You are on page 1of 78

LOOKING AHEAD

Thank You To Our Staff!!
Matthew Clauson, President ‘15 Janisa Mahaparn, Senior Policy Chairman ‘15 Jessica Forman, Communications Director ‘16 Natasha Herrick, Events Director ‘15

Executive Board

David Melly ‘15 Nicholas Raskin ‘16 Hilary Gelfond ‘16 John Lemp ‘15 Alexander Fields ‘16 Ariel Smilowitz ‘15

Directors

Front Cover: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b8/FDR_in_1933.jpg Inside Photo: www.nydailynews.com Back Cover: http://americanhistory.about.com/od/greatdepression/tp/new_deal_programs.htm Formatted and designed by Matthew S. Lynch, Matthew W. Clauson, and Janisa Mahaparn Copyright (C) 2014 by the Cornell Roosevelt Institute. All rights reserved. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors. They do not express the views or opinions of the Cornell Roosevelt Institute.

Table of Contents
About the Roosevelt Institute
Page 1

I. Center for Domestic Policy
Pages 2-15

II. Center for Education Policy
Pages 16-25

III. Center for Economic Policy
Pages 26-31

IV. Center for Healthcare Policy
Pages 32-43

V. Center for Energy and Environmental Policy
Pages 44-53

VI. Center for Foreign Policy
Pages 54-74

About the Cornell Roosevelt Institute
The Roosevelt Institute at Cornell University is a student-run policy institute that generates, advocates, and lobbies for progressive policy ideas and initiatives in local, university, state, and national government. Members write for our campus policy journals, complete advocacy and education projects in the local community, host research discussions with professors, write policy and political blogs, and organize campus political debates and policy seminars.
The Roosevelt Institute at Cornell University is divided into six policy centers: Center for Economic Policy and Development Center for Foreign Policy and International Studies Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Center for Education Policy and Development Center for Healthcare Policy Center for Domestic Policy
Interested in joining? Contact Us! Email: cornellrooseveltinstitute@gmail.com Website: cornellrooseveltinstitute.org

1

I. Center for Domestic Policy
“The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the goverment.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

David Melly ‘15 Lucas Berger ‘15 Alexander Chakrin ‘17 Natasha Herrick ‘15 Jonathan Levitan ‘17 Jared Siegel ‘17
Letter from the Policy Director 3 “Terms for Supreme Court Justices: Putting an End to Archaic Policy”
Lucas Berger ‘15 Amend the Constitution to include eighteen-year term limits for Supreme Court justices to increase the accountability of the judiciary.

Director

Analysts

4-5

“Stopping Recidivism Through the Employment Process”

Alexander Chakrin ‘17 Employees with criminal histories have limited opportunities to seek gainful employment. “Ban the box” laws give these individuals a second chance to escape the endless cycle of recidivism.

6-7

“The United States Government Should Mandate Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave”

Natasha Herrick ‘15 The United States should require employers to offer paid maternity and paternity leave, to create more equal opportunities for women and lower socioeconomic status parents in the workforce.

8-9

“Out of the Hole: Reducing Length of Solitary Confinement”

Jonathan Levitan ‘17 IThe United States should federally mandate that prisoners spend no more than three days in solitary confinement.

10-11

“Go Back to the Gridiron” 12-13

Jared Siegel ‘17 Expand exemptions in Section 2 (3) of the National Labor Relations Act to student-athletes. Pull federal grants from all universities that do not provide their student-athletes with long-term healthcare benefits.

“Gay Conversion Therapy: Wrong for our Children, Wrong for our Country”
David Melly ‘15 Place a federal ban on gay-to-straight ‘conversion’ therapy for all minors.

14-15

2

Letter from the Director
Dear Readers, Welcome to the sixth issue of Looking Ahead. Inside you will find policy proposals covering a wide range of topics, all of which are designed to improve the lives of citizens across the country in new and innovative ways. The Domestic Policy Center analysts have spent the semester researching and creating progressive policy ideas, and the final product is before you in the upcoming pages. Through their work, the ideas generated by our center will continue to grow and form in exciting ways to better connect the young people of today to the policy landscape of tomorrow. Sincerely, David Melly Government ‘15 Director, Center for Domestic Policy

3

Terms For Supreme Court Justices: Putting An End To Archaic Policy
Lucas Berger ‘15, Major: Policy Analysis and Management, Email: llb98@cornell.edu
Amend the Constitution to include eighteen-year term limits for Supreme Court justices to increase the accountability of the judiciary.

History:

When Constitution was written in 1787, the Supreme Court was put in place as the most powerful and important component of the country’s judiciary system. During his ruling on the case Marbury vs. Madison in 1803, Justice John Marshall established the idea of judicial review, giving the court the significant power to rule on whether or not laws are constitutional. What makes Key Facts: the judiciary unique among the three branches of the • Judges currently serve for an average of twenty-five years. federal government is that the justices who serve on • No other Western nations has life-time appointments for its highest courts.6 the court have no term limits and do not need to seek reelection. Though lifetime appointment is not explic- • A two-third majority in the House and Senate and threefourths of the states are needed to make a constitutional itly codified in the Constitution, the line, “the judges, amendment. both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior” in Article III1 has been interpreted to mean that judges are free to serve for as long as they wish given they do nothing illegal. At times there has been some contention over whether or not this is the best way for the court to operate, but for the most part there has been no serious attempt at change. It is time that real questions are asked about how long the most powerful judges in the country are allowed to serve.

Analysis:

Any changes that are made to the structure of the Supreme Court would most likely require an amendment to the Constitution. This would be a considerable undertaking (the last amendment passed was in 1992), but constitutional change is necessary when trying to make such a significant structural reform. Precedent does exist, however, in the 22nd Amendment, which set up the two-term limit for presidents. When seeking a solution to unbridled judicial power, the clearest and simplest answer is to simply set up a term limit for Supreme Court justices. A time that has been suggested by Northwestern laws Professors Steven Calabresi and James Lindgren is eighteen years2, with no option for reelection. Historically, the average term of a justice is 25 years3. Eighteen could be framed as a long enough time for justices to feel free of political pressures, but with a new member being introduced every other year, it could be ensured that new ideas were being brought into the fold. At the same time, shortening the amount of time spent on the Supreme Court will stop people from serving past their point of usefulness. Furthermore most justices are usually appointed in their 50’s4. This means many younger very qualified are often not given a chance because they would be in the court for too long. With a term limit we would not have to worry about a person serving on the court for more than thirty years. Finally the reason this reform is the best option is that it would eliminate the political jockeying currently associated with the retirement of justices. Under the current system, justices often wait to retire until someone of their own political persuasion is serving as president. With this new structure, justices would not be pressured to tailor the length of their tenure to a political agenda. One downside to this plan could be that the constant change in the court could disrupt their ability to be a cohesive unit, but the staggered terms would keep turnover from becoming counterproductive.

Next Steps:

As previously mentioned any changes made would have to be done through a constitutional amendment. There are a few ways this can come about but the most common is via a two thirds majority in both the House and Senate followed by the resolution being agreed on by three-fourths of the states in the union5. This is a fairly lengthy process, even relative to how long it takes to pass a normal bill, so it would take a while for any real

4

changes to become a reality. Before implementation a difficult decision of what to do with the judges currently serving would have to be made. The best option is probably to start with the longest serving judge and to slowly require each to step down every other year, so the system can be properly put into place. This is better then simply having any justice who has served more then eighteen years Talking Points: retire, for that would mean giving the president in charge at the • The Supreme Court concentrates a considerable amount of power in a few hands, holding the ability time the ability to stack the court heavily in his favor. In addition to decide what is and is not constitutional the two year rotation would not be put into place. Furthermore • The length of a justice’s terms means that the counthis plan requires some further thinking about some problems try may change dramatically over the course of his that could arise as it is put into place. One issue is what would or her period of service, New voices are needed as justices be permitted to do, in terms of the law, after their term is time goes on. over. As it currently stands, most justices now choose to retire at • An eighteen-year term would allow justices to act without fear of political retribution, as intended a point where they also wish to retire from public service. With in their original mandate, while still allowing for a term limit, however, younger people may be considered for the accountability and change. job, and they may want to work after serving. A ban from having them serve in lower courts may be a good idea. A pension, however, could be given for life as compensation, similar to that of former presidents.

End Notes:

1. Denniston, Levy. “Constitution Check: Should Supreme Court justices have limits on their time in office?.” Constitution Daily. http:// blog.constitutioncenter.org/2013/09/constitution-check-should-supreme-court-justices-have-limits-on-their-time-in-office/ (accessed April 29, 2014). 2. 29 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 769 (2005-2006) Term Limits for the Supreme Court: Life Tenure Reconsidered; Calabresi, Steven G.; Lindgren, James 3. Greene, Jamal . “Term Limits for Federal Judges.” http://www.nytimes.com/. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/07/08/ another-stab-at-the-us-constitution/revisiting-the-constitution-we-need-term-limits-for-federal-judges (accessed April 23, 2014). 4. Segall, Eric. “Supreme Court justices: The case for hanging it up.” Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/24/opinion/la-oe-segall-justices-supreme-court-tenure-20130224 (accessed April 29, 2014). 5. National Archives and Records Administration. “National Archives and Records Administration.” National Archives and Records Administration. http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution/ (accessed April 29, 2014). 6. Segall, Eric. “Supreme Court justices: The case for hanging it up.” Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/24/opinion/la-oe-segall-justices-supreme-court-tenure-20130224 (accessed April 29, 2014).

5

Stopping Recidivism Through the Employment Process
Alex Chakrin ‘15, Major: Industrial and Labor Relations, Email: awc83@cornell.edu
Employees with criminal histories have limited opportunities to seek gainful employment. “Ban the box” laws give these individuals a second chance to escape the endless cycle of recidivism.

History:

Many Americans do not have a perfect criminal record. In fact, according to the National Employment Law Project, “1 in 4 Americans do not have a clean record in that they have either an arrest or conviction on their record,” in most cases for nonviolent offenses.1 Key Facts: Although employers have every right to assess the • In 2006, a survey showed that 60 percent of employers would skills of the employees that they are planning to hire, not even consider people with criminal records9 there is a point where this becomes a burden on the • 67.8% of released prisoners were arrested for a new crime within 3 years, and three-quarters 76.6% were arrested within 5 lives of citizens. years10 Currently, employers are able to ask their applicants to check a box on an application form indicating the applicant has a criminal history, which directly impacts the person’s chances at employment. In 2010, the Society for Human Resource Management conducted a survey of its members in which “74 percent reported that a nonviolent felony conviction would be very influential in the employer’s decision not to hire.”2 Certain organizations have begun advocating for a solution to this problem on the principle that, once a person has served their time in jail, they should be able to fully readjust to society once they are set free. They believe that readjustment includes the full and fair availability of employment opportunities. Currently, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, New York, Wisconsin, and Kansas currently have laws on the books preventing both public and private employment discrimination based on past criminal records.3 Other states, such as New Mexico, Nebraska, California, and Maryland, have recently passed similar measures, but these only apply to the public sector. These “ban the box” laws have given individuals with criminal records a second chance to find gainful employment opportunities. The EEOC has published guidelines that state its recommendation that “employers not ask about convictions on job applications.”4 However, this interpretation has had no binding legal force other than encouraging legal action under the current civil rights laws.

Analysis:

Employers and employer groups are often opposed to these nondiscrimination laws in the belief that “these laws increase the security of the company’s assets and employees, reduce liability from inconsistent hiring or screening practices, and proactively reducing the risk of employee-related loss.”5 However, this notion simply perpetuates a vicious cycle of recidivism. Employers associate current applicants with their past criminal activity; they believe that applicants with criminal records are likely to commit crimes and create a risk to the companies assets and profit. As a result, employers decide not to hire applicants with criminal records. Unable to find employment opportunities, these applicants have little choice, but to go back to past ways. The system of employer background checks simply does not give employees a chance to prove the stereotypes wrong. The National Employment Law Project and the American Civil Liberties Union would be prominent allies in the movement to change the law and make “ban the box” the law of the land. Currently, these organizations are only arguing for state-level reform. However, rather than simply advocating for a continuation of state bans, “ban the box” reforms should be done at the federal level to give interstate businesses consistent labor and employment policies to follow. The NELP and ACLU would be essential allies in providing the infrastructure to run a nationwide push to ban the box on a federal level rather than simply a state-level campaign. The EEOC would be a helpful ally in gathering research and drawing public support, however, any non-legislative change to the law would have to go through the courts under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

6

Next Steps:

In Hawaii, the ban on initial inquiries about conviction records, adopted in 1998, also “forbids employers from considering convictions until after a conditional offer of employment.”6 After the final offer, employment could be rescinded if the criminal arrest had a “rational relationship with the job’s duties.”7 Thus, it would be rational to refuse to hire a police officer who was a former Talking Points: drug lynchpin or a teacher with a history of child sexual • Discriminating solely based on past criminal histories deprive applicants of the ability to prove themselves abuse. Similarly, in the private sector, it would be rational • Past criminal records effectively blacklist many employees to refuse to hire an investment banker with a history of from employment stock fraud. However, these limitations should not con• Through “ban the box” laws employees are given a second straint applicants across industries from finding employchance to find gainful employment ment. Implementation requires a bureaucracy to check and enforce the law as well as appropriate notification to small businesses, which may not have the human resources departments necessary to find out relevant information about the law. To effectively guarantee universal and equal practices, advocacy should move from the state to national level. Enforcement of the “ban the box” in certain states has been done through a system of fines on negligent employers by percentage rather than a flat dollar amount.8

Endnotes:

1. Rodriguez, Michelle, and Maurice Emsellem. “65 Million “Need Not Apply”. http://www.nelp.org/page/-/65_Million_Need_Not_Apply.pdf (accessed April 20, 2014). 2. Gauvey, Susan , and Tom Webb. “A New Look at Job Applicants with Criminal Records. “Society for Human Resource Management. http://www.shrm.org/legalissues/federalresources/pages/applicants-criminal-records.aspx (accessed April 21, 2014). 3. Legal Action Center. “Overview of State Laws that ban Discrimination By Employers .” http://www.lac.org/toolkits/standards/Fourteen_State_Laws.pdf (accessed April 19, 2014). 4. Asis International. “Employee Background Check Restrictions.” https://www.asisonline.org/Membership/Government-Affairs/Legislative-Center/Pages/Employee%20Background%20Check%20Restrictions.aspx (accessed April 19, 2014). 5. Spakovsky, Hans. “Striking a Blow for Common Sense on Criminal Background Checks.” . http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/09/striking-a-blow-for-common-sense-on-criminal-background-checks (accessed April 20, 2014). 6. Cooper, Kenneth. “States Easing Restrictions Against Ex-Convicts.” http://americaswire.org/drupal7/?q=content/states-easing-restrictions-against-ex-convicts (accessed April 20, 2014). 7. Rodriguez, Michelle . “Statewide Ban the Box Reducing Unfair Barriers to Employment of People With Criminal Records.” http:// www.nelp.org/page/-/SCLP/ModelStateHiringInitiatives.pdf?nocdn=1 (accessed April 20, 2014). 8. Minnesota Department of Human Rights. “Ban the Box: FAQ for Private Employers.” http://mn.gov/mdhr/employers/banbox_faq_ privemp.html (accessed April 20, 2014). 9. Gauvey, Susan , and Tom Webb. “A New Look at Job Applicants with Criminal Records. “Society for Human Resource Management. http://www.shrm.org/legalissues/federalresources/pages/applicants-criminal-records.aspx (accessed April 21, 2014). 10. Cooper, Alexia , Matthew Durose, and Howard Snyder. “Recidivism Of Prisoners Released In 30 States In 2005: Patterns From 2005 To 2010.” Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4986 (accessed April 23, 2014).

7

The United States Government Should Mandate Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave
Natasha Herrick ‘15, Major: Human Development, Email: ngh29@cornell.edu
The United States should require employers to offer paid maternity and paternity leave, to create more equal opportunities for women and lower socioeconomic status parents in the workforce.

History:

Until The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed in 1993, the United States was one of the few industrialized countries without maternity leave legislation.1 The FMLA is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.1 Out Key Facts: • Currently the U.S. offers 12 workweeks of unpaid leave, whereas of 21 high-income economies, the U.S. ranks 20th many other nations offer universal, paid leaves of 10 months or in number of leave weeks provided.2 Currently, the more. FMLA entitles eligible employees to 12 workweeks • Out of 21 high-income economies, the U.S. ranks 20th in the of unpaid leave within the first year after a family has number of leave weeks provided. a newborn and permits an employer to require the • When comparing nine European countries, parental leave of three months increases employment of women in the populaemployee to use accrued paid vacation leave, paid sick tion by about 3 to 4 percent. or family leave for some or all of the FMLA leave pe• When Quebec offered paid paternity leave, fathers increased 3 riod. In contrast, many other nations offer universal, use of leave benefits from 32% to 56%, while also reducing their paid leaves of 10 months or more.1 Less than one half benefit week usage from 13 to 7 weeks. of the nation’s private-sector workers are eligible for leave under the FMLA.1 While the establishment of the FMLA increased parental leave coverage and allowed for paternity leave, the law has only had a small impact on the mothers actual use of leave time and no noticeable effects on fathers.1 Currently, the system in the United States perpetuates gender inequality by placing the burden of maternity leave mainly on women without sufficient accommodation required of employers.1

Analysis:

Despite the fact that improved leave policies would create more gender equality by increasing the time fathers spend caring for children, as well as minimizing consequences of the time mothers spend on leave, the U.S. maintains one of the least supportive leave policies among other industrialized countries. A study examining parental leave time across nine European countries, found that guaranteed parental leave increases employment of women by about 3 to 4 percent, though extending periods past three months decreases hourly earnings by about 3 percent.4 Another study examined Quebec, which created a Parental Insurance Plan for the province separate from its federal government. The plan includes a five-week individual, non-transferable paternity leave paid at 70% of regular earnings. The result was that fathers who claimed benefits increased from 32% to 56%, compared to fathers outside of Quebec claiming 11%. In addition, the benefit weeks used by Quebecoise fathers decreased from 13 to 7 weeks, while fathers outside of Quebec increased their use from 11 to 17 weeks.5 A study comparing Sweden to Denmark found that fathers encouraged to take more parental leave would increase the labor supply of women.6 Furthermore, parental leave demonstrates positive family outcomes because mothers who return back to work after longer periods of time experience fewer depressive symptoms and fathers are later more involved in child rearing.7 Also, research suggests that job-protected and paid parental leave between 6 to 12 months is a cost-effective method of improving children’s health.8 Groups such as Moms Rising support paid leave because they claim having a baby is the leading cause of poverty spells for those whose income is below basic living expenses and over half of mothers lack paid leave.9 On the other hand, employers are concerned about the burdens parental leave would put on their business.10

8

Next Steps:

Congress should modify the Family and Medical Leave Act to offer both maternity and paternity leave, increasing the time frame from one to three months, with a portion of the time being paid. Evidence suggests these changes would result in higher rates of employment for Talking Points: women of child-bearing age and improved health out• The U.S. offers much weaker standards for parental leave comes for women and children,1 as well as fathers bethan developed countries. Gender parity and improved ing more likely to take leave.8 After such legislation is health outcomes should be social priorities of a first-world nation. passed, it should be the responsibility of the Wage and • The proportion of mothers and fathers who take parental Hour Division in the U.S. Department of Labor to make leave in the U.S. should be more evenly distributed to ensure that people who are eligible for paid leave are made sure better employment and health outcomes for women. aware of their eligibility. Results of a California case study • The U.S. must overcome the assumption that employers showed that when people did not use paid leave it was play little to no role in supporting their employees through paid leave, when hard-working employees deserve an mainly because they were not aware they could do so.10 To equal opportunity to maintain their employment. increase awareness the U.S. Department of Labor should modify their Employee Guide to the FMLA to explain the new provisions, as well as requiring that employers present a copy of this guide to employees who request to take leave for any number of weeks.3

Endnotes:

1. Jane Waldfogel. “International Policies toward Parental Leave and Child Care.” Accessed April 24, 2014. doi: 2307/1602812 http:// www.jstor.org/stable/1602812 2. Rebecca Ya, Janet C. Gornick, and John Schmitt. “Parental Leave Policies in 21 Countries: Assessing Generosity and Gender Equality.” Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.cite.gov.pt/asstscite/images/grafs11/Parent_Leave_Policies_21.pdf 3. Department of labor. “Wage Hour and Division.” Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/ 4. Christopher J. Ruhm. “The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons From Europe.” Accessed April 24, 2014. http://qje.oxfordjournals.org/content/113/1/285.full.pdf 5. Katherine Marshall. “Fathers’ use of paid parental leave.” Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-001-x/2008106/ pdf/10639-eng.pdf 6. Elina Pylkkanen and Nina Smith. “Career Interruptions due to Parental Leave – A comparative Study of Denmark and Sweden.” Accessed April 24, 2014. https://gupea.ub.gu.se/bitstream/2077/2933/1/gupea_2077_2933_1.pdf#page=124 7. Sarah Fass. “Paid Leave in the States: A Critical Support for Low-wage Workers and Their Families.” Accessed April 24, 2014. http:// www.nccp.org/publications/pub_864.html 8. “International Review of Leave Policies and Related Research 2006.” Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file31948. pdf 9. Mom’s Rising. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.momsrising.org/page/moms/maternity 10. Eileen Appelbaum and Ruth Milkman. “Paid Family Leave in California: New Research Findings.” Accessed April 24, 2014. http:// www.familyleave.ucla.edu/briefingpapers/papers/newresearch.pdf

9

Out of the Hole: Reducing Length of Solitary Confinement
Jonathan Levitan ‘17, Major: Industrial and Labor Relations, Email: jdl268@cornell.edu
The United States should federally mandate that prisoners spend no more than three days in solitary confinement.

