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  • Author: John Goodman
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: For decades, people have increasingly sought to better manage life’s risks by appealing for help from their government, even when other alternatives would yield better results. Moreover, the growing dependence on government to solve major life problems has taken a heavy toll—higher taxes, greater political polarization, and numerous hidden costs and unintended consequences. Fortunately, we need not resign ourselves to this predicament. Opportunities for better managing life’s risks and reducing government waste are all around us, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow John C. Goodman.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Michael F. Cannon
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The most hazardous health reform measure before Congress is not the so-called "public option," but proposals to make health insurance compulsory via an individual or employer mandate. Compulsory health insurance could require nearly 100 million Americans to switch to a more expensive health plan and would therefore violate President Barack Obama's pledge to let people keep their current health insurance. In particular, the legislation before Congress could eliminate many or all health savings account plans. Making health insurance compulsory would also spark an unnecessary fight over abortion and would enable government to ration care to those with private health insurance.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Robert Puentes
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In the past, strategic investments in our nation's transportation infrastructure—the railroads in the 19th century, the interstates in the 20th—turbocharged growth and transformed the country. But more recently, America's transportation infrastructure has not kept pace with the growth and evolution of its economy. At the precise time when the nation desperately needs to prioritize its limited investments and resources, the federal transportation program has lost focus.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: George Perkovich
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The next American president should emphasize the goal of a world without nuclear weapons and really mean it. The verification and enforcement mechanisms that would be required to achieve this would augment U.S. and global security at a time when the nuclear industry will likely expand globally. Without a clearer commitment to the elimination of all nuclear arsenals, non–nuclear-weapon states will not support strengthened nonproliferation rules, inspections, and controls over fissile materials. The accounting and control over nuclear materials that would be necessary to enable nuclear disarmament would greatly reduce risks that terrorists could acquire these materials. If nuclear deterrence would work everywhere and always, we would not worry about proliferation. If nuclear deterrence is not fail-safe, the long-term answer must be to reduce the number and salience of nuclear weapons to zero.
  • Topic: Government, Nuclear Weapons, Peace Studies, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Hamas's military takeover of Gaza is the sort of clarifying act of violence that should trigger, among all relevant parties, a period of reassessment. So far, however, it is not apparent that the Bush administration has taken a critical look at the policies that failed -- in the pre-Hamas period -- to help develop the Palestinian Authority (PA) into a truly effective, accountable, transparent government, or -- in recent months -- to impede Hamas's rise or strengthen the forces arrayed against it. Before Washington proceeds too far down the path of propping up President Mahmoud Abbas and resuscitating Fatah without reflecting on how U.S. action (or inaction) contributed to the current situation, the administration should revisit the basic principles underlying U.S. relations with the PA.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: I.M. Destler
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: As Democrats took over the United States Congress in January 2007, many trade advocates trembled. Over the past decade, votes on trade liberalization had broken increasingly along partisan lines. Trade promotion authority (TPA)—indispensable for negotiating new trade agreements—passed by just one House vote in December 2001, with just 21 out of 210 Democrats in favor. In July 2006 the Central American Free Trade Agreement—Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR) won by just two votes, with a minuscule 15 of 202 Democrats voting “aye.” By one accounting, voters in November 2006 had replaced 16 trade-friendly House Republicans (and five similar Senate Republicans) with tradeskeptical Democrats. No seats in either house moved in the free trade direction (Evenett and Meier 2006).
