The success of BRAC shows how to overcome public choice dynamics at a
time of crisis. These lessons apply today, but they must be understood correctly.
While creating a small commission or task force to tackle a problem has many
advantages, it is just one aspect of what made BRAC succeed. A spending
commission modeled on BRAC should be focused, independent, composed of
disinterested citizens given clear criteria for their decisions, and be structured in
a way that allows its recommendations to be operative unless Congress rejects
them. This prescription is the only way that a spending commission has a
chance to actually result in spending cuts.
As the world’s first decentralized digital currency, Bitcoin has the potential to revolutionize online payments systems in a way that benefits individuals and businesses. Instead of using an intermediary such as PayPal or submitting credit card information to a third party for verification—both of which often include transaction fees and other restrictions—Bitcoin allows individuals to pay each other directly for goods or services.
There has been no shortage of attention devoted to cybersecurity, with a wide range of experts warning of potential doomsday scenarios should the government not act to better secure the Internet. But this is not the first time we have been warned of impending dangers; indeed, there are many parallels between present portrayals of cyberthreats and the portrayal of Iraq prior to 2003, or the perceived bomber gap in the late 1950s.
In this journal article, Jerry Brito first looks at the roots of success for Base Realignment and Closing (BRAC) commissions. He then compares them to recent commission proposals to limit federal spending.
Copyright Unbalanced is not a moral case for or against copyright; it is a pragmatic look at the excesses of the present copyright regime and of proposals to expand it further. It is a call for reform—to roll back the expansions and reinstate the limits that the Constitution’s framers placed on copyright.
Alice Marwick, assistant professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University, discusses her newly-released book, Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age. Marwick reflects on her interviews with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, technology journalists, and venture capitalists to show how social media affects social dynamics and digital culture. Marwick answers questions such as: Does “status conscious” take on a new meaning in the age of social media? Is the public using social media the way the platforms’ creators intended? How do you quantify the value of online social interactions? Are social media users becoming more self-censoring or more transparent about what they share? What’s the difference between self-branding and becoming a micro-celebrity? She also shares her advice for how to make Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and other platforms more beneficial for you.