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Innovation

Stephen Goldsmith | 2013-06-03

To some extent, the regulatory rationality we addressed in the previous essay seems straightforward—better service and less fragmentation for applicants wandering their way through bureaucracies, more attention to trade offs, more emphasis on problem solving and less on procedural compliance. Here we turn to the future of reform and look at its key points: origination of the rule or requirement and the process of granting a license and enforcement.

Stephen Goldsmith | 2013-05-15

Each new exposé on bad behavior by some business produces a rash of new enforcement procedures against all, including those entities that operate with the highest standards. For every aspiring entrepreneur hoping to capture an opportunity in a regulated trade the enforcement procedures can translate into another obstacle. As time goes on new regulation often ceases to serve its original purpose and suffocates citizens and law-abiding businesses without producing the intended benefits.

Stephen Goldsmith | 2013-04-29

Dramatic improvements in service delivery within a bureaucratic monopoly simply will not occur without serious and intentional leadership. The leadership that produces more effective government combines a broad array of management tools with the political and communications skill of the elected leader. It requires both a motivating articulation of a goal and the deft use of symbolism.

Stephen Goldsmith | 2013-04-15

Regardless of tax and spending levels, government as currently organized is too cumbersome to be effective. And though it might sound like a bad joke, government could in fact be better, faster and cheaper. The assumptions of the last 100 years of progressive governance and the production model on which they are based no longer apply. Today’s technological advancements can power a digital government revolution and offer the opportunity for truly transformative changes.

Peter Wehner and Robert P. Beschel, Jr. | 2012-03-22

The issue of income inequality has never before been central to American politics. Though concern for the poor, disputes over welfare programs, and complaints about "the rich" have of course featured prominently in our public debates, Americans have generally avoided open class warfare, to the nation's great credit and benefit. But in the 2012 presidential election — one of the most consequential contests in decades — the divide between rich and poor in America promises to be a focal point.

Jason Delisle and Christopher Papagianis | 2012-03-12

The Republican presidential primary elections have sparked a show trial about whether a candidate’s experience as a private equity investor effectively disqualifies him to be the president of the United States. In this debate, private equity experience is linked to some of the industry’s failed investments, lay-offs at restructured companies, or lucrative distributions from successful investments. It is held up as an example of privilege, income inequality and evidence that private equity’s business model is anathema to the role or mission of the federal government. But there is at least one area where Washington is in desperate need of someone with private equity experience.

e21 Team | 2012-02-16

The failures of the Administration’s industrial policy in the energy sector have been recently documented. It’s not just an unlucky streak for the Department of Energy that Solyndra and other targets for subsidies have failed, but a fundamental problem of the government trying to do a better job than the market in directing investment flows.

Jason Delisle | 2011-10-07

Last month, the solar energy company Solyndra went bankrupt and defaulted on a $534 million federally-backed loan. Many were quick to label it a lesson in the inherent failings of government directed investment. The Obama Administration guaranteed Solyndra’s loan under an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program that expanded a prior initiative to subsidize clean energy. But critics of the Department of Energy program that backed the loan haven’t realized that the program is set to quietly impose billions of dollars of losses on taxpayers, all of which will be hidden from the federal budget thanks to a massive accounting gimmick.

e21 Staff Editorial | 2011-08-17

Over the weekend, Jackie Calmes penned an “economic memo” in the New York Times that was critical of conservatives’ opposition to tax increases. The piece relied on selective quotes from conservative economists, sell-side forecasters, and some academics to undermine the basic conservative approach to fiscal policy. The piece suffers from two main flaws: (1) it suggests a consensus where none exists on the potential benefits of near-term stimulus; and (2) it treats all forms of revenue increases the same, despite the dramatic differences in economic consequences and the potential revenue gains from the economic growth unleashed by broad-based tax reform.

Charles Blahous | 2011-07-12

Recent reports indicate that the budget/debt negotiations will not produce a “grand bargain.” At best they will produce a smaller set of targeted reforms slightly improving but not correcting the unsustainable trajectory of federal finances. But whether the budget discussions produce a big deal or a small one, however, both sides would do well to implement a more accurate measure of economy-wide inflation, namely the “chained” C-CPI-U.


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