  • Topic: Development, Government, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Charles Murray
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In January, W. H. Brady Scholar Charles Murray stepped back from current education debates about reauthorization of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act and education funding in the president's budget to ask more fundamental questions about the goals that should shape American education in the future. This On the Issues is adapted from essays published in the Wall Street Journal on January 16, 17, and 18, 2007.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly, Colin Monaghan
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The White House has recently taken important steps to ensure that the tenets of the Bush Doctrine endure beyond the end of President George W. Bush's administration, including a new strategy in Iraq and an increase in the size of U.S. land forces. But as time grows short, the president needs to attend closely to three matters. The first of these—a surge in U.S. efforts in Afghanistan—was discussed in the February 2007 edition of National Security Outlook, is a need as obvious and pressing as Iraq and an important factor in the urgency of rebuilding land forces, especially the Army. The second and third factors are less frequently discussed but essential for the long-term viability of the Bush Doctrine and the continuation of the Pax Americana: articulating a strategy for the “Long War” in the greater Middle East and devising a genuinely global response to the rise of China. This issue of National Security Outlook is devoted to the second factor, the strategy for winning the Long War in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Government, National Security, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq, America, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: With the recent announcements of a new strategy for Iraq and a commitment to begin increasing the size of U.S. land forces, the White House has taken two important steps to ensure that the tenets of the Bush Doctrine endure beyond the end of President George W. Bush's administration. Since 9/11 and indeed since the beginning of this administration, strategy has been made by an odd combination of ad hoc improvisation and expansive rhetoric. The day-to-day business of fitting means to ends and filling in the policy blanks has either been delegated to subordinates, left to the bureaucracy, or put in the “too hard” box. As time grows short, Bush needs to attend closely to three further matters. The first is as obvious and pressing as Iraq and an important factor in the need to rebuild land forces, especially the Army: a surge in U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. The second and third factors are less frequently discussed but essential for the long-term viability of the Bush Doctrine and the continuity of the Pax Americana: articulate a strategy for the “long war” in the greater Middle East and devise a genuinely global response to the rise of China. This issue of National Security Outlook begins a series devoted to these three measures of the enduring meaning of the Bush Doctrine.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, National Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq, America, Asia
  • Author: Daniel Serwer
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Why does the United States support Kosovo's independence, even putting at risk its relations not only with Serbia but also with Russia? And how does Washington plan to contain the consequences? It is often assumed that Washington's position is based on a sense of moral obligation, deriving not only from the mistreatment of Albanians under the Milosevic regime but also from American promises since. While this fact or unquestionably weighs on the side of the Kosovars, it is not I think decisive. Understanding Washington's support for Kosovo's independence requires an analysis of the consequences of further delay as well as the consequences of moving ahead, even in the absence of a UN Security Council resolution.
  • Topic: Government, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Balkans
  • Author: Tom Loveless
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This report launches the second volume of the Brown Center Report on American Education. The five issues of volume one were published from 2000 to 2004. Volume one included regular reports on data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and state assessments, analysis of student achievement in charter schools, a study of trends in homework, evaluations of the federal government's Blue Ribbon Schools Program, an investigation of the academic performance of high schools with powerhouse sports teams, analyses of student achievement in urban school districts and rural schools, a survey of exchange students from countries abroad to see what they think of American schools, and a survey of the mathematics preparation of middle school math teachers. Volume two will explore similar topics related to how well American students are learning.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Education, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Jeffrey Tebbs, Isabel V. Sawhill, William T. Dickens
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Many in Congress and the administration have called for new investments in education in order to make the United States more competitive, with President Bush stressing the importance of education in preparing young Americans to “fill the jobs of the 21st century.” Yet advocates of early childhood education have only recently stressed the economic benefits of preschool programs, and it has been difficult to win support for these short-term investments given the long-term nature of the benefits to the economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Paul A. Jargowsky, Isabel V. Sawhill
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Hurricane Katrina reminded the nation of the consequences of entrenched poverty, and Congress now faces complicated policy questions set against the backdrop of class and race. As America confronts these issues in cities and states beyond the Gulf Coast, it is important to realize that the number of poor people living in troubled neighborhoods—often described by journalists as the “underclass”—are actually fewer now than in the 1980s. Yet public policies that encourage education, work, and opportunity are urgently needed to keep that positive trend from reversing.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Nathan J. Brown