History:

The United States prison system is bloated and broken. As it stands, there are 2.24 million people under federal supervision in the United States, by far the most in the world.1 The recidivism rate is also extremely high: roughly two thirds of former inmates return within three years and roughly three-quarters within five.2 Clearly, Key Facts: the correctional system is failing to adequately rehaas 80,000 prisoners are held in solitary confinement at bilitate our prisoners to prepare for a return to society, • As many10 any time and the American taxpayer bears the cost: prisons cost • Half of California’s prisoner suicides were from solitary con3 taxpayers $63.4 billion each year. finement11 There are many reasons the correctional sys- • “Violence is the worst it has been in years” at Rikers Island12 tem is broken, but one key issue is the excessive and lengthy use of solitary confinement. While there has been no movement to regulate this on a national level, Joseph Ponte, the corrections commissioner of New York City, has come to prominence as a voice for reform. As former Corrections Commissioner of Maine, he greatly reduced both the number of inmates and average time spent in solitary confinement, which resulted in less self-mutilation by prisoners and fewer violent conflicts with guards.4 He brings this reformist mindset to Rikers Island, the country’s second largest prison. Opposing him is Norman Seabrook, the powerful President of the correctional officers’ union in New York, who “wants more punitive segregation of inmates, not less.”5 Ponte is sure to encounter resistance from the union if he intends to seriously reform Rikers Island.

Analysis:

Solitary confinement is an incredibly damaging and dangerous practice, and prisoners, guards, and the general public alike can benefit from a serious decline its use. There are two types of solitary confinement used today: “disciplinary segregation” and “administrative segregation.” The former is tied to a specific offense committed by the prisoner and results in a few days spent in confinement, and the latter is an arbitrary decision made by administrators that can last months and even years.6 Proposed here is the effective elimination of “administrative segregation” and a reduction of the time spent in solitary confinement to a maximum of three days. Prisoners subject to inhumane treatment in solitary confinement are set to gain the most if the practice is eliminated. The filthy, completely isolated conditions they find themselves in “precipitates a descent into madness.”7 The prison system already has a serious problem with mental health treatment, and placing prisoners in solitary confinement only exacerbates the issue. Guards too can gain from the reduction of prisoners in isolation, as Ponte’s policies and their positive effects in Maine displayed. Finally, if solitary confinement were reduced, recidivism would fall, saving taxpayers money. Prisoners released directly from solitary confinement, as 2,000 are in New York each year, are far less prepared to return to society.8

10

Next Steps:

Talking Points: Commissioner Ponte has faced pressure and hatred • Solitary confinement has never been proven to be an not only from Seabrook, but also from Maine’s union boss, effective penal control technique13 Jim Mackie, despite his policies’ demonstrative positive • Solitary confinement is extremely dangerous to prisoneffects on the prison population.9 Because opposition is so ers’ mental health widespread, effective, timely reform on a national level is • A federal mandate of some kind can bypass reform stagnation caused by unions and other interest groups unlikely to be organic, even with the efforts of reformers like Ponte. That leaves federal legislation as the only option for standardized, nationwide reform. The issue with Congress passing a law that limited solitary confinement would be the lack of control of Congress has over individual states’ correctional programs. A law passed that applied to federal prisons, although worthwhile, would not address the macro-level problems this country’s prisons deal with. This leaves two means of achieving effective, total reform: a Supreme Court decision defining extended solitary confinement as “cruel and unusual” punishment or an unprecedented amendment to the Constitution doing the same. Obviously, the latter option would be extremely unlikely. A Supreme Court decision, however, would have a higher chance of occurring, especially given the increase in discourse that has happened over the last few years. End Notes:
1. Walmsley, Roy. “World Prison Population List (tenth edition)” International Center for Prison Studies 11 November 2013. http:// www.prisonstudies.org/sites/prisonstudies.org/files/resources/downloads/wppl_10.pdf 2. Cooper, Alexia & Matthew Duruse, Howard Snyder. “Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010” Bureau of Justice Statistics. 22 April 2014. http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4986 3. “The Costs of a Nation of Incarceration” CBS News. 23 April 2012. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-cost-of-a-nation-of-incarceration/ 4. Tapley, Lance. “Prison Reforms Under Maine’s New DOC Commissioner” The Portland Phoenix. 6 February 2013. http://portland. thephoenix.com/news/151375-pontes-prison-reforms-ramp-up/ 5. Winerep, Michael. “De Blasio Setting Up a Test: Prison Reformer vs. Rikers Island” The New York Times. 4 April 2014. http://www. nytimes.com/2014/04/05/nyregion/joseph-ponte-new-yorks-new-corrections-commissioner-faces-challenge-at-rikers.html?_r=0 6. Weir, Kiersten. “Alone: in the ‘Hole’”. Monitor on Psychology v43 n5, May 2012. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/05/solitary.aspx 7. Dingfelder, Sadie. “Psychologist testifies on the risks of solitary confinement”. Monitor on Psychology v43 n9, October 2012. http:// www.apa.org/monitor/2012/10/solitary.aspx 8. “Report: Boxed In: The True Cost of Extreme Isolation in New York’s Prisons” New York Civil Liberties Union. 2012. http://www. nyclu.org/publications/report-boxed-true-cost-of-extreme-isolation-new-yorks-prisons-2012 9. Winerep, Michael. “De Blasio Setting Up a Test: Prison Reformer vs. Rikers Island” The New York Times. 4 April 2014. http://www. nytimes.com/2014/04/05/nyregion/joseph-ponte-new-yorks-new-corrections-commissioner-faces-challenge-at-rikers.html?_r=0 10. Dingfelder, Sadie. “Psychologist testifies on the risks of solitary confinement”. Monitor on Psychology v43 n9, October 2012. http:// www.apa.org/monitor/2012/10/solitary.aspx 11. Johnson, Kevin. “Inmate Suicides Linked to Solitary” USA Today. 27 December 2006. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-12-27-inmate-suicides_x.htm 12. Winerep, Michael. “De Blasio Setting Up a Test: Prison Reformer vs. Rikers Island” The New York Times. 4 April 2014. http://www. nytimes.com/2014/04/05/nyregion/joseph-ponte-new-yorks-new-corrections-commissioner-faces-challenge-at-rikers.html?_r=0 13. Weir, Kiersten. “Alone: in the ‘Hole’”. Monitor on Psychology v43 n5, May 2012. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/05/solitary.aspx

11

Go Back to the Gridiron
Jared Siegel ‘17, Major: Undecided, Email: js2638@cornell.edu
Expand exemptions in Section 2 (3) of the National Labor Relations Act to student-athletes. Pull federal grants from all universities that do not provide their student-athletes with long-term healthcare benefits.

History:

Over the past decade, the debate over whether student-athletes deserve compensation has intensified. As universities rake in millions from ticket and media buyouts, the student-athletes drawing the enormous crowds and generating profits earn nothing. The debate Key Facts: culminated last month in a regional National Labor • There are more than 170,000 Division I student-athletes Relations Board ruling permitting the Northwestern • Less than 13,500 of those are eligible to unionize5 • With federally mandated university funded health insurance, all football team to unionize. The decision, which con170,00 of those student-athletes could be covered cluded that student-athletes are employees as defined by Section 2 (3) of the National Labor Relations Act, applied only to student-athletes at private universities receiving full scholarships in profit-generating sports (Men’s Football and Basketball).1 The ruling, which is currently under review by the national headquarters of the NLRB in Washington, challenges the current role of the traditional student-athlete and the landscape of college sports. Student-athletes receive free tuition and room and board at some of the world’s most prestigious colleges. Nonprofit universities are created with the intention to educate and develop young people; transforming the athletic programs into a paid minor-league halfway house to professional sports compromises this ideal. The revenue generated is funneled back into the universities to fund the academic and athletic programs, not going into the pockets of a few individual administrators.

Analysis:

The ruling, not only threatens to divide teams into the ‘employees’ on scholarship and those who are paying to play, but also athletic departments into paid and unpaid sports. A student on the women’s basketball team puts in the same number of hours and subjects herself to the same physical risks as a student on the men’s team. The ruling opens the door to a potential flood of civil rights and Title IX lawsuits. The predominant issue should not be compensation; it should be health care. Student-athletes subject themselves to long-term health risks that universities do not cover after graduation. Unionization would only allow those few scholarship football and basketball players to collectively bargain for better health packages, leaving the vast majority of NCAA unprotected. Unionization is a half-measure to problem that needs a much broader solution. This problem requires a two-step solution. First, Congress needs to expand the exemptions to the definition of employee as outlined in Section 2(3) of the NLRA to include student-athletes.2 According to the ruling, Northwestern’s “football players who receive grant-in-aid scholarships are found to be ‘employees’ within the meaning of the Act.”3 Without expanding these exemptions, college football players around the nation could start unionizing until the NCAA turns into a professional sports entity. Second, Congress needs to pass an act cutting all federal funding to universities that do not offer all student-athletes with health benefits covering injuries suffered during practice or games that could require longterm medical care to better protect the entirety of the student-athlete population. Requiring colleges to provide appropriate medical coverage for their student athletes could garner tremendous support. While unionizing would only gain the support of football and basketball scholarship players at private universities, a sweeping legislative change to the medical insurance structure of college athletics could mobilize student-athletes of every sport, at every school, across the nation, as well as their families and supporters. As this policy will affect all student-athletes, student-athletes and their families can lobby for this change.

12

Next Steps:

Step one of this proposal will not be difficult to implement. A poll conducted by HBO Real Sports and The Marist College Center for Sports Communication found that 75% of Americans oppose college-athlete unionization.4 Policymakers will have great incenTalking Points: tive to support an amendment exempting college • College athletes do not receive university-funded health insurance post-graduation for injuries suffered while playing for the team. athletes from the definition of “employee” and • Unionization is the wrong solution as only scholarship athletes on preventing them from forming unions. profit generating sports at private universities can unionize. Step two will be more difficult to imple- • In order to make universities insure student-athletes, Congress ment. Especially with President Obama still in should pass legislation revoking federal funding for universities who do not appropriately insure their student-athletes. office, Republicans might oppose the bill were it framed as an extension of the overreach of Obamacare. However, the policy requires no federal funding or tax hikes, and if anything, could reduce federal spending by stripping funding from those schools that do not comply with the policy. Overwhelming public support by student-athletes and their families could generate a strong incentive for bipartisan cooperation on this reform. Coupled together, those two facts might force the Republican House to vote in favor of the bill.

End Notes:

1. NLRB Director for Region 13 issues Decision in Northwestern University Athletes Case, last modified march 26, 2014http://www. nlrb.gov/news-outreach/news-story/nlrb-director-region-13-issues-decision-northwestern-university-athletes 2. National Labor Relations Act, May 1935http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/content/nlra-act.html 3. NLRB Director for Region 13 issues Decision in Northwestern University Athletes Casehttp://www.nlrb.gov/news-outreach/ news-story/nlrb-director-region-13-issues-decision-northwestern-university-athletes 4. Fornelli, Tom, “75 percent of Americans against college players unionizing”; CBS Sports, last updated March 27, 2014 http://www. cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/24502907/75-percent-of-americans-against-college-players-unionizing 5. “NCAA Division I, http://www.ncaa.org/about?division=d1

13

Gay Conversion Therapy: Wrong for our Children, Wrong for our Country
David Melly ‘15, Major: Government, Email: djm454@cornell.edu
Place a federal ban on gay-to-straight ‘conversion’ therapy for all minors.

History:

One of the pressing issues concerning LGBTQ • The American Psychological Association, along with other social work and counseling organizations “opposes youth today is the growing prominence of “gay conversion portrayals of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and adults as therapy” in the United States. This “therapy” consists of mentally ill due to their sexual orientation.”10 practitioners making efforts to convince individuals who • Seven states already have proposed legislation banning gay identify as gay to instead identify as straight, under the asconversion therapy for minors; two have passed such laws. sumption by those who support the practice that they are, • Bans on gay conversion therapy have already been upheld as constitutional in federal appeals courts. in fact, “converting” the person seeking treatment back to heterosexuality. Currently, over seventy practices in twenty states advertise this type of treatment,1 and parents are able to compel their minor children to receive such treatment. The American Psychological Association has found that “‘efforts to change sexual orientation can pose critical health risks,’”2 and the former head of the notable organization Exodus International, a gay conversion group that recently shut down, issued a public apology for the “trauma” he caused during his tenure.3 Bills banning gay conversion therapy for minors have passed in California and New Jersey, and lawmakers in five other states and the District of Columbia have proposed similar legislation.4 5 In 2013, an appellate court upheld the California law, which was challenged on grounds that it violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments, saying that the regulation of conduct did not infringe upon freedom of speech or equal protection.6

Key Facts:

Analysis:

The recent ruling by the federal appeals court about the constitutionality of banning gay conversion therapy for minors is encouraging for future legislation on the practice, and it should be taken as a sign that action on the issue should increase in scale. Although many LGBTQ organizations focus on marriage equality as a primary item on their legislative agendas, a federal ban on this practice would have much more significant effects on protecting an already-vulnerable population from real psychological and physical harm. State-by-state bans can only do so much to contain the damage of this practice, and with so few states legislating on the issue, the reality remains that parents can take their children across state lines and still access this type of therapy. The exceptions to the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment are specifically designed to allow for this type of proactive regulation. Preventing child abuse of American LGBTQ youth certainly constitutes a “compelling state interest,”7 and applying the law specifically to minors and to conversion-oriented conduct “narrowly tailors”7 the state’s solution to the problem. Issues pertaining to interstate commerce and public health are exactly how the federal government should apply administrative law, and banning gay conversion therapy only for minors provides immense public benefit while minimizing any constraint of freedoms.

Next Steps:

A nationwide campaign by some of the nation’s prominent LGBTQ advocacy organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign and the Family Equality Council, would be effective at bringing the issue to national prominence. Lawmakers in Maryland, as well as other states, have already paired with advocacy groups8 to raise awareness on the state level about the issue, but the national scope that most organizations makes them well-suited to bring about change at the federal level. With the number of LGBTQ

• • • •

Forcing gay conversion therapy on minors is an abusive and psychologically damning practice, with no positive effects. Governmental regulation is an effective tool for combatting market failure; the protection of health and wellness is an important application of that tool. Among contemporary LGBTQ issues, this is among the most directly problematic and easily solved with swift and simple legislative action.

Talking Points:

14

members of Congress at an all-time high,9 there would be no shortage of concerned lawmakers who could make a gay conversion ban bill a legislative priority. Since the ban would largely be geared toward therapists and psychologists and the standards of practice they adhere to, the regulation required would likely fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and Human Services. The structure of existing state bills usually levies heavy fines or revokes licenses for those who violate the law, and a federal statute would likely impose similar penalties, with the provision for criminal prosecution of repeat offenders. Its successful passage would be a major step toward creating a safe atmosphere for some of the most high-risk portions of the country’s youth population.

End Notes:

1. “Conversion Therapy.” SPLcenter.org. Southern Poverty Law Center. 2. Livio, Susan K. “Gay Rights Advocates Hopeful after Christie Signs Bill Banning Conversion Therapy.” NJ.com. The Star-Ledger, 19 Aug. 2013. 3. Stern, Mark. “”Ex-Gay” Ministry Apologizes for Homophobia, Shuts Down.” Slate Magazine. The Slate Group, 20 June 2013. 4. Victor, Jacob M. “Ending ‘Gay Conversion’ for Good.” NYTimes.com. The New York Times, 12 Feb. 2014. 5. Erbentraut, Joseph. “Gay Conversion Therapy Ban Advances In Illinois.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 26 Mar. 2014. 6. Richinick, Michele. “Gay-conversion Therapy Ruled Illegal in California.” Msnbc.com. NBC News Digital, 25 Sept. 2013. 7. “Levels of Scrutiny Under the Equal Protection Clause.” Exploring Constitutional Conflicts. UMKC.edu. 8. Ashtari, Shadee. “Maryland Lawmaker Accuses Gay Conversion Group Of Profiting Off Ignorance, Traumatizing Teens.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 27 Mar. 2014. 9. Garcia, Michelle. “Meet the Class of 2013.” Advocate.com. The Advocate, 3 Jan. 2013. 10. “Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel.” APA.org. American Psychological Association.

15

II. Center for Education Policy
“The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

Nicholas Raskin ‘16 Cayley Heller ‘14 Jeffrey Forman ‘15 Max Brashear ‘16 Gideon Teitel ‘17

Director

Analysts

Letter from the Policy Director 17 “Why Prisons Should Offer College Degrees” 18-19 Gideon Teitel ‘17 Extending and expanding prison college degree programs would drastically lower recidivism rates and pay for itself socially and economically in the long run. “Online Language Pen-Pals: Changing the Dimensions of Foreign Language Learning” 20-21 Cayley Heller ‘14 With a foreign language deficit among American students in an increasingly globalized society, action must be taken to make foreign-language learning more accessible and effective. “Increase Teachers’ Pay” 22-23 Max Brashear ‘16 For many reasons, the United States must reconsider the way in which its budget is divvyed up. One outcome of this must be increased salaries and benefits for teachers. “Improving The National School Lunch Program” 24-25 Jeffrey Forman ‘15 The US needs to enact a sustainable and healthy school lunch program in an effort to give students of all socioeconomic backgrounds a chance to succeed in today’s education system.

16

Dear Readers,

Letter from the Director

I am excited to present to you the sixth issue of Looking Ahead: The Cornell Roosevelt Institute Policy Journal by the Center for Education Policy and Development. This journal contains the work of four analysts; each of whom offers unique backgrounds and opinions on issues within education policy that must be addressed. With the advent of the Common Core curriculum, a lot of recent debate has been centered around the standards to which we should hold educators. It’s clear that no one policy can fix all of the problems that affect the way we educate students. However, fixing these problems requires the discussion of ideas and considering approaches that have never been used before. As students at Cornell University, we have seen some of the best that our education system can offer. We have the ability to generate new ideas on education, and we have the dedication to debate the benefits and costs of each possible solution. This journal is meant to to just that. Each analyst has proposed a way to improve a system that has failed too many people. With this, our goal is to foster discussion and allow as many students as possible to take part in this debate. This journal is just one small step in what we hope is the creation of a lasting, positive difference. Sincerely, Nicholas Raskin Economics and Government (A&S ‘16) Director, Center for Education Policy and Development

17

Why Prisons Should Offer College Degrees
By Gideon Teitel, Major: Industrial and Labor Relations ‘17, Email: gt249@cornell.edu
Extending and expanding prison college degree programs would drastically lower recidivism rates and pay for itself socially and economically in the long run.

History:

The revoking of Pell grant funds in 1995 for criminals was the death knell for prison education programs, which have fallen 95% to today1. The Vera Institute of Justice is fighting back with a five year initiative to give college education to inmates and criminals returning to society. Michigan, New Jersey, and North Carolina also benefit from the tutoring, GED preparation, and employer network that Vera provides for their criminals2. Governor Andrew Cuomo recently proposed to use $1 Key Facts: million out of additional funds of $2.8 million with• Given that 95% of inmates return to society and 700,000 anin the corrections budget to fund prison education nually we must give them more than a bus pass upon leaving programs3. His plan however, was shot down by many prison for it is a bus pass to recidivism5. Republicans and a few Democrats by the predictable • Research conducted by the Journal of Correctional Education argument: We cannot spend tax payer dollars on the shows that a college degree can reduce recidivism by 72%5. education of criminals when law-abiding citizens have • A 2013 RAND study spanning 30 years of research concluded that every dollar spent on inmate education saves $4-$5 on to borrow more and more to pay for college. “It should re-incarceration5. be ‘do the crime, do the time,’ not ‘do the crime, earn a degree,’ ” said George D. Maziarz, a state senator from western New York4. Our criminal justice system was founded on three principles, punishment, citizen protection, and rehabilitation. We are doing well in the first two categories, but horribly in the third. Nearly half of all inmates released head back to prison within three years for committing another crime.

Analysis:

Analysis: The New York Times reported on April 9, 2014 that it costs $5,000 to educate an inmate annually compare to $60,000 for incarceration. Bard Prison Initiative, the largest prison college education program in the country awards 275 Bard College degrees to 10% of convicted felons who apply annually6. Its alumni’s recidivism rate is 4% and its graduates have the highest GPAs out of any undergraduate student in Bard College6. Columbia University professor of public health Miguel Munoz Laboy teaches an identical course at BPI and notes that the felons he teaches are far better students than those at Columbia. This is because the felons don’t have many options for their free time and want to redeem themselves. Murderer and middle school dropout Anthony Cardenales for example had such a high GPA from BPI and was so well spoken that he beat out many law-abiding citizens for an $80,000 annual salary job as a manager at an electronics recycling company just 4 months after leaving prison6. Kyle Alston, a felon who was illiterate before BPI elected to stay in prison for one more year to complete his bachelors before entering and remaining in society. If you do the math, BPI alone saves the tax payer $6,050,000 annually and leads its alumni to enriching lives in graduate school, human service, management, and many more6. Education has a strong correlation to abiding by the law as 37% of inmates don’t have a GED and 78% don’t have postsecondary education

18

compared to 19% who lack a GED and who lack college education 49% nationally. Students’ academic success is also strongly correlated to their parents’ academic history and given that education level is highly related to wealth, this policy also diminishes the cycle of poverty. Additionally, a 2014 RAND meta-examination of 58 studies deduced that inmates who were involved in these Talking Points: programs were 43% less likely to commit crimes even • It is necessary to expand prison education programs nationif the most violent take classes5. Therefore anyone who wide. supports the “Kids Before Cons Act,” which prevents • Prison education programs serve to ease the transition for criminals returning to society. federal dollars from being used for these programs, is ac• It is also necessary to raise awareness of this issue to society tually making the lives of recent college graduates worse. at large. There are also many benefits to these programs that are internal to prison life; wardens and guards who serve in prisons with these programs have noted that there is far less hostility between inmates. The programs additionally give inmates an opportunity to mentor other prisoners , Tobias Winright, a former St. Louis corrections officer reported to the New York Times on April 10, 20145.

