Keeping you up-to-date on the latest by Manhattan Institute scholars
March 7, 2014
Events @ MI
What is the future of conservatism? Which ideas should it champion? What policies should it embrace? Since the 2012 election, a number of young, leading-edge journalists, scholars, and authors have been engaged in a rich conversation about these questions. Deeply versed in the nuances of policy, they have offered and debated big-think suggestions and ideas in response to the challenges facing our nation. Please join the Manhattan Institute on March 11, 2014, for a roundtable discussion, moderated by David Brooks of The New York Times.
Live tweet with us during the event @ManhattanInst and send your questions using the hashtag, #PolicyEdge
What is the future of #conservatism? Watch The Leading Edge on March 11th with @ManhattanInst http://bit.ly/1n2OiT8 #PolicyEdge
Economy & Finance
Taxing Carried Interest Discourages Investment
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, WSJ's MarketWatch, March 7, 2014
President Obama's proposal to tax certain returns on investments, known as "carried interest," as ordinary income would raise taxes on some investment partnerships. It would bring in $14 billion over 10 years to Uncle Sam, but its disincentive effects on investment could be far greater. . .
How To Punish Putin Without Spending A Dime
Editors, Economics21.org, March 5, 2014
With Russia solidifying its hold on the Crimean region of Ukraine, America can help the Ukraine--and its own economy--by increasing exports of natural gas. This would hit Russia in the pocketbook and reduce Russia's economic hold on the Baltics, Europe, and Asia. . .
WMAL 105.9 FM's "Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett" will interview at 11:35 a.m. ET 3-9-14
The War On Paul Ryan
Charles Blahous, Economics21.org, March 5, 2014
On March 3, 2014 House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released a report that was essentially an extensive literature survey on the efficacy of federal anti-poverty programs. The report has stimulated discussion, both favorable and unfavorable, as it should and as was intended. . .
Let's Refocus Conservatism Around Economic Mobility
New York 92Y's "American Conversation" interviewed Avik Roy, 3-6-14
Fracking Saves Water?
Editors, Economics21.org, March 4, 2014
A common criticism of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is that it wastes water. Los Angeles just became the largest U.S. city to vote to ban fracking. One of the main justifications was water conservation during the current California drought. L.A. Councilmember Mike Bonin said that fracking "uses excessive amounts of water in a drought." Some lawmakers are even pushing for a statewide ban. . .
The Persistent--if Insufficient--American Dream
Scott Winship, Economics21.org, March 3, 2014
The intuition that if something is bad it used to be better is completely understandable, but in the case of social mobility, it is probably wrong. Even before a deservedly lauded study by Harvard economist Raj Chetty came out in January, the safest conclusion from the sizable literature on income, occupational, and educational mobility was that any changes in intergenerational mobility since the mid-twentieth century have been small enough that we cannot reliably detect them. . .
The ACA Lowers Employment, and that's Terrible News
Charles Blahous, Economics21.org, March 3, 2014
On February 4, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report that instantly became a focus of intense controversy. The report found that the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare") would reduce US employment by the equivalent of 2 million full-time workers by 2017, 2.5 million by 2024. This news was received in the context of the polarizing politics surrounding the ACA, with commenters choosing sides over the report according to their attitudes toward the health law itself. . .
February Jobs Report
CNBC's "Closing Bell" interviewed Diana Furchtgott-Roth, 3-7-14
Can Higher Wages Actually Hurt the Economy?
Compass Communications "The Lars Larson Show" interviewed Diana Furchtgott-Roth, 3-3-14
Minimum Wage Hike Would Cut Food Stamp Spending
AFR's "News with Chris Woodward" interviewed Diana Furchtgott-Roth, 3-5-14
The Coming Perfect Storm In Medical Innovation: Can FDA Be A Life-Boat ?
Tomas Philipson and Andrew von Eschenbach, Forbes, March 5, 2014
Academic medical centers and institutes, like the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Salk, or Rockefeller, generate a vast and rich research pool of new medical knowledge that helps countless patients worldwide. Unfortunately, these centers face the prospect of large cutbacks in their research programs thanks to a combination of declines in philanthropic support, cuts of reimbursements related to the Affordable Care Act, and cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grants. . .
Overcoming 20th-Century Regulations To Allow 21st-Century Cures
Peter Huber, Reason Magazine, March 2014
Life is launched and propelled by two groups of big, complex molecules: nucleic acids that are assembled into genes and the proteins those genes define. All life uses this bootstrap code to lift itself up from the stillness of inanimate matter. Like software, this wetware can be erased, corrupted, infected, hijacked, and edited, letter by letter, word by word. Parts of our immune system subtly reconfigure their own code on the fly, in random ways; so do cancer cells. The power in this code resides in molecules that, with the technologies we now have in hand, are as easy to read, copy, and manipulate as silicon chips, or soon will be. . .
