George Mason in the News

Posted: February 16, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national and international news coverage Mason recently received.

Friday, Feb. 9, CNBC

Kudlow and Company

Walter Williams, professor of economics, was interviewed – along with Lee Scott, Wal-Mart CEO; and Gary Gensler, former treasury undersecretary – on the status of America’s health care system. Williams said, “We’re moving towards disaster if we’re moving towards the single payer [nationalized health care system]… If you look at Canada, Canada has a single payer system, and Canadians wait from nine to 28 weeks for an MRI. You know, the huge waiting time. In Britain it has a single payer system, although there’s some privatization coming along. And many British people, they’re diagnosed with cancer, and by the time they have to wait to get treated for cancer, the cancer is untreatable, whereby at the time of the diagnosis it was treatable. But many Canadians are coming to the United States.”

Saturday, Feb. 10, Vancouver Sun (Canada)

Obama Takes Calculated Gamble by Seeking U.S. Presidency Early in Career, Experts Say

“Barack Obama’s decision to enter the White House race so early in his career amounts to a calculated gamble, say experts. At best, he wins the Democratic nomination and becomes president. If he runs a strong campaign but still loses, a future campaign remains possible. ‘There is no ‘beating expectations’ for an Obama candidacy – either he wins the nomination or he is declared having lost his golden opportunity,’ says Mark Rozell, a political scientist at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. ‘Nonetheless, candidates reinvent themselves all the time in U.S. politics. He could lose, have diminished stature, and then . . . come back a ‘more mature, seasoned’ leader.’”

Sunday, Feb. 11, New York Times

What’s the Toll? It Depends on the Time of Day

“For the small group of economists and policy wonks interested in applying supply-and-demand theories to the thorny problems of gridlock and ever-longer commutes, the $2.9 trillion fiscal 2008 budget released by President Bush on Monday contained some excellent news: $130 million in grants to finance construction of so-called congestion pricing systems. Congestion pricing – the concept of charging higher fees to consumers for a good or a service at times of heavy use – is well established in businesses like hotels, long-distance phone service and air travel. But introducing congestion pricing on a wider scale will mean overcoming powerful cultural and psychological obstacles. ‘Everyone accepts that if your car is stationary, it’s fine to pay for parking,’ said Alexander Tabarrok, professor of economics at George Mason University. ‘But if you tell people they have to pay to move their car between two points, they think it’s crazy.’”

Monday, Feb. 12, USA Today

Round-the-Clock Coverage Sparks a Media Debate

“The media frenzy over Anna Nicole Smith’s death shows no signs of abating anytime soon. Says Robert Lichter, a George Mason University journalism professor: ‘Media now seek out the lowest common denominator, and Smith was the lowest common denominator.’ But Lichter understands her appeal. ‘The media can’t resist when something serious happens to someone frivolous. She had everything the media look for in a story: money, sex and dieting. Her death is so irresistible because it lets people mourn and gloat at the same time.’”

Wednesday, Feb. 14, USA Today

U.S. Trade Deficit Hits New High for Fifth Year in a Row

“Here’s a news flash: The U.S. trade deficit set a record last year. If that seems pretty much like a dog-bites-man story, maybe it’s because 2006 marked the fifth-consecutive year that the trade deficit hit a new high. The United States last ran an annual trade surplus in 1975 as the Vietnam War wound down and Saturday Night Live made its television debut. Some iconoclasts think the trade figures aren’t worth the attention. Noting that the U.S. economy enjoyed remarkable growth over the past quarter century, even as the trade deficit ballooned, Russell Roberts, an economics professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., calls trade worries ‘greatly overblown.’”

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