This Week in the News…

Posted: April 13, 2001 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:

Sunday, April 8, CBS News, 60 Minutes

Number of Black Americans Demand Reparations

Morley Safer, CBS News: “Walter Williams, a conservative columnist and chairman of the economics department at George Mason University, says America has been the land of opportunity for blacks.”

Williams: “Black Americans have made the greatest gains over some of the highest hurdles in the shortest period of time that any racial group in the history of mankind!… I agree that slaves suffered intensely. However, I believe that every single black living in the United States has personally benefited from the suffering of our ancestors. We have far greater freedoms than any African in Africa. And how did we get here? Well, it was through slavery.”

Sunday, April 8, Associated Press, Desert News, Salt Lake Tribune

Judges Criticized for Going to Private Retreats

“Utah judges traveled to Tucson, Ariz., last December to hear scholars expound on economics, anthropology and the law at a seminar critics say is one of many one-sided presentations by organizations hoping to promote their own world views. The Tucson seminar was held by George Mason University’s Law & Economics Center of Virginia…. [University of Utah law professor John] Flynn said George Mason University’s law school is ‘right of center,’ with conservative faculty members who believe government should ‘keep its nose out’ of business regulation. ‘They have something worthwhile to say,’ Flynn said. ‘But if that’s the only thing judges hear, if they are only presenting one view, they are certainly not hearing a balanced viewpoint of a controversial issue of the law.’… The question has sparked nationwide debate over whether privately funded seminars undermine public confidence in judges.”

Monday, April 9, Portland Oregonian

Study Finds Three Downtown Sites of Possible Lead Pollution

“Researchers at George Mason University said they have uncovered more than 640 small former lead smelters nationwide that operated from 1931 to 1964. Environmental regulators apparently were unaware of about 430 of the sites, which might have hazardous levels of lead in the soil. The findings are to be published in this month’s American Journal of Public Health…. William P. Eckel, who headed the study while doing his dissertation at George Mason, said that after examining 12 sites in Philadelphia and Baltimore more thoroughly, he suspects dozens of sites could pose health risks.”

Tuesday, April 10, Times-Picayune

D.C.’s Got a New Attitude for Regulation Rollbacks: Bush Shooting Down Clinton Proposals

“George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, which is critical of the regulatory process, did its own analysis [on the proposed ergonomics rules that Congress overturned], which estimated that the costs would be much higher: $5.8 billion. The benefits were much more tenuous: $0 to $2.3 billion…. Critics fault the Clinton administration for overestimating benefits and low-balling costs on businesses and state and local governments. ‘There have been a number of regulatory reform bills passed by Congress,’ Mercatus Center Director Wendy Lee Gramm said. ‘They require agencies to estimate the impact on small business, state and local governments. Often that kind of analysis required by the law has just been absent.'”

Write to at