Europe’s Societal Challenges: An analysis of global societal trends to 2030 and their impact on the EU

Europe’s Societal Challenges: An analysis of global societal trends to 2030 and their impact on the EU. RAND Corporation. Stijn Hoorens et al. December 18, 2013.

Investing in citizens, preparing for a new growth paradigm and reinventing government are the tasks that lie ahead for the incoming European Commission and newly elected MEPs in 2014, to ensure Europe is resilient in the face of global societal trends in the next two decades, according to the report . “We observe a trend of rising inequality between citizens in the EU, which is at odds with one of the Union’s core values,” said Stijn Hoorens, lead author of the study and project leader at RAND Europe in Brussels. “The EU is expected to enter an era of long-term slow economic growth. Therefore, it cannot rely on productivity growth as the engine for well-being in the coming decades.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 160 pages, 15.03 MB].

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Raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Lift Wages for Millions and Provide a Modest Economic Boost

Raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Lift Wages for Millions and Provide a Modest Economic Boost. Economic Policy Institute. David Cooper. December 19, 2013.

This paper provides an analysis that reflects higher state minimum wages and the changes in economic conditions over the past year. It begins by providing some context for the current minimum wage and the Harkin-Miller proposal, describing how today’s minimum and the proposed new minimum compare with historical benchmarks. It then provides a demographic overview of the workers who would be affected (both directly and indirectly) by raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10. Finally, it details the GDP and job creation effects that would occur as a result of such an increase. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 22 pages, 421.33 KB].

Information Resellers: Consumer Privacy Framework Needs to Reflect Changes in Technology and the Marketplace

Information Resellers: Consumer Privacy Framework Needs to Reflect Changes in Technology and the Marketplace. U.S. Government Accountability Office. December 18, 2013.

Members of Congress and others have raised privacy concerns about information resellers (data brokers) and consumer information. In part, their concerns stem from consumers not always knowing the nature and extent of the information collected and how it is used. Growing use of the Internet, social media, and mobile applications has intensified privacy concerns because these media greatly facilitate gathering of personal information, tracking of online behavior, and monitoring of individuals’ locations and activities. This statement for the record discusses (1) existing federal laws and regulations on the privacy of consumer information held by information resellers, (2) any gaps that may exist in this legal framework, and (3) views on approaches for improving consumer data privacy.

http://gao.gov/assets/660/659770.pdf Highlights [PDF format, 1 page, 83.61 KB].

http://gao.gov/assets/660/659769.pdf [PDF format, 22 pages, 908.26 KB].

The National Nanotechnology Initiative: Overview, Reauthorization, and Appropriations Issues

The National Nanotechnology Initiative: Overview, Reauthorization, and Appropriations Issues. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. John F. Sargent Jr. December 17, 2013.

Nanotechnology–a term encompassing the science, engineering, and applications of submicron materials–involves the harnessing of unique physical, chemical, and biological properties of nanoscale substances in fundamentally new and useful ways. The economic and societal promise of nanotechnology has led to investments by governments and companies around the world. In 2000, the United States launched the world’s first national nanotechnology program. From FY2001 through FY2013, the federal government invested approximately $17.9 billion in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology through the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). President Obama has requested $1.7 billion in NNI funding for FY2014. U.S. companies and state governments have invested billions more. The United States has, in the view of many experts, emerged as a global leader in nanotechnology, though the competition for global leadership is intensifying as countries and companies around the world increase their investments.

[PDF format, 69 pages, 710.98 KB].

In Deficit Debate, Public Resists Cuts in Entitlements and Aid to Poor

In Deficit Debate, Public Resists Cuts in Entitlements and Aid to Poor. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. December 19, 2013.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Dec. 3-8 among 2,001 adults, finds majorities say it is more important to maintain spending on Social Security and Medicare and programs to help the poor than to take steps to reduce the budget deficit. Nearly seven-in-ten (69%) say it is more important to maintain current Social Security and Medicare benefits than to reduce the deficit, while 59% prioritize keeping current levels of spending for programs that help the poor and needy over deficit reduction. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages, 541.10 KB].

More than 11 Million: Unauthorized Immigrants and Their Families

More than 11 Million: Unauthorized Immigrants and Their Families. Maria E. Enchautegui. The Urban Institute. December 23, 2013.

The effects of immigration reform proposals will extend well beyond the 11 million unauthorized U.S. residents. Those unauthorized immigrants share their homes with 8.7 million people who legally reside in the United States. Three quarters of those legal residents are U.S. born citizens and 60 percent are children. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 2 pages, 169.41 KB].

Leadership Matters: How Principals Promote Teaching Effectiveness

Leadership Matters: How Principals Promote Teaching Effectiveness. RAND Corporation. December 24, 2013.

School principals play an important role in promoting teaching effectiveness by creating conditions that can support or hinder effective teaching. The growing emphasis on teacher evaluation suggests that changes are needed in the ways principals are trained, supported, and evaluated. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 1 pages, 0.1 MB].