New York City/State Policy
Say Good-Bye To Welfare Reform, New York
Heather Mac Donald, New York Post, March 7, 2014
It's official: Mayor de Blasio has declared war on welfare reform. Last week, de Blasio announced that Legal Aid Society chief Steve Banks will be the city's next welfare commissioner. The poverty-industrial complex erupted in elation. No wonder: Banks is uniquely qualified to return New York to its former status as America's dependency capital. . .
Govs. Cuomo And Christie Face Off Over Taxes
Steven Malanga, The Epoch Times, March 6, 2014
Adapted from City Journal Online
. . .Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed $2 billion package of tax cuts and reforms is winning praise even from Tax Foundation analysts. Meanwhile, Christie, a Republican, is grappling with a budget weighed down with enormous legacy costs--including a crushing pension debt--which leave little room for trimming taxes without big spending cuts elsewhere. Even as Christie argues for tax cuts, New Jersey Democrats are proposing increases. . .
Collaborate And Adapt
Judith Miller, City Journal Online, March 4, 2014
In his maiden speech as New York's 42nd police commissioner, William J. Bratton vowed today to continue driving down crime rates and protecting the city from terrorist attack while making the New York Police Department the most "collaborative" force in the nation. . .
Cuomo's Election Year Games
Nicole Gelinas, New York Post, March 3, 2014
Gov. Cuomo is abusing his power over the MTA to make life better for some commuters -- for now. Over time, though, Cuomo's move could hurt all outer-borough commuters just as badly as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's Port Authority flunkies hurt Fort Lee with their George Washington Bridge high-jinks. . .So he's targeting GOP-leaning Staten Island -- and, rather than using traffic cones, he's using E-Z Pass. . .
No Co-location For You
Marcus Winters, City Journal Online, February 28, 2014
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio revoked a Bloomberg administration promise to provide free public space to three schools in Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy charter school network. Because charters receive no capital funds, these schools need the free space within the publicly owned facilities in order to operate. . .
Pensions Squeeze NY's State Capital...
AM 1300's "Live at the State Capital with Fred Dicker" interviewed Steven Malanga, 3-3-14
Charter Co-location: A phantom threat
103.9 FM's "The John Gomez Show" interviewed Marcus Winters, 3-3-14
Energy & the Environment
Russia Is Gazprom
Robert Bryce, National Review Online, March 7, 2014
For the U.S., Western Europe, and Ukraine, the best weapons in the ongoing power struggle with Russia won't be bullets and tanks. They will be natural-gas wells and gas pipelines. Indeed, amidst all the hand-wringing and speculation about how the U.S. and its European allies should respond to Russia's invasion of Crimea, the best non-military maneuver is obvious: They should launch a natural-gas-drilling campaign in Western Europe and Ukraine. And they should start immediately. . .
If You Want To Destroy The Economy, Copy Europe's Energy Policies
WISN 1310 AM's "Up Front with Vicki McKenna" interviewed Robert Bryce, 3-5-14
Industrial Progress's "The Power Hour with Alex Epstein" interviewed Robert Bryce, 3-5-14. Listen.
Save the Ukraine By Exporting Natural Gas
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, RealClearMarkets.com, March 4, 2014
A prescient House Energy and Commerce Committee report released last month, just in time for Russia's invasion of Ukraine, suggested that "by becoming a natural gas exporter, the U.S. can supplant the influence of other exporters like Russia and Iran while strengthening ties with our allies and trading partners around the world." President Obama does not want to use military force to counteract Russia. His 2015 Budget, due out this week, will shrink the military still further. But he has another weapon at his disposal, liquid natural gas exports. . .
The U.K.'s New (and Improved) Deferred-Prosecution Agreements
James Copland and Isaac Gorodetski, National Law Journal, March 3, 2014
After watching from the sidelines as U.S. prosecutors settled criminal charges in case after case with U.K.-based companies, Parliament passed the Crime and Courts Act of 2013, which armed British prosecutors with a criminal-justice tool commonly wielded by their American counterparts: deferred-prosecution agreements -- DPAs for short. . .
Activism at Sharehold Expense
Hester Peirce, PointOfLaw.com, March 7, 2014
A federal district court recently ruled against John Chevedden in his bid to get a shareholder proposal included in Express Scripts' proxy materials. The company did not want to include the proposal because it contained material facts that directly contradicted statements in the company's public filings. . .
New ObamaCare Delay to Help Midterm Dems
CNBC's "The Kudlow Report with Larry Kudlow" will interview Avik Roy at 7:30 p.m. ET today
FBN's "The Willis Report with Gerri Willis" will interview Paul Howard at 5 p.m. ET today
The Blaze TV's "Real News" interviewed Paul Howard, 3-7-14
NY1 NY's Erin Billups interviewed Paul Howard, 3-6-14
FBN's "The Willis Report with Gerri Willis" interviewed Avik Roy, 3-6-14. Watch video.
WLQV AM 1500's "Run to Win with Darryl Wood" interviewed Diana Furchtgott-Roth, 3-5-14
Bloomberg TV's "Street Smart with Trish Regan" interviewed Avik Roy, 3-5-14. Watch video.
