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Recent Policy Studies
Economic GrowthBy David G. Tuerck, Paul Bachman, Michael Head, Alfonso Sanchez Penalver, Beacon Hill InstituteBHI Policy Study, 03/26/2010
The optimistic jobs outlook provided by CAP overestimates the ability of government to manage costs. The CAP model itself asks the wrong questions. By focusing on “excess cost growth” in industries where employees are already covered by employer provided insurance, the authors fail to take into account how firms respond to higher taxes and mandates. By inputting more realistic cost estimates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services into the same model used by the CAP authors, BHI estimates that PPACA will, in fact, destroy between 120,000 to 700,000 jobs by 2019 and not create 400,000 jobs.
Health CareBy Ronald Hamowy, Independent InstitutePolicy Report, 03/26/2010
Failure to Provide: Healthcare at the Veterans Administration sheds light on the role of the VA by following the course of its inception and development. The author explains that because the VA is a public organization, the health care provided by its facilities has always lagged behind the standards of private medical institutions. The VA has since overstepped its original role as a health care provider for veterans with service-related disabilities, a raison d’être that the author believes “was extremely weak to begin with.” As new evidence of the VA’s inefficiency reaches the news daily, such as having to reconsider the Gulf War syndrome cases, this report presents a compelling examination of the rationale behind the administration that “paved the way for instituting a national system of socialized medicine.”
Economic GrowthBy Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Irwin Stelzer, John Weicher, Hudson InstituteReport, 03/26/2010
Spring is here, but the effects of the winter blizzards live on in the data. The poor weather had little effect on measured employment, as we saw at the beginning of the month; they lowered industrial production and housing starts. Every industry from food to energy experienced a decreased as opposed to the increase in percentages they were seeing in January and February. As April approaches it holds a hope for improvements and the last of the blizzards.
EducationBy Kevin Booker, Tim R. Sass, Brian Gill, Ron Zimmer, Education NextEducation Next, 03/25/2010
Charter schools have become a popular alternative to traditional public schools, with some 5,000 schools now serving more than 1.5 million students, and they have received considerable attention among researchers. Researchers are finding that charter schools are associated with an increased likelihood of successful high-school completion and an increased likelihood of enrollment at a two- or four-year college. Furthermore, the results presented here suggest that school-choice programs that include alternatives to traditional public high schools may reduce high-school dropout rates and promote college attendance.
EducationBy Elizabeth U. Cascio, Education NextEducation Next, 03/25/2010
In the absence of direct evidence on the types of preschool programs now under consideration, this study attempts to shed light on the likely consequences of a new universal program by estimating the impact of earlier state interventions to introduce kindergarten into public schools. The results indicate that state funding of universal kindergarten had no discernible impact on many of the long-term outcomes desired by policymakers, including grade retention, public assistance receipt, employment, and earnings. The findings of this study suggest that even large investments in universal early-childhood education programs do not necessarily yield clear benefits, especially for more disadvantaged students. The truth to this type of program will only be discovered in the years to come.
EducationBy Margaret Raymond, CREDO Team, Education NextEducation Next, 03/25/2010
From the moment of birth, Americans have a fascination with seeing how we measure up. We are a nation obsessed with the story told in numbers. And we seem to take on faith that the rating systems behind the scores are on target. In education the Chance-for-Success Index is a widely upheld rating system for states. There lies a problem within this ranking system, however, in that it includes variables that have no affect on actual success within a state’s school system. Instead the Chance-for Success Index needs to narrow its scope of factors both causally related to school achievement and under the control of state education officials or school districts so that it would improve its value and deliver the right signals to states.
Budget & TaxationBy Justin Higginbottom, Tax FoundationBook, 03/25/2010
How do taxes in your state compare nationally? This convenient pocket-size booklet compares the 50 states on 31 different measures of taxing and spending, including individual and corporate income tax rates, business tax climates, excise taxes, tax burdens and state spending. This is an update of the 2009 mid-year version of the booklet, which was published in July.
