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Analysis and Commentary

Who Could Be against "Adequate" School Funding?

by Eric Hanushekvia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, January 19, 2004

A massive amount of evidence indicates that spending on schools is not closely related to school quality or student learning.

LAND OF THE SETTING SUN? The Future of Japan

with Toshio Nishi, Steven Vogelvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

From the 1950s through the 1980s, Japan experienced dramatic economic growth as it transformed itself from a defeated militaristic empire into a democratic, high-technology powerhouse. The Japanese economy became so dynamic that, by the late 1980s, some American experts were arguing that Japan would overtake the United States as the world's dominant economic power. And then the Japanese economy collapsed. And for nearly fifteen years, the economic malaise has continued. Why? What does Japan need to do to snap out of its doldrums? And what are the risks and benefits to American interests of a reinvigorated Japan?

A CRASH COURSE IN DUBYANOMICS: President Bush's Economic Policy

with Robert J. Barro, Paul Krugmanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

The decades of the 1980s and 1990s seem to offer two different fiscal models for promoting economic growth. The 1980s under President Reagan suggest that cutting taxes is more important than balancing the budget. The 1990s under President Clinton suggest the importance of balancing the budget with moderate tax increases. Yet the results in each decade were similar: sustained economic growth. President George W. Bush has clearly been following the Reagan model in his first term: enacting large tax cuts even as the federal budget approaches record deficits. But has the Bush team taken the correct lessons from our recent economic past? Do the Bush policies promote long-term growth or jeopardize it?

HIGH WIRE ACT: Reforming the Electricity Industry

with Ralph Cavanagh, Vernon Smithvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, November 24, 2003

Building America's electricity system was one of the great achievements of the twentieth century, providing inexpensive energy to homes and businesses throughout the country. But in the twenty-first century, two crises occurred. In 2001, California experienced massive electricity shortages, leading to rolling blackouts and skyrocketing electrical bills. And in 2003, a blackout swept across eight states in the Midwest and Northeast, leaving tens of millions in the dark. Why did these problems arise now, after a century of progress? Were they the result of ill-advised attempts to deregulate the utility industry? Or is more deregulation actually the solution?

Analysis and Commentary

The Flat Tax Spreads to Slovakia

by Alvin Rabushkavia
Monday, November 3, 2003

On October 28, 2003, Slovakia's parliament enacted a 19% flat tax on both individual and corporate income to take effect on January 1, 2004.

Analysis and Commentary

Could a Degressive Tax Be Better Than a Flat Tax?

by Alvin Rabushkavia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, October 20, 2003

I have argued that disincentives to work, save, and invest should be removed via a flat tax. But why not go a step further and improve incentives across the board by creating a degressive tax? Such an experiment is about to take place in Switzerland.

Analysis and Commentary

The Case for a Dynamic Economy

by David R. Hendersonvia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, September 22, 2003

The history of economic growth is the history of people making more with less and shifting into new jobs that were unheard of in the previous generation.

Russia's Oil in America's Future: Policy, Pipelines, and Prospects

by William Ratliffvia Analysis
Monday, September 1, 2003

Presidents George Bush and Vladimir Putin will hold a summit at the end of September that will focus on economic and other ties between the United States and Russia. The two presidents have long recognized the central position of energy in our bilateral relations, and in that sphere, nothing is as critical as oil. Today Russia may again be the largest oil exporter in the world, but very little yet comes to the United States. Russia’s oil industry is dominated by rich and aggressive young private companies. Generally, they are eager to deal with foreigners, but despite significant state reforms they often are still inhibited by a dilapidated, state-controlled delivery system and a residue of traditional thinking and institutions. Many of Russia’s as-yet-unresolved post-Soviet prob-lems exploded in mid-2003 when the prosecutor general’s office attacked Yukos, the country’s most modernized, productive and pro-American private oil company. Thus even as Washington and American oil industry leaders actively sought alternatives to unstable sources in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, basic questions re-emerged in Russia about the privatizations of the 1990s, the security of private property, the mixing of law and politics, and the exercise of power in the Kremlin. Today Russians, with the support of American and European allies, must create conditions that will welcome the foreign funds, technology, and expertise needed to develop the critical oil industry but also to lay foundations of law and infrastructure that will help make Russia a stable member of the world community. Americans must decide how much involvement Russia can constructively absorb to promote not only short-term oil supplies but also long-term Russian development and broader U.S. foreign policy goals. Finally, the critical long-term lesson of 9/11 and other recent experiences for Americans is that even as we cultivate Russia as an ally and major source of oil, we must actively develop alternative sources of energy. In an unstable world, the United States must not forever be held hostage by other nations with their often very different cultures, institutions and interests.

Analysis and Commentary

The Flat Tax at Work in Russia: Year Three, January-June 2003

by Alvin Rabushkavia
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

The Ministry of Taxation of the Russian Federation has reported the taxes and fees collected for the period January-June 2003. The data show that the 13% flat tax on personal income continues to achieve very positive results.

A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM: Social Security Reform

with John F. Cogan, Alan Auerbachvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, June 23, 2003

In 2001 President Bush established a bipartisan commission to study and report recommendations for restoring fiscal soundness to the current Social Security program. All three of the commission's models for reforming the system included the creation of individually controlled retirement accounts—a process commonly referred to as "privatizing Social Security." Some critics of the proposals argue that Social Security is not in as much trouble as the president's commission would have us believe and that major reform is unnecessary. Other critics say that creating private accounts will compound Social Security's problems rather than solve them. Who's right, the president's commission or its critics?


Economic Policy Working Group

The Working Group on Economic Policy brings together experts on economic and financial policy to study key developments in the U.S. and global economies, examine their interactions, and develop specific policy proposals.

Milton and Rose Friedman: An Uncommon Couple