Jackson Toby, Minding The Campus.com

College Loan Defaults Are Coming - 3/30/12

No modern-day Paul Revere is taking a midnight ride to warn about this, but the defaults are coming. Many are already here. They are coming from student loans given to the wrong students for the wrong reasons.

Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail

Canada's New Austerity - 3/30/12

Everyone knew cuts were coming, and they would’ve happened no matter who was in office. When it’s time to face the music, ideology doesn’t matter. All that matters is the math.

Steven Greenhut, Bloomberg

Californians Love Taxes - 3/29/12

In a new state poll, 64 percent of those surveyed are behind Governor Jerry Brown's plan to “temporarily” boost taxes in California.

Avik Roy, USA Today

Individual Mandate Rests on Ugly Deal - 3/29/12

The reason the Affordable Care Act forces every American to buy health insurance is that the law makes it a raw deal for people to buy it on their own.

Bob Ivry, Bloomberg

FHA Bailout Looms - 3/27/12

The Federal Housing Administration won’t be able to earn its way to financial health this year, increasing the chance it will need a taxpayer bailout, based on an updated forecast from Moody’s Analytics, which provides the agency’s housing-market analysis.

Alyssia Finely, Wall St. Journal

Democrat Who Took On Unions - 3/25/12

Rhode Island's treasurer Gina Raimondo talks about how she persuaded the voting public, labor rank-and-file and a liberal legislature to pass the most far-reaching pension reform in decades.

James M. Oliver, Washington Times

The Economics of Water Wars - 3/25/12

A Supreme Court case concerning water rights between Texas and Oklahoma will have an impact on the nation’s hopes for energy independence and economic growth in many of our fastest-expanding population centers.

Avik Roy, Forbes

ObamaCare and Young Workers - 3/25/12

Obamacare forces insurers to charge their eldest beneficiaries no more than 3 times what they charge their youngest ones: a policy known as “community rating.” This, despite the fact that these older beneficiaries typically have six times the health expenditures that younger people face. The net effect of this “community rating” provision is the redistribution of insurance costs from the old to the... More

Douglas J. Elliott, CNNMoney

Why Volcker Rule Fails - 3/22/12

The core problem is the Volcker Rule purports to eliminate excessive investment risk at banks without measuring either the level of risk or the capacity of banks to handle it, which would tell us whether the risk was excessive. Instead, the rule focuses on the intent of the investment.

Luigi Zingales, Project Syndicate

Bonus Risk in Finance - 3/22/12

Much research has tried to establish a connection between bankers’ compensation schemes and risk-taking, but has failed to find one. At most, such research has found that more highly paid executives took greater risks, but it is unclear whether this is a cause or an effect. Executives in highly leveraged institutions should be paid more, because they bear more risk.

Charlotte Allen, Minding The Campus.com

Inequality Studies: Campus Movement - 3/22/12

The sharp political focus on inequality, driven into the public mind by the Occupy movement and endorsed by President Obama in his State of the Union message, was born, not on the street, but on the campus. Some colleges manage to combine many unlovely campus obsessions into a single curriculum: advocacy teaching, Marxism, the feeling that America is deeply unjust.

Diana Furchgott-Roth, Manhattan Institute

Lowering Gas Prices - 3/21/12

Three strategies for Washington.


Richard Epstein, Forbes

Can We Unshackle FDA? - 3/18/12

The Obama Administration often proclaims that it works overtime to strengthen the competitive position of U.S. industry. If it’s sincere about this claim, it should be working to lower the time and cost that it takes pharmaceutical companies to bring new medicines to market, estimated to be over a decade at a cost of $1.3 billion per drug.

Steve James, Reuters.com

Manufacturing Game Changer - 3/18/12

America's steel industry, for decades a symbol of industrial decline, is betting on natural gas to make it more competitive against foreign producers.

John Merline, Investors Business Daily

Scarce Oil? - 3/18/12

Far from being oil-poor, the U.S. is awash in vast quantities — enough to meet all the country's oil needs for hundreds of years.

Scott Rausmussen, Washington Examiner

Voters: How To Add Jobs - 3/18/12

One of the fundamental gaps between the American people and their elected politicians can be found in perceptions of the relationship between economic growth, job creation and government spending.

Richard Vedder, Bloomberg

The Studying Abroad Racket - 3/13/12

Study abroad is a marketing tool and in some cases a cash cow for universities. Educationally, the programs have long had a reputation for offering little intellectual content or academic rigor, and minimal language or cultural immersion.Yet colleges continue to push them on students.