Next Steps:

As a college degree has become increasingly necessary for employment our government has made it more and more difficult for inmates to receive college degrees. A Georgetown University study concluded that 63% of new jobs created from 2008-2018 will demand some college education. Without enacting this policy for the federal government to fund these programs, recidivism will continue to clime as U.S. imprisonment has risen 7 fold since the 1970s. Continuing to lead our inmates down this doomed path has damaged public safety and our economy. We must take action and expand these programs not only to save our criminal justice system money for prosecutions and arrests, but also to save future victims from any harm. A Berkeley study identified that every year of prison education reduces the chances of murder and assault by 30%. We must have in-prison and post-release college education taught by local colleges and parole observance practices should also support the dream of a college education. This policy would drastically reduce our embarrassingly large prison population and save billions of dollars in the process, which in turn could be used for the education of law-abiding citizens lessening the crippling inequality of the present day.

Endnotes:

1) Davis, Lois, and Jennifer Steele. “Sending prisoners to college will save you money - Lois Davis and Jennifer Steele - Newsday.” Newsday. http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/sending-prisoners-to-college-will-save-you-money-lois-davis-and-jennifersteele-1.7658934 (accessed April 25, 2014). 2) Holdraker, Ron. “College for Criminals.” Wayne Times. http://www.waynetimes.com/columns/college-for-criminals/ (accessed April 17, 2014). 3) Keller, Bill. “College for Criminals.” The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/10/opinion/college-for-criminals.html (accessed April 25, 2014). 4) Kenner, Max. “What We Do.” Bard Prison Initiative. http://bpi.bard.edu/what-we-do/ (accessed April 29, 2014). 5) Patrick, Fred . “Vera Institute of Justice: Making justice systems fairer and more effective through research and innovation.” Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education Project. http://www.vera.org/project/pathways-prison-postsecondary-education-project (accessed April 25, 2014). 6) Winright, Tobias. “Getting a College Degree in Prison.” The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/opinion/gettinga-college-degree-in-prison.html (accessed April 25, 2014).

19

Online Language Pen-Pals: Changing the Dimensions of Foreign Language Learning
By Cayley Heller, Major: Policy Analysis and Management ‘14, Email: cdh88@cornell.edu
With a foreign language deficit among American students in an increasingly globalized society, action must be taken to make foreign-language learning more accessible and effective.

History:

“Americans need to read, speak and understand other languages,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan declared in a 2010 speech. Fluency in other languages, he argued, is important for foreign relationships and the economy1. Key Facts: Duncan cites statistics estimating that 18% of • 350 million people in the world speak English as their first Americans speak language other than English, comlanguage, however 950 million speak Mandarin and 400 million pared with 53% of Europeans. David Skorton and speak Spanish as their first language9. Glenn Altschuler, President and Dean of Continuing • The percentage of elementary schools offering foreign language Studies at Cornell respectively, point out that even instruction decreased from 31 to 25 percent from 1997 to 2008 while the percentage of middle schools offering it decreased with this problem, the proportion of schools offerfrom 75 to 58 percent2. ing foreign language education has been decreasing • Speaking a second language is correlated with a higher income. over the years2. Additionally, US language instrucGerman, Italian, Russian and Chinese are associated with a 4% tion often begins with grammar-focused courses and income increase, while French and Spanish are associated with lacks instruction effective for holding a conversation3. 2.7 and 1.7% increases respectively9. The students who do have the opportunity to learn a language end up learning a set of rules rather than a way to communicate. It is important here to note the distinction between foreign language learning and second language acquisition. In second language acquisition a person learns a nonnative language in an environment where that language is spoken. Meanwhile, in foreign language learning students are learning a nonnative language in their native environment. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages measures standards along 5 C’s; communication, cultures, connections, comparisons and communities4. Success in the standards requires an ability to use a foreign language for multiple purposes, in a variety of settings and with connections to unique features of the cultures and communities in which that language is spoken. By these standards, US students need much improvement. Even in cases where the time and resources are there, they are not always met with an equal match in performance. Despite spending more per student on education than any other developed nation, the US is still falling behind4.

Analysis:

EFL lecturer Anne Merritt argues that listening is a key part of language learning that is often missed in the education process. The same way that babies begin learning a first language by hearing and repeating sounds, second language learners need to listen to and repeat new sound patterns as well. She also points out the importance of using multiple methods in order to offer a comprehensive learning experience6. With her perspective, services offering learning through films, music and conversation may be possible additions to the traditional curriculums. Early research in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) suggests that using foreign language to teach non-language subjects such as art, music, or gym is a promising method for teaching positive language skills7. It makes the language learning more engaging and useful in real life encounters. But while this seems like an effective method of language education, it does not seem like a feasible plug for schools already struggling to offer foreign language education as it requires teachers to specialize in teaching both the foreign language and the non-language subject. However the ideal would be to create a multi-dimensional language education program that would be replicable in districts across the country and not require resources and attention that may be unattainable for many schools across the country.

20

Next Steps:

Technology has been a key element in the increase in and strengthening of international relations, and it may provide the solution to our lagging foreign language education programs. With video conferencing and online classrooms, students can have a multi-dimensional language learning experience from the comfort of their own classroom. Talking Points: • Many schools either do not provide access to foreign language ed Online platforms such as Skype, Twiducation or place too much emphasis on grammar rules rather than dla, IDroo, and Google Hangouts allow people conversation. to across the world and share everything from • The need for foreign language education is growing, with an increasvideos to drawings to internet views to documents ingly global economy and world. allowing for simultaneous editing8. This is an • Creating video language pen pal programs for the classroom will allow students to fill the gap in conversation skills by engaging with ideal resource for students who can use computnative speakers of a foreign language. er labs to connect to other students around the world. Students can be matched with students in other countries based on the language requirements of the course. With half of a session in English and half in a foreign language, students can practice speaking with native speakers of a foreign language, exchange information about culture and practice the skill that current US foreign language students are lacking upon graduation: conversation. While schools (that don’t already have them in place) will incur the costs of investing in computer labs and online classroom software, the new language learning programs will be maintained with only the facilitation by teachers and administrators responsible for developing international school partnerships. For schools struggling with the costs of computer labs, there are a variety of programs that can help bring used and refurbished computers into schools at little to no costs. Computers may be donated by local businesses or come from government surplus. The computer labs and headsets can be used for any number of subjects and will make the classroom more manageable in the future. This will not only allow teachers to pull students aside and work with them one-on-one or in smaller groups (while their peers are engaged with others around the world), but it will also allow students an experience more tailored to their learning levels and needs. Using existing models for programs and partnerships, city governments should incentivize connections between businesses and public education institutions. A model should be built to share curriculums and tested programs, to assist teachers and faculty and to facilitate the transition in the classroom.

Endnotes:

1) Duncan, Arne. “Education and the Language Gap.” Speech, Foreign Language Summit, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, December 8, 2010. 2) Skorton, David, and Glenn Altschuler. “America’s Foreign Language Deficit.” Forbes, August 27, 2012. Accessed April 26, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/collegeprose/2012/08/27/americas-foreign-language-deficit/. 3) Nielson, Katharine B. “The Best Way to Learn a Foreign Language Is the Opposite of the Usual Way.” Forbes, April 22, 2014. 4) “World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages.” American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. http://www.actfl. org/sites/default/files/pdfs/World-ReadinessStandardsforLearningLanguages.pdf. 5) Associated Press. “US Education Spending Tops Global List, Study Shows.” CBS News, June 25, 2013. Accessed April 26, 2014. http:// www.cbsnews.com/news/us-education-spending-tops-global-list-study-shows/. 6) Merritt, Anne. “Learning a Foreign Language: Five Most Common Mistakes.” The Telegraph, December 19, 2012. Accessed April 26, 2014. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationadvice/9750895/Learning-a-foreign-language-five-most-common-mistakes. html. 7) Dalton-Puffer, Christiane. “Outcomes and Processes in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): Current Research from Europe.” In Future Perspectives for English Language Learning, edited by Werner Delanoy and Laurenz Volkmann. N.p.: n.p., 2008. http://www.unifg.it/sites/default/files/allegatiparagrafo/20-01-2014/dalton_puffer_clil_research_overview_article.pdf. 8) “25 Digital Tools for Better Tutoring.” TeachThought. Last modified September 4, 2012. http://www.teachthought.com/learning/25-digital-tools-for-better-tutoring/. 9) Brown, Melissa. “The Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language.” Daily News-Miner. Last modified March 30, 2014. http://www.newsminer.com/business/the-benefits-of-learning-a-foreign-language/article_d189bc9c-b7e0-11e3-b994-0017a43b2370.html.

21

Increase Teachers’ Pay
By Max Brashear, Major: Government ‘16, Email: mdb243@cornell.edu
For many reasons, the United States must reconsider the way in which its budget is divvyed up. One outcome of this must be increased salaries and benefits for teachers.

History:

One factor that has impacted the ability of teachers to demand higher salaries is the diminishing power of unions in the United States. While teachers remain unionized, they are often in a position where they have to collectively bargain for increased job security as Key Facts: opposed to increased benefits. The result has been • The average starting salary for teachers in the United largely negative – teachers are hard to fire (bad for States is $39,000 per annum. employers and students), but remain on relatively • The United States devotes just 2% of its national budget to low wages (bad for teachers). schooling. With regard to the proposed budget real• By contrast, over 20% of the national budget is allocated location, there are several reasons for the budget to defense spending. being the way that it is. In certain cases, high levels of defense spending were seen as necessary. During the Cold War, for instance, the perceived threat of the Soviet Union was such that many felt inclined to support military expenditures. Further, the right-wing has historically made a concerted effort to rhetorically situate their hawkish spending with patriotic values. Today, however, the need for such excessive defense spending has declined. Nothing seems more patriotic than improving the education of the country’s youth. Surely this is the sort of non-arguable frame politicians would love to espouse. While this is certainly not the only aspect of the budget that could be rechanneled toward the education system, it is certainly the most obvious.

Analysis:

In contrast with other nations, the United States allocates an embarrassingly small percent of its budget to the education system. In countries like Singapore and Finland, where students consistently outperform their American counterparts on various standardized tests, teachers are paid far more handsomely. In the United States, however, despite constant clamoring for similar pay, very little action has taken place, and teachers’ benefits are often seen as expendable. This is certainly not reflective of a country that values an educated youth; more money must be made available. The national budget seems the perfect place to start, with the bloated defense budget in particular needing a trim3. While proponents of defense spending might argue that a strong military protects the nation from potential enemies, it is in fact an educated population that will help the United States lead the world into the 21st century. The more educated the population is, the more ideas will percolate up through the private sector, promoting growth. Further, it seems inexcusable to

22

syphon money toward various unnecessary military equipment at the expense of improved education, the effects of which would be felt countrywide. Increasing teachers’ Talking Points: compensation would be an • As a nation, funding education and scientific discovery must be the priority effective way to improve eduif the United States expects to lead the world into the 21st century. cation in the United States as it would encourage more people • Increasing funds to schooling allows for more selectivity when hiring teachers. to pursue a career in education. • Further, teachers can then be put through rigorous training programs and This would allow for greater held to higher standards. selectivity when hiring teachers, ensuring that those hired were both qualified and motivated. Further, teachers – if paid more – could be held to higher standards1.

Next Steps:

In Singapore, the Ministry of Education consistently receives upwards of 20% of the national budget4. As a result, they are able to provide greater compensation for teachers (on par with many lawyers and engineers) and provide rigorous training for those in charge of classrooms. Clearly, the management of a city-state is not comparable to that of a country with some 300 million people. Nevertheless, the same principle can be applied. If education is as important as members of the elite suggest it is, it must be reflected in the budget. The United States must reallocate parts of its budget to education. Presently, teacher salaries in the United States generally start at $39,000 and top out at under $70,0001. This has to change. As they are in charge of the education of students, some of whom will go on to be doctors and lawyers earning six figure salaries, they should be paid similarly. Incentive-based pay does not, however, seem to be the answer, as it would exacerbate the existing discrepancy between the level of teaching in wealthy versus poor districts. A nationwide standard should be set.

Endnotes:

1) Cohn, Jonathan. “Paying Teachers Too Much? Or Too Little?” http://www.newrepublic.com/blog/jonathan-cohn/84780/teacher-payinternational-comparison-usa-korea 2) Jacques, Renee. “11 Foreign Education Policies That Could Transform American Schools.” http://www.huffingtonpost. com/2013/12/09/foreign-education-policies_n_4385583.html 3) Plumer, Brad. “America’s staggering defense budget, in charts.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/07/ everything-chuck-hagel-needs-to-know-about-the-defense-budget-in-charts/ 4) Singapore Ministry of Education. “Information Sheet on Building Strong Fundamentals, Expanding Opportunities for All.” http:// www.moe.gov.sg/media/press/2009/02/information-sheet-on-building.php

23

Improving The National School Lunch Program
By Jeffrey Forman, Major: Government ‘15, Email: jtf76@cornell.edu
The US needs to enact a sustainable and healthy school lunch program in an effort to give students of all socioeconomic backgrounds a chance to succeed in today’s education system.

History:

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) • NSLP provides free or reduced price meals for nearly 31 million was established in 1946 and currently supports stustudents4. dent nutrition in more than 101,000 schools and resi- • 16.7 million children in the US are food insecure3. dential facilities nationwide, serving nearly 31 million • When children eat breakfast, they tend to consume more nutrients and experience lower obesity rates4. students. It offers free and reduced price meals to underprivileged students before, during, and after school as well as over the summer. The program furnishes per meal cash reimbursements to schools as an entitlement to prepare healthy meals for children1. In addition, schools that participate in NSLP receive certain agricultural goods to supplement per-meal cash reimbursements for each lunch they serve. Research from the USDA suggests that students who partake in NSLP have better nutritional intakes than students who do not participate. Congress created NSLP in 1946 after a research study found that men rejected in the World War II draft had physical shortcomings linked to childhood malnutrition1. The program was expanded in 1998 to also subsidize snacks served in selected afterschool and enrichment programs. In terms of the contents of the lunches, students receive at least one-third of their Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for key nutrients. The NSLP stipulates that lunches must provide no more than 30 percent of calories from fat and less than 10 percent from saturated fat. Students from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free meals, and those with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced-price meals1.

Key Facts:

Analysis:

The bottom line is that students cannot concentrate when they are hungry. To provide students with equality of opportunity and a fair shot at upward social mobility, we must give low-income students the resources they need to climb the socioeconomic ladder. We cannot afford to give students unhealthy foods simply because they are cheap, because this will prove to be more expensive in the long run. While obesity is certainly a prominent concern in today’s current political and medical discourse, a reduction in this epidemic would simply be a positive byproduct. The real motivation behind this legislation should be giving Americans of all socioeconomic backgrounds a chance to succeed in today’s education system. According

24

to a report by the Center for American Progress and Brandeis University, “hunger costs our nation at least $167.5 billion due to the combination of lost economic productivity per year, more expensive public education because of the rising costs of poor education outcomes, avoidable health care costs, and the cost of charity to keep families fed,”4. Talking Points: According to a report released by the No Kid • We need a sustainable school lunch program that will proHungry campaign, 95% of teachers credit breakfast with vide healthy foods for low-income families. increased concentration, 89% credit it with better aca• The program needs to expand its definition of “low-indemic performance, and 73% credit it with better become” to allow for students who fall short of the currently established “below 130% the poverty line” threshold. havior in the classroom. Students who come to school • hungry have shorter attention spans and are cognitively disadvantaged compared to their well-fed counterparts.

Next Steps:

The federal government should reallocate its funds in an effort to propel this program to its full potential and to prevent school districts from raising lunch prices for its other students. The US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Education should collaborate to ensure that a sustainable, healthy national school lunch program is implemented in a timely manner. The program should stipulate that students from families with incomes at or below the 150 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free lunches, and those with incomes between 150 percent and 205 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced-price breakfast and lunch. In fiscal year 2011, this program cost $10.1 billion. Thus, the federal budget will need to account for this increase. However, this investment will actually be a net-gain for our nation given that we lose the aforementioned $167.5 billion due to hunger.

Endnotes:

1) http://frac.org/federal-foodnutrition-programs/national-school-lunch-program/ 2) http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/16/healthier-school-lunch-at-what-cost/?page=all 3) http://www.studentsagainsthunger.org/page/hhp/overview-hunger-america 4) http://www.nokidhungry.org/problem/nutrition-child-development 5) http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2011/10/pdf/hunger_paper.pdf

25

III. Center for Economic Policy
“These unhappy times call for the building of plans [that] build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

Hilary Gelfond ‘16 Victor Zhao ‘16 Abshir Esse ‘16

Director

Analysts

Letter from the Policy Director 27 Catalyzing Public-Private Partnerships Through Tax-Incentives 28-29 Abshir Esse ‘16 Removing the capital gains tax from limited partners (the private fund investors) and general partners (the fund managers) public infrastructure investment funds could help reduce the deficit in public infrastructure funding caused by a decrease in traditional government funding sources and dubious economic conditions. Expanding the National Broadband Network 30-31 Victor Zhao ‘16 Substantial infrastructure investments and regulatory policies should be implemented to provide universal broadband access at affordable rates and promote greater competition in the service provider market.

26

Dear Readers,

Letter from the Director

I am proud to present to you Looking Ahead: The Cornell Roosevelt Institute Policy Journal from the Center for Economic Policy and Development. I have the unique pleasure of presenting proposals from a wide array of economic policy genres. In this edition, our Center explores potential solutions to some of our nations biggest problems in the areas of infrastructure and communication. Each author in this journal directed their research and analysis toward solving some of America’s greatest challenges. I would like to personally thank each analyst, the readers and everyone who has shared a passion for the pursuit of knowledge for the purpose of improving the world we live in. I hope these proposals will evoke debate and ultimately inspire you, the reader, to take action and make a meaningful impact in the world we share. Sincerely, Hilary Gelfond Policy Analysis and Management (Human Ecology ‘16) Director, Center for Economic Policy and Development

27

Catalyzing Public-Private Partnerships Through Tax-Incentives
Abshir Esse, Major: Imdustrial and Labor Relations, ’16, Email: ahe39@cornell.edu
Removing the capital gains tax from limited partners (the private fund investors) and general partners (the fund managers) public infrastructure investment funds could help reduce the deficit in public infrastructure funding caused by a decrease in traditional government funding sources and dubious economic conditions.

History:

Financing the nation’s much-needed infrastructure repairs and maintenance are sure to be prohibitively expensive. This is especially true considering state and municipal governments are strapped for cash in a postrecession America where these governments are faced Key Facts with fiscal challenges such as skyrocketing education and • Over 60% of bridges in the U.S. are in urgent need of healthcare costs and inadequate tax revenues resulting repair. 1 from a labor-force recovering from the recession. Some • The deficit in bridge repair spending is nearly 50%.2 estimates project the cost of servicing our nation’s •F ederal infrastructure spending fell from 0.9% of GDP infrastructure could cost more than $2.2 trillion from 1960-1980 to 0.6% of GDP from 1990-2007.3 1 dollars. Policy makers are no longer able to neglect this issue as the nation’ infrastructure will soon become a public health hazard, as our nation’s most dangerous bridges are traversed more than 250 million times a day.2 Similar to the way aging airline fleets often need to be replaced and serviced at the same time, our nation’s aging infrastructure has been in need of servicing for some time, and we can now longer ignore this issue.

Analysis:

Public-private partnerships could serve as a viable solution to financing the nation’s aging infrastructure. A public-private partnership is a relationship between a government and/or a government agency and a private-sector company that works together for the purposes of financing and ultimately constructing and operating public infrastructure projects. The way it works is the government enlists the private sector partner to do one or all of these steps: provide financing for the project, enter into a long-term service agreement, and finally design, construct, and maybe even operate the project. The benefits of the public-private partnership are the mitigation of issues with the current government procurement model. These issues includes government contracts that are often monopolized by companies who do not have to compete for the contacts (causing cost inefficiency), a lack of accountability and competitive incentive that has given rise to cost projection miscalculations, unnecessarily-long project completion time periods, and partially-completed projects. Finally, during times of credit crunches and inadequate tax revenues, public-private partnerships allow “off-balance sheet financing”. Public-private partnerships are working in the U.K.; they have finance over $50 billion dollars in projects via this model.1 The tax-break would catalyze public-private partnerships in the same nature tax-free municipal bonds has lowered the cost of capital for governments.

