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  • Author: R. Kent Weaver
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Efforts by President George W. Bush to promote major reforms in the Social Security retirement program have not led to policy change, but rather to increased polarization between the two parties. And the longer we wait to address Social Security's long-term funding problem, the bigger and more painful the changes will need to be.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • 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: Lex Rieffel, James W. Fox
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is one of the outstanding innovations of the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush. No other aid agency-foreign or domestic-can match its purposeful mandate, its operational flexibility and its potential muscle.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Humanitarian Aid, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David Kris
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In December 2005, the New York Times reported, and President Bush confirmed, that the National Security Agency (NSA) had been conducting electronic surveillance of international communications, to or from the United States, without obeying the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA). The disclosure ignited a wildfire of political and legal controversy, which continues to generate heat, if not light, today.
  • Topic: Government, Intelligence, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, New York
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Pennsylvania is at once the same and different, three years after the release of the 2003 Brookings Institution report “Back to Prosperity,” which proposed a new vision for how Pennsylvania might revitalize its cities, towns, and regions in order to compete more energetically in today's global economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Pennsylvania
  • Author: Howard Wial, Robert Atkinson
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In the months running up to the 2004 election the issue of off- shoring—the movement of jobs from the United States to other nations—seemed to be on the front pages of newspapers every day. Some of the concern was about the loss of manufacturing jobs to lower-wage countries such as China and Mexico, a process that had been going on for decades. The offshoring of service jobs, though, was something new. Service workers—including college- educated professionals—who previously thought their jobs immune to foreign competition began to worry about this new source of job in security. Policymakers concerned about the American standard of living wondered whether service offshoring would eliminate the United States' advantage in high technology industries.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Mexico
  • Author: John J. Donohue III, Jens Ludwig
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: It would be unrealistic to expect crime to continue dropping sharply as it did in the 1990s, but that is no reason to undermine the progress brought by successful policies. With recent FBI data showing crime on the rise, it is time to reconsider the massive de-funding of one of the most successful federal anti-crime measures of the 1990s: the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Policing Services (COPS) program. The program, authorized by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, provides grants to state and local police to hire additional officers and adopt aspects of "community policing."
  • Topic: Civil Society, Crime, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Joseph Cortright
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In recent years, "cluster strategies" have become a popular economic development approach among state and local policymakers and economic development practitioners. An industry cluster is a group of firms, and related economic actors and institutions, that are located near one another and that draw productive advantage from their mutual proximity and connections. Cluster analysis can help diagnose a region's economic strengths and challenges and identify realistic ways to shape the region's economic future. Yet many policymakers and practitioners have only a limited understanding of what clusters are and how to build economic development strategies around them.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This brief describes a new information tool developed by the Urban Markets Initiative to quantify, for the first time, the impact of transportation costs on the affordability of housing choices. This brief explains the background, creation, and purpose of this new tool. The first section provides a project overview and a short summary of the method used to create the Affordability Index. The next section highlights the results from testing the index in a seven-county area in and around Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN. To demonstrate the usefulness of this tool at a neighborhood level, the third section projects the effect of transportation and housing choices on three hypothetical low- and moderate-income families in each of four different neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. The brief concludes with suggested policy recommendations and applications of the new tool for various actors in the housing market, and for regulators, planners, and funders in the transportation and land use arenas at all levels of government.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • 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