TCS Daily : October 2007 Archives

Argentina's Ailment

The next president is the wife of a former president. Yes, their story is familiar by now. The couple met in law school. He became governor of a politically backwater state, before winning election to the nation's highest office... Read More

A Moral Case Against SCHIP Expansion

When it comes to SCHIP, even some on the right have lost their moral compass - having fallen victim, perhaps, to the notion that if it involves "the children" then they should abandon both principle and common sense. But with... Read More

Misplaced Hand-Wringing Over Housing

In a recent speech at Georgetown Law Center, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the recent moderation in home prices and the externalities from same are "the most significant current risk for our economy." His view is a conventional one held... Read More

Green Policies, Rather Than a Warming Planet, Will Cause More Death

There is little more annoying for a policy analyst than when two types of wrong-headedness conspire to undermine his case. Such is the case for policies driven by the pursuit of a pesticide free -- or at least pesticide... Read More

How to Reform the Individual Income Tax

It was once thought that only a handful of folks really understood the Theory of Relativity. No one, however, entirely understands the U.S. Tax Code; it is complexity run riot, complexity on wheels. Even IRS agents give conflicting answers to... Read More

Wealth and Nations

MONTERREY, Mexico -- Is global capitalism making the poor even poorer, or is it in fact rescuing millions of people out of their misery? I recently had the chance to participate in a series of debates here about this issue... Read More

House of Pain: Why Failure Is Important

I recently met with an intelligent and highly successful young man. Most of those with whom he deals are part of young families. He began our conversation with this statement, "I'm no economist, but I think we're facing a local... Read More

An Olympic Shift?

Addressing the nation in a televised address in the wake of his party's narrow re-election, Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis said that "You have given a clear mandate to New Democracy [the center-right party] to continue the changes and reforms... Read More

Our Population Problem, According to John D. Troglodite

"It's a 'metaverse' -- an online social network inside a virtual world." So explains a character on last night's CSI:NY, in which the plucky sleuths of the New York Crime Lab must use Second Life -- the metaverse in question... Read More

Damn Those Humans!

Don't you just hate it when people live where they want to live? I mean, who do they think they are? The Washington Post, in its Wednesday morning story on the wildfires sweeping Southern California, barely veils its wonderment,... Read More

Where Right, Left and Center Agree

About two thirds of economics professors vote Democratic. In other social sciences and humanities, the vast majority of professors vote Democratic. So we should expect professors to favor Democratic policy positions. But there is one issue that professors, right.. Read More

Evo and the Myths

TIWANAKU, Bolivia -- The decision by Evo Morales to bar the American ambassador in La Paz from entering the presidential palace because of comments he recently made has brought the Bolivian president some renewed international attention. However, the relationship b Read More

'Suffer the Little Children' No More

The vaccine preservative thimerosal has jumped the safety hurdle. Again. So indicates the Sept. 27, 2007 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The "again" is the problem, though. One huge study after another has cleared thimersorosal as... Read More

Unions Grasp for Influence Over Private Equity

Mention the names of certain large corporations, and many people think bad things—from ExxonMobil gouging drivers with high gas prices to Wal-Mart destroying city downtowns by undercutting mom-and-pop shops. Sound familiar? That's because these companies have been Read More

A Diagnosis of Corporate Pathologies

Economists have no monopoly on tools explaining the pathologies that afflict  organizations. However, their approach offers some illuminating insights. Here's one -- within an organization decisions are made on the basis of information and incentives faced by Read More

Teachers Packing Heat?

Good intentions do not necessarily make good rules. What counts is whether the laws ultimately save lives. Unfortunately, too many gun laws primarily disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals.Banning guns from schools seems like the obvious way to keep children sa Read More


OSLO (SATIRENEWSERVICE) -- Responding to overwhelming pressure from every civilized person on earth with any semblance of intelligence, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee today announced that it had voted to terminate its charter. Just prior to the unanimous vote, the Read More

Russia Being Russia

In Warsaw, during the annual two week human rights meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Russia sought to crowd out civil society, support anti-democratic forces, and intimidate Europe. In other words, Russia acted as she... Read More

Are We All Lockeans Now?

President Bush has famously defended his administration's policy of promoting religious, political, and economic liberty around the globe by insisting that "freedom is the almighty God's gift to each man and woman in this world." His secular critics have... Read More

Patriot or Vigilante?

