Like It or Not, Appearance Counts in the Workplace
The New York Times, "Economic Scene", December 28, 2000From Al Gore's earth-tone suits to Katherine Harris's makeup to George W. Bush's post-election boil, the 2000 presidential race was filled with commentary on how the players looked. For the first time, the Gallup Organization even polled people on which candidate was better-looking. (Mr. Gore beat Mr. Bush, 44 percent to 24 percent.) The question was worth asking because the answer was not obvious. Both candidates were way above average.
An Economic Model for Bad Ballots
If voters could select the machines, there would be a president-elect by now.
The New York Times, "Economic Scene", November 30, 2000For three weeks, the question has been nagging Americans: how can the most technologically advanced nation on earth have such antiquated, unreliable, confusing voting technology? How can the outcome of the presidential race dangle with the chads left on 1975-style punch cards?
When the "Cool" Look Is Illegal
Forbes, November 26, 2000FROM MANHATTAN'S TRENDY NEW HUDSON HOTEL to the Westin chain's pristinely white "heavenly beds," hotel design is hot. It's as indicative of the burgeoning esthetic economy as candy-colored iMacs and Michael Graves toasters. Hotel style has become both a competitive weapon and a cultural marker.
Tax System Discourages Married Women From Working
The New York Times, "Economic Scene", November 01, 2000The single women of "Sex and the City" read the New York Times wedding announcements and mock a bride who was "until recently" employed as an account executive. Now that she's found an investment banker to marry, they scoff, she doesn't have to pretend to be interested in her career. These independent women are contemptuous of such behavior. They're looking for love, not a meal ticket. But maybe the new Mrs. Investment Banker doesn't deserve their scorn. Maybe she's just a rational "economic woman," responding to incentives.
How Al Gore's pursuit of "central organizing principles" winds up slicing us into ever-narrowing interest groups.
Reason, November 2000When I give a speech about the big-picture political and cultural ideas in my book The Future and Its Enemies, the question and answer period almost always starts with a down-to-earth query: "What do you think of George W. Bush and Al Gore?"
The Region Bashers
Forbes, October 29, 2000NO NEW TEXANS" HAS BECOME A FAVORITE SLOGAN of Democrats, especially since George W. Bush picked then-Dallasite Dick Cheney as his running mate. The slogan sounds nasty—and it's surely intended that way. Its real message is simply "No Texans."
Don't blame deregulation for airline problems. Blame not enough deregulation.
The New York Times, "Economic Scene", October 05, 2000Air travel is no fun, especially for people who do a lot of it.
Mine Eyes Deceive Me
Today's cultural critics, heirs to Plato and the Puritans, don't attack poetry. They attack new media.
Forbes ASAP, October 01, 2000We live, writes a critic, in the "Age of Falsification," filled with surfaces we cannot trust. Some are digital creations. Others, from ad slogans to plastic surgery, are not. But the problem is pervasive: Our civilization's artifacts are deceptive, fake, inauthentic, a pack of lies. Today, the whole world is a theater.
An "inclusive" and "tolerant" society can't have a government that treats nonparents as second-class citizens
Reason, October 2000I used to think it was nobody else’s business whether my husband and I planned to have children. I used to think it was rude to make such personal inquiries....
Presidential Medal of Ignorance
Forbes, September 17, 2000The U.S. government's highest civilian award is the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It goes to people the President believes have made "especially meritorious contributions." Why, then, did President Clinton recently give this prestigious award to John Kenneth Galbraith? The official citation says it's because Galbraith "has made complex economic theories and processes comprehensible to a wide audience and highlighted the social and ethical impacts of economic policies."