Private Wildlife Conservation

Government land use regulations in the United States discourage landowners from protecting wildlife. This is unfortunate, since private landowners control approximately 60 percent of the land base, and at least 80 percent of wildlife in the 48 contiguous states is dependent in whole or in part upon private land. The biggest threat to wildlife is loss of habitat. Without the cooperation of the private sector, public parks and wildlife refuges will become island ecosystems, and the future of animals existing on these lands will be in jeopardy.

The Warmest Year on Whose Record?

In January 1999 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that 1998 was the "warmest year on record." A year earlier NOAA had declared 1997 the "warmest year on record." Then in January 2000 NOAA proclaimed 1999 the "second warmest year on record."

Banning Roads, Burning Forests

The fires that swept through Los Alamos National Laboratory during June 2000 illustrate much of what is wrong with federal land management. A series of bad decisions the United States Forest Service made concerning a prescribed burn (a fire set to reduce undergrowth and prevent future wildfires) at Bandelier National Monument resulted in a fire that raged out of control. As high winds combined with an overabundance of dead and dying wood, the fire incinerated everything in its path, including 400 homes.

Uninsured in the Lone Star State

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 4.8 million of the 19.6 million Texas residents – about one in every four – are not covered by health insurance. Moreover, the proportion of uninsured has changed little in the past 10 years. However, in many cases the uninsured are uninsured by choice. And lacking health insurance does not mean lacking health care in Texas.

Life As A Positive-Sum Game

Most historians, and virtually everyone on the political left, views most human interactions as zero-sum (to borrow a term from game theory). One person's gain is another person's loss.

Focus Point – Saving MSAs

Medical savings accounts provide low-cost coverage to those who can't afford high health insurance premiums. But the program — one that was popularized by the NCPA's president John Goodman — will expire at the end of this year unless Congress extends it.

Focus Point – Texas Record On Education

In George W. Bush's wonderful convention acceptance speech, he warned democrats not to mess with Texas. Not that he expected them to listen. Looking for bad things in the lone star state is going to be a liberal past time between now and November.

Focus Point – Criminals

Almost 600,000 felons will be released from state and federal prisons this year. Sixty-two percent will be charged with new crimes. They were not rehabilitated.

A Prescription for Disaster

After watching the Democrat's convention, it's apparent that they believe prescription drug coverage is their key to the house – the White House, the U. S. House, the 50 state Houses, etc., etc. That's why between now and election day it will be difficult to read any campaign related news and not see something about prescription drugs.

Focus Point – Nader and the Dem Left

Maybe I'm reading too much into one article, but when one of the most liberal columnists — Ellen Goodman — from the one of the most liberal papers — The Boston Globe — all but swoons for Ralph Nader, I have to wonder how Al Gore feels.

Focus Point – The Lieberman Pick

If Al Gore was looking for a way to distance himself from Bill Clinton, he couldn't have made a more useful vice-presidential selection that Joseph Lieberman, the senator from Connecticut.

Focus Point – Choice as Civil Rights

Is school choice redefining the civil rights movement? That's the thesis of Mikel Holt's book "Not Yet Free at Last." He argues, in writing the history of the fight for school choice in Milwaukee, that choice empowers black parents by giving them control over their children's education.

South Africa's Battle with AIDS and Drug Prices

South Africa is mired in a health crisis as the rate of HIV infection reaches 22 percent of adults, including more than one in five pregnant women. The crisis is expensive. Drug treatment costs for AIDS range from $15,000 to $20,000 per year in the U. S., while per capita income in South Africa is only $6,800.

Americans Support Personal Retirement Accounts

Polls consistently demonstrate the popularity of personal retirement accounts as an alternative to the current Social Security system. Younger voters overwhelmingly favor moving to a new system in which they can invest a portion of their payroll tax in a personal account that they can own and control. Indeed, Social Security reform has moved to the top of the agenda in the 2000 presidential race, with both candidates proposing competing visions of reform – and both including some form of personal retirement accounts.

Focus Point – Gore And Gas

It's a funny thing about Al Gore; he doesn't want to take credit for current gas prices. Yet of all the things he has taken credit for, this one is genuinely his responsibility. After all, in "earth in the balance," he wrote high gas prices were desirable as a national energy policy. And in 1993 he cast the tie-breaking vote for the gas tax increase.