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.

Crime Is Down Because Punishment Is Up

The amount of serious crime has decreased in most towns and cities across the country. New York City, for example, had fewer than 1,000 murders in 1996, the lowest number in nearly 30 years. Overall c…

No Smoking Guns: Answering Objections to Right-to-Carry Laws

Since 1986 the number of states in which it is legal to carry concealed weapons has grown from nine to 31, representing 49 percent of the country's population. Should we feel safer?

The Economic Impact of Prison Labor

The unemployment rate stands at 4.9 percent, the lowest since the Vietnam war. Employers looking for workers are finding that the supply of labor, even unskilled labor, is tight. However, more than a…

Day Care: Children vs. Government

At a recent White House conference on child care, President Clinton called the day care market "dysfunctional." First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton complained of a "silent crisis" in child care. Both th…

Who's Afraid of Patient Choice?

Should patients, in consultation with their physicians, be allowed to make their own health care decisions? Or must bureaucrats protect patients from themselves and their doctors? These questions are…

Education Savings Accounts

The tax code has always allowed various deductions and credits for investment in physical capital. But there have been few incentives to make comparable investments in human capital - expanding the pr…

Best and Worst Ideas for Insuring Children

The budget agreement passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton includes a provision giving the states $24 billion over five years to extend health insurance to more low-income uninsured child…

Sick Argument: Global Warming and the Spread of Tropical Diseases

Over the past year the media have reported that one possible effect of global warming will be the expansion of tropical, communicable diseases borne by rodents or parasites into the United States. For…