Privacy from Government in a Transparent Society

Individuals face a greater threat to their privacy from government than from the private sector. In general, people have little or no control over what information is collected, how much is shared or how securely it is stored. If a business refuses to keep private information about one's consumer preferences secure, consumers can take their business elsewhere. But they hardly have the same opportunity when it comes to the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Internal Revenue Service.

Fighting the Last War

Congress is considering several versions of a Patients Bill of Rights. In the Senate, the "bipartisan" McCain-Kennedy-Edwards bill is going to duke it out with the "propartisan" Breaux-Frist-Jeffords bill and others. In the House, Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-Ga.), declaring that he was tired of waiting for the White House to compromise, prepared to move ahead with his own legislation. Meanwhile, Andrew Card, the White House Chief of Staff, announced that the President will veto any legislation that goes too far.

A Drink to Your Health

For many years medical journals and "wine snobs" alike have heralded the numerous health benefits of red wine. Yet according to a recent study by Dr. Margo Denke of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, the same case can be made for beer – wine's proletarian cousin.

Focus Point – Patients' Bill of Rights

What timing. The senate has started debating competing versions of managed care reform – a.k.a. the Patients' Bill of Rights – an issue that has already been decided in the courts and for which public support is dwindling.

Lieberman's Chance to Eliminate the Triple Threat

Connecticut Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman, the new chairman of the Senate Government Affairs Committee, has inherited from his Republican predecessor a true leadership role in eliminating billions of dollars of waste, fraud and abuse identified in a recently released federal study.

Focus Point – Jim Mullen

There's a very funny book out now for anybody who's ever entertained the notion of leaving city life behind for the country. It's called "It Takes a Village Idiot," by Entertainment Weekly columnist Jim Mullen.

A Good Week

European socialists and Third World nations drafted Kyoto precisely to reduce the America's enormous economic advantages–measured in jobs, incomes or opportunities–by extending international controls over the United States.

Focus Point – Choice Study

A new study by Harvard economist Caroline Hoxby concludes school choice programs – specifically Michigan and Arizona charters and the Milwaukee voucher program – improved not only the choice schools, but also the public schools.

Talking Down Vouchers

Ask any six-year-old and he will tell you – Bill Clinton's shining example aside – that it is wrong to tell a lie. But this simplest of schoolboy lessons has been lost on the critics of school choice.

Patients' Bill Of Rights Bill No Longer Relevant

The Senate this week begins debate on competing versions of managed care reform, commonly referred to as the "Patients' Bill of Rights." Yet according Greg Scandlen, senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, the Senate is fighting a war over an issue that has already been decided in the courts, and for which public support appears to be dwindling.

Distortions Cloud School Choice Debate

Former Milwaukee school superintendent Howard Fuller claims opponents of school choice are using lies and half-truths about the success of choice programs in Milwaukee to influence the debate on education in Congress.

The Power of Ideas

California hasn't seen the construction of a major power plant for a decade, leaving the state with a massive electricity shortage; it's now dead last among the 50 states in electricity generated per capita. Rolling blackouts, rising electricity prices and political unrest are all the result.

Focus Point – Cutting Spending

Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom" column, of all places, assessed George W. Bush's impact on American politics saying, "Gets most of his tax cut — and puts spending in straitjacket for the next 11 years."

Called to Account

The end of Social Security as we know it is just 15 years away. FDR's 1935 idea worked well for two-thirds of a century, largely because in the beginning there were a great many working people paying payroll taxes to support each retiree. No more. In the 1930s there were 42 workers per retiree. This ratio had dropped to 5.1 by 1960 and 3.4 last year. By 2030 there will be just 2.1 workers paying in for every one retiree.

Focus Point – Election 2000

It's nice to see the high poobahs of the national media have a sense of humor. At least a few of them do. And if there was ever an event to knock them off their perches and let the humor show, it was the coverage of election night 2000, when all the major news outfits got Florida wrong not once, but twice.