News Notes: “Forfeiture Reform Unites Left and Right”

Former secretary of state George P. Shultz and former Citicorp chairman Walter Wriston are among the distinguished Americans who have joined the new Board of Advisors of Cato’s Center for Trade Policy Studies. Board members will advise the center’s staff on research priorities and occasionally participate in conferences and forums.

Other members of the Board of Advisors are former U.S. trade representative and agriculture secretary Clayton Yeutter; former Chilean minister of labor José Piñera; Washington Post columnist James Glassman; economist Lawrence Kudlow of American Skandia; and scholars Douglas Irwin of Dartmouth College, William H. Lash III of George Mason University, and Razeen Sally of the London School of Economics.

The center has also expanded its staff with the addition of Mark A. Groombridge as a research fellow. Groombridge was formerly associate director of Asian studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where he wrote on a wide variety of international economic issues. His book Tiger by the Tail: China and the WTO is forthcoming. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.

Pilon Named Vice President

Roger Pilon has been named vice president for legal affairs of the Cato Institute. He continues to hold the B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies and serve as director of the Center for Constitutional Studies. In announcing the appointment, Cato president Edward H. Crane said, “Roger has been with Cato since 1988 and during that time has done more than anyone else in the nation to help develop a renaissance of respect for the Constitution that the Framers gave us.”

Timothy Lynch has been named director of the Project on Criminal Justice within the Center for Constitutional Studies. One of his first duties will be to organize a major conference on the war on drugs to be held at Cato on October 5.

Eat the Rich Distributed to Students

The Cato Institute will distribute some 30,000 copies of an abridged edition of Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics by P. J. O’Rourke to high-school students over the next few months.

In the book—a New York Times bestseller—O’Rourke visits such widespread locales as Wall Street, Sweden, Russia, Tanzania, Hong Kong, and Shanghai to try to answer the fundamental question about economics: why do some societies prosper and others never do? Cato’s student edition contains about 50 of the book’s 300 pages.

The project is made possible by the Opportunity Foundation, which seeks to educate young people about economics. Most of the books will be distributed to high-school debaters with the cooperation of the Foundation for Economic Education. Books will also be made available to college newspaper editors.

“Despite the fact that it’s lighthearted and actually fun to read, Eat the Rich is a very sound introduction to economic concepts and the value of economic freedom,” says David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute. “Any high-school student who reads these excerpts will learn a lot about economics and will likely want to read the whole book.”

P. J. O’Rourke is the Mencken Research Fellow of the Cato Institute and the foreign affairs desk chief of Rolling Stone. He is also the author of Parliament of Whores, All the Trouble in the World, Holidays in Hell, and other books.

This article originally appeared in the July/August 1999 edition of Cato Policy Report.