Commentary - Archive All

October 9, 2014

The Institute of Medicine's recent report "Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life" has rekindled an important conversation about what's covered in the Medicare program's benefit package.

September 24, 2014

Ellen Mickiewicz, a leading expert on Russia and the media, will read from her new book at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, Wednesday Oct. 1. Mickiewicz, the James Shepley Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and a professor of political science, interviewed 108 students at Russia’s three leading universities for her book “No Illusions: The Voices of Russia’s Future Leaders.” She will read excerpts beginning at 5 p.m. in Sanford’s Fleishman Commons.

September 23, 2014

In a last-minute change that was taken with no hearings and no prior publicity, the Republican-controlled General Assembly has undermined the fundamental building block of school finance in North Carolina.

September 15, 2014

We soon may be re-entering the medical Dark Ages. That’s no Chicken Little proclamation. In 2011, the World Health Organization warned of a return to a pre-antibiotic era “where common infections will no longer have a cure, and once again, kill unabated.”

September 12, 2014

As people who have been studying and, at times, directly involved in, counter terrorism efforts in the U.S. since 9/11, we have been disappointed in the over-hyped public reaction to the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

August 25, 2014

Border disputes between American states are as old as the republic, but in today’s highly charged political atmosphere they often take an ugly turn.

August 11, 2014

Writing in the New York Times today, columnist Shmuel Rosner labeled non-Israeli liberal Jews that are becoming more estranged from modern day Israel, as “fair weather fans” that Israel both can and should ignore. He is dead wrong on both counts.

August 6, 2014

Earlier this month a divided Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the University of Texas' right to use race amongst its criteria for undergraduate admissions, however limited that right may be.

June 25, 2014

Not long ago, my cousin was asked by his children if he might lose his job. They had overheard him describing how several people in his neighborhood had recently lost their jobs, and they became worried that dad might be laid off, too.

Thankfully, my cousin is in no danger of losing his job, but millions of others are not so fortunate.

June 17, 2014

There is no doubt that the takeover of large parts of Iraq and Syria by the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) presents a major security issue for the United States and the entire region. But let's not make the mistake of labeling ISIS a mere terrorist group that can be addressed with the same counter terrorism tools that have been used against al Qaeda and its affiliated groups since bin Laden and his supporters were dislodged from Afghanistan in 2001.

June 9, 2014

Former U.S. ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci, who lost his struggle with Lou Gehrig’s disease a year ago June 8, may not be a household name today in Canada. But during his tenure in the turbulent years from 2001-2005, he became the poster child for what some Canadians saw as the overly aggressive and even bullying administration of president George W. Bush.

May 1, 2014

People who care about American democracy have recently been paying a lot of attention to new research by Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, which shows that for decades wealthy Americans and business interests have consistently gotten their way in public policy – even when their views conflict with what the vast majority of Americans want.

April 24, 2014

People have criticized The Affordable Care Act for amounting to a large transfer of wealth, from wealthy Americans to those not as well off. But the real transfer of wealth has been from United States to other developed nations, whose healthcare costs we have subsidized for many years by paying so generously for many of our healthcare services. No better example of this comes to mind than the price we pay for pharmaceuticals in the US versus elsewhere.

April 23, 2014

Last week, the Obama administration again delayed a final decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

April 18, 2014

After the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, I wrote a book that asked why America had never developed much of a gun control movement. To answer the question, I looked at similar life-and-death issues around which vigorous movements had arisen and found three common elements: funding from wealthy patrons, incremental strategies that delivered momentum-building victories and maternal calls to action.

April 14, 2014

It rarely makes sense to draw big conclusions or make public policy on the basis of anecdotes. But the plural of "anecdote" is data, and sometimes one-off events are useful in crystallizing lessons to guide policymakers and inform the public. So it was with the Pittsburgh-area rampage this week in which a teenager bearing two kitchen knives is accused of injuring 21 high school classmates and a security guard -- but none of them were killed. It's hard to imagine an anecdote that better illustrates what decades of data show: that for purposes of life and death, the weapon matters.

April 14, 2014

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing one year ago, many commentators and public officials called this tragedy a harbinger of more homegrown terrorist attacks to come.

April 8, 2014

Let’s put our hands together for North Carolina. Among the 36 states that used the federal health care exchange, North Carolina came in third – with more than 200,000 residents enrolling in Obamacare as of last week’s deadline.

March 17, 2014

It is too early to tell exactly what has transpired between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA regarding the Committee's investigation of the post-9/11 CIA interrogation program for captured al Qaeda terrorists. But this episode is just another in a long series of repercussions from this program that leaves a tornado-like trail of destruction through whichever institutions it travels.

March 17, 2014

How much should the United States do to promote the advance of democracy abroad? This timeless question has received renewed attention during the Obama years. Political upheavals in Iran in 2009, the Arab world beginning in 2011, and now in Ukraine have compelled American observers to assess the prospects for democratization in these countries, and they have reopened a longstanding debate about what role the United States might play in strengthening or encouraging that process.

February 9, 2014

Two years ago, we had the privilege of working with the State Board of Education to craft a “Vision of Public Education in North Carolina” affirming the importance of a strong public education system and laying out its basic features.

February 7, 2014

Russians love sports. They always have. Like their counterparts in other countries, they believe that athletic prowess reflects national strength. Russians also like television. The country has hundreds of channels, and although young people might reach for their cell phones or laptops in the big cities, as many as 85 percent of Russian citizens still depend on television for their news.

January 30, 2014

As anyone who has followed the Obamacare roller coaster over the past 4 years knows, passing legislation is only the first step in reforming a healthcare system.  Since Obamacare came into law, we have been consumed by battles over how to implement it, and by struggles over how to make it work effectively. But such implementation struggles are not new to Obamacare.  We sometimes fail to remember that previous healthcare laws rolled out with a fair amount of controversy of their own.

January 3, 2014

The question of immigration reform awaits House leaders after the holiday recess on January 7. The Senate did its part with a comprehensive bill six months ago, but Republicans who control the House have clearly expressed preference for a "piecemeal" series of bills rather than a comprehensive one.  President Obama's recent indication that he'd accept this approach virtually assures laws will be changed one step at a time, if at all.

December 8, 2013

President Obama this week repeated an earlier call to raise the minimum wage as part of a larger effort to fix persistent problems in the economy. But the president should go further: He should create a federal job guarantee for all citizens.

December 4, 2013

America’s workers would not be subjected to low wage jobs if they were assured of employment at non-poverty wages. Maintenance of full employment with available jobs offering livable wages would accomplish that goal. To get from here to there would require the United States to comply with the terms of an existing law, the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978.

December 3, 2013

Three weeks ago, the NC Dream Team, a group of undocumented high-school students, launched a petition and phone campaign directed at N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, the UNC Board of Governors and the N.C. Community College System to demand in-state tuition.