Information TechnologyBy Seth L. Cooper, Free State FoundationPerspectives from FSF Scholars, 03/25/2010
As a matter of sound policy, the dynamic video marketplace of 2010 is increasingly ill-suited for early 1990s cable legacy regulation. As mobile and other broadband-delivered content and other services continue to emerge, both old and new regulation of video programming will be increasingly difficult for the FCC to justify. Now it appears increasingly likely, as a matter of law, that FCC attempts to ignore the factual evidence concerning today’s competitive and diverse video market by maintaining in place outdated regulation will eventually be thwarted by the deregulatory First Amendment.
Budget & TaxationBy Jonathan Williams, Kansas Policy InstitutePolicy Analysis, 03/25/2010
Kansas for Economic Growth with Competitive Tax Policies shows how Kansas’ tax policies compare with neighboring states and recommends how tax policy can be used to position the state to be more competitive for job creation and retention. With budget difficulties a reality for the foreseeable future, Kansas lawmakers face some difficult choices. On one end of the spectrum is the commonsense idea of building a priority based budget to live within their means and avoid economically damaging tax increases; at the other is the California approach of unconstrained spending and crippling taxes. However, the historical evidence is clear: States that keep spending and taxes low exhibit the best economic results, while states that follow the tax-and-spend path lag far behind. For legislators, this is not a choice between left and right, but as Ronald Reagan once said, it is a choice between up or down.
Non-Discrimination or Just Non-Sense: A Law and Economics Review of the FCC’s New Net Neutrality PrincipleBy George S. Ford, Lawrence J. Spiwak, Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy StudiesPerspective, 03/25/2010
The concept of discrimination is well established in both economics and communications law. Yet, in drafting its new proposed nondiscrimination rule, the FCC has deliberately chosen to ignore both the economics and the law, concocting its own definition of “discrimination” based upon a tortured statutory interpretation that is inconsistent with its own previous interpretation in a direct application of the same statute. As a result, we now have a proposed bright-line nondiscrimination rule that not only lacks analytical legitimacy, but also will likely have significant adverse effects on the social value of the Internet. If the Commission is serious about promoting an “open” Internet then, consistent with our recommendations, a return to first principles is very much in order.
Economic GrowthBy James Sherk, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 03/25/2010
While layoffs increased during this recession, they are not the primary cause of the nearly 10 percent unemployment rate. The main factor driving the unemployment rate so high during this recession was, and continues to be, the sharp drop in creation of new jobs. Government spending still does not create jobs or prosperity, either. Washington should finally admit this fact and encourage private-sector investment and entrepreneurship—the best job creators that history has produced.
Budget & TaxationBy J.D. Foster, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 03/25/2010
President Obama has proposed raising the capital gains tax rate to generate billions in new revenues for the federal government. However, according to data included in the President’s own budget, if implemented this tax increase would—at best—offset the tax revenue from other sources that would be lost because of reduced total income, output, and jobs in the economy. Thus, the President is intentionally sacrificing jobs in the pursuit of his own notions of fairness with little or no hope of increasing revenues in the process. Further, this proposal is coupled with a proposed dividend tax rate hike that would also cost jobs for little or no gain in revenues. If the President is serious about making jobs his “number one priority,” he should instead propose reducing the capital gains and dividend tax rates to stimulate the economy.
International Trade/FinanceBy Ambassador Terry Miller, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/25/2010
Recent claims of a massive number of U.S. jobs being lost to China miss the big—and positive—picture of international trade and financial flows.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Bruce Klingner, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/25/2010
The DPJ may see merit in pursuing investigations of past government policies, but it may harm U.S.-Japanese relations.
National SecurityBy The Heritage Foundation, The Heritage FoundationFact Sheet, 03/25/2010
Though the United States is currently in a multi-theater war against terrorism, it can’t ignore threats that might be around the corner. Today’s defense dollars help pay for the military the nation needs in the future.
Economic GrowthBy Brian Riedl, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/25/2010
The CBO effectively pre-ordained its conclusion that the stimulus worked regardless of what actually happened in the economy.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy David C. John, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/25/2010
Senator Chris Dodd’s banking bill would do little to address the real problems in the industry and make future crises—and bailouts—more likely.
