The War on Poverty drags on. President Trump’s budget proposes heavy cuts in domestic spending, but not to compensatory-education programs, which aim to lift the achievement levels of disadvantaged students. Since 1980 the federal government has spent almost $500 billion (in 2017 dollars) on compensatory education and another $250 billion on Head Start programs for low-income preschoolers.
The road to social justice is often marred by unanticipated pitfalls. Two weeks ago, 28 members of the world champion U.S. women’s national soccer team filed a high-profile lawsuit alleging they were the victims of discrimination by the U.S. Soccer Federation, the common employer of both the women’s and men’s national teams. The lawsuit does not pull its punches. It alleges that for years female athletes have been subject to “institutionalized gender discrimination” that has crimped their economic opportunities, hurt their training regimen and compromised their medical attention.
“Despite how persuasive the words of John Rawls and other ‘social justice’ advocates may be in the world of words, demonstrated facts in the world of reality raise the crucial question as to whether the redistribution of income or wealth can actually be done, in any comprehensive and sustainable sense. Where, instead, there is simply a humanitarian desire to see the less fortunate have better prospects for a better life, the ‘social justice’ argument is both unnecessary and an impediment to joining forces toward that end with others who do not happen to share the implicit assumption of that particular social vision.
Last week, the Trump administration warned the German government that if it uses 5G wireless technology built by China’s Huawei, Washington will curtail intelligence sharing with its Nato ally. American officials are concerned that Berlin’s willingness to host Chinese technology threatens Nato security, and will give cover to other countries considering letting Huawei into their telecommunications systems. Yet Washington’s blunt statement might also have been a shot across Britain’s bow.
While the country gears up for college basketball’s March Madness, progressives already have their own season of silliness in full swing. The latest is a proposal to let the president (only when Democrats retake the White House, of course) add and fill additional seats on the Supreme Court. Former Attorney General Eric Holder likes the idea (let’s add two, he says), as does Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and several progressive groups.
Would you buy a ticket to a concert that had Paul David Hewson, Gordon Sumner and Stefani Germanotta as its headline acts? Probably not. But you might be willing to pay top-dollar if you knew them by their stage names: Bono, Sting and Lady Gaga.
Obstetrician gynecologist Amy Tuteur and author of Push Back, talks about the book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Tuteur argues that natural parenting--the encouragement to women to give birth without epidurals or caesarians and to breastfeed--is bad for women's health and has little or no benefit for their children.
What tradeoffs are involved when we choose to spend huge sums of money to slow global warming? Are there more cost-effective ways to do more good in the world? Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, sits down with Paul E. Peterson to discuss his research on the impact on global temperatures of goals set in the Paris climate accord and how the funds being used to meet those goals could be better spent.
I won’t deny that the two big news stories of recent days—the tragic crash of a Boeing 737 Max 8 jet in Ethiopia, and the totally bonkers admissions scandal involving several of America’s elite universities—make for compelling reading. Planes dropping from the sky! Rich celebrities paying bribes! But let’s be honest: Both are also custom-made to strike fear and horror into the hearts of us upper-middle-class Americans. For many of our fellow citizens, they are simply passing curiosities. Yet the national media have covered them 24/7.
I’m going through various books in my library, trying to decide which ones to give to friends, which to donate, and which to discard. I almost offered to give sociologist Peter L. Berger’s 1986 book, The Capitalist Revolution, to a friend but, before doing so, reread sections I had marked up. I’m keeping it.
Hoover Institution fellow Victor Davis Hanson talks about the problems with political discourse, the challenges we face as a nation as new cultures fail to assimilate, as well as why his new book is titled The Case for Trump.
Hoover Institution fellow Clint Bolick talks about his legal philosophy, the politics of immigration, the most interesting case he's encountered on the bench so far, and why he sports a scorpion tattoo on what he calls his "typing finger."
Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses the Second Amendment and gun rights as well as commuting Paul Manafort's sentence rather than pardoning Manafort. Yoo also discusses dual sovereigns (being charged for the same crime by the state and federal courts), which might violate the double jeopardy clause of the 5th Amendment. Yoo notes that the Supreme Court will be reviewing a dual sovereigns case this year.
