From December 2007 to June 2009, the United States
experienced the longest and most-severe recession since World War II. Although
the Great Recession was particularly damaging, recessions occur frequently and
are devastating to workers, families, and the overall economy. Historically,
the United States has responded to these downturns with a combination of
monetary and fiscal policies, the majority of which are discretionary. In this
paper, we discuss some of the concerns about relying too much on discretionary
policy, highlighting opportunities to make greater use of automatic fiscal
stabilization. Automatic stabilizers are designed to expand during an economic
downturn and contract during an expansion—providing timely and temporary fiscal
stimulus. This paper assesses the various policy responses available to the
federal government and argues that when well designed, automatic stabilizers
can be an effective part of the policy tool kit for responding to recessions. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Most value workplace
diversity, but few want employers to consider race or ethnicity in hiring and
As the United States becomes more racially and ethnically
diverse, and as companies from Wall Street to Silicon Valley grapple with how
to build workforces that reflect these changing demographics, Americans have a
complicated, even contradictory, set of views about the impact of diversity and
the best way to achieve it. Most say it’s a good thing that the country has a
diverse population, but many also say this introduces its own set of
challenges. And while a majority values workplace diversity, few endorse the
idea of taking race or ethnicity into consideration in hiring and promotions,
according to a new Pew Research Center survey. [Note:
contains copyrighted material].
The President and Vice President’s terms of office are
prescribed by the Constitution and four of its amendments. Additional amendment
proposals to change the conditions of presidential terms and tenure were
regularly introduced during the second half of the 20th century, but much less
frequently to date in the 21st. Two categories of amendment predominated during
this period: one variant proposed repeal of the Twenty-Second Amendment, thus
permitting Presidents to be elected an unlimited number of times. Another
category of proposed amendment would have extended the presidential and
vice-presidential terms to six years, often in combination with a requirement
limiting Presidents to one term. No
measure to repeal the Twenty-Second Amendment or otherwise change the
presidential term of office has been introduced to date in the 116th Congress.
This report will be updated if events warrant.
Over the next 15 years, more hard infrastructure is
projected to be built around the world than currently exists. This global
build-out is already underway, and the changes it brings will only accelerate.
Infrastructure projects, especially in the transport, energy, information and
communications technology (ICT), and water sectors, have long been recognized
as the backbone of modern economies. Going forward, emerging digital
infrastructure, including fifth-generation (5G) networks, remote sensing, and
other advanced technologies, will be especially critical. As our infrastructure
is transformed, so will be the economies it fuels, the regions it connects, and
the global commons it underpins. These trends are too powerful and potentially
beneficial for the United States to stop, and too consequential to ignore. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
RAND researchers focus on North
Carolina’s implementation of the Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary
Education Project. They examine the in-prison and community components of the
program and the experiences of Pathways students and staff. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Law enforcement officials have described money laundering—the
process of making illegally obtained proceeds appear legitimate—as the
“lifeblood” of organized crime. Recently, money launderers have increasingly
turned to a new technology to conceal the origins of illegally obtained
proceeds: virtual currency. Virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Ether, and Ripple
are digital representations of value that, like ordinary currency, function as
media of exchange, units of account, and stores of value. However, unlike
ordinary currencies, virtual currencies are not legal tender, meaning they
cannot be used to pay taxes and creditors need not accept them as payments for
debt. While virtual currency enthusiasts tout their technological promise, a
number of commentators have contended that the anonymity offered by these new financial
instruments makes them an attractive vehicle for money laundering. Law
enforcement officials, regulators, and courts have accordingly grappled with
how virtual currencies fit into a federal anti-money laundering (AML) regime
designed principally for traditional financial institutions.
Local organisations, thriving among smallholders dependent on
adjacent forests or trees growing on their farms, constitute perhaps the
world’s biggest and most effective force for improved rural livelihoods and
sustainability. They face fast-changing pressures. Many are likely to find it
useful to have an organisational goal of contributing to climate resilient
landscapes. Various international programmes can help in understanding and
supporting such contributions – especially through practical actions for
climate adaptation and mitigation, and forest restoration. ‘Landscape
approaches’ are helpful for analysing the various connected issues, while
context-specific politically-savvy planning is needed for effective action.
This paper explores the possible motivations and actions for climate resilient
landscapes amongst four different sorts of forest and farm producer
organisations (FFPOs): indigenous peoples’ organisations, community forest
organisations, forest and farm producer groups, and processing groups in urban
and peri-urban contexts. The Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) aims to help FFPOs
to further develop and pursue such practical actions over the next five years.
[Note: contains copyrighted material].