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Policy Insights

Policy Insights answers important policy questions by pulling together relevant op-eds, books, podcasts, and videos from Hoover fellows. Readers are given a one stop shop that guides them through big issues and points them in the direction of more Hoover resources.

American politics feels more divided than ever. Are we at an unprecedented point in history? Are there lessons to be learned from prior periods in American politics?

Over the last decade, there have been countless reports warning about growing economic inequality in the United States. Incomes appear to have stagnated among the middle class while households in the top 1% are flourishing. Proposals to reduce inequality—from a 70 percent tax rate on top earners to a federal wealth tax—have garnered significant support. 

But a close study of inequality research tells a more complicated story.

Advocates of single-payer health care often underestimate the costly trade-offs that come from longer wait times, reduced access to drugs and procedures, and lower quality of care.

The federal government spends trillions of dollars each year on social safety net programs that take many different forms. Some provide cash assistance, and others provide health care, food, or housing. With so much money being spent on so many programs, it can be difficult to comprehend the extent of the US social safety net, its effectiveness, and its shortcomings. 

Public pension funds around the country have failed to set aside sufficient money to honor the pension promises they’ve made to workers in the public sector.

The federal government is borrowing at unprecedented rates. Spending regularly exceeds revenue, and this shortfall is predicted to grow dramatically in the near future. The result is a large and growing federal debt that threatens future Americans’ prosperity and security. What are the consequences of this higher federal debt and what can we do about it?

Although education policy has national implications on economic growth, innovation, poverty, and the labor force, responsibility ultimately rests at the state and local level. Improving education is genuinely in all of our interests. And that requires a public education sector designed intentionally to innovate and improve student outcomes.

Immigration is a contentious topic. Reforms should focus on adequately responding to work force demands, discouraging illegal immigration, and streamlining existing barriers to immigration.

After a generation of trade liberalizations, many Americans—on the left and the right—are having second thoughts.

Health insurance helps many Americans purchase health care. So why is it so expensive, and how can we make it more affordable?

Why did Congress pass the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, and why were they focused on reducing the corporate tax rate?

America’s economy may seem stable at first glance but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s doing well. While many believe that our economy is at its best under the circumstances, history shows a different picture.