Manhattan Institute Daily Update

Keeping you up-to-date on the latest by Manhattan Institute scholars
August 29, 2014

Public Housing


Quinnipiac Poll: Most New Yorkers Support 'Broken Windows' Policing

MI Scholar quoted in a CBS story about the new Quinnipiac Poll:

George Kelling, who co-authored a 1982 article in The Atlantic introducing the "broken windows" concept, told WCBS 880's Alex Silverman he thinks it makes sense that African-Americans support the policy, despite allegations that it disproportionately targets minorities.

"African-Americans are victimized out of proportion to their population," said Kelling, a longtime Rutgers University criminologist who is now a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. "It shouldn't be surprising that African-Americans would support the kind of things that protect them, protect their children, protect their property. And 'broken windows' is one of those things that has demonstrated that it works, especially in minority communities."


Militarization Is Not What Ails Ferguson

Ben Boychuk, McClatchy-Tribune News Service, August 24, 2014
Yes, far too many police departments have gone overboard with the military equipment. On that point, liberals and conservatives should be in broad agreement. Early on, the Ferguson police looked like soldiers, not cops -- occupiers, not protectors. . .

State and Local Budgets

Who's Minding Public Pensions?

Steven Malanga, Los Angeles Times, August 28, 2014
. . .As officials across the country struggle with underfunded government retirement systems, which have racked up at least $1 trillion in unfunded liability, they are increasingly looking at how the funds are managed. Many public sector pension funds are controlled by boards dominated by public-sector employees and retirees, who are far more likely to look out for the interests of workers than they are for those of taxpayers. . .

When You Can't Trust The Trustees

Steven Malanga,, August 28, 2014
Last week the board of trustees of Calpers, dominated by six beneficiaries of the pension fund, voted to essentially undue some of Jerry Brown's modest 2012 pension reforms with their liberal interpretation of the new rules. . .

Shouldn't New Jersey Be Thinking About Taking Over Atlantic City?

Stephen Eide,, August 25, 2014
One of the most under-appreciated causes for municipal fiscal distress is state officials' deep reluctance to get involved. As a legal matter, nothing's stopping them, but governors and legislatures see little in it for themselves in taking over a distressed city. . .

Rebuked Again

Steven Greenhut, City Journal California, August 25, 2014
. . .The Ventura reformers told the local newspaper that they would not appeal Kellegrew's decision. They don't have pockets deep enough to compete with the state's labor unions, which rightly saw Ventura as a potential groundbreaking initiative. So virtually every approach has failed thus far. . .

Does Democracy Cause Pension Mismanagement?

1320 AM's "Capital City Recap with Michael Cohen" interviewed Stephen Eide, 8-25-14

FDA Reform

An Rx For Making Wonder Drugs

Andrew Von Eschenbach, Phillip Sharp, and Kenneth Kaitin, Boston Herald, August 24, 2014
Boston is to life-sciences innovation what Florence was to the Renaissance: a fertile hub for the blending of new ideas and technologies, revolutionizing our understanding of human biology. Boston's ecosystem of cutting-edge hospitals, startups, venture capital and large companies is unraveling the molecular roots of complex, chronic diseases at astonishing speed. The goal is to drive ever-more-personalized treatments and prevention efforts, saving lives and reducing costs. . .

Click here for more information on Project FDA's work in biotech hubs across America

City Journal

Prosecution Gets Smart

Heather Mac Donald, City Journal, Summer 2014
Adapted in Los Angeles Times
. . .Then the shootings all but stopped. From April 2013 to April 2014, only three took place in that same area--an 85 percent drop from the annual average over the previous four years. The sudden reduction in violence was the outcome of a gang conspiracy indictment, filed by the Manhattan district attorney in April 2013, that induced an unprecedented 62 gang members, most still in their teens, to plead guilty and accept long prison sentences. That indictment, in turn, was the product of the Manhattan D.A.'s effort to bring prosecution into the intelligence-driven crime-fighting era. The East Harlem gang takedown is part of the moment when prosecution--at last--starts to get smart. . .

Bubbles, Booms, And Cash Flow

Bert Stratton, City Journal Online, August 29, 2014
My adult daughter and I recently tried to buy an apartment building on Chicago's North Side, the Promised Land for Big Ten kids from the Midwest. We looked for buildings in Lakeview and Uptown, both up-and-coming North Side neighborhoods. We "ran the numbers" and concluded that in North Side Chicago we could get, at best, a 5 percent capitalization rate, meaning that we could expect rent payments after expenses to add up to only a 5 percent return. . .

