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Equifax data breach
AEIDefanging identity fraud by verifying identities Equifax recently admitted that intruders had breached its database and acquired personal information about a vast number of people. In being hacked, Equifax is following the example of many other prominent companies and organizations: In the past few years, Anthem, Target, and the US Office of Personnel Management have all been the victims of spectacular data breaches. Via Reuters It is of course upsetting that criminals now have access to your address and Social Security Number, and if you had a credit history, you are very likely a victim. Of course, some criminals probably already had this Read More >>
Tue, Sep 19, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
In this first episode of the “New Skills Marketplace” podcast, Andy Smarick (AEI) and John Bailey (AEI) introduce the “skills gap” problem: what it is, where it came from, and whom it affects [4:04]. Next, they give an overview of the various institutions—traditional and nontraditional— taking on the task of reskilling workers [8:42]. From there, Andy and John explain how the topics addressed on the New Skills Marketplace podcast fit into AEI's Human Dignity Project [10:54]. Finally, Andy and John give a preview of future episodes in the series and other AEI publications which will address the skills gap issue Read More >>
Tue, Sep 19, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
Key Points Tax-advantaged college savings accounts known as 529 plans have received criticism for delivering large benefits to upper-income households. However, the federal student loan program also provides sizeable benefits to upper-income families through loan forgiveness under the Income-Based Repayment option in combination with an income tax deduction for student loan interest. For a hypothetical but typical upper-income household, the student loan program can deliver 1.5 to 2.3 times the federally funded benefits of a 529 plan, holding college and graduate school expenses constant. Policymakers who wish to limit the federal benefits of 529 plans could also better target benefits in the federal Read More >>
Mon, Sep 18, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
In the end, it's always possible that the GOP's concerns are exaggerated, that there is little to the story. at WashingtonExaminer.com Read More >>
Mon, Sep 18, 2017
Source: Byron York Category: BYRON YORK
Two decades ago in July, America launched a new approach to welfare. Passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, welfare reform began in 1997 as a way to shift our premier anti-poverty strategy away from giving low-income people cash and towards help to find employment. This new vision for fighting poverty came to be largely as a result of experimentation at the state level. Two months ago in July, a Republican Congress and administration had a chance to reform our nation's low-income health care program, Medicaid, but fumbled the ball in their inability to agree Read More >>
Mon, Sep 18, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEIAmazon's new headquarters can revitalize downtrodden America Ross Douthat is right. Writing in the New York Times over the weekend, Douthat proposes that Amazon should consider moving its new headquarters to a place like St. Louis, MO, “as an act of corporate citizenship.” He is correct that Jeff Bezos can offer Amazon “as an engine of revitalization,” with the potential to do “what's good for America.” Ross Douthat is correct. Jeff Bezos can offer Amazon “as an engine of revitalization,” with the potential to do “what's good for America.” Image via Twenty20. Raj Chetty and Nathan Hendren of the Equality of Opportunity project Read More >>
Mon, Sep 18, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
AEIConsumption poverty and the Official Poverty Measure Bruce Meyer of the University of Chicago and AEI, and James Sullivan of Notre Dame last week released their report on consumption poverty in the United States for the year 2016. The takeaway from the report is positive: The rate of consumption poverty, which measures how much people consume, and therefore better captures the extent of deprivation and material poverty in the United States, continues to decline, falling to an all-time low of 3.0%. Improvement in the consumption poverty rate speaks to the effectiveness of various in-kind and tax benefits afforded to low-income Americans, Read More >>
Mon, Sep 18, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
AEIElectrical workers in FL are paid 2-3X the normal hourly wage and regarded as heroes. But aren't they price gougers? This morning I received this email from a “powerless University of Miami professor”: I am a loyal reader of your blog and have enjoyed reading your coverage of price-gouging. Since I'm in Miami, still without power from Hurricane Irma, I thought I'd share something that you may find amusing. Florida Power and Light, our power company, is employing thousands of line workers from as far away as Illinois to fix the power lines in the wake of Irma. These line workers are Read More >>
Mon, Sep 18, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
Republican Representative Steve King of Iowa says that President Donald Trump will see his base “destroyed” if he agrees to provide legal status to illegal immigrants who came here as children, or at least if he does it without securing funding for a border wall. That's bluster. But Trump is taking a political risk. It's true that some of Trump's most prominent supporters are furious with him over the issue. But most voters have sympathy for the affected population and favor legal status. Most Republicans, too: A Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 69 percent of Republicans favored legal status. Exit polling from Read More >>
Mon, Sep 18, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEIAround the web: The hot hand fallacy, motivated reasoning, and more In baseball at least, the hot hand is no fallacy — MIT Sloan We test for a “hot hand” (i.e., short-term predictability in performance) in Major League Baseball using panel data. We find strong evidence for its existence in all 10 statistical categories we consider. The magnitudes are significant; being “hot” corresponds to between one-half and one standard deviation in the distribution of player abilities. Our results are in notable contrast to the majority of the hot-hand literature, which has generally found either no hot hand or a very weak hot Read More >>