National SecurityBy Jena Baker McNeill, James Jay Carafano, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/25/2010
In order to facilitate a national discussion regarding the EMP threat, Congress should establish March 23 as EMP Recognition Day.
Elections, Transparency, & AccountabilityBy Hans Von Spakovsky, The Heritage FoundationTestimony, 03/25/2010
H.R. 3335 represents an unconstitutional intrusion into the rights of the states. Congress simply does not have the constitutional authority to force states to restore the voting rights of convicted felons. There are also good public policy reasons why this should not be done.
National SecurityBy Paul Rosenzweig, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 03/25/2010
Yet another EU treaty has gone into effect. This time, it is the Treaty of Lisbon. All sorts of tedious rule changes will result, adding yet more layers of bureaucracy and confusion to the behemoth that is the European Union. Why should Americans care? Because embedded in all the bureaucratese and muddle of regulations is the more insidious element of anti-Americanism—which is leading the European Parliament to dispose of policies that have been essential in fighting terrorism around the world. One of those policies, the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, was a highly successful data-sharing agreement between the EU and the U.S. The European Parliament’s first act under Lisbon was to reject that agreement, effectively turning the EU into a safe haven for terror-supporting bankers. More disastrous decisions may well follow—many of which will have a damaging effect on U.S. national security.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Helle C. Dale, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/25/2010
Now is the time for a new and sophisticated U.S. public diplomacy doctrine.
Health CareBy Stephen A. Moses, Ocean State Policy Research InstitutePolicy Report, 03/25/2010
Long-term care (LTC) delivery and financing in the USA is seriously dysfunctional. We have a welfare-financed, nursing-home-based LTC system in the wealthiest country in the world where no one wants to go to a nursing home. Rhode Island has been a case in point. This report examines whether Rhode Island’s ingenious global waiver strategy can achieve its goal of rebalancing long-term care without breaking the bank. The report explains how long-term care in the USA and Rhode Island came to be dominated by publicly financed institutional care. The report further argues that financing quality long-term care for all Rhode Islanders will require more private financing to supplement dwindling public funds. Finally, this report recommends a course of action whereby Rhode Island Medicaid can ensure clinical success and financial viability under the global waiver.
Transportation/InfrastructureBy Michael Ennis, Washington Policy CenterPolicy Study, 03/25/2010
As traffic congestion and the financial and environmental costs of commuting continue to rise, a once overlooked transit alternative has quietly become an effective option for many motorists: vanpooling. Sharing a commute through a vanpool reduces parking and fuel costs, allows access to HOV lanes, consumes fewer resources, and is cheaper, more flexible and faster than other mass transit choices. Regional growth projections and travel patterns show there is a large undeveloped market in vanpool demand. Yet expanding vanpools is typically not a major priority for state and local governments as other, less efficient transit modes are marketed and funded. Instead of spending more public money to connect cities with high speed rail, commuter rail, light rail and express bus services, policymakers should look to vanpools as the most efficient alternative.
EducationBy Richard Whitmire, Susan McGee Bailey, Education NextEducation Next, 03/25/2010
Debates about gender and schooling have taken a surprising turn in the past decade. After years of concern that girls were being shortchanged in male-dominated schools, especially in math and science, there has grown a rising chorus of voices worrying about whether boys are the ones in peril. Many still argue that girls are the ones being short changed in education; however, there exists a higher college drop-out rate with males. This forum will discuss what the evidence says and what all of this mean for policy proposals like single-sex schooling or teacher hiring.
EducationBy Dale Mezzacappa, Education NextEducation Next, 03/25/2010
In 2003, leaders at the School District of Philadelphia took on the task of creating the School of the Future (SOF). A mere three years later and a partnership with Microsoft Corporation, SOF was made a reality. A school such as SOF was predicted to be transformational to secondary education in making the learning process completely technological. However, today, the school has found itself facing challenge after challenge and a notion that it is not living up to all of its hype. The school does present a step forward in the expansion of secondary learning and only time will tell if this becomes the school of the future.