USA Today

The Fortress Around Public Pensions - 3/13/12

In more than a dozen states — including Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Ohio, Texas and Virginia — the public is kept in the dark about public pensions. Individual data are confidential under state law, and taxpayers can't find out what retirees get from systems that are funded, in large part, by tax dollars. Public employee unions, in league with compliant state officials, have built a fortress around their pension... More

Diana Furchgott-Roth, Manhattan Institute

ObamaCare and Jobs - 3/12/12

The mandated $2,000 tax per worker in the new health care law, effective 2014 and levied on employers who do not provide the right kind of health insurance, is discouraging hiring. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 will raise the cost of employment when fully implemented in 2014. Companies with 50 or more workers will be required to offer a generous health insurance package, with no lifetime caps and no... More

John E. Petersen, Governing Magazine

State Taxes Need Fixing - 3/12/12

State tax codes are filled with a legion of special treatments that could very well lead to a state’s fiscal destruction.

Darrell Preston , Bloomberg

Retiree Health Care Debacle - 3/08/12

The near-failure by U.S. states to fund rising retiree health-care costs for millions of government workers threatens to produce budget crises similar to the one that pushed Stockton, California, to take a step toward bankruptcy last week. States haven’t financed almost 96 percent of the $627.4 billion they were projected to owe for future retiree benefits in 2010, according to Bloomberg Rankings data.

Alex Tabarrok, Chronicle of Higher Education

College and the Labor Market - 3/08/12

The obsessive focus on a college degree has served neither taxpayers nor students well. Only 35 percent of students starting a four-year degree program will graduate within four years, and less than 60 percent will graduate within six years. Who can blame them? Sit-down learning is not for everyone, perhaps not even for most people. There are many roads to an education. Consider those offered in Europe. In Germany, 97 percent of... More

Tim Mullaney, USA Today

Accounting For Unemployment Decline - 3/07/12

Are more jobs really what has made the unemployment rate drop more rapidly than many expected, as joblessness slid to 8.3% in January from 9.1% in August? It's not the whole story.

John Ydstie, NPR.com

Energy Independence Nearer - 3/07/12

Rising gas prices have been the big energy story of the past several weeks. But many energy experts say that's a sideshow compared with the really big energy event — the huge boom in oil and natural gas production in the U.S. that could help the nation reach the elusive goal of energy independence.

Walter Williams, Investors Business Daily

Outlaw Productivity Gains? - 3/06/12

2011 manufacturing output grew by 11%, to nearly $5 trillion. Were our manufacturing sector considered a nation with its own gross domestic product, it would be the world's fourth-richest economy. Manufacturing productivity has doubled since 1987, and manufacturing output has risen by one-half. Over the past two decades, however, manufacturing employment has fallen about 25%. For some people, that means our manufacturing sector... More

Stuart M. Butler, National Affairs

A Higher Ed Revolution - 3/06/12

In as little as a decade, most colleges and universities could look very different from their present forms — with the cost of a college credential plummeting even as the quality of instruction rises.

Bert Stratton, City Journal

The Landlord's Tale - 3/05/12

A member of a maligned class explains, among other things, how he keeps up the neighborhood.

Catherine Saillant, Maloy Moore and Doug Smith, Los Angeles Times

Salary Spiking California Style - 3/05/12

One element in governments' fiscal woes in the state is the ability of public employees to earn more in retirement than they did while working, thanks to generous retirement rules.

Steven Greenhut, Bloomberg

California's Cities In Crisis - 3/02/12

The financial mess in Stockton echoes problems throughout California, even though public-sector union leaders and Democratic state legislators are in denial about this reality. In cities as affluent and diverse as San Jose and San Diego, municipal finances are hitting the wall, driven by unsustainable pension debt and health-care promises made to government workers during more flush economic times.

Heather Mac Donald, FREE.com

Too Poor To Marry? - 3/02/12

A married spouse at whatever income level is almost always going to improve the economy of a household over a lifetime, whether that spouse is adding the proceeds of a minimum-wage job or the inestimable value of being a stay-at-home parent while the other one works.

Greg Burke, Fox News

What's the Matter With Italy? - 3/01/12

Even seemingly decent people eschew paying taxes and misrepresent themsevles to gain government benefits.


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