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: By electing a parliament dominated by Hamas, Palestinians have sharply challenged U.S. policy. The initial American reaction—undermining the new government—will leave the population in chaos, with various Palestinian groups vying for influence. Political constraints preclude anything but a Hamas government in the short term. But the Hamas victory should not be viewed as a defeat for the American vision of reform—which, indeed, may offer a path out of the current deadlock. The United States should develop a policy for the longer term to continue calming the Israeli- Palestinian conflict; maintain the Palestinian Authority; and work for political reform by focusing on the judiciary, media, and other institutions that are independent of the current regime.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Emily Hunt
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Sami al-Arians plea agreement, unsealed last week in Tampa, Florida, has been almost universally billed as a domestic counterterrorism victory. Al-Arian pleaded guilty to providing financial and material support to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a U.S. specially designated terrorist group, and agreed to be deported. He is one of a small but important number of U.S. deportees (out of approximately 200,000 annually) who have connections to international terrorism.Many in the United States will say good riddance to people like al-Arian, a sentiment shared by a substantial portion of Europeans whose governments are increasing their own efforts to send terrorist suspects back to their countries of origin. Since the July 7 London transit bombings, Britain has signed deportation agreements with Jordan, Libya, and Lebanon, and is negotiating a similar one with Algeria. Spain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands have all recently introduced or passed legislation that will facilitate deportation on national security grounds, while the French for their part wonder why other Western democracies have been so slow to catch on. France has been deporting terrorist suspects and other extremists for more than a decade, including more than a dozen radical imams in 2005 alone. American and European deportation policies differ in key areas. U.S. policy is aimed at lawbreakers generally, whereas Europe, because of its more ingrained challenge of domestic radicalism, targets extremist imams and other purveyors of jihadist ideology who can have a pervasive radicalizing effect on a community. Nevertheless, the same rationale underpins deportation on both sides of the Atlantic, and enthusiasm for the policy seems almost universal. Sending problem immigrants back to their native countries allows Western governments to deal with extremists outside the framework of domestic legal codes that remain woefully ill-equipped to address the threat of terrorism. Deportation minimizes the need to adopt draconian measures such as indefinite detention. It is counterterrorism on the cheap, and has become the policy of first choice for domestic law enforcement agencies that lack the personnel and resources to conduct adequate surveillance on all potential terrorists. But although deportation of terrorist suspects may be the most appealing of several bad policy options, it is by no means a perfect solution. Deportation is designed to displace the threat, but it may ultimately create a host of other challenges for the West in Muslim countries and ultimately on its own territory.
  • Topic: Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, America, Europe, Middle East, France, Libya, London, Palestine, Germany, Algeria, Spain, Lebanon, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands
  • Author: Robert E. Litan, Nicholas Warren, Lael Brainard
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: With a new wave of white-collar offshoring coming fast on the heels of accelerated job losses in manufacturing, an ever-broader pool of American workers is finding that the nation's safety net has more holes than netting. The nation can and must do more to help insure the livelihoods of American workers in the face of structural shifts of whatever form, while preserving the benefits of an open and innovative economy. With technological change and offshoring accelerating job turnover and the pace at which workers' job-specific skills lose value, the time has come for the federal government to strengthen the existing safety net.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Robert E. Litan, Nicholas Warren, Lael Brainard
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: With a new wave of white-collar offshoring coming fast on the heels of accelerated job losses in manufacturing, an ever-broader pool of American workers is finding that the nation's safety net has more holes than netting. The nation can and must do more to help insure the livelihoods of American workers in the face of structural shifts of whatever form, while preserving the benefits of an open and innovative economy. With technological change and offshoring accelerating job turnover and the pace at which workers' job-specific skills lose value, the time has come for the federal government to strengthen the existing safety net.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia's regime has gone through a major aggravation during the first year of President Vladimir Putin's second term. The regime suffers from serious overcentralization of power, which has led to a paralysis of policy making. Putin's power base has been shrunk to secret policemen from St. Petersburg. Although his popularity remains high, it is falling. Neither unbiased information nor negative feedback is accepted. As a result, the Putin regime is much more fragile than generally understood. Russia's current abandonment of democracy is an anomaly for such a developed and relatively wealthy country, and it has made Russia's interests part from those of the United States. The United States should not hesitate to promote democracy in Russia, while pragmatically pursuing common interests in nonproliferation and energy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Albert Keidel
