As with many qualms of presidential candidates, Florida Senator Marco Rubio's latest speech on foreign policy was severely lacking in any substantial concrete policy visions. TCF fellow Michael Cohen confirms that, like many presidents, Rubio talks a big game, but rarely has much to say in terms of specific actions he would like to take if elected.
He offered the oft-heard — and untrue — GOP assertion that President Obama has retreated from the world. He assailed the president for hundreds of billions in defense cuts — cuts that are a direct result of the budget caps a Republican Congress forced on the White House. He criticized Obama for betraying American values through “the expediency of negotiations with repressive regimes,” which makes me think that if Rubio ever saw a picture of Ronald Reagan shaking hands with Mikhail Gorbachev his head might explode.
Read Cohen's full article here.
While it seems like earning money consumes much of our daily effort, studies have shown that our income only affects our happiness to a certain degree.READ MORE
Despite the inspiring headlines and statistics emerging following the Great Recession, TCF fellow Daniel Alpert confirms that the state of the economy is in fact not as healthy as it appears in the public eye. Apparently lackluster financial effects remain such as impending inflation and lower than average employment rates.In fact, the entire post-recession economic recovery in the U.S. has been far less than stellar. Median household real incomes have not recovered and jobs created have been at lower wages than previously existing jobs. The pace of job growth has slowed significantly this year, with the percentage of the employable population actually working near a 35 year low.
Read Alpert's full article here from CNBC.
Economists are largely politically polarized in their theories on how to improve the fiscal policy in the U.S. TCF fellow Mark Thoma says that unlike other professions that can rely on tests in a lab, economists must rely on modeling assumptions which inevitably means their work involves a high degree of "mathiness" or, "restricting your microfoundations in advance to guarantee a particular political result and hiding what you are doing in a blizzard of irrelevant and ungrounded algebra.”
We must find a way to make it clear what the preponderance of evidence says about important policy decisions. Far too often, confusion about the degree to which economists are unified, or not, clouds the public debate. Somehow, and surveys such as the IGM Economic Experts Panel are a start, we must do a better job of communicating the general view within the profession about important policy issues.
Read Thoma's full article featured in Fiscal Times.
A Clinton-era study called Moving to Opportunity (MTO) that looked at the effects moving individuals out of high-poverty neighborhoods with vouchers and into census-tracts with less than 10 percent poverty to see if this would improve their life outcomes. TCF fellow Stefanie DeLuca countered the article and says that programs like this do not go far enough to assist those living in poverty.
For DeLuca and Rosenblatt, there’s plenty that MTO did right but confronting endemic poverty and segregation requires a more systematic approach. That is, something perhaps more akin to the Baltimore Mobility Program (BMP), through which 2,400 Baltimore families have relocated since 2003. Whereas MTO offered housing search counseling to program participants, BMP provided that plus post-move counseling, second move counseling if necessary, and financial literacy and credit repair training.
Read the full article featuring Stefanie DeLuca's work.
TCF senior fellow Rick Kahlenberg, who has written extensively on reforming the higher education system, encourages the U.S. Supreme Court to accept an appeal made by Abigail Noel Fisher in the Fisher v. University of Texas litigation challenging UT-Austin’s affirmative-action policies. Kahlenberg champions the use of class instead of race as a means of encouraging a diverse student body on college campuses.
In the Fisher decision, the court said the 14th Amendment of the Constitution placed on universities "the ultimate burden of demonstrating, before turning to racial classifications, that workable race-neutral alternatives do not suffice." The justices then sent the case back to the Fifth Circuit to apply this standard.
Read Kahlenberg's entire article featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
In recent decades, and especially since 2000, the richest Americans have enjoyed soaring income and wealth while the rest of the population's living standards have stagnated. The Century Foundation was one of the first institutions to raise serious concerns about these trends and propose ideas for improving economic conditions for all Americans- not just the fortunate few.
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