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[OP-ED]: The curse of middle-aged capitalism -- for Trump and all of us

 08/21/2017 - 13:57
In 1995, the largest five firms by market “capitalization” (the value of a company’s shares) were old-line businesses: Exxon, AT&T, Coca Cola, General Electric and Merck. By 2015, only Exxon (now Exxon Mobil) remained.

 A persisting puzzle about the U.S. economy is how it can seem both strong and weak. On the one hand, it remains a citadel of innovation, producing new companies like Uber. On the other, the economy is expanding at a snail’s pace of 2 percent annually since 2010. How could both be true? Why isn’t innovation translating into faster growth? The answer -- or part of the answer -- is that American businesses are running on two separate tracks. Call them the “youthful” and “middle-aged” tracks.

[OP-ED]: El hambre en el campus es un problema real con soluciones reales

 08/08/2017 - 14:40
Cuando los estudiantes tienen hambre, pierden clases—a veces para trabajar otro turno, a veces porque se enferman debido a la debilidad de sus sistemas inmunes causada por la desnutrición. 

Cuando la gente de mi edad recuerda la época universitaria, a menudo recuerda haber sido un estudiante “muerto de hambre”. Pero, en una época en que era posible completar una educación universitaria con algunas becas, un modesto préstamo estudiantil y un trabajo de tiempo parcial, pocos de mis pares pasaron hambre de verdad.

[OP-ED]: Can we die in peace?

 07/28/2017 - 08:38
Just whether the persistence of high-cost care reflects good medicine, a deep human craving to cling to life, or both is unclear. But the rhetoric about “end-of-life” care has changed more than the reality. To the question -- Can we die in peace and with dignity? -- the answer is “not yet.”

For those of us who had hoped that American attitudes toward death were shifting in ways that would promote a wider reconstruction of the health care system, there’s discouraging news from Health Affairs, the pre-eminent journal of health policy. It devotes its latest issue to “end-of-life” care and finds that -- at least so far -- the power to make health care more compassionate and cost-effective is limited.

[OP-ED]: Why robots won’t steal all our jobs

 07/14/2017 - 08:43
En un mundo ideal, los robots realizarían la mayoría de los trabajos repetitivos y monótonos, mientras que la fuerza de trabajo mejor educada y mejor paga se concentraría en trabajos que no pueden ser realizados por máquinas. Archivo

Don’t worry, the robots won’t destroy all our jobs. History suggests just the opposite -- that new technologies inspire new jobs. So concludes a study from leading labor economists. It’s a useful antidote to widespread fears that robots and “artificial intelligence” will displace millions of workers and lead to permanently high joblessness.

[OP-ED]: Does ‘executive function’ play a role in how likely police officers are to use deadly force?

 07/13/2017 - 11:13
Study of the Philadelphia police was unique because of its access to such a deep trove of information on officers, as most departments do not make such data available. File

The concept of “executive function” was popularized by social science research showing that young children who can control their impulses, pay attention, remember details, manage their time and plan are more likely to be successful in school.

[OP-ED]: How can we lift the tension between law enforcement and motorists of color?

 06/28/2017 - 11:44
Even at the pivotal moment Castile very straightforwardly tells Yanez, “Sir, I do have to tell you, I have a firearm on me.” Yanez calmly says, “Don’t reach for it, then. Don’t pull it out.”  CNN.com Dashcam video

 My brother-in-law, a volunteer constable in a small Arkansas town, once said that the answer to the tensions and violence between motorists of color and the police was for law enforcement to treat those they are sworn to protect with respect and politeness.

In Search of the Maya World: From Central America to Philadelphia

 06/27/2017 - 14:26
Gallery of archaeological pieces of Mayan culture exhibited at the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology of the University of Pennsylvania. Photo: Supplied UPEnn

One of the most intriguing mysteries of Latin American culture is what happened to the Maya civilization. How come after over 3,000 years of history, from about 2, 500 BC to 950 AD, most of the glorious Maya centers in Mesoamerica were abandoned? Before the arrival of the Europeans in the 1500’s magnificent cities like Tikal in Guatemala and Copán in Honduras had all but disappeared; left uninhabited, they were covered by thick jungle growth, hidden throughout the mountains and the lowlands. 

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[OP-ED]: Cleaning The ‘Heroin Hell’ Will Not Create Heaven In Surrounding Communities

 06/26/2017 - 10:41
'Bedroom' for a man in Philadelphia's West Kensington community where festering structural impoverishment sparks social ills like rampant drug sales. LBW Photo

The recent announcement that City Hall and Conrail cut a deal to cleanup the notorious heroin corridor along a section of railroad track running through Philadelphia’s Fairhill and West Kensington communities is welcomed removal of a dangerous blight that’s festered for nearly two decades.