U.S. Research and Development Funding and Performance: Fact Sheet. Congressional Research Service. John F. Sargent Jr. Updated September 19, 2019
Research and development (R&D) in
the United States is funded and performed by a number of sectors—including the
federal government, state governments, businesses, academia, and nonprofit
organizations—for a variety of purposes. This fact sheet begins by providing a
profile of the U.S. R&D enterprise, including historical trends and current
funding by sector and by whether the R&D is basic research, applied
research, or development. The final section of this fact sheet includes data on
R&D performance by sector.
[PDF format, 6 pages].
Will America Embrace National Service? Brookings Institution. John Bridgeland and John J. DiIulio. October 10, 2019
America’s civic health is in significant decline. The
percentage of Americans who say others can be trusted fell from 46 percent in
1972 to just 31 percent in 2016, with 36 percent of Whites and 17 percent of
Blacks expressing such trust; and, in recent years, trust in the media,
government, and the courts has fallen to historic lows.1 It is no surprise that
communities are fraying in places like Charlottesville, Ferguson and Baltimore,
and that America is not fulfilling its potential, as political institutions
suffer from partisan gridlock, and the institutions that serve as checks on
power and as guarantors of individual rights are increasingly under
One powerful idea to rebuild our civic bridges is universal
national service—an expectation and opportunity that young people as they come
of age perform a year or more of military or civilian national service. Such
service would bring young people from different backgrounds, income levels,
races, ethnicities, and areas of the country together in shared experiences to
solve public challenges as they form their attitudes and habits early in life.
Many would discover that they are leaders—the kind of leaders who could work
across differences to get things done. There would be other positive effects.
This paper examines the case for national service,
highlights the various ways in which that service could unfold, and concludes
that large-scale national service is needed in America now. [Note: contains copyrighted
[PDF format, 36 pages].
Improving the Social Security Disability Determination Process. Urban Institute. Jack Smalligan, Chantel Boyens. July 26, 2019
The Social Security Administration each year processes
millions of applications for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental
Security Income disability benefits. Currently, 10 states lack a second level
review process, known as reconsideration, for disability claims that are
initially denied and appealed. SSA has begun to reestablish the reconsideration
stage in these states. This move has raised concerns and broader questions
about SSA’s overall disability determination process.
In this paper the authors examine SSA’s disability
determination process and past efforts to improve SSA’s process, and challenges
and lessons for future reform. They identify a path forward that could improve
the quality and timeliness of decisions by enhancing the reconsideration
process to make it more robust, allowing better decisions to be made earlier,
while keeping long-term program costs neutral. To support this approach, they
put forward three options Congress could consider to provide sustained funding
and commitment to the agreed-upon vision for reform. These options would allow
SSA to test strategies and gather evidence to support decision making. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 38 pages].
Tax Policy and Disaster Recovery. Congressional Research Service. Molly F. Sherlock, Jennifer Teefy. August 9, 2019
The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) contains a number of
provisions intended to provide disaster relief. Following certain disasters,
Congress has passed legislation with temporary and targeted tax relief
policies. At other times, Congress has passed legislation providing tax relief
to those affected by all federally declared major disasters (disasters with
Stafford Act declarations) occurring during a set time period. In addition,
several disaster tax relief provisions are permanent features of the IRC.
[PDF format, 27 pages].
Generation AI Establishing Global Standards for Children and AI. World Economic Forum. September 11, 2019.
On 6-7 May 2019, the World Economic Forum Centre for the
Fourth Industrial Revolution and its partners UNICEF and the Canadian Institute
for Advanced Research (CIFAR) hosted a workshop in San Francisco on the joint
“Generation AI” initiative. This workshop identified deliverables in two key
areas: 1) public policy guidelines that direct countries on creating new laws focused
on children and 2) a corporate governance charter that guides companies
leveraging AI to design their products and services with children in mind. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 18 pages].