November 24, 2013

In an effort to keep educational costs in check, America’s cash-strapped states, local school districts and charter schools are hiring less costly novice teachers. I understand that Pittsburgh Public Schools may soon be among them. Superintendent Linda Lane has said she hopes to find new college grads in the two-year Teach for America program to help fill 15 to 30 teaching vacancies next fall.

November 8, 2013

At a time when Americans seem obsessed by the sanctity and immutability of their borders, you have to wonder how the government could essentially lose track of a chunk of American soil. You also have to wonder why we are cutting off new patches of American land again today through another construction project along the Rio Grande: the 18-foot-high border fence with Mexico.

November 7, 2013

Last week, Duke Professor of Public Policy and Political Science Bruce Jentleson held his first Google Hangout with the students of his 21st Century American Foreign Policy online course —a MOOC (Massive Open Online Class) run through the Coursera consortium that kicked off on October 20.

November 6, 2013

Education research clearly documents that investments in early childhood programs are among the smartest investments that states can make.  

November 2, 2013

If an antibiotic would cure your infection, your doctor would probably still warn you about the chance of sun sensitivity before prescribing the pill.

October 31, 2013

A seemingly compassionate bill now before Congress aims to help orphaned children in low-income countries. If you want to understand why it is deeply flawed, you need to know about Pisey.

October 10, 2013

Last week, a small group of extravagantly wealthy Americans shut down our federal government. They weren't lobbyists. They weren't big campaign donors. The millionaires who shuttered our civil institutions didn't have to buy influence from our politicians. The millionaires who shut down Washington are our politicians.

October 1, 2013

Could you raise $650,000 by next summer?

If your answer is “probably not,” you probably won’t be running for the House of Representatives in 2014. Last year, House candidates had to raise an average of $650,000 to finance their campaigns.

They aren’t alone. In the Senate, the average was almost $3 million. The 16 major candidates for the presidency raised an average of $85 million.

September 5, 2013

As we should, our nation will pause for the twelfth time next week to honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks and reflect on the heroism and dedication of those who have sacrificed their lives to save the innocent and fight the battles resulting from these attacks.

August 19, 2013

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel repeatedly phoned Egyptian General Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi urging a peaceful transition — Sisi refused. President Barack Obama has repeatedly called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave – he’s still there. We’ve said we want the Bahraini monarchy to reform – it hasn’t. Countless American officials have pushed Afghan President Hamid Karzai to get his act together – he hasn’t.

What’s going on? Is the problem one of inherent limits to American power in today’s world? Or the Obama administration misplaying the power it has?

August 6, 2013

The front page of today’s Washington Post print edition was dominated by coverage of the paper’s sale to Jeff Bezos. But a small story squeezed onto the bottom of the page, about the world’s first lab-grown hamburger, also gave some insight into what’s ahead for the legendary paper — and perhaps the rest of the news business.

July 31, 2013

Ninety-five percent joblessness for teen black male dropouts? That estimate, from Northeastern University's Andrew Sum, borders on the fantastic as an indictment of the American labor market.

July 23, 2013

Watching the free-for-all in Washington over immigration reform, it’s easy to conclude that an airtight border has always been our national goal.

After all, the unmistakable message behind the bevy of border-security measures in the immigration bill, which was approved last month by the Senate and now sits in the House, is that a country that can’t prevent foreigners from swarming unchecked across the land border is in serious jeopardy.

July 17, 2013

Could you raise $650,000 by next summer?

If your answer is "probably not," you probably won't be running for the House of Representatives in 2014. Last year, House candidates had to raise an average of $650,000 to finance their campaigns.

July 10, 2013

Oregon’s “Pay It Forward” program may eliminate up-front payment of tuition and fees. But it would not eliminate all student debt, nor necessarily widen access to higher education.

The authors of the plan argue that this is better than student loans because it does not require a predetermined payment, with interest, to a bank, and because payments are based on the ability to pay. There are several flaws with this plan.

June 26, 2013

President Barack Obama has called for a renewed focus on the challenge of addressing climate change, using a speech at Georgetown University on June 25 to provide a broad outline of actions his administration will take in the coming years.

June 17, 2013

The virtues and vices of 1960s liberalism are on striking display in Bancroft-Prize winning historian James Patterson’s The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America. And as Patterson deftly shows, the extremes were fused into the presidential administration as well as personal character of Lyndon Baines Johnson.

June 17, 2013

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that merely isolating a DNA sequence does not make it eligible to patent, the question arises, “What will happen to the crucially important data accumulated by an overly broad monopoly?”

The answer to this question has implications for people who may have an inherited risk for breast and ovarian cancer and to the scientists who hope to use that data for life-saving decisions about cancer surgery.

June 17, 2013

In the 1969 Supreme Court ruling Alexander vs. Holmes County Board of Education, a unanimous court ruled that a Mississippi school district "terminate dual school systems at once and to operate now and hereafter only unitary schools."

The ruling, a mandate for non-compliant segregationists, was supposed to finally reverse the tide of Jim Crow era "separate and unequal" education.

June 6, 2013

The summit between Barack Obama and Xi Jinping is a huge - and challenging - opportunity. Domestic, regional and global factors are making the current situation a strategic inflection point, writes Bruce W. Jentleson.

Having been in Beijing in April for a conference and for the past month in Australia giving a series of lectures and engaging with regional strategists, I have even more of a sense of these intersecting inflection points.

June 4, 2013

The Obama administration deserves praise for its recent strong support for greater investments in early childhood education. With reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind in its current incarnation) stalled in Congress, and the many valid concerns about narrow test-based initiatives that do nothing to address the challenges of children from disadvantaged families, this new direction is a welcome change. In addition, it has the potential be a winner because it should gain the support of both Republicans and Democrats.

May 31, 2013

If you are a parent of one of the 50 million public schoolchildren in the United States, the odds are your child has taken a standardized test within the past few weeks. The odds also suggest that you took such a test yourself once upon a time, though probably not as early or as often as your kids. You and your children have the federal No Child Left Behind Act to thank for the modern ubiquity of standardized testing.

May 29, 2013

Recent news reports make clear that the Republican supermajority in the North Carolina General Assembly is getting many of its worst ideas for how to change our state from the Washington, D.C.-based American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Every citizen needs to know more about ALEC and its stealth efforts to undermine our modern-day democracy.

As a U.S. historian, I am deeply alarmed at the growing power of this secretive body, founded by the longtime right-wing strategist Paul Weyrich in 1973 and bankrolled by some of the largest corporations in America.

May 24, 2013

In his speech at the National Defense University, President Obama made his most impassioned and compelling argument to date about the need to close the prison for wartime detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

But logic and presidential will are not enough to achieve this goal. It will take an intense effort by the administration, cooperation from international partners, bipartisan congressional support and perhaps forceful assertion of presidential prerogatives to get this done in Obama’s second term. It is difficult to see how all these pieces will fall into place.

May 18, 2013

I suspect I'm not the only one who, as contributor to and consumer of foreign policy debates, at times wonders about our value added.

