The Road to Zero: A Vision for Achieving Zero Roadway Deaths by 2050

The Road to Zero: A Vision for Achieving Zero Roadway Deaths by 2050. RAND Corporation.  Liisa Ecola et al. April 19, 2018.

 Imagine that, in 2050, not a single person in the United States dies in a traffic crash. This is the scenario described in this report, in which RAND researchers set forth a vision and strategy for achieving zero roadway deaths by 2050.

The authors propose that a combination of three approaches can realize this scenario. The first is doubling down on programs and policies that have already been shown to be effective, including laws and enforcement, changes to roadway infrastructure designed to reduce traffic conflicts, reductions in speeds where crashes are likely, improvements to emergency response and trauma care, and more safety education and outreach. The second is accelerating advanced technology, beginning with advanced driver assistance systems (many of which are already in the market) and progressing up to fully automated vehicles. The third is prioritizing safety, which includes both (1) embracing a new safety culture that will lead Americans to think differently about our individual and collective choices and (2) widespread adoption of the “Safe System” approach, a paradigm shift in addressing the causes and prevention of roadway deaths and injuries.

The authors conclude with a list of actions that key stakeholders — including professional engineering and planning organizations, public-sector organizations, safety advocates, vehicle manufacturers, technology developers, public health, emergency medical and trauma care organizations, and law enforcement and judicial system representatives — can take to bring about the changes needed to achieve zero roadway deaths by 2050. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 100 pages].

Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Conference Report: Maintaining Momentum and Creating Lasting Change

Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Conference Report: Maintaining Momentum and Creating Lasting Change. Migration Policy Institute. Liam Patuzzi and Alexandra Embirico. May 2018.

 Fostering the social and economic inclusion of refugees has long been the domain of governments and NGOs. In the wake of the 2015–16 European migration and refugee crisis, however, new actors have emerged and taken on important roles in integrating newcomers. This report describes key discussions and takeaways from an MPI Europe conference on these developments. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 22 pages].

The Healthy America Program: Building on the Best of Medicare and the Affordable Care Act

The Healthy America Program: Building on the Best of Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. Urban Institute. Linda J. Blumberg, John Holahan, Stephen Zuckerman. May 14, 2018

 Since efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have failed, and bipartisan attempts to improve the law have stalled, some policymakers are now looking beyond incremental fixes. In this paper, Urban Institute researchers present a set of policy ideas that would provide universal access to comprehensive coverage but would also allow people to keep their employer-sponsored coverage, would offer a range of insurer options and ensure broad pooling of health care risk, would not have an employer mandate, would provide income-related federal assistance, and would create a more flexible individual incentive to remain insured than that under the ACA. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 24 pages].

The Consumer Product Safety Act: A Legal Analysis

The Consumer Product Safety Act: A Legal Analysis.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. David H. Carpenter. April 24, 2018

 The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC or Commission) was established in 1972 by the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) “to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injury associated with consumer products.” The CPSC is empowered to meet this objective through a blend of consumer monitoring, research, investigations, safety standard-setting, and enforcement powers. The Commission’s jurisdiction under the CPSA is largely governed by the definition of “consumer product,” which is broad in scope, although a number of products that generally are regulated by other federal agencies are explicitly carved out of the definition. The term includes products that are manufactured domestically, as well as hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of consumer products that are manufactured outside of the U.S. and imported into the country each year. It encompasses over approximately 10,000 types of products from baby strollers, cribs, and bath seats, to cigarette lighters and matchbooks, to lawn mowers, garage door openers, and television antennas, to name a few. The CPSC estimates that covered consumer products play a role in over $1 trillion of costs to the country annually in the form of deaths, illnesses, injuries, and property damage.

 [PDF format, 25 pages].

Building a Smart Partnership for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Building a Smart Partnership for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  Atlantic Council.  Beau Woods et al.  April 27, 2018

 The emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution offer unprecedented avenues to improve quality of life, advance society, and contribute to global economic growth. Yet along with greater prospects for human advancement and progress, advancements in these technologies have the potential to be dramatically disruptive, threatening existing assumptions around national security, rules for international cooperation, and a thriving global commerce. This report by the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) addresses emerging technologies in key areas of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and explores innovative ways by which the United States and the Republic of Korea can cooperate around advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics; biotechnology; and the Internet of Things. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 92 pages].

