Integrating Environmental and Human Health

Integrating Environmental and Human Health. Knowledge @Wharton. April 24, 2014.
Sustainable health care is a work in progress. While virtually everyone recognizes the need for the industry to reduce its considerable impact on the environment, sustainability is rarely a high priority among decision makers at U.S. hospitals. There is so much short-term uncertainty and financial pressure in the industry today that it’s hard for many administrators and supply chain managers to focus on what seem to be secondary, long-term issues. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages, 630.75 KB].

Faith in Equality: Economic Justice and the Future of Religious Progressives

Faith in Equality: Economic Justice and the Future of Religious Progressives. Brookings Institution. E. J. Dionne, Jr. et al. April 24, 2014.
Religious voices have played an essential role throughout American history, inspiring and animating many movements for social reform. Today, with rising income inequality, declining social mobility, and the persistence of poverty, there is wide room for social action. Authors E.J. Dionne, Jr., William A. Galston, Korin Davis, and Ross Tilchin argue that economic justice should be the focus of today’s progressive religious movement. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 56 pages, 3.1 MB].

Differing Approaches to Immigration on Two Sides of the Atlantic

Differing Approaches to Immigration on Two Sides of the Atlantic. YaleGlobal. Michael Mandelbaum. April 24, 2014.

Politicians opposed to immigration are making electoral gains throughout Europe, and legislators in the United States are also polarized over immigration reform, especially the status of an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants. The author argues that “immigration has become a major and contentious political issue in the world’s wealthiest nations” – even though immigration is a necessity for European countries with older populations. Key to successful immigration policies is assimilation, and Mandelbaum points out that the level of integration varies between the U.S. and Europe. Immigration throughout U.S. history, along with the strong track record in delivering needed labor along with innovation, has led to a strong political force, while undocumented immigrants, lacking legal status to live or work in the country, are on the decline. Mandelbaum predicts less enduring political backlash on immigration in the U.S., and increased political intolerance, despite great economic need, from Europe. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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New Energy, New Geopolitics: Balancing Stability and Leverage

New Energy, New Geopolitics: Balancing Stability and Leverage. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Sarah O. Ladislaw et al. April 10, 2014.

The report evaluates the energy and geopolitical shifts that have arisen from the production of shale gas and light tight oil in the United States. It begins by assessing how much the unconventional energy trend has already impacted energy, geopolitics, and national security. The report then posits several possible energy futures that could emerge from the unconventionals revolution. Finally, it offers views on the major geostrategic question: how will the United States seek to utilize this, so far, domestic resource trend, and given the range of potential future energy outcomes, what might the geopolitical and national security implications be. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. Summary [PDF format, 12 pages, 129.39 KB]. Full Text [PDF format, 66pages, 5.49 MB].

Women’s Work: The Economic Mobility of Women Across a Generation

Women’s Work: The Economic Mobility of Women Across a Generation. The Pew Charitable Trusts. April 2014.

The study demonstrates that women’s increased labor force participation and earnings have enabled some families to maintain their places on the economic ladder or, particularly among families at the bottom, to move up. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 19 pages, 3.78 MB].

Sovereign Debts in a Fossil-Fueled World

Sovereign Debts in a Fossil-Fueled World. YaleGlobal. Will Hickey. April 8, 2014.

Transition away from fossil fuels toward new alternatives is not going smoothly. Proponents of alternatives confront a powerful industry with longstanding incentives and favorable tax policies, suggests Hickey. Around the globe, economic struggles and immediate profits take priority over development of alternative energies. Hickey suggests that “Most world governments are so compromised with the fossil-fuel industry they cannot easily walk away without leaving their financial coffers worse off as the true costs of energy are hidden in a producer and consumer subsidy labyrinth that promotes the addiction.” Eliminating subsidies for the fossil-fuel industry, highlighting the true costs, would speed up the development of alternative energies. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Support in Principle for U.S.-EU Trade Pact: But Some Americans and Germans Wary of TTIP Details

Support in Principle for U.S.-EU Trade Pact: But Some Americans and Germans Wary of TTIP Details. Pew research Global Attitudes Project. April 9, 2014.

The European Union and the United States are negotiating the most economically significant regional free trade agreement in history: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Publics in Germany and the United States support TTIP and trade expansion in general, especially with each other. But when it comes to specifics, both Americans and Germans oppose many details of this far-reaching initiative. Moreover, they disagree with one another on making transatlantic regulatory standards similar. And, in the United States, there is a striking generation gap in attitudes relating to TTIP. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 25 pages, 551.09 KB].

After Decades of Decline, A Rise in Stay-at-Home Mothers

After Decades of Decline, A Rise in Stay-at-Home Mothers. Pew Research Social & Demographic Trends. D’Vera Cohn et al. April 8, 2014.

The share of mothers who do not work outside the home rose to 29% in 2012, up from a modern-era low of 23% in 1999, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. This rise over the past dozen years represents the reversal of a long-term decline in “stay-at-home” mothers that had persisted for the last three decades of the 20th century. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 37 pages, 566.22 KB].

Educational Attainment and Earnings Inequality among US-Born Men: A Lifetime Perspective

Educational Attainment and Earnings Inequality among US-Born Men: A Lifetime Perspective. Urban Institute. Josh Mitchell. April 8, 2014.

The report tracks the lifetime earnings of men born in the U.S. between 1940 and 1974, focusing on how earnings differences by educational attainment, age, and year of birth have evolved. Both annual and lifetime earnings inequality increased dramatically for men born in the mid-1950s onward. That increase reflects both absolute earnings gains to highly educated workers, especially those with more than a four-year college degree, and absolute earnings losses to less educated workers. Earnings inequality also increases substantially among those with the same level of educational attainment, complicating standard assumptions about the lifetime value of a college degree. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 17 pages, 297.56 KB].

Debt Use by U.S. Farm Businesses, 1992-2011

Debt Use by U.S. Farm Businesses, 1992-2011. Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Jennifer Ifft et al. April 2014.

The report presents data on debt-use patterns by farm businesses and explores key trends over 20 years. Average leverage has declined across most farm categories over the past 20 years, as have the share of farms that are highly leveraged and their share of total farm business value of production. While older operators and crop farms are more likely to have benefited from increasing farmland values, livestock farms were also less leveraged in 2011, on average, than they were in 1992. Younger operators, large-scale family farms, and dairy and poultry farm businesses currently have the highest average debt-to-asset ratios. It is these farms that are at highest risk of debt repayment problems if farm income declines or interest rates increase. Nonetheless, most farm businesses appear to be well positioned to withstand such shocks.

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