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1. And now, battles with hardly any rules (Bilmes) The Boston Globe
2. How T entered a tunnel of debt (Rojas) The Boston Globe
3. Do Manufacturers Need Special Treatment? (Glaeser) The New York Times
And now, battles with hardly any rules
DEFENSE SECRETARY Leon Panetta recently announced a new Pentagon strategy: fewer troops, and a 30 percent increase in the US fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), such as Predator drones. In an age of unconventional warfare and an increasingly cash-strapped military, this approach has obvious appeal. Drones are much cheaper than boots on the ground; they avoid putting American troops at direct risk and allow us to target enemies wherever they may be. By using unmanned weapons, the argument goes, we can avoid the kind of protracted, costly wars that have been so disastrous in Iraq and Afghanistan.
How T entered a tunnel of debt
The MBTA reached a halfway point last week with the 12th of 24 community meetings on proposed fare increases and service cuts, and the numbers so far are staggering: 2,077 attendees (counting merely those who signed in) and 618 lining up to speak. Another 2,900 have sent e-mails. …
Francisca Rojas of Harvard Kennedy School’s Transparency Policy Project recently praised the MBTA and TriMet (the transit system in Portland, Ore.) for doing the most to make high-quality data accessible and encourage third-party software developers to build apps at no cost to the agency and little or no cost to riders.
Do Manufacturers Need Special Treatment?
EVERYONE seems to be talking about a crisis in manufacturing. Workers, business leaders and politicians lament the decline of this traditionally central part of the American economy. President Obama, in his State of the Union address, singled out manufacturing for special tax breaks and support. Many go further, by urging trade restrictions or direct government investment in promising industries. …
This argument could justify government subsidies or tax breaks. But large clustering effects have been hard to find. A study by Professors Glenn Ellison of M.I.T. and Edward Glaeser of Harvard showed that in many industries, businesses were only modestly more clustered than if they were allocated randomly — suggesting that the benefits, while real, may often be small.