Reads of the Week: Tech Innovation, Finding Quality Teachers, and the Afghanistan Withdrawal - America's Future

August 20, 2021

Reads of the Week: Tech Innovation, Finding Quality Teachers, and the Afghanistan Withdrawal

By: AF Editors

Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. Do you dream of having bylines like these? Learn more about how the Writing Fellows Program can help boost your writing career!

How Regulatory ‘Sandboxes’ Can Boost U.S. Technological Innovation by Ryan Nabil (Summer 2016) in RealClearMarkets

States like Louisiana and North Carolina are eager to attract technology companies and promote innovation by temporarily lifting government red tape that stands in the way. But they are running into a big federal problem. States don’t have the power to waive federal financial regulation and licensing requirements even in the interest of allowing a company to experiment. This experimenting space is called “regulatory sandboxes,” and the end result can be innovations that help consumers gain access to innovative services, pay bills or even get legal services.

Sandboxes allow companies to test new innovative products for a limited time under close regulatory supervision.  Already, the Biden administration, Congress, and state lawmakers have role model sandboxes they can emulate and build upon…

California needs to focus more on finding– and paying–effective teachers by Jude Schwalbach (Fall 2018) in The Orange County Register

Just as students return to school and voters prepare for the state’s gubernatorial recall election, California is experiencing another worrying uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. With the pandemic changing education options, whoever wins the recall election, along with the state’s school leaders, should recognize California needs to reform the way it funds students and pays its best teachers.

California’s 2021-22 budget, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last month, includes $93.7 billion for education on top of the nearly $24 billion schools have been allocated in the three federal emergency stimulus and COVID-19 relief packages Congress has passed since the onset of the pandemic…

Don’t Excuse Biden for His Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal by Billy Binion (Spring 2018) in Reason

President Joe Biden on Monday did something unexpected for a U.S. executive: In a press conference, he stuck by his promise to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. It’s a speech that drew plaudits from anti-war advocates and scorn from the hawks. Yet in our hyper-polarized political landscape, we sometimes forget there’s room for more than two camps, and that applies here: It is possible to champion our troop removal while criticizing the way it was done. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Biden’s address made the case against nation building and regime change wars. Though the optics are messy, his decision to pull troops was the right one, he said. The speech took several pages from the anti-war playbook—rare rhetoric in the context of recent U.S. presidents, even as the war on terror has lost support. More than two-thirds of Americans want an end to the war in Afghanistan. Biden was confident, assured, and full of humility, wrote Reason’s Eric Boehm…