PolicyEd 2019 Year in Review

Friday, December 20, 2019

PolicyEd has become a strategic mainstay for Hoover and a centerpiece of the institution’s bottom-up approach to engaging the broader public in policy discussions. We have assembled an impressive library of accessible video content to introduce Hoover policy ideas to younger people in particular. PolicyEd content includes short animations, video series, and several feature-length documentary films spanning a variety of topics, from economics, national security, and health care to the environment and civics. This year we released four new series and a total of 75 videos. Since launching in late 2016, PolicyEd videos have been watched nearly 95 million times.

Here are some of the highlights from 2019.

Featured Videos

Improving Educational Outcomes Through Innovation

While there are many reasons why public education performs poorly in the United States, the overriding cause is that it operates as a monopolistic system. Education is one area where improvement is genuinely in all of our interests. Public education can be improved through expanding the supply of schools, empowering parents, and diversifying within the existing monopoly.

For more in this series, visit www.policyed.org/perspectivesonpolicy

The Politics of Institutional Reform

In the normal politics of reform, bad institutions are protected by powerful vested interests, making them difficult or impossible to fix. In the New Orleans school system after Hurricane Katrina, however, we get the rare opportunity to observe what happens when that power—which was destroyed by the storm—is removed from the equation. The result was a revolution, suggesting that there is a vast revolutionary potential among everyday decision makers who want to fix their failing institutions—a potential that, during normal times, is stifled by power but only waiting to be liberated.

Do the Rich Get All the Gains?

Has economic progress in America been shared widely or captured by only the rich? The standard story of stagnating wages takes snapshots of one set of people in the past and compares them to an entirely different set of people in the present. But when you follow the same people over time, it becomes clear that the poor and the middle class are prospering, often gaining more than the richest Americans.

For more in this series, visit www.policyed.org/numbers-game

Condoleezza Rice on What Unifies Us As Americans

What unifies us as Americans is an aspirational narrative. It does not matter where you come from, only where you are going. The energy, youthfulness, and risk-taking of immigrants who come from all over the world is what has made America what it is today.

For more in this series, visit www.policyed.org/policy-briefs

Friedman Fundamentals: What Drives High Health Care Costs

The fundamental reason for high health care expenses is third-party payments. Most payments to physicians are made not by the patient but by a third-party — an insurance company or governmental body. By eliminating most third-party payments and restoring the role of insurance to protecting against major medical catastrophes, health care cost and spending can be reduced.

For more in this series, go to www.policyed.org/friedman-fundamentals

America Off Balance: One Nation Under Debt

America is off balance fiscally. The federal debt is an ever growing risk to our future. It will weaken our economy and threaten our safety and security. Unfortunately, politicians either avoid the issue or suggest reforms that sound good but can’t solve the problem. There is a way forward if we act soon. By reforming our nation’s entitlement programs and pursuing policies that promote economic growth, debt doesn’t have to be our destiny.

For more, visit www.americaoffbalance.org

Trade, Technology, and Jobs: How to Think About Free Trade

The consequences of free trade are very similar to the effects of a newly invented technology. In both cases goods and services become better and more affordable for everyone, new jobs are created, and some jobs are replaced. So, the next time someone proposes new trade barriers, imagine instead that they had proposed outlawing a new invention.

For more in this series, visit www.policyed.org/intellections

Policy Insights

Policy Insights answers important policy questions by compiling relevant op-eds, books, podcasts, and videos from Hoover fellows. Readers gain a one-stop shop that guides them through important issues and points them toward more Hoover resources.

Free Trade  |  Immigration Reform  |  Education  |  The Federal Debt  |  Public Pensions  |  Social Safety Nets  |  Single-Payer Health Care  |  Inequality  |  Political and Electoral Instability  |  Environmental Policy  |  Fixing the Way We Tax

For more in this series, visit https://www.policyed.org/policy-insights

Featured Series in 2019:

Perspectives on Policy

PolicyEd introduces the new educational video series Perspectives on Policy, which brings Hoover scholars' research and analysis to life in visually engaging narratives. Visual metaphors and 3D animation convey insights about public policy. This series enhances traditional academic lectures with modern motion graphics and story-telling.

Lessons from the Hoover Institution Policy Boot Camp

The Hoover Institution Summer Policy Boot Camp (HISPBC) is an intensive, one-week program exclusively available to college students, recent graduates, and young professionals on the economic, political, and social aspects of United States public policy. Now anyone can access this incredible educational material. This new series brings the lessons of the boot camp to you, providing instruction on public policy and thinking critically about public policy formulation and its results.

Policy Stories

The Policy Stories series features Hoover Institution scholars in 4-5 minute "mini-documentaries" discussing the real-life implications of public policy throughout the world. These segments offer insights into why these policies are relevant and important for today's public policy discussion.


Activate Your Thinking. The Intellections series brings you 60-90 second animations that engage your intellect and clarify public policy concepts. With topics ranging from health insurance and single-payer to national security threats and education reform, these bite size videos provide a quick peek into understanding the issues of today.

Policy Briefs

This series animates succinct policy explanations from various talks, podcasts, and presentations given by policy experts. These videos explain first principles and real world examples in a way that are easy to understand and share with your friends.

Numbers Game

Russ Roberts dives into the data to help users understand how statistics can be manipulated to suit any conclusion, and why you should be skeptical of the idea that everyday life isn’t improving. This animated series discusses the challenges of accurately measuring and understanding the economy and economic policy.

Blueprint for America

The American ability to inspire--which we call exceptionalism--is not automatic. It takes continued efforts to be realized in a changing world. In this series, George P. Shultz and other scholars at the Hoover Institution--professors, thinkers, and practitioners of global renown in their respective fields--offer a series of accessible policy ideas for civic, economic, and security architecture that would shore up the long-term foundations of American strengths.