HKS in the News February 15, 2012

February 15, 2012

1. Occupy Wall Street Protestors Have a Point (Leonard)
HBS Working Knowledge

2. The Case for Publicly Owned Internet Service (Crawford) Bloomberg

3. Spending Won’t Fix What Ails U.S. Infrastructure (Glaeser) Bloomberg

4. Can an App Really Close the Pay Gap Between Men and Women? (Bowles) Slate

Occupy Wall Street Protestors Have a Point
HBS Working Knowledge
February 15
Commentary by: Herman Leonard
Topic: Issues with capitalism

It's been easy to dismiss the Occupy Wall Street-and-beyond protesters. To many, they seem disorganized, lack a clear agenda, and advance simple solutions to complex problems. But in reality their concerns are not very different from the concerns we heard when we talked to business leaders around the world about the problems they thought might constitute material threats to the sustainability of market capitalism.

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The Case for Publicly Owned Internet Service
February 14
Commentary by: Susan Crawford, Shorenstein Center
Topic: America falling behind in internet availability

In cities and towns across the U.S., a familiar story is replaying itself: Powerful companies are preventing local governments from providing an essential service to their citizens. More than 100 years ago, it was electricity. Today, it is the public provision of communications services. …

Meanwhile, less than 8 percent of Americans currently receive fiber service to their homes, compared with more than 50 percent of households in South Korea, and almost 40 percent in Japan. Where it’s available, Americans pay five or six times as much for their fiber access as people in other countries do. Fully a third of Americans don’t subscribe to high-speed Internet access at all, and AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said last month that the company was “trying to find a broadband solution that was economically viable to get out to rural America, and we’re not finding one, to be quite candid.” America is rapidly losing the global race for high-speed connectivity.

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Spending Won’t Fix What Ails U.S. Infrastructure
February 13
Commentary by: Edward Glaeser
Topic: Rebuilding American infrastructure

President Barack Obama’s announcement yesterday of a six-year, $476 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill, as part of his 2013 budget, is the latest demonstration of a longstanding presidential propensity for transportation projects.

The U.S. owes its emergence as a great power to magnificent investments in infrastructure. The emerging giant of today, China (TBBLCHNA), is following that example. Many imagine that we must again build big to stay on top. But success in middle-age -- for people and nations -- requires wisdom and cunning more than pumped-up brawn. America’s infrastructure needs intelligent reform, not floods of extra financing or quixotic dreams of new moon adventures or high-speed railways to nowhere.

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Can an App Really Close the Pay Gap Between Men and Women?
February 10
Quoted: Hannah Riley Bowles, Center for Public Leadership
Topic: Informed salary negotiation

Earlier this week, the White House announced a project called the Equal Pay Phone App Challenge. The competition’s goal: create an app that uses labor data and negotiation resources to raise awareness about the wage gap and aid women in pay negotiations.  According to senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, the challenge is an invitation to “software developers to help women ensure that they’re being paid fairly—which in turn will help restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.”

Hannah Riley Bowles, an associate professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, has done several studies on compensation negotiations. She found that in "industries in which salary standards were ambiguous, women accepted salaries that were ten percent lower on average than did the men.” When women do not know what to ask for, they set less ambitious negotiation goals and, as a result, make less money.

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Broadcast Notes

Robert Blendon

NPR “WBUR,” 2/15
Topic: National healthcare

This selection of media appearances is compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

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