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Author Archives: pete du pont

The Lessons of Policy Failures

Recently I was asked to speak on the greatest public policy failures of the ’90s. There were plenty to choose from, but as I pondered them, what struck me anew was the difference that leadership-specifically, strategic leadership-at the top can make.This is not an original insight, of course. But it’s an important point that sometimes gets lost in the press ...

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Balancing Act

That government is different from business is obvious. For one thing, a business can’t force you to buy a product or service and then set the price you have to pay for it. Still, government does conduct business, and it ought to do so in a way that its shareholders-that’s us———can tell how well or poorly it is doing.Back in ...

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HMO DOA

For the past decade, employers shave increasingly turned to managed care, particularly Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), as a way to provide comprehensive health care services for their employees and the employees’ dependents at lower cost. However, HMOs as they now exist are going to be legislated out of existence in the near future.Congress and state legislatures have imposed or are ...

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Cutting Edge

At no time in our history has the moment been so right for a major tax cut as now. We are facing a record-breaking budget surplus, due first to a DU PONT strong economy and second to the enormous tax increase enacted by the Clinton administration and the Democratic Congress in 1993. We are living in the best of times, ...

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The Learning Curb

The quality of our elementary and secondary schools is an important determinant of how well-trained and racially diverse our nation’s work force will be. Yet competition and innovation, two of the driving factors in our economy, are strangers to the schoolroom. Public schools control 92 percent of all money spent on elementary and secondary education, and the education establishment, dominated ...

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Private Time?

Right now, employers pay Social Security taxes of 6.2 percent on earnings up to $65,400 for employees. Medicare takes 1.45 percent of all earnings. That’s bad, but it will get worse. How does 50 percent more in taxes sound? How about double? Or more? Without serious reform now, you can count on it.In 1940, when the first Social Security recipient ...

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The Great Society Redux

Big government is not dead. It’s not even sleeping. In fact, it may be ready to grow bigger than ever, aided, ironically, by fiscal conservatives whose primary concern is a balanced budget.In just one week in January, for example, proposals were floated to expand still further the federal government’s role in health care, child care, education, and housing. The same ...

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Global Warming-or Hot Air?

The Clinton administration has received some business support for proposals that the U.S. sign a treaty in Kyoto pledging to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2)-the alleged culprit in global warming. The support mainly comes from businesses that benefited from past government largesse in the form of subsidies or technological mandates to develop and use renewable energy resources or ...

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Taming the 800-Pound Gorillas

Elderly entitlements may not be on your agenda for consideration every day, but Social Security and Medicare are still going to be hanging around, two 800-pound gorillas that are becoming increasingly restless. Payroll taxes for both are already squeezing workers and businesses, and are certain to grow. Medicare is running a deficit. We have a current, unfunded multi-trillion dollar commitment ...

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Defending the LBO

Corporate America did not exactly score a public relations triumph in the 1980s, coming under attack from all corners, including the media and politicians, for a host of perceived evils, not the least of which were leveraged buyouts and junk bonds. But, as Gordon Cain points out in his new book, Everybody Wins!, these well-publicized abuses tended to obscure a ...

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