Gun Control Myths: The Case of England

Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm of Bentley College deserves some sort of special prize for taking on the thankless task of talking sense on a subject where nonsense is deeply entrenched and fiercely dogmatic. In her recently published book, “Guns and Violence,” Professor Malcolm examines the history of firearms, gun control laws and violent crime in […]

Free Speech for Me, But Not For Thee

The financial media is in an uproar over proposed new New York Stock Exchange and National Association of Securities Dealers rules that would require stock analysts to stop talking to reporters who didn’t include mandated disclosures when the analyst is quoted in print. Regulations to rein in “tainted” Wall Street stock research — the very […]

Thankful to Be American

Before the Berlin Wall came down, I worked at a supermarket where a regular customer, a refugee from Communist Yugoslavia, once told me, “In my old country, we were lucky to have small shops that sold some food; in America, we have supermarkets for toys.” Not a criticism, her comment suggested that this fact was […]

Phony Diversity

You’ve written a tuition check, carted your son or daughter off to college, given those last minute admonitions and made those tearful good byes. For those thousands of dollars, the anguish of seeing your 17- or 18-year-old pack up and leave home for the first time, and entrusting him to some strangers, what are some […]

Senator Daschle vs. Rush Limbaugh: Who is Promoting Violence?

The change from Senate majority leader to Senate minority leader has apparently led Senator Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, into more of the kind of wild and reckless rhetoric that may have contributed to the Democrats’ defeat in the recent elections. According to Senator Daschle, when radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh “attacks those of us […]

Thanksgiving: The Producer’s Holiday

Thanksgiving celebrates man’s ability to produce. The cornucopia filled with exotic flowers and delicious fruits, the savory turkey with aromatic trimmings, the mouth-watering pies, the colorful decorations — it’s all a testament to the creation of wealth. Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, because this country was the first to create and to value material […]

Quarter One 2000 Upside Down?

When an investment celebrity like Pimco’s Bill Gross calls for Dow 5,000, we can’t help but see it as a sign of extreme investor pessimism suggesting that we must be getting near a bottom. It reminds me of the kind of thing we heard at the top in 2000 — in reverse. There are quantitative […]

Class sizes and Academic Achievement

Election Day brought some surprises, but the fact that voters in Florida passed an amendment that would reduce class sizes in their state isn’t one of them. Naturally, most parents would rather see their children in classes with just 19 other kids and a qualified teacher, instead of in classes with 30 students, possibly taught […]

Is Deflation Dead?

Ever since Alan Greenspan surprised the markets by lowering interest rates 50 basis points a week ago Wednesday, the financial media have been frantic with worry about deflation. Well, you heard it here first — exactly a year and a day ago in this column, on November 14, 2001. I told you then about the […]

Does the Democratic Party Take Blacks for Granted?

In analyzing the recent Democratic bath in the off-year election, black Representative Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., defeated in her own primary, accused the Democratic Party of “taking black voters for granted.” Tavis Smiley, black NPR commentator, made the same assertion while chastising his guest, former Vice President Al Gore, for allegedly committing the same crime. The […]

Real Options: A Practitioner’s Guide

AN ANALOGY-GETTING FROM HERE TO THERE Suppose you are planning to drive from Boston to Los Angeles. If you are like us, you will get a map (online from the Internet), remember that over long distances the great circle route is actually the shortest distance between two points on the surface of a globe, and […]

Norman Borlaug: Solving World Hunger Through Genetics

Not to take anything away from Jimmy Carter, the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner and a far better ex-president than president, but, when it comes to saving lives, no one can compete with Norman Borlaug. Norman who? Borlaug is one of the great humanitarians of the 20th Century – and winner of the Nobel Peace […]