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Culture & Society: Reaching beyond politics and policy, into the art and community that shape us, is important for both understanding and changing the social landscape. Engaging with the themes and assumptions embedded in art and popular culture is a key component of succeeding in the marketplace of ideas. Discussing civil society and social entrepreneurs is essential to the motivation of the next generation. Whether it’s highlighting the work of a community organization improving lives locally or commenting on the values and message of society’s storytellers, we seek to emphasize the importance of the space between the individual and the state and the inherent dignity of every person.
Economy & Jobs: An economy based on mutually beneficial exchange is the cornerstone of our modern world. Creating an environment in which individuals are able to use their talents, interests, and skills to create value for others is essential to ensuring a truly inclusive economy that recognizes the full dignity and worth of the human person. Catalyst explores how these ideas function in our current culture and highlights ideas to improve the status quo.
Education: Without question, learning about the world and developing one's potential is the key to success in our modern world. But the current cookie-cutter approach to education ignores the different strengths, needs, and goals of today's students. Only by challenging the status quo and rethinking the rigidity of traditional educational pathways will today's students have the opportunity to achieve their true potential. By focusing on the needs and capabilities of individuals, Catalyst explores how education is being adapted to fit our modern age.
Environment: As the next generation takes up challenge of stewarding our environment, it is important to prioritize results over intentions. Creativity and innovation have radically improved our living standards; they can be harnessed to improve and protect our environment as well. Applying the same principles that have led to our historic material prosperity, such as the cooperation enabled by mutually-beneficial market exchanges, can also help sustain and preserve our environment for generations to come. By allowing more local and private control over the management of the resources in their own backyard and expanding property rights that encourage good stewardship and cooperation, we can build a culture that welcomes environmental entrepreneurship and is well-equipped to handle the challenges of conserving what matters most.
Healthcare: Overpriced and underperforming, it's no secret that America's healthcare system is in desperate need of an overhaul. However, new advances in medical and information technology are revolutionizing the way consumers search for and receive healthcare. Rather than continuing to rely on mandates and restrictions, introducing choice and flexibility will ensure that the needs of individuals are met. Catalyst explores these transformational developments and outlines ways in which to best serve individuals and families by restoring their decision-making power and increasing their options.
Housing: Moving to take advantage of new and better opportunities has always been part of the American pioneer spirit. Today, however, far too many people find themselves stuck in place and less able to fully pursue their aspirations. Even as technology makes the production of new homes cheaper and faster, public policy choices have made housing ever more expensive and unavailable. Catalyst explores how policies can be changed and technology leveraged to ensure that housing is affordable and responsive to the needs of the next generation of Americans seeking opportunity.
Privacy: The right to privacy is an essential component of liberty whose legal tradition can be traced back centuries. In today's digital and interconnected world, the platforms and context in which we exercise our right to privacy has certainly changed, but its significance has not. Catalyst highlights threats to the privacy of individuals and offers creative solutions to ensure that no person is forced to have private information made public.
Articles
Is a Simplified Student Financial Aid Process Around the Corner?
The Fix Would be a Rare Bipartisan Moment

Literally for decades, a major impediment for individuals wanting federal student financial assistance is the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) form.

Richard Vedder | February 19, 2019
Slideshows
Federal Student Loans
How Well Does the Program Actually Work?

Are we bound to the federal student loan model, or is there another way?

February 16, 2019
Articles
More Colleges are Saying ‘No’ to Student Loans
Students Should Explore Other Options

We need to reduce or eliminate federal student loan programs and find other ways of financing schooling, such as private income share agreements.

Richard Vedder | February 6, 2019
Articles
Fostering Learning through Video Games

Across the United States, educators are finding ways to incorporate new technologies into their classrooms. But technology-based learning should be taking place at home as well.

Kristiana Bolzman | February 1, 2019
Articles
Income Share Agreements and the Future of Education

The recent funding round of Lambda School indicates that a change in education might finally be upon us.

Ryan Khurana | January 28, 2019
Articles
Are Universities Ruining Students?
These Authors Say ‘Yes’

One of the more interesting books I read in 2018 was Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.

Art Carden | January 11, 2019
Articles
Revive For-Profit Higher Education
Competition Boosts Choices and Opportunities

American higher education benefits from competition and diversity of its schools.

Richard Vedder | December 21, 2018
Quizzes
Educational Spending
Spend More or Spend Wiser?

Does more spending always lead to better results? Take our quiz to discover what types of educational investments lead to greater human capital.

December 11, 2018
Polls
Signaling vs. Genuine Education

In his recent book, The Case Against Education, George Mason University Professor of Economics Bryan Caplan asks readers a hypothetical question to illustrate the value of signaling vs. genuine education in the context of a 4-year university.

December 8, 2018