For all the urgent issues of the day, do we lose sight of deeper, more fundamental ones? And to the extent that we do address some, is it so within the bounds of conventional wisdom as to crowd out real wisdom?

We can learn a lot in both regards from the youth of the world. The questions they're asking are inspiring. The answers they're providing are humbling.

May 16, 2013

The Justice Department's subpoena of Associated Press reporters' phone records undoubtedly raises important First Amendment issues. But from the media's coverage of this incident, you would think that there were absolutely no countervailing interests, that the law was clearly on the media's side, and that what the Justice Department did was blatantly unethical and wrong. This just isn't the case.

May 16, 2013

In a nutshell, there are two important lessons to learn from the experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.

May 8, 2013

The Department of Defense has requested $170 million to upgrade the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in next year's budget, but no amount of money will repair the government's irrational terrorism detention policy that is collapsing even more quickly than the dilapidated facility in which the hunger striking detainees are housed.

May 7, 2013

I was one of three panelists invited to speak at an American Institute seminar last week. The question we were asked to address was an intriguing one: not are banks “too big to fail,” which has become so common a term that most people recognize its TBTF acronym, but are banks “too big to tolerate.”

April 29, 2013

Last week Nation Multimedia Group hosted a debate between Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong and former finance minister of the Abhisit administration, Korn Chatikavanij. The debate was billed as "competing visions on the nation's future".

April 24, 2013

Discussion of the Boston bombing case is now into full 20-20 hindsight mode trying to figure out why we did not prevent Tamerlan Tsarnaev from executing the attack when the government had been alerted to his potential radicalization two years ago. There are probably important policy lessons to be learned from this incident -- but it is far too easy for politicians and commentators to lay blame on keystone cops who shirked their responsibilities and bureaucrats who refused to share information with each other.

April 22, 2013

Some politicians and pundits are agitating for the captured Boston Marathon bomber to be declared an enemy combatant, sent to Guantanamo, and tried in a military commission. But the only legal, pragmatic, and effective way to handle this situation is to conduct a lengthy interrogation of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and then prosecute him in United States federal court.

April 22, 2013

Virtually every college with a dormitory gives its students the chance to play sports. Doing so enriches the educational experience by teaching important life lessons. And it’s smart marketing to boot, because a lot of students want to play sports in college. So I doubt if many colleges will emulate a decision by Spelman that was surely driven by serious financial strain.

April 18, 2013

Words can’t describe the events that transpired on Monday afternoon in Boston. What began as a beautiful, jovial, and exciting day, quickly transformed into chaos, confusion, and utter horror. While I will never understand or know what it was like to be there when those first two explosions occurred, the atrocious nature and closeness of this event impacted me in a way that I know at least 26,000 other people share.  I was one of the runners.

April 18, 2013

British Web engineer Simon Holliday operates a word association website. The site gives you a word and asks you to type in the first thing that comes to mind. The statistics for the word "immigrant" are revealing. The most common user entry is "illegal." The second is "Mexican."

This probably comes as no surprise to anyone paying attention to current debates over immigration policy. What might come as a surprise is that these words are rapidly losing their relevance.

April 17, 2013

While the horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon has brought concerns about terrorism back to the forefront of national attention, it is worth remembering that terrorism inside the United States is exceedingly rare. Over the past 40 years, just over 3 people on average have been killed by acts of terrorism per year (remove 9/11, and the average is 1.4 deaths per year).

April 11, 2013

Everyone agrees that we don't want criminals to get guns. And in the debate over gun control, the vast majority of the public also agrees that requiring background checks for all gun transactions -- even private sales at gun shows or between acquaintances -- would achieve this end.

The National Rifle Association and its allies oppose this idea because they believe a federal background check requirement will lead to gun registration. This, they argue, is a violation of the privacy of gun owners and could one day help the government confiscate all guns.

April 10, 2013

Immigration reform legislation -- once it emerges -- is likely to be complex with dozens of hot button issues that will receive most of the attention. Close scrutiny should be addressed, however, to an obscure border security issue -- the biometric exit system -- that will not stir the emotions of many, but could cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

April 10, 2013

North Carolina needs a strong public education system. Without one we will be wasting our most precious resource: our people.

March 19, 2013

Here on the 10-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, I wonder how long it will be before we can discuss the war free from the contamination of myths. It may be sooner than many myth-purveyors expect.

March 19, 2013

Since I posted about the myths promulgated by critics of the Iraq war, it is only fair that I follow-up and demonstrate that I do know that (a) war supporters did not have a monopoly on truth either and (b) there are plenty of worthy debates about Iraq that could inform current policy challenges.

March 16, 2013

The TSA just can’t win. For years, it has been ridiculed and criticized for spending time and energy at screening checkpoints on low risk threats like grannies with walkers or children in diapers.

Yet TSA’s announcement this month that it will permit passengers to carry small pocket knives on flights – a step designed to enable screeners to focus on more serious threats that could bring down an airplane – has been met with withering criticism.

March 12, 2013

When you cut through the bluster and controversies surrounding the Bradley Manning/Wikileaks case, it raises a difficult unresolved question that has great significance for our democracy:  How can the government be held accountable for its national security policies (and mistakes) in a world where there are far too many secrets, and those who disclose those secrets to the press are violating the law?

March 11, 2013

A bipartisan Senate proposal on immigration reform has drawn praise, including from President Obama. But a key feature of the proposal -- how to handle the 11 million foreigners living in the country illegally -- has provoked a familiar objection: Why grant U.S. citizenship, that most precious of rights, to those who broke the law to get here?

We believe there is a simpler, fairer and more efficient solution that won't get bogged down in the "path to citizenship" debate. Rather, it will unlock the enormous potential of North America's labor pool:

March 9, 2013

A Chinese oil company last week bought a small but significant player in the Canadian oil sands, the third largest deposit of accessible oil in the world and source of more than a quarter of U.S. oil imports.

The sale of Nexen Inc. to the Chinese National Offshore Oil Co. for $15.1 billion was the largest Chinese overseas acquisition ever, and continues a patient, strategic Chinese campaign to secure energy assets in North America.

March 1, 2013

The bet, as of last weekend, was that it would take effect. According to the latest poll conducted by the Pew Research Centre from February 13-18, 49 per cent of the respondents were in favour of Congress taking action to delay the automatic spending cuts, while 40 per cent would let the sequester go into effect. In the same poll, 49 per cent blamed the Republicans in Congress for the inaction, while 31 per cent blamed President Obama.

February 28, 2013

If you’ve been following the recent debate over the president’s proposal to require universal background checks for gun transactions, you’re familiar with the “40 percent” statistic. Proponents assert that up to 40 percent of gun sales do not involve a federally licensed dealer and therefore are exempt from the current federal requirement for a background check of buyers. Opponents have been attacking this statistic, saying it’s far too high.

