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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
Universities as Rip-Offs: The Costly and Inefficient Edifice Complex

Outrageous expenditures are commonplace for campus buildings, we will let a somewhat decrepit classroom building deteriorate so we can fund the academic fad de jour.

Richard Vedder | August 15, 2019
Articles
3 Challenges Resulting from Oregon’s Student Mental Health Law

Before following Oregon’s example, states should take a second look at the impact on student academic success, mental wellbeing, and skill development.

Kristiana Bolzman | August 5, 2019
Articles
Would You Buy a Used Car from a College President?

As the environment for universities worsens financially and in other ways, the job of being a college president is getting tougher.

Richard Vedder | August 2, 2019
Articles
3 Improvements to Career and Technical Education Funding

The Department of Education updated a key funding program for career and technical education, but educators should recognize its value even without federal support.

Kristiana Bolzman | July 23, 2019
Articles
Is a College Degree Necessary? A Tale of Three Students

In many cases, the residential nature of college is key to most of the collegiate contribution to student success.

Richard Vedder | July 17, 2019
Articles
Betsy DeVos Is Right about Gainful Employment

There were a fair number of “bad actors” in for-profit higher education, but the same thing can be said of many public universities, which were exempt from such regulation.

Richard Vedder | July 11, 2019
Articles
If Student Loans Might Be Canceled, Why Not Borrow More?

Student debt cancellation is already suspect because it redistributes wealth upward. It also changes people’s incentives for the worse.

Art Carden | July 4, 2019
Articles
The Growth in Tuition Insurance

As college expenses become bigger, the case for purchasing insurance has grown.

Richard Vedder | June 30, 2019
Articles
In-Class Technology
Too Much of a Good Thing?

Students perform best with low or moderate levels of computer usage per day, prompting caution about pinning hopes or dollars on its use in class.

Kristiana Bolzman | June 27, 2019