The Subsidy Show

Dennis Saffran, City Journal Online, August 27, 2014
Adapted in The Epoch Times
Modern "progressives" are not, as some economic conservatives would say, socialists. In fact, today's so-called progressives are not even particularly progressive, at least in the usual sense of seeking to redistribute wealth from rich to poor. . .

An Ounce Of Prevention

Myron Magnet, City Journal Online, August 25, 2014
When a British-educated Muslim terrorist beheads an American journalist to display the sentiments of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria toward the United States; when photos of a Chicago office building and the White House appear on social media with hard-to-deny evidence in the pictures that ISIS is here in our own country with ill intent; when a peace-preaching imam in Canada reports that ISIS is recruiting among his flock. . .what would a responsible president do? . .

Higher Education

Slimming The College-Tuition Beast

Judah Bellin, The Orange County Register, August 23, 2014
Adapted from City Journal, Summer 2014
The cost of American higher education is reaching dizzying heights. Average tuition for attending a private, nonprofit four-year college or university in 2013 was $40,917 per year, while a public four-year college cost $18,391 yearly - figures representing a five-year increase of 14 percent and 20 percent, respectively. To pay the fattening bill, students are taking on more loan debt than ever before. Blame bad public policy for much of this unaffordability. . .

Making Jefferson, Madison And Franklin Disappear

Peter Wood,, August 28, 2014
In 2012, the College Board released a new set of standards for the Advanced Placement United States History (APUSH) course. APUSH vanishes some figures who would seem indispensable to any basic history of the United States. This is American history seemingly without Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. . .

Student Loan Reform Is Now A Major Political Issue

David Wilezol,, August 26, 2014
As student debt continues to climb and reform fails to materialize, it's not surprising that some politicians are capitalizing on their constituents' frustration. In fact, some of the brightest stars on both sides of the partisan divide are taking up the cause of student loan reform. . .

The Undead Are Rising On Campus

Mark Bauerlein,, August 24, 2014
Scores of colleges, from Goucher to Harvard, now feature "Undead Studies," that is, academic work on zombies and vampires. Depending on your point of view, this is either yet another indicator of the debasement of higher education, or a playful way to attach serious thinking to not very serious expressions of popular culture. Frivolous or not, it takes its place among all the other "studies" that have come and gone (and sometimes stayed) in teaching research. . .

Economy & Finance

Money Is Not The Answer For Our Bloated Public Education System

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, WSJ's, August 29, 2014
As kids return to school, many sincere education specialists see that the way to improve student achievement is to put more resources in schools. Another approach is to bring education closer to the home, and the home community, the model pioneered by the Neighborhood Outreach Connection in South Carolina's Low Country. When NOC, as the group is known, comes to a community, test scores go up and crime rates go down. . .

Right-To-Work Laws Could Come To A City Near You

Editors,, August 28, 2014
No one likes having taxes taken out of paychecks. But in 26 states, in addition to taxes, union dues are deducted from some employees' paychecks--even though these employees are not union members, have no desire to be union members, and receive no benefits from unions. Such is life in states without Right-to-Work (RTW) laws. In the 24 states with RTW laws, employers cannot require an employee to pay union dues as a condition of employment. . .

How Right To Work Helps Unions And Economic Growth

Jason Russell,, August 27, 2014
With steadily declining membership, unions are shifting their public relations and political contributions into overdrive in hopes of wooing new members to their cause. Many of these political contributions have been spent opposing Right to Work (RTW) laws, which give workers the right to not join a union even if their workplace is unionized. . .

The Tale of Missing IRS E-Mails Gets More and More Curious

Diana Furchtgott-Roth,, August 26, 2014
The tale of the Internal Revenue Service missing emails gets more curious day by day. Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, it was revealed on Friday that the emails of Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations at the IRS, were backed up on federal government equipment and have been available to congressional investigators all along-if the administration had only chosen to produce them. . .

Salem Communications "Nothing But Truth w/Crane Durham," 8-27-14

Union Membership Down, Political Spending Up

Editors,, August 26, 2014
Here are two statistics that most labor groups will not be sharing as they push their Labor Day propaganda--11 percent and $700 million. Though union membership, especially in the private sector, has been declining as the costs of joining have become clearer, political contributions from unions have been moving in the opposite direction. . .

