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Alex Azar, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), has made price transparency for medical services one of his top priorities. It's an important goal because meaningful price information is essential for a functioning marketplace. Price transparency does not exist today because medical care isn't bought and sold in a typical market. Because hospitals and physicians get so little of their revenue directly from consumers, they have no need to compete on price, and thus no need to make meaningful prices publicly available. Patients paid directly for only 11 percent of the services provided to them in 2016. Most of Read More >>
Fri, May 25, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
One of the substantial challenges in curtailing North Korea's nuclear program is preventing Chinese companies from doing business with their pals in Pyongyang. Usually, Chinese companies in North Korea operate through networks of shell companies to avoid falling afoul of US and international sanctions. And most of these companies are small in scope and can easily rebrand themselves if caught. Enter Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE), not a small, expendable subsidiary, but instead a large PRC state-owned enterprise (SOE) with over 74,000 employees. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with China's President Xi Jinping, in Dalian, China in this undated photo Read More >>
Fri, May 25, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEIThe growing investment impact of Big Tech on the US economy In my new The Week column, I engage in what I thought was a bit of hyperbole about the largest American technology companies. From that piece: Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple — what Wall Street calls GAFA — are four of America's most valuable and important companies, providing a massive benefit to consumers. Collectively they're the Tony Stark of corporate America: They pay for everything, design everything, and make everyone look cooler. If the U.S. is going to remain the world's technological leader against China's challenge, GAFA will be pivotal. But the Read More >>
Thu, May 24, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
This week on Banter, Yossi Klein Halevi joined the show to discuss his new book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, which explores the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through Israeli eyes. In a series of letters, he outlines the difficult choices that both Israelis and Palestinians must face if there is ever to be a chance of lasting peace in the region. Halevi is an American-born journalist and senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. His other books include At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land and Read More >>
Thu, May 24, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEIUS antitrust doctrine is perhaps the greatest conservative philosophical victory. Why are some conservatives so willing to throw it away? There are elements on the left and right that want to break up Big Tech, even if that means changing the accepted American legal doctrine about antitrust. And as University of Michigan law professor Daniel Crane reminds us in his new essay “Antitrust's Unconventional Politics” in the University of Michigan Law Review, “Standing against the anti-incumbent challengers from both political wings is a broad, bi-partisan establishment center seeking to defend the consumer welfare framework.” Of course, the supremacy of the consumer welfare Read More >>
Thu, May 24, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
In any “trade war,” the most important thing to remember is the limit of the martial metaphor. When a foreign company sells Americans something they choose to buy, it is not an act of aggression. Trade negotiations aren't a zero-sum game in which one country wins and the other has to lose. The point is being forgotten right now, and not just by protectionists. Practically everyone is saying that President Donald Trump is losing, surrendering, caving or capitulating to China. But “losing” may be a victory for the American economy, given some of the alternative outcomes. Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands Read More >>
Thu, May 24, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
Democracy has steadily expanded throughout the Middle East and Africa for the past thirty years. Or has it? The answer depends on how one defines democracy. Elections have undoubtedly spread around the world for the last thirty years. Whether this has led to an expansion of democracy, though, is another question. Political scientists Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas point out a paradox in the opening line of their book “How to Rig an Election“: “There are more elections than ever before, and yet the world is becoming less democratic.” But again, how does one define democracy? Scholars' definitions of democracy typically fall Read More >>
Thu, May 24, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEI's Frederick Hess discusses how his recent study found that mainstream media was more favorable to education proposals by the Democrat-led government in 2009, than the Republican-led government in 2017. Read More >>
Thu, May 24, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEICold War II: Should the US embrace high-tech industrial policy to counter China? An AEIdeas online symposium In a long essay in National Review this month, Michael Lind issues a call to arms. We are in a new Cold War with China, and must respond accordingly. Geopolitics and geo-economics must be one; the neoliberal Washington Consensus of the post-Cold War era no longer cuts it. Here's what he says we need in its place: Instead of letting state-capitalist nations such as China or profit-seeking multinationals restructure the U.S. economy to promote their own goals, the American republic needs a national industrial strategy Read More >>
Thu, May 24, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
North Korea, the world's nuclear-armed auto dealership from hell, is turning up the high-pressure sales tactics. After months of charm that had secured Kim Jong Un a summit with President Trump in Singapore next month, Mr. Kim has now pivoted without warning. Pyongyang canceled meetings with South Korea, complaining of military exercises with the U.S., which Washington promptly called off at Seoul's request. North Korea is also threatening to scrap the Singapore parley unless denuclearization is taken off the agenda. There's no need for Kremlinology here. These are standard North Korean shakedown techniques, honed to perfection by three generations of regime Read More >>
