This Week in the News…

Posted: October 25, 2002 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:

Friday, Oct. 18, Washington Post

Bush Slow to Fill Top Federal Posts

“All of this matters because the longer such political executive positions go without permanent occupants, the greater the risk that agencies will lack direction and fail to vigorously pursue their missions, government scholars say. ‘People at the top are crucial,’ said James Pfiffner, a professor of public policy at George Mason University who has written about the presidential appointment process.”

Friday, Oct. 18, National Public Radio, Morning Edition

Effects on Washington-Area Businesses as the Sniper Remains at Large

Dr. Stephen Fuller, professor of public policy, George Mason University: “What happens is that people defer purchases when they are concerned about safety, as in the current case. They don’t feel like it’s safe to buy–go out and shop for furniture. It still doesn’t mean they’re not going to buy furniture, they just won’t do it this week.”

Monday, Oct. 21, U.S. News & World Report

Get Real, Adam Smith

“For decades, economists have treated man as Homo economicus: perfectly capable of making rational judgments about how to handle money. One popped stock market bubble later, the work of newly minted Nobel economics laureates Daniel Kahneman and Vernon Smith seems awfully prescient. The two professors delight in testing the ‘perfect universe’ theories of economics in the crucible of the real world. And they’ve reached a similar conclusion: We may want as much money as possible, but we’re not altogether sane about how we get it…. Smith, a George Mason University experimental economist, adds a twist in his research, proving that seemingly irrational decisions aren’t necessarily unwise. Smith discovered, for example, that lack of self-interest can pay off. He gave lab subjects a choice between taking a guaranteed $20 payout or a second option that had someone else deciding between a $15 or a $25 payment. A majority chooses to place its fate in the hands of someone else. And that decision was usually rewarded. More often than not, the payout was $25.”

Monday, Oct. 21, Computerworld

Terror Response Programs Need New IT Systems Now

“‘What 9/11 presented to the civilian infrastructure was the crossing of the line into chaos,’ which is the kind of environment in which military leaders are trained to operate, said John McCarthy, head of the critical-infrastructure protection project at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The immediate challenge is training local and private-sector leaders to think and act like military commanders. ‘That’s a skill set that’s going to have to be developed in industry,’ McCarthy said.”

Monday, Oct. 21, All Africa Global Media

Public-Private Partnerships Hold the Key to Regional Infrastructure

“A poor transport system ‘acts as a non-tariff trade barrier,’ concurs Prof. Kenneth Button, a public policy expert at George Mason University in the United States, who has conducted transportation studies for the European Union…. Building infrastructure involves significant initial outlays of capital and continuous expenditure on maintenance and management. ‘Most African governments are in no position to provide this on any significant scale,’ notes Prof. Button. Therefore, international agencies have traditionally been major contributors.”

Tuesday, Oct. 22, Boston Globe

Midterm Contests Hinge on Turnout as Parties Try to Mobilize Supporters

“‘People at the lower end of the economic scale drop out of the voting population even though more efforts are being made to try to contact them,’ says Michael P. McDonald, a George Mason University political scientist who studies voter participation.”

Wednesday, Oct. 23, Scripps Howard News Service

Sniper’s Toll on Economy Likely to Be in Millions

“George Mason University professor Stephen Fuller, a student of the Washington economy, compares the sniper costs so far to a blizzard or passing storm. ‘Economies always have winners and losers in storms, wars, riots or whatever, and the Washington area should weather the sniper, although I’ll be singing a different tune if this still goes on at cherry blossom time.'”

Thursday, Oct. 24, Newsday

Heavy Traffic Used to Attack Internet

“One expert said Monday’s attack was not only inevitable but could be a harbinger of worse to come. ‘We need to get our act together,’ said Sushil Jajodia, director for the Center for Secure Information Systems at George Mason University, where he is a professor. He said the answer is ‘better products and dedicated research to solve the problem. Unless steps are taken it will happen again.'”

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