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In Washington, politicians and pundits have settled on a single magical solution for the country's economic ills: getting China to revalue its currency, the RMB. By any reasonable economic measure, however, the RMB is not undervalued. China does have a trade surplus with the United States, but it has a trade deficit with the rest of the world. And China's accumulation of dollar reserves is not the result of trade surpluses, but of large investment inflows caused in part by speculators' betting that China will yield to U.S. pressure. Focusing on China's currency is a distraction. If the United States wants to improve its economy for the long haul, it had best look elsewhere beginning with raising the productivity of American workers.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Washington, Asia
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Among the more remarkable features of the U.S. economy over the past five years—through a tech-stock collapse (from which we have still not recovered), the 9/11 disaster, and numerous chastening corporate scandals —has been the extraordinary resilience of American consumers. To paraphrase H. L. Mencken, no one has ever gone broke (at least not recently) by overestimating the willingness of Americans to spend money.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The persistence of annualized economic growth of about 3.5 percent—despite crude oil prices between $50 and $60 per barrel—has led many analysts to claim that the U.S. economy has already "absorbed" the shock of $2.35-plus-pergallon prices for self-serve regular gasoline along with a rise in heating oil costs of more than 30 percent over the last year. As if to underscore their insouciance over energy costs, American consumers accelerated the volume of vehicle purchases in June, especially those of light trucks that get only twelve or thirteen miles per gallon.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John E. Calfee
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: If we know anything about the American tort liability system, we know that it works badly when it gets infected by junk science. The recent Vioxx verdict in Angleton, Texas, is a case in point. The jury awarded $253 million to the widow of a man who died after taking the now-infamous pain reliever. The award will almost certainly be reduced to something like $5 million or $10 million because it ignored statutory limits on punitive damages, and it may eventually get thrown out because of mistakes by the judge. But even at “only” $10 million a case, a string of adverse Vioxx decisions would prove an expensive example of the triumph of the junk lawsuit over science. Most press accounts portray the jury's decision as simply a reflection of medical science, which supposedly has indicted and convicted Vioxx of causing excess heart attacks. This view prevailed in the four months after September 30, 2004, when Merck voluntarily pulled Vioxx from the market. Those months saw vituperous debate and criticism of both Merck and the Food and Drug Administration in leading medical journals. A renegade FDA staffer testified at congressional hearings along with other critics.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Human Welfare, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Alarmists who call for American households to save more point to a steady drop in the conventionally measured U.S. saving rate to about 1 per- cent at the end of last year and to a rise in household debt to a level well over 100 percent of personal disposable income. The current account deficit, our external deficit, measures national dis-saving at close to 6 percent of GDP. The federal government's budget deficit contributes about 4 percentage points to national dis-saving and it, too, is the subject of considerable hand-wringing by those who point to a need for higher U.S. saving at both the household and national levels.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Vance Serchuk
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: On September 18, 2005, Afghanistan held its first democratic parliamentary and provincial elections in more than thirty-five years. The vote marks the successful completion of the transitional political process outlined by the 2001 Bonn Accords, the internationally brokered framework that has guided Afghanistan since the ouster of the Taliban. The United States and its allies in Kabul can rightly celebrate the passage of this milestone and the remarkable progress that has been achieved over the past four years. At the same time, the end of Bonn is also a natural time to raise questions about the Bush administration's long-term road map for Afghanistan. Two problems with the current American strategy—too much faith in NATO and too little investment in indigenous Afghan institutions—deserve particular attention.
  • Topic: NATO, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America, Middle East, Taliban, Kabul
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: U.S. defense policy today rests heavily on two basic assumptions: that the American armed forces will make perfect decisions and take perfect actions, and that the enemy will never surprise us or offer us unexpected opportunities to exploit. These assumptions can be seen in the elimination of reserve forces from all echelons of the military structure and the heavy burden that the current war has placed on the Army Reserves and National Guard. The result of these decisions has been to leave the United States with little ability to react to unforeseen difficulties, either in Iraq or Afghanistan or elsewhere. If this policy continues, it will place American national security in grave jeopardy for years to come.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, America
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: To those who follow the politics of national security and defense, it came as no surprise recently when Senator Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) put herself in the vanguard of Democrats calling for a substantial increase in the size of the active-duty army. Hillary—the one-named superstar of Democratic politics— actually has been working hard over the past few years to burnish her credentials on these issues, particularly in regard to Iraq. She seems to grasp what many in her party still cannot: in the post-9/11 world, the job of an American president is to be a wartime commander in chief.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America
  • Author: Roger Howard