February 12, 2013

Is anyone else alarmed over the reckless changes to our unemployment insurance system being rushed through in Raleigh? As a historian of the 20th-century United States, I'm stunned at both the radical-right content of the changes approved and the refusal of the new supermajority in the N.C. General Assembly to allow public hearings and debate.

February 11, 2013

Each year, hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians are branded as criminals for committing offenses as minor as fishing without a license or driving with an expired license tag. They lose wages while they spend time in court. Employers lose out when their employees miss work.

And citizens lose as the result of millions of taxpayer dollars spent to usher these and other minor offenses through an already overburdened court system.

February 6, 2013

The US National Institutes of Health has warned that research is at a “crucial juncture”. Bioethicists are fretting. Scientists are anxious. And all because an article in Science last month raised doubts about the privacy of volunteers who hand over their genetic data.

January 28, 2013

Health and education continue to be India's Achilles heel. Only through improving these services for the bulk of the population will it be able to get rid of mass poverty. India has the largest concentration of poor people in the world. The 12th Five-Year Plan figures show poverty declining from 45 per cent of the national population in 1993-94 to 37 per cent in 2004-05, at 0.8 percent per year, slower than the rate of population growth.

January 24, 2013

When the N.C. General Assembly convenes Wednesday, a few state lawmakers are probably going to introduce a bill that would slash income taxes for wealthy North Carolinians, scrap tax credits for low- and middle-income families and raise sales taxes on things like groceries and gas.

The same bill has already been introduced in two other states I once called home.

January 20, 2013

When David Steinberg founded the nation’s first gun-control lobby — the long-forgotten National Committee for a Responsible Firearms Policy — he was spurred by more than the shooting of an unarmed teen in his northern Virginia neighborhood.

It seemed crazy to him that everyday Americans could buy lethal weapons, no questions asked, when he and his fellow World War II soldiers had been required to go through extensive firearms training first.

January 10, 2013

In the coming weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court may land the final blow to what's left of race-based affirmative action in higher education. If the type of questioning raised during case hearings in October are an indicator, the Court may rule that the University of Texas at Austin's admissions policies violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, and that the plaintiff, 22-year old Abigail Fisher, was a victim of what affirmative action opponents long have framed as "reverse discrimination."

January 9, 2013

In August of 2009, Sarah Palin claimed that the health legislation being crafted by Democrats at the time would create a “death panel,” in which government bureaucrats would decide whether disabled and elderly patients are “worthy of healthcare.”  Despite being debunked by fact-checkers and mainstream media outlets, this myth has persisted, with almost half of Americans stating recently that they believe the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates such a panel.

January 8, 2013

The massacre of 20 young children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn., has revived interest in gun regulation—a topic that was almost entirely ignored during the presidential campaign. During President Obama’s first term, there were several other mass shootings, but the only Congressional action was a new law to permit tourists to carry guns in national parks. Now Vice President Biden has been asked to develop a plan that includes new regulations.

January 4, 2013

Whenever America suffers a mass public shooting—seven times in 2012 alone—
I think about my dad and our months of wrenching conversations after the Columbine High School massacre more than a decade ago.

January 3, 2013

The most important thing Republicans need to understand about U.S. foreign policy today is that Republicans are out of power and Barack Obama is in power.

January 1, 2013

Now that the election is over, the United States has a rare opportunity to do away with one of its most pointless and ineffective foreign policies – the embargo of Cuba – that is as obsolete as the “cool” 1950s and 1960s sedans still running on the streets of Havana.

December 25, 2012

In “Living With Guns” Craig R. Whitney, a former correspondent and editor for The New York Times, writes that he is motivated by the belief that “Americans on both sides of the debate about guns can and must find common ground.” He hopes to defuse the prevailing “hysteria” by establishing that both sides are correct in at least one fundamental assertion.

To gun-rights advocates he would say that there is indeed a personal right to bear arms, and that it actually predates the Second Amendment.

December 24, 2012

With Friday's defiant statement, the National Rifle Association massed its troops along familiar fronts in the culture war -- and even opened some new battle lines. But it also squandered an opportunity to participate in reasonable dialogue with an America that has begun losing its appetite for political extremism.

Longtime NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, eager to keep the rank-and-file "mothers and fathers" among his membership from going soft,sounded themes critical to maintaining gun owners' collective identity and solidarity. These themes included:

December 24, 2012

In the massacre in Sandy Hook Elementary School of Newtown, Connecticut, a 20-year-old man killed 20 young children and six adults before turning one of his guns on himself. Earlier he had shot his mother at the home that they shared. This event is the latest and most horrific mass murder in the United States during 2012, which has been a very bad year in that respect. Is it possible to make sense of these events? Is it possible to do anything about them?

December 21, 2012

After the massacre of 20 Connecticut schoolchildren and six women who died trying to save them, plans are afoot for a parents' protest for stricter gun laws. More than a decade ago, we had such an event — the Million Mom March — and the lessons are instructive.

One of us devised the idea for the Mother's Day march, led the national organizing effort and remained involved as a volunteer; the other conducted a scholarly study of the march participants. Here's what we learned.

December 19, 2012

Americans are now confronted with two radically different visions of public education. Which vision ultimately prevails will go a long way toward determining the quality of the education available to future generations of children.

The first -- call it the "private" -- vision can be seen in the well-funded efforts in states and localities across the country to dismantle many of the fundamental structures of public education that have evolved since the mid-19th century and to replace them with models borrowed from the private sector.

December 10, 2012

If Americans judged the quality of hospital care the way Newsweek judges high schools, we would soon be inundated with “charter hospitals” that only treat healthy patients.

December 4, 2012

The "fiscal cliff" is a rhetorical device designed to hijack the inauguration of new federal programs that would address our nation's mass unemployment crisis. It distracts us from alternatives to reducing the federal budget deficit by other means than massive federal spending cuts.

Indeed, the fiscal cliff debate has subverted our nation's courage and imagination. Instead of feuding about how deep cuts in federal expenditures should be, Congress should enact a national program of public service employment that will provide a job for every American seeking work.

November 30, 2012

As another college football season winds down, there is nearly as much talk of conference realignment and television packages as there is of wins and losses. The Big Ten, already earning more than $240 million a year from its own TV network, last week added two more media markets by inviting Maryland and Rutgers to join the conference.

The bounty of earnings from big-time college sports would be unthinkable without the millions of fans eager to watch games on TV, in real time. Surveys suggest there are some 75 million Americans who follow college football alone.

November 26, 2012

AT a time when territorial disputes over uninhabited outcrops in the East China Sea have led to smashed cars and skulls in China, a similar, if less dramatic, dispute over two remote rocks in the Gulf of Maine smolders between the United States and Canada.

Machias Seal Island and nearby North Rock are the only pieces of land that the two countries both claim after more than 230 years of vigorous and sometimes violent border-making between them.

November 16, 2012

In his first press conference since being re-elected, President Barack Obama acknowledged he'll focus on climate change in his second term. "I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior, and carbon emissions," Obama said at a televised news conference on Wednesday. "And as a consequence, I think we've got an obligation to future generations to do something about it."

