TCS Daily : January 2008 Archives

It's the Local Politicians, Stupid

The catastrophe that has befallen Kenya since the riggedelection of Dec. 27 -- killings and displacements, curtailed freedoms, apromising economy on the verge of being wrecked -- confirms for theumpteenth time that local politicians, not the remnants of imperialism Read More

How Not to Address Climate Change

Common sense should tell us that good policies produce more in benefits than they cost us. Unfortunately, common sense has left the building when it comes to climate policy. Asserting (somewhat absurdly) that America's economic and geopolitical competitors, such.. Read More

When Health Care Becomes Personal

"Despite a rapidly growing elderly population, the number of certified geriatricians fell by a third between 1998 and 2004. Applications to training programs in adult primary-care medicine are plummeting, while fields like plastic surgery and radiology receive appl Read More

Two Economic Birds, One Government Stone

There is a large and potentially risky disconnection between the causes of the current financial crisis and the various macroeconomic stimulus packages proposed by the Fed, the president and others. We propose a precisely targeted stimulus that would seek... Read More

A Very Stimulating Crisis

"Saving labor, producing more goods with fewer man-hours, is widely perceived not as progress but as a danger. I call this the make-work bias, a tendency to underestimate the economic benefits of conserving labor. Where noneconomists see the destruction of... Read More

Isn't This What You Want?

Tata, India's largest vehicle manufacturer, has decided to bring mobility to the masses, introducing an Indian-style "people's car," a petite rear-engine car called the Nano that gets 50 miles to the gallon, and will sell for the amazingly low... Read More

The Imaginary 'Pink Tide'

The media's "socialist" label misunderstands Latin's America's new leaders; far more relevant than ideology are globalization, governmental incompetence, and populism. Part I of this two-part series considers the irrelevance of right and left characterizations in Read More

Blowin' in the Wind

If you thought the 2008 presidential race was shattering all records for windy rhetoric, it's nothing compared to the political eco-rhetoric being spun to US taxpayers -- to get them to cough up billions of dollars to fuel a... Read More

Jonah Goldberg's Revisionist F-Bomb

"If the American idea was to subdue Native Americans and place them at the disposal of European settlers, to import several million Africans to the New World and subject them to a lifetime of slavery, to impose on Asian immigrants... Read More

A Question of Religion

Some years ago I was asked a question that has haunted me. It came during a telephone conversation I had with a young man whose Internet book club has selected one of my books to read. The young man... Read More

Children of 1919

Editor's note: David Andelman is the author of A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today. He recently discussed his book with Nick Schulz. Q. It is your sense that 1919 and the Paris Conference are... Read More

How many politicians does it take to change a lightbulb?

Perhaps it is unfair to blame commercial organisations for rent-seeking. But the government's contemptuous attitude to the public is another matter: it seems that consumers' reluctance to take up CFLs despite their stated financial advantages is enough to demonstra Read More

The Conspiracy to Deny the Poor Mobility—and Opportunity

Mobility is prosperity—a fact that humans have recognized since the dawn of civilization, when population centers arose next to navigable waterways. Yet this simple fact seems to evade many pundits, environmental activists—and even screenwriters. Screenwriters? Yes Read More

How the World Views Obama

Foreign leaders and journalists often joke that the whole world should get to vote in U.S. elections since the outcome affects the entire planet. His recent setback in New Hampshire notwithstanding, an intense scrutiny of Barack Obama is taking place... Read More

Why Second Life Won't Get a Third

Since well before the 2000 dotcom bubble left a glycerin residue on the economy, we've been waiting for that convergence of the Internet, 3D games, and peer-to-peer networking. For many, Second Life represents that convergence—and our collective future online.... Read More

Stimulating Ideas

I'm scared. Fears of a future recession are giving politicians an excuse to splurge. Hillary Clinton, for one, wants to spend $70 billion on a so-called anti-recession stimulus package that includes $30 billion in mortgage relief and $10 billion... Read More

Unwise and Unproductive Pandering from the GOP

With voters in Michigan set to weigh in on the next Republican presidential nominee, it's not surprising to learn that the pandering for votes has picked up. Sadly, short-term political gain has trumped sound thinking when it comes to... Read More

