Center on Wealth & Poverty

Saving Iraq… from the U.N.

Last Saturday, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin “proposed a radically new approach” that would take control of Iraq from the U.S. (surprise) and give it to the U.N. He demanded that an Iraqi provisional government be established within a month, a constitution written by the end of the year, and elections held by the spring of 2004. Iraq does Read More ›

Turn Off Foreign Aid?

Why do we give foreign aid? We give aid for humanitarian reasons: that is, we wish to relieve human suffering because of famines or natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, etc.; and we give aid for economic development. The crisis in Iraq has again raised the issue of how much aid and in what forms is appropriate for the U.S. Read More ›

Scripting Iraq’s Future

Should Americans write the new Iraqi constitution? Should Americans determine how Iraq is governed in the future? We Americans have a legitimate interest in making sure the new Iraqi constitution will protect the liberties of the people, and result in their future prosperity and a successful state. To those ends, we should insist on certain constitutional standards and safeguards before Read More ›

Global Greed Screed

The European Commission and the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development based in Paris) are reprimanding and threatening several political and economic entities with blacklisting or other sanctions because of their economic policies. You are probably thinking they are going after Fidel Castro of Cuba, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, or the rulers of several African countries – all of Read More ›

I Want a New Drug

FACED WITH RISING Medicaid costs, the states have begun to trumpet the oldest illusion about government power — that price controls can make things abundant and “affordable,” in this case prescription drugs. On May 19 the U.S. Supreme Court gave the green light to a Maine program that includes thousands of uninsured citizens in a discount drug-buying program the state Read More ›

Who Should Pay for Slavery?

[This title of this article as published in the June 3, 2003 edition of The New York Sun is “An Address to the Members of the New York City Council.”] Members of the City Council, I stand before you today to congratulate you on your efforts to redress the great historical wrong of Slavery. Your pioneering initiative has not only Read More ›

Spending Their Way Out of Debt

NEARLY ALL 50 states are experiencing budget crises, with California in the worst shape, facing a $38.2 billion deficit. Even Arizona has a $1.3 billion shortfall. Washington state has had to close schools. Connecticut is cutting 2,800 public employees. In this context, New York state’s $11.5 billion deficit on a $92 billion budget is only slightly above average, while New Read More ›

True Confessions

TWO YEARS AGO, federal agents in Colorado responded to a complaint at the home of Samuel Patane, an ex-convict under a restraining order for beating his wife. Patane’s probation officer had warned the agents that the convicted felon had a Glock pistol and a penchant for violence. After entering the home, agents began reading Patane his Miranda warnings — the Read More ›

Discomfort for Foes… As Fans Grow

What do the U.S., Ireland, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands have in common, and what do France, Belgium, and Germany have in common? The first group has created a largely investment-friendly environment, with relatively low taxes and government spending, coupled with the rule of law. The second group of countries has maintained very high taxation and government spending. As a Read More ›

Bolder Strokes… For Tax Cut Hopes

The reason President Bush’s tax cut proposal is in trouble is not that it is too big, but because it is not bold enough in removing all taxes from saving and investment. The tax cut debate has clearly shown that among opinion leaders and member of Congress, the split is roughly equal between those who understand how the economy works Read More ›