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Imagine your reaction if, during last November's presidential contest, the mullahs of Iran had suddenly launched a tirade of criticism against the American system of democracy and beamed their message onto our television sets and radios for all of us to hear: democracy in the United States, the mullahs might perhaps have claimed, is a corrupt process that is determined largely by the influence of the wealthiest donors, and a process that wholly fails to address the religious needs of a secular, materialist culture.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Nadia Martinez
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: After 17 years at the helm of Latin America's largest source of development financing, the President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is stepping down. Enrique Iglesias is slated to pass the reins to his successor in September. Like the recent fight over the leadership position at the Organization of American States, this contest promises to be a long and arduous process of political negotiation. As the United States attempts to maintain its traditionally hegemonic role in Latin America, Brazil is more boldly gaining some of that ground. And with annual lending to Latin American countries surpassing $8 billion annually, the IDB has significant influence over the region's economies.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Laura Carlsen
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The May 2 victory of Chilean Interior Minister José Miguel Insulza as secretary general of the Organization of American States ends one phase of a drama that is only beginning. The showdown over the leadership of the OAS began when Costa Rica's former president Miguel Angel Rodríguez resigned in October 2004 due to corruption charges in his home country. Rodríguez was elected by consensus and had served only three weeks of his five–year term when forced to leave.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, South America, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Charles O. Jones
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Political campaigns are about governing. Candidates offer themselves to the public and endure a grueling process of nomination and election. Campaigns generate a lot of headlines, but it's what comes afterward that counts. Voters usually are left guessing about how each of the candidates would govern. In 2000, the Brookings Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Hoover Institution jointly conducted several forums with journalists and the presidential candidates' close associates that explored how each of the candidates would govern based on their backgrounds, experience, and leadership styles.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Lael Brainard, Robert E. Litan
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Americans worry the economy is permanently shedding jobs and compressing wages, not only in manufacturing but also now in services once assumed immune to foreign competition. The digitization of information and expanded bandwidth abroad are enabling companies to outsource to low-wage countries services ranging from routine call center work to higher-value software programming, medical diagnosis, and research and analytical activities.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Robert E. Litan, Richard J. Herring
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Economists and insurance experts have studied the industry for many years and have developed a series of theoretical concepts to explain how insurance markets function. The prevailing view of the demand for insurance was summed up by one conference participant who noted that an economically rational consumer would understand that apart from certain tax benefits, when you buy insurance, you're making a bet with an insurance company, which the insurance comp any wins on average because it must cover administrative costs and earn a competitive return for its shareholders. From this perspective it makes sense to insure only against potential losses so large as to affect your standard of living. But that is not always how consumers behave.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Michael Fullilove
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: According to polling commissioned by the Lowy Institute, twice as many Australians think that US foreign policy is on the wrong track as think it is on the right track. Many observers argue that the direction of American policy will vary greatly depending on the outcome of the presidential election. Certainly, there are significant differences in style and substance between the two candidates, George W. Bush and John F. Kerry. However the similarities are as striking as the differences. External challenges, in particular the Iraq war and the war against terrorism, and internal pressures have combined to produce something of a convergence between the outlooks of foreign policy makers in both parties. In the event of a Bush victory, the failure of its foreign policy adventurism in the first term would probably make for a more centrist policy in the second term. In the event of a Kerry victory, the realities of the international system and the probable Republican control of the Senate would do the same. Whomever is elected, America is likely to pursue an assertive foreign policy involving the use of military force; there will less gleeful unilateralism and steroid-fuelled pre-emption than we have seen in the past four years, but it will still be a world away from the kind of strategy many observers are anticipating. From Australia's perspective, the fundamentals of our alliance with the US will ensure that it endures regardless of the result on 0 November. However the temperature of the relationship would probably be affected by a Kerry win. Given the task the senator has set himself of strengthening links with allied capitals, the relationship with Canberra would likely be less of a priority for him than for President Bush. On the other hand, the election of a new face in Washington would make other aspects of Australia's diplomatic life easier.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Australia
  • Author: Reuel Marc Gerecht
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The 9/11 Commission report fails to offer effective solutions to problems in American intelligence, concentrating on new bureaucratic structures rather than on revitalizing the clandestine service to infiltrate and destroy terrorist organizations.
