Hoover Daily Report
Analysis and Commentary
Analysis and Commentary

The Stranger in a Strange Land

by Fouad Ajamivia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

Lawfare Podcast Episode #55: Inside NSA, Part IV–We Speak with Anne Neuberger, the Woman on Front Lines of NSA’s Relations with Industry

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, December 19, 2013

It’s Day 4 of “Inside NSA: We Brought in a Recording Device So You Don’t Have To”—the special series of podcast interviews we've been running this week with senior NSA officials. In our penultimate episode, we speak with Anne Neuberger, who has the unen

Analysis and Commentary

5 Takeaways on How Bernanke Will Be Remembered

with John B. Taylor, Michael D. Bordovia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mark Gertler, John B. Taylor,  Mohamed El Erian, Michael Bordo,  and Lars E.O. Svensson on Bernanke.

Analysis and Commentary

The Lost Generation: Young People Have Been Had

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Tribune Media Services
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

The Perfect Christmas Presents For President Obama, John Boehner, Hillary Clinton And Chris Christie

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What to give to those who seemingly have everything.

Analysis and Commentary

Higher Is Not Down

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Interviews
Interviews

John Taylor on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (00:45)

with John B. Taylorvia Squawk on the Street (CNBC)
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

CNBC's Rick Santelli discusses the U.S. Treasury's move to auction $35 billion in 5-year Notes. And John Taylor, Stanford University professor of economics, weighs in on Fed policy and the likely outcome of exiting quantitative easing.

Interviews

Victor Davis Hanson on Garrison

with Victor Davis Hansonvia Garrison (WIBC)
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Interviews

Paul Gregory on the John Batchelor Show (19:33)

with Paul R. Gregoryvia John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Guests: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com. Stephen Yates, CEO of DC International Advisory. Paul Gregory, Hoover Institution. Paul Mooney, Reuters.  

Interviews

John Taylor on PBS NewsHour (2:54)

with John B. Taylorvia PBS NewsHour
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
In the News
In the News

The Trust Fund Mirage

with Charles Blahousvia American Thinker
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Americans have long been led to believe that Social Security is a rock-solid system. But from very early on, Social Security had to be regularly modified to remain financially viable.
In the News

5 Major Moments in Federal Reserve History

with Allan H. Meltzervia Nasdaq.com
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

As the U.S. Federal Reserve gears up to celebrate its centennial on Dec. 23, don't expect a wild and crazy night."These are the very serious, boring.

In the News

Barack Obama’s Past as Murky as his Word

with Victor Davis Hansonvia Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
In the News

It’s Snowing in Mexico: Think Tanks Promoting a Free Economy

via Forbes.com
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The future of the recent reforms announced in Mexico will be influenced by the work of several dynamic groups, academics and think tanks. The old meet the young. Both working together to unleash Mexico’s energy potential.

