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.

Crisis of the Uninsured: 2010 and Beyond

One of the primary goals of the federal health reform law — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) — is to ensure that all Americans have health insurance. In 2010, the number of…

Is Occupational Licensing Necessary?

Restrictions on who can and cannot practice a certain profession have increased significantly in recent years. Occupational licensing — the most onerous restriction — requires people to pass tests…

The EPA’s New Air Quality Regulations: All Pain, No Gain (Part Two)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to expand its reach, creating a host of new regulations at a high cost to the economy.  This is especially true of two new EPA initiatives:…

The EPA’s New Air Quality Regulations: All Pain, No Gain (Part One)

Over the past two years the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed or finalized a number of air quality regulations that could seriously retard the economic recovery. Economists esti…

Green Technology Mandates Are Bad for Consumers and the Environment

Recent government promotion of 'energy efficient' consumer products has increased sales of various household appliances, such as washing machines and toilets, and light bulbs. These products have been…

Distributed Solar Power

Producing electricity close to the point of use — called distributed generation -- eliminates the need for long-distance transmission lines. Solar photovoltaic technology ('solar') generates power…

The Return(s) to Gold

After Congress repealed the prohibition on owning gold in 1975, the market price shot up to $139 an ounce. Recent concern over the 2008 stock market crash, and doubts about the strength of the dollar…

A Brief History of the Gold Standard

Congress established a mint in 1792 and defined the dollar in terms of a specific weight in both gold and silver. This put the new republic on a bimetallic standard, common at the time. Initially, the…