November 2, 2012

The fate of Obamacare and the direction of the next step in health reform is the clearest choice in the presidential election.

November 1, 2012

As the election nears, citizens agree that our highest priority is improving the economy. We must be pro-business and pro-economic growth. And we must look for real economic development, not a quick fix.Toward that end, candidates and voters, we ask that you heed the advice of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 3 million businesses: invest in early childhood education for every child.

October 23, 2012

The final debate of the 2012 campaign season presented a sharp contrast between one man who seemed comfortable in the role of commander-in-chief and another man who seemed unsure of his political fortunes and desperate to tear down his opponent. Such a contrast often appears when a presidential race features an incumbent and a challenger.

But have we ever seen the contrast so vividly and so paradoxically in reverse?

October 23, 2012

Monday’s foreign policy debate made clear that no single international issue is dominating the campaign. Rather, voters are formulating an overall sense of the respective abilities of President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney as effective statesmen amid the threats and opportunities of the 21st century.

October 18, 2012

Millions of U.S. citizens are too poor to buy health insurance but not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid.  And this “not poor enough” problem varies, state by state, depending on the generosity of local governments.  In some states, a person’s income can sit below the poverty level, and that person still won’t qualify for Medicaid.

October 16, 2012

In the 1960s, when my family drove by all those textile mills on Interstate 85 on our way to visit grandparents in Georgia, I couldn’t imagine that our rivers wouldn’t always run brown. I couldn’t picture paddling my canoe on the Neuse River below Raleigh’s wastewater discharge.

But a visionary law and effective partnerships between federal, state and local governments have achieved more than I would have thought possible when I was a boy.

October 13, 2012

Elections are supposed to give us choices. We can reward incumbents or we can throw the bums out. We can choose Republicans or Democrats. We can choose conservative policies or progressive ones.

September 28, 2012

Carolina was the only college to which I applied while a student at Goldsboro High – UNC-Chapel Hill was my dream school.

When I arrived, I was interested mostly in not living with my parents, enjoying newfound freedoms and pretty girls. Four years later, I was passionate about health policy and on my way to graduate school (also at UNC) and a career as a professor.

September 27, 2012

The recent uproar over purported widespread cheating in a Harvard government course raises a number of perennial issues—declining moral standards, increasing competition for grades, colleges’ often ambivalent responses—and an important new one.

What counts as individual work when colleges and companies increasingly urge us to work in teams?

September 21, 2012

The CNN program "Global Public Square" asked a group of historians and commentators for their take on the most successful and least successful U.S. presidents, from a foreign policy point of view.

September 20, 2012

The CNN program "Global Public Square" asked a group of historians and commentators for their take on the most successful and least successful U.S. presidents, from a foreign policy point of view.

September 14, 2012

The killings of four U.S. diplomats in Libya Tuesday exposed a stark truth that many Americans either don't realize or won't believe — diplomacy has gotten dangerous.

Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya and a career foreign service officer, died in a rocket and mortar attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, the first U.S. ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan was abducted and murdered in 1979.

September 4, 2012

North Carolina matters in this presidential election. The two major-party candidates frequently jet in and out of our state to give speeches, and it is no coincidence that the Democrats selected Charlotte to host their convention this week.

People outside the state aren't sure what to think of us. It seems liberal, because Terry Sanford and John Edwards served as senators. But so did Jesse Helms, and for a lot longer.

August 23, 2012

This Sunday, Aug. 26, Women’s Equality Day, marks the date in 1920 when women in the United States won the right to vote after nearly a century of political organizing.

It also commemorates the 1970 March for Women’s Rights, when feminists emphatically declared it necessary to continue working toward women’s full equality in the workplace, the home, and American culture as a whole.

In 2012, is Women’s Equality Day still relevant? In the 21st century, who needs feminism?

August 15, 2012

“We need to be screwed!”

Not altogether surprising words to spill out of a college student’s mouth. But this particular student was not talking about sex. She was discussing the U.S. health-care system – more specifically what she thought it would take for our two political parties to come together to find a reasonable way to control our nation’s health-care costs.

August 8, 2012

America has a math problem. We've had a math problem for at least fifty years - since the Soviets launched Sputnik, if not before. Our high school students have trouble competing with those raised in considerably poorer nations, and we aren't producing enough talented scientists and engineers to ensure our nation a leadership position in the twenty-first century knowledge economy.

July 26, 2012

While the policy specifics -- and lack thereof -- in Mitt Romney's VFW speech have gotten most of the attention, it's the underlying thematics aimed at the broader electorate that were the main political play.

July 20, 2012

Last summer, I was honored to be invited to an Iftar dinner -- the meal to break the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan -- hosted by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. The guests consisted of many high ranking government officials, including a large number of Muslim government employees.

These Muslim officials seemed similar to other government employees I have met - highly professional, smart, personable, distracted by the constant buzz of their smart phones, and, for the most part, dead tired. 

July 2, 2012

If you thought donuts were bad for your health, consider donut holes. Specifically, the donut hole sitting smack in the middle of Medicare Part D, the program helping senior citizens pay for their medications.

The donut hole is a gap in coverage causing people, once they’ve received a certain level of financial support for their prescriptions, to have to go it alone for a while, bearing all their medication costs until they’ve spent so much money that a higher level of financial support kicks in.

July 2, 2012

Last week, a panel of university presidents dealt with one of college sports’ festering problems by approving a four-team playoff for football. For years, critics have been calling for this kind of playoff, which is so popular in pro sports and the NCAA’s own March Madness.

To someone who has spent the past five years researching the business and ethics of big-time college sports, this change may be welcome, but it leaves five unresolved problems with college athletics.

June 17, 2012

June 18 marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the War of 1812, a conflict that may well be the last time most Americans thought seriously about Canada.

June 12, 2012

Earlier this year, economic data suggested that the Thai economy was on the path to recovery after last year's devastating floods.

Projected output growth was revised upward to 5 per cent for 2012. The vulnerability and downside risk from the euro zone crisis was thought to be under control. There was even a ray of hope and cautious optimism that key governments in the euro zone and the European Central Bank (ECB) would agree to readjust their stance on their "expansionary austerity" policy following the G-8 Summit last month.

June 8, 2012

Just four years ago, only two people in the world had their genome sequenced: James D. Watson (co-discoverer of the structure of DNA) and J. Craig Venter (former President of the firm that mounted a private-sector rival to the Human Genome Project). There are now many thousands of such people.

At genome meetings, scientists are talking about millions of fully sequenced genomes in coming years. And after that…?

June 8, 2012

Alcohol abuse is a multifaceted problem that requires a diverse portfolio of programs and policies. Adolescent drinking, alcoholism, drunken driving, alcohol-enabled domestic violence and child neglect, crime and public drunkenness all elicit distinct, tailored policy responses.

But one policy instrument would help reduce all these problems: alcohol prices. With higher prices come reduced rates of alcohol abuse and improvements in public health and safety.