The Collective Punishment Model

Remember how in grade school, the teacher would punish the whole class for the actions of just a few disruptive students? This is an early lesson in collective punishment, which is usually practiced during wartime or under martial law. Collective... Read More

Felon-Friendly Congress

 Often, what emerges from Congress is a parody not only of good government, but of common sense. The chairman of the House subcommittee on the federal work force thinks the feds should actively recruit felons into government employment. "The federal... Read More

Put the Fear of Gold in Ya'

Some assets rise because people feel there will be no end to their good fortune. That kind of "irrational exuberance" partly explains the dot-com bubble of the 1990s and the real estate bubble of the new millennium -- to use... Read More

Why We Are Still Arguing About Darwin

Today, almost one hundred and fifty years after the publication of The Origin of Species, we are still arguing about Darwin. How is this possible? If Darwin's theory of natural selection is a scientific theory, as its defenders claim,... Read More

Politics and Cults

"The problem with the [Ron] Paul movement is that it has become a cult. Far too many of the cultists not only are willingly blind to their leader's faults but have also begun to internalize his beliefs as they... Read More

$100 Oil? Fuhghedaboudit!

Last week the price of a barrel of oil hit $100. This raised fears of an economic slowdown akin to the one in the 1970s when oil prices quadrupled almost overnight. That shock was largely responsible for the worst decade... Read More

On the Need for Matrimonial Cruelty

Cristina Fernandez recently took office as Argentina's president. Until a few weeks ago, she was the country's first lady. The big difference, of course, does not reside so much in the fact that her former status was ceremonial and dependent... Read More

The Huckatax: How Fair Is It?

I am urban. I am white-collar. I am tolerant on social issues. I am Jewish. In Mike Huckabee's "us-vs.-them" identity politics, I am a poster child for "them." Nonetheless, when it comes to evaluating Huckabee's signature domestic proposal, the FairTax,... Read More

Extending Archimedes: Megastructures in Space

Having understood the principle of the lever, the great thinker Archimedes of Syracuse (c. 287 - c. 212 BCE) declared, "Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth." Archimedes, probably the world's first scientific engineer,... Read More

The Supremacy of Preemption

Patients will benefit if the Supreme Court sides with pharmaceutical companies in two cases this session, establishing the general principle that drug makers can't be sued for unforeseen side effects that emerge after drugs have received Food and Drug... Read More

Assassination and Revolution - A Pakistan Scenario?

Experts on Islam and Pakistan, some of them individuals known for their past competence, some merely graced with fancy titles, are now pressed, in Washington and around the world, to imagine the future of Pakistan after the atrocious slaying of Benazir... Read More

Google the Destroyer

From its beginning, Google has been charged with grandiloquence for its corporate mission statement: "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." More recently, the infosphere has gotten concerned that the grandiloquence is Read More

Will Global Warming Generate America's Fourth Great Awakening?

We have just ended the season when every environmental group to whom we've contributed, the NWF, WS, Sierra Club, and others, sends appeals for more funds. If you have ever contributed to these groups, you've no doubt been approached to... Read More

The Climate Gap and the 2008 Presidential Campaign

As we approach the elections of 2008, a clear gap has emerged between the major Republican and Democratic candidates on the issue of environment. Call it the "climate gap." A look at the websites of the candidates as well... Read More

Justice for Cambodia's Killing Fields

In Cambodia, thirty-two years ago, Pol Pot opened the gates of hell and evil reigned bringing destruction, devastation, death and despair. The monstrous behavior of the Khmer Rouge claimed untold victims. Estimates of the death toll during Pol Pot's... Read More

Demystifying Iowa

Q: What's a Caucus? A: The old saw in Iowa is "caucus" is an Indian word for gathering together to make a great noise. That may be apocryphal, but the noise Iowa's caucuses generate is certainly no myth. Generally,... Read More

Student of the Depression

One has to pity Ben Bernanke as the Federal Reserve faces its worst policy dilemma in many years. Should the Federal Reserve hang tough on interest rates to fend off the past demons of higher inflation at the risk... Read More

Plunder in the New Year

Many smart and well-intentioned people fault government for its injustices and inefficiencies. Because there are few incentives to economize, and many to mislead, waste and moral corruption are endemic to and inherent in political management. No nation has found a. Read More

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