Training the Next Revolution in American Manufacturing. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Charles Carson et al. July 25, 2019
In the United States, there is currently a dichotomy:
employers are unable to fill manufacturing jobs, and yet there are hundreds of
thousands of manufacturing workers looking for jobs. How can this be? Many
point to a skills deficit across the U.S. workforce. Much like other aspects of
daily life and the economy, technology is changing the way U.S. based companies
manufacture goods for the global market. As technology permeates and alters the
manufacturing industry, it has created a massive boost in manufacturing
productivity, while simultaneously requiring fewer workers to maintain and
increase production. For those still employed in the manufacturing sector, they
also need to be better equipped with the skills to handle the new demands such
advanced technology and techniques impose. This report analyzes different
workforce development programs for advanced manufacturing across the nation,
seeking to better understand what is required to educate and retrain the worker
of the future. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 41 pages].
Countering Threats to Correctional Institution Security: Identifying Innovation Needs to Address Current and Emerging Concerns. RAND Corporation. Joe Russo et al. July 30, 2019
Some threats to correctional institutional security — e.g.,
violence, escape attempts, contraband — are as old as the institutions
themselves, while other threats — e.g., computer hacking, synthetic drugs, cell
phones, drones — have evolved with societal and technological changes. Many of
these threats present risks to public safety as a whole. In light of the
ongoing challenges the corrections sector faces in countering these threats,
RAND researchers convened an expert workshop to better understand the
challenges and identify the high-priority needs associated with threats to
Unfortunately, resource and staffing challenges limit the
ability of correctional institutions to adapt to shifts in threats and to
adjust security and staffing strategies over time. Furthermore, a perpetual
lack of empirical data hampers efforts to effectively develop interventions to
address threats. Addressing the research needs and developing the tools and
resources — as prioritized by the workshop participants — is one route to
providing correctional institutions the support needed to confront security
threats going forward. [Note: contains copyrighted
[PDF format, 28 pages].
European Public Opinion Three Decades After the Fall of Communism. Pew Research Center. Richard Wike et al. October 15, 2019.
Most embrace democracy and the EU,
but many worry about the political and economic future
Thirty years ago, a wave of optimism
swept across Europe as walls and regimes fell, and long-oppressed publics
embraced open societies, open markets and a more united Europe. Three decades
later, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that few people in the former
Eastern Bloc regret the monumental changes of 1989-1991. Yet, neither are they
entirely content with their current political or economic circumstances.
Indeed, like their Western European counterparts, substantial shares of Central
and Eastern European citizens worry about the future on issues like inequality
and the functioning of their political systems. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 189 pages].
Federal Preemption: A Legal Primer. Congressional Research Service. Jay B. Sykes, Nicole Vanatko. July 23, 2019
The Constitution’s Supremacy Clause provides that federal
law is “the supreme Law of the Land” notwithstanding any state law to the
contrary. This language is the foundation for the doctrine of federal
preemption, according to which federal law supersedes conflicting state laws.
The Supreme Court has identified two general ways in which federal law can
preempt state law. First, federal law can expressly preempt state law when a
federal statute or regulation contains explicit preemptive language. Second,
federal law can impliedly preempt state law when Congress’s preemptive intent
is implicit in the relevant federal law’s structure and purpose.
[PDF format, 32 pages].
From Saving to Spending: A Proposal to Convert Retirement Account Balances into Automatic and Flexible Income. Brookings Institution. David C. John et al. July 31, 2019
Converting retirement savings balances into a stream of
retirement income is one of the most difficult financial decisions that
households need to make. New financial products, however, offer people
alternative ways to receive retirement income. We propose a default
decumulation solution that could be added to retirement plans to simplify
decumulation choices in much the same way that automatic choices have
simplified enrollment, contribution, and investment allocation decisions for
millions of savers. Our proposal centers on pooled investment accounts known as
managed payout funds that deliver monthly income that is likely, though not
guaranteed, to last a lifetime. Coupled with longevity annuities that begin to
make payments when the owner reaches an advanced age and a separate fund for
emergencies and extraordinary payments, managed payout funds could help protect
retirees from longevity risk without unduly reducing their current living
standards. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 27 pages].