Friday, August 28, 2015

My latest TV appearance

On Fox News Live, I discussed prediction markets that the government may not be able to stop with Lauren Green:

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Fact Check: Which Republican candidates actually cut spending?

Every Republican presidential candidate has promised to keep government spending in check -- but which ones actually have a track record of doing that?

All say they would cut. In the last debate, Jeb Bush said people in Florida called him "Veto-Corleone" because he vetoed so much spending. Mike Huckabee said the federal government "is not too big to shrink." Chris Christie says he "balanced budgets."

Is it true? There are an almost infinite number of ways that records can be spun. Some focus on cuts in one small program or on small tax cuts. But governors have actual records. So what do they show?

The "Stossel" show crunched the numbers on that -- adjusting them for inflation and population growth. Here's what the data on governors and ex-governors show:


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Thursday, August 20, 2015

New tech promises government-proof prediction markets

A group of developers have come up with a new concept called “Augur”, which they hope will make it nearly impossible for government to regulate “prediction markets.”

Prediction markets are websites where people bet on events like presidential elections and the Oscars. Such markets have proven popular and studies have found that the betting odds from such sites are even better at predicting election winners than polls are. But they face government regulatory hurdles, and three years ago regulators shut down the world’s largest one,

Augur aims to prevent such a shutdown from happening again by being a prediction market that operates as a self-sustaining computer program which would not need a corporation to operate it.

Governments might then be unable to stop it, because there would be no company to shut down. Instead, the regulators would be up against thousands of copies of a computer program located on personal computers all over the world.

“Hundreds of thousands of computers would have to be shut down in order for the system to be shut down,” Augur spokesman Tony Sakich told

Augur is expected to launch early in 2016. This week, it launched a crowdfunding campaign that raised $1.6 million by Wednesday.


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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

College Board to rewrite US history exam after critics blast anti-America language

The red, white and blue is going back into the U.S. history being taught to college-bound high schoolers, after critics blasted the curriculum-setting test as biased against America.

The College Board, which writes the test that much of the nation's advanced placement course lessons are based on, last week issued a new course and exam description that has more focus on the positive role of the framers, America's effort to rid the world of the Nazi threat during World War II and how entrepreneurs transformed the world's most dynamic economy. Those points of emphasis are expected next year to replace the previous test questions, which some historians and teachers say took a negative view of the U.S.

“The result is a clearer and more balanced approach to the teaching of American history,” the College Board announced Thursday.

While the College Board can’t directly dictate what is taught in high school Advanced Placement classes, by writing the test that half a million college-bound students take each year it strongly influences the curriculum crafted by teachers. The previous version created an uproar because it focused on racial and cultural divisions in America instead of a collective American identity, and left out unifying figures such as Benjamin Franklin and Martin Luther King. The new version mentions those men and also includes sections on a unified American identity -- plus more focus on America’s founders and founding documents.

The sections on America’s divisions and problems remain, but now exist alongside positive points about America.

One historian who led the charge for the revision said the new version is much better, but not perfect.

“The College Board scrubbed from last year’s document the more obnoxious expressions of bias against America, against capitalism, and against whites,” Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, told

The old guidelines also previously criticized free markets, noting that they “helped to widen a gap between rich and poor” without mentioning that they had created prosperity. The new version is less one-sided, noting that “entrepreneurs helped to create a market revolution in production and commerce…” and that “workers’ real wages increased… while the gap between rich and poor grew.”


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