28

Next Steps:

Congressional Research Service (CRS) should conduct a study analyzing the whether the increase in private sector interest in public infrastructure investment outweighs the lost tax revenue from capital gains taxes on public infrastructure investment funds. If the results of the research favor excluding public infrastructure investment funds from the capital gains tax, congress should propose legislation doing so.

End Notes:

•The U.K., which is 6 times smaller than the U.S., in terms of GDP has taken advantage of the benefits of public-private partnerships, has financed 5x as much infrastructure via public-private partnerships than the U.S. •The creation of an extension of the Federal Reserve should be created to lend funds to state and municipal governments and private investment funds involved in public infrastructure financing at very low rates, similar to the federal funds rate. •By supporting the public infrastructure investment funds via tax breaks, another asset class would grow, which would allow public pension funds a source of low-risk, income-generating portfolio returns.

Talking Points

1. Eduardo Engel. “Public-Private Partnerships to Revamp U.S. Infrastructure.” Brookings Institution, February 2011. 2. Nawaguna, Elvina. “One in Ten U.S. Bridges in Urgent Need of Repair: Report.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 24 Apr. 2014. 3. Sharraden, Samuel. “The Infrastructure Deficit.” The Infrastructure Deficit | NewAmerica.org. New America Foundation, 13 Feb. 2011.

29

Expanding the National Broadband Network
Victor Zhao, Major: Applied Economics and Management, ’16, Email: vz38@cornell.edu History:
Substantial infrastructure investments and regulatory policies should be implemented to provide universal broadband access at affordable rates and promote greater competition in the service provider market.

Over the past decade, global economic growth has been spurred in large part due to the advent of the Internet. Digital access has become increasingly important for economic success as business transactions, social communications, and learning opportunities all utilize the Internet in some form.1 Yet, just 70% of Americans have access to high speed broadband connections Key Facts: at home.2 Access to the Internet remains a problem, • 20% of Americans have neither broadband access at home particularly in rural communities. Moreover, current nor mobile access to the Internet, as of 20132 pricing models that charge more for faster service • Almost nine in ten college graduates have high-speed internet mean that most consumers cannot afford more than at home, compared with just 37% of adults who have not combasic service. pleted high school6 • 52% of those without broadband said that for them to get a In 2010, the Federal Communications Combroadband connection, prices would have to fall or broadband mission (FCC) released the National Broadband Plan, would have to become available where they live6 a comprehensive set of proposals with the objective of providing “affordable access to robust broadband service” for every American and broadband access with “download speeds of at least 100 MBps” for 100 million homes.4 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2010 allocated $7.2 billion to those goals, with $2.5 billion invested in the Broadband Initiatives Program for broadband infrastructure projects in rural areas and $4.7 billion spent on the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program for infrastructure, public computer centers, and broadband adoption projects. A similar plan to establish universal broadband has been in place in Australia since April 2009. It aims to establish a nationwide infrastructure network by 2020, unlike the profit-driven, tiered service models that are prevalent today.5 It is expected to cost A$35 billion, of which A$27.1 billion is to be invested by the government.5 The government’s investment is expected to be recouped by selling wholesale service on the network to private communication providers, which will then sell service to the end user.5

Analysis:

In the U.S. today, Internet service providers (ISP’s) exist in a highly concentrated private market controlled by a duopoly of cable providers and telephone companies.3 They have little financial incentive to make the infrastructure investments necessary to reach isolated communities because of the large immediate capital costs. Yet, access to the Internet has enormous economic benefits that represent externalities not captured by the current private model. An analysis by the World Bank found that an extra 10 percent of broadband penetration accounted for a 1.21 percent increase in GDP growth per capita.5 To that end, Congress should fund the construction of a national broadband infrastructure to presently unconnected communities, adopting Australia’s model of selling wholesale service after construction to recoup sunk costs. Moreover, the FCC should seek to increase competition among service providers through creative uses of spectrum policy and its regulatory oversight over mergers among market players. Doing so would resolve the inefficiencies of the present oligopolistic market and improve societal welfare through a more informed

30

Next Steps:

The proposals outlined by the FCC in Talking Points: the National Broadband Plan are a key first step • The FCC recognizes that Internet access can improve educatowards the goal of universal access. However, tion, increase access to health care, introduce new economic Congressional action must be taken to adopt and and business opportunities, modernize and optimize the implement those proposals in order to ensure that nation’s energy grid, and promote greater civic engagement.4 • The current tiered pricing structure of Internet access does the goals are met on schedule. Moreover, beyond not accurately reflect the low marginal costs of additional the broad goal of broadband availability, broadservice, once infrastructure is in place. band adoption should be made a top priority. The • Alternative models of broadband service in the U.K. and affordability of broadband service remains an issue Australia have proven to be effective at providing greater hindering greater broadband adoption.6 access and increasing consumer choice. Government funding for infrastructure expansion, promotion of greater competition in the service provider market, and levying of spectrum policy and purchasing power can be used to both increase

Endnotes:

1. Basu, P., & Chakraborty, J. (2011). New technologies, old divides: Linking internet access to social and locational characteristics of US farms. GeoJournal,76(5), 469-481. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41308635Pew – Zickhur and Smith 2. Park, E. (2009). The U.S. Broadband Market Conditions and Barriers to Entry. Conference Papers -- International Communication Association, 1-38 3. The National Broadband Plan. (2014, January 1). Broadband.gov. Retrieved April 21, 2014, from http://www.broadband.gov/plan/ 4. Dias, M. (2012). Australia’s project for universal broadband access: From policy to social potential. First Monday, 0. doi:10.5210/ fm.v0i0.4114 5. Lennard, K. (2009, March 20). Broadband Infrastructure Programs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/122977.pdf 6. Kathryn, Z., & Aaron, S. (2013, August 26). Home Broadband 2013. Pew Internet Research Project. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/08/26/home-broadband-2013/

31

IV. Center for Healthcare Policy
“Neither the American people, nor their government, intends to socialize medical practice any more than they plan to socialize industry.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

John Lemp ‘15 Philip Susser ‘16 Matthew Hersman ‘15 Anna Grosshans ‘15 Frank Sun ‘16 Angelica Cullo ‘16
Letter from the Policy Director 33 “Expansion of Scope of Practice for Nurse Practitioners in Response to Primary Care Shortage” 34-35 Philip Susser ‘16 Expanding the scope of practice for nurse practitioners can help resolve the impending shortage of primary care providers. Studies have shown that there is no significant difference between nurse practitioners and doctors in the quality of care provided in the primary care setting. In order to promote an increase in independent nurse practices, policy should focus on both expanding the roles of nurses and ensuring that payment policies identify them as primary care providers. “The Disclosure & Offer Model and Why it Should be Used” 36-37 Matthew Hersman ‘15 Hospitals should abandon the customary “deny and defend” model of malpractice and instead adopt the Disclosure & Offer model. “Courting Anarchy: Navigating the Controversy Surrounding the Birth Control Requirement of the Affordable Care Act” 38-39 Anna Grosshans ‘15 The birth control requirement of the Affordable Care Act has been generating a lot of controversy, but in 2014, birth control is not, in fact, controversial. “Trade-Offs Through Trade: An Analysis of Drug Importation Policy” 40-41 Frank Sun ‘16 The government needs to find ways to lower healthcare and pharmaceutical costs but direct drug importations from Canada and Europe may not be the answer. “Mind My Mental Health: Improving Mental Health Recognition Among General Practitioners” Angelica Cullo ‘16 General practitioners must devote better attention and care to mental health awareness. 42-43

Director

Analysts

32

Dear Readers,

Letter from the Director

We are proud to present to you the sixth installment of Looking Ahead: The Cornell Roosevelt Institute Policy Journal from the Center for Healthcare Policy. It is my pleasure to be presenting policy proposals from an array of different healthcare policy genres. The analysts have spent many hours diligently researching and formulating proposals that compliment the goals of the current healthcare reform initiative - improved quality, reduced costs, and expanded access. Topics reflect upon a variety of issues, from international pharmaceutical regulations to women’s access to affordable birth control. We look forward to sharing our work, please enjoy! Best Regards, John Lemp Industrial and Labor Relations ‘15 Director, Center for Healthcare Policy

33

Expansion of Scope of Practice for Nurse Practitioners in Response to Primary Care Shortage Philip Susser, Major: Policy Analysis and Management ’16, Email: pss226@cornell.edu
Expanding the scope of practice for nurse practitioners can help resolve the impending shortage of primary care providers. Studies have shown that there is no significant difference between nurse practitioners and doctors in the quality of care provided in the primary care setting. In order to promote an increase in independent nurse practices, policy should focus on both expanding the roles of nurses and ensuring that payment policies identify them as primary care providers.

History:

In the upcoming years, the aging of the baby • The American Association of Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians by 2020 boom population and the individual mandate of the • Expansion of the scope of practice for nurse practitioners (NPs) Affordable Care Act will cause an increased demand could solve the primary care shortage. on the U.S. healthcare system and subsequently result • Only eighteen states allow NPs to diagnose and treat patients in a shortage of primary care physicians. Currently, free of physician oversight. about 20% of all Americans live in an area that experiences a shortage of primary care physicians. By 2020, the American Association of Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians. Incentives are structured such that both hospitals and physicians are less likely to enter primary care. Hospitals profit the most from offering residencies in other specialties, and recent medical school graduates often also find themselves attracted toward the more lucrative specialties - in light of large student debt. Primary care is often cited as the backbone of the medical system. Thus, in order to maintain the integrity of the foundation of healthcare, policy action must be put forth. Different approaches have been offered to solve this dilemma. Some have suggested offering a separate three-year degree for medical students looking to enter primary care. Along the same lines, medical schools could reduce tuition for primary care bound physicians. An approach that would not require government subsidies or any new government programs, though, is the expansion of the scope of practice for nurse practitioners (NPs). Currently, there exists significant state-by-state variation in the degree of autonomy given to NPs. Eighteen states allow NPs to diagnose and treat patients free of physician oversight, seven states only require oversight for prescribing, and twenty five states require complete physician oversight – for prescribing, diagnosing, and treating patients.

Key Facts:

Analysis:

Allowing nurses to operate in a primary care setting without the supervision of a physician is an extremely efficient, cost effective way to reduce the shortage in primary care physicians. This policy action would allow nurses to both fully utilize their skill set and open up practices in low socioeconomic areas that are experiencing a shortage of physicians. In Massachusetts, increased responsibilities for these providers could lead to $4.2 to $8.4 billion in savings. Not only is their training at a lower cost than physicians, but NPs call for lower salaries. Nurses are surely qualified to provide such baseline care. After all, about 20-70% of the tasks performed by doctors in the primary care setting can be performed by nurses. Studies have shown that the quality of care provided by nurse practitioners is comparable – if not better than – primary care physicians. A 1998 study conducted at the Columbia University School of Nursing randomly assigned patients to a nurse practitioner or physician. One year after the study, the health outcomes of the two groups were compared. Researchers found no significant difference in health status or utilization of services between these two groups. Another randomized study looked at the difference in the quality of care and patient satisfaction for patients looking for “same day” primary care consultations - a situation that will be quite prevalent in upcoming years. Between the two groups, there was no significant difference in the resolution of symptoms. Patients who received care from nurse practitioners also had longer consultations.

Next Steps:

In order for patients to have greater access to care, the scope of practice for nurse practitioners should be expanded in restrictive states. Moreover, public – Medicare and Medicaid - and private insurance providers

34

should change their current payment structures. Many Talking Points: managed care plans currently require a designated pri- • Increased responsibilities for nurse practitioners could lead to $4.2 to $8.4 billion in savings in Massachusetts. mary care provider to be identified. In order for nurses to be able to set up independent practices, they must be • About 20-70% of the tasks performed by doctors in the primary care setting can be performed by nurses. able to bill independently. This means at the state level • Researchers have found no significant difference in health changing Medicaid legislation so NPs can be recognized status or utilization of services between patients treated by as primary care providers. Without the ability to bill, nurse practitioners and physicians. increasing the scope of practice would have a minimal effect on the expansion of primary care in the United States.
1) National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR: Primary Care Workforce Shortages: Nurse Practitioner Scope-of-Practice Laws and Payment Policies) http://www.nihcr.org/PCP-Workforce-NPs#section1 2) How Do Nurse Practitioners Compare to MDs as Primary Care Providers? Rather Well (RWJF) 3) Doctor shortage, increased demand could crash health care system (CNN) http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/02/health/obamacare-doctor-shortage/ 4) Broadening the Scope of Nursing Practice — NEJM (Broadening the Scope of Nursing Practice — NEJM) http://www.nejm.org/doi/ full/10.1056/NEJMp1012121#t=article 5) Substitution of doctors by nurses in primary care (- The Cochrane Library) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858. CD001271.pub2/abstract 6) The Latest Data On Primary Care Nurse Practitioners And Physicians: Can We Afford To Waste Our Workforce? (Health Affairs Blog The Latest Data On Primary Care Nurse 7) 7) Practitioners And Physicians Can We Afford To Waste Our Workforce Comments) http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2013/06/18/the-latest-data-on-primary-care-nurse-practitioners-and-physicians-can-we-afford-to-wasteour-workforce/

Endnotes:

35

The Disclosure & Offer Model and Why it Should be Used
Matthew Hersman, Major: Biology and Society, 2015, Email: mbh85@cornell.edu
Hospitals should abandon the customary “deny and defend” model of malpractice and instead adopt the Disclosure & Offer model.

History:

Due to American physicians’ fear of malpractice lawsuits, our healthcare system has adopted a culture of “deny and defend.” This means that hospitals stack up on trial lawyers so that when an incident occurs, the lawyers do their best to refute allegations and protect the physicians at all costs. Hospitals treat complaints from patients as threats and make great attempts to fight back rather than communicating openly and honestly. As a result, doctors often keep information from patients, Key Facts: demonstrated by the fact that on average only one in • Defense medicine drives up medical costs by roughly four medical errors are disclosed to patients.1 Patients 5% to 9% are then forced to remedy their lack of knowledge by • Only 2% of negligent medical errors actually lead to hiring their own lawyers who also act on incomplete malpractice litigation information, as they vehemently pursue to prove an • Since the University of Michigan hospitals adopted adverse relationship between the patients’ treatment the Disclosure and Offer model, the number of claims and condition. This puts the patient and physician at has fallen by 36% and total costs related to malpracopposite ends of a conflict who end up fighting each tice claims fell by about 50%. 2 other instead of working together to fix the situation. In addition, when treating patients, doctors typically prescribe extra services that the patient does not necessarily need. That way if something does go wrong, in court doctors can say they gave patients “x, y and z” even if those treatments were not necessarily beneficial to the patients’ health. This “defensive medicine” has been estimated to drive up medical costs in the United States by roughly 5% to 9%.3 When the United States spends roughly $2.8 trillion on healthcare per year that means that billions of dollars are going to waste because doctors are providing extra services simply out of fear of lawsuits. In addition, only 2% of negligent medical errors actually lead to malpractice litigation.4 This means when mistakes actually do occur, patients are rarely receiving a fair settlement. With the deny and defend system, doctors are spending much more on unneeded resources out of fear of lawsuits, and patients are not being fairly treated when medical errors do occur.

Analysis:

A much better approach to handling malpractice cases is the Disclosure & Offer Program started at the University of Michigan. In this system, when a healthcare provider believes that an error has occurred it is expected to both report it to the institution and to disclose it to the patient. As soon as the incident is reported, a Disclosure & Offer staff investigates the case to see what happened in order to determine if negligence did in fact occur. After the investigation concludes, the patient is contacted and the physician explains the situation. If it is found that the standard of care was not met, then the healthcare provider offers a certain compensation to cover the patients’ losses. The patient may then choose to accept the settlement, or if they feel the compensation offered does not cover their losses in full they may then still choose to pursue the matter in court.5 Since the University of Michigan hospitals adopted this policy, the number of claims has fallen by 36%, claims have become resolved more quickly, and total costs related to malpractice claims fell by about 50%. The Disclosure & Offer model offers an obvious increase in transparency between the doctor and the patient.6 Doctors do not need to feel as if they are being attacked when a patient does complain, and they know they have a trustworthy team to help them resolve the matter at hand. As a result, doctors should feel less of a need to practice “defensive medicine,” which would cut down on healthcare costs. The reduced time and costs spent fighting legal cases can then be used more effectively by focusing more time on the patient and ensuring their standard of care is as high as possible. The patient should see many advantages to this model as well. Because healthcare providers are required to disclose any errors to the patient, patients should feel much more informed and the number of patients who

36

receive settlements as a result of negligence is likely to increase as well. Doctors and patients will no longer have to feel at opposite ends when an incidence arises, and through honesty and cooperation fair solutions should be able to be met without having to take matters to court.

Next Steps:

The objective of the Disclosure and Offer model is • The current “deny and defend” model of malpractice creates barriers between the physician and patient not to get families to settle for less than what they would • The Disclosure & Offer model helps facilitate communicareceive in a lawsuit, but rather to reduce the legal expenses tion between healthcare providers and patients and time incurred in court for both the physicians and • The Disclosure & Offer model decreases time and costs patients. Our current malpractice system is incredibly spent on legal issues. outdated and only serves to place barriers between pa• tients and physicians. Hospitals should start adopting the Disclosure and Offer strategy to help save time and money on legal fees while increasing transparency and communication between the doctor and his patients.

Talking Points:

Endnotes:

1. Kaldjian, L C, E. W. Jones, B. J. Wu, V. Forman-Hoffinan, B. H. Levi, and G. E. Rosenthal. 2008. “Reporting Medical Errors to Improve Patient Safety: A Survey of Physicians in Teaching Hospitals.” Archives of Internal Medicine 168 (i): 40-4 2. Boothman, Richard C., Sarah J. Imhoff, and Darrell A. Campbell. “Nurturing a Culture of Patient Safety and Achieving Lower Malpractice Risk Through Disclosure: Lessons Learned and Future Directions.”Frontiers of Health Servi ces Management 2 28.3 (n.d.): 13-16. 3. Kessler, D., & McClellan, M. 1996. Do doctors practice defensive medicine? The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 111(2): 353-390. 4. Studdert, David M., Eric J. Thomas, Helen R. Burstin, Brett I.w. Zbar, E. John Orav, and Troyen A. Brennan. “Negligent Care and Malpractice Claiming Behavior in Utah and Colorado.” Medical Care 38.3 (2000): 250-60. Print. 5. Mello, Michelle. The Disclosure-And-Offer Model. N.p.: Harvard School of Public Health, n.d. Print.  6. New England Journal of Medicine, August 19, 2012; Kachalia et al.,Annals of Internal Medicine, 2010.

37

Anna Grosshans, Major: Development Sociology, 2015, Email: aog25@cornell.edu History:
The birth control requirement of the Affordable Care Act has been generating a lot of controversy, but in 2014, birth control is not, in fact, controversial.

“Courting Anarchy”: Navigating the Controversy Surrounding the Birth Control Requirement of the Affordable Care Act

The newly enacted Affordable Care Act has • 69% of Americans support the birth control requirement of the Affordable Care Act been under fire for its contraceptive coverage condition, which requires employers to cover birth control on • More than half of American women have been unable to use birth control consistently (and thus effectively) at some point in their employees’ health insurance plans. Recently, two their lives because they were unable to afford it. for-profit corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga • There are over 3.2 million unplanned pregnancies in the United Woods, have opened a case that is currently before the States annually, comprising about half of all pregnancies in the Supreme Court, arguing that they should be exempt United States. from providing employees with insurance plans that cover contraceptives because the requirement pressures the corporations’ owners to violate their religious beliefs. This case has been generating a lot of controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act birth control requirement. Yet, in 2014, the acceptance of birth control as basic, preventive healthcare is not controversial. A recent study found that almost 70 percent of the American public supports the birth control requirement of the Affordable Care Act. This striking majority indicates the importance and necessity of contraception in modern American society. The typical American woman wants two children. To achieve this goal, she will need to spend over thirty years of her reproductive life trying to avoid pregnancy. Every year, 5 percent of women in the United States experience an unplanned pregnancy.1 This totals over 3.2 million unplanned pregnancies annually, comprising about half of all pregnancies in the U.S. Furthermore, over 50 percent of all American women experience at least one unplanned pregnancy during their reproductive years, by the age of 45.2 A study by Zonla and Finer (2011) also shows that the incidence of unintended pregnancy is one of the most significant indicators of socioeconomic and health status in the United States. There are many important risk factors that contribute to a woman’s chance of experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. A study by Alexandra Hayward (2013) found that “women who were non-white, younger, less educated, unmarried, low income, and who did not own a car or a home had increased odds of reporting an unplanned pregnancy.” Women who experience socioeconomic disadvantages are less likely to receive high-quality healthcare, education, and other important factors in preventing and delaying pregnancy. Unplanned pregnancy also has significant social, economic, and health impacts. For example, “births resulting from unintended or closely spaced pregnancies are associated with adverse maternal and child health outcomes, such as delayed prenatal care, premature birth and negative physical and mental health effects for children.”1 Women who are already disadvantaged are much more likely to experience an unwanted pregnancy, and their families and children are in turn more likely to experience similar socioeconomic disadvantages. Unplanned pregnancies and access to family planning services are part of a complex web of societal factors that perpetuate and magnify social inequality and immobility. Contraception plays a pivotal role in our society. It leads to healthier mothers and children, greater economic opportunities for women and their partners, a more level playing field for low-income women in the labor market, and stronger mother-child relationships.2 Contraception allows women and couples to space the births of their children, avoid pregnancies that follow too soon after a previous one, and prevent pregnancies that occur after they have decided to no longer have more children.3 When women and couples plan their pregnancies, they are better able to provide for their children and create a healthy family environment. For example, women who plan their pregnancies are more likely to breast-feed their babies, receive prenatal care, and avoid smoking and drinking during pregnancy.1 Planned pregnancies are also more likely to result in healthier long-term relationships between mothers and children. A recent study by Nelson and O’Brien (2012) found that unplanned pregnancy was related to symptoms of depression in first-time mothers and that depression was related to greater hostility and conflicts as the child grew older. Contraception also allows women to delay getting pregnant in order to finish school or find a job. This leads to better financial conditions for women and their families, greater economic opportunities and stability, higher

Key Facts:

38

educational attainment for their children, and lower levels of Talking Points: crime. For example, because children born from unplanned • Contraception has a wide range of profound social, pregnancies are more likely to be born to disadvantaged economic, and health benefits and should be considered an essential part of general, preventive health care for all mothers, they experience greater risk factors for committing people. crimes. A study by Juan Patano (2007) found that increasing • Women use birth control for many reasons besides conaccess to high-quality contraceptives in the 1960s and 1970s trolling fertility led to lower crime levels twenty years later, when the children • A private corporation should not be able to impose reliof the unplanned pregnancies that were prevented by the gious beliefs on its employees use of contraception would have reached their prime age for criminal behavior. Contraception has a wide range of profound social, economic, and health benefits and should be considered an essential part of general, preventive health care for all people. It should not be overlooked that many women use birth control for many reasons besides controlling fertility. It is common for women to take birth control to combat ovarian cysts and regulate their menstrual cycles. This is not to minimize the importance of birth control as a contraceptive, but rather to emphasize that there are myriad reasons behind a woman’s personal medical choices.

