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.

Accountable Care Organizations: Panacea or Train Wreck?

One of the hottest new ideas in health care is the Accountable Care Organization (ACO).  Similar to health maintenance organizations (HMOs), ACOs are designed to bring hospitals, physicians and insure…

No Need to Get the Lead Out

In 1991 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service instituted a nationwide ban on the use of lead shot to hunt waterfowl due to studies that suggested ducks and geese often mistake the small pellets for fo…

Is U.S. Transportation Infrastructure Falling Down?

In August 2007, the Interstate-35W bridge across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis suddenly collapsed, killing 13 people. The event led many to decry the state of the nation’s infrastructure, and s…

The Disappearing Gender Wage Gap

A single, oft-cited statistic is that women make 79 cents for every dollar that men make doing the same work. However, that average number fails to account for factors aside from discrimination that c…

Social Security by Choice: The Experience of Three Texas Counties

Stock market volatility remains one of the primary objections to switching from the current pay-as-you-go method of funding Social Security benefits to a system of prefunded personal retirement acco…

It Is Time to Make the R and D Tax Credit Permanent

In December 2010, Congress extended the research and development tax credit through tax year 2011, but it has since lapsed and has not yet been renewed for 2012. The tax credit was first enacted in 19…

Private Policing Options for the Poor

Protection against criminality is a traditional function of government. Where government fails, however, people often turn to the private sector. That is why there are three times as many private se…

The Jitney Potential: Transportation for the Poor

Low-income families need transportation. They need to get to and from jobs, medical clinics and schools -- in addition to markets for other jobs and services. The automobile is the most convenient f…