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Howard Steven Friedman
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Howard Steven Friedman works as a statistician and health economist for the United Nations and teaches at Columbia University. In addition to following him on Twitter at howardsfriedman you can also sign up to his Facebook fan page Howard Steven Friedman.

He has been a lead modeler on a number of key United Nations projects including the ICPD @ 15 Costing, High Level Task Force on Innovative Financing, and the Adding It Up reports. He is credited with being the lead developer of the tool used for costing the health-related Millennium Development Goals. He is also an adjunct professor at School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Howard ran Analytic Solutions LLC, which provides consulting services in designing, developing and modeling data. This work also included teaching data mining and modeling techniques for major international corporations and foreign governments. Prior to that, he was a Director at Capital One, where he led teams of statisticians, analysts and programmers in operations and marketing.

Howard is the author of over 35 scientific articles and book chapters in areas of applied statistics, health economics with recent publications in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, Current Medical Research & Opinion, Clinical Therapeutics, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy, Clinical Drug Investigation and Value in Health.

Howard Friedman received his BS from Binghamton University in Applied Physics and a Masters in Statistics, along with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

Please note that all comments on this blog reflect the opinions of the author and not those of the United Nations or Columbia University

Entries by Howard Steven Friedman

More than Black and White in NYC

(0) Comments | Posted January 10, 2014 | 4:32 PM

When Bill de Blasio was sworn in as the mayor of New York City, the ceremony was filled with celebrities, political leaders and other members of New York City's community.

I noticed a few themes constantly repeated as I listened in the audience on that bitterly cold day.

The first...

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Eight Graphs Showing American Exceptionalism

(2) Comments | Posted December 27, 2013 | 12:13 PM

The phrase "American Exceptionalism" means different things to different people.

To some, it carries a religious overtone, with the suggestion that the United States was specially chosen by God to be the dominant world power. Those who subscribe to that notion tend to believe that America is a force...

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Dark Side of After-Christmas Sales Starting BEFORE Christmas

(6) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 10:23 AM

On December 12th, the Department of Commerce released news that the advanced estimates for November 2013's sales were up 4.7 percent compared to November 2012. Sectors that have seen the largest year over year increases included motor vehicles (up 10.2 percent), furniture (up 9.7 percent), and electronics (up...

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Mandela's Death: A Tale of Two Zimbabwean Newspapers

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 11:40 AM

I woke up in Harare, Zimbabwe to the news of Mandela's death. Two newspapers sat outside my door, NewsDay, an independent paper, and The Herald, the official newspaper of Zimbabwe.

NewsDay, an independent paper, had no article about Mandela since it had been printed before the announcement the previous night....

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Bloomberg's $uper Dozen Years

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2013 | 1:54 PM

I wish I could have invested in Mike Bloomberg when he first became mayor because he has had a super, or shall I say $uper, dozen years.

No, I am not talking about debatable items like his mayoral legacy, especially his controversial third term. Nor am I referring to...

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Relevant Experience Becoming a Political Liability

(4) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 11:08 AM

A waiter hands you the menu while mentioning, "Our chef has never taken a cooking class in his life. After 20 years of owning a successful construction company, he just decided that other people don't know how to cook. This is his first day on the job and we've never...

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If They Won't Put It in Writing Then Be Afraid

(9) Comments | Posted October 20, 2013 | 1:54 PM

Years ago, I got a call out of the blue. Someone I don't usually work with, in delicate political language, was requesting I do something. Problem was that the request seemed highly inappropriate to me. It wasn't based on any policy or guideline and seemed to be very questionable on...

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Bad Economic Analogies Never Die

(5) Comments | Posted October 15, 2013 | 9:34 AM

Maybe you heard the analogy between managing household finances and government finances in an Intro to Economics class? Or maybe you heard it on talk radio or saw it spewed out on cable? Perhaps you remember Reagan referring to the federal government while stating, "...if you've got a kid that's...

