Brief Analyses

Restricted to two letter-size pages, a Brief Analysis summarizes some aspect or aspects of a public policy issue, presenting points for consideration in policy debates or responding to points that have been raised during these debates.

MyRA or the Highway?

The Obama administration directed the Treasury Department to establish a program of individual retirement savings accounts known as “MyRAs” beginning January 2015. MyRA accounts allow workers to save…

The Future of the American Coal Industry

Coal is abundant, reliable and affordable, and states that use it to generate at least half of their electricity pay up to 30 percent less for energy than states that depend on other energy sources.

Not All Income Tax-Free States Are Alike

All but seven states have a state income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. These states are typically thought of as having a tax advantage over states with…

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Opportunities for International Trade and Internal Growth

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) offers an opportunity for the United States to increase trade with 11 other countries. Completing the agreement will create the largest free trade area, in terms of…

A Hidden Cost of Common Core: Teacher Accountability

Bill Gates said that education reform is more difficult than eradicating polio, malaria or tuberculosis. He supports all of these causes, but the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative that he…

China’s “National Plan on New Urbanization”

Newly elected Prime Minister Li Keqiang has ordered implementation of the “National Plan on New Urbanization,” which aims to have over 60 percent of the entire population living in cities by 2020 and…

Calming Fears of Climate Change in South and Southeast Asia

Recent regional studies claim the Earth is beginning to feel the effects of climate change, especially South and Southeast Asia. Yet, thus far, climate change has had no discernible effect on these re…

Pacific Alliance Looks East

After several failed attempts at regional integration, the countries of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru formed the Pacific Alliance in 2011. The new coalition is focused on common economic objectives…