Did a group of experienced military officers, comprised of intelligence analysts, Iraq war veterans, and reservists, some who are also police officers in Los Angeles, form their own "vigilance committee" to hunt down al Qaeda suspects operating inside the... Read More

So You Want to be a Masonomist

"Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do" John Lennon In 1962, few people knew that the future of popular music was to be found in Liverpool, England and Hamburg, Germany. In the early 1970's, few people knew that... Read More

Gore's Next Act

Congratulations to Al Gore on winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his work onglobal warming. Mr. Gore asserts climate change is a moral and spiritualissue. In order to make responsible decisions on these dimensions, Mr.Gore's next mission should be to... Read More

Hope and Reform

The recent extradition of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori to face charges of human rights violations and corruption is a welcome development. It is also a monumental challenge to the institutions of a country that has not been able to... Read More

Gore and Peace

Portuguese neurologist Egas Moniz received the 1949 Nobel Prize in medicine for "his discovery of the therapeutic value of [prefrontal lobotomy] in certain psychoses," including depression and schizophrenia. The prefrontal lobotomy operation, in which the nerve fib Read More

The Risk Disclosure Problem

"According to the mainstream view from academia, infact, reducing risk, per se, has no intrinsic value and brings no benefits to the shareholders...It is because of the ability of investors to know what individual firms are up to and to... Read More

A Threat to the Internet

In our rapidly changing global marketplace, America's entrepreneurs, innovators, and workers are striving to remain competitive, and Republicans in Congress have consistently focused on keeping the Internet free from taxation, cutting taxes so entrepreneurs will ha Read More

Trading Exaggerations

As the Bush Administration and Congress gird for battle this fall over four newly signed free trade agreements, one could be forgiven for thinking that these FTAs must be economically momentous to merit the looming conflict. But one would be... Read More

The UN Needs Another Member

It's time to change the name of the "United Nations." Originally used to identify the anti-Axis coalition of nations in World War II, today's "United Nations" members are rarely united on anything. And as the UN's latest actions against Taiwan's... Read More

Well Treated: The Road to McMedicine

"Our relentless search for wellness through medicine has created a kind of therapeutic imperative, the urge to treat every complaint, every deviation from the norm, as a medical condition." --Shannon Brownlee, Overtreated, p. 206 Below is a list of characters... Read More

Putting Anna Nicole to Rest

It is somehow strangely appropriate that nude model-cum-celebrity Anna Nicole Smith met her end in the other Hollywood. Unlike her idol Marilyn Monroe, who died in Hollywood, California, Anna Nicole passed away in room 607 of the Hard Rock Hotel... Read More

A Lesson for Our Time

In August 1864, less than three months before the election, Republican leaders visited President Lincoln at the White House and told him that he had no hope of re-election. Their canvassing indicated that the country was so weary of... Read More

Hello, My Name Is Bob, and I Check My Email While on the Toilet'

The Internet seems like an infinite source of information and knowledge, yet we often allow it and other digital technology to be infinitely distracting. Cell phones, e-mail, and IM are tried and true digital distractions. Today, that's advanced to... Read More

Fifty Years On, Time for a New Dawn

Half a century ago, Americans awoke to a new world, in some ways much larger than the old one, roused by the beeps of a little metal ball, an artificial moon circling the earth every hour and a half. Called... Read More

Mr. Trichet Sleeps as the Dollar Sinks

In 1972, John Connolly, Richard Nixon's Treasury Secretary, famously remarked to his European counterparts that the dollar might be the United States' currency but it was Europe's problem. While somewhat of an exaggeration, Mr. Connolly's remark contains an endurin Read More

The Groupthink Global Initiative

NEW YORK -- One would expect some diversity of opinion at a gathering of heads of government, CEOs and nonprofit organizations from different sides of the political spectrum. That was not the case at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting last... Read More

Universal Suffer-age

No matter how chippy the Democratic presidential primary eventually becomes, at least the candidates will always be able to agree on the nation's pressing need for "universal" health coverage. This is an issue Democrats love, and no wonder why: Polls... Read More

Psychiatric Association Releases Final Report on "Lee Bollinger's Disease"

(SATIRENEWSSERVICE) The World Psychiatric Association (WPA) today issued its long-awaited, massive study on Intelligentsia Derangement Disorder (IDD). Known popularly as Lee Bollinger's Disease, IDD is characterized by profound disruption in cognition involving th Read More

Chavez's New Ally?

YAGUARON, Paraguay -- A feisty populist former priest could win next April's Paraguayan elections and become Hugo Chavez's new ally in this country bordering Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia. The rise of Fernando Lugo, who was active in the liberation theology... Read More

A Thousand Chinese Einsteins Every Year

Humankind may be changed radically by the recently developed technique allowing the safe gathering of thousands of immature eggs from a woman's ovarian tissue. This technique combined with cheap DNA sequencing and embryo selection will soon allow parents to... Read More

Justice for the Internet

Most Internet users don't know or care what "net neutrality" means or what it would do. They can now refer to the antitrust division of the United States Department of Justice, which on September 6 submitted a filing on net... Read More

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