TCS Daily : April 2007 Archives

Security, Inequality and the Entrepreneurial Imperative

Sens. Charles Schumer and James Webb have done the country a favor. They recently commissioned an economic report to determine the extent to which workers' incomes vary from year to year, and whether or not that variability has been rising... Read More

18 Doughty Street: Puts All The Pieces Together

In early 2006, when I wrote "Will Video Kill The Blogosphere Star?" for TCS Daily, television and the Internet were merely good friends out on their first date. But a few hours of watching 18 Doughty Street shows how far... Read More

The Dollar, the British Pound, and Inflation

The British pound rose above $2 this week, its highest level since 1981. Despite the pound's strength, the U.K.'s Retail Price Index (RPI) jumped to 4.8 percent, and its Consumer Price Index (CPI) reached a 10-year high of 3.1 percent;... Read More

Should the Depression Have Been So Depressing?

[In 1937] Just after Christmas, Harold Ickes gave a radio speech assailing America's wealthy, charging that sixty families who ran the nation were on strike against the rest of the country...Those families, Ickes said, were demanding that government give... Read More

One-Wheel Wonder

Somewhere in ancient China, possibly in the 1st century B.C., a wagon or a horse cart carrying supplies in a military column was smashed to pieces in an accident. A soldier moving the damaged wagon out of the way... Read More

The IMF as Global Economic Cheerleader

The International Monetary Fund's recent Spring Meetings confirmed yet again how far the IMF has strayed from its original mandate as guardian of the international financial system. For far from substantively addressing the present risks of a disorderly unwinding o Read More

Soda Jerks, Pop Tarts and Coke Heads: The Choices of a Purple Generation

Ever since the 2000 elections, Americans have been fascinated by maps showing the split of this country into two competing camps: Republican Red America and Democratic Blue America. Especially when viewed through the lens of the winner-take-all state-by-state elec Read More

Jumping Through WHOPES to Control Malaria

Malaria kills more African kids than any other disease. April 25 marks Africa Malaria Day to raise public awareness of malaria, commemorate lives lost, and gauge progress against the disease. Many African countries are developing indoor residual spraying programs, Read More

The Black Reagan?

The news that Barack Obama has nearly matched Hillary Clinton dollar-for-dollar in campaign fundraising race puts to rest any lingering doubt on whether the man is a serious presidential contender. More impressively, Obama's campaign chest rivals Hillary despite ra Read More

The Angel Is in the Details

Twenty years ago, then-FDA Commissioner Frank Young and I began a Wall Street Journal op-ed thus: "Defining the terms 'biotechnology' and 'genetic engineering' isn't an easy task, since the terms don't represent natural groupings of processes or products. They... Read More

Despotic Populism Is On the March

I am fascinated by the similarities between Russia and Latin America. The latest wave of repression against critics of President Vladimir Putin in Russia and the victory obtained by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa in their recent referendum, which provides a... Read More

Paul Krugman's Illuminating Smear: How the Right and the Libertarians Diverged

Paul Krugman was recently called on to smear the recently deceased economist and libertarian polemicist Milton Friedman in the pages of the New York Review of Books. Among the bill of particulars was that Friedman's policy-commenter career began "under... Read More

The Lego-fication of Heavy Industry

President Bush recently reiterated his opposition to mandatory caps on greenhouse gases. He argued that unless rapidly rising economies such as China and India also agree to caps, then any steps the US takes are in vain. "Unless there... Read More

'Only in America'? Gunning Down a Claim

In response to the horrible mass shooting at Virginia Tech on Monday, overseas leaders as well as many Americans have condemned the "gun culture" of the United States. Perhaps these overseas leaders and American citizens would be less hard... Read More

It's Not the Uninsured, Stupid

Monday marks the beginning of "Cover the Uninsured Week." Funded by a conglomeration of unions, corporations, and foundations, the goal of this campaign is to provide health insurance to all of the estimated 47 million Americans (UPDATE: 45 million according... Read More

Mourning in America

One might have thought, in the wake of the worst shooting incident in American history, that we would have paused for sober reflection and sincere mourning. But no sooner had the smoke cleared from Virginia Tech's Norris Hall than the... Read More

India: Patently Wrong

DELHI -- While many Indians are still upset by their countrymen's premature departure from the Cricket World Cup, those interested in Indian prosperity should be even more upset by the equally recent departure of the head of a technical committee... Read More

Ismail Ax: The Shooter Was Another 'Son of Sacrifice'

First it was Johnny Muhammad, now it was Cho Sueng Hui aka Ismail Ax. Precisely how many mass shooters have to turn out to have adopted Muslim names before we get it? Islam has become the tribe of choice of... Read More

Politics, Decision Theory and Contradictory Complaints

"...the tales of woe and wrongdoing are blurring together -- at times in almost contradictory fashion, as when Mahar laments the excess of care, then, with whiplash-speed, segues into a condemnation of withholding treatments." -- Ezra Klein, in an... Read More

A Private War on Poverty: Peer-to-Peer Development

President Bush's recent creation of the United States Africa Command, or AFRICOM, underscores the region's growing impact on U.S. national security. Africa's newfound strategic significance rests on the twin pillars of energy and terrorism. First, the continent al Read More

Va. Tech Massacre: A Hellishly Bent Soul

Evil is unspectacular and always human and shares our bed and eats at our own table. -- W. H. Auden We are now enduring the endless outpouring of words from those trying to "come to grips" with what happened... Read More

April Fools for Highly Skilled Workers

Because April 1 was a Sunday, the day exposing the foolishness that is U.S. immigration policy fell on April 2 this year. This is the day when employers are allowed to begin filing petitions with the U.S. Citizen and... Read More

