document, one that did not im Read More

Protesters Should Love WTO

With the WTO meeting this week, the anarchists, statists and utopians who make up the anti-globalization movement are drawing up their battle plans for the next stage in their fight against capitalist world domination. But as they gather in the... Read More

A Growing 'Eurolateralism'

CANCUN, Mexico -- "Eurolateralism." Americans, weary of being called unilateralists, might be amused to know that others get tagged with the "U-word," too. And the Europeans really deserve to be called unilateralists. That became clear to me on Tuesday, the... Read More

Roll Tide!

On Tuesday, Alabama voters sent Governor Bob Riley's record tax hike to a crushing defeat at the polls, after Riley had labored for months to sell the measure. Riley, a Republican, and his cronies couldn't understand why the $1.2 billion... Read More

It's Over... For Now

One of the great successes of Gro Harlem Brundtland's reign at the World Health Organisation was her ability to drive health concerns up the international policy agenda. While every policy issue has been eclipsed by security concerns since September 11th... Read More

Confusing a Bargain and a Good Deal

Sometimes a bargain isn't a good deal. That is what health ministers in the European Union are discovering as they review pharmaceutical pricing in their countries. A careful study of the continent's price controls disclosed that Europeans might be... Read More

Lateral Moves

The Fifth WTO Ministerial is being held in Cancun. Anything done through the WTO (or through its forerunner, GATT) represents multilateral liberalization. In contrast, free trade agreements (FTAs) represent less-than-multilateral liberalization. Sometimes, they ar Read More

Telephonic Youth

A survey of Italian children between the ages of nine and ten found that, incredibly, 56 percent owned cell phones. This was the finding of a study published on 8 July 2003, coordinated by Francesco Pira, a lecturer at... Read More

What's New About Global Trade

As the Doha round of World Trade Organization talks creeps towards its nominal halfway point in Cancun this month, some questions naturally arise. To paraphrase one of the four questions from Passover: "What makes this round of trade talks different... Read More

Returning to the Central Question

"Did Saddam Hussein have weapons of mass destruction?"   This question currently acts as a litmus test to distinguish between those who support the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq and those who condemn it.   President Bush's supporters argue that.. Read More

A Tale of Turbulence

December 2003 marks the centenary of the first flight of the Kitty Hawk, when the Wright brothers demonstrated that an object heavier than air could fly. While this centennial is being celebrated around the world, in India, there appears... Read More

Is Nepal a Victim?

There are daily reports in the media about Nepal's travails in dealing with its neighbors.  China forces Nepal to hand over Tibetan refugees.  The U.S. gets upset and retaliates by withdrawing a bill that would have given duty-free access in... Read More

Rummy's Critics Misfire

Should Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld be called, instead, "The Secretary of Stubbornness"? Is he "mulish"? Is he "ridiculous"?   Who said those critical words? Howard Dean? Jacques Chirac? Non, those snipes came from The Weekly Standard, from Tom... Read More

Death By Taxes

In March 2000, EU leaders, assembled in Lisbon, outlined an ambition and set a target for the European Union: to create the most competitive economy in the world by 2010. Yet, three years later, the EU has not made much... Read More

Water Wars

One of the less well-known attacks on capitalism and trade that can be expected at the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Meeting in Cancun, Mexico will be on water privatisation.  A related concern and inevitable complaint will be directed against... Read More

'Views of a Changing World'

The World Trade Organization meets this week in Cancun, Mexico, and any time any organization with freer trade ambitions calls a high-profile get-together, you can expect the usual cadre of green-haired activists, 10-foot puppets, spontaneous drum bursts, and ferve Read More

The President's Macroeconomic Report Card

"...the Bush fiscal policy is the worst policy in over 200 years."-- George Akerlof   With school starting up again, my mind is on grading. I am going to argue that on macroeconomic policy, President Bush deserves a B+ or... Read More

To Secure the Blessings of Liberty

President George W. Bush righteously confronted France's Jacques Chirac and Germany's Gerhard Schroeder on Iraq earlier this year. But is the president equally firm in his defense of free trade? Is this administration willing to support the struggle for survival... Read More

Don't Gut GATS

A casual observer of the WTO negotiations could be forgiven for thinking that the only things being discussed are agriculture and access to drugs. These are of course important issues, but a less well-known WTO agreement, the General Agreement on... Read More

Behold the Mothership

The growing role of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) in combat has given rise to expectations -- both hopes and fears -- that UAVs increasingly will take over functions from fighter jets and their pilots. It has been thought that... Read More

No Bones About It

When Manchester Museum recently handed four Aboriginal skulls over to a delegation of Aborigines, there were smiles all around. The museum said it was pleased to be making amends for its past; tribal leaders were elated to be giving... Read More

