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Supplemental Readings for MPA 660
Should Drug Prices Be Capped?
By Turner, Grace-Marie
Americans understandably want to pay less for medicines, and they are demanding government action.
Stagnating Median Incomes Despite Economic Growth: Explaining the Divergence in 27 OECD Countries
By Nolan, Brain; Roser, Max; & Thewissen, Stefan
With inequality rising and household incomes across developed countries stagnating, accurate monitoring of living standards cannot be achieved by relying on GDP per capita alone. This column analyses the path of divergence between household income and GDP per capita for 27 OECD countries. It finds several reasons why GDP per capita has outpaced median incomes, and recommends assigning median income a central place in official monitoring and assessment of living standards over time.
The Reformer: An Interactive Tool to Fix Social Security
Social Security provides vital income security to millions of beneficiaries, but is on a road toward insolvency. The Social Security program currently pays more in benefits than it collects in revenue, and under the latest official projections its trust funds will run out in 2034. At that point, all beneficiaries regardless of age and income will face an immediate 21 percent benefit cut.
The Cost Benefit Analysis of Climate Change Legislation: Future Generations Will Thank You
By Goodman, H. A.
The latest talking point of climate change skeptics is the desire for a detailed cost benefit analysis. Sen. Marco Rubio recently claimed, “There has to be a cost-benefit analysis... Is there anything government can do about it that will actually make a difference?” During a Meet the Press debate with Bill Nye (The Science Guy), Rep. Marsha Blackburn stated that, “one of the things that we have to remember is cost/benefit analysis has to take place.” At the heart of this political debate is the viewpoint that new environmental legislation would lead to “the final nail in the coffin of the American middle class.” On the other end of the spectrum, 97 percent of climate scientists believe climate change “is happening and is human caused.” In addition, scientific organizations like the IPCC and the U.S. National Climate Assessment Committee have issued firm warnings about the economic dangers of unmitigated climate change. These warnings are often difficult to quantify; especially when the unimaginable costs of extreme weather become a way of life. World-renowned scientist Michiu Kaku has stated that, “100-year forest fires, 100-year droughts, 100-year floods, 100-year hurricanes” could become the norm as a result of increased greenhouse emissions and a changing climate due to human activity. Therefore, a true cost-benefit analysis must entail not only the short term economic fears of conservatives, but also the impact on future generations of Americans
California: A Case Study in the Failure of Gun Culture
By Hawkins, Awr
In 1989, California became “the first state to ban assault weapons.” Since that time, it has enacted a steady stream of gun controls, only to see violent crime rise and high-profile shootings — including terror attacks — betray the lie that gun control saves lives.
Obama Moves to Demilitarize America's Police
By Balko, Radley
Today, President Obama is expected to announce some major policy changes in the 1033 Program, the federal initiative that transfers surplus military equipment from the Defense Department to domestic police agencies across the country. It’s the administration’s long-awaited response to the debate sparked by the police response to last summer’s protests in Ferguson, Mo.