10 Quick Facts on US Trade

10 Quick Facts on US Trade. YaleGlobal. Farok J. Contractor. May 10, 2018

Trade offers many benefits for economies, and the outlook for the United States is not as grim as some political leaders suggest. Still, there are challenges for the US-Chinese trade relationship, explains Farok J. Contractor, professor at Rutgers Business School. The United States does have a hefty trade deficit with China in goods, but is also the world’s leading exporter in services and enjoys a surplus in services with China. US companies are innovative and entrepreneurial, recognizing they must guard their technology secrets in any trade relationship. The United States has operated with deficits against the rest of the world for decades because the country resists curtailing spending or increasing saving. Such patterns contribute to ballooning government debt, about half of which is held by foreign investors. Contractor warns the US pattern of deficit spending can continue only as long as three conditions hold: foreign and domestic Investors continue viewing the US dollar as a safe haven, foreign workers keep working for low wages, and the United States continues to create jobs. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [HTML format, various paging].

Pathways for Community Voices: Building Feedback Loops with Clients of Charitable Food Assistance

Pathways for Community Voices: Building Feedback Loops with Clients of Charitable Food Assistance. Urban Institute. Molly M. Scott, Somala Diby, Robert Santos. May 2, 2018

 Across the country, many nonprofits and government agencies are grappling with how best to create a culture of continuous learning to get better results. Many organizations use performance management systems to measure client outcomes, but there is a need to complement these data with short-cycle or ongoing feedback from clients that helps organizations understand how to make meaningful changes to their programs and services so that they have a real impact on clients’ lives.  Client feedback loops have emerged in the service sector as an alternative to these models, with the goal of integrating a low-burden and inclusive process into organizations’ everyday business. But there is little research and documentation about what it takes to implement successful, impactful, and ethical feedback loops. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 114 pages].

Federal Requirements on Private Health Insurance Plans

Federal Requirements on Private Health Insurance Plans. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Annie L. Mach, Bernadette Fernandez. May 1, 2018

 A majority of Americans have health insurance from the private health insurance (PHI) market. Health plans sold in the PHI market must comply with requirements at both the state and federal levels; such requirements often are referred to as market reforms.  The first part of this report provides background information about health plans sold in the PHI market and briefly describes state and federal regulation of private plans. The second part summarizes selected federal requirements and indicates each requirement’s applicability to one or more of the following types of private health plans: individual, small group, large group, and self-insured. The selected market reforms are grouped under the following categories: obtaining coverage, keeping coverage, developing health insurance premiums, covered services, cost-sharing limits, consumer assistance and other patient protections, and plan requirements related to health care providers. Many of the federal requirements described in this report were established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148, as amended); however, some were established under federal laws enacted prior to the ACA.

 [PDF format, 26 pages].

The Dangerous Inadequacies of the World’s Crisis-Response Mechanisms

The Dangerous Inadequacies of the World’s Crisis-Response Mechanisms. Brookings Institution. Adam Triggs. May 4, 2018

 The paper war-games crisis scenarios based on past crises to test the adequacy of the global financial safety net: the international institutions and arrangements designated to help economies facing an economic or financial crisis. It calculates the size of the safety net in aggregate terms and from the perspective of each G-20 economy. It explores whether the safety net is large enough, how the different components of the safety net would need to interact during a crisis and how this differs for different countries and regions. For some widespread shocks, the paper finds that the safety net struggles to provide even the same level of support as it has in the past. Even for smaller shocks, multiple components of the safety net need to be coordinated, a process complicated by the differing objectives, mandates and interdependencies of each component. The paper shows how the safety net’s coverage has become patchier, leaving many emerging market and developing economies exposed. It explores what the G-20 could do to strengthen the safety net, reporting the results from in-depth interviews with 61 leaders, central bank governors, ministers and officials from across the G-20, including Janet Yellen, Kevin Rudd, Ben Bernanke, Haruhiko Kuroda, Jack Lew, Mark Carney and 55 others. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 47 pages].

Making America First in the Digital Economy: The Case for Engaging Europe

Making America First in the Digital Economy: The Case for Engaging Europe. Atlantic Council.  Frances Burwell. May 8, 2018

 In an age of transatlantic tensions over the Iran deal, trade balances, and steel tariffs, digital policy is uniquely poised to offer opportunities for greater US-EU cooperation. At the same time, the digital arena also has the potential to be a policy minefield, with issues such as privacy, digital taxation, and competition policy still unresolved. Making America First in the Digital Economy: The Case for Engaging Europe addresses these challenges and explores how the US-EU digital agenda fits in the larger transatlantic relationship. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 24 pages].