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Posted 2008-11-01

U.S. Health Care Insurance and the Uninsured

by Ariel Weinberger

With continuing increases in both health care spending and the number of Americans who are uninsured, everyone seems to have an opinion on how to rein in costs and provide better coverage. This month's Newsletter offers an overview of why costs are so high and what can be done to improve the situation.
Posted 2008-10-01

China’s Uncommon Emergence: Still Under Way

by Aditya Gummadavelli

China has emerged as a global player both socially and economically. What's behind China's great strides in economic performance? This month's Newsletter details some of the reasons for China's growth.
Posted 2008-09-01

U.S. Farm Subsidies

by Kristie M. Engemann

Why should the average American care about the 2008 Farm Bill and farm subsidies? Farm subsidies can affect the price of food and can influence the amount of taxes we pay. This month's Liber8 newsletter explains why farm subsidies were originally used, spotlights the debate about their continued use, and points out some changes to the 2008 Farm Bill.
Posted 2008-08-01

School Vouchers: The Right Choice or Wrong Policy for Improving Our Schools?

by Michelle T. Armesto

August is back-to-school time, but for many families that means a return to poor-performing schools. The perennial question is how to improve performance. The use of school vouchers is one proposed but highly debated solution. This article examines the history of school vouchers and the major arguments for and against them.
Posted 2008-05-01

The Economic Cost of War

by Craig P. Aubuchon

It is difficult to measure the cost of the Iraq war and related expenses; it is at least as difficult to decide exactly what costs to measure. The May 2008 issue compares the two most widely cited estimates: one from the Congressional Budget Office and the other from researchers Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes. The newsletter also compares these estimates to U.S. GDP over the same time frame to get a better sense of the war's cost in relation to the entire U.S. economy.
Posted 2008-04-01

Ethanol: Is Corn the Golden Fuel?

by Joshua A. Byrge

With oil prices well over $100 per barrel, policymakers are considering everything from new fuel efficiency standards to biomass in an effort to reduce U.S. gasoline consumption. High oil prices, global warming, and the vitality of the American farm have introduced words such as "ethanol," "E85", and "flexible-fuel vehicle" to American households. However, the potential costs and benefits of ethanol production should be considered objectively.  This month's newsletter explores the costs and benefits of America's golden fuel—ethanol.
Posted 2008-03-01

Baby Boomer Retirement

by Christopher J. Martinek

Over the course of the next two decades, an average of 10,000 baby boomers per day will reach retirement age. Their retirement will cause a surge in federal spending. This month's Newsletter shows how the retirement of the baby boomers will affect government programs such as Social Security and Medicare and the federal budget.
Posted 2008-02-01

The Economic Impact of an Influenza Pandemic on the United States

by Lesli S. Ott

They have been known to be deadly, disorderly, and expensive. Influenza pandemics occur 3 to 4 times every century, and many health experts believe another U.S. pandemic is unavoidable. How would a modern-day influenza pandemic affect the U.S. economy? Predictions include $700 billion in economic losses and a 5.5 % drop in GDP the year a severe pandemic occurs.
Posted 2008-01-01

Big-Box Retail and Its Impact on Local Communities

by Lesli S. Ott

What is the local impact of big-box retail? Some states have begun to reconsider whether the benefits of such development are worth the costs to local communities.

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