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Renewing America

Ideas and initiatives for rebuilding American economic strength.

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Showing posts for "Steven J. Markovich"

Policy Initiative Spotlight: Teddy’s Big Ditch Grows Deeper

by Steven J. Markovich
A cargo ship waits to pass through the Miraflores Locks in the Panama Canal (Alberto Lowe/Courtesy Reuters). A cargo ship waits to pass through the Miraflores Locks in the Panama Canal (Alberto Lowe/Courtesy Reuters).

This summer, a billion-dollar project will begin to raise the road deck of the Bayonne Bridge that links Staten Island to Jersey City, and provides access to Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel. The project is not being undertaken because of safety concerns about the current bridge, but rather to allow larger container ships to pass underneath it and reach the Port of New York and New Jersey. It’s just one of several port projects in anticipation of the widening of the Panama Canal. Read more »

Policy Initiative Spotlight: Social Programs Funded by Success

by Steven J. Markovich
A homeless man makes his way down the street before sunrise (Mike Blake/Courtesy Reuters). A homeless man makes his way down the street before sunrise (Mike Blake/Courtesy Reuters).

Last month Harvard’s Kennedy School and the Rockefeller Foundation announced a program to provide free technical assistance to four states and local governments pursuing social impact bonds (SIBs), one of the first efforts in the United States to scale up an innovative tool for increasing the quantity and effectiveness of social spending. In announcing the program, Jeffrey Liebman, who oversees the effort, said that “social impact bonds bring together the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in a program designed to boost social innovation and direct public dollars to programs that work.” Read more »

Policy Initiative Spotlight: Trying to Depolarize Congress

by Steven J. Markovich
Stickers stating "I Voted" in several languages are affixed to a ballot intake machine during the 2012 national election (Fred Prouser/Courtesy Reuters). Stickers stating "I Voted" in several languages are affixed to a ballot intake machine during the 2012 national election in Los Angeles (Fred Prouser/Courtesy Reuters).

Congressional polarization has steadily increased over the last twenty-five years, according to research by political scientists Howard Rosenthal and Keith Poole. Their analysis indicates that the U.S. House and Senate are more polarized today than at any other time since the end of Reconstruction. The 2012 election continued this trend. Read more »

Promoting Innovation Through R&D

by Steven J. Markovich
A scientist uses a microscope to check cultures for signs of the H1N1 swine flu virus and other respiratory diseases at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in Baltimore (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters). A scientist uses a microscope to check cultures for signs of the H1N1 swine flu virus and other respiratory diseases at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in Baltimore (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters).

Experts agree that research and development (R&D) is the backbone of a globally competitive, knowledge-driven economy. R&D investment helps develop new products and services that drive growth, create jobs, and improve national welfare. For decades the U.S. government and private sector have spent more than any other nation on R&D. But that advantage is eroding as other nations increase public and private R&D investments at a faster rate, causing the global U.S. share of this critical investment to decline. Read more »

Policy Initiative Spotlight: Building A New Manufacturing Base, Layer By Layer

by Steven J. Markovich
Three-dimensional printer "The Replicator" by MakerBot (MakerBot Industries LLC Handout/Courtesy Reuters). Three-dimensional printer "The Replicator" by MakerBot (MakerBot Industries LLC Handout/Courtesy Reuters).

In the beginning of the twentieth century, “manufacturing” brought to mind burly men shaping metal with forges or stamping presses; in the twenty-first century, that mental image may become workers typing at a computer terminal as a laser shapes a product tiny layer by tiny layer.  Additive manufacturing—also known as 3D printing—is expected to revolutionize production, and a new public-private partnership aims to accelerate change. Read more »

Policy Initiative Spotlight: Michigan’s Leg Up for Long-term Unemployed

by Steven J. Markovich
Job seekers line up to speak to prospective employers during a job fair in Detroit, Michigan (Rebecca Cook/Courtesy Reuters). Job seekers line up to speak to prospective employers during a job fair in Detroit, Michigan (Rebecca Cook/Courtesy Reuters).

One of the more serious and lasting consequences of the Great Recession and its aftermath has been the sharp rise in the number of long-term unemployed.  Nearly 45  percent of the unemployed –or more than five million people — have now been out of work for six months or more.  That is up from less than 20 percent in 2007. Persistent joblessness atrophies skills and discourages risk adverse employers who are unlikely to take a chance on someone out of work for so long.  Few federal programs provide help for the long-term unemployed, though the recent growth in social security disability insurance may be a response to persistent joblessness. Read more »

Morning Brief: U.S. Firms Move Offshore to Avoid Taxes

by Steven J. Markovich
The interior of the Eaton Center in Cleveland (Nara J/Flickr). The interior of the Eaton Center in Cleveland (Nara J/Flickr).

The opportunity to save on taxes continues to attract firms to re-incorporate overseas (WSJ). The IRS recently tightened rules regarding relocation, but an exception for mergers will allow Eaton, a Cleveland-based manufacturer, to move its legal home to a law office in Dublin to save $160 million annually. Eaton’s CEO has argued for corporate tax reform: “We have too high a domestic rate and we have a thoroughly uncompetitive international tax regime.  Let’s not wait for the next presidential election [to change the rules].” Read more »