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Kennedy, Kidd and the Keys to Success

(5) Comments | Posted July 28, 2013 | 2:25 PM

Over the years, I developed the impression that most success in life is due to some combination of effort, innate talent, luck and connections. Connections can include financial, social and political connections where some people were born into a web of family connections while others developed them over their career....

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American Mortality Comparatively Higher Across All Age Groups

(8) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 5:54 AM

The fact that the U.S. health care outcomes lag that of many other wealthy countries (despite spending two to over four times more on health care) has been well established. What may surprise some is that the U.S. consistently lags other wealthy countries in health outcomes across all stages of...

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Nobel Peace Prize Winners Mythical Discussion

(8) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 10:45 AM

The following discussion NEVER happened:

Henry: "First thing I thought when I got the call... was it had to be a practical joke. I figured Tricky Dick was pulling a fast one on me. After all, how do you give a peace prize to someone who purposefully extends a war?...

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Male Mortality Hot Spots

(11) Comments | Posted June 30, 2013 | 5:23 AM

Across the globe, men tend to live shorter lives than women -- on average, roughly 6 percent shorter to be precise. This gender-based difference in life expectancy is related to many factors, some biologic and social. Male mortality is higher than female mortality throughout life, from the earliest stages of...

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Passionate Minority Dominates the Passive Majority

(22) Comments | Posted June 16, 2013 | 2:26 PM

While the tale of the tape suggests that, in a democratic battle, the majority opinion will dominate against a passionate minority, the reality is far different.

In one corner, a small set of citizens stand poised to pounce whenever their issue comes into the public discussion. They are passionately...

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America's Looming Demographic Challenge

(2) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 2:00 PM

The following is an excerpt from the recently released e-book, A Modest Proposal for America: Taxes, Entitlements, and the Manufactured Crisis of Federal Finance

America's social safety net is far less generous than most other wealthy nations'. As a percent of GDP, the U.S.'s rate of social spending...

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The Balancing Act of Taxes and Spending

(5) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 10:07 AM

A healthy national economy requires long term planning so that it can invest in its future while maintaining a manageable level of debt. Revenues must be enhanced when necessary; expenses must be prioritized and sometimes reduced or eliminated.

But while there is plenty of fat and waste in government, it's...

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A Modest Proposal: Introduction

(4) Comments | Posted May 30, 2013 | 3:36 PM

The following is the opening piece to the recently released, A Modest Proposal for America: Taxes, Entitlements, and the Manufactured Crisis of Federal Finance.

'Tis a melancholy object indeed, the financial news. Newspapers, television pundits, and the Internet alike are spewing out dire statistics about the massive burden...

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Loophole Mythology Versus Kickback Reality

(6) Comments | Posted May 13, 2013 | 11:34 AM

The word "loophole" is constantly used by politicians and the media to justify situations of extreme injustice or inequality. The word itself has a clear definition, "A loophole is an ambiguity or omission in the text through which the intent of a statute, contract, or obligation may be evaded" but...

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Humility in Greatness

(2) Comments | Posted April 18, 2013 | 5:11 PM

In cleaning up my apartment a few weeks ago, I came across a letter that was nearly 20 years old. It was a semi-formal letter, written on official stationary by an eminent scientist.

How did I end up with this letter? The scientist had published a reader-friendly book on...

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American Values at Rutgers

(39) Comments | Posted April 8, 2013 | 5:23 PM

With Rutgers University's Mike Rice video and subsequent firing now in the news, many are tempted to talk about the special treatment given to sports. This conversation makes me wonder, which special treatment are they talking about?
• Is it the fact that children who show athletic talent receive...

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Goodbye Chavez, America Never Knew You

(463) Comments | Posted March 5, 2013 | 5:02 PM

News of Hugo Chavez's death is spreading rapidly. In America, we can anticipate a large collection of articles noting his activities, articles that are nearly all a product of our American/corporate view of the world.

These American articles will be mostly negative, a one-sided portrayal of a complex leader who...

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