No Flying Cars, but the Future Is Bright
Bloomberg View, December 15, 2012It has been 40 years since the last astronauts left the moon. That anniversary, which passed last week, has put some prominent technologists in a funk.“You promised me Mars colonies. Instead, I got Facebook,” reads the cover of the current issue of MIT Technology Review. In an essay titled “Why We Can’t Solve Big Problems,” editor Jason Pontin considers “why there are no disruptive innovations” today.
A Free-Market Fix for the Copyright Racket
Bloomberg View, November 28, 2012While most of the punditocracy was chattering earlier this month about Mitt Romney’s “gifts”gaffe, another Republican took an unexpectedly bold stand about a huge and controversial special-interest handout that largely benefits Democratic constituencies.A young Capitol Hill staff member named Derek S. Khanna published a Republican Study Committee policy brief titled “Three Myths About Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix It.” The paper attacked the current copyright system, particularly the continual and retroactive extension of copyright terms at the behest of entertainment-industry lobbyists.
Cancer Breakthroughs Meet Market Realities
Bloomberg View, October 30, 2012When Apostolia M. Tsimberidou was a young hematologist, a diagnosis of chronic myelogenous leukemia meant a patient had only a few years to live.The median survival time when she started medical school in 1985, she recalls, was just 3.5 years. Then came Novartis Inc.’s (NOVN) Gleevec, or imatinib, which the Food and Drug Administration approved in 2001. Unlike traditional chemotherapy drugs, which work by poisoning the body’s fast-growing cells, Gleevec is a so-called biologic that works by altering the behavior of abnormal protein molecules -- in this case, inhibiting an enzyme that makes the cancer cells proliferate.
Studies Find Cancer Comes in More Shades Than Pink
Bloomberg View, October 29, 2012Once again, we have suffered through a full month of pink, pink and more pink, all in the name of “breast cancer awareness.” What once was a health-related cause has become the feel-virtuous-and-buy-stuff season wedged between back-to-school and holiday gift giving.Products from Pilot pens to KitchenAid mixers to “Totally Pink Mad Libs” come in breast-cancer-awareness versions. National Football League players hit the field wearing uniforms with clashing pink trim. During the second presidential debate, the candidates’ wives both wore shocking-pink dresses, and, for the third, President Barack Obama sported a pink breast-cancer wristband. Nobody wants to seem less than enthusiastic about fighting breast cancer, so pink has replaced autumnal orange as the color of the season.
An Economics Nobel For Saving Lives
Bloomberg View, October 15, 2012Imagine a parallel universe in which federal law prohibited Americans from paying anyone to care for their children, whether in cash or in some other “valuable consideration,” and where paid child care was similarly repugnant and illegal throughout most of the world.In this alternate reality, family bonds would simply be deemed too sacred and children too precious to permit the taint of commercial transactions.
Case Against More Job Security? It’s Academic
Bloomberg View, September 15, 2012In the U.S., “middle class” is not just an income category. It’s a cultural norm.That is why people get upset when they read reports that the middle class’s share of total income is shrinking. And it is one reason we get into such vicious debates about what it means not to raise taxes on the middle class. Almost all of us believe we should be among the exempt.
The Bad History Behind ‘You Didn’t Build That’
Bloomberg View, August 01, 2012The controversy surrounding President Barack Obama’s admonishment that “if you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen” has defied the usual election-year pattern.
How the Elites Built America’s Economic Wall
Bloomberg View, July 18, 2012For a century, incomes became increasingly equal across the U.S., as poor states such as Alabama caught up to rich places like California.
Fight Birth-Control Battle Over the Counter
Bloomberg View, March 07, 2012Anyone -- a local teenager, a traveling businessman, a married mother of four, an illegal immigrant, even a student at a Jesuit university -- can walk into my neighborhood CVS any time, day or night, and, for less than $30, buy a 36-count “value pack” of Trojan condoms.
Save the Oscars With Live Voting and Hindsight
Bloomberg View, February 22, 2012Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony faces the real possibility of ratings humiliation. The Oscar telecast will almost certainly draw a smaller TV audience than the Feb. 12 Grammy Awards.