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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: 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: 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