Category Archives: United States

Ubers Are Safer than Taxis

My new Manhattan Institute Report, Uber Positive, shows that as the ridesharing company Uber gains popularity, its benefits primarily flow to areas that were previously underserved by existing transportation options. The Uber data that I used covered every ride in the New York City area for all of 2014.

The underserved areas that gained the most from Uber’s growth were outer-borough neighborhoods that had below-median household incomes. In December 2014, there were over 200,000 more UberX trips that started in low-income zip codes outside downtown and midtown Manhattan than there were in January 2014.

These widespread benefits make it difficult for policymakers to claim that ridesharing’s growth needs to be curtailed to lower traffic congestion or protect the profits of taxi companies. However, if ridesharing put the public at danger, that could be a legitimate reason to impose further regulations.

Read the rest on Townhall here.

Growing pains for the charter school movement

The charter school movement has experienced remarkable growth in the past five years, but that growth may stall if the movement can’t overcome a few challenges.

Charter schools face inadequate facilities, political opposition and over-reliance on philanthropy, among other challenges. Bellwether Education Partners, an education nonprofit, details those challenges in a new report called, “The State of the Charter School Movement.”

To meet growth expectations within 15 years, current charter operators will need to more than double their capacity, to 6.5 million students. New operators will also have to contribute by taking on 3.5 million students. This means current charter management organizations need to be able to scale their operations. In addition, new high-quality charters need to be fostered and eventually replicated.

Read the rest on the Washington Examiner here.

Remembering September 11th: Where We Were, Where We Are, and Where We’re Heading

Today marks the fourteenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. 9/11 has joined Pearl Harbor and the assassination of John F. Kennedy in the ranks of defining generational tragedies. It’s the day that changed America forever.

America responded to the attack by throwing itself into the “War on Terror,” a new type of open-ended war of attrition against spectral abstractions. Fourteen years later, no end is in sight. Unfortunately, the war effort has largely failed. It’s time to face up to it, and adjust to the new reality we have created in the post-9/11 world.

Here at home, domestic surveillance continues to grow in scope and invasiveness, despite having done little to root out terrorism. The main casualty on this front has been American civil liberties and constitutional rights. The USA FREEDOM Act, and a few other measures, have reinforced some of the liberties undermined by the War on Terror. Mostly, however, the thriving and largely unchecked surveillance state has managed to fend off or ignore reforms.

Abroad, America has sent its soldiers to battle phantoms in the shadows with no end goal, or clear definition of victory. Innocents routinely perish as collateral damage of America’s Sisyphean quest to kill al Qaeda’s latest “second in command.” Our foreign adventurism has weakened Iraq, decimated al Qaeda, and sent the Taliban fleeing; but in their wake, new terrorist organizations like ISIS have sprung to fill the void. We have traded one enemy for another.

Read the rest on Townhall here.