First, Do No Harm

Americans are assuming a major risk buying prescription drugs from so-called drug stores over the Internet. Canada, where government mandated price controls lower drug costs, constitutes the bulk of these sales. Still, Americans are buying record quantity drugs via Read More

Governors and Greens Au Groton

Early this month the Maine Public Policy Institute is sending me down to the New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers confab at the Mystic Marriott in Groton, Connecticut to test the state policy network motto: ideas have consequences.   I'm carrying... Read More

Car Country

You heard the news last week, didn't you? We Americans, who have been a car-driving, car-owning and car-loving nation for about a century, have now reached an inevitable milestone. American households now have more vehicles than licensed drivers. Yup. According... Read More

Dictators and Double Standards Redux

The timing of Mohammed ElBaradei's comments could not have been a more apropos reflection of the misguided mindset of his International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), or its parent, the United Nations. Even as the UN nuclear watchdog confirmed that... Read More

Subsidies and Scoundrels

There is a saying in politics that the last resort of rascals is to wrap themselves in the flag. The challenge to the EU to open food markets at the WTO conference next week at Cancun comes at an... Read More

An Offensive Suggestion

The debate over troop strength in Iraq isn't going to disappear anytime soon, even though the man most knowledgeable on the subject has repeatedly stated it's a red herring. "The number of troops, boots per square inch, is not... Read More

Ireland's Puritans

Irish Deputy Prime Minister Mary Harney once said that Ireland was -- "spiritually" anyway -- closer to Boston than Berlin. Her point was, if Europe and the U.S. are divided by America's supposedly unrestrained capitalism and Europe's "more compassionate"... Read More

A New Road to Serfdom?

Recently, I was invited by the Ludwig von Mises Institute Europe to address an audience on what Friedrich von Hayek would have thought about the enlargement of Europe. I decided to reread his classic, The Road to Serfdom. Old... Read More

Stakeholder Blues

How has the economic situation in Germany deteriorated so badly? The most obvious answer is that there is no flexibility, nor a free labor market.   Germany is in fact a "stakeholder society," and this concept has turned out... Read More

Deadly Protection

On my way back from a recent vacation, I passed by three big sugar mills. There is nothing strange with that -- except for the fact that I spent the vacation in southern Sweden. That's about as far north... Read More

Manufacturing a Crisis

"30 years from now, instead of growing a tree, cutting down the tree and building this wooden table, we would be able to just place some DNA in some living cells, and grow the table." --Rodney Brooks    ... Read More

Cottage Industry

The Industrial Revolution, we're often told, started back when cottage industry was replaced by factories.  The results were widespread, ramifying throughout society.  Before the Industrial Revolution, artisans worked in or alongside their homes, often w Read More

What's Going to Be the Next World Order?

What's going to be the next world order? Right now, one surveys the globe and sees mostly disorder. But the U.S. has a chance to create a better and more compassionate order next month, at the upcoming meeting of... Read More

Options for the Future

At a recent speech before the National Press Club, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman, William Donaldson, was asked if he agreed with his boss President Bush that employee stock options are not an accounting expense. Donaldson said no, and this... Read More

Electricity Realities

When Bill Baxter, one of three presidentially appointed directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, visited the Asheville, N.C., Citizen Times offices just before the massive Northeast blackout, the paper's executive editor confronted him with something Robert Re Read More

Cure for What Ails EU

Gerhard Schröder, German chancellor, yesterday received a major boost for his reform plans when the government and opposition agreed to slash healthcare costs -- Financial Times, 22 July 2003    Healthcare reform is now coming to continental Europe, as.. Read More

Democrat Duplicity

How many times have you heard a Democrat object to abstinence-only sex-education programs? The objection goes like this: "Teenagers are going to have sex, whether we like it or not, so if we give them only one message -- 'Don't... Read More

Mapping the Debate Over Technology

Technology has been a center of controversy since early modern times, when the program for its development was first laid out. After the Industrial Revolution, as the potency of science based production and engineering became obvious to all, the... Read More

Let Them Drink Cola!

Over 200 years ago, a French queen advised her citizens to eat cake when they were struggling to find bread. The present outcry in India against bottled soft drinks rings an uncannily similar bell. India is not, of course,... Read More

The Business of AIDS Treatment

LUSAKA, Zambia -- As the World Trade Organisation legal experts come to an agreement on drug patents in Geneva, many politicians, media commentators and health professionals are already expecting that this agreement will promote generic AIDS drugs. They claim this. Read More

Putting Power Transmission In Perspective

As the recent blackout in the Northeast has reminded us, we can have all the power generation in the world but without a way to transmit it to the needed areas, it's like trying to push freeway traffic down... Read More

Son et Lumihre Over French Heat Wave

With over 10,000 deaths ascribed in France to the recent European heat wave, the finger-pointing has begun. Many of these fingers are pointing at the French government, others at global warming. Yet when the issue is put in perspective,... Read More

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