EducationBy Paul E. Peterson, Education NextEducation Next, 03/25/2010
In Saving Schools: From Horace Mann to Virtual Learning, scheduled for release by Harvard University Press this spring, Paul E. Peterson tells how five individuals—Horace Mann, John Dewey, Martin Luther King Jr., Al Shanker, and William Bennett—shaped American education in ways they never expected. Peterson chronicles how education became ever more centralized and bureaucratized, creating the monolithic system in place in the early 21st century. The story nonetheless ends on a hopeful note, as Peterson characterizes Julie Young’s innovative work at Florida Virtual School as a harbinger of an educational future in which learning finally becomes customized to each student’s circumstances. These excerpts from the book recall the bitterness of the controversy provoked by Coleman’s writings and reveals, for the first time, how Coleman’s insights were rooted in his own high-school experiences.
Health CareBy Marc Kilmer, Yankee Institute for Public PolicyPolicy Analysis, 03/25/2010
In 2009, Connecticut’s General Assembly passed SustiNet, a bill which creates a state commission to develop a plan to expand government health care and report back to the legislature in 2011. There are two laudable goals within SustiNet: to reduce the number of Connecticut residents without health insurance, and to reduce the growth of state health care costs. This Yankee Institute study of SustiNet finds that the program will cost over $2 billion annually and will neither reduce the growth of state health care spending nor save Connecticut families money. The likely result of SustiNet will be a program that is more expensive than its sponsors anticipate and it will cause a number of unintended consequences for health care consumers, those with private insurance, health care providers, and taxpayers.
Economic and Political ThoughtBy Michael S. Greve, et al., American Enterprise InstituteBook, 03/25/2010
In Citizenship in America and Europe, scholars from both sides of the Atlantic consider how concepts of citizenship affect debates over immigration and assimilation, tolerance and minority rights, and national cohesion and civic culture. The authors explore the notion of “constitutional patriotism,” which seeks to establish principles of citizenship in a middle ground between cosmopolitanism and nationalism; the theoretical and practical questions of citizenship, including the complexities surrounding the legal status of citizenship in the European Union and the United States; the challenges of making EU citizenship “complementary” with national citizenship; and the issue of competing allegiances to home states and the European Union. Finally, the authors examine the centrality of rights, and the challenges of conflicting rights claims, in contemporary conceptions of citizenship. To what extent—if at all—should citizens’ rights and duties change as the nation-state itself changes?
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Andrew Montford, Stacey InternationalBook, 03/24/2010
From Steve McIntyre's earliest attempts to reproduce the Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick graph, to the explosive publication of his work and the launch of a congressional inquiry, The Hockey Stick Illusion is a remarkable tale of scientific misconduct and amateur sleuthing. It explains the complex science of this most controversial of temperature reconstructions in layperson’s language and lays bare the remarkable extent to which climatologists have been willing to break their own rules in order to defend climate science's most famous finding. The book also covers the recent leak of the email archives of the Climatic Research Unit which has led to the resignation of its Director, Professor Phil Jones, and exposed the degree to which climate scientists on both sides of the Atlantic have hidden and manipulated data to support their claims.
Budget & TaxationBy James D. Agresti, Just Facts FoundationReport, 03/24/2010
The commonly reported federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2009 is a record-high $1.4 trillion. This figure, however, is based upon an accounting method that fails to account for the vast majority of federal obligations. Using newly released data from the U.S. Treasury Department, Just Facts has found that the federal government’s financial condition deteriorated by $4.3 trillion during fiscal year 2009–or roughly three times the reported “budget deficit.” What does this mean to you and your family? The federal government now has debts, liabilities, and unfunded obligations that amount to $542,789 for every household in the United States.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Oliver Hart, Luigi Zingales, National AffairsNational Affairs, 03/24/2010
The financial crisis of 2008 resulted from a series of misguided policies, failures of regulation, and missed signals. Unfortunately, much of the conversation about regulatory reform since has revolved around ideas that would only extend and exacerbate all three. Even worse, the actions taken in the aftermath of the crisis — and the remedies now being proposed — seem likely to further solidify the dangerous perception that some institutions are just too big to fail. That perception dulls competition and distorts the allocation of capital — favoring excessive risk-taking, and sowing the field for the next crisis. What we need instead is a means of curbing reckless risk-taking, and especially the incentives that drive it, while making sure not to unduly constrain economic activity, investment, and growth.
