Happy New Year from Pioneer Institute

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We hope you are taking time to celebrate and find peace during this season. Thank you for your support for Pioneer, which has helped us stay focused on steering the state’s debate on the pandemic response, and making progress on our key policy objectives. Here’s to a great 2021 for Massachusetts and the country.

Recent Posts

Leslie Klinger on Sherlock Holmes, Horror Stories, & Halloween

Mr. Klinger discusses Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe's influence on the detective genre, and the significance of 19th-century horror stories such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in popular culture.

Statement on Massachusetts Falling from 34th to 46th on Tax Foundation’s 2024 Business Tax Climate Index

Massachusetts policymakers should pay close attention to the latest evidence of the Commonwealth’s declining competitiveness. Last week, the Tax Foundation published its 2024 State Business Tax Climate Index, which showed Massachusetts’ ranking falling more than any other state, from 34th to 46th.

Pioneer’s U.S. History & Civics Book with Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola discusses Pioneer's new book "Restoring the City on a Hill: U.S. History & Civics in America's Schools" based on U.S. K-12 history and civics education, highlighting declining standards, leadership importance, crisis, primary sources, and state profiles, underscoring academic content's value.

Identity Politics Ideology: Woke’s Orthodoxy and Opposition to Liberal Values

Joe Selvaggi hosts a conversation with Johns Hopkins University Professor Yasha Mounk regarding "The Identity Trap," Mounk's latest book that delves into the origins of woke identity politics, its potential impact on classical liberal values, and strategies for its informed opponents to effectively counter its influence.

Prof. Jeff Broadwater on George Mason, Federalism, & the Bill of Rights

Prof. Broadwater delves into Mason's views on constitutionalism, federalism, leadership among Anti-Federalists, and concerns regarding emerging commercial interests. He emphasizes Mason's belief in civic virtue as the bedrock of American self-governance and even provides a reading from his biography on George Mason.

Federal Firearm Forfeiture: SCOTUS Considers Gun Rights and Due Process

Joe Selvaggi hosts a conversation with constitutional legal expert Clark Neily, who delves into the facts and legal complexities surrounding USA v. Rahimi, currently before the Supreme Court. This case questions the forfeiture of Second Amendment rights for individuals accused of domestic abuse.

Ron DeSantis’ Silly Drug Importation Idea

Ron DeSantis proposed in November 2020 to import drugs from Canada for state agencies such as Medicaid, prisons and other public healthcare programs. The goal is to save $150 million in state taxpayer funds. But the Biden administration seems unlikely to approve the plan, and the FDA has raised objections. Here's why the DeSantis plan will not — and cannot — save even a dollar.

Former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty on School Reform

Former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty discusses his education reforms with Michelle Rhee, addressing DCPS challenges, politics, leadership transitions, and teacher unions in urban education reform.

Diversity’s Dubious Definition: Harvard Case Spells End to Racial Classifications

Joe Selvaggi discusses the implications of the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard case for race and ethnicity-based programs with David Bernstein, a Distinguished Law Professor at George Mason University and an Adjunct Fellow at the CATO Institute.

UCLA’s Prof. James Stigler on Teaching & Learning Math

Professor Stigler discusses the enduring teaching and learning challenges in U.S. STEM education, international student achievement, math pedagogy debates, and international standardized tests. He explains possible strategies for mitigating COVID-19-related learning loss.

Untangling Unsheltered Encampments: Home Is Where the Help Lies

Joe Selvaggi discusses the challenges posed by homeless encampments, like Boston's Mass and Cass, with Dr. Judge Glock, the director of research at the Manhattan Institute. They also explore policy alternatives aimed at addressing the needs of both the community and the unsheltered individuals.

Poll: MA Voters Oppose Legislative Proposals to Change Tax Rebate Law

A strong majority of registered Massachusetts voters oppose a plan recently announced by state legislative leaders that would change the way tax rebates are distributed in Massachusetts under a state law approved by voters in 1986, according to a new poll sponsored by Pioneer Institute and the Massachusetts High Technology Council.

UK’s Laura Thompson on Agatha Christie, Queen of Crime Mystery

In this week's episode of The Learning Curve, guest co-hosts Mariam Memarsadeghi and Mary Connaughton interview Laura Thompson, author of "Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life." Ms. Thompson discusses into Agatha Christie's life, her iconic characters, and her impact on the mystery genre, including adaptations of her works in film and theater, as well as her mysterious 1926 disappearance. The interview concludes with a reading from Thompson's biography of Agatha Christie.

Ruining Research Rewards: Price Controls Come for University Patents and Products

Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute Senior Fellow Dr. Bill Smith about the benefit of the Bayh-Dole Act’s protection of intellectual property rights for university research patents and the risk posed to the nation and the local economy from recent efforts to consider price controls on products developed from patented discoveries.

John Steele Gordon on America’s Economic Rise

This week on The Learning Curve, guest co-hosts Charlie Chieppo and Derrell Bradford interview John Steele Gordon, the author of 10 books on business, economic, and technology history. They discuss the keys to America’s transformation into the world’s foremost economic power and its economic prospects for competitiveness in the twenty-first century.

Farmers Welfare Bill: Rethinking Costly and Environmentally Distortive Subsidies

Joe Selvaggi discusses the cost and consequences of the $1.5 trillion decade-long subsidies in the farm bill with Chris Edwards, Chair of Fiscal Studies at the Cato Institute. These subsidies have the potential to negatively impact incentives for consumers, producers, and those concerned about the environment.

Dr. Ramachandra Guha on Gandhi’s Enduring Legacy

This week on The Learning Curve, guest co-hosts Charlie Chieppo and Mariam Memarsadeghi interview writer and biographer Dr. Ramachandra Guha. The author of the definitive two-volume biography of Mohandas K. Gandhi, Guha discusses Gandhi’s formative educational experiences, spirituality, political leadership, and philosophy of nonviolent resistance.

Predatory Tax Ruling: Supreme Court Closes Door on Home Equity Theft

Joe Selvaggi talks with Pacific Legal Foundation’s state legal policy deputy, attorney Jim Manley, about home equity theft, a practice that has taken 350 properties in Massachusetts, dispossessing homeowners of more than $50 million in equity.