Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Posts in category Public Policy

Patrick Dorismond: Remembering a Victim of the War on Dr...

Patrick Dorismond: Remembering a Victim of the War on Drugs

President Barack Obama has wielded his executive authority to reduce the amount of military equipment flowing to local cops. His action comes in response to demonstrations of force by policy during the civil disturbances in Ferguson and Baltimore. Congressmen on the right and left also have been up in arms about this matter, albeit for […]

Eli Lehrer, “Dead in the Water: The Federal Flood Insurance Fiasco,” the Weekly Standard, January 28, 2...

Eli Lehrer, “Dead in the Water: The Federal Flood Insurance Fiasco,” the Weekly Standard, January 28, 2013

Eli Lehrer has written an interesting article on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). As he frames it, this insurance program illustrative of the challenge of taking a clever policy idea and translating it into a successful program. Between idea and action are politics and administration, both of which are critical to the success of a […]

DC Fined Me for Having Two Stickers On My ...

DC Fined Me for Having Two Stickers On My Car

Earlier this year, the Washington Post reported that the District of Columbia government had reaped $92.6 million from issuing traffic tickets. This is a record amount, $12 million (13%) more than the previous year. According to the Metropolitan Police Department’s website, DC has over 120 traffic cameras.  Mayor Vincent Gray suggests that the way to […]

Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System (Basic Books, 20...

Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System (Basic Books, 2010)

This book arrived in spring 2010, and from the moment I saw it I knew I had to read and review it. A decade ago I was Diane’s research assistant and she served on my dissertation committee.  I learned much from her, and I long have admired her intellect and intensity, and that she made […]

First We Kill All the Policy Wo...

First We Kill All the Policy Wonks

The blog of the American Enterprise Institute carries my impishly titled, “First We Kill All the Policy Wonks” (January 21, 2011). The piece is a response to a smart post by Mike Konczal, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. Its subject?  Edward C. Banfield’s essay, Policy Science As Metaphysical Madness (1977). Obviously, I do not […]

Research Note: Isaiah Berlin and the Politics of Simple Soluti...

Research Note: Isaiah Berlin and the Politics of Simple Solutions

The more difficult times are, the more intense the demand for simple solutions. This seems to be the case for both individuals and groups, be they corporations, religions, or nations. The February 25, 2010 issue of the New York Review of Books carried some short essays on Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997).  Nicholas Kristof of the New […]

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