Analysis:

Opponents of the birth control requirement of the Affordable Care act argue that the government should not be able to tell a Catholic corporation that they have to provide birth control if it is against their beliefs. In reality, a private corporation should not be able to impose religious beliefs on its employees in the first place. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods are not religious enterprises, even though their owners hold strong religious beliefs. These owners may choose not to use birth control themselves if it contradicts their personal religious beliefs, but I emphasize that those beliefs are personal. People should use their beliefs to guide them through their own lives, but they cannot force those beliefs on others. This is a cornerstone of American ideals and freedom. The U.S. values a separation of Church and State. We have established this and fought this fight countless times. In fact, over two decades ago, Supreme Court Justice Scalia (a conservative Catholic) said that granting corporations exceptions to laws based on religious beliefs would be “courting anarchy.” A common argument against the contraceptive coverage requirement is that women who want birth control have the choice to pay for it out of pocket. But here’s the grind: forcing women to pay for contraception out of pocket really does not leave them with a choice at all. A recent study found that over half of American women were unable to use birth control consistently (and thus effectively) at some point in their lives because they were unable to afford it. When employers remove coverage of contraceptives from their healthcare plans, they may be removing their employees’ option to use birth control altogether. It is also common for opponents of the birth control requirement to refer to contraceptive coverage as “free” birth control. But in reality, it is not free. It is a reimbursement for their labor and a part of their earned compensation. That’s what health insurance is in this country. Many people even take and leave jobs based on the available health insurance plans. Health insurance coverage is part of the paycheck, and when women are forced to pay for their birth control out of pocket, they take a pay cut.

Next Steps:

The bottom line is that no corporation should be able to block an employee’s access to basic, preventive healthcare. By forcing employees to pay for birth control out of pocket, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods are limiting women’s ability to make important personal decisions about their bodies, health, and lives. Many women are unable to pay for birth control out of pocket, and access to basic healthcare should never be based on how much someone makes. The Supreme Court should uphold the birth control requirement of the Affordable Care Act and ensure that every woman has an equal opportunity to take care of herself, her family, and her future.

Endnotes:

1: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FB-Unintended-Pregnancy-US.html 2: Goldin, C., & Katz, L. (2002). The power of the Pill: oral contraceptives and women’s career and marriage decisions. Journal of Political Economy, 110(4), 730-770. 3: Frost, J., & Lindberg, L. (2012). Reasons for using contraception: perspectives of US women seeking care at specialized family planning clinics. Contraception, 87(4), 465-472.

39

Trade-Offs Through Trade: An Analysis of Drug Importation Policy
Frank Sun, Major: Policy Analysis and Management, 2016, Email: fs334@cornell.edu
The government needs to find ways to lower healthcare and pharmaceutical costs but direct drug importations from Canada and Europe may not be the answer

History:

In 1848, the Food and Drug Administration • Patients are able to obtain drugs from places like Canada or Europe for one-third to one-half of the price they would pay in the passed the Drug Importation Act to allow the U.S. U.S. Customs Service to prevent any adulterated drugs from • The most recent bills on drug importation are blocked by the entering the United States from overseas. The Customs federal government with pressure from the drug lobbyists and Service had to inspect all pharmaceuticals and drugs pharmaceuticals industry. entering the U.S. for sale and other uses.7 Then, in 1988, • The FDA does not approve of drugs imported from a foreign the Prescription Drug Marketing Act required that new market, but other countries are offered the many of the same drug wholesalers be licensed to sell drugs by the states. It drugs as the U.S. often for a lesser price. restricted the re-importation of drugs from other coun- • The pharmaceuticals industry has a median profit of 18% in 2001, which was higher than any other industry – but there are tries and the sale, trade, trafficking and counterfeiting of risks associated with acquiring that profit. these drugs.7 Importation of drugs is a difficult, controversial topic in Washington, and among pharmaceutical firms and medical doctors. However, if patients are able to get drugs for up to 50% less from U.S. suppliers importing from Canada and Ireland, why will the government not embrace the idea? The most recent bill on drug importation was proposed in December of 2013 (H.R. 3715). It called for the government to allow the importation and re-importation of drugs from other countries into the United States under certain conditions. However, this bill was not passed along with the other bills of its type and was ultimately referred to the subcommittee on health. The idea of drug importation is always met with many road blocks – many stemming from the drug industry lobbyists themselves. The NY Times published an article suggesting that, after analyzing a series of emails, President Obama and his health care advisors were coerced into opposing importation.2 It is evident that the pharmaceutical industry has a lot of influence with policy makers in Washington. However, they may be opposed to importation for good reason. The U.S. pharmaceutical firms are attempting to protect their business interests and also advance the health of the public. Safety has become a big concern for the government, the pharmaceuticals industry, and the public. For example, a group of doctors were being investigated because they ordered Avastin from a Canadian online pharmacy for their cancer patients to cut costs. It was discovered that these drugs were actually just a mixture of cornstarch and acetone instead of the cancer fighting ingredients. These doctors could face very large fines and they jeopardized the health of their patients.1 The FDA does not approve imported drugs such as these so their importation and distribution is technically illegal. Also, Health Canada (Canada’s equivalent of the FDA) neither monitors nor inspects the drugs leaving their borders, so the chance of counterfeit drugs is highly probable. Another issue has to do with the way drugs are priced in the U.S. For the most part, the U.S. does not regulate prescription drug prices so prices are usually determined in a free market system. Many European countries regulate pharmaceutical prices and simply reject new medical technologies that are too expensive. Thus, pharmaceutical industries need to be more flexible in pricing when they are attempting to enter a foreign market – giving international consumers the ability to free ride on the U.S.’s R&D. However, because the U.S. lacks price regulation, the pharmaceuticals industry is able to earn most of its profits lost to R&D and clinical trials from American consumers. Bringing drugs in from other countries will reduce R&D returns for U.S. pharmaceutical companies so they basically rely on the domestic consumers for profits. Major trade-offs exist in this type of situation. If the government allows drug importations then patients and physicians will have access to much cheaper drugs, reducing total spending on healthcare. However, pharmaceutical firms will have less incentive to innovate and speed R&D on newer, more advanced drugs because they will not be earning back profits as quickly as they would without drug importations and price regulation. The government needs to make a decision on whether it is worth importing drugs from outside markets or protecting the interests of the pharmaceutical firms and lobbyists by allowing them to charge drug prices in the U.S. based on the market.

Key Facts:

40

Analysis:

A major concern that needs to be addressed has to • The safety of imported drugs could compromise the health of American individuals. do with the safety and efficacy of imported drugs. Canadi• The pharmaceuticals industry in the U.S. needs incentives an drugs may have been safe in the past but Health Canada for R&D or else the supply of innovative, new drugs will has loosened its grip on drug inspections for imports from begin to decline. countries like Brazil, China, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia. • There are still individuals in the US who cannot afford the These drugs could be lacking in efficacy, safety, and legititop-quality pharmaceuticals they need and need solutions. macy. Counterfeit drugs can severely hinder a population of • The government and pharmaceuticals industry need to patients as shown in the cancer example. This could result in work together to help the industry retain its profits while increasing access to drugs overall through diplomatic or a two-tiered drug purchasing system that perpetuates social monetary solutions. injustice. The rich could afford the quality drugs that the • FDA approves in the U.S. whereas the individuals who have trouble affording those drugs must put their lives at risk by buying from foreign, non-approved pharmacies. Ultimately, the trade-off between pharmaceutical pricing and incentives for R&D are of concern as well. For the pharmaceutical firms to continue producing quality drugs, profits need to be raised to a level where the firm can continue to operate comfortably. Drug companies invest about 20% of sales in R&D so drug prices need to keep up with that. Solutions need to be found in balancing drug prices and amount of money available for R&D. The government must find a way to provide safe, innovative drugs for individuals at an affordable price. Right now, they are refusing to allow importations of drugs into the U.S. as influenced by drug lobbyists. That’s not to say the future has no solution to this problem.

Talking Points:

Next Steps:

Certain states such as Illinois and Wisconsin allow the importation of drugs from licensed pharmacies in Canada but not from the Internet or any unregulated sources. This allows them to provide drugs to their states’ patients at significantly reduced costs while also making sure the Canadian pharmaceutical sources and manufacturing facilities are following Health Canada guidelines for safety. However, it is probable that in the long run, the demand for these Canadian drugs will increase so the Canadian firms will be able to raise their prices, negating the intended effects of drug importation. Also, to protect the interests of pharmaceutical firms in the U.S., and give them incentive to invest continually in R&D, it is imperative that the government makes sure they can earn the right amounts of profit back. If drug importation was safe enough to be legalized, it could severely jeopardize the amount of R&D occurring in this country. Perhaps, the way to combat the issue with drug prices is not just through importation and the pharmaceutical firms themselves. It might be more helpful if the government found a way to subsidize the prices on drugs or give pharmaceutical firms more research stipends so they are more cooperative in lowering their prices. Since it is so difficult to satisfy the needs of the pharmaceuticals industry and the public’s need for better drugs, the solution to lower health costs may not come from drug importation itself. Other countries are free-riding off of our R&D and charging lower prices so it would be helpful if pharmaceutical firms pressured those countries into sharing the cost of R&D to help reduce drug prices in the U.S. without sacrificing R&D or risk importing faulty drugs. The government will need to negotiate with pharmaceutical industries, insurance companies, and physicians to decide which strategies of drug pricing and continued R&D is the most plausible if they want to lower costs without sacrificing the benefits. Endnotes:
1) Adler, Ericka. “Big Consequences for Doctors Importing Prescription Drugs .”. http://www.physicianspractice.com/blog/big-consequences-doctors-importing-prescription-drugs (accessed April 26, 2014). 2) Baker, Peter. “Obama Was Pushed by Drug Industry, E-Mails Suggest.” The New York Times, June 8, 2012, sec. Politics. 3) Bast, Joseph. “The Pros and Cons of Importing Drugs from Canada.” . http://heartland.org/press-releases/2004/04/19/pros-and-cons-importing-drugs-canada (accessed April 26, 2014). 4)Hamilton, Jonathan H. “The effect of Canadian imports on prescription drug prices in the US.” Regional Science and Urban Economics 42, no. 6 (2012): 1003-1008. 5) The Levin Institute. “Drug Importation and its Impact on the World Pharmaceutical Market.”. http://www.globalization101.org/drug-importation-and-its-impact-on-the-world-pharmaceutical-market-2/ (accessed April 26, 2014). 6) U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “About FDA.” Significant Dates in U.S. Food and Drug Law History. http://www.fda.gov/aboutfda/whatwedo/history/ milestones/ucm128305.htm (accessed April 26, 2014). 7) Vernon, John A., Joseph H. Golec, and W. Keener Hughen. “Economics of Pharmaceutical Price Regulation and Importation: Refocusing the Debate, The.” Am. JL & Med. 32 (2006): 175.

41

Mind My Mental Health: Improving Mental Health Recognition Among General Practitioners Angelica Cullo, Major: Biological Sciences, 2015, Email: afc46@cornell.edu
General practitioners must devote better attention and care to mental health awareness. History: • 7 out of 10 cases of mental illness go untreated In January of 2013 the Mental Health First Aid • Up to 50% of cases of severe depression and other mental health disorders presented to primary care physicians* are not recogAct of 2013 was introduced to the Senate. This bill nized as such.1 called for the amendment of the Public Health Service • Individuals living with serious psychiatric illnesses are at risk Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human for chronic medical conditions, and on average live 25 less than Services, acting through the Administrator of the those without them. 4 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) to provide grants for implementation of mental health first aid training programs and access to resources for community members.2 In April of the same year, a bill was introduced to Congress that called for another amendment to the Public Health Service Act which would provide health care practitioners in rural areas with grants for training in preventive health care (from the Department of Health and Human Services), including both physical and mental care.5 Analysis: Despite recent legislation directed toward target audiences and primary health care providers practicing in specific demographic locations, mental illness diagnosis rates remain unacceptably low. Medical care is more frequently provided by general practitioners than by psychiatrists, and as such, general practitioners have a largely untapped potential to intervene and provide care to patients before symptoms escalade to a point where they could lead to disability or life-threatening conditions. Recent findings indicate, however, that few doctors have the mental health or counselling training to effectively treat and manage patients with common mental illnesses. A study in Sydney evaluated the effects of skills-based training program on general practitioners’ capacity to identify and treat patients with depression and anxiety. This study found that general practitioners who undertook mental health training provided significantly more mental health treatment, and had higher diagnosis rates for common mental disorders than those who did not (P < 0.001) - and these results persisted in both the short and the long term.3 In addition to improving the readiness of health care providers, reforms could increase the cost-effectiveness of mental health treatment by incentivizing preventive care rather than much more costly intensive care treatment options such as hospitalizations and inpatient psychiatric services. Next Steps: Talking Points: Graduate and continuing medical education of • Few doctors are adequately trained in mental health and counselling or they lack appropriate communication skills general practitioners across the country should include needed for mental health diagnoses. a comprehensive mental health training component. The • Changes medical and continuing medical training would Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education improve mental health outcomes and reduce costs associ(ACCME) should create a mental health training certificaated with care for psychiatric illnesses. tion and the federal government should pass legislation to provide grants to primary care physicians who complete the mental health training certification program. Seeing as the Department of Health and Human Services and the SAMHSA already provide funding to similar programs, this grant program could be an extension of one outlined in the Department of Health and Human Service’s Title VII of the Public Health Service Act: “Grants for Primary Care Training and Enhancement”. Not only would a program like this improve health care outcomes and reduce costs, but it could also incentivize physicians to practice in a field with a growing shortage of professionals - primary care medicine.

Key Facts:

42

Endnotes:

1. Dowrick, C., “Improving mental health through primary care”. British Journal of General Practice. (1992); 42 (362): 382-386. http:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1372117/ 2. Reki, A., Ando, B., Dudas, R.B., Dweik, D., Janka, Z., Kozinsky, Z., Kereszturi, A., “Validation of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale as a screening tool for postpartum depression in a clinical sample in Hungary”. Midwifery. (2014). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed/24742635 3. Naismith, S.L., Hickie, I.B., Scott, E.M., Davenport, T.A. “Effects of mental health training and clinical audit on general practitioners’ management of common mental disorders.” Med J Aust. (2001). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11556436 4. Begich, M. S.153 - Mental Health First Aid Act of 2013. 113th Congress. (2013). http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/153?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22mental+health+first+aid+training+%22%5D%7D 5. Gaddard, T. (2013) H.R. 1559 - Rural Preventive Health Care Training Act of 2013. 1113th Congress. http://beta.congress.gov/ bill/113th-congress/house-bill/1559?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22mental+health+physician+training+%22%5D%7D 6. National Alliance of Mental Illness. Numbers of Americans Affected by Mental Illness. http://www.nami.org/factsheets/mentalillness_factsheet.pdf 7. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. “Grants for Primary Care Training and Enhancement”. (2012). https://www.cfda.gov/index?s=program&mode=form&tab=core&id=60a73056070d623ffaa32b9bd13be872

43

V. Center for Energy and Environment
“A nation that destroys it’s soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Alexander Fields ‘16 Russell Sesler ‘16 Hilary Yu, ‘15 Lucy Stockton ‘17 Liam Berigan ‘17
Letter from the Policy Director 45 “The German Model: Why Switching From Nuclear Power Was Misguided” 46-47 Russell Sesler ‘16 This paper examines the larger themes of costs, economic benefits, and environmental concerns surrounding nuclear energy through the lens of Germany’s policy decisionmaking in the wake of the Fukushima meltdown. Their decision to change the 2010 energy plan was misguided because it does not maximize returns on government investments, puts undue pressure on the German economy, and fosters the burning of fossil fuels in the short-run. “Banning Triclosan: Rethinking a Common Chemical” 48-49 Hilary Yu ’15 Triclosan, an antimicrobial commonly found in hand soaps and body washes, should be banned in light of the chemical’s relative inefficacy and negative environmental impacts. “Legislating Water Conservation in Agriculture” 50-51 Lucy Stockton ‘17 Irrigation has historically been an integral part of sustaining agriculture, but climate change and aquifer depletion threaten farms and food supplies by changing our water supplies. Instituting cost-effective water conservation policies would help individual farms and society by effectively managing natural resources. “Collegiate Revolving Loan Funds for Energy Investment” 52-23 Liam Berigan ‘17 Introducing green revolving loan funds provides an opportunity for colleges and universities to reduce their energy consumption and promote renewable energy sources.

Director

Analysts

44

Dear Readers,

Letter from the Director

I am very pleased to present the sixth issue of Looking Ahead: The Cornell Roosevelt Institute Policy Journal from the Center for Energy and Environment. Since taking over as Policy Director and Editor of the journal this semester, it has been an amazing experience and I have a newfound appreciation for the dedication and talent of our Analysts. I have also been fortunate to welcome a new analyst to the Center for Energy and Environment this semester and am very excited to display his work in this issue. All of the Analysts have written creative and passionate policy proposals that reflect their high level of nuance and in-depth research. They have shown their commitment to promoting progressive policies and inspiring positive social change. The proposals are very enjoyable to read and very thought-provoking. I hope that you enjoy this journal. Sincerely, Alexander Fields
Government (A&S ‘16) Director, Center for Energy & Environment

45

The German Model: Why Switching From Nuclear Power Was Misguided
By Russell Sesler, Major: College Scholar (A&S ‘16), Email: rps95@cornell.edu
This paper examines the larger themes of costs, economic benefits, and environmental concerns surrounding nuclear energy through the lens of Germany’s policy decisionmaking in the wake of the Fukushima meltdown. Their decision to change the 2010 energy plan was misguided because it does not maximize returns on government investments, puts undue pressure on the German economy, and fosters the burning of fossil fuels in the short-run.

History:

Since Germany introduced its first nuclear Key Facts: • Germany lost 8.4 gigawatts of electricity by shutting down its reactor in Kahl in 1960, nuclear power had been a nuclear plants. significant portion of Germany’s energy mix. When • The German government incurred $756 billion in sunk costs Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, was electfrom spending on nuclear power production. ed for her third term, she announced that her main priority was overhauling Germany’s energy policy. In 2010, the German government developed the Energy Concept, which was designed to make the German economy the world’s most energy-efficient economy by 2050, while maintaining affordable pricing. 1 The plan involved making renewables the focus of German energy and reducing overall energy usage. One of its key facets was improving the average lifespan of nuclear reactors by 12 years and relying on nuclear power until renewables could become cost-effective. In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in March 2011, Merkel took aggressive steps to change Germany’s energy policy. The German government closed seven of its nuclear power plants in the immediate aftermath of Fukushima. This decreased electricity production by 8.4 gigawatts and facilitated the future shutdown of its other nuclear plants by 2022.2 Additionally, the government placed a greater commitment to renewable power and funneled additional funds to that sector.