Sirius XM's "The Wilkow Majority" interviewed Avik Roy, 3-4-14
WTKF 107.1 FM's "Viewpoints with Lockwood Philips" interviewed Diana Furchtgott-Roth, 3-4-14
State and Local Budgets
Cities And Anti-Poverty Policy
In a new Public Sector Inc. Q&A, Stephen Eide interviews former New York City Human Resources Administration commissioner Robert Doar about addressing poverty at the local level of government and the amount of responsibility entrusted to city governments to handle this issue.
Listen to the interview here.
"Earthquake Risk": Warren Buffett's pension management advice from 1975
Stephen Eide, PublicSectorInc.org, March 4, 2014
Not for the first time (p. 14), in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Warren Buffet warns about state and local governments' pension commitments, describing them as a "gigantic financial tapeworm" caused by overpromising and underfunding. So put Buffett on record that, yes, the pension problem remains very much real. . .
Education Reform And The Muni Market
In a new Public Sector Inc. Q&A, Stephen Eide interviews credit analyst Tom Kozlik about charter school bonds and how investment opportunities have evolved over the last couple of years as more credit information is being made available from charters.
Listen to the interview here.
Pascal Bruckner, City Journal, Winter 2014
This article was adapted in the Los Angeles Times
Not long ago, I attended a colloquium of French scientists and philosophers in Corsica, France, called "How to Think About the Future." With few exceptions, the astrophysicists, economists, physicians, and social theorists on hand offered dark visions of tomorrow. A new financial crisis, water and grain shortages, endless war, a general collapse of ecosystems--we were spared no catastrophic scenario. . .
A New Thing On Netflix
Andrew Klavan, City Journal Online, March 5, 2014
House of Cards, the Netflix series about a lethally unscrupulous Washington politician, is a wonderful show, but it does sometimes stretch the limits of credulity. I have no trouble believing that a Democratic congressman would push a reporter in front of a train, but the idea that anyone in the press would try to expose him for it is flat-out ridiculous. . .
There Goes The Neighborhood
970 AM's "The Joe Piscopo Show" interviewed Steven Malanga, 3-4-14
Back To Normal In San Diego
Steven Greenhut, City Journal Online, February 28, 2014
Despite a close race, Republican Kevin Faulconer's victory in a special election for mayor of San Diego this month was not a big surprise. San Diego is far more Democratic than it was 20 years ago--the party holds a voter-registration edge over Republicans of 39.8 percent to 26.4 percent. But the city isn't like Los Angeles or San Francisco, where Democrats and their public-sector union allies maintain an unbreakable grip on government. . .
Making College Pay Off
Peter D. Salins, MindingTheCampus.com, March 6, 2014
(Linked on RealClearPolicy.com, 3-7-14)
In the United States and every other advanced society today, the share of the population with some level of postsecondary education (college in ordinary parlance) is a key indicator of its educational stature. Here, as in every other aspect of formal education, America once led the way. . .
Federal Student Loan Programs Need Greater Oversight
Judah Bellin, Washington Examiner, March 7, 2014
Federal student loans have recently come under fire for indebting a generation of students. Many families are slowly realizing that it might not be worthwhile to take out copious federal loans for an expensive education that offers poor employment outcomes. As it turns out, however, these loans might be paying for something else entirely. . .
What's Going On 'At Berkeley'?
Judah Bellin, MindingTheCampus.com, March 4, 2014
"What is it about Berkeley that stands out?" asks a woman who appears to be a professor at the beginning of Frederick Wiseman's new four-hour documentary At Berkeley. She talks about making quality education available to all and transforming the future of both California and the country's "diverse population. . ."
Ole Miss Seeks To Put First Amendment In A Noose
Harvey Silverglate, MindingTheCampus.com, March 2, 2014
Question: When is an obnoxious expression of a point-of-view a crime in our supposedly free society? Answer: When college administrators and federal law enforcement officials find it in their career interests to appeal to political correctness and play holier-than-thou, all at the expense of liberty, as the latest controversy at the University of Mississippi demonstrates. . .
Business Leaders Doubt Higher-Ed's Value
Judah Bellin, MindingTheCampus.com, February 28, 2014
Are American colleges really the best in the world? One group that really matters--the business leaders who want to hire college graduates--seem skeptical. . .
Obama Unveils 'My Brother's Keeper'
Newsmax TV's "The Steve Malzberg Show" interviewed Heather Mac Donald, 3-5-14
ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" interviewed Heather Mac Donald, 3-2-14. Watch video.
Ministers Meet Over Ukraine
FBN's "Money with Melissa Francis" interviewed Judith Miller, 3-3-14
The Revolt Against the Masses
Sirius XM's "The Dr. Alvin Jones Show" interviewed Fred Siegel, 3-7-14
1400 KUHL AM's "The Andy Caldwell Show" interviewed Fred Siegel, 3-6-14
Social Entrepreneurship Awards