Wednesday, January 1, 1997

1997 No. 1

Left But Right

by David R. Hendersonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 30, 1998

In 1996 the Nobel Prize in economics went to two men of the political left. Hoover fellow David R. Henderson, a man of the political right, applauded. Why? The winners put economics above their politics, producing one important insight after another-including insights into the importance of flatter taxes.

The Growth That Matters Most

by John B. Taylorvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Productivity-the value of goods or services produced per hour of work-is a very important economic indicator. Hoover fellow and Stanford economics professor John B. Taylor argues that, despite the current low levels of inflation and unemployment, productivity growth in the United States has now fallen to levels not seen since before the Industrial Revolution. Why productivity growth matters-and what can be done to reverse the slump.

How Much Growth Can America Expect?

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

President Clinton claims that the current economic growth rate of about 2.5 percent is pretty darned good. Not so fast, says Nobel Prize-winner and Hoover fellow Milton Friedman. The nation's economic history suggests that we should be doing much, much better.

The Fed and the Natural Rate

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Argue that the economy should be growing more briskly, and you have Nobel Prize-winner and Hoover fellow Milton Friedman's sympathy. Argue that the Federal Reserve Bank should be doing something about it, and you lose Friedman's sympathy. The man who coined the term explains why the natural rate of unemployment is no argument for loose money-or, for that matter, tight money, either.

How To Downsize the Government

by Robert J. Barrovia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

As far as it went, the Dole plan made good sense, argues Hoover fellow Robert J. Barro, who offers an evaluation—and suggestions for reforms that would have been even better.

These Are the Facts, Folks

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Wouldn't the Dole plan have been Reaganomics all over again? Voodoo Two? Hoover fellow and Stanford economics professor Michael J. Boskin points out that Reagan's tax cut wasn't voodoo in the first place-and that Dole's plan wasn't black magic either.

How the Budget Would Have Balanced

by John F. Coganvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Hoover fellow John F. Cogan does the arithmetic.

The Dole Plan and Human Capital

by Gary S. Beckervia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Nobel Prize-winner and Hoover fellow Gary S. Becker had never set foot in the Capitol building before getting an invitation from Senator Dole. But Becker believed that the country needed new economic initiatives, so off to Washington he went. Here he describes how the Dole plan would have fostered the formation of human capital.

How the Plan was Born

by Bruce Bartlettvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Columnist and Hoover media fellow Bruce Bartlett calculated that a 15 percent tax-rate cut would be just enough to roll back President Clinton's tax increases. Bartlett mentioned his idea to a senator named Spencer Abraham, who mentioned it to a senator named Bob Dole.

The Case Against the Case Against the Plan

by John B. Taylorvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Hoover fellow and Stanford economics professor John B. Taylor examines the arguments against the Dole plan, one by one-and, one by one, he refutes them.

Is the Third Wave Receding?

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

The rapid emergence of new democracies during the past two decades is often termed the third wave of democratization. (The first wave took place from the 1820s to the 1920s, the second, from the 1940s to the early 1960s.) Hoover fellow Larry Diamond argues that the third wave is substantially over-and that we must act now to prevent a reverse wave from sweeping the weaker democracies away.

The Painful Truth About Medical Research

by Gary S. Beckervia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

The federal government spends $12 billion a year on medical research. Which diseases get priority? The deadliest killers? According to Nobel Prize-winner and Hoover fellow Gary S. Becker, the ones with the best-organized advocacy groups.

A Big Fat Problem

by Henry I. Millervia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

A quarter of a century after Procter & Gamble developed the fat substitute olestra, the Food and Drug Administration finally approved it. Now a group associated with Ralph Nader, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, is accusing the FDA of beinga corporate lapdog. Hoover fellow Henry I. Miller details an absurdity.

Why Social Security is a Raw Deal - Even for Old Folks

by David R. Hendersonvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

For baby boomers, Social Security is a rip-off-that much is already well known. But Hoover fellow David R. Henderson argues that even old folks would have been better off without it.

Drive A Stake Through It

by Thomas Sowellvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

The passage of California's Proposition 209 has outlawed affirmative action programs in California's state government and made the status of affirmative action programs everywhere one of the most pressing issues of the day. Here Hoover fellow Thomas Sowell argues that there is precisely one way to deal with affirmative action. End it.

How Teachers' Unions Let Kids Down

by Robert J. Barrovia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Teachers' unions say that they foster student achievement. Hoover fellow Robert J. Barro says bunk.

Global Warming and Globaloney

by Thomas Gale Moorevia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Environmentalists urge the world to spend trillions of dollars to halt global warming. For less than a thousandth of the cost, Hoover fellow Thomas Gale Moore points out, we could instead treat the one-fifth of the world's children who now go without immunizations-and actually do some good.