No Inversion Is Not Unpatriotic. Yes We Need Corporate Tax Reform

Yevgeniy Feyman,'s "The Apothecary," August 26, 2014
Several recent high profile deals have directed media and public attention to the topic of "tax inversion," whereby a company moves its headquarters overseas (usually in an M&A deal) in order to reduce its tax burden. According to the Wall Street Journal (citing Thomson Reuters) there have been 22 such deals since 2011, with the majority of them being in pharmaceuticals. . .

KMOX 1120 AM's "The Mark Reardon Show," 8-26-14

Under Affordable Care Act, Minimum Wage Hike Discourages Work

Preston Cooper,, August 25, 2014
Most criticisms of minimum wage increases focus on its employment effects. Some minimum wage earners will be priced out of the labor market and find themselves unemployed. But due to the perverse incentives in our welfare system, some of those who keep their jobs may find that higher wages result in a loss of Medicaid benefits. . .

In The Future, Will Only Robots Celebrate Labor Day?

Mark P. Mills,, August 25, 2014
Just in time for Labor Day, in the thick of the restaurant-heavy summer season, The New York Times reported: "Restaurant industry experts are predicting that the fast food business will undergo a technological revolution in the next few years that will place increasing numbers of robots and other labor-saving devices in the kitchens." That story ran on August 24, 1988, well before the birth of most of today's Millennials, the emergent workforce. . .

Jared Meyer is a semifinalist in the Great Communicators Tournament, which seeks to identify and promote effective advocates of free markets. He needs your vote to make it to the final round, to be held at the State Policy Network's Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. Click here to watch his video and vote for him. You can vote once per day until September 2.

Why America's Workers Need Faster Wage Growth

AFR's "News w/Chris Woodward" interviewed Diana Furchtgott-Roth, 8-28-14

New York City/State Policy

Has Cuomo Split The Labor Movement?

Stephen Eide,, August 27, 2014
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is coasting to reelection with only partial support from organized labor. While many private unions remain in his corner, the state's major government unions are either declining to support Cuomo's bid for a second term or have endorsed a challenger. In this respect, Cuomo 2014 resembles New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's hugely successful reelection campaign last year. . .

Build Big, Bill

Edward Glaeser, New York Daily News, August 24, 2014
The fight to define Mayor de Blasio's ambitious affordable housing agenda is in full swing. In East Harlem, activists and City Council members are at war with plans to build three luxury skyscrapers -- with some opposed to the towers entirely, and others urging that the buildings be half market-rate, half affordable. They want neighborhood-wide rezonings across the city to demand half of all apartments to be be earmarked for lower-income New Yorkers. . .

New York City's 100 Percent

Nicole Gelinas, New York Post, August 24, 2014
At this month's summit on inequality, Mayor de Blasio told the nation's mayors, "We're still going in the wrong direction." Actually, they can go in the right direction by taking lessons from New York. Yes, New York has lots of inequality. The mayor was right to note that the numbers here "are quite shocking.". .

Energy & the Environment

ISIS Makes Up To $3 Million a Day Selling Oil, Say Analysts

FBN's "Varney & Co" interviewed Robert Bryce, 8-29-14

Education Reform

School Districts Can't Just Wave Off Parent Trigger Law

Ben Boychuk, The Sacramento Bee, August 23, 2014
In the general scheme of things, federal law trumps state law, and state law trumps a local ordinance. But rarely, if ever, has a local school bureaucracy's opinion trumped state or federal law. Not for long, anyway. Not even if it happens to be the second-largest school district in the country. And not even if it really wants it to be so. Yet the Los Angeles Unified School District is making an incredible assertion. . .

The Smart Society

"Coffee and Markets with Brad Jackson and Ben Domenech" interviewed Peter Salins, 8-27-14


Did The UFT Leadership Go Too Far With Sharpton?

Daniel DiSalvo,, August 25, 2014
Al Sharpton's rally on Staten Island this weekend to protest Eric Garner's death due to a police choke-hold came and went peacefully. But the rally laid bare significant divisions between members of the United Federation of Teachers and the union's leadership as well as tensions between the police officers union and other public employee unions. . .

Blue Repudiation In Connecticut?

Zachary Janowski,, August 25, 2014
In November, Connecticut will hold a referendum on the first Democratic governor to lead the state in two decades. What do the state's voters think about one-party rule? Judging from the unpopularity of Gov. Dannel Malloy, most seem interested in an alternative to the status quo. . .

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