  • Topic: Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Eliot A. Cohen
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The Kerry campaign has announced its list of retired generals and admirals endorsing their candidate; the Bush campaign will soon produce its list, and no doubt both will mobilize more retired stars for the coming fight. One need not be paranoid about civil-military relations to think this a bad business, reckless on the part of the politicians and destructive on the part of the former flags. By serving as props for presidential candidates, the retired generals put at risk the confidence that citizens and officials alike place in the political neutrality of the armed forces. They have every legal and constitutional right to behave this way, of course, as they have every right to make second careers as pole dancers in Vegas. But in so doing they diminish American politics and damage the national defense.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Venezuela President Hugo Chavez won an August recall referendum to complete his term, but reconciling his supporters and the opposition remains a goal after two years of contentious relations mediated by The Carter Center and the Organization of American States.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: America, Venezuela
  • Author: Christine Loh, Willy Lam, Eric Teo, Steven Sun
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: If China had sufficient economic and military prowess, there seems little doubt the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership would “go teach the U.S. a lesson” for the wrongs it had allegedly inflicted upon on the country. Previous CCP administrations had used similar clauses of indignation – and the assertion of a moral high ground based on self-defense and the preservation of sovereign rights – when they went to war with nations including India, Russia and Vietnam. And while the Chinese party and military leadership may for the time being be deterred by America's superpower status from trying out something rash, tension between China on the one hand, and the U.S. and many Asian countries on the other, is expected to rise in the foreseeable future.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, America, Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: You Ji, Igor Rotar, Willy Lam, Eric Teo
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership has been at pains not to appear to be gloating over the American quagmire in Iraq. Yet in terms of geopolitical calculus, there is little doubt Beijing sees America's worsening problems in Iraq as beneficial to China's global standing, diplomatically and militarily. Capitalizing on fissures in the international community over Iraq and America's war on terror, China has strengthened ties with key members of the European Union and the United Nations in an effort to counterbalance U.S. hegemony. Meanwhile, Chinese experts' scrutiny of the exploits as well as challenges of American and Allied Forces in Iraq will have a big impact on the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) ambitious modernization drive.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Iraq, America, Europe, Israel, Beijing
  • Author: Paul C. Light
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Public confidence is essential to America's 1.5 million charitable organizations and the 11 million Americans they employ. Confidence clearly affects the public's willingness to donate time and money, shapes the political and regulatory environment that governs charitable organizations, and has at least some influence on morale within the charitable workforce.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gary C. Hufbauer, Ben Goodrich
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: While the US steel industry has been in distress for decades, the “steel crisis” of 1999-2001 was particularly acute. More than 30 steel producing and steel processing firms fell into bankruptcy between 1997 and 2001, and most of the failures occurred after President Bush took office. During his presidential campaign, Bush promised steelworkers that he would not neglect them. As the crisis worsened, the steel industry and the United Steel Workers of America (USWA) pressed the Bush administration to make good on its campaign promise.
  • Topic: Government, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Osama el-Baz
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: U.S.-Egyptian relations always have been a critical aspect of American involvement in the Middle East. Although Washington and Cairo have disagreed on certain issues, they have nevertheless maintained a significant partnership. As regional tensions mount amid the possibility of war with Iraq and continued violence on the Israeli-Palestinian front, it is important to take a fresh look at this partnership. Recently, the Egyptian government has conveyed its concerns to the United States on two major issues: the potential for war in Iraq and Washington's role in attaining Arab-Israeli peace.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Washington, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt, Cairo
  • Author: Seda Ciftci
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Overshadowed by the surprising failure on March 1 of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) to permit the deployment of American forces to open a northern front through Turkey in the likely war with Iraq, and the resulting strains in the US-Turkish relationship, the Cyprus issue has also reached a diplomatic climax. On March 4-5, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, who has been under increasing pressure from United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, came to Ankara seeking support. Proclaiming himself satisfied with his talks with Turkish leaders, Denktas now heads into a crucial meeting at The Hague on March 10 with Annan and newly elected Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos. The governing Justice and Development Party (JDP), which has been promoting a settlement of the Cyprus problem, now faces the prospect of the collapse of the UN-sponsored efforts as well as additional complications in Turkey's relations with the European Union (EU). However, despite JDP Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan's complaints about the difficulties of dealing with the Iraq and Cyprus issues at the same time, he cannot avoid the urgent decisions that will redefine Turkish foreign policy.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: America, Turkey, Middle East, Cyprus
  • Author: Willy Lam, Gordon G. Chang, Richard D. Fisher, Wangchuk Meston
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chinese strategic and military experts are scrutinizing the U.S. war in Iraq, and for several reasons. First, if American and British forces become bogged down in their effort to liquidate the regime of Saddam Hussein, then it is much less likely that Washington will soon target other rogue regimes with weapons of mass destruction, such as North Korea, a Chinese ally.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Iraq, America, Washington, Israel, North Korea