June 6, 2012

The World Health Organization's Director-General recently warned of the growing challenge of antibiotic resistance in the starkest terms: "A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child's scratched knee could once again kill."

June 5, 2012

New York City's plan to prohibit the sale of large, sugary soft drinks is a brave and provocative policy, one that promotes public health at minimal cost to New York City residents.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s announcement last week highlights the kind of tough regulatory action we, as a society, need to make to combat an obesity epidemic that experts say will cause this generation of elementary school children to be the first in centuries to experience a shorter life span than their parents.

May 27, 2012

Before long the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the health care reform law, a decision that will have tremendous policy ramifications and could reshape the presidential election.

May 22, 2012

The fact that North Carolina’s unemployment rate seems to be moving in the right direction is good news, with the current three-month average rate lower than it has been in some time.

But this improvement ironically puts North Carolina beyond the eligibility threshold for receiving assistance from the federal Extended Benefits program. As a result, thousands of unemployed North Carolinians received their last unemployment check during the week of May 7.

May 8, 2012

When we started the Bi-Sectoralists series, our thesis was that the public and private sectors as well as the major political parties had to work better together for America to succeed. To that end, we laid out five guiding principles to help the United States revitalize domestically and compete globally.

May 4, 2012

“How can the government make us buy health insurance?  What gives them that right?” Sitting on my left while our airplane raced above the clouds, Elizabeth was clearly upset about Obamacare. 

She wondered why the bill had to be so long, and why Obama would endorse a plan that doubled her health insurance costs.  But nothing vexed her more than the individual mandate. 

May 2, 2012

The United States is not being overrun by illegal aliens, is not running out of oil or natural gas, and is not being sucked into the vortex of Mexican cartel violence along the border.

In fact, illegal immigration is at a 40-year low, oil production is at an eight-year high and U.S. cities along the Mexican border are among the safest in the nation.

All this might come as news to anyone who has closely followed this year's presidential primaries, whose general theme seemed to be that America is circling the drain.

March 21, 2012

According to the current storyline regarding this fall’s presidential election, Barack Obama has jumped out of the frying pan of a weak economy into the fire of skyrocketing gas prices, a spike driven largely by tensions in the Persian Gulf.

Like President Carter before him, Mr. Obama supposedly risks losing an election over something he can’t control.

Fortunately for the president — and millions of American drivers — he may have more energy options than most of his recent predecessors.

March 20, 2012

The cornerstone of the Obama administration's strategy for addressing homegrown terrorism is the development of trusted relationships between law enforcement and communities targeted by al Qaeda and other radical groups. Since the policy was rolled out last summer, a series of episodes has undercut this effort.

March 11, 2012

A recently released report has spawned new outrage over an old problem: Black and Hispanic students are more likely to be suspended from school than white students.

The knee-jerk reaction to this finding is to think it unjust, reflective of lingering racism among school principals and disciplinarians, and no doubt a contributor to the achievement gap.

If you believe that, ask yourself if you also believe the following things:

March 2, 2012

Wake County is grappling with a question that has been asked across the country: Should more students take Algebra I in eighth grade?

Put it off until ninth grade, and there's little chance you can take calculus in high school. Take it in eighth grade and do badly, and there goes your strong foundation for higher math courses.

February 29, 2012

As Alberta’s Premier makes her rounds in the United States this week to sell the oil sands, she might want to capitalize on the current American preoccupation with gasoline prices, which have soared more than 20 percent in parts of the country since mid-December.

The good news that Alison Redford could highlight is that Canadian oil exports have helped keep gas prices dramatically lower in several U.S. states.

February 16, 2012

The price of gasoline is spiking again, but the pain is not being shared equally.

Drivers on Long Island paid an average of $3.82 a gallon last week, the highest in the country according to the Lundberg Survey. But people gassing up in Denver paid only $3.01 on average, the country's lowest.

Why the difference? Taxes account for a small part of that gap, but for the bulk of it, blame Canada.

Over the last 20 years, Canada has quietly become our largest foreign source of petroleum products, supplying almost a quarter of the oil we have to import.

February 2, 2012

Today, Feb. 2, also known as Groundhog Day, marks a more momentous event in North American history that most Americans can’t remember, and most Mexicans can’t forget.

On that date in 1848, negotiators for the United States and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, formally ending what we, north of the border, call the Mexican-American War and what our neighbors to the south still call “the American Invasion.” Under the terms of the treaty, Mexico surrendered 525,000 square miles to the United States, more than half of its territory.

February 1, 2012

Change — especially the slow, steady kind — can be a hard thing to notice. When we see the same people and places every single day, we often don’t register how they grow and evolve.

But when we stop to reflect — digging out an old photo album to size up the effect of time on a hairline or a house — the differences can be profound.

A slow, steady change has come to urban America — to New York City, its suburbs and places all over the country. It has been going on for nearly 50 years, and it is undoubtedly a good thing for society.

January 24, 2012

We acknowledged when we began our Bi-Sectoralists column that it would be naïve to suggest that politicians and investors should never think short-term. But it's even more unrealistic to accept pervasive short-termism as a given when it is so antithetical to being strategic.

January 1, 2012

If Charles Dickens were writing about big-time college sports in 2011, he would have left it at, "It was the worst of times."

The year began with long-standing concerns about runaway spending, a bowl system that unfairly favors rich conferences and the exploitation of athletes. Then came a string of scandals at high-profile programs, among them Ohio State, North Carolina and Miami. Then the year concluded with shocking allegations of sexual abuse at Penn State and Syracuse.

December 15, 2011

The policy vs markets debate makes for good rhetoric but lousy results. It's not if government should play a role in the economy. It's how best to do it.

The long slog of debt deleveraging (we're about halfway through) coupled with the rising risk of a global credit crunch implies the timing is right. From Erskine Bowles' CEO Fiscal Reform Council to the Occupy Wall St. movement, frustration is mounting. The need for market based, government supported, job creating policies is clear; what's missing is the will.

December 13, 2011

In September, state officials launched a new program called "No Kid Hungry" to provide federally funded school breakfasts to more children in North Carolina. This effort to fight childhood hunger is now being tested in 28 schools across the state, including one in Durham.

It's a great start toward providing quality nutrition to low-income children. But because early eating habits impact weight gain and health issues across a child's life, the need for healthy meals starts much earlier than grade school.

December 11, 2011

No one seriously disputes the fact that students from disadvantaged households perform less well in school, on average, than their peers from more advantaged backgrounds.

But rather than confront this fact of life head-on, our policy makers mistakenly continue to reason that, since they cannot change the backgrounds of students, they should focus on things they can control.

November 16, 2011

The outlook for the U.S., the EU and the global economy is unclear. Political systems buckle under the challenge of domestic, regional or global governance. Consumers hunker down, corporations sit on cash, job creation is anemic, banks and sovereigns shrink.

