City of Brotherly Education

Next week Philadelphia's children will be returning to what may be the worst school system in America. But what distinguishes this failed public school systems from others is that two years ago state officials decided to replace the ineffective school board with a School Reform Commission, appointed by the state and given a mandate for serious reform.

Doing Good for Africa in Africa

South Africa, in its gleaming cities and resorts, provides an example of the tremendous wealth and economic and social progress that all Africans could obtain if only the economic and political institutions in their countries were stable, democratic and economically open.

Health Insurance: How Much Does It Matter?

Two recent reports associate lack of health insurance coverage with less access to health care services and worse health outcomes. One study is written by Jack Hadley of the Urban Institute and published by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, the other by an Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Yankee Austerity

It's a good thing George Washington got his political start in 18th century Virginia. If he lived in Vermont today, he'd find his campaign expenditures illegal. That's because in 1997 the state passed Act 64 limiting the amount a candidate for a seat in the state's lower house can spend to 70 cents per registered voter.

The Farm Bill: A Twice-Baked Potato

The $190 billion Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, passed by Congress and signed by President Bush, was a big mistake. While the Farm Act may serve farmers in the short run, it will harm them and many others over time.

Hello, Larry?

How could this administration, so strong in fighting the war and conducting foreign policy, be so tentative in formulating economic policy? The answer lies in the contrast between President Bush's clearly articulated war policies and the lack of clearly understood economic policies.

Steel Tariffs and the Price of Unintended Consequences

Steel prices have risen by 30 to 50 percent since President Bush announced the imposition of special tariffs on steel imports in March. Steel consumers – firms that process steel for specific applications and manufacturers who use steel to make machines, equipment and consumer products – report supply shortages, lost contracts and production cutbacks.

The Case against Mental Health Parity, Part I: Faulty Assumptions

Advocates of mental health parity assume that all health care should be paid for in the same way. Federal law already requires that any cap on private health insurance benefits (e.g., a limit on the amount of total spending) must be the same for physical and mental health services.

Wrong Rx For Medicare

People on Medicare are the only group in our society that needs to purchase a second insurance policy to fill the gaps in their primary health plan. Even after doing that, many seniors do not have coverage for the prescription drugs that non-seniors take for granted.

Vox Populi

It's August. Feet up on the railing and forget about your irritable boss, deadlines, e-mails and meetings. Time to open a cold one, lean back, gaze at the horizon and think things over.