The Policy Analysts Have Assumed the World…

(Image by NBC News)  by Kevin Seney Public policy analysis is a sort of Frankenstein’s monster of a field, cobbled together as it is from pieces of civics, law, and economics. The ideal analyst reads Foreign Policy in the morning, creates econometric models in the afternoon, and dispassionately holds forth on the pros and cons of changes to the earned income tax credit after dinner. … Continue reading The Policy Analysts Have Assumed the World…

The Other Side of Institutional Racism

(Image by SupportPDX) The term institutionalized racism is often used to explain the reasons behind poverty and crime among African-Americans across the country.  It is a pattern of social institutions, such as schools, banks, and courts that gives differential treatment to people based on race. It is a widely accepted as a lens with which to understand a lack of economic progress and high incarceration … Continue reading The Other Side of Institutional Racism

Pope Francis: Four Years On

(image by Eusebiu Balauca) With the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict XVI in 2013, scores of international observers remarked that the once venerable, geopolitically-prominent Roman Catholic Church had seen its heyday. Dwindling congregation numbers across Europe, the continued exclusion of women from all church affairs, and an infamous slew of sexual assault cases have beleaguered the esteemed institution in recent years and put its standing … Continue reading Pope Francis: Four Years On

Why Block Grants Fail America’s Neediest: Part II

(image by Daniel Mennerich)  This article is the second part of a two-part series: find the previous post here The reason for the lack of widespread adoption of “true” TANF related programs (those accounting for all four tenants of the original 1996 bill) is a lack of repercussions. If a state chooses not to put TANF dollars into cash assistance, they can use that money … Continue reading Why Block Grants Fail America’s Neediest: Part II

Why Block Grants Fail America’s Neediest: Part I

(image by Ervins Strauhmanis) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a block grant program provided to the states by the federal government. Over the past two decades, TANF has evolved to become a highly individualized program across states. With little federal oversight, aside from required targets, states have generally moved away from utilizing TANF funds for their original purpose. TANF has become a state … Continue reading Why Block Grants Fail America’s Neediest: Part I

Eviction: An Introduction

(Image by Mariano Mantel) It seems obvious that a place to sleep and put your stuff is fundamental to getting ahead. A place to shower and eat your meals. All the necessary vanities of professional life depend on some form of stable housing. The idyllic American childhood takes place in the suburban home. So, of course, we spend some time thinking about housing and housing … Continue reading Eviction: An Introduction

The Law & Probability: A Tricky Relationship (part 2)

Note: This is a continuation of a two-part series began yesterday. The first-part may be found here.  (Image by Clyde Robinson) DNA tests are regarded in the criminal justice system as the gold standard for forensic evidence. The same is true of the public as a whole—DNA evidence is heavily associated with groups like Project Innocence, and it’s seen as righting the wrongs of an … Continue reading The Law & Probability: A Tricky Relationship (part 2)