Milken Institute Review First Quarter 2001

March 2001

Peter Reuter of the University of Maryland offers a sobering view of America's decades-long war on illicit drugs. Despite the expenditure of billions of dollars on drug interdiction and law enforcement, the U.S. effort has little to show for it. Reuter says it's the result of wrong policies, unreasonable expectations and unobtainable goals.

Irwin Stelzer of the Hudson Institute looks at the current energy shortages and asks whether it is possible to take back the initiative from OPEC. Among his ideas: Demand that Mexico turn on the oil spigot if it wishes to enjoy the benefits of free trade with the United States.

Andrew Zimbalist of Smith College says that while everybody understands that baseball would be more fun (and more lucrative) if teams were more evenly matched, competitive balance in is likely to remain an elusive goal as long as the players and club owners fight tooth and nail over the spoils.

Jagadeesh Gokhale of the Cleveland Federal Reserve and Larry Kotlikoff of Boston University offer some sobering words about the big tax cuts being pushed by President Bush. The failure to build on near-term surpluses will condemn the next generation of workers to crushing tax burdens, they say.

Robert Hahn of the American Enterprise Institute asks whether antitrust policies designed to keep Big Oil and Big Steel in line can work for software and bioengineering.

Robert Levine of RAND speculates about the fundamental sources of America's economic success - and the weaknesses that go along.

Talk about cutting taxes -Ed Feige of the University of Wisconsin wants to lower the tax rate to just six-tenths of a percent (yes, there's a catch).

Susanne Trimbath, an economist at the Milken Institute, summarizes new insights on the forces driving corporate takeovers.

This issue's book excerpt is from Remade in America by Jim Rohwer, a senior contributing editor at Fortune magazine, who explains how the Asian economy will bounce back stronger than ever.

And, of course, we have our regular features: The Charticle, Institute News and Mark Alan Stamaty's cartoon, Ekinomix.