This Week in the News…

Posted: May 7, 2004 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, April 30, The Wall Street Journal

Moving the Market—Tracking the Numbers

“Speculators do know that it’s important to get out, however—that’s the lesson they took away from the cratering of the dot-com highfliers. And they appear to believe that they will be able to get out before a stock craters, as illustrated by numerous trading experiments conducted by Vernon Smith, a professor at George Mason University who shared in the 2002 Nobel Prize for economics. In these experiments, participants would trade a dividend-paying stock whose value was clearly laid out for them. Invariably, a bubble would form, with the stock later crashing down to its fundamental value. Participants would gather for a second session. Still, the stock would exceed its assigned fundamental value, though the bubble would form faster and burst sooner. ‘The subjects are very optimistic that they’ll be able to smell the turning point,’ says Mr. Smith.”

Saturday, May 1, The New York Times

Demonizing Fat in the War on Weight

“Now, says Peter Stearns, a leading historian in the field, the rising concern with obesity ‘is triggering a new burst of scholarship.’ These researchers don’t condone morbid obesity, but they do focus on the ways the definition of obesity and its meaning have shifted, often arbitrarily, throughout history. Mr. Stearns, provost and professor of history at George Mason University, has written that plumpness was once associated with ‘good health in a time when many of the most troubling diseases were wasting diseases like tuberculosis.’ He traces the equation of obesity and moral deficiency to the late-19th and early-20th centuries.”

Sunday, May 2, The Washington Post

N.Va. Counties Fear Car Tax Cap’s Effects

“Meanwhile, in the 20 or so counties that are losing population, the car tax subsidy will likely remain about the same. Mark Grady, dean of the George Mason University School of Law, questioned the new plan’s equity. ‘I can see how that would create an unfairness between fast-growing counties and shrinking counties,’ he said. But he characterized it as more quirk than constitutional crisis.”

Tuesday, May 4, The Herald News

The Myth and Reality of Low Voter Turnout

“‘We are in the midst of the biggest progressive and generational decline in participation in our history,’ declares Curtis Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, a Washington voting advocacy group. Except that Michael P. McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University, doesn’t see it that way. Traditionally, turnout has been calculated simply as a ratio between the number of people who voted and the number of Americans of voting age. But that includes people who actually can’t vote—non-citizens and felons. Since 1972, the number of people in both groups has soared. Take them away, say McDonald and his colleague, Samuel L. Popkin, and voter turnout for the last eight elections has averaged about 56 percent, bobbing up and down with no real downward trend.”

Tuesday, May 4, The Washington Post

Laker Finds a Friendly Forum At the Freddies

“For these business travelers, flying more than 100,000 miles a year is common. They speak their own language and often meet on, where they discuss the latest happenings in the travel industry. Many get together around the world for drinks or dinner. Some often take quick trips together to London just for the frequent flier miles or to retain their elite level status within their favorite airline’s program. ‘This is a great community,’ said Gary Leff, director of finance for two of George Mason University’s research centers. ‘It’s rare to find people who understand what it means to travel so much and who understand the value of loyalty programs.'”

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