Wed, May 23, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
U.S.-Venezuela relations – already at a low point – worsened Tuesday when President Nicolas Maduro ordered the top two U.S. diplomats to leave Venezuela following his fraudulent re-election Sunday. Maduro expelled U.S. Charge D'affaires Todd Robinson and his deputy, Brian Naranjo, after accusing them of trying to sabotage the presidential election and conspiring against his government. The U.S. officials were given 48 hours to leave Venezuela. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert called the charges against the two American diplomats “false allegations.” Maduro's socialist regime forfeited any remaining shred of legitimacy by staging the farcical election in open defiance of an opposition boycott Read More >>
Wed, May 23, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
Download the PDF Chairman Arrington, Ranking Member O'Rourke, and distinguished members of this subcommittee: Thank you for the opportunity to appear here today, as you consider tangible measures to uplift our nation's veterans in their transition from war to work and successful civilian lives. It is an honor. Veterans are the unacknowledged permanent ambassadors of national service. How we publicly portray veterans directly relates to how society conceptualizes military service, including what happens to an individual during that service. In an all-volunteer force, reputation is key to the attractiveness of joining a profession that can end in death or permanent disability. To encourage young Read More >>
Wed, May 23, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
In a new AEI Economic Perspectives paper, Jason DeBacker and Roy Kasher of the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina explore how the new tax law has changed the tax treatment of investment. In general, both effective marginal and average tax rates have come down, though debt-financed investment is now treated less favorably than it was under the old regime. Average rates are important here, among other reasons, because of how they affect locational decisions; a big selling point of the rate reductions is precisely to draw firms and investment toward the United States. Read all Read More >>
Wed, May 23, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEIData is just like oil, other than these few minor differences You may have heard something about “data being the new oil” or some such. Just as petroleum drove economies in the 20th century, so will digital information in the 21st. I really started hearing about this framing after a May 2017 cover story by The Economist. The piece had a pretty snappy lede: An oil refinery is an industrial cathedral, a place of power, drama and dark recesses: ornate cracking towers its gothic pinnacles, flaring gas its stained glass, the stench of hydrocarbons its heady incense. Data centres, in contrast, offer Read More >>
Fri, May 18, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIThe $200 billion question: What exactly is the US trying to accomplish with its China trade talks? This isn't a shock: China's Foreign Ministry now says Beijing hasn't offered to cut its nearly $400 billion trade surplus with the US by $200 billion. Well, yeah. This rumor — perhaps just 3-D psychological chess from Team Trump — always appeared dodgy. US Trade Representative and member of US trade delegation Robert Lighthizer leaves a hotel in Beijing, China, May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter Because math. And because reality. Can a US economy with capacity utilization at a three-year high and unemployment at a 17-year Read More >>
Fri, May 18, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIMore on the pro-growth aspects of networks In my new The Week column, I discuss the idea that economies can be thought of as massive computers whose computational capacity is distributed over networks of humans. (These networks are sometimes called companies.) What determines a nation's computational capacity is the size and depth of its social networks. Societies that are more connected and trusting have more growth potential because they can form larger networks that perform more computation and create more complex products such as iPhones and Dreamliner jets rather than extract ore or stitch tee-shirts. I only wish I had earlier discovered Read More >>
Thu, May 17, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIHigh-impact startups: America's herd of gazelles seems to be thinning You may have seen some version of this ominous looking chart. America — the original Startup Nation — seems to be in the midst of an entrepreneurial crisis. Since the late 1970s, startups as a share of all firms have fallen by more than half. But not all startups are created equal. For instance, some economists differentiate between “lifestyle” startups — family restaurants, local dry cleaners, mom-and-pop antique stores — and high-impact “transformational” startups — the kind you find in Silicon Valley. Economists also refer to startups generating high job growth Read More >>
Thu, May 17, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIThe new Battle in Seattle: Don't blame Amazon for the city's housing woes Seattle has decided to be a last-minute entrant into the competition for Amazon's HQ2. But while most cities — such as Boston and Washington — are trying to land the retailing giant's second headquarters, Seattle is doing its best to make Amazon reconsider the importance of its current home base. The company “will continue to evaluate its long-term plans for Seattle after the City Council passed a bill to tax large businesses to fund homelessness services,” according to the Seattle Times. Recall that when a larger tax was Read More >>
Tue, May 15, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
I was delighted to see Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times in one of the moderators' chairs last night. He asked about immigration right at the beginning of the night, with questions on both foreign worker visas and immigration levels overall. Here's what was said about the first topic. read more Read More >>
Fri, Mar 11, 2016
Source: Mark Krikorian Category: MARK KRIKORIAN
Announcing his presidential bid this month, Sen. Rand Paul said he wants to repeal “any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color.” Fulfilling this promise would require gutting murder statutes,... Read More >>
Mon, Apr 27, 2015
Source: Heather MacDonald Category: HEATHER MCDONALD