This Week in the News…

Posted: October 27, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Monday, Oct. 23, Christian Science Monitor

Why Commuters Stay Stuck in Drive

“Experts maintain railroad and subway systems have yet to reach their full potential. But until service improves…most cities won’t see a real exodus from highways. Nor is the urban commute the sole choke point. The most common commute today, in fact, is between suburbs. That’s problematic, because most city transit systems have been designed to carry people from the suburbs to the urban core, says Roger Stough, a professor at George Mason University’s Center for Transportation Policy and Logistics, in Fairfax, Va.”

Tuesday, Oct. 24, Wall Street Journal

Congress Dumbs Down Judges

“A distinguished legal program at a major university has been holding seminars for federal judges for 13 years. Its faculty has included six Nobel Laureates, and scholars such as James Q. Wilson and Harvey Mansfield. But because it effectively teaches judges how to apply economic analysis in the courtroom, liberal groups are trying to attach an amendment to the appropriations bills now before Congress that would effectively gut the program. More than 550 federal judges have voluntarily attended one-week courses offered by the Law & Economics Center of George Mason University…. Frank Buckley, who directs George Mason’s program, is willing to bet his more philosophical curriculum will either not be approved by the feds or will lose out to more procedural, ‘how-to’ programs.”

Wednesday, Oct. 25, San Francisco Chronicle

H-1B Visa Program Crucial to Economy, Study Says

“The controversial H-1B visa program, which brings skilled foreign workers to the United States, is necessary for sustaining the technology boom, according to a long-awaited Congressional study. However, the visa program’s benefits to the industry may come at the expense of American workers, and depress wages, the report found…. ‘One indication of severe [worker] shortages would be if salaries have gone up dramatically, and as we showed, in many geographic areas and job types, salaries haven’t gone up that much,’ said Alan Merten, president of George Mason University and chair of the Workforce Needs committee that wrote the report.”

Wednesday, Oct. 25, Washington Post

Panel Declines to Address Visa Issue: Foreign Workers Said to Lower Tech Pay

“Foreign nationals working in the United States keep wages of Americans in the technology industry from rising as quickly as they otherwise might, according to a research panel that examined the nation’s high-tech workforce. A new report issued by the National Research Council, which advises the federal government on scientific issues, comes days after President Clinton signed into law a bill that increased the number of H-1B visas, allowing more than 195,000 skilled technology workers, mostly from India and China, to enter the United States this year. ‘We feel [the population of foreign workers] is so large that we are totally dependent on it, and it depresses wages,’ said Alan Merten, chairman of the workforce committee and president of George Mason University. ‘How much, we don’t really know.’

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