Policy Issues

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  • March 27 Republican Lawmakers Push Financial Regulations, Tax Reform

    Republican lawmakers are pushing forward on reforming financial regulations with a series of hearings in the coming week; The House could vote as early as the coming week to eliminate the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 broadband privacy rules; Republicans are heading for a major tax reform bill, however, they could face some difficulties along the way.

  • March 23 The Political Economy of Oil in the Middle East

    The early 20th century was a crucial point for the development of the Middle East. Prior to 1950, the region exhibited low levels of socioeconomic development; however, the discovery of vast oil reserves catalyzed the rapid creation of wealth. In particular, the economies of oil-rich countries were transformed from largely agricultural to rentier economies. Rentier economies derive a substantial part of their revenue from the outside world, and the accruing of external revenues (also called rents) are allocated and redistributed. 

  • March 23 The Pharma Conundrum: Pharmaceutical Spending Increase Drivers and Policy Solutions

    National spending on pharmaceutical drugs, while not the largest component of national health expenditures, has come under scrutiny from politicians on both sides of the political spectrum. Several high-profile controversies over drug pricing hikes have been the subject of public ire, and fingers are often pointed toward pricing as the culprit for increased spending on drugs. Yet pricing is not the only culprit: examined here are possible explanations for increasing pharmaceutical spending, along with an evaluation of several policy proposals.

  • March 22 A Reflection on the 2009 American Auto Bailout 

    In November 2008, Ford, GM, and Chrysler—the “Big 3” American automakers—asked Congress for $50 billion to stay afloat and prevent the loss of three million American manufacturing jobs. The firms’ CEOs warned that their bankruptcies could trigger the collapse of the American auto industry and exacerbate the ongoing recession. [1] Many lawmakers agreed that the looming failure of the Big 3 in the midst of the financial crisis represented a major systemic risk for the fragile economy. But many also feared setting the precedent that the federal government would step in to bailout large, irresponsible firms, especially at such a steep cost to taxpayers. Despite this concern, lawmakers and administration officials ultimately implemented an $80 billion bailout scheme to stabilize the failing automakers. [2]

  • March 22 New Korean President Must Strongly Assert National Interests

    “I think South Korea needs a leader with the stature to meet with those neighboring leaders and assert Korea’s national interest,” Faculty Affiliate Mauro Guillen told The Korea Times.

    “It is important to have a legitimate and outspoken leader.”

  • March 22 Working From Home, With Interruptions

    How can working from home affect productivity and professionalism?

    Research from Faculty Affiliate Lynn Wu finds younger workers without children may not be able to identify on a personal level and assume child-related distractions are unprofessional, she says.

    “Working parents are much more understanding, but younger people are not,” she finds. “They thought, ‘that is very unprofessional to take care of your kids and work at the same time’.”

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