Politics

Siting, Spillovers, and Segregation: A Re-examination of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program

Siting, Spillovers, and Segregation: A Re-examination of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program
In Edward Glaeser and John Quigley, Eds. Housinmg Markets and the Economy: Risk, Regulation, Policy; Essays in Honor of Karl Case. Cambridge, Mass: Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, pp. 233-267.

Ingrid Ellen, Katherine O'Regan, Ioan Voicu
01/01/2009

The timing of this volume could not be more opportune. It is based on a 2007 conference to honor the work of Karl "Chip" Case, who is renowned for his scientific contributions to the economics of housing and public policy. The chapters analyze risk in the housing market, the regulation of housing markets by government, and other issues in U.S. housing policy. Chapters investigate derivative markets; the role that home equity insurance can play in reducing risk; the role that the regulation of government-sponsored enterprises has played in extending credit to home purchasers in low-income neighborhoods; and the growth in the market for subprime mortgages. The impact of local zoning regulations on housing prices and new construction is also considered. This is a must read during a time of restructuring our nation’s system of housing finance.

The Stafford Act and Priorities for Reform

The Stafford Act and Priorities for Reform
Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Berkeley Electronic Press, Vol. 6, issue 1: Article 13 

Moss, M., Schellhamer, C. & David A Berman.
01/01/2009

During the past fifty years, federal disaster policy in the United States has been shaped by an ongoing conflict between proponents who favor federal intervention following a disaster and those who believe disaster response should be the responsibility of state and local governments and charity. This article explores the existing federal disaster policy landscape within the United States with a focus on the Stafford Act, the cultural and political forces that produced it, and how the current system is ill equipped to aid in the response and recovery from major catastrophes. The Stafford Act defines how federal disasters are declared, determines the types of assistance to be provided by the federal government, and establishes cost sharing arrangements among federal, state, and local governments. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) carries out the provisions of the Stafford Act and distributes much of the assistance provided by the Act. With the establishment of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the threat of domestic terrorism, and large-scale natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the limits of the Stafford Act and FEMA have been shown. We look at several areas where the shortcomings of the Stafford Act have emerged and propose directions for reform.

A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It

A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It
Harvard University Press,

Light, P.C.
05/01/2008

The federal government is having increasing difficulty faithfully executing the laws, which is what Alexander Hamilton called "the true test" of a good government. This book diagnoses the symptoms, explains their general causes, and proposes ways to improve the effectiveness of the federal government. Employing Hamilton's seven measures of an energetic federal service, Paul Light shows how the government is wanting in each measure.

After assessing the federal report card, Light offers a comprehensive agenda for reform, including new laws limiting the number of political appointees, reducing the layers of government management, reducing the size of government as its baby-boom employees retire, revitalizing the federal career, and reducing the heavy outsourcing of federal work. Although there are many ways to fix each of the seven problems with government, only a comprehensive agenda will bring the kind of reform needed to reverse the overall erosion of the capacity to faithfully execute all the laws.

 

Public Opinion toward Legislating for the Future: An Update

Public Opinion toward Legislating for the Future: An Update
Policy Report for New York University's Brademas Center for the Study of Congress,

Light, P.C.
04/01/2008

The past two years have been unsettled at best for Congress. Public approval toward Congress remains low, legislative debates have been contentious, polarization remains high, and Congress has a mixed record in dealing with major long-term issues such as Social Security and Medicare. The State Children's Health Insurance program has been delayed awaiting a compromise that might expand coverage, immigration reform has been waylaid by the intensity of opposition across the party lines, energy reform was diluted by ongoing disputes about how to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil, and the war in Iraq continues to dictate the pace of major legislative debates.

Anti-Fett Politik: Ubergevicht und staatliche Interventionspolitik in den USA

Anti-Fett Politik: Ubergevicht und staatliche Interventionspolitik in den USA
in H. Schmidt-Semisch & F. Schorb, eds., Kreuzzug gegen Fette [Political Crusade Against Fat]. Translated from original. Wiesbaden, Germany: VS Verlag / Springer Publishing

Kersh, R. & Monroe, J.
02/01/2008

Der Aufruf des Surgeon Generals 2 beginnt dramatisch: „Übergewicht und Adipositas haben epidemische Ausmaße erreicht...." (Satcher zit. nach Mokdad 2001). Wissenschaftler, Regierungssprecher, Medienexperten, Journalisten und Lobbygruppen stimmen zunehmend lauter in diesen alarmistischen Chor ein. Im Gegensatz aber zu vielen anderen Public-Health-Problemen ist Adipositas zu großen Teilen individuellen Verhaltensweisen wie Essen und Trinken geschuldet. In den Vereinigten Staaten mit ihrer starken Kultur des Individualismus wird Privates oft als Tabuzone für staatliche Interventionen betrachtet: „Die Regierung sollte sich aus den persönlichen Entscheidungen, die ich treffe, heraushalten", schreibt der Washingtoner Universitätsprofessor Robert Rüssel, „meine bzw. deine Essgewohnheiten rechtfertigen nicht, dass mir die Regierung in den Kochtopf guckt" (zit. nach St. Louis Dispatch: 21.03.2002).

Ex Mex: From Migrants to Immigrants

Ex Mex: From Migrants to Immigrants
The New Press

Castaneda, J.
01/01/2008

From the massive nationwide rally in support of immigrant rights in May 2006 to protests against the increasingly frequent immigration raids across the country, the public debate on immigration reform has largely centered on Mexican immigrants. Yet, in the United States, we rarely hear the Mexican perspective on the issue.

In “portraits that defy American stereotypes of who is a Mexican immigrant” (Booklist), former Mexican foreign minister and eminent scholar Jorge G. Castañeda describes just who makes up the newest generation of immigrants from Mexico, why they have chosen to live in the United States, where they work, and what they ultimately hope to achieve. Drawing on his wide-ranging experience, Casteñeda examines the century-long historical background behind the labor exchange between Mexico and the United States, while offering an insider’s account of the official conversations and secret negotiations between the two countries in recent years.

Both authoritative and timely, Ex Mex is essential reading for all who want to make sense of the complex issue of immigration.

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