Why We Rarely Run Out of Anything: Boomsters vs. Doomsters

Economists and environmentalists often end up with a slightly different angle on global warming. Which group does a better job of predicting environmental problems? It's not a zero-sum question: economists and environmentalists...

Grading College Admissions Essay Questions.

As second son applies to  college, the applications have exposed me once again to the college admissions racket. The process is broken beyond recognition. We would probably be better off pooling...

Early Warning Signs

Business competition is always interesting, in part because smart companies figure out how to avoid competition by specializing and differentiating their product or service. When Sun Tzu admonished his generals against...

Women’s Pay

More women than men now enroll in college. More graduate and they earn better grades. But at every level of educational attainment, men still earn more money and the gap grows...

Is Amazon Inside Apple’s OODA Loop?

John Boyd was a legendary US fighter pilot during the Korean War who later became a fighter pilot instructor. He had a standing bet with his students: he would meet you...

Will Technology Burst Higher Education’s Bubble?

Imagine a service business whose core processes have not changed since medieval times, economically dependent on huge federal subsidies, and protected by a system of self-accreditation designed to exclude rivals. Imagine...

Strengthening California’s Income Escalator

Generations hence will wonder in amazement why Californians acquiesced to the steady weakening of the state system of higher education in the early twenty-first century. California’s three-tiered system of higher education...

Whatever Happened to the United Farmworkers?

On New Year’s Day, a friend mentioned that Frank Bardacke had published his long-anticipated history of the rise and fall of Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers. It was worth the...

Seven Forces That Will Transform Book Publishing

During the past few years, technology has transformed the music industry. As music went digital, it was pirated, deconstructed, and mashed. As music stores and labels disappeared, their lobby, the RIAA,...

Mills and the Future of All-Women Colleges

At the end of last year’s hit movie, The Kids are All Right, Nic and Jules (Annette Benning and Julianne Moore) drop off their daughter Joni (Mia Wasikowska) to begin her freshmen...

Redesigning California

Most clichés about California are true: we are both America’s most urban state and its most agricultural. We are home to more national parks, more immigrants, and a better public university...

The Economics and Politics of Choice Architecture

Some years back, I passed through Schiphol in Amsterdam and realized why some designers consider it the world’s finest airport. Its layout is logical and efficient, public internet terminals are numerous...

“No Power in the Market and No Voice in the System”

Bill Gates' Harvard commencement address is being circulated widely in Silicon Valley -- and with good reason. He gave an outstanding speech (rather, he wrote an outstanding speech -- he cannot...

David Petraeus, Rock Star General

Every great country has always honored its finest warriors. School children are taught the names of our nation's war heroes: John Paul Jones, Ulysses S. Grant,  Billy Mitchell, Alvin York, Jimmy...

Great Teachers

Our National Report Card, the so-called National Assessment of Educational Progress, was released yesterday. Our kids are flunking and it is very serious. Nearly 40% of high-school seniors scored below basic level...