Mon, Sep 18, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
Key Points In July 2015, the Obama administration announced the Second Chance Pell Pilot Program to support postsecondary opportunities for those incarcerated in federal and state prisons. Providing federal financial aid for prisoners' education is not a new idea: Through the Higher Education Act of 1965, prisoners were eligible to receive a Pell Grant to pay for college courses until legislation in 1994 prohibited them from doing so. The Second Chance Pell Pilot Program opens up that opportunity once again. As the pilot program begins its second year this fall, this brief seeks to fill a knowledge gap for policymakers, researchers, and advocates Read More >>
Mon, Sep 18, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
Economists of all political views breathed a sigh of relief and raised a glass in celebration when Kevin Hassett was confirmed last week as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Hassett, my former American Enterprise Institute colleague, is widely respected, as evidenced by a June letter of support for his nomination signed by 44 leading economists from both the left and right. The signatories include 14 former CEA chairs — every living CEA chair except Janet Yellen (understandable given her current job as chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve) and Joseph Stiglitz, the liberal economist from Columbia University — and Read More >>
Mon, Sep 18, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEICalifornia's privacy proposal failed, but it probably violated the Constitution anyway Sunday was the 230th anniversary of the United States Constitution. The oldest constitution still in use, it is remarkable how well it has survived — in spite of constant attempts to violate it — with the most recent example being a partisan bill in the California Assembly. Thankfully, A.B. 375 was withdrawn from committee Friday, a misguided privacy proposal based on an unscientific conception of broadband networks, flawed provisions, and the exclusion of relevant data collection actors. This bill would have implemented the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) discriminatory rules that Read More >>
Mon, Sep 18, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
The entire politico-media complex had a nervous breakdown last week over President Trump's position on DACA. Lawmakers, journalist... at WashingtonExaminer.com Read More >>
Sun, Sep 17, 2017
Source: Byron York Category: BYRON YORK
Holding page for spotlight: http://www.aei.org/spotlight/constitution-day/ Constitution Day, September 17, 1789. Read More >>
Sun, Sep 17, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEIWarren Buffett wins $1M bet made a decade ago that the S&P 500 stock index would outperform hedge funds In 2007, Warren Buffett challenged finance professionals in the hedge fund industry to accept a bet that Buffett described in his 2016 letter to shareholders of Berkshire-Hathaway (see p. 21-21): In Berkshire's 2005 annual report, I argued that active investment management by professionals – in aggregate – would over a period of years underperform the returns achieved by rank amateurs who simply sat still. I explained that the massive fees levied by a variety of “helpers” would leave their clients – again in Read More >>
Sat, Sep 16, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
AEIAround the web: Correcting the economic narrative, Greg Mankiw's reading list, and more The economy isn't broken after all — David Brooks In a well-functioning economy, workers are rewarded for their productivity. As output, jobs and hours worked rise, so does income. Over the past two years, that seems to be exactly what's happening. The evidence from the past two years strongly supports those who have argued all along that income has not decoupled from productivity. A wide range of economists, including Martin Feldstein, Stephen Rose, Edward Lazear, Joao Paulo Pessoa, John Van Reenen, Richard Anderson of the St. Louis Fed and a Read More >>
Fri, Sep 15, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
The Founding Fathers didn't expect that serving in Congress would be a lifetime career. And for a century, it mostly wasn't. The first election in which more than half the incumbent members of the House of Representatives were reelected was in 1898. Since then, a majority of House members have been returned in every election except 1932. That's the context in which to weigh the fact that three incumbent Republican House members who have been comfortably reelected have recently announced they are retiring — and the rumors that more will do so. Incumbents tend to know, and be known in, their Read More >>
Fri, Sep 15, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
It's not 1981 anymore. That's the message of an editorial in the conservative Weekly Standard, which warns Republicans not to design a tax reform patterned on the one that Ronald Reagan signed in his first year as president. Mimicking the Reagan tax cuts is a temptation both because of Republicans' enduring admiration for the 40th president and because his program has been the source of the economic ideas they have championed ever since his time in office. But the Standard is right that times have changed. That doesn't mean the Gipper's basic disposition toward lower and less onerous taxes needs to be Read More >>
Fri, Sep 15, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
Back in May, the Trump administration released its proposed federal budget. It called for cutting the current education budget of $68.2 billion by 13%, to $59 billion. Trump's big proposed cuts were a $2.3 billion cut to the Title II-A Supporting Effective Instruction States Grants and a $1.2 billion cut to the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (which fund before-school, after-school, and summer programs). The budget also called for a $1 billion increase in Title I in order to support school choice, a $250 million increase for Education Innovation and Research to build the evidence base around private school choice, Read More >>
Fri, Sep 15, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN