Evidence of subconscious racism shows up at Honda

Thousands of black, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander Honda buyers will be getting rebate checks in the coming months after the car maker discovered dealers were boosting interest rates for minorities. American Honda Finance Corp. reached a $24 million settlement with federal prosecutors after statistics showed that dealers consistently charged minorities more for loans. Minorities […]

Essay: A son of the South, but no longer of the South

My great-great-grandfather owned slaves, and I now know there was no such thing as a good slaveholder. For many people who trace their heritage to the antebellum South, that statement is apostasy. For over 150 years, proud descendants of Confederate rebels have proclaimed that our ancestors were good to their slaves, and that President Abraham […]

Houston’s economy too strong to draw Tesla

In 1928, the Chamber of Commerce in Marlin, Texas, wanted a modern hotel to serve the hundreds of people who bathed every week in the town’s famed mineral waters, so they asked Conrad Hilton if he’d consider investing in their community. Hilton replied with a proposal for a $375,000 high-rise with the largest ballroom in […]

Energy regulations should be left to experts and politicians, not voters

Democracy can be a really bad idea. The majority of voters cannot be trusted to make the best decision when it comes to emotional or complex topics, such as minority rights or industrial regulation. Deeply ingrained prejudices, personal profit motives and intentionally misleading propaganda often sway voters more than reason or science. That’s why referendums […]

Texas shouldn’t settle for third on R&D spending

When it comes to creativity and invention, Texas doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. Savvy businesses leaders spent $12.9 billion a year on research and development programs in Texas, according to the National Science Foundation, and that doesn’t count publicly funded research at the state’s universities. Overall, Texas ranks third in the nation in […]

Lawmakers need to stop the losses at Texas hospitals

The Texas health care system is hemorrhaging money. Emergency room doctors see critically ill poor people every day who waited too long to seek help because they lack health insurance. The ER doctors provide them with just enough care to responsibly send patients on their way, knowing full well that while the patients will likely […]

Failing students mean failing businesses

What do you expect from public school assessments? Should they determine how well the students are learning, or rank schools in comparison with others? Should the standards get tougher over time, or should they remain the same for generations? Lastly, should the assessments help schools self-evaluate, or allow taxpayers to demand accountability? As employers complain […]

Kinder Morgan offers a reality check on master limited partnerships

Don’t you hate it when that good thing that you hoped would last forever comes to an end? Many retail investors in Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and El Paso Pipeline Partners are probably feeling that way now that they understand the tax implications of an acquisition by Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. But the warning signs […]

Corporate responsibility paramount to make Mexican energy reforms work

The ink on Mexico’s new energy laws is finally dry, and the biggest names in the industry are exploring how they can revive our southern neighbor’s wilting oil and gas production. Let’s hope they don’t mess it up. The nine implementing laws signed last week by President Enrique Peña Nieto formalized the biggest overhaul of […]

Houston craft distillery waits to come of age

Tucked in the back of an unremarkable business park in northwest Houston, the Whitmeyer brothers are cooking whiskey. A 55-gallon still is bubbling and a clear alcohol condenses through copper tubing and streams into a pitcher. After it cools, the brothers will pour it into charred oak barrels and stack them against the wall for […]