Crime and Management

by Joseph D. McNamaravia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Former San Jose, California, chief of police and Hoover fellow Joseph D. McNamara believes that if law enforcement were an industry, the nation's police force would qualify as a "mature organization saddled with a monopoly-minded culture." How McNamara turned the force in San Jose around.

Welfare Reform North of the Border

by Arnold Beichmanvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Hoover fellow Arnold Beichman describes the example that one Canadian province is setting for fifty American states.

What Crisis?

by Michael McFaulvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

With Boris Yeltsin suffering from a bad heart, powerful figures are already plotting to succeed him. Should the West brace itself for a crisis? Relax, says Hoover fellow and Stanford political scientist Michael A. McFaul.

Stalin: The Revised Edition

by Robert Conquestvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

A recent book entitled Life and Terror in Stalin's Russia argues that "Stalin was not guilty of mass first-degree murder from 1934 to 1941." Hoover fellow Robert Conquest examines this argument, engaging in a serene demolition.

When Russians Behave Like Soviets

by Richard F. Staarvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

The United States gives Russia billions in aid every year, subject to certain important conditions, including the condition that the Russians demilitarize. The Russians keep on violating the conditions-and we keep on giving them more money. By Hoover fellow Richard F. Staar.

When an Asian Tiger Trips

by Hilton L. Rootvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Until recently, Indonesia, with more than five times the landmass of Japan and over ten times the population of Australia, could boast both political stability and rapid economic growth. No longer. Hoover fellow Hilton L. Root explains what's gone wrong.

The Short March

by Henry S. Rowenvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

When will China become a democracy? The answer is, around 2015, says Hoover fellow Henry S. Rowen.

Leave Somalia Alone

via Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Almost four years after the U.S. mission to Somalia ended in catastrophe, some Americans still feel an urge to lend Somalia a helping hand. Yet as Hoover fellow Robert J. Myers explains, there is only one kind of people who can make a difference in Somalia: Somalis.

The End of the Evil Empire

by Richard V. Allenvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

The cold war did not simply end. It was won. An account by Hoover fellow Richard V. Allen.

The End of Two Evil Empires

by Lewis H. Gannvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Fifty-five years ago, Germany and Japan were waging war to establish world empires. Fifty years ago, they were beginning to dig themselves out from under the rubble. Hoover fellow Lewis H. Gann explains the collapse of the Third Reich and the Empire of the Sun.

Back to the Future

by Edward Teller, Edward Neilan, Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Hoover fellow Edward Teller became a central figure in President Reagan's effort to develop a defense against ballistic missiles-the Strategic Defense Initiative, or, as it was quickly nicknamed, Star Wars. Recently, some in Congress have once again begun to urge the deployment of a space-based missile defense. Teller is right back in the middle of the controversy.

We present a brief appreciation of Teller by Hoover media fellow Edward Neilan. Then we present an interview with Teller himself, who talks with Hoover fellow Peter Robinson.

At the United Nations, We Should Pay Up and Behave

by Charles Hill, Stephen Stedman, Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Two experts on the United Nations, Charles Hill, a Hoover fellow, and Stephen Stedman, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, recently spent an afternoon talking about the relationship between the United Nations and the United States. They argue that the United States has spent the last few years shoving the United Nations around. Hill and Stedman answered questions from Hoover fellow Peter Robinson.

Cultures Aren't Equal

by Thomas Sowellvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

In his latest book, Migrations and Cultures, Hoover fellow Thomas Sowell makes the politically incorrect assertion that some cultures are better than others. In this interview, he does it again.

The Intellect as a Weapon For Freedom

by John H. Bunzelvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

The philosopher and Hoover fellow Sidney Hook (1902-1989) fought a tenacious battle against the politicization of the university. An appreciation by Hoover fellow John H. Bunzel.

Ballots and Banners

via Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

In its current exhibition in the Herbert Hoover Memorial Exhibit Pavilion, the Hoover archives tells the story of contemporary elections through a display of posters, buttons, brochures, and flags.

One Page of Pure Hook

by Sidney Hookvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

A letter from the late Sidney Hook to the editor of Stanford University's Campus Report, reproduced from the Sidney Hook papers in the Hoover Institution Archives. A lovely dollop of logic.

Seven Principles for Welfare Reform

by Martin Andersonvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Last summer President Clinton signed into law the vast new welfare overhaul that the Republican Congress had sent him. The law abolished the federal government's welfare bulwark, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, replacing it with block grants and wide new authority for the states.

Now the states must design welfare programs that conform with the law. They could do worse than to follow the guidelines that Hoover fellow Martin Anderson set out nearly twenty years ago. Anderson's book Welfare: The Political Economy of Welfare Reform in the United States, published in 1978, represents a tour de force-a thorough analysis of the welfare system, of the proposals for changing it, and of the practical and moral arguments underlying the entire debate.

Bibliography

via Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

A comprehensive listing of recent writings of Hoover fellows and publications from the Hoover Press.