Analysis:

Although Germany was planning to spend money to eventually phase out nuclear energy, it would have been a more prudent investment to keep the plants running until their useful lifespans expired. After Fukushima, Germany spent $756 billion to shut down its nuclear plants.3 This spending prevented Germany from minimizing its costs incurred by initially pursuing nuclear power. Even though nuclear reactors have high initial capital costs, they require low maintenance costs relative to other energy sources. Nuclear energy only becomes financially viable after the cost of building the reactor has been amortized over forty to sixty years. After incurring the massive sunk costs for all of its nuclear reactors, Germany should have still attempted to enjoy the economic benefits of nuclear energy instead of simply writing off the cost. In addition to losing out on economic opportunities, Merkel’s decision puts more pressure on energy producers to develop renewable technology and eliminates the safety net that prevented excessive price increases in electricity. As part of the new energy plan, the German government has expanded subsidies for renewable energy sources such as solar power, wind power, and hydropower. As a result, renewables have grown from 18.9 million tones of oil equivalent (TOE) to 26.0 million TOE.4 Despite this positive growth in production, the subsidies are not economically sustainable without pursuing future cost-cutting innovation. Furthermore, the shutdown of the nuclear reactors has created an electricity supply deficit that has raised the price of electricity. These price hikes have negatively impacted German industrial competitiveness and economic growth. German heavy industry, the backbone of the German economy, accounts for roughly a quarter of Germany’s GDP and increases in variable electricity costs decreases the firms’ production.5 Although Merkel’s policy change reduces nuclear waste and the risks of another disaster like Fukushima, it also causes additional short to medium-term carbon emissions. In order to make up for the energy supply deficit caused by turning off seven reactors, German coal consumption grew by nearly 2.0 million TOE from 2010 to 2012.6 The coal that is burned is primarily ‘dirty’ sub-bituminous and lignite coal, which increases carbon

46

emissions. As nuclear energy, like renewables, does not produce greenhouse gases, German policy is actually increasing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Expanding coal production will only exacerbate this troubling trend. Talking Points: On the other hand, Merkel’s change in • Higher electricity prices caused by halting nuclear power production the 2010 policy eliminates the risk of a nucleharms German industrial production. ar disaster within Germany and reduces the • The loss of nuclear plans leads to a switchover in coal and an increase amount of nuclear waste. There is an environin carbon emissions. mental trade-off between expanding carbon emissions and reducing the environmental hazards of nuclear energy. Even though Germany choses to avoid nuclear accidents, the more pressing issue is the high risk of global warming. Germany would be better off avoiding future carbon emissions, rather than ramping up non-renewable production in the shortterm.7

Next Steps:

While nuclear power is unlikely to return to Germany’s energy mix, it is still an important source of energy for many other countries. Potential safety risks like the Fukushima meltdown should not tempt countries, especially the United States, to scrap their nuclear energy programs. Nuclear power is a cost-effective source of energy that does not produce any carbon emissions. These factors make nuclear power an effective “bridge” to combat global warming until renewable energy sources can become economically viable. Since many American nuclear plants will be relicensed soon, it is imperative that policymakers try to extend the life of this critical fuel source so that the U.S. avoids Germany’s pitfalls.

End Notes:

1. Energy Policies of IEA countries – 2013 German Review, accessed March 19, 2014, http://www.iea.org/Textbase/npsum/germany2013SUM.pdf, 9. 2. Ferguson, Charles D. Nuclear Energy: What Everyone Needs to Know. (Oxford University Press. May 2011), 69. 3. Energy Policies of IEA countries – 2013 German Review, 10 4. BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2013, accessed March 20, 2014, http://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/pdf/statistical-review/ statistical_review_of_world_energy_2013.pdf, 30. 5. “Country Profile 2008 Germany,” Economic Intelligence Unit (2008), http://portal.eiu.com/FileHandler.ashx?issue_id=1103804095&mode=pdf 6. Ibid, 31. 7. Davenport, Coral. “Rising Seas”, accessed March 20, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/01/science/earth/climate.html?_r=0

47

Banning Triclosan: Rethinking a Common Chemical
By Hilary Yu, Majors: Government and Biological Sciences (A&S ‘15), Email: hcy25@cornell.edu

History:

Triclosan, a antimicrobial commonly found in hand soaps and body washes, should be banned in light of the chemical’s relative inefficacy and negative environmental impacts.

Triclosan, a common ingredient in household cleaners, has been used since the 1960s and is estimated to be in 75 percent of American antibacterial liquid soaps and body washes.1 It is viewed as an effective germ-killing agent for soaps and washes. Triclosan is also found in other consumer products including clothing, furniture, toys, and kitchenware.2 The FDA published its first preliminary guidelines Key Facts: regarding the use of chemicals in liquid hand soaps and • Studies have shown that triclosan can be 100 to 1000 times washes, including triclosan, in 1978. According to the more effective in killing marine life than microbes. draft, triclosan was “not generally recognized as safe and • In December 2013, the FDA issued a rule requiring that manufacturers provide data indicating the efficacy of effective,” due to a lack of scientific research regarding its antibacterial soaps. safety and effectiveness.3 Since then, the FDA has published additional draft guidelines. More conclusively in December 2013, the FDA issued a proposed rule requiring manufacturers to provide data substantiating the safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps and demonstrating their ability to provide a clinical benefit over non-bacterial soaps.4 The proposed rule applies only to consumer antibacterial soaps and body washes used with water. Hand sanitizers, hand wipes, and antibacterial soaps in hospital settings are exempt.5

Analysis:

Studies have not only indicated that soaps with triclosan are no more effective than regular soap at decreasing bacteria or preventing sickness, but they have also shown that longer hand washing improves results to a much greater extent than the addition of antibacterial ingredients.6 Even though triclosan in toothpaste has been shown to be especially effective for fighting gingivitis, there are far too many detrimental environmental impacts associated with its use.7 Studies have shown that triclosan can produce harmful environmental effects in unintended locations. In many products, triclosan is used with water. In turn, triclosan then often enters aquatic ecosystems via treated wastewater inputs and studies have shown triclosan to be “100 – 1000 times more effective in inhibiting and killing algae, crustaceans, and fish than [it is] in killing microbes.”8 University of Minnesota researchers also say that triclosan can be increasingly found lakes and rivers and can “interact with chlorine and sunlight to form harmful dioxins,” which have been associated with birth defects and identified as a potential carcinogens.9 There are also concerns that triclosan, like other antibacterial agents, contributes to the rise of “drug-resistant germs, or superbugs.”10 Given the negative environmental impacts of triclosan entering aquatic environments and the availability of viable alternatives to triclosan for soaps and washes, triclosan should be banned.

Next Steps:

As mandated by Governor Mark Dayton, Minnesota’s state agencies have already stopped using products that contain triclosan. The state’s legislature is also expected to approve a ban on the inclusion of triclosan in consumer products during this year’s legislative session. If the mandate passes, Minnesota would be the first state in the United States to ban triclosan.11 Many companies have also voluntarily chosen to end their use of triclosan. Procter and Gamble, for example, has pledged to eliminate triclosan from its products by 2014 while Johnson and Johnson has made plans to phase out triclosan by the end of 2015.12 Although the FDA’s new rule proposed in December 2013 is an important step forward, its language

48

should be expanded to include consumer products Talking Points: beyond those of just antibacterial soaps and washes. • Triclosan is used in 75 percent of American antibacterial soaps, but poses safety risks Moreover, the discussion of triclosan in the FDA has • This chemical has been associated with harmful environmental already pushed the EPA to move its review of trieffects attributed to runoff. closan in the use of pesticides forward. This process • State governments and major manufacturers should follow Minshould be further expedited because of concerns nesota’s example and end the use of triclosan. surrounding pesticides present in agricultural runoff that enters waterways.13

End Notes:
“Safety of Triclosan, Antibacterial Ingredient, Being Reviewed by FDA,” last modified May 2, 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost. com/2013/05/02/triclosan-safety-antibacterial-soap-safe-fda_n_3202847.html 2 “Triclosan: What Consumers Should Know,” last modified November 25, 2013, http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ ucm205999.htm 3 “Safety of Triclosan, Antibacterial Ingredient, Being Reviewed by FDA,” last modified May 2, 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost. com/2013/05/02/triclosan-safety-antibacterial-soap-safe-fda_n_3202847.html 4 “Triclosan: What Consumers Should Know,” last modified November 25, 2013, http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ ucm205999.htm 5 Ibid. 6 “Safety of Triclosan, Antibacterial Ingredient, Being Reviewed by FDA,” last modified May 2, 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost. com/2013/05/02/triclosan-safety-antibacterial-soap-safe-fda_n_3202847.html 7 Ibid. 8 Rolf U. Halden, “On the Need and Speed for Regulating Triclosan and Triclocarban in the United States,” Environmental Science and Technology 48.7 (2014): 3603-3611, accessed: May 1, 2014, doi: 10.1021/es500495p, http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es500495p 9 “Minnesota Could Become First State to Ban Antibacterial Chemical Triclosan,” last modified February 25, 2014, http://www.mprnews. org/story/2014/02/25/minnesota-proposed-tricolsan-ban 10 “Safety of Triclosan, Antibacterial Ingredient, Being Reviewed by FDA,” last modified May 2, 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost. com/2013/05/02/triclosan-safety-antibacterial-soap-safe-fda_n_3202847.html 11 “Minnesota Could Become First State to Ban Antibacterial Chemical Triclosan,” last modified February 25, 2014, http://www.mprnews. org/story/2014/02/25/minnesota-proposed-tricolsan-ban 12 “Triclosan,” last modified no date, http://www.beyondpesticides.org/antibacterial/triclosan.php 13 “FDA Finally Reviewing Controversial Ingredient in Soap After 40 Years of Procrastination,” last modified May 2, 2013, http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/05/02/1956541/fda-review-soap-procrastination/
1

49

Legislating Water Conservation in Agriculture
By Lucy Stockton, Major: International Agriculture and Rural Development(CALS ‘17) Email: lds99@cornell.edu Irrigation has historically been an integral part of sustaining agriculture, but climate change and aquifer depletion threaten farms and food supplies by changing our water supplies. Instituting cost-effective water conservation policies would help individual farms and society by effectively managing natural resources.

History:

Irrigation is the foundation that all agricultural systems are built upon and ensures our food security. The first innovations in irrigation occurred in 6000 B.C. in the Fertile Crescent, allowing people to design cultivation in a more controlled way that was not just dependent on rainfall. Today, 600,000,000 acres are irrigated by technologies like sprinkler systems, drip hoses, and flood methods Key Facts: • Groundwater provides more than 50 billion gallons from sources of rainfall, watershed and groundwater. However, of freshwater for agriculture every day.7 they have encouraged more cultivation of land, crops and popu• Less than 10% of American farms use advanced irlation growth, perpetuating a system heavy on water withdrawrigation technologies that encourage water conseral. Caused by an increase the amount of food produced, water vation. (USDA, Schaible) overconsumption spurred resulting from agricultural irrigation • Nearly 57 million acres of American land were is actually threatening global food security. These issues have irrigated in 2007. (USDA, Schaible) only been compounded by the effects of climate change. Changes in the world’s climate have redistributed rainfall and has made rainfed agriculture more undependable. While farmers are increasingly turning to aquifers to meet their water demands, we are facing the challenges of aquifer depletion.

Analysis:

Addressing water scarcity requires major structural changes in our agricultural system. Enacting legislation and promoting strategies to decrease water consumption, such as limiting withdrawal of groundwater by setting upper limits on the amount of water that each farm can use and promoting the cultivation of more drought-tolerant plants are essential. Mandating upper limits on water use could be potentially detrimental to farmers if the water that they are allotted is not enough for what they need. Also, funds must be spent towards monitoring water use with no immediate rewards. The long-term rewards of decreasing water consumption and investing in sustainable irrigation technologies could be hugely beneficial. Both reductions in water consumption and the construction of conservation-minded infrastructure will bolster reactions to larger water shortages and climate variability in the future.

Next Steps:

Policies to reduce water use Talking Points: • Irrigation and water consumption practices impact water consumers beyond must be centered on mitigation stratfarms because of the pervasive impact of water withdrawal caused by agriculture. egies. Educating farmers about the • As climate change threatens the world’s water supplies, we must work to mitigate dangers of over-irrigating on their further climate change and adapt to changing water sources. farms, including salinization, water• Mandating night-time irrigation and promoting drip-irrigation systems to reduce logging, water contamination, and evaporation are good strategies to use to reduce agricultural water consumption. 1 aquifer depletion, can facilitate more environmentally-sound farming. Field-monitoring programs that mandate night-time irrigation may be extremely effective in reducing overall water consumption. Promising technologies such as drip irrigation systems have also been shown to reduce water evaporation and promote direct absorption by preventing water from escaping into the air or soil. If this were implemented on every farm, the potential water savings of 1 to 3 inches per season per acre could be massive. The widespread adoption of drip irrigation systems could result in a 10% reduction in evapotranspiration for farms all over the country. Mechanisms such as these can make farming much more productive by requiring less

50

water consumption.2 Decreasing evaporation during irrigation is a practical goal to work towards. Several practices to achieve this include limiting water consumption by making irrigation more precise or watering at night to avoid evaporation due to wind or heat in the daytime.34 Recognizing that water scarcity is a dire issue for agricultural systems, we must take action now to diminish the potential for shortages. Many American farms still use very inefficient technologies and contribute significantly to national water loss.5 It is in our national interest to legislate policy that limits evaporation from farms. Incentivizing water-saving technologies and practices can greatly decrease the amount of water that we use.6

End Notes:
Winston, Bernadette and Gollehon, Noel. “Groundwater Irrigation and Water Withdrawals: The Ogallala Aquifer Initiative.” USDA NRCS. Economic Series 1 (2013). Web. Accessed April 24 2014. 2. Evett SR , Colaizzi PD , Howell TA (2007) “Drip and Evaporation.” www.cprl.ars.usda.gov, available on 21.11. 2007. http://www.ksre. ksu.edu/irrigate/OOW/P05/Evett.pdf. Web. Accessed April 24 2014. 3. Playan, E. Salvador et al. “Day and Night Wind Drift and Evaporation Losses 2 in Sprinkler Solid-Sets and Moving Laterals.” 4. Frost, K.R. and H.C. Schwalen. “Evapotranspiration During Sprinkler Irrigation.” Transactions of the ASAE 3 (1960): 18-20, 24. Web. Accessed April 22 2014. 5. Schaible, Glenn D. and Aillery, Marcel P. “Water Conservation in Irrigated Agriculture: Trends and Challenges in the Face of Emerging Demands.” USDA Economic Research Service. Economic Information Bulletin 99 (2012) Web. Accessed April 24 2014. 6. Playan , Enrique and Mateos, Luciano. “Modernization and optimization of irrigation systems to increase water productivity.” Agricultural Water Management 80.1–3 (2006): 100–116. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2005.07.007. Web. Accessed April 23 2014. 7. “Groundwater Depletion Across the Nation.” US Geological Survey. USGS Survey Fact Sheet (2003): 103-03. Web. Accessed April 24 2014.
1.

51

Collegiate Revolving Loan Funds for Energy Investment
By Liam Berigan, Major: Environmental Science (CALS ‘17) Email: lab345@cornell.edu
Introducing green revolving loan funds provides an opportunity for colleges and universities to reduce their energy consumption and promote renewable energy sources.

History:

Recent calls for colleges and universities to Key Facts: divest from fossil fuels have prompted many critics to • Green revolving funds widely range in size from $100,000 to $13 million and are paid back through the energy savings that argue that divestment is ineffective1 and has potentially their projects create. 2 catastrophic effects on college endowments. Howev• Green revolving funds are already being used by more than 47 er, divestment’s principles are sound because colleges institutions nationwide. and universities exist for the public good. They are not designed to make profits and their investments should reflect this commitment. The Billion Dollar Green Challenge, which was established by the Sustainable Endowments Institute in 2011, has demonstrated that colleges can use portions of their endowments to establish green revolving loan funds.3 Revolving loan funds allow universities to invest in on-campus projects that will generate revenue through saved energy or operational costs, such as energy efficiency upgrades. The loan funds are established with university funds and they make investments in energy efficiency upgrades around campus. Eventually, the university pays the amount of the investment back to the fund with money saved through the energy improvements. These funds have rapidly increased in prominence over the last several years with about 80 green revolving funds being used by universities across the United States and Canada. This represents a 15-fold increase in green revolving funds over the past decade with 36 funds being established in 2011 and 2012.4

Analysis:

Universities have phenomenally large operating costs, as revealed by their skyrocketing tuition rates. To lower these costs, educational institutions should invest in energy-saving infrastructure. Investments in improving on-campus infrastructure can yield annual returns of over 20%5 without the inherent risks that come with alternative methods of investment, such as the stock market. The Billion Dollar Green Challenge has been successfully introduced at 47 educational institutions that have dedicated $82 million to revolving loan funds for energy efficiency. This project would also help universities fulfill their societal obligations by facilitating a better energy future for the United States. Green revolving loan funds can decrease society’s overconsumption and dependence on fossil fuels, setting an example for students to support energy-saving technology. Harvard’s solar photovoltaic installation campaign, which was completed in 2003, is a successful project funded by green revolving loan funds. It annually lowers Harvard’s energy costs by $11,000 and reduces its carbon dioxide emissions by 203,524 pounds. It is very cost-effective and will pay off its initial investment of $400,000 within about 20 years, after which the returned funds can be used to sponsor other on-campus energy projects.6 Programs like this demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits of revolving fund projects.

Next Steps:

Universities should increase their requests from alumni for donations specifically designated to establish green revolving funds or by directing the funds from their endowments. These funds can be specifically tailored to the size and needs of specific institutions. Bethany College maintains a fund of only $100,000, while the University of Vermont maintains green revolving funds valued at $13 million.7 Green revolving funds would be ideal for large state universities in particular because they amass large energy costs and are committed to improving the welfare of their states. Student environmental groups can mobilize support for these projects, and

52

suggest new ideas for locations on campus that Talking Points: need energy efficiency upgrades. Schools that • Universities can make a sizable investment in a sustainable future by are currently participating in these projects can funding on-campus energy saving and energy production. share financial information about green revolv- • 38% of Americans have a college degree8. Investing in energy-saving ing funds with other schools to persuade them and renewable energy technology in educational spaces can teach stuthat these projects can be profitable investdents the importance a sustainable future. ments. • By creating green revolving funds, colleges and universities can reduce their operating costs while making an investment in the future of the climate.

End Notes:
1 Domonell, Kristen. 2014. “Is Fossil Fuel Divestment a Wise Move?” University Business. Accessed April 25. http://www.universitybusiness.com/article/divestment-debate. 2 Tufts Divestment Working Group. 2014. “Recommendations of the Tufts Divestment Working Group.” Tufts University Office of the President. http://president.tufts.edu/recommendations-of-the-tufts-divestment-working-group/. 3 Billion Dollar Green Challenge. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://greenbillion.org/. 4 Weisbord, Dano, Emily Flynn, and Mark Orlowski. 2012. “Greening the Bottom Line.” http://greenbillion.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Greening-the-Bottom-Line-2012.pdf. 5 Sustainable Endowments Institute. “The Billion Dollar Green Challenge.” http://greenbillion.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/TheChallenge-OnePageSummary.pdf. 6 Harvard Green Campus Initiative. “Photovoltaic Power Generation.” http://green.harvard.edu/sites/green.harvard.edu/files/tool-resource/field_file/ gclf_case_study_100-23_hbs-shad_pv.pdf. 7 Billion Dollar Green Challenge. “Bethany College.” http://greenbillion.org/participant/bethany-college. ———. “University of Vermont.” http://greenbillion.org/participant/university-of-vermont/. 8 O’Brien, Brendan. 2013. “College Degree Rate Rises, But At Pace Well Short Of Needs: Lumina Foundation Study.” The Huffington Post, June 13. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/14/college-degree-rate-study_n_3438500.html.

53

VI. Center for Foreign Policy
“In every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

Director
Ariel Smilowitz ‘15

Analysts
Hazel Guardado ‘16 Sarah Cutler ‘16 Svati Pazhyanur ‘16 Sanat Valecha ‘16 Usamah Andrabi ‘15 Nate Jara ‘16 Marc Getzoff ‘15 Morgan Greene ‘16 Shawn Han Choi ‘16

54

Table of Contents
Letter from the Policy Director 56 “Creating a New Kind of Diplomatic Mission: Cultural Exchange for the Everyday American” 57-58 Hazel Guardado ‘16 The U.S. government should supplement critical language programs with cultural exchange programs targeted at the general U.S. population. “U.S. State Department: Keep Them Talking” 59-60 Sarah Cutler ‘16 To entice Israel back to peace talks with Palestine, the U.S. should strictly enforce its requirements for negotiations: commitment to nonviolence, recognition of Israel and acceptance of previous agreements. “Stimulating Innovation for Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Treatments” 61-62 Svati Pazhyanur ‘16 Creating an opt-in system to reward pharmaceutical companies for creating or improving upon existing therapies for neglected tropical diseases would stimulate innovation for a substantial but under-treated populations globally. “Unshackling Nigerian Oil” Sanat Valecha ‘16 63-64

The Nigerian government should further nationalize its oil industry to help combat the state’s political instability, violence, and poor economic development.
“Stabilizing Pakistan: Financing Micro Hydroelectric Power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa” 65-66 Usamah Andrabi ‘15 The United States should provide funding for micro-hydroelectric power plants in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan to begin solving Pakistan’s energy crisis and prevent displacement of populations. “Rethinking Our Approach to the War on Terror” 67-68 Nate Jara ‘16 The United States should pursue a more defensive role in the Middle East by ending its targeted killing program, and acting as a deterrent against insurgents. “Safe Zones in the Central African Republic” 69-70 Marc Getzoff ‘16 The Central African Republic (CAR) has been experiencing renewed conflict and religious tension. If not stopped, it threatens to destabilize the entire region and descend into genocide. “Thirsty for Change: Human Right to Water and How the World Bank Must Rethink Water Privatization” 71-72 Morgan Greene ‘16 Water availability is a basic human right that many developing countries have been denied due to privatization encouraged by the World Bank and implemented by multinational corporations. Water scarcity has escalated due to climate change, thus it is the responsibility of developed nations to finance non-profit projects to build water infrastructure in third world countries. “The U.S. State Department Should Cut Military Aid and Provide Oversight to Foreign Aid” 73-74 Shawn Han Choi ‘16 The U.S. should steer away from cuts in foreign aid to Uganda and instead implement a plan to decrease military support for the Musevini administration.

55

Dear Readers,

Letter from the Director

The international stage is rife with conflict, and as a result, it is necessary for us to reevaluate our circumstances and create innovative, far-reaching solutions to these global challenges. As tensions flare between Russia and the United States, refugees continue to pour out of Syria, and negotiation talks between Israel and Palestine stall yet again, now more than ever is the time for us to come together and truly tackle what lies ahead. With this in mind, I am proud to present the sixth installment of Looking Ahead: The Cornell Roosevelt Institute Policy Journal by the Center for Foreign Policy and International Studies. Whether they address drone warfare, Uganda’s anti-homosexuality legislation, or the conflict in the Central African Republic, each featured analyst ventures to ask the same questions: what more can we do? How can we change the way people think about these issues, so that we can create a larger impact and enact more meaningful change? We hope that as you read this collection of proposals, you are not only savvy enough to ask yourself the same questions, but are also inspired enough to try and answer them. Sincerely, Ariel Smilowitz Government (A&S ‘15) Director, Center for Foreign Policy & International Studies

56

Creating a New Kind of Diplomatic Mission: Cultural Exchange for the Everyday American
The U.S. government should supplement critical language programs with cultural exchange programs targeted at the general U.S. population.

By Hazel Guardado, Anthropology, ‘16, Email: hlg59@cornell.edu

History:

The recent diplomatic crisis between Ukraine and Russia has indicated that the lack of expertise on the region has led to an “unsophisticated and cartoonish view” of Russia, hindering the U.S. from formulating an effective foreign policy towards the world superpower.1 A survey conducted by the Washington Post indeed showed alarming results: only 16 percent of Americans could accurately locate Ukraine on the map, and the less the other 84 percent knew about the country’s location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene.2 In 2006, the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) launched the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program, offering intensive overseas courses in the critical need foreign languages of Arabic, Bangla, Hindi, Key Facts Punjabi, Turkish, and Urdu. The program expand• A recent poll by the Washington Post shows that Americans’ views on ed in 2013 to include Azerbaijani, Chinese, Indo- the U.S. role in Ukraine were significantly influenced by their geographnesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, and Russian.3 ical knowledge of the region. The State Department also launched the National • Various Department of State programs already underscore the importance of cultural exchange, but these programs target a small percentage Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) in 2006, targeting high school students and recent of the population. high school graduates to “improve Americans’ ability to engage with people from around the world.”4 Both programs highlight the goals of cross-cultural exchange and dialogue.

Analysis:

The U.S. must continue to concentrate on the regions of the world that have been historically less familiar to Americans, like Eurasia and the Middle East, to conduct an informed and culturally sensitive foreign policy. Language learning is a first step towards cultural exchange, but the process does not end there. Thus, a comprehensive program using embassies as hubs of cultural exchange should act as a supplement to the CLS and NSLI-Y programs already in place. These programs are highly selective and only provide select students with the opportunity to learn about the history, politics, and daily life of another country. Bringing certain aspects of the cultures where critical languages are spoken to Americans would promote cultural awareness and spark curiosity in more students to pursue further studies in these languages. A cultural exchange program for the general population would be particularly cost-effective because it would make use of resources that the U.S. government already disposes of. Relationships between the State Department and non-governmental organizations, nonprofit organizations, schools, and businesses would be emphasized to realize the program. A working example is the London-based nonprofit organization Academia Rossica. This organization strives to “promote and strengthen cultural and intellectual ties between Russia and the English-speaking world.”5 Though this is a foreign, state-independent program, the proposed U.S. State Department initiative should model its goals after this organization, which organizes a vast cultural program including discussions, a Russian film festival, a journal, and a Russian literature festival to “provide a platform for intellectual exchange” and “act as a bridge” between the two cultures.6

Next Steps:

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs should work with the various embassies in Washington D.C. to create a comprehensive list of initiatives to be implemented to introduce Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Russian and other cultures into the area, focusing on one culture each month. This should include partnerships between embassies and museums to create exhibits on various aspects of these cultures, partnerships with restaurants to create menus centered on the country’s food, and partnerships with high

57

schools and universities to have speakers from the Talking Points respective country talk about their experiences and • Educating Americans on foreign cultures would make the U.S. more views on the U.S. relationships with their country. prepared for crises with other countries by planting the seeds for more experts on critical regions to arise. Perhaps because of the recent tensions between • A cultural exchange program would strengthen relationships between the U.S. and Russia, a partnership with the Rusthe Department of State and nonprofit organizations, museums, and sian embassy to implement this program would local businesses. be an ideal start. This would not only educate • Active cultural engagement with other countries in times of crisis can everyday citizens on Russian culture but also show reduce tensions in a show of solidarity. much-needed solidarity between the two countries.

End Notes:

1. Jason Horowitz. “Russia Experts See Thinning Ranks’ Effect on U.S. Policy.” The New York Times, March 6, 2014, accessed April 23, 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/07/world/europe/american-experts-on-russia.html?hp&_r=0> 2. Dropp, Kyle, Kertzer, Joshua, and Zeitzoff, Thomas. “The less Americans know about Ukraine’s location, the more they want U.S. to intervene.” The Washing Post, April 7, 2014, accessed April 23, 2014. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/ wp/2014/04/07/the-less-americans-know-about-ukraines-location-the-more-they-want-u-s-to-intervene/> 3. Critical Language Scholarship Program. “About.” Accessed April 24, 2014. <http://www.clscholarship.org/about> 4. NSLI For Youth. “About NSLI-Y.” Accessed April 24, 2014. <http://www.nsliforyouth.org/nsli-y/about/> 5. Academia Rossica. “Russian Culture Now!” Accessed April 28, 2014. <http://academia-rossica.org/en/academia-rossica> 6. See above

58

U.S. State Department: Keep Them Talking
By Sarah Cutler, Near Eastern Studies, ‘16, Email: src234@cornell.edu
To entice Israel back to peace talks with Palestine, the U.S. should strictly enforce its requirements for negotiations: commitment to nonviolence, recognition of Israel and acceptance of previous agreements.

History: After Fatah, the dominant faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), announced its

reconciliation with Hamas on April 23, Israeli Prime Key Facts Minister Benyamin Netanyahu broke off U.S.-bro• The reconciliation between the PLO and Hamas comes after a kered peace talks with the group. And not without seven-year split between the groups. reason: Hamas has for years advocated the destruction • This will be the fourth time the groups have reconciled. Previous of Israel, refused to recognize the state as a legitimate attempts have failed. country, and allegedly harbored extremists, who use the Gaza Strip as a base for attacks on Israel. The U.S. and European Union both consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization. What’s more, Hamas – unlike Fatah – has never agreed to a two-state solution to the conflict, so its inclusion in negotiations could seriously endanger the talks. In short, as Netanyahu told NBC, “the pact with Hamas kills peace.”1 But it’s not clear that Hamas will be represented in talks. Importantly, this is the fourth attempt by the two governments to strike a unity deal; previous attempts have failed, and there is no reason to assume this round will play out differently.2

Analysis:

Even if the pact holds, at least temporarily, there’s still no indication that Hamas’ political agenda will be part of peace talks, since a representative of the PLO’s executive committee said the new joint government would “adhere to the PLO political program.”3 It’s possible that the PLO is just coopting Hamas to shore up popular support and has no plans to seriously incorporate the group in its lawmaking, and it’s even possible – though unlikely – that Hamas has realized it will never achieve victory through extremism, and has decided to come to the table for serious discussion. We simply don’t know, as of now, what the PLO is thinking. Though Israel is weighing economic sanctions against the Palestinian Authority, and Obama has already expressed his “disappointment” in the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, 1 it’s too soon to break off negotiations. Even without the PLO-Hamas pact, peace talks were souring in recent weeks. The two sides were also at odds over Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, activity most countries deem illegal in areas captured in the 1967 Middle East war, and over Abbas’s refusal to accept Netanyahu’s demand he recognize Israel as a Jewish state.4 But for the time being, continued negotiations seem to be the only path available to a peaceful solution. Secretary of State John Kerry himself has said that the current talks may be the last chance to create an independent Palestine alongside Israel.5

Next Steps:

59

Talking Points To entice Netanyahu back to the negotiating • On April 23, the PLO announced a reconciliation with Hamas. table, the U.S. needs to take advantage of its role as me- Israel broke off negotiations with the PLO the next day. diator and promise to strictly enforce the codes it has • Israel, the U.S. and the E.U. consider Hamas a terrorist orgaset in place for these peace talks: that both parties must nization. Hamas refuses to acknowledge Israel as a state and is opposed to a two-state solution. display a commitment to nonviolence, recognition of • The U.S. should strictly enforce its guidelines for the talks to Israel and an acceptance of previous agreements.6 entice Israel back to the negotiating table. Enforcement could The U.S. could do this in several ways: it could include the threat of cutting aid from the Palestinian Authority. threaten to cut funding for or implement sanctions against the aid-dependent Palestinian Authority if they reject the existence of Israel in negotiations, or if attacks from Gaza continue unabated. Importantly, however,

these options do not include punishing the Palestinian Authority simply because of its alignment with Hamas. In short: it is reasonable for Netanyahu to refuse to negotiate with terrorists who advocate for the country’s demise. Where he would be mistaken, however, is in blacklisting a group permanently, allowing its members no chance to change their minds, or at least their strategies. Instead, Israel should make it clear that it is willing to talk with anyone who wants peace. And if that “anyone” should include Hamas, so be it.

End Notes:

1. Anne Gearan and Ruth Eglash, “Israel suspends peace talks with Palestinians,” The Washington Post, April 24, 2014, World section, online edition. 2. Ian Black, Peter Beaumont and Dan Roberts, “Israel suspends peace talks with Palestinians after Fatah-Hamas deal,” The Guardian, April 24, 2014, World news section, online edition.

60

Stimulating Innovation for Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Treatments
By Svati Pazhyanur, Policy Analysis and Management, ’16, Email: sp836@cornell.edu
Creating an opt-in system to reward pharmaceutical companies for creating or improving upon existing therapies for neglected tropical diseases would stimulate innovation for a substantial but under-treated populations globally.

History:

In the past decade, the pharmaceutical industry has become one of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy.1 However, this growth has been accompanied by increases in disparities between rich and poor countries. Since 2000, the US, Canada, and Europe have increased their contributions to total pharmaceutical Key Facts: sales from 52 percent of the market to 67 percent, • 1 billion people (1/6 of the world’s population) suffer from a newhile Africa’s share has only increased from 8 percent glected disease that has poor or no treatment available, and many of 2 to 9 percent. Simultaneously, the global burden of the existing treatments have efficacy rates of 50 percent or less. disease has disproportionately fallen on sub-Saharan • The 17 neglected tropical diseases can be eradicated within 6 years African countries, especially since 1990, when HIV/ with only 10 percent of the Global Fund’s expenditures. AIDS took its toll on South Africa. Now, about 74 percent of child deaths occur in Africa and South East Asia, and more than 1 billion people (1/6 of the world’s population) suffer from “developing country diseases” or “neglected infectious diseases” that are rare or have been eliminated in wealthier countries.3 While malaria, diarrheal diseases and HIV/AIDS account for 10 percent of the total disability adjusted life years (DALYs) lost globally (and are all in the top 10 leading causes of DALYs lost), they only account for 6 percent of total pharmaceutical research expenditures. Furthermore, the 17 neglected tropical diseases (including dengue fever and rabies) account for about 300,000 deaths worldwide, but most of them have no viable drug in development or on the market for treatment.4

Analysis:

The neglect of these developing country diseases is unsurprising. Including the cost of failed drugs, it costs pharmaceutical companies approximately $5 billion on average to develop a new drug or vaccine.5 Pharmaceutical companies by nature will only invest that amount on research and development if there is a large and profitable market to consume it. Many of the countries affected by NTD’s have per-capita incomes of less than $1 per day and would not be able to afford prices that would incentivize pharmaceutical companies to take such a risk. Typically, affected populations have very limited or no health insurance and consequently limited support to purchase available therapies. Additionally, under World Trade Organization agreements, countries can issue compulsory licenses to allow generic production so that even if successful therapies are developed, the patentee may never be able to make meaningful sales in developing countries.6 While the World Health Organization and the Task Force for Global Health have launched drug donation campaigns, many have questioned the sustainability of such programs because many of the drugs on the market have efficacy rates of 50 percent or less.7 Some of the largest multinational corporations including Merck, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer have expressed concerns that investing billions of dollars into research for drugs with such small profit potentials is not feasible.8

Next Steps:

61

An optional reward system to stimulate pharmaceutical innovation for NTD’s would encourage the development of new and more effective drugs for “developing country diseases.” The Global Fund, an international financing institution that fights neglected diseases, currently spends $40 billion annually on AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria (the big three) interventions9 and would be an excellent sponsor of such rewards. By one estimate, if 10 percent of the Global Fund’s expenditures towards the “big three” were spent on developing vaccines and

drugs to treat neglected tropical diseases, all 17 NTD’s would be eradicated in 6 years.10 Under this rewards system, pharmaceutical companies would still go through the approval process of their respective countries and would need to demonstrate a substantial gain in therapeutic value by selling treatments at generic-level prices for a set amount of time. The World Health Organization would then evaluate the therapeutic gain relative to the existing alternative treatment (or no treatment) and determine a fair prize to cover a portion of the development costs.

• Optional rewards for pharmaceutical firms to develop or improve upon drugs to treat NTD’s would help cover the prohibitory research and development costs of advancing treatments of diseases that have enormous global burdens of disease. • Rewards are a cost-effective way to stimulate innovation in an area of global health that has stagnated due to endemic poverty in areas heavily affected by neglected diseases.

Talking Points:

End Notes:

1. “The Pharmaceutical Industry in Figures”. European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. December 2013. Web. 2. “The Global Use of Medecines: Outlook Through 2016”. IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. IMS Health Incorporated. July 2013. Web. 3. “Global Health Data Repository”. Global Burden of Disease Project.World Health Organization. 2013. Web. 4. Troullier, Patrice. “Drug Development for Neglected Diseases: A Deficient Market and a Public-Health Policy Failure”. The Lancet. June 22, 2012. Web. 5. Herper, Patrick. “How the Staggering Cost of Inventing New Drugs is Shaping the Future of Medicine”. Forbes. August 11, 2013. Web. 6. “Integrated Control of the Neglected Tropical Diseases”. World Health Organization and the Carter Center. May 2013. Web. 7. “Will Increased Funding for Neglected Tropical Diseases Really Make Poverty History?” Center for Global Health and Economic Development.London School Of Economics. July 2013. Web. 8. Guilloux, Alan. “Hidden Price Tags: Disease-Specific Drug Donations”. Medicine Without Borders: World Bank Report on Drug Donations. September 23, 2013. Web. 9. “Funding and Spending”. The Global Fund: To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. 23 January 2014. Web. 10. Horetz, Peter. “Rescuing the Bottom Billion Through Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases”. The Lancet. February 2, 2013. Web.

62

Unshackling Nigerian Oil
By Sanat Valecha, Government & Economics, ‘16, Email: sv286@cornell.edu
The Nigerian government should further nationalize its oil industry to help combat the state’s political instability, violence, and poor economic development.

History:

Nigeria is amongst the world’s leading oil producers, but appears to have fallen victim to the paradoxical resource curse and the poor economic and political outcomes associated with it. Despite the vast revenues generated from crude oil production, the country faces widespread poverty and unemployment. A principal reason for this is that much of the revenue is immediately Key Facts transferred overseas as a result of the joint ventures • Nigerians are poorer today on average than they were at indepenthe state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corpo- dence from the United Kingdom in 1960. 8 ration (NNCP) has with big foreign oil companies. In • Foreign oil companies account for over 90 percent of crude oil turn, officials in the notoriously corrupt government production in Nigeria.9 take advantage of the general lack of accountability by actively rent-seeking and capturing the dwindled profits left in Nigeria.1 Thus, oil wealth is not distributed effectively through society, and the average citizen continues to suffer in an otherwise underdeveloped economy. Nigeria’s resource wealth is also marred by the violent instability it creates. In the oil-rich Niger Delta region, ordinary citizens have seen little material benefit, and have in fact been pushed further into poverty due to environmental degradation. 2 Age-old ethnic tensions in the Delta have been inflamed by the competition for what few oil rents are available, with rival ethnic groups clashing with each other and with the government.3

Analysis:

Ending the joint ventures the NNCP has with foreign oil companies will increase the Nigerian government’s oil revenues. With the increased revenue, the state will benefit tremendously by transferring it to the government agencies tasked with quelling and preventing the violent instability. Greater stability, especially in the Niger Delta, would increase oil revenues even further, as the current levels of violence and theft in the region lead to below-capacity production.4 The real question however is how the government will employ its increased oil revenues to combat poor economic development. It could follow the model of the oil-rich Persian Gulf states and provide an annual rent income to each citizen.5 However, setting up such a system would be a tall order considering the egregious corruption that ravages Nigerian bureaucracy. This corruption, coupled with weak, ineffectual institutions leave the Nigerian government incapable of carrying out its obligations.6 Thus, before increased oil revenue can help lift the Nigerian public out of its economic misery, the government needs to address the issues in giving its people access to the state’s resource wealth. Further nationalizing the oil industry would give the Nigerian government the means to strengthen the weak institutions that create a lack of oversight, corruption, and poor governance. In turn, the average Nigerian would finally benefit from his country’s oil wealth.

Next Steps:

63

The NNPC should end its joint ventures by buying out the foreign oil companies. On its website, the state-owned corporation states that it currently operates joint ventures with six foreign owned oil companies, including Shell, Mobil, Chevron, and Texaco. At least 55 percent of each venture is owned by the NNPC. With the ventures producing hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil per day, the revenues to be gained by full nationalization are on the order of billions of dollars.7 An attempt to further nationalize the Nigerian oil industry will inevitably lead to backlash from the big

foreign oil companies and their army of attorneys and lobbyists. While the Nigerian government may not have the leverage required to so radically restructure the terms of its agreements with these private companies, it can appeal to fellow OPEC countries, such as Saudi Arabia, who have gone through a similar process in the past. Doing so would better equip Nigeria to combat the instability and continued poverty its resource wealth cursed it with.

• In spite of its vast resource wealth, Nigeria remains an impoverished country lacking in economic development. • Tensions and rivalries have intensified and created violent instability in a competition for access to what few oil rents remain for the Nigerian populace. • Ending the joint ventures the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation operates with big foreign oil companies would increase the size of the pie available to Nigerians.

Talking Points

1. Alexandra Scacco. “Nigeria,” in Case Studies in Comparative Politics, ed. David J. Samuels (Pearson Education Inc., 2013), 339-40. 2. Ibid, 347. 3. Ibid, 347. 4. Ibid, 350. 5. Michael Herb. “Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates,” in Politics and Society in the Contemporary Middle East, ed. Michele Penner Angrist (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010), 355. 6. Scacco, 341. 7. Ibid. 8. Nicholas Van de Walle, “Nigeria” (Lecture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 6 February 2013). NIPC Nigeria, “International Oil Companies in Nigeria,” NIPC Nigeria, http://www.nipc.gov.ng/intcomp.html.

End Notes:

64

Stabilizing Pakistan: Financing Micro Hydroelectric Power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
By Usamah Andrabi, Industrial & Labor Relations, ‘15, Email: usa2@cornell.edu
The United States should provide funding for micro-hydroelectric power plants in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan to begin solving Pakistan’s energy crisis and prevent displacement of populations.