In the News

Super-High Stakes and Educational Outcomes

with Russell Robertsvia National Review Online
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Intriguingly, Sanjoy Mahajan observes that it’s not poverty that drags down U.S. educational performance, as affluent American children fare poorly relative to their counterparts in other affluent countries: If poverty explained the U.S.’s poor performance, with scores of the bottom quartile dragging down and obscuring the alleged great performance of the U.S. top quartile, then the U.S. top quartile should do well internationally. However, when compared against the top quartiles in other countries, the U.S. rank drops from 26th to 32nd. Similarly, U.S. students with a SES at the OECD average do slightly worse than the U.S. average (Figure II.2.5 of the same report). Mahajan’s discussion brings to mind Russ Roberts’ recent interview with Lant Pritchett, in which Pritchett discussed the dismal performance of schools in low-income countries, the subject of his new book, The Rebirth of Education. Towards the interview, Pritchett briefly, and reluctantly, touches on U.S. education: Pritchett: But I think too much disparaging of the American system doesn’t get right the marginal value of the various outputs of schooling. Right? What I mean by that is: If your kids are actually coming out of high school with some pretty decent–you know, they can read their textbooks, they can understand their textbooks, they can understand the mathematics; they are coming out with this reasonably adequate basis for further education, then I’m thinking I also want them during these years to explore other facets of life and learn other things about life. Like working together with teams through athletic experiences or choirs. Or I want them to explore other things that will be of value to them later in life, like appreciation of the arts. Now, if we say–so, I have this argument which I call the ‘pimp your ride’ argument. The pimp-your-ride argument says if you buy a car, and the car comes with a bundle of characteristics, with a given sound system and a given horsepower, you can always top up those characteristics individually. You can buy a better stereo system. Or you can buy better tires. Or you can do lots of things. And you reveal, by what you spend at the margin, where you thought where the bundle was inadequate. Right? Russ: Yep. Pritchett: So, if you look at American parents, they get a bundle of educational experiences out of the school system. Right? And then you say, well in what ways do parents spend their own money to supplement their child’s overall education? Well, I think they spend it a lot on additional sports experiences. Additional musical experiences. They have their kids take private music lessons. And I would think, again, in affluent suburbs, the ratio of kids engaged in some non-academic activity versus academic tutoring is probably on the order of 10 to 1. Russ: They don’t just spend their money. They spend their time. They spend time with their kids throwing that football around and they also spend time with them on math homework. They do a lot of different margins. Pritchett: But I’m just saying, it’s very difficult to make the case, from the way parents allocate their time and resources and kids allocate their time and resources, that parents are very unhappy with the public schools’ emphasis on math scores. Russ: I totally agree. Pritchett: But, go to India and it’s exactly the opposite. These kids are coming out completely illiterate, completely innumerate, and what’s been happening in India and most other countries is there’s a massive proliferation of tutoring. And there’s a massive proliferation of tutoring because the existing system, both public and private by the way–the parents are just as likely or almost as likely to hire tutors if they have their kids in private schools as in public schools because they perceive at the margin–look, if your kid isn’t reading at all, you don’t want to supplement the kid’s education with some art classes. You need him to read. And so you are going to supplement his out-of-school experience with more reading help. And if the math is going to be important to his academic success, you are going to supplement that with math tutoring. I think what we see in these other countries at the super-low levels of learning–so, in my mind, it’s very dangerous making comparisons between what’s going on in the United States or Finland and what’s going on in India or Tanzania. Because at the margin, the value to additional learning is just amazingly high from the very low levels that it is. Whereas that’s not at all obvious in the U.S. case. This raises an interesting question — are affluent U.S. parents making the wrong bet when they invest in the social skills of their children rather than their academic skill set? Or do they know something that people who fixate on reading and math scores are missing? And earlier on, Pritchett observes that one obvious explanation for impressive educational performance in South Korea and Singapore is generally neglected: Pritchett: I really do think you can’t both have a system that’s exclusively top-up accountable and in fact run a good system unless you are willing to put super-high stakes on the students. So, if you look at the high-performing East Asian countries that have great scores on these PISA, like comparable things, like Korea and Singapore, the way they do it is not necessarily by having great government schools. They do it by saying, ‘By the way, when you turn age 16 or 17 you are going to take a life-chances-determining examination and the few that do well on this examination will go on to university and become the elite. And those that fail, won’t. And hence you get kids in Korea in the 1970s and 1980s studying literally 16 hours a day in which most of the education process is controlled by tutors. So to conclude — because Korean kids do well on the PISA, Korean educational system, the Korean public education is good, it’s just not on. And so mimicking the industrial organization of Korean schools doesn’t make much sense if we don’t intend to also impose super-high stakes, which seems to be a pretty unwise strategy. I doubt that lower stakes, which is to say second chances, are all that accounts for the dismal performance of students drawn from the U.S. top quartile. But it seems to have something to do with it.

In the News

Quinn: What Obama and Tech Want From an Improved Relationship

with Bill Whalenvia San Jose Mercury News
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tech industry titans met Tuesday with President Barack Obama to talk about a slew of issues, but the main agenda item was to discuss reforms of the national security surveillance programs. Both tech and the president are at loggerheads over the programs, but they should want to improve their relationship because there are political and policy priorities in the coming year.

In the News

Find Out Why This Prominent Conservative Supports the Common Core

with Michael J. Petrillivia Birmingham News
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Make no mistake, Michael Petrilli is a conservative. An award-winning writer and education analyst, he serves as executive vice president of the conservative education-policy think tank the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in Washington, D.C.

In the News

The Surprisingly High Cost of Bull in Today’s Workplace

with Kevin Warshvia Forbes.com
Monday, December 16, 2013

The financial and economic cost of fictions in today’s workplace is surprisingly high. The current Age of Bull must give way to radical transparency.