In this, our third column, we elaborate on the first of our five Bi-Sectoral Principles, Strength from within -- for while the U.S. does depend on others, much more important is what we do for ourselves.

November 5, 2011

Dozens of studies in the past few years have linked single genes to whether a person is liberal or conservative, has a strong party affiliation or is likely to vote regularly. The discipline of “genopolitics” has grabbed headlines as a result, but is the claim that a few genes influence political views and actions legitimate?

September 19, 2011

President Obama is racing around the country urging Americans to support his jobs bill. Yet even if Republicans agreed to everything he wants and the economy quickly bounced back, millions of Americans would still face a grim future.

The Census Bureau reported last week that more Americans are living in poverty than at any time in the past 50 years. Median household incomes have fallen to where they were 14 years ago, prompting talk of a "lost decade."

September 15, 2011

How can America reset the public-private interaction?

In our first column, we Bi-Sectoralists laid out five principles for the public and private sectors to improve internally & work better together for the public good. Better dialogue and better results are crucial if America is to be successful in its economic and political revitalization both at home and abroad. In today's column, we flesh these principles out and suggest ways to reset public-private interaction.

September 11, 2011

The counterterrorism initiative launched in response to the horrific attacks on our country 10 years ago continues to this day.

On this solemn anniversary, it is appropriate to reflect on how this initiative has fared. Those who were killed in the attacks, the police and firefighters who perished trying to save others, the soldiers and intelligence agents who have died or been injured in foreign lands and all of their families deserve no less than a candid appraisal of how we responded and an informed strategy of how to proceed in the future.

September 7, 2011

On a rainy day in October 2005, Dana Priest was escorted across the immaculate marble lobby of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia along with a pair of her editors from The Washington Post (I was one of them).

We crowded into a private, key-operated elevator that opened into a study that would have seemed almost cozy if not for the arresting artifact at the far end of the room: an American flag, scorched and battered, recovered from Ground Zero and now hanging behind the director’s desk.

September 6, 2011

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that about 14.5 million Americans remained in the ranks of the unemployed in December 2010. December’s unemployment rate of 9.4 percent represented the twentieth consecutive month where the jobless rate exceeded 9 percent, the longest span with rates that high since the Great Depression.… The nation faces an ongoing and sustained employment crisis.

August 23, 2011

Cheating won’t be solved just by tighter rules and better enforcement. A century of big-time college sports tells us that much.

August 22, 2011

We're the Bi-Sectoralists. One from the private sector world of global finance and markets, one from the public sector world of foreign policy in Washington and academia. We're tired of the "you're the problem -- no, you are" finger pointing between the public and private sectors. Both are.

Both sectors need to get their own acts together, and to work better together if we're going to have any chance of revitalizing domestically and competing globally.

As a starting point, we offer five guiding principles:

August 2, 2011

A RAND report shows New York City’s bonus program for teachers did not lead to improved student achievement. Why?

July 28, 2011

For years, a group of American authors, bloggers, pundits and activists have mischaracterized the conflict with al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations as part of a broader “clash of civilizations” between Muslims and Western society.

This clash, they claim, is not just about preventing terrorist attacks but about stopping a global Islamic movement that threatens the very foundations of Judeo-Christian society.

July 11, 2011

William Darity,Jr, Arts & Sciences Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics, is taking part in the Kenan Institute for Ethics “Good Question” series, considering racial and economic disparities and how identifying as “multiracial” might change policy.

How might social policies change as more Americans identify themselves as “multiracial?”

June 9, 2011

Since North Carolina Republicans introduced a Voter ID bill in February that would require all citizens to show a photo ID before voting, one thing has become crystal clear.

State efforts are part of a nationwide drive to tighten rules on voting. In the past two months no less than 13 state legislatures, all of them controlled by Republicans, have advanced Voter ID legislation.

June 7, 2011

On May 19, state Sen. Phil Berger said that even in these difficult economic times, we need to make sure all North Carolina children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

Last week, Wake Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr. upped the ante on this goal by announcing a special hearing related to the Leandro legal case. The judge wants to make sure that legislators meet the educational needs of North Carolina's children as required by that case.

Thank you, Senator Berger and Judge Manning. But how do we get there?

June 6, 2011

Our elected representatives in Raleigh are now contemplating House Bill 744, which would require parents to state the citizenship status of their children when they enter public school. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Dale Folwell of Winston-Salem, pushed the bill by saying "we must have fiscal research of the impact that illegal immigration is having on North Carolina."

Well, I can save Folwell and his colleagues the trouble of passing the bill by sketching out here an estimate of the cost to state and local governments of illegal immigrants.

June 6, 2011

The nation recently received two contradictory signals about the importance of immigration reform. President Obama stood near the Mexican border in El Paso on May 10 and called (again) for immigration reform. The next week, Gallup released a poll showing that a scant 4% of Americans consider immigration to be the nation's most important problem. That's down from 11% four years ago.

May 18, 2011

Sanford Professor Bruce Jentleson, who has worked on Middle East policy in the Obama and Clinton administration, writes of the need for new policy in the region.

May 9, 2011

Osama bin Laden has been killed by U.S. forces and his body buried at sea. What does it all mean?

First, this is a severe blow to al-Qaida and the entire jihadi movement. Although bin Laden was not able to actively plan attacks or engage in operations, he was the spiritual leader of the global jihad and the chief strategist for the al-Qaida network. There is no charismatic heir who can fill this void.

May 2, 2011

"Right to Know" law is an attack on women's rights.

April 2, 2011

The programs More at Four and Smart Start save tax-payers money and benefit all children in a school.

March 9, 2011

Charles Clotfelter reflects on the mass popularity of big-time college sports.

February 19, 2011

Assistant Research Professor Susanne B. Haga discusses the nature of science and current education.

February 9, 2011

David Schanzer, associate professor, discusses how the planned Congressional hearings on terrorism could benefit the country and the Muslim-American community.

January 11, 2011

Sanford Professor Philip Cook and University of Chicago Professor Jens Ludwig propose that reinstating the ban on high magazine weapons could save lives and have little impact of guns for self-defense.

December 31, 2010

For big-time college sports, late December is more than the season of holiday basketball tournaments and the start of myriad football bowl games. It's also the time for making tax-deductible gifts to the booster club of your favorite college team.

These gifts don't get mentioned much when we hear talk of the excess costs of college sports, but they play a surprisingly large role in the college athletics business, and at considerable cost to the taxpayer.

December 12, 2010

As the traditional media continues to cut back on reporting, other sources, such as blogs and small local newspapers need support to keep the public informed.

December 3, 2010

Associate Professor Donald Taylor argues that Washington officials must work to achieve a long-term balanced budget now and not wait for a financial crisis to force them to do so. This op-ed originally ran in News Observer.

November 24, 2010

The holiday season brings admonitions to "remember the less fortunate," but addressing the causes of poverty requires more than seasonal efforts argues Visiting Professor Rachel Seidman.

October 24, 2010

Academics needs to realize the value of big-time sports for colleges argues Professor Charles Clotfelter.

