TCS Daily : February 2008 Archives

A California Case Study in Liberal Fascism

If there's any place in the United States—or the world, for that matter—more opposed to right-wing fascism than my hometown of Berkeley, California, I sure have never heard of it. The epicenter of 60's-era counter-culturalism, Berkeley is renowned for... Read More

Splinter States

"Building states in pre-colonial Africa was exceptionally arduous. Imposing taxes or duties on reluctant subjects was hard anywhere. But, where rebelling meant no more than walking away to found a splinter community..." --John Darwin, After Tamerlane, p. 314 (Recen Read More


The sweepstakes for who John McCain's Vice-Presidential running mate will be are already booting up. It is an important choice. The days are long gone since John Nance Garner (D-TX), one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Vice Presidents, said that... Read More

National Enquirer-N.Y. Times Merger "Dead"

(SATIRENEWSSERVICE). American Media Corporation (AMC), publisher of The National Enquirer, today revealed that its Board had voted to terminate the company's agreement to acquire the New York Times. "Because of recent actions by the Times, we no longer believe... Read More


Bangkok, Thailand In the wake of a global investment boom driven by cheap credit, a central-bank-induced crisis marks the beginning of the liquidation phase of the current business cycle. Unlike the past two business cycles, the current one involves rising... Read More

No Longer Choosing Choice

In a new City Journal essay, prominent school voucher advocate Sol Stern declares that competition and choice "may not be a panacea," and recommends that choice supporters shift emphasis to standardizing the curriculum.He's not alone.Conservatives have long champio Read More

Kosovo's Independence Daze

Kosovo's leaders -- along with their European andAmerican supporters -- should not forget the lesson behind the tragedy thatled to the Serbian province's declaration of independence this week. Thatlesson has much more to do with the horrors of nationalism as... Read More

Private Equity: An Unlikely Resource for Public Companies in Slow Economies

Economists are hotly debating the extent to which the U.S. economy is headed toward recession, as the data are currently mixed. What is indisputable, however, is that the global economy has entered a period of considerable challenge. Slowed by... Read More

Time for Mugabe to Go

Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since it gained independence from Britain in 1980. Then he was widely recognized as a champion of a new independent Africa. Now he rightly is seen as a repressive old man desperate to hold... Read More

Advice for Consent

U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly decided ten days ago to extend the Department of Justice consent decree of 2002 for another 18 months. The judge was responding to a group of states led by California and New York which... Read More

Consumed by Myths

Stimulus. Every politician and every pundit has a plan to "stimulate" the economy. Yet very few seem to understand that consumption is not the driver of economic growth. Rather this notion is a relic of old Keynesian thinking and... Read More

Myths of Oil Independence

A friend recently passed on a chain letter urging independence from Middle Eastern oil. It's a seductive idea. Here's the gist: "Every time you fill up the car, you can avoid putting more money into the coffers of Saudi Arabia.Just... Read More

Adrift on the Right

The 2008 American presidential campaign has brought into the open a dramatic soul-searching among conservatives desperate to find a leader and, more importantly, an ideological identity.A movement that pins its hopes on three different leaders successively in the c Read More

Free Lunch Money

"Stimulus: something that incites or rouses to action; an incentive." Last week Congress approved a $168 billion economic stimulus package to help our slowing economy. One hundred and sixty-eight BILLION dollars -- a staggering amount to most of us, but... Read More

That's the Ticket

It has become quite apparent the Sen. John McCain will be the Republican candidate for President in 2008. I came to know McCain in 2000 while touring New Hampshire with him for several days on the "Straight Talk Express"... Read More

Conventional Wisdom Wrong Again... and Again and Again

If the 2008 primary season has taught us anything, it's that the conventional wisdom is not to be trusted. Take, for example, the adage that money is the lifeblood of politics. Not this year. Just look at the Republican... Read More

Defining Developed

SANTIAGO, Chile -- It might be argued that a country ceases to be underdeveloped when its citizens shift their anger from other people's wealth to the quality of the services their own wealth is paying for. Chile is perhaps the... Read More

Mandates for Change

"The way most goods and services become excellent -- I mean really excellent -- is through competition...How do you think we got from subsistence agriculture to super-cheap food? By mandates?" --Tyler Cowen In November, the United States may take its... Read More

Polar Opposites

Have you ever wondered how polar bears survived the ice ages? Yes, ice ages! The question arises because scientists have found that when spring conditions are more than usually icy, fewer ringed seal pups—the bears' favorite food—are born. With... Read More

When Peer Review Fails, Where Do We Turn?

Those of us who regularly seek out information about scientific and medical subjects have learned that there's a hierarchy of reliability: the "facts" in a random blog or a New York Times' news article are on average less trustworthy than,... Read More

The Humility Factor

One of my former students is in Egypt on an archaeology project, and we have kept in touch by email. After I gave him my rundown on the political situation, he wrote back saying that it sounded as though I... Read More

Stimulating Thoughts

Congress and the White House, Democrats and Republicans finally agree on something. We need a stimulus package, they intone. The economy is stagnating, unemployment is climbing, families can't pay their bills. We have to prime the pump, reduce interest rates,... Read More

China Syndrome

Two recent books strongly advise the U.S. investor to bet part of his/her portfolio on the continuing development of China. Co-author of From Wall Street to the Great Wall: How Investors Can Profit from China's Booming Economy, is Burton... Read More

Third World's Realities

Will Tata Motors' Nano be the Third World's Model T Ford? Sixteen million Ts were produced during its 20-year lifespan from 1908 through 1927. It initially sold for $850, about $15,000 in today's dollars. By 1915, due to the advantages... Read More

The Joys of Winter

This January I've had the luxury of previewing retirement. It was not, however, what I hoped for, no skiing or even driving off our place. Being allergic to TV, I spent time reading, writing, and listening to more NPR than... Read More

Who Gets Stuck with North Korea?

Is the regime in North Korea about to collapse? Betting on the demise of Kim Jong-Il's reign is a wager frequently made, but yet to pay off. A recent country report from Jane's Information Group speculates on a collapse... Read More

The Benefits of Hegemony

"He carried a golden paiza just as his father and uncle had done on their journeys on behalf of the Mongol empire. This object was a foot long and three inches across...Possessing it meant that Marco was designated as a... Read More

Everything Old Is New Again (So Let's Get It Right This Time)

Arguments over net neutrality and other issues of access to telecom facilities roil the FCC and the press; the European Union is after Microsoft (again) and other U.S. companies; railroads and shippers are at their usual loggerheads; several firms... Read More

Our Pakistan Problem

Speaking recently at the University of North Florida, former CENTCOM commander General John Abizaid offered an interesting insight about the dangers faced by the United States, saying that what kept him up at night during his tenure as the... Read More

No Free Market, No Free market Results

In a new City Journal essay, prominent school voucher advocate Sol Stern declares that competition and choice "may not be a panacea," and recommends that choice supporters shift emphasis to standardizing the curriculum. He's not alone.Conservatives have long champi Read More

Bernanke Also to Blame

As the United States' worst housing market bust since the Great Depression raises the specter of a nasty recession, a serious reappraisal of Alan Greenspan's 17-year chairmanship of the Federal Reserve is underway. Justified as this reappraisal might be, it... Read More

Reform Lessons for the United States

The old expression "all politics is local" may be quite true for the American political debate, except for the fears of terrorism and of losing jobs to China and India. But there would be very good reason for US policymakers... Read More

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