August 18, 2005
Vol. 1, No.
for property theft
By Thomas Bray
The Detroit News
The quote in last Tuesday's Bozeman
Daily Chronicle - the paper of record in
Bozeman, Mont., population 35,000, where my wife
and I can often be found roaming the mountains -
fairly leaped off the page: "Blight is downtown
Detroit; it's not Bozeman, Montana."
The person being quoted was one Jackie Wilson,
described as living in a corner of Bozeman that
the city fathers had just declared "blighted,"
the first step in preparing an "urban renewal"
plan. Wilson appeared to have a point. My wife
and I happened to be driving through the
"blighted" area the next day, and while some of
the residential and commercial structures might
be described as a bit ramshackle, it would be a
stretch - at least for somebody from Detroit -
to call the area blighted.
Thus it was no surprise that residents,
concerned that the urban renewal plan is only a
plot to throw them out of their homes to make
way for the wealthy yuppies flocking to the
Rocky Mountain's Front Range in search of
"lifestyle," jammed the city commission to
protest the designation.
"This is the last community in Bozeman still
barely affordable and I'd like to see it stay
the same," asserted Wilson.
How Bush's Social Security reform died
By Kevin A. Hassett
reform is dead. How it died tells us a lot about
both U.S. political parties.
For a while, Social Security reform was like
Westley, the hero of “The Princess Bride.” After
his friends discovered him in a torture chamber,
apparently dead, they took him to a miracle
maker named Max to see if he could be revived.
After inspecting Westley, Max had good news.
“There's different kinds of dead,” he said.
“There's sort of dead, mostly dead and all dead.
This fella here, he's only sort of dead.”
Until two weeks ago, Social Security reform was
sort of dead. But now it seems to be all dead.
The breakdown occurred when the administration
backed away from a proposal making its way
through the House of Representatives that would
have introduced personal accounts without
specifically restoring solvency to the system.
What's wrong with economic growth?
By Antony Mueller
growth serves as the prominent standard for
measuring the performance of an economy.
However, what is published as the gross domestic
product (GDP) does not represent production but
reports overall spending. The calculation of
economic growth is based on the nominal gross
domestic product deflated by a price index.
Thus, the figure for real economic growth is
subject to two distortions: the indicator does
not measure production but reports expenditures,
and, secondly, the obtained number is dependent
on the techniques that are applied to the
calculation of the respective price indices.
Economic growth figures can be determined in a
fairly accurate way for an economy, which is in
a primitive state and when only a few, easily
identifiable and compoundable items are being
produced, as it is the case with basic
agricultural products. In the 1950s and 1960s it
was thought that tons of steel could be used as
a proxy for an objective estimate of economic
performance. Nowadays, the figure for GDP gets
all the attention, although the basis for its
calculation its actually weaker than ever
A distinguished professor reveals -- in a
chatty, personal web log -- exactly how our colleges of
education spread ignorance, rather than learning
If you’re an
employer here in Nevada, there’s a very good
chance that you’ve become thoroughly unimpressed
with the graduates coming out of Nevada public schools.
Forty-two percent of Nevada employers rated their
recently hired graduates as unsatisfactory overall,
according to a
recent survey conducted for the Nevada Policy
Research Institute. Employers gave especially low
ratings to recent graduates’ skills in mathematics,
communication and problem solving.
Of course, after decades of spiraling-downward
public-school performance scores, all around the nation,
this is probably not exactly news to you.
But have you ever wondered exactly why public
schooling, despite the humongous sums “invested” into it
(doubling, in real dollars, over the last
quarter-century), so often only grows worse?
One big part of the problem—and thus a clear area where
demolition would mean major progress—is the
teacher-training system, whether here in Nevada or
across the country. Our colleges of education have for
decades been gripped by a bizarre ideological paralysis.
Within its frozen categories, the ed schools rarely, if
ever, actually teach their students how to teach.
The regimen that takes its place instead is almost
entirely devoted to nonsensical and politically correct
pap that subverts genuine educational values.
It is difficult for newcomers to the subject to grasp
the scope and virulence of the pathology involved here.
In the private sector, such a failure-centric operation
would be bankrupt in a few months and replaced by
something that works. But, hidden behind academic
defenses in depth and political allies that share the
same general ideology, the ed schools have for decades
been able to conceal their scandalous fecklessness from
the broader public—while continuing to suck up taxpayer
stake in energy law
By Kevin Rademacher
Nevada, and the nation, energy experts are
sifting through more than 1,700 pages that make up the
federal energy bill signed into law this week by
They are looking for clues as to how the
long-awaited piece of legislation might affect
utilities, renewable energy developers and customers
when a series of new rules and mandates take shape.
Interested parties ranging from power company
executives to the state consumer advocate praised
efforts to update federal energy policy, which had gone
without revision for more than a decade. The long stall
dragged on despite a crisis in the Western electric
market, soaring natural gas prices and struggles to
spark renewable energy development, to name a few
problems facing the nation.
(cordless) freedom ring
By Peter Lewis
voice over Internet phone system makes it simple for
even tech neophytes to tap into the cutting edge of
telephony — and maybe save a bundle on their bills.
Best return on investment:
part-time programs for MBAs
By Kurt Badenhausen
and Lesley Kump
fourth biennial ranking of business schools shows why
students are embracing part-time programs.
Our survey ranks schools based on return on
investment--meaning compensation five years after
graduation minus tuition and the forgone salary during
The top part-time school, Stern's Langone Part-time
M.B.A. Program, had a median five-year gain of $166,000,
greatly helped by the absence of forgone salary. That
sum beats the $134,000 gain of the top-ranked full-time
program, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
In a combined ranking of part-time and full-time U.S.
programs, Tuck and the University of Pennsylvania's
Wharton School are the only full-time schools that would
make the top five. (For the first time, Harvard Business
School is not the top-ranked school.)
Mexico's government subsidizing Illegals'
By Jerry Seper
The Washington Times
The Mexican staging area
for illegal aliens that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson
demanded this week be bulldozed is among hundreds of
similar sites along the border sponsored and maintained
by the Mexican government.
More than 40 percent of Hispanic voters say
the rising tide of illegal aliens is hurting
Many of the sites are marked with blue flags and
pennants to signal that water is available.
Others, such as the Las Chepas site that Mr. Richardson
denounced, are a collection of old, mostly abandoned
buildings or ranch houses where illegals gather for
water and other supplies—sometimes bartering with
smugglers, or "coyotes," for passage north.
Las Chepas, law-enforcement authorities said, also is a
center for drug smugglers looking to move marijuana and
cocaine into the United States.
alien crisis yields partisan split in Arizona
By John Turner Gilliland
efforts to maintain border security and keep illegal
aliens from crossing into Arizona, the state's governor
and a top legislator have submitted dramatically
different plans to achieve the same goal. The issue
could eventually dominate the 2006 governor's race in
Gov. Janet Napolitano this week declared a "state of
emergency" for four southern Arizona counties bordering
Mexico. The declaration frees up $1.5 million, which
will help the counties escalate their own efforts to
keep undocumented workers from crossing into the state.
Former AOL worker jailed
under anti-spam law
By David Glovin
a former America Online engineer and self-described
cyberspace outlaw, was sentenced to 15 months in prison
for stealing a subscriber list spammers used to send
billions of unsolicited e-mails.
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