The hard-working staff here at Spoiler Alerts is off to Moscow yet again this week as part of the Fletcher School’s Russia and Eurasia program. Even though winter is ending, I suspect it will not feel like spring in Moscow, either meteorologically or politically. I know this because, well, that’s what I do. Smart readers should not take my word for it, however. They should take the word of two recent books by two former U.S. ambassadors to Russia that have just been published. It seems fitting, to recommend them today.
Free-marketeers see a world where, when people are free to buy and sell according to the laws of supply and demand, business competition naturally drives quality up and prices down, resulting in prosperity and productivity for all.
History is always on my list. I just finished “The Hello Girls: America’s First Women Soldiers,” by Elizabeth Cobbs. It recounts the story of women telephone operators who served in World War I. While they were treated as “less-than” in terms of benefits, they were seen as superior to men in their ability to handle the calls impacting troop movements and ultimately, saving lives. Many firsthand stories.
At the Federalist Society Student Symposium this weekend, Arizona State Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick recalled the 1984 debate between then-judge Antonin Scalia and Professor Richard Epstein over whether the federal judiciary should take a more active role in protecting economic liberty. Professor Epstein, as one might expect, argued in the affirmative. Then-judge Scalia (who would be elevated to the Supreme Court soon thereafter) urged greater restraint, suggesting it would be dangerous to unleash federal judges in this way.
Last June, a private equity firm called Vintage Capital Management LLC agreed to buy Rent-A-Center Inc. for $15 per share (about $800 million total, $1.37 billion including debt). As is normal in public-company mergers and acquisitions, the deal could not close right away; Vintage owned another rent-to-own retailer and so there was likely to be a lengthy antitrust review. Vintage and Rent-A-Center agreed that if the deal had not closed by Dec. 17, then either party could walk away, but they also agreed that, if they were still waiting for legal approvals at that time, either side could extend this “drop-dead date” by three months (and then again by another three months).
Despite decades of public education reform efforts, the national achievement gap between low-and high-income students has been stagnant for nearly a half century, according to research at Harvard and Stanford universities set to be published Monday in a new study.
The Democratic presidential candidates appear driven by tales of the rich exploiting the downtrodden and support higher taxes to redress injustice. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders want a federal wealth tax and higher levies on estates.
In the Summer 2015 edition of the conservative magazine National Affairs, two of America’s leading charter school proponents made a striking confession. “We wanted the infusions of capital and entrepreneurialism that accompany the profit motive, but we didn’t take seriously enough the risk of profiteering,” wrote Chester Finn Jr., and Bruno Manno, both former assistant U.S. secretaries of education. They also warned against letting the charter sector “ossify into a conventional interest group.”
France is sounding an alarm for the world’s advanced economies: capitalism is tearing them apart. President Emmanuel Macron and his Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire are using France’s presidency of the Group of Seven to argue that the system fuels inequality, destroys the planet and is ineffective at delivering goals in the public interest. The country has already experienced some of the fallout firsthand in the Yellow Vest movement that erupted late last year.
You wouldn’t know it from the way she’s being covered in most of the Washington media but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a woman with a lot of problems. Instead of in-depth coverage of the ideological divisions in her caucus and the political challenges to her leadership, she gets stuff like this, from Politico: “Using strategies she’s honed over decades, the speaker has managed to keep a sprawling freshman class in line — and on her side — despite breaking with them on issues ranging from impeachment to the ‘Green New Deal.’"
Nancy Pelosi has become one of the highest-ranking lawmakers to voice their support for lowering the voting age to 16. As youth activism in the country has increased in the wake of a series of deadly school shootings, many have argued these children deserve the right to vote for the lawmakers representing them. Several states, including Oregon and California, are currently considering bills which would lower the voting age from 18. Others say 16 is too young to make such important decisions. What do you think?
White House advisor — just hours after President blasted the — doubled down Monday, singling out the central bank as the biggest threat to U.S. economic growth. Appearing on Navarro said the Fed should pause its interest rate hikes — not because growth is slowing, but because growth is strong with barely any inflation.