State Regulation of the Charitable Sector: Enforcement, Outreach, Structure, and Staffing

State Regulation of the Charitable Sector: Enforcement, Outreach, Structure, and Staffing. Urban Institute. Shirley Adelstein, Elizabeth T. Boris. February 16, 2018

 State charity offices play an important role in regulating the nonprofit sector, working both independently and with state and federal law enforcement agencies. The Urban Institute-Columbia University Survey of State Charities Regulators (Lott et al. 2016) focused at the office level and showed that state charity offices vary in structure, authority, and tools used to facilitate and enforce regulatory compliance. In this brief, we further analyze those data to compare the relationship between state-level enforcement activities, outreach activities, bifurcation of authority, and staff resources available to state charity offices. We find that staffing levels are related to the scope of outreach and enforcement activities, as well as to bifurcation of authority, which provides a promising avenue for future research. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 18 pages].

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Despite Growing Gender Equality, More Women Stay at Home Than Men

Despite Growing Gender Equality, More Women Stay at Home Than Men. YaleGlobal. Joseph Chamie. January 25, 2018

 Women have made great strides in education, employment, politics and equality in general worldwide, but participation in the labor force remains stubbornly below those of men. “By and large, a substantial proportion of mothers withdraw from employment after childbirth,” explains demography expert Joseph Chamie. Choices vary for men and women about working full or part time, placing children or elders in care, or staying at home for family duties. In India for 2016, 29 percent of women with young children joined the workforce versus 81 percent of men, and in Sweden, 80 percent of women are in the workforce versus 84 percent of men. Low participation rates contribute to a gender gap in wages, and higher participation rates contribute to economic growth and reduce poverty. Individuals and families make many calculations in balancing work and family responsibilities. Chamie notes that “families with two incomes are better prepared for unemployment, higher education, martial disruption, illness or economic downturns.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [HTML format, various paging].

Publics Globally Want Unbiased News Coverage, but Are Divided on Whether Their News Media Deliver

Publics Globally Want Unbiased News Coverage, but Are Divided on Whether Their News Media Deliver. Pew Research Center.  Amy Mitchell et al. January 11, 2018.

 Publics around the world overwhelmingly agree that the news media should be unbiased in their coverage of political issues, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of 38 countries. Yet, when asked how their news media are doing on reporting different political issues fairly, people are far more mixed in their sentiments, with many saying their media do not deliver. And, in many countries, there are sharp political differences in views of the media – with the largest gap among Americans. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 55 pages, 2.26 MB].

Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life

Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life. RAND Corporation.   Jennifer Kavanagh, Michael D. Rich. January 16, 2018.

 Over the past two decades, national political and civil discourse in the United States has been characterized by “Truth Decay,” defined as a set of four interrelated trends: an increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts and data; a blurring of the line between opinion and fact; an increase in the relative volume, and resulting influence, of opinion and personal experience over fact; and lowered trust in formerly respected sources of factual information. These trends have many causes, but this report focuses on four: characteristics of human cognitive processing, such as cognitive bias; changes in the information system, including social media and the 24-hour news cycle; competing demands on the education system that diminish time spent on media literacy and critical thinking; and polarization, both political and demographic. The most damaging consequences of Truth Decay include the erosion of civil discourse, political paralysis, alienation and disengagement of individuals from political and civic institutions, and uncertainty over national policy.

This report explores the causes and consequences of Truth Decay and how they are interrelated, and examines past eras of U.S. history to identify evidence of Truth Decay’s four trends and observe similarities with and differences from the current period. It also outlines a research agenda, a strategy for investigating the causes of Truth Decay and determining what can be done to address its causes and consequences. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 324 pages, 2.6 MB].

Worldwide, People Divided on Whether Life Today Is Better Than in the Past

Worldwide, People Divided on Whether Life Today Is Better Than in the Past. Pew Research Center. Jacob Poushter. December 5, 2017.

Fifty years ago, the world was a very different place. The United States and its allies were locked in a Cold War with the Soviet Union, personal computers and mobile phones were the stuff of science fiction, and much of the world’s population had yet to experience substantial improvements in life expectancy and material well-being.

How far do people around the globe think they and others like them have come, compared with 50 years ago? Pew Research Center put that question to nearly 43,000 people in 38 countries around the globe this past spring. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 15 pages, 574.29 KB].

Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out? Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. William R. Morton, Wayne Liou. September 12, 2017

Social Security’s income and outlays are accounted for through two federal trust funds: the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund. Under their intermediate assumptions and under current law, the Social Security trustees project that the DI Trust Fund will become depleted in 2028 and the OASI Trust Fund will become depleted in 2035. Although the two funds are legally separate, they are often considered in combination. The trustees project that the combined Social Security trust funds will become depleted in 2034. At that point, revenue would be sufficient to pay only about 77% of scheduled benefits.

[PDF format, 21 pages, 890.68 KB].