This Week in the News…

Posted: July 23, 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, July 16, The Wall Street Journal

Rule Breaker: In Washington, Tiny Think Tank Wields Big Stick on Regulation

“In 2001, the new Bush White House sought suggestions for government regulations to kill or modify. A small think tank called the Mercatus Center named 44 it didn’t like-among them, rules governing energy-efficient air conditioners and renovations to electric-utility plants. Ultimately, 14 of the 23 rules the White House chose for its ‘hit list’ to eliminate or modify were Mercatus entries-a record that flabbergasted Washington lobbying heavyweights. A year later, the National Association of Manufacturers failed to persuade the administration to embrace even one item on its regulatory wish list. Now it’s trying to copy Mercatus. When it comes to business regulation in Washington, Mercatus, Latin for market, has become the most important think tank you’ve never heard of.”

Sunday, July 18, The Toronto Star

Even Monkeys Crave Status

“But those who have studied celebrity closely say that chance plays only a small role in the creation of media stars. ‘Fame used to be reserved for religious, military, and political leaders,’ says Tyler Cowen, director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia, and the author of What Price Fame? ‘Now anybody can aspire to it, but they have to understand the rules.’ The rules, Cowen says, are dominated by big-money machinery. ‘When you look at politicians, you see that it’s harder for them to get elected because there are more hoops they have to jump through. You aren’t just a political person, you’re an entertainer. So political parties choose people who are electable rather than those who might be best for the job.'”

Sunday, July 18, The Baton Rouge Advocate

Retirement Reforms Due

“The traditional defined-benefit plans are costly, and their burdens on public budgets-demonstrated in this year’s session-are difficult to predict, as the state and local governments were on the hook for more money when the markets were down. ‘Public sector employees are the last strongholds of the defined-benefit pension,” according to John Petersen of George Mason University. In Governing magazine, Petersen noted that 90 percent of the heavily unionized government work force participates in defined-benefit plans.”

Monday, July 19, The Washington Times

Studying at the School of Life; Disabled Students Gain Skills in GMU Certificate Program

“Suzan Basoglu, a rising second-year student at George Mason University, has college to thank for coming out of her shell. GMU initiated the Learning Into Future Environments program in fall 2002 to prepare Ms. Basoglu and other young adults with significant learning, cognitive or developmental disabilities for employment and independent living. ‘We’ve seen such a change in Suzan,’ Mrs. Basoglu says. ‘She reminds us every day that she’s not a kid but in college.’ Colleges and universities are required under the Americans With Disabilities Act to accommodate students with disabilities as long as they meet the school’s entrance requirements. LIFE students do not meet those requirements.”

Thursday, July 22, The Washington Post

D.C. Gap In Wealth Growing; Uneducated Suffer Most, Study Shows

“The persistent gap between rich and poor has been fueling debate over whether the national economic recovery is helping all Americans. The study deepens the picture of an increasingly fractured city, where poverty and wealth both grew in the last decade. The average household income for the top group was $186,830, and the average income for the poorest group was $6,126. ‘The rich got richer and the poor didn’t get richer,’ said Stephen Fuller, a regional economist at George Mason University in Fairfax. ‘The poor can’t afford to get out of Washington to the suburbs…Our wealthy class got wealthier in the 1990s, and it didn’t trickle down to the bottom.'”

Thursday, July 22, The New York Times

Families Forced a Rare Look at Government Secrecy

“The commission has cut more quickly and deeply into the secrets of two presidential administrations than did earlier commissions that studied national calamities, such as Pearl Harbor, the John F. Kennedy assassination, and the Iran-contra affair, according to scholars on the presidency and secrecy. ‘The commission has been given pretty extraordinary free rein, particularly in the area of national security, an area that past presidents have been most vigilant in claiming the right to withhold information,’ said Mark J. Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University and an authority on presidential secrecy. ‘They had access to presidential policy directives, to information that is normally for the president’s eyes only, and documents that political scientists and historians normally would not be able to get for years.'”

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