I am writing a study on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and looking at the issue of presidential disaster declarations. Under the 1988 Stafford Act, a state governor may request that the president declare a “major disaster” in the state if “the disaster is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments.”
The movement to rid sports teams of Indian-themed names has picked up steam in recent years. In Washington D.C., activists have long pressured the Redskins to find a new name, but so far football team owner Dan Snyder is not budging.
In catching up on news about the federal government today, I noticed that articles fit into three categories: bureaucracy, boondoggles, and bad behavior. On any given day, it seems, the Washington Post and other outlets have new tales of BB&BB to report. No wonder most Americans want to cut federal spending.
The owner of the Washington Redskins, Dan Snyder, has launched the Original Americans Foundation to “provide resources that offer genuine opportunities for tribal communities.” Snyder and his staff have recently visited a couple dozen Indian reservations, and they are determined to “work as partners to tackle the troubling realities facing so many tribes across our country.”
Britain privatized its Royal Mail in 2013, proceeding with an initial public offering of shares that raised about $2.7 billion. The government pursued the reform because the company faced falling mail volume, and it needed to reduce costs and increase innovation. Similar issues face the U.S. Postal Service.
In today’s Washington Post, Pamela Constable describes the scene in Crimea, and it reminds me of George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today indicates that Edwards’ Law of Cost Overruns is an international standard. If a politician says that a project will cost $100 million, it will end up costing $200 million or more.
My op-ed in today’s New York Times has prompted numerous critical comments on theNYT website. Let me address some of them.
The tragic gas explosion in Harlem will likely revive complaints that America is a pothole nation with falling-down bridges, and that we desperately need to boost government infrastructure spending. The reality is more complex.
One of my favorite Adam Smith passages is: