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  • Special Report posted August 27, 2014 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Beating the Middle-Income Trap in Southeast Asia

    About the Author William T. Wilson, PhD, is a senior research fellow in the Asian Studies Center, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation. In the 14 years of the new millennium, Southeast Asia has had some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Indonesia’s economy has been cruising at…

  • Issue Brief posted August 26, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Obama’s Trip to Estonia: The Right Visit at the Right Time

    In advance of the NATO summit on September 4–5 in Wales, President Obama will visit Tallinn, Estonia, to meet with leaders from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. This visit is a welcome announcement. Up until the recent events in Ukraine, the importance of the Baltic region to NATO and the threat Russia posed to it was generally overlooked by the Obama Administration. The…

  • Backgrounder posted August 26, 2014 by James Sherk, Andrew Kloster Local Governments Can Increase Job Growth and Choices by Passing Right-to-Work Laws

    Union contracts often compel employees to pay union dues or lose their jobs. This forces workers to support the union financially even if the union contract has negative consequences for them or they oppose the union’s agenda. Twenty-four states have passed “right-to-work” (RTW) laws which prevent companies from firing workers who do not pay union dues. RTW laws expand…

  • Backgrounder posted August 25, 2014 by Mike Gonzalez America Is Ill-Served by Its Government-Funded Area Studies and Foreign Policy Programs

    Midway through President Barack Obama’s second term, the United States finds itself besieged by explosive foreign policy crises, one of which has reached its own border. Despite White House spokesman Josh Earnest’s claims that the Administration has “substantially improved the tranquility of the global community,”[1] chaos is erupting all over the world. Tens of…

  • Legal Memorandum posted August 21, 2014 by Stephen F Smith A Judicial Cure for the Disease of Overcriminalization

    A‌s issues of public policy go, few are as strange as overcriminal‌ization. Once largely the subject only of academic complaint, the problems associated with overcriminalization are now more widely understood. Major think tanks,[1] media outlets,[2] civil libertarian groups,[3] and legal professional associations[4] have shined a harsh light on the injustices that federal…

  • Issue Brief posted August 21, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis NATO Summit 2014: Time to Make Up for Lost Ground in the Arctic

    The 2014 NATO summit will be held in September 2014 in Wales. As NATO’s combat mission comes to an end and Russia’s behavior becomes more aggressive this will be an important summit to define the future mission of the alliance. One area that has been largely ignored by the alliance is the Arctic. The U.S. should use the next summit to get the Arctic firmly on NATO’s…

  • Issue Brief posted August 21, 2014 by Luke Coffey NATO Summit 2014: Stay Committed to Afghanistan

    The 2014 NATO summit will be held in September in Wales. It will be the last summit before NATO ends its combat operations in Afghanistan and begins its Resolute Support mission to train, advise, and assist the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). The two most important issues at the summit regarding Afghanistan will be the financial funding for and size of the ANSF…

  • Legal Memorandum posted August 21, 2014 by Paul Larkin Co-opting the Criminal Justice System to Prevent Competition or Serve Noncompetitive Interests

    Harmfulness of Agreements Between the Government and Private Parties to Prevent Competition by Fixing Prices or Output In a recent paper, Mario Loyola argues persuasively that for 80 years, Congress and the Executive have conspired with the sugar producer lobby to artificially reduce the quantity of sugar available in the market and to raise its price to consumers.[1]…

  • Backgrounder posted August 20, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The Fed’s Failure as a Lender of Last Resort: What to Do About It

    It is not obvious that the Fed should be involved in emergency lending, however, since expectations of such lending can increase the likelihood of crises. Arguments in favor of this role often misread history. Instead, history and experience suggest that the Fed’s balance sheet activities should be restricted to the conduct of monetary policy. —Renee Haltom, Research…

  • Issue Brief posted August 19, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis NATO Summit 2014: Time for the Alliance to Get Back to Basics

    The 2014 NATO summit will be held in September in Wales. The last time the United Kingdom hosted the NATO summit was in 1990, when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister, the Cold War was coming to a close, and the alliance was questioning its future role in the world. Today’s situation is not dissimilar. This will be the last summit before NATO ends its combat operations…

  • Backgrounder posted August 19, 2014 by Lindsey Burke Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act—Toward Policies that Increase Access and Lower Costs

    Congress will soon consider reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Among other issues, the HEA governs federal student aid including all federal student loans and grants. The Higher Education Act was first signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson as one of many programs comprising his Great Society initiative, and has been reauthorized nine times…

  • Issue Brief posted August 19, 2014 by Daren Bakst Reining in the EPA Through the Power of the Purse

    While significant criticism is rightfully directed to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on issues such as greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation, Congress itself is to blame for not reasserting its lawmaking power over an agency that is supposed to be implementing the will of Congress, not the will of the agency. Through the appropriations process, Congress can rein in…

  • Legal Memorandum posted August 18, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Obama Administration’s Attempt to Balkanize Hawaii

    In its latest attempt to violate the limits of its constitutional authority, the Obama Administration has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) —new regulations that will determine whether the Department of the Interior will “reestablish” a “government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community.”[1] The ANPR…

  • Issue Brief posted August 15, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. The Way Forward in Iraq

    The situation in Iraq remains grave. Spiraling violence, political instability, and a humanitarian crisis caused by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could impact U.S. vital interests. The Obama Administration has an obligation to take responsible action. Congress should insist the President take immediate, suitable, and appropriate measures to safeguard American…

  • Backgrounder posted August 14, 2014 by Derrick Morgan, David Inserra Administrative Amnesty: Unjust, Costly, and an Incentive for More Illegal Immigration

    President Barack Obama is considering using prosecutorial discretion to effectively legalize millions of illegal immigrants. Doing so would be unjust and costly and would encourage more illegal immigration.[1] Congress should discourage the Administration from considering this divisive and unproductive step, which would only make it more difficult to implement suitable,…