Milken Institute Review Fourth Quarter 2000

December 2000

Richard Falkenrath of Harvard University argues that Congress and the White House have bumbled one of the most important anti-proliferation efforts of the post-cold war era. In "Uranium Blues," Falkenrath says the federal government's decision in the early 1990s to privatize its two plants for making commercial nuclear reactor fuel put the interests of making a few bucks for the U.S. Treasury above the need to dismantle post-Soviet Russia's vast stockpiles of nuclear weapons.

Bob Reischauer of the Urban Institute andMichael Gluck of the National Academy of Social Insurance take a hard look at the problems the next president faces in trying to deliver on his campaign promise to subsidize prescription drugs for seniors. In "Good Policy vs. Good Politics," they offer their own fix. But they concede that getting from here to there will be tough. "What analysts regard as sensible and administratively feasible is usually seen by policy makers as politically unacceptable," they write.

Albert Fishlow, partner in the Violy Byorum investment bank, takes aim at the enemies of the International Monetary Fund: "To reduce income inequality in developed countries and to end poverty in the poorest ones, the naysayers are going to have to grow up. Globalization is the only game in town."

George Akerlof of the University of California, Berkeley, andBill Dickens andGeorge Perry of the Brookings Institution explain why a little inflation is not such a bad thing. "Moderate rates of inflation," they say, "allow the economy to operate with low rates of unemployment and are consistent with a policy seeking to maximize prosperity."

Joel Kotkin, Senior Fellow at the Milken Institute, discusses the renaissance of America's city centers: "Today, the hope for central business districts - from Houston and Los Angeles to Baltimore and Boston - lies not in the Industrial Age paradigm of high-rises or massive factories, but in rediscovering their pre-industrial role as centers for the arts, entertainment, and the creation of specialized goods and services."

This issue's book excerpt comes from Gun Violence: The Real Costs, a new book by Phil Cook of Duke University and Jens Ludwig of Georgetown. And, of course, we have our regular features: The Charticle, Research F.Y.I., Institute News, a book review, and Mark Alan Stamaty's cartoon, Ekinomix.