October 17, 2010

In this commentary, Associate Professor of Public Policy Donald H. Taylor Jr. compares efforts to repeal the health care reform act to the dog catching the car: then what?

September 24, 2010

Assistant Professor Marc Bellemare calls the UN’s Millennium Development Goals for reducing poverty unrealistic. Focus on things proven to work, he says.

September 22, 2010

Associate Professor Anirudh Krishna discusses the causes and risks of living in American poverty.

August 17, 2010

Associate Professor David Schanzer points out how the furor over the proposed Islamic community center in lower Manhattan can hurt antiterrorism efforts.

August 7, 2010

Associate Professor Don Taylor has a proposal to create a guest worker program that could help with Social Security financing.

June 14, 2010

Assistant Professor of Public Policy Kristin A. Goss discusses some of the implications of the pending Supreme Court case on gun control.

June 13, 2010

Five myths about gun control, including the idea that more households with guns make the crime rate go down, are debunked by Sanford Professor Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig, professor at the University of Chicago.

May 23, 2010

David Schanzer proposes a change to interrogation practices to protect both civil liberties and the public.

March 25, 2010

Donald Taylor discusses the core issues needing to be addressed in the health care reform bill.

March 9, 2010

The administration needs to establish a clear policy on trials for terror-suspects.

March 8, 2010

Biologic medicines shouldn't have extended patents.

March 5, 2010

Recent proposed changes by the Wake County School Board don't consider the implications for poverty.

Poverty has been the elephant in the room during debates about Wake County's school assignment plan.

February 21, 2010

Donald Taylor discusses the core issues needing to be addressed in the health care reform bill.

February 4, 2010

The malignant effects of multimillion-dollar bonuses and a proposal for reining them in.

January 27, 2010

The biggest problem with not passing the Senate bill is that it is hard to see how the problems will be addressed later.

January 15, 2010

The health care reform can still be passed into law through a procedure that avoids the possibility of a filibuster.

January 12, 2010

Associate Professor of Public Policy David H. Schanzer discusses actions being taken in Muslim American communities to prevent radicalization among its members and how law officials should support those efforts.

January 1, 2010

Associate Professor of PPS David H. Schanzer cautions against investing too much in technology in response to the Christmas Day bomb attempt.

December 27, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

December 11, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

December 4, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

November 20, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

November 13, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

November 6, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

October 30, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

October 23, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

October 22, 2009

Z. Smith Reynolds Professor of Public Policy Charles Clotfelter discusses the role of college sports in American education

October 16, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

October 13, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. and Frank Hill, Chief of Staff to former North Carolina Congressman Alex McMillan and former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole.

October 10, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

October 7, 2009

Immigration has temporarily faded as a hot-button issue, for the moment overshadowed by health care reform (not to mention foreign affairs). Expect it to return to attention, however--not least because of the scale of our current immigrant population.

October 2, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

September 25, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

September 18, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

September 11, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

August 30, 2009

Professor Phil Cook and doctoral student Maeve Gearing write in a New York Times op-ed that ignition-interlock devices can reduce repeat drunk-driving offenses by 65 percent. If they were widely installed, the devices would save up to 750 lives a year, a recent National Highway Transportation Safety Administration report estimated.

August 21, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

August 14, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

August 7, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

July 31, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

July 24, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

July 17, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

July 10, 2009

Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr. comments on Health Care Reform: Latest in a Series

June 7, 2009

One of the basic laws of health insurance is that the healthy subsidize the sick, says Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor, Jr.

March 4, 2009

Professor of Public Policy and Political Science Bruce Jentleson examines prospects for improved U.S.-Syrian relations. Jentleson and colleagues from the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Stimson Center met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in January for substantive talks on shared interests in the Middle East.

March 2, 2009

Lessons of history show that the economic recovery needs the worker rights reforms in the proposed Employee Free Choice Act in order to succeed, say Professor of PPS and History Robert Korstad and doctoral candidate Max Krochmal.

February 18, 2009

I found Slumdog Millionaire, nominated for best picture, an uplifting film. It tells the story, sorely needed in these times of economic despair, of a young man making good despite incredible odds. If Jamal Malik can overcome such severe handicaps of birth and circumstance, the film says, then despair is unwarranted.

November 6, 2008

Commentary by David H. Schanzer, visiting associate professor of the practice of PPS, and director, Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security.

June 20, 2008

When the 75 million baby boomers begin retiring in 2011, the United States will begin facing en masse a problem that many individuals already struggle with every day: how to provide long-term care for aging relatives with Alzheimer's disease or other disabling conditions. Assistant Professor of PPS Donald H. Taylor Jr. suggests a proposal to address this need.

March 21, 2008

Gunther Peck, the Fred W. Shaffer Associate Professor of History and Public Policy, comments on the Clinton campaign’s deliberate use of the Southern strategy, pioneered by Republicans who exploited racial tensions to draw voters to their candidates.

January 23, 2008

Test-based accountability has not generated the significant gains in student achievement that proponents intended. Nor is the country on track to meet either the high proficiency standards required under the No Child Left Behind law or the equity goals suggested by its name. It's time for a new approach, writes Edgar T. Thompson Professor of PPS Helen F. Ladd in a commentary for Education Week. [article]

November 8, 2007

In his latest piece for, Sanford Institute Professor of Public Policy Bruce Jentleson points out the flaws in the United States’ outmoded, Ptolemaic view of itself in the global arena. [article]

April 18, 2007

Focusing on individual traits of school shooters such as Seung-Huimay Cho tells us nothing about how to construct policies to prevent such shootings from happening in the future.

November 15, 2006

The real tragedy of our policy is that if the U.S. president and the British prime minister had simply read the history of the British occupation of Iraq, they would have discovered most of the complexities with which we now struggle.

October 6, 2006

Whenever a school shooting occurs, as in the Pennsylvania Amish country this week, or in Colorado and Wisconsin last month, or in Vermont and North Carolina the month before, we understandably seek answers -- to the wrong question.

The press and the public focus on motive -- what would possess a milk truck driver or drifter or teenager to kill -- when we should be asking, "Where do dangerous individuals get their guns?"

June 30, 2006

About 100 years after Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller Sr., established foundations and other endowed institutions to be named for themselves, Warren Buffett, in a stroke that caught the attention of much of the world, announced he would give away $31 billion, over a period of years, to a foundation named not for himself but for two other major donors — Bill and Melinda Gates.

June 12, 2006

In the red-hot debate on immigration policy in the United States, some pundits point to the poor academic performance of Hispanic students as evidence that the melting pot isn’t working… But new research reveals that the school careers of Hispanic students tend to be marked by steady progress, not stagnation. [article]

May 22, 2006

Following Jane Addams’ lead, we must encourage immigrants to become responsible members of our political community. [article]

May 17, 2006

A myriad of post-Katrina investigations have found that the FEMA we have today is not the FEMA that was considered a model agency during much of the 1990s. [article]