Archive for September, 2017
Transcending Government — A Future of Competitive Governance Driven by “Governance Entrepreneurs”

In a little-known 2006 World Bank report Where Is the Wealth of Nations? a team of economists provide a snapshot of wealth in 120 countries, and they find that governance is key. A full 46 percent of total wealth in high-income countries derives from the rule of law, the most important factor. This is an...
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How the UK Can Benefit from a Free Trade Future After Brexit—Even Outside the Single Market

[This article was co-authored with David Paton and David Blake, and first appeared on TheConversation.com.] The benefits of free trade have been familiar to economists since Adam Smith. Trade encourages specialisation and leads to lower costs, higher productivity and higher living standards. Yet for some economists, things are different when it comes to the...
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The EU’s Thousands of Senseless Tariffs Simply Serve to Punish the Poor

My report A Trade Policy for a Brexited Britain, published by the Institute of Economic Affairs last month, had a short section on EU tariffs. I gave the example of how in October last year EU tariffs on orange imports were quintupled from 3.2 percent to 16 percent. This example has been challenged by...
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You Can’t Go Home Again, but . . .

A melancholy saying reminds us that you can’t go home again. I know I can’t. My parents have been dead for decades, and my brother Bill, my only sibling, died three years ago. Moreover, the house in which we lived when I was growing up in the late 1950s and early 1960s has been...
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National Idolatry and Constitution Day

By federal statute, September 17 is designated as a holy day in the American civic religion. On that day in 1787, the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention affixed their signatures to the document that they had created and that governs us today. The website constitutionday.com encourages public demonstrations of love for the Constitution and...
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Is Trump Destroying the GOP?

Of all the concerns raised about President Donald Trump and his behavior in the Oval Office, perhaps one of the more sobering one is the way he and his allies have elevated a minority position within the GOP to a dominant policy agenda at the national level. Throughout his primary campaign, Trump spoke to...
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Compounding California’s Student Preparation Problem

California State University officials want more undergraduates to earn their degrees and do so more quickly. Yet their “solution” could compound the more fundamental problem that too many students are graduating without being prepared. CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White issued an executive order last month that changes policies affecting entering freshmen’s knowledge assessments and...
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Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard and the Ethics of Assassination

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is an action/drama that would normally be considered standard fare for the summer season. Yet this movie does more than careen through dead bodies and extended vehicle chases. The story is driven by the relationship between the core characters and turns on a serious question of ethics and forgiveness. At the...
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$13 Billion in the School Supplies “Poorhouse”

This summer Tulsa Public Schools third-grade teacher Teresa Danks made national headlines when she decided to panhandle for school supplies. Sick of spending as much as $2,000 of her $35,000 salary each year on the school supplies her classes needed, Danks decided to beg for supplies instead. Dubbed the “Panhandling Teacher,” Danks received over...
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Transcending Government — Consensual Governance and New Technology

“Any useful statement about the future should at first seem ridiculous.” –Jim Dator Humans are three-dimensional animals. They require physical space to live, work, and play. Over thousands of years, humans built physical communities of different shapes, sizes, and compositions to accommodate their three-dimensional existence. But increasingly, humans are also building virtual communities that...
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