Meet The Out-Of-Work: Local Profiles of Jobless Adults And Strategies to Connect Them to Employment

Meet The Out-Of-Work: Local Profiles of Jobless Adults And Strategies to Connect Them to Employment. Brookings Institution. Martha Ross and Natalie Holmes. June 22, 2017

Even in the midst of a prolonged economic expansion with a low national unemployment rate, jobs are not always available and not everyone who wants work can find it. Both job availability and demographics vary markedly around the country, yielding diverse local populations wanting and/or needing work.

This analysis aims to deepen understanding of out-of-work Americans, and support local officials in their efforts to help these individuals find jobs. The authors provide a unique perspective on adults ages 25-64 who are out of work in each of 130 large cities and counties across the United States, using cluster analysis to segment the out-of-work population into distinct groups based on factors such as educational attainment, age, work history, disability, English language proficiency, and family status. They present detailed information on these groups accompanied by information on appropriate and effective workforce development programs in order to help local officials, funders, and other stakeholders develop, strengthen, or diversify strategies to connect their residents to employment. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 48 pages, 2.87 MB].

The Impossible Quest for Absolute Security

The Impossible Quest for Absolute Security. YaleGlobal. Richard Weitz. July 11, 2017

An immediate challenge for the international community, one that dominated discussions at the G20 summit in Hamberg, is North Korea. The dogged pursuit of a nuclear weapons by the rogue nation illustrates the repercussions and security dilemma of any nation’s quest for absolute security, heightening anxiety among neighboring states along with hostile rhetoric and buildup of catastrophic weapons. Richard Weitz, director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute, suggests that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization formed by China, Russia and other neighbors after the Cold War, may offer some lessons. “Although rarely openly discussed at Eurasian meetings, member states value the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a means of enhancing mutual reassurance among members to reduce regional security dilemmas,” he writes. “SCO documents and statements repeatedly renounce the logic of absolute security, and members overly commit to eschewing actions that could harm other members’ security.” A challenge for the SCO, of course, is balancing relations between Russia and China. Unequivocal pursuit of dominance in security and economic affairs, without concern for neighboring states, is a recipe for disaster. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Options for Small Business Tax Reform

Options for Small Business Tax Reform. Urban Institute. Mark J. Mazur. June 14, 2017

Mark Mazur, Director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, testified before the US Senate Committee on Small Business during a hearing entitled “Tax Reform: Removing the Barriers to Small Business Growth.” In his testimony, Mazur presented a review of the principles of desirable tax policy, basic findings about businesses in the United States, how the tax system affects smaller businesses, and possible reform options to aid smaller businesses. He outlined several provisions that might be included in a tax reform package, including increasing limits for start-up and organizational expenses, allowing a simpler method of cash accounting for smaller businesses, and establishing basic income reporting rules for payments between businesses. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 12 pages, 559.6 KB].

Rethinking the Human Rights Business Model: New and Innovative Structures and Strategies for Local Impact

Rethinking the Human Rights Business Model: New and Innovative Structures and Strategies for Local Impact. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Edwin Rekosh, June 14, 2017

This report investigates opportunities to diversify and broaden support (financial and otherwise) for nongovernmental approaches to realizing human rights. Such analysis is essential in light of global trends, including the relative scarcity of human rights charitable funding from local sources and increasing governmental efforts to restrict the foreign flow of funds to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The author argues for applying the concept of “business models” to human rights NGOs in order to organize thinking on areas for potential innovation according to function rather than form. He uses a business model framework for exploring examples of innovative thinking according to the following categories: (1) revenue streams; (2) key partners and resources; (3) “customer” (i.e., beneficiary or stakeholder) relationships and channels; and (4) cost structure. The report highlights innovative strategies that NGOs and others can pursue and structures they can adopt to pursue them, with a view to enhancing their impact, sustainability, and resilience. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 32 pages, 750.6 KB].

Ladders, Labs, or Laggards? Which Public Universities Contribute Most

Ladders, Labs, or Laggards? Which Public Universities Contribute Most. Brookings Institution. Dimitrios Halikias and Richard V. Reeves. July 11, 2017

Why are taxpayers asked to subsidize postsecondary education? After all, college graduates continue to earn much more on average than those who do not gain a postsecondary degree. One answer is that higher education provides public benefits in addition to high private returns on postsecondary investments.

In particular, universities act as ladders for social mobility, which makes for a more dynamic and fairer society. They are also laboratories for research, expanding our knowledge in directions that can improve the welfare of the broader population. A good case can be made for public support for institutions that act in one or both of these ways: as what we label either ladders or labs. But there are some institutions that cannot claim to be either mobility-boosters or knowledge-creators: these are the laggards. These institutions have a weaker claim on the public purse.

In this paper, the authors evaluate the nation’s selective public four-year universities—using newly-available tax data from the Equality of Opportunity Project at Stanford to gauge mobility and an independent ranking from the Carnegie Foundation to assess research activity—to determine which universities are ladders or labs, and which universities are laggards less deserving of public funding. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Informing Pittsburgh’s Options to Address Lead in Water

Informing Pittsburgh’s Options to Address Lead in Water. RAND Corporation. Linnea Warren May, Jordan R. Fischbach, Michele Abbott. June 27, 2017.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is currently struggling to manage and improve its aging water system, with a focus on elevated lead levels for many customers. The issue is well covered in the local media, and several steps are being taken or proposed for remediating lead in Pittsburgh’s tap water. Under federal and state regulatory action and pressure from residents, the city is at a critical decision point for addressing the issue of lead in its water. This Perspective reviews the history and recent developments related to the use of lead in Pittsburgh’s water system and the policy options for lead remediation currently being weighed by local decisionmakers.

The authors review the costs, regulatory barriers, and feasibility of the various options under consideration, including the City of Pittsburgh’s new Safe Water Program and multiple pipe replacement options. They conclude with recommendations, including ensuring optimal pipe corrosion control and filtering in the immediate term and pursuing innovations from other cities to reduce the public and private costs of the permanent solution of full lead service line replacement. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 33 pages, 821.51 KB].

We’ll Live to 100 – How Can We Afford It?

We’ll Live to 100 – How Can We Afford It? World Economic Forum. May 26, 2017.

This paper addresses the challenges facing retirement systems, including the impact of ageing societies, and quantifies the size of the savings shortfall. It provides recommendations for system design and actions for policy-makers to ensure we can adjust to societies in which living to 100 is commonplace and affordable for all. The paper is accompanied by the Case Studies in Retirement System Reform which presents 12 examples of pension reform from governments, pension funds and companies around the world. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 24 pages, 1.68 MB].