Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

At the Berkshire Museum, a display of backbone

July 30, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

THE BERKSHIRE MUSEUM has been catching all kinds of hell ever since it announced this month that it will auction off 40 works of art from its collection, which focuses on art, natural history, and ancient civilization. The financially struggling museum hopes to raise $50 million from selling the artworks; it will use some of the proceeds to create a stable endowment and the rest to renovate its 114-year-old building in downtown Pittsfield. The decision, prudent and thoughtful, should put the Berkshire Museum, long a cultural institution in Western Massachusetts, on a stronger footing than it has been for years.

Naturally, this has sent the great and the good into paroxysms of outrage.

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Research isn't tainted just because industry picks up the tab

July 26, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

THIS FALL, the National Institutes of Health will launch a major study to determine whether regular consumption of alcohol helps prevent heart attacks. The clinical trial will comprise nearly 8,000 participants, recruited from 16 sites in North and South America, Europe, and Africa. The volunteers will be randomly assigned to one of two groups: Those in the first group will have one drink each day, while those in the other group abstain. This enormous study will come with an enormous price tag: more than $100 million.

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'Let Obamacare fail,' says Trump. It already has.

July 23, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

REPUBLICANS WILL PAY a heavy price for breaking their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act. For seven years, the GOP vowed to eliminate the unwise, unpopular law, and during Barack Obama's years in the White House, Republican legislators voted for repeal dozens of times. But once there was a president prepared to sign repeal legislation, Republicans choked.

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The collapse of the taxi-medallion shakedown

July 19, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

IT MADE HEADLINES in 2011 when two New York City taxi medallions changed hands for $1 million apiece. At the time, it was the highest price ever recorded for one of the numbered metal tags that are required to lawfully operate a cab on the city's streets. It was also a vivid demonstration of how a government-created monopoly can send prices rocketing to stratospheric heights — even the price of something with almost no intrinsic value, like a little aluminum medallion issued by the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission.

A million bucks for a taxicab medallion? That may have come as a shock in 2011, but the price kept climbing. By 2014, medallions were going for $1.3 million apiece.

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A nation on the verge of a nervous breakdown

July 16, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

THE STRANGER rang the doorbell. Five minutes later, she was sobbing in our living room.

It was a little before 7 p.m. when we heard the bell. With a glance at my wife to confirm that we weren't expecting anyone, I went to open the front door. Standing in the entrance, a tentative smile on her face and an iPad in her hand, was a young woman wearing shorts and an olive T-shirt.

"Hi, do you have a moment? I'd like to tell you about Greenpeace," she began.

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