How to Improve American Justice

Has the American justice system spun out of control? With the agitation over au pair Louise Woodward, O.J. Simpson, Rodney King, the Menendez brothers and other well-publicized decisions, it seems like the system "gets it wrong" all too often. But are things really more woeful than ever? History suggests not. At most times dissatisfaction with our criminal justice procedures has been widespread.

The Case for Fast Track

Free trade is a proven winner. More than 12 million Americans have jobs supported by exports – jobs that pay about 14 percent more than jobs in nonexport industries. Exports have more than doubled as a share of the nation's total output in the last 25 years. Since 1993, American trade with other countries has increased by 33 percent – and trade with Canada and Mexico, our partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), has grown by 44 percent.

Crime Is Down Because Punishment Is Up

The amount of serious crime has decreased in most towns and cities across the country. New York City, for example, had fewer than 1,000 murders in 1996, the lowest number in nearly 30 years. Overall crime has dropped by half in Houston during the past six years, and violent crimes there are down by two-thirds.

The Economic Impact of Prison Labor

The unemployment rate stands at 4.9 percent, the lowest since the Vietnam war. Employers looking for workers are finding that the supply of labor, even unskilled labor, is tight. However, more than a million Americans who could work – in fact, desperately need the skills that come only from real work – remain unproductive. These are our nation's prisoners.

Day Care: Children vs. Government

At a recent White House conference on child care, President Clinton called the day care market "dysfunctional." First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton complained of a "silent crisis" in child care. Both the president and Mrs. Clinton advocated more government intervention, including more federal spending on training day-care workers. But government is the cause of many of the problems parents face, including arbitrary, cost-increasing regulations at the local level and discriminatory tax laws at the federal level.

Who's Afraid of Patient Choice?

There is a growing debate in Washington over private contracting in Medicare. What the debate boils down to is this: should seniors be allowed to go to any physician and pay for that service out of their own pockets? Or must bureaucrats protect these seniors from themselves and their doctors?