Budget & TaxationBy Donald B. Marron, National AffairsNational Affairs, 03/24/2010
Everyone understands that the federal government’s finances are a mess, and that policymakers have failed to take the problem seriously. The explosion of borrowing in the past two years, and the prospect of unrelenting deficits in the next decade and beyond, portend the deterioration of America’s economic strength. It is most important that political inertia is overcome and a recognition that regaining of fiscal stability is a time-consuming endeavor. Even the easier and more promising proposals — such as progressive indexing of Social Security benefits — would take many years to begin yielding major budget savings. And every day we delay, disaster rushes at us faster — because regardless of the naysayers’ claims, runaway deficits and debt do matter. If we fail to address them, we will sacrifice future economic growth, sabotage our own global position, and bequeath to our children an America less prosperous and secure than the one we inherited. We must act now to avert our looming fiscal crisis. America’s strategic and economic interests — not to mention plain old common sense — demand it.
Health CareBy Amy M. Lischko, Kristin Manzolillo, Pioneer Institute for Public Policy ResearchWhite Paper, 03/24/2010
Massachusetts health care reform receives a “B” for administrative efficiency from the third part of Pioneer’s Interim Report Card. The report finds that premium rates for individuals were reduced dramatically post-reform through the market merger, but there is only weak evidence that the reform has increased competition in Massachusetts. In addition, it has added administrative costs overall, and policymakers elsewhere should consider whether the infrastructure costs of a Connector-like structure outweigh the benefits.
EducationBy Richard Cross, Theodor Rebarber, Kathleen Madigan, Bruce Bean, Pioneer Institute for Public Policy ResearchWhite Paper, 03/24/2010
While Massachusetts is widely recognized for the high academic achievement of its students when compared to other states, unacceptably large achievement gaps persist between historically under-achieving minority groups—African-American and Hispanic students—and White students. Racial and ethnic differences in academic achievement are an important concern for general policymakers and the public, not only for those who are affected directly. Such differences impact success on the job as well in post-secondary education. This report analyzes achievement gaps for African-American and Hispanic minority students in selected Massachusetts school districts. It examines the gaps in English Language Arts and Mathematics achievement on the state assessment, Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, between each minority group and White students.
International Trade/FinanceBy Daniel J. Ikenson, Cato InstituteFree Trade Bulletin, 03/24/2010
The world would be better off if the value of China’s currency were truly market-determined, as it would lead to more optimal resource allocations. But compelling China to revalue under threat of sanction could produce adverse con-sequences-including reductions in Americans’ real incomes and damaged relations with China-without even achieving the underlying, but misguided, policy objectives. For now, it would be better to let the storm pass and allow China to appreciate its currency at its own pace.
Transportation/InfrastructureBy Randal O’Toole, Cato InstitutePolicy Analysis, 03/24/2010
Over the past four decades, American cities have spent close to $100 billion constructing rail transit systems, and many billions more operating those systems. The agencies that spend taxpayer dollars building these lines almost invariably call them successful even when they go an average of 40 percent over budget and, in many cases, carry an insignificant number of riders. This Policy Analysis uses the latest government data on scores of rail transit systems to evaluate the systems’ value and usefulness to the public using six different tests: Profitability, Ridership, Cost-Effectiveness, the “Cable Car” Test, the Economic Development Test, and the Transportation Network Test. No system passes all of these tests, and in fact few of them pass any of the tests at all.