  • Author: Robyn Lim, Willy Lam, Jonathan Mirsky, Thomas Woodrow
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On Christmas Eve the Chinese government released Xu Wenli, the founder of the country's tiny Democratic Party, into American exile. Xu has spent sixteen of the last twenty-one years behind bars. The most interesting comments on this event came from John Kamm, who for years has had no equal for occasionally persuading the Chinese government to free its political “enemies”.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, America, Israel
  • Author: Gary T. Dempsey
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Since September 11, 2001, there have been calls from various quarters to embrace nation building as a tool for combating terrorism. The logic behind the idea is that “good” states do not do “bad” things, so Washington should build more “good” states. That idea, however, relies on several dubious assumptions—for example, that embarking on multiple nation-building missions will reduce the potential for anti-American terrorism. If anything, nation building is likely to create more incentives, targets, and opportunities for terrorism, not fewer. The nation-building idea also draws on false analogies with the past. For example, some people assert that Europe's experience under the Marshall Plan can be readily duplicated in a whole host of countries and that, with enough economic aid, trained bureaucrats, and military force of arms, “bad” states anywhere can be transformed into open, self-sustaining, peaceful states.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Washington
  • Author: Stephen Moore, Stephen Slivinski
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: This report presents the findings of the Cato Institute's fifth biennial fiscal policy report card on the nation's governors. The grading mechanism is based on purely objective measures of each governor's fiscal performance. Those governors with the most fiscally conservative records— the tax and budget cutters—receive the highest grades. Those who have increased spending and taxes the most receive the lowest grades.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Martin Neil Baily
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: America has shown its best side in recent weeks in the efforts to help the victims of September 11. And it is showing its strength as it moves to strike back and tighten security at home. Dealing with the economic impact of these horrendous crimes has, appropriately, not been the first priority.
  • Topic: Government, Political Economy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Amy Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: October 12 marks the first anniversary of the terrorist attack on the American warship USS Cole, an attack that killed seventeen sailors while the ship was refueling in Aden harbor, Yemen. A year later, although United States and many Yemeni officials are certain that Osama bin Laden was behind the incident, the file remains open. Reflecting the continuing evolution of policy in the wake of September 11, the United States now describes Yemen as a "partner" in the fight against terror, whereas the State Department's 2000 "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report stated that the Yemeni government "did little to discourage the terrorist presence in Yemen."
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Government, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Since its independence in 1948, and indeed even in prior times, Israel's rights to sovereignty in Jerusalem have been firmly grounded in history and international law. The aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War only reinforced the strength of Israel's claims. Seven years after the implementation of the 1993 Oslo Agreements, Prime Minister Ehud Barak became the first Israeli prime minister to consider re-dividing Jerusalem in response to an American proposal at the July 2000 Camp David Summit. The December 2000 Clinton Plan attempted to codify Barak's possible concessions on Jerusalem. Yet they proved to be insufficient for PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, leading to a breakdown in the peace process and an outburst of Palestinian violence with regional implications. At least the failed Clinton Plan did not bind future Israeli governments or U.S. administrations, leaving open the possibility of new diplomatic alternatives. Only by avoiding premature negotiation over an unbridgeable issue such as Jerusalem can the U.S., Israel, and the Palestinians stabilize the volatile situation that has emerged and restore hope that a political process can be resumed in the future.
  • Topic: Security, Government, International Law, Religion, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Gene Healy
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In his classic 1973 book The Imperial Presidency, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. warned that the American political system was threatened by “a conception of presidential power so spacious and peremptory as to imply a radical transformation of the traditional polity.” America's rise to global dominance and Cold War leadership, Schlesinger explained, had dangerously concentrated power in the presidency, transforming the Framers' energetic but constitutionally constrained chief executive into a sort of elected emperor with virtually unchecked authority in the international arena.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Alan Reynolds, Robert A. Levy
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's final judgment in the Microsoft case indicates that he has fallen hook, line, and sinker for the government's flawed arguments. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is unlikely to be so accommodating. The Justice Department's case will crumble as a result of procedural errors, flawed fact-finding, wrongheaded legal conclusions, and Jackson's preposterous plan to break up the software company most directly responsible for America's high-tech revolution.
  • Topic: Government, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Jeffrey Boutwell, George Rathjens
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: As we went to press, the election of a new US President was still undecided. More than a week after 100 million Americans went to the polls, the ultimate margin of victory for either George W. Bush or Al Gore appeared to hinge on several hundred Florida votes. Whoever does take office on January 20, the next American President (and Commander in Chief), the man with ultimate authority over the world' s largest nuclear arsenal, will begin his term in office in the most politically tenuous position of any American president in perhaps a century.
  • Topic: Government, Nuclear Weapons, Peace Studies, War
  • Political Geography: America