TCS Daily : June 2007 Archives

Michael Moore and I Agree! (Sort Of)

First, Mike, I want to thank you for inviting me to the Washington, D.C., premiere of your new movie SiCKO. You invited me even though you knew I was likely to criticize the film's prescription for health care reform. Of... Read More

'What If...'

Given the problems and US casualties in Iraq, polls show a large majority of the American people believe the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Yet, if we imagine what the world would look like today if Saddam Hussein... Read More

The CAFE Paradox

Congress is considering major energy legislation that, among other things, would significantly raise the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards on vehicles for the first time in decades. The Senate passed a bill last week - and the... Read More

How the Mexican Immigration Problem Will Solve Itself

As the debate over illegal immigration from Mexico rages in Washington and across the country, and as the administration's reform bill hangs by a thread, few Americans are aware that this problem will automatically decline and eventually become a vague... Read More

Schizophrenia in the Subprime Sector

Testifying before the House Financial Services committee in April, FDIC chairman Sheila Bair addressed problems in the subprime loan sector by calling out the industry itself; telling the committee, "I think we should hold the servicers' and investors' feet... Read More

What Zoellick Should Do

Robert Zoellick assumes the presidency of the World Bank at what is probably the most challenging moment in the Bank's sixty year history. For not only will Mr. Zoellick need to rebuild the Bank's tarnished credibility and restore its... Read More

'Queen Go to Hell'?

Salman Rushdie was born in Bombay to an upper middle class Muslim family and had a privileged private education at one of England's most renowned prep schools. After graduating from Cambridge University, he spent a couple of years in... Read More

Wonks vs. Revolutionaries: The Biggest Division Within the Democratic Party

"Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois and former Sen. John Edwards of South Carolina all have staked out positions sharply at odds with [documentary film director Michael] Moore's approach. But none of them is... Read More

New War and the Threat to Globalization

Editor's note: TCS contributor James Joyner recently interviewed John Robb of the Global Guerrillas blog on his new book Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization. Robb paints a picture of a resilient... Read More

Sicko Regulations

In his new documentary Sicko, which calls for nationalized health care, Michael Moore shows a montage of ads urging the viewer to "ask your doctor" about various medications, implying they are responsible for over-medicating society. Lucky for patients, not everyon Read More

Pumping Out Bad Policies

With gas prices around $3 a gallon, the Senate last week passed new energy legislation. It will ultimately go to conference with the House to work out differences between the Senate and House bills. But any bill that gets agreed... Read More

Bloomberg's Third Party Problem, and Ours

With the news that he has dropped his Republican affiliation, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg continues to play a public game of flirting with an independent presidential run. This meshes with the years-long speculation that a noted political... Read More

Reforming Our Beliefs Concerning Health Care

"It is not that rulers have been unaware of poor performance. Rather the difficulty of turning economies around is a function of the nature of political markets and, underlying that, the belief systems of the actors." -- Douglass C.... Read More

The Cultural Illiteracy of the Easy Atheists

Best-selling atheist authors are capitalizing on a wave of ignorance and stupidity. The latest offering, God Is Not Great, comes from a bon vivant with a British accent. To be sure, Christian fundamentalists and literalists have given Christopher Hitchens much... Read More

Dumbocracy in America

Editor's note: Bryan Caplan is an economist at George Mason University and the author of an important new book - "The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies." He argues that ordinary voters harbor irrational beliefs... Read More

Uncle Sam: Venture Capitalist

Many members of Congress fancy themselves as venture capitalists. But instead of using their own money, they're using yours. Of the $92 billion spent each year on what is commonly known as "corporate welfare," $27 billion goes to subsidize... Read More

Will a Disruptive Technology Mothball Therapeutic Cloning?

The global grandees of therapeutic cloning recently gathered in sun-soaked Cairns, the gateway to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, for their annual conference. They have serious strategic issues to deal with along with their scientific papers and posters: persuadin Read More

Adaptation and the Economy

"It is adaptive rather than allocative efficiency which is the key to long run growth. Successful political/economic systems have evolved flexible institutional structures that can survive the shocks and changes that are a part of successful evolution. But these.. Read More

Recent Case Demonstrates the Importance of Definition in the Patent Age

The recent Supreme Court decision in AT&T vs. Microsoft will have lasting impact on the international enforceability of intellectual property rights for small and large businesses alike. Though the Supreme Court left the decision on the larger issue of... Read More

Talking with the Taliban?