Health CareBy John E. Calfee, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 03/24/2010
We have a piece of legislation that passed the Senate with no votes to spare and that would certainly not pass the Senate today. We have a House reconciliation bill that avoids a direct vote on the Senate bill, but would send the Senate bill to the president as soon as reconciliation passes the House. We have major changes to that Senate reform bill that may or may get passed by the Senate through reconciliation even though many House members voted (or non-voted) for the Senate bill on the assumption that reconciliation will pass the Senate. We have a CBO report that despite the best of intentions is made up of more than the usual measure of guesswork, is bound to underestimate costs and overestimate savings, is obscure on the most essential points, and does not even attempt to assess the most important impacts of reform, which lie far beyond an accounting of federal revenues and expenses. And that same report has become the fixated center of attention for House members, the press, and much of the public. It is a deplorable way to radically revise our healthcare system. What, pray tell, is the rush?
Regulation & DeregulationBy Andrew P. Morriss, et al., American Enterprise InstituteBook, 03/24/2010
Offshore Financial Centers and Regulatory Competition is a must-read for informed policymaking on the future of international finance. The essays by the leading authorities included in this volume provide insightful commentary about whether offshore financial centers are leading a race to the bottom or providing necessary discipline for financial regulation and taxation.
Regulation & DeregulationBy Gary E. Marchant, Guy A. Cardineau, Thomas P. Redick, American Enterprise InstituteBook, 03/24/2010
In Thwarting Consumer Choice: The Case against Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Modified Foods, Gary E. Marchant, Guy A. Cardineau, and Thomas P. Redick contend that mandatory GM labeling laws actually harm consumers by pushing genetically modified foods off the market. Despite the vast benefits, the GM food industry is threatened by labeling requirements that are burdensome, expensive, and stigmatizing. Mandatory labeling would deter investment in this burgeoning biotechnology and deprive the public of important innovations. Ultimately, the authors conclude, GM labeling laws are antithetical to the notion of consumer choice.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Christina Hoff Sommers, American Enterprise InstituteWorking Paper, 03/24/2010
In the late 1970s, a United Nations committee drafted a treaty called the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. CEDAW commits signatory nations to abolishing discrimination against women and also to ensuring their “full development and advancement” in all areas of public and private life. Since its submission to the UN’s member states in 1979 nearly every nation has ratified what has come to be known as the “Women’s Treaty” or the “Women’s Magna Carta.” The United States has held out until now with Jesse Helms being one of the biggest proponents against the bill in its implications to U.S. sovereignty. However, now that ratification has become a live prospect, there will be a real debate and actual votes—and public opinion, not just interest-group positioning, will come into play. Americans are clearly committed to helping women in the developing world: no nation on earth gives more to foreign aid or has more philanthropies and religious groups dedicated to women’s causes. Two basic questions will decide the matter. First, will ratification really improve the well-being of women throughout the world? Second, for better or worse, how will ratification affect American life?
EducationBy Andrew P. Kelly, Mark Schneider, Kevin Carey, American Enterprise InstituteReport, 03/24/2010
President Barack Obama has called for the United States to reclaim its position as the nation with the highest concentration of adults with postsecondary degrees in the world. Given the changing demographics of the United States, this target cannot be achieved without increasing the rate at which Hispanic students obtain a college degree. In this report we found that without higher retention and graduation rates on the part of Hispanic students—who will make up an increasing share of the college-age population in the years to come—the country will be hard-pressed to reach the goals set out by Obama. And without recognizing the conditions that foster high completion rates for Hispanic students and implementing the reforms outlined above, increasing Hispanic graduation rates will be difficult, if not impossible.
International Trade/FinanceBy Desmond Lachman, American Enterprise InstituteInternational Economic Outlook, 03/24/2010
Global payment imbalances are threatening to derail the economic recovery. Several countries within the eurozone and the United States need to reduce balance-of-payment deficits. Without assistance from countries facing balance-of-payment surpluses, which should be enacting policies to encourage domestic consumption, addressing deficits by tightening budgets may worsen global economic conditions. Unfortunately, there has not yet been sufficient global policy coordination to ameliorate global payment imbalances. Such coordination is badly needed to protect the global economy.