You Might Be Paying Too Much for Your Mutual Fund; We Figured Out Why

Editor's note: One curious feature of today's financial markets involves the cost of mutual funds. While all the normal indicators of competition are present in the mutual fund industry, prices have not converged downward toward a common marginal cost.... Read More

Rebirth of the Foreign Correspondent

From Time magazine's declaration that "you" were the person of the year in 2006, to Frontline's recent airing of "News War," a four-part series examining the changing news landscape, the Internet's paradigm-shifting effect on the media has begun to... Read More

Mises vs. Imus

Pretend for a moment that you are a hard-core Leftie. I tell you a story in which a wealthy and powerful middle-aged white man insults several young black girls. His fate is to be determined by the hierarchy of... Read More

Time to Double Down on Online Gambling

Amid the recent hullabaloo over the United States' trade agreement with South Korea, the unveiling of the Democrats' plans for trade policy, and new legal cases on intellectual property rights and countervailing duties on goods from China, another important... Read More

Underselling Capitalism

In a recent Los Angeles Times op-ed, "Overselling Capitalism," University of Maryland Professor Benjamin Barber wrote of the "crisis" in the capitalist mindset, where the "'Protestant ethos' of hard work and deferred gratification has been replaced by an infantilis Read More

'A Powerfully Corrosive Internal Culture'

Tell me if you've heard this one before: prominent journalist with a quarter century experience at a nationwide broadcasting network leaves said network to write tell-all book exposing its liberal bias. Said journalist remains on cordial terms with many of... Read More

Pleading for Trade

There was a time when the United States seemed to bully Latin Americans into opening their doors to U.S. capitalism. The United Fruit Co., in the eyes of many Latin Americans, was the symbol of that era. What a... Read More

How Offensive Is Missile Defense?

The United States government's intelligence community believes that by 2015 Iran will have developed an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of striking the U.S. homeland. Should Iran's nuclear program continue apace, it might also have a nuclear war Read More

Nairobi's Plastic Bags are Barking

Sometime symptoms are confused with the disease that causes them. Litter is one such symptom often confused with an economic disease. Consider the scattered plastic bags around Nairobi, that, according to the New York Times, are a curse caused... Read More

Why Budgeting is a Faith-Based Initiative

"Create a culture that promotes a common identity, innovation, mutual respect, accountability and teamwork to achieve efficiencies, effectiveness and operational synergies." This verbiage came from: a). A buzz phrase generator developed by a member of the Public H Read More

Rebel with a Cause: The Optimistic Scientist

Editor's note: Freeman Dyson is professor emeritus of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of... Read More

Liberals and Conservatives Catch the Regulatory Bug

Over the last 30 years advances in media and communications such as cell phones, 500 channels of television, thousands of new talk radio programs, and the Internet have expanded personal freedom and increased access to information. But these expansions... Read More

Health to Pay

As health care costs continue to rise, the calls for a single-payer system have become increasingly vociferous. Recent polls have even suggested that many Americans are receptive to the idea. But the arguments from single-payer advocates are riddled with... Read More

Knut Rock Me

I wish I could have been a fly on the wall at the meeting where the German environmentalists declared the fatwa against the baby polar bear. "So, Helmut, what was wrong with my 'Kick a Puppy to Eliminate Air... Read More

A Beautiful Story

They said God did not hate us, after all,They said we had to suffer to be free,They said our sins were from a happy fall,And if it isn't true, it ought to be. In all the universes there could... Read More

Newsflash: Politics Do Exist in Federal Prosecutions

It seems as though congressional Democrats and their allies in the media are having a Claude Rains moment: like Casablanca's immortal Captain Renault, they purport to be "shocked - shocked!" to discover that our federal justice system contains an... Read More

Supreme Court Goes Nuclear

Who are the big winners and losers in Monday's monumental Supreme Court ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA? A sharply divided 5-4 decision found that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse... Read More

Water Torture

The government is telling me when I can water my lawn and wash my car. I'm used to the government telling me that I shouldn't hold up liquor stores, or kill people because they looked at me the wrong... Read More

Bad Science Makes Bad Law

In 1897 the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 246, a measure that redefined the calculation of the value of pi, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Fortunately, the Senate scuttled it.... Read More

Castro's Enemy: The Ethanol Alliance

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's visit to Camp David last weekend was meant to seal what is being dubbed as "the ethanol alliance'' between the United States and the South American giant. I have no idea whether... Read More

Back to Bulb Basics

The incandescent light bulb, it appears, is on the way out, and everyone is going to save a lot of money as a result. I'm telling you, it's not worth it. Here's my disclaimer. My great grandfather, Charles Stilwell,... Read More

The Political Right's Separation Anxiety

The libertarian-conservative alliance is undergoing significant strain of late. Some libertarians and American liberals are arguing for attempts to forge a new coalition. "Liberaltarian" is the clunky title of the proposed new coalition. In Britain such libertaria Read More

The Big Business of Blocking Entry

Panelists on the program Fox News Sunday recently discussed Al Gore's March 21 global warming "planetary emergency" address to Congress, in which Gore urged a freeze on carbon dioxide emissions. At the end of the news summary, a discussion... Read More

Defeating Malaria with both High- and Low-Tech

O death, where is thy sting? Far too often it comes at the end of a mosquito's proboscis. The worst mosquito-borne disease, malaria, infects about 400 million people worldwide each year (90 percent in sub-Saharan Africa) and kills about... Read More

What Blackstone Tells Us About the Future

While still serving as Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan told the House Budget Committee that, "As a nation, we may have already made promises to coming generations of retirees that we will be unable to fulfill." That the federal government... Read More

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