It's time to negotiate with the Taliban says Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf. Canada is one of our top Afghanistan allies, so it's meaningful that almost two-thirds of them surveyed in late May think we should parlay with the... Read More

The Soprano-fication of Gaza

As of this writing, Hamas forces have overtaken the majority of the Gaza Strip, including several strongholds once controlled by Fatah, Hamas's bitter rival. Internecine Palestinian fighting has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced thousands of civilians. The g Read More

The Coffee Talk on Gas Prices That Isn't

Like most of the American public, I have stood at the pump at my local filling station and cursed the cost of gasoline. Yet, after filling my tank I inevitably drive to Starbucks to stand in line with other... Read More

The Dangers of European Anti-Americanism

The rise of anti-Americanism in Europe is a danger to both American and European pocketbooks, and our collective liberty. Here is why: Europe and America are each other's biggest trading and investment partners, and anything that damages that relationship... Read More

The Dangerous Allure of Currency Unions

On observing the renewed interest in the supposed advantages of regional currency unions in both Asia and Latin America, one has to be reminded of Sir Dennis Robertson's view of fashion in economic ideas. He thought that fashion in... Read More

Due North

"When applied to economic history and development [mainstream economics] focused on technological development and more recently human capital investment, but ignored the incentive structure embodied in institutions that determined the extent of societal investment Read More

Are We an 'On Your Own Society'?

America has become a heartless "On Your Own Society," Hillary Clinton argues, where "the fruits of our modern global economy are showing up in the corporate bottom line, not in workers' paychecks." This is hardly new rhetoric from Democrats.... Read More

Forget Iran

While the 2008 presidential candidates are busy fielding questions about how they would confront Iran's nuclear ambitions, few seem interested in addressing a much more pressing issue: Pakistan. It's understandable, of course. Pakistan is an infinitely more diffic Read More

Hitchens Is Not Great: An Atheist's Defense of Religion

Religion has been under more fire than usual lately. Daniel Dennett wrote "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon", Sam Harris wrote "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason", Richard Dawkins wrote "The God... Read More

China's Real Enemies Are Chinese

China's interactions with the rest of the world have always been problematic. During its past days of glory, the Middle Kingdom expected the rest of the world to offer tribute in recognition of its undeniably superior cultural, political and... Read More

The Great Tug-of-War

"[In 1937] Roosevelt was listening to and following the advice of another set of advisers: the anti-big business crowd...Corcoran, Cohen, Ickes, Hopkins, and Robert Jackson were telling the president he must use the opportunity of the downturn to move... Read More

LBO Firms and the Virtue of Profits

Leveraged buyout (LBO) firms played a very necessary role in the de-conglomeration of U.S. businesses in the '80s. While much is made of allegedly excessive executive compensation today, this was a far more pressing issue back then as evidenced... Read More

Journalists, You're in the Army Now

The days of the independent, neutral war correspondent, objectively reporting from a war's front lines, are quickly coming to an end. In the future, a war correspondent will either effectively be a soldier for one faction of a conflict,... Read More

What If Zoellick Picks a Fight?

Now that Robert Zoellick has been nominated for the Presidency of the World Bank—and given the near-certainty that he will be approved by the Bank's board—he will need to pursue a set of agenda items in order to change... Read More

What Roosevelt Didn't Know

In late May [1934], Keynes, the British economist, visited with the president...Francis Perkins, whom Keynes saw afterward, would later recall that Keynes told her the session did not go well. Roosevelt gave a similar report, telling Perkins that Keynes... Read More

Creative Destruction: The Words of the Prophet

Editor's Note: Thomas K. McCraw is the Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, Emeritus at the Harvard Business School. His book Prophets of Regulation: Charles Francis Adams, Luis D. Brandeis, James M. Landis, Alfred E. Kahn won both the... Read More

The Free Market Case Against the Immigration Bill

Unskilled Immigrants + Large Welfare State = Higher Taxes The above equation shows why free market enthusiasts should oppose the current immigration bill. Yes, historically immigration has helped the U.S. economy. But our large welfare state combined with the... Read More

How Depressing Was the Depression?

[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

Laughing and Crying with Thomas Friedman

In a recent New York Times piece, Thomas Friedman laid bare the absurdity of American immigration laws. While our best-in-class universities educate students from around the world, immigration rules make it hard for them to build professional careers stateside.... Read More

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