Elections, Transparency, & AccountabilityBy Daren Bakst, John Locke FoundationSpotlight, 03/24/2010
The House passed an annexation bill (HB 524) that not only fails to provide real reform, but also makes forced annexation an even greater problem for the 4.1 million North Carolina citizens living in unincorporated areas. Instead of forcing individuals to live in municipalities, meaningful annexation reform would give affected property owners a real voice in the annexation process and provide them at least one necessary service. Municipalities should not be able to forcibly annex an area that doesn’t need any services. The entire purpose of forced annexation is to provide services to annexed property owners that give them a significant benefit. Under HB 524 owners would no longer have a choice in how to deal with situations such as water or sewer infrastructure but would be forced into the mandates and decisions laid out within HB 524.
A Planners’ Glossary: Understanding Raleigh’s New Development Code, the Diagnostics & Approach ReportBy Michael Sanera, John Locke FoundationRegional Brief, 03/24/2010
This glossary defines and explains terms used in the consultants’ report “Diagnostic & Approach Report” (DAR), which contains recommendations for implementing Raleigh’s newly approved 2030 Comprehensive Plan. The John Locke Foundation provides this glossary as a public service because one is lacking in the DAR, which is written in a highly euphemistic language that could just as well be called “PlanningSpeak.” They use language to cover the reality that their recommendations reduce basic individual freedoms. Specifically, the recommendations in the DAR, if they are approved and become city ordinances, would transfer many of the most important decisions about the use of private property from the rightful owners to the political process, dominated by planners and the city’s most powerful and vocal special-interest groups. This glossary was put together to help Raleigh citizens better understand the language and content in the DAR.
Monetary Policy/Financial Regulation
Property Insurance Solutions to Protect Homeowners, Taxpayers, and Florida Government from Financial DevastationBy Eli Lehrer, James Madison InstituteBackgrounder, 03/24/2010
As the United States deals with a global financial crisis, Florida stands at the maw of a deep fiscal abyss of its own making. Despite a series of regulatory changes made during 2009 served to improve and stabilize Florida’s property insurance system, the environment in which Floridians buy insurance for their homes remains one of the nation’s most politicized and financially threatening. Legislatures and political leaders outside of the Legislature, including Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, have also taken up the mantle of market-based reform and have called for stable, sustainable public policies related to insurance. This paper aims to explain why and how the Legislature and the state’s other elected leaders might go about revising the state’s laws and reducing the state’s fiscal peril.
Economic GrowthBy James Robinson, Hoover InstitutionDefining Ideas, 03/22/2010
One of the burning intellectual and policy issues of our day is the poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Bank measures poverty levels by the number of people who live on less than $1 a day; the majority of those people, around 350 million of them, live in sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, Africa is the only part of the world in which the absolute number of poor people is increasing. The reason for this poverty lies in within the absence of property rights for Africans. If property rights were instituted Africa would see economic improvement. America would also see improvement in that the decisions made by both countries have consequences, both positive and negative, on each other.
Economic GrowthBy Michael J. Boskin, Hoover InstitutionDefining Ideas, 03/22/2010
It is still too soon to gauge the full economic impact of President Barack Obama’s implemented and proposed policies, but a preliminary read indicates limited short-term benefit at large long-term cost. The administration is exploiting a crisis atmosphere to enact a vast agenda that would reengineer the American economy, from autos and financial services to health care, energy, and the distribution of income. Such actions will result in higher spending, higher taxes, and an explosion of debt that will crowd out borrowing in capital markets.
Transportation/InfrastructureBy Ronald D. Utt, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/22/2010
As proposed, a federal infrastructure bank would be a backdoor mechanism for the deficit/taxpayer financing of transportation projects.
Health CareBy John L. Ligon, Robert A. Book, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/22/2010
H.R. 4872 would create an even stronger disincentive for companies that want to expand employment.
Expanding the Failed War on Poverty: Obama’s 2011 Budget Increases Welfare Spending to Historic LevelsBy Katherine Bradley, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/22/2010
Congress should ask pointed questions about why the war on poverty continues to escalate more than four decades after it began.