Students as Political Pawns

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In the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), American 15-year olds did not improve their scores. Since 2000, the US science and reading scores have ranked average among the other 64 PISA nations, but the math scores were much lower.  Some cynically spin this to mean that since the US has higher economic success […]

Buyer Beware: Complaints from Rooftops

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Over the past couple of decades, a number of rooftop solar companies have gone into business – often making arrangements to lease solar panels to consumers while collecting subsidies for these systems for themselves. SolarCity – the brainchild of billionaire Elon Musk – has made an especially big name for itself in the world of […]

How DOJ Actions Could Harm U.S. Competitiveness Abroad

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a search (and seizure) warrant to Microsoft Communications to hand over the private email communications of a suspected drug trafficker. The only problems with the request, however, is that the drug suspect happens to reside in Ireland, the emails being sought are stored on an Internet server located in […]

High Expectations for Mobile Wallet

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Consumers have a love-hate relationship with credit cards. We love not having to walk around with a brick of dollars to cover purchases we often didn’t know we needed.  But we hate having to make a minimum payment or clear the balance on the credit card billing statement.  In the background there’s concern that the […]

What’s Behind Declining Labor Force Participation?

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Since employment declined dramatically in 2008, there has been acute interest in the so-called labor force “participation rate.” When employment began climbing out of the Great Recession trough in 2010, that progress seemed to be sabotaged by troubling decreases in the rate. Many questioned aloud why American workers were leaving the labor force. A cluster […]

Internet Command and Control Regulation

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As many observers know by now, the FCC is contemplating reclassifying the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act, which would make the Internet a public utility rather than its current classification of Title I, which applies to information services. The FCC’s reply comments for this proceeding ended this Wednesday. Though net neutrality proponents […]

Growing Market of Last Resort

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The Ferguson riots and resulting damage are a sad reminder of the race riots in the 1960s.  Once the rioting and destruction subsides, the difficult process of rebuilding begins.  Following the riots in the 1960s, property owners in urban regions had trouble obtaining financing to rebuild due to the lack of insurance.  Insurance companies were […]

Cable TV and the Collateral Damage from Local Choice

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Senators Thune and Rockefeller are suggesting a proposal to require local TV broadcasting channels, such ABC and CBS, be offered on an “à la carte” basis to cable TV viewers. The idea, referred to as Local Choice, would allow consumers the option to pick and pay only for the TV broadcast channels they want, instead of […]

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Cyber-Lessee

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Cyber skills can provide countries with aggressive capabilities disproportionately greater than their population or GDP. The US tries to cloak its cyber prowess in silence, somewhat like China and Russia.  Smaller actors such as South Korea and Iran either want others to know or they ineptly cover their tracks. Some nations such as Israel and […]

The Consumer Costs of Net Neutrality

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Proponents of regulating Internet services and service providers, called net neutrality, have seen their cause take a hit in recent months, but that’s not stopping them from finding other avenues to impose their favored regulations. In January, a DC Appeals court struck down the FCCs net neutrality rules, saying they weren’t permissible for companies that […]