History:

Pakistan has long been plagued by a crippling energy crisis. It lacks the infrastructure and ability to establish an extensive network of energy for vast regions of the country. Load-shedding, or government-induced power outages, has occurred for years in Pakistan Key Facts as the demand for electricity cannot be met by the • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa only has access to 11 percent of Pakistan’s 1 government. Energy shortages in Pakistan cause the total electricity. 11 government to induce power outages to save energy • One 80 kW micro-hydroelectric plant can provide electricity for for extended periods of time, for much of the country, 700 houses. 12 especially in rural areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) that do not have access to the national grid.2 The government’s efforts to tackle corruption, insurgencies, and fiscal issues prevent adequate investment into solving the energy crisis. However, efforts have been made to remedy the problem in the short-term to little avail. The current limited implementation of full-scale hydroelectric power plants in rural regions have provided electricity for some areas of KP, but have left many displaced with nowhere to live due to their necessity of utilizing large dams.3 The Pakistan Network for Rivers, Dams, and People (PNRDP) have noted that future hydroelectric power projects could displace thousands and the Pakistani government does not have legal provisions delineating resettlement or relocation rights for affected Pakistanis.4

Analysis:

Micro-hydroelectric plants provide an alternative to large-scale displacement of Pakistanis in rural regions. These micro stations necessitate less water for usage as a single household can install a station providing 5-10 kilowatts of electricity alone.5 On average, a micro-hydropower plant in Pakistan creates 5-100 kilowatts of electricity, so slightly larger scale energy acquisition is also viable through micro plants.6 These small plants have no dams and displace much less, if any, people with their construction. An 80-kilowatt plant in Serai in Swat has created electricity for over 700 homes, a town once completely deprived of electricity.7 The 80-killowatt plant costs about $105,000 and Pakistan’s Council of Renewable Energy Technologies has estimated that smaller plants at the 1-20 kilowatt size would cost only about $18,000.8 The size of the plants keep the costs low as all micro-hydropower plants require less infrastructure and construction than larger mini and full-size plants. Mini hydroelectric plants have a price hike and cost over $600,000 at the low-end.9

Next Steps:

The United States should first allocate $1.4 million Talking Points • Load-shedding in Pakistan turns electricity off for most of the to use and work with regional apparatuses to develop and construct micro-hydroelectric plants in eastern KP. population for hours due to electricity shortages. • Micro-hydroelectric power plants provide a low-cost, smallThis money would allow for the creation of ten 80-kilo- size approach to sustainable energy for Pakistan. watt plants and twenty smaller sized plants in the region. • U.S. aid would provide outside funding for a project the govCurrently, the eastern region of KP is uniquely underernment can currently not handle. developed with energy projects as the majority of infrastructure has been created in the northwest. The modest funding should provide electricity for over 7,000 homes in the region. With energy infrastructure comes the ability to further develop past low economic levels and improve

65

the quality of life for Pakistanis; energy-starved cities in KP lack roads, schools, and dispensaries and are largely ignored by the state.10 The creation of micro-hydroelectric plants in this region will allow for the provision of electricity without the removal of populations due to extensive energy projects. The projects will allow people to continue living in their homes, but with more resources at their disposal.

End Notes:

1. Fiaz, Faizan. “Pakistan Building Huge Solar Energy Park.” Daily Telegraph. Daily Telegraph, last modified April 22, 2014, http://www. telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/10780123/Pakistan-building-huge-solar-energy-park.html. 2. Khaliq, Fazal. “Micro-Hydropower Station Lights Up Remote Pakistani Village.” UPI. United Press International, last modified March 14, 2014, http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2014/03/14/Micro-hydropower-station-lights-up-remote-Pakistani-village/81393210835701/. 3. Shaikh, Saleem and Tunio, Sughra. “Pakistan Opens the Tap on Hydropower Projects.” Trust.org. Thomson Reuters Foundation, last modified February 17, 2014, http://www.trust.org/item/20140217142812-dhgm0/. Ibid. 4. “Micro-Hydropower Station Lights Up Remote Pakistani Village.” 5. Ibid. 6. Ibid. 7. Ibid. 8. Government of Pakistan Ministry of Science and Technology. 2012. Development and Dissemination of Micro and Mini Hydro Power Plants in Public-Private Pratnership: Ministry of Science and Technology. Ibid. 9. “Micro-Hydropower Station Lights Up Remote Pakistani Village.” 10. Khyber Pakhtunkwa Bureau of Statistics. “Electricity Generation, Consumption and Connections of Pakistan and NWFP 2005-06 to 2007-08.” KhyberPakhtunkwa.gov.pk. Khyber Pakhtunkwa Bureau of Statistics,http://www.khyberpakhtunkhwa.gov.pk/Departments/BOS/nwfpdev-statis-fuel%20&%20Power-102.php. 11. “Micro-Hydropower Station Lights Up Remote Pakistani Village.”

66

Rethinking Our Approach to the War on Terror
By Nate Jara, Government, ‘16, Email: njj25@cornell.edu
The United States should pursue a more defensive role in the Middle East by ending its targeted killing program, and acting as a deterrent against insurgents.

History:

The Armed Forces of the United States have actively pursued militants in the Middle East since 2001. The United States invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 after the Taliban, a fundamentalist Islamic organization, refused to extradite Osama Bin Laden. Following the Key Facts Taliban’s defeat, its leadership fled to the mountain• Only 2 percent of the victims of targeted killings qualify as ous region surrounding the Afghan-Pakistani border. “high-level targets.” • The number of civilians killed by drone strikes ranges from 400The United States has since operated with joint UN and NATO forces to help rebuild and restructure the 950, including 160-200 children. Afghan government while aggressively pursuing al Qaeda and Taliban members. The most controversial facet of the American counterinsurgency efforts is its targeted killing program, in which American forces uses unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, AKA “Drones”) to hunt and kill suspected enemy combatants, often at the cost of civilian life or property, and always without the consent of the Pakistani government. The Pakistani government has continually condemned the use of drones without their permission as a breach of sovereignty, and the drone program is becoming increasingly unpopular, both within and outside of Pakistani borders. A report from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism released in 20121 suggests that as many as 500 civilians have died in the Obama Administration alone, while a study by Stanford University2 researches concluded only 2 percent of the militants killed could be classified as “high-level targets.” The American public has called for a smaller military presence in the Middle East for years now, but disapproval over the drone program is a more recent phenomenon, and the use of drones still polls somewhat favorably in the U.S.3

Analysis:

While most would agree that the United States has been moderately successful in its efforts to combat terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the threat has not disappeared. Meanwhile, the US involvement in the Middle East has cost $3.1 trillion as of March 2013,4 and civilians continue to suffer from the collateral damage caused by American drones. The United States’ targeted killing program seems only to have spread anti-Americanism while damaging its international reputation by violating Pakistani sovereignty and recklessly hunting combatants without any regard for civilian welfare. Clearly, it is time to look to alternative solutions that are cheaper, safer, and more conducive to the welfare of the states being occupied. In South Korea, the United States maintains a military presence that is purely defensive in nature, and costs significantly less than what is spent in the Middle East. In 2014, the United States will spend about $2 billion maintaining its position in South Korea (40 percent of which South Korea subsidizes),5 or about the same amount the United States gives to Pakistan in foreign aid every year.6

Next Steps:

67

If the United States were to transition from an active role in pursuit of militants to a more passive, defensive posture, it must first end its targeted killing program completely. The American military presence in the Middle East must be reduced significantly, to between 5-10,000 personnel, and must recognize the sovereignty

• Ending the targeted killing program is key to fostering a positive presence in the Middle East. • The United States has a responsibility to respect the sovereignty of foreign nations, and cannot engage in military operations within their borders without their permission. rican foreign policy

Talking Points

of Afghanistan and Pakistan, meaning that it cannot engage in operations these states do not consent to. If the United States truly wishes to be the nation-builder it says it does, it must commit to a role that assists the Afghan government by protecting government buildings, helping facilitate free and fair elections, and acting as a deterrent against militant aggression.

End Notes:

1. Lamb, Christina, Chris Woods, and Rahimullah Yusufzai, “Covert CIA Drones Kill Hundreds Of Civilians”, London Sunday Times, 5 February 2012, p. 28. 2. Zucchino, David, “Study Slams Drone Use In Pakistan”, Los Angeles Times, 25 September 2012, p. 3 3. Brown, Alyssa and Frank Newport. (2013). http://www.gallup.com/poll/161474/support-drone-attacks-terrorists-abroad.aspx 4. Brown University. (2013). http://costsofwar.org/article/economic-cost-summary 5. Reuters. (2014). http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/12/us-korea-us-defense-idUSBREA0B01S20140112 6. Macdonald, E. (2011). http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/05/11/did-pakistan/

68

Safe Zones in the Central African Republic
By Marc Getzoff, Industrial & Labor Relations, ’16, Email: mdg255@cornell.edu
The Central African Republic (CAR) has been experiencing renewed conflict and religious tension. If not stopped, it threatens to destabilize the entire region and descend into genocide.

History:

Conflict is nothing new to the CAR and past conflicts only seem to breed new ones. In 2003, general François Bozizé led a coup from neighboring Chad and took power. However, the coup gave birth to numerous rebel groups who formed a loose coalition aimed at removing Bozizé. The Central African Republic Bush War began and resulted in hundreds of deaths and hundreds of thousands of displacements. The conflict ended in 2007, but only for a short time.1 Key Facts In 2012 the old rebel groups formed a coalition • An estimated 500,000 people in the CAR have been displaced by (Seleka) and began another conflict. Bozizé request- the conflict.8 9 ed international assistance and was rejected by both • Christian militias have targeted Muslim civilians on a large scale. 10 France and the United States. Selaka took power and • The UN has authorized 10,000 troops to intervene in the conflict. • There are currently widespread conflicts in the DRC and in South appointed Michel Djotodia as president despite the Sudan.11. continuing conflict. He announced that Selaka would disband but most of the militias refused. Unnamed groups began battling across the country2 and have led to tens of thousands of displacements.3 In 2013, the UN warned the world that the country was at risk of falling into genocide. Although Djotodia resigned, the conflict still continues as religious tensions flare. Already, thousands of Muslim civilians have fled the country and many others are attempting to do so for fear of Christian militias.4

Analysis:

A genocide would be a devastating event for both the CAR and the region. It would cripple the nation’s economy and would create an anarchic state. A parallel can be to the Rwandan genocide which killed 800,000 people and caused a refugee crisis as 2 million Hutus fled into the Congo, Tanzania, and Uganda.5 The countries were destabilized and different governments and groups aided either Hutus or Tutsis in attempts to exterminate the other. The result was the Second Congo War which led to 5 million deaths and another refugee crisis.6 A genocide in the CAR is likely to inflame more conflict. Many have already attempted to flee and wait near airports and protected zones for fear of the violence.7 A large exodus would possibly lead to mass refugee crises in the South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which both border the CAR. Both the DRC and South Sudan are currently experiencing intense conflicts of their own and more refugees would only add fuel to the fires.

Next Steps:

69

It is imperative that the international community • The religious and ethnic tensions have led to bloody conflicts and massive refugee crises in the CAR. immediately form a coalition force to establish large • Massive amounts of refugees from past conflicts have led to protected refugee zones in the CAR. These safe zones destabilization and further violence. have been used during past conflicts and are necessary for • The UN force currently in the CAR is too small to effectively providing safe refuge for those fleeing the violence. These stop the conflict or protect the civilians. refugee zones would also provide a temporary location for the exodus that would occur during the conflict. Rather than flee to the Democratic Republic of the Congo or South Sudan, these refugees would be able to withstand the conflict and return home after it is over. The process of re-establishing communities would help to stabilize the

Talking Points

nation and this method would help to limit the destabilization of other countries. The international force must also make certain that the refugee zones can be reached without too much difficulty, meaning that they are spread throughout the country and are not just centered in urban areas. To do this would require a much larger interventionist force and strict military planning with full cooperation.

End Notes:

1. Zuydam, Schalk. “Central African Republic, rebels sign peace deal - USATODAY.com.” Central African Republic, rebels sign peace deal - USATODAY.com. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-04-13-central-africa_N.htm (accessed April 19, 2014). 2. “State of Anarchy.” Human Rights Watch 19 (): 37, 99. 3. UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia, ed., s.v. “Central African Republic.” : , . http://www.ucdp.uu.se/gpdatabase/gpcountry.php?id=31®ionSelect=2-Southern_Africa# (accessed April 18, 2014). 4. Al Jazeera. “Violence intensifies in CAR conflict.” - Africa. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/12/violence-intensifies-car-conflict-20131213125128160204.html (accessed April 21, 2014). 5. Braun, Emmanuel, and Paul-Marin Ngoupana. “France vows immediate action in Central African Republic after battle.” Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/05/us-centralafrican-fighting-idUSBRE9B405F20131205 (accessed April 18, 2014). 6. “State of Anarchy.” Human Rights Watch 19 (): 37, 99. 7. “The Shrinking Costs of War.” Human Security Report (): 123-131. 8. Al Jazeera. “Violence intensifies in CAR conflict.” - Africa. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/12/violence-intensifies-car-conflict-20131213125128160204.html (accessed April 21, 2014). 9. Ibid. 10. “France vows immediate action in Central African Republic after battle.”

70

Thirsty for Change: Human Right to Water and How the World Bank Must Rethink Water Privatization
By Morgan Greene, Government & Near Eastern Studies, ‘16, Email: mhg84@cornell.edu
Water availability is a basic human right that many developing countries have been denied due to privatization encouraged by the World Bank and implemented by multinational corporations. Water scarcity has escalated due to climate change, thus it is the responsibility of developed nations to finance non-profit projects to build water infrastructure in third world countries.

History:

Climate change has induced droughts in many Key Facts of the driest parts of the world, making water an in- • Water costs more in the slums of Manila than London.10 creasingly scare commodity. This is creating economic • 400 million children do not have access to safe water, of these 1.4 and social hardship in southern Europe, North Africa, million die as a result.11 • The World Bank has ensured profit margins of up to 35 percent for the Middle East, and parts of Asia. In North Africa 12 and the Middle East, many believe the added pressure private water infrastructure loans. of water scarcity boiled over into the Arab Spring and revolution in Syria.1 At the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, 2013, developed countries agreed that a multi-billion-dollar fund should be set up to help countries in the developing world adapt to climate change.2 Despite these efforts to charge responsible parties with the costs of climate change, the World Bank is moving towards privatization of water, a resource scarcity that is a clear effect of climate change. The World Bank argues that privatization eliminates inefficiencies and makes clean water economically viable. Yet, 34 percent of private water World Bank projects are in disrepair, while other private resources, such as energy, transportation, and telecommunications, have rates of failure closer to 5 percent.3 The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are encouraging privatization of water by multi-national corporations to be implemented in the developing world. The World Bank, with funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has been working towards privatization of water since the 1980s in efforts to “reduce the state.”4 The past three decades prove that while some, less critical, resources may successfully be privatized water is not among them.

Analysis:

Despite the UN’s declaration that water is a basic human right, a viable solution for the realization of this ideal has yet to be implemented. According to a recent UN study, private water companies have extended service to only 10 million people in the last decade, less than a percent of those in need.5 According to Anna Lappe, strategic advisor of Corporate Accountability International (CAI), “instead of using its position to line the pockets of water companies, the World Bank should support what is most needed: affordable and clean—and public—water for all.”6 Developed countries must be held accountable for the wide range of problems associated with climate change. According to Maude Barlow, author of Water as Commodity—The Wrong Prescription, “a mere 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water, and these 12 percent do not live in the Third World.”7 The U.S.’s current defense budget amounts to more than 600 billion dollars, much of which is focused on the Middle East and Northern Africa, areas experiencing conflict in part due to water scarcity.8 Thus, it cannot be said that the U.S. does not have interests in these countries. The U.S. would be able to reduce the funds it spends addressing waterborne illnesses, poverty, and conflict in these target regions if it implemented effective, high technology, non-profit water infrastructure. The technology exists to filter highly contaminated water and even salt water; it is simply a matter of financing and transporting these products. In particular resources should be

71

invested in improving the technology and energy effiTalking Points ciency of seawater desalination solutions, which could be • Water is an undeniable human right that all people should have public access to. crucial in arid regions around the Mediterranean.

Next Steps:

• Developed nations have increased water scarcity through climate change and should thus foot the bill for water infrastructure in developing nations deeply effected by scarcity. • The World Bank must abandon it’s strategy to promote privatization, instead encouraging funding for public non-profit infrastructure and new technologies.

First, the UN and World Bank must dedicate themselves to the deprivatization of water infrastructure and to the availability of clean water for all. The UN must hold a Clean Water Summit for all members and devise a strategy among developed nations to raise funds for new water infrastructure in developing nations. These funds will be used to buy out private water corporations and to build new, high-tech clean water infrastructure. Part of the implementation funds will go directly to building projects, which will use all local labor and materials to bolster local economies. The other part will go to private research companies, preferably based in the developing world, to design new and efficient strategies for cleaning water. This is where privatization is useful—to encourage entrepreneurship and fluid ideas—not when a basic human right is at stake. This idea must be implemented to give the 1.1 billion people in the developing world without adequate water access to their most basic right.9

1. Vandana Shiva, Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit, (South End Press, 2002). 2. “Warsaw Climate Change Conference—November 2013.” Warsaw Climate Change Conference—November 2013. https://unfccc.int/ meetings/warsaw_nov_2 (accessed April 23, 2014) 3. Esther Bergdahl. “The World Bank Wants to Privatize the One Thing We Can’t Live Without.” PolicyMic. http://www.policymic.com/ articles/87941/world-bank-wants-to-privatize-the-one-thing-we-can-t-live-without (accessed April 23, 2014). 4. Anne Lappe, “World Bank Wants Water Privatized, Despite Risks.” 5. Elisabeth Malkin, “At World Forum, Support Erodes for Private Management of Water,” The New York Times. http://www.nytime. com/2006/03/20/internation_r=0 (accessed April 23, 2014). 6. Anne Lappe, “World Bank Wants Water Privatized, Despite Risks,” Al Jazeera America. http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/14/water-managementprivatizationworldbankgroupifc.html (accessed April 23, 2014) 7. Maude Barlow, “Water as Commodity—The Wrong Prescription,” The Institute for Food and Development Policy, Backgrounder, Summer 2001, Vol. 7, No. 3 8. “World Military Spending.” Global Issues. http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending (accessed April 22, 2014). 9. Anup Shah, “Water and Development,” Global Issues. http://www.globalissues.org/article/601/water-and-development (accessed April 23, 2014). 10. Anup Shah, “Water and Development.” 11. State of the World’s Children, 2005, UNICEF 12. Vandana Shiva, Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit, (South End Press, 2002).

End Notes:

72

The U.S. State Department Should Cut Military Aid and Provide Oversight to Foreign Aid By Shawn Han Choi, Psychology, ‘16, Email: shc233@cornell.edu
The U.S. should steer away from cuts in foreign aid to Uganda and instead implement a plan to decrease military support for the Musevini administration.

History:

Since October 2011, the U.S. has provided military aid to Museveni’s government, including “100 combat-equipped military advisors…to support regional forces pursuing Joseph Kony.”1 In defense of his military support for the Ugandan government, Obama stated, “The support provided by U.S. forces will enhance regional efforts against the LRA…although the U.S. forces Key Facts are combat-equipped, they will only be providing • In October 2011, the US provided “100 combat-equipped military information, advice, and assistance to partner naadvisors…to support regional forces pursuing Joseph Kony.” tion forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA • In March 2014, CV-22 Osprey aircraft, refueling aircraft, and about forces unless necessary for self-defense.”2 Three years 150 Air Force Special Operations forces have been sent to Uganda. later, the operations of Joseph Kony and the LRA have • rapidly declined, but more military aid is being channeled to Museveni. According to Amanda Dory, the deputy assistant secretary of defense, “CV-22 Osprey aircraft will arrive in Uganda by midweek [March, 2014], along with refueling aircraft and about 150 Air Force Special Operations forces.”3 In light of the recent anti-homosexuality legislation passed by the Museveni administration in early 2014, many concerned politicians and advisors are seeking ways to sanction the Ugandan government. While the focus has largely been on cuts and redistributions of foreign aid, not enough attention has been paid to U.S. military aid and support for Musevini’s regional armies.

Analysis:

U.S. politicians and citizens seem to agree that the recent anti-homosexuality legislation passed by Museveni is backwards and intolerable. But at the same time, U.S. troops and specialized aircraft are being handed over to the same government. We are sending a mixed message to Uganda at a time when our position should be mercilessly clear: America will not support a government that legitimizes hateful discrimination. Yet the support only seems to increase over time. The legitimacy of the President’s decision Talking Points to offer military aid must be questioned. Under the • The National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 states, “No United States Armed Forces personnel…may participate in combat National Defense Authorization Act of 2011, “No United States Armed Forces personnel, United States operations in connection with the provision of support.” • According to the National Security Council, “LRA attacks civilian employees, or United States civilian contrac- have decreased significantly and the number of people killed has tor personnel may participate in combat operations in dropped more than 75 percent since 2010.” connection with the provision of support.”4 Obama’s initial position in 2011 was that deployed combat-equipped military personnel “will only be providing information, advice, and assistance”5 in Uganda. Unfortunately, He has not made the same assurances for the 150 Air Force Special Operations forces that were sent to combat LRA forces just last month. It would be a violation of the NDAA if these U.S. forces engage in combat operations, which can be the only reason these military forces were sent to Uganda in the first place. We do not know exactly how much funds have been converted to military aid for Uganda. The military aid package organized by the U.S. is legally questionable and harmful to our message of support for LGBT Ugandans. Angelo Izama of the Guardian correctly states, “Hunting Kony is a crisis worthy of Washington’s intervention, but there are bigger, more worthy crises beyond him.”6 According to Grant Harris of the National Security Council, “LRA attacks have decreased significantly and the number of people killed has

73

dropped more than 75 percent since 2010.”7 At the same time, the incidence of preventable disease, HIV/AIDS, and crippling stigma against the LGBT community is mounting. If the Obama administration must choose between offering military support or foreign aid, it would seem wise to choose the latter under these legal and social circumstances.

Next Steps:

Joseph Kony and the LRA have been largely quiet for the past 2 years. A threat bigger than Kony plagues Uganda today. According to a March 24 Press Briefing with the U.S. Department of State, health organizations are “suspending the start of an HIV/AIDS survey that would estimate the size of key at-risk populations because proceeding with it could pose a danger to respondents and to the staff.”8 Sadly, the U.S. has no real plan of action. Secretary Kerry announced, “I talked personally to President Museveni just a few weeks ago, and he committed to meet with some of our [homosexuality] experts so that we could engage him in a dialogue…”9 The U.S. should forfeit personal meetings with President Museveni and instead develop a plan to cut US military aid to his government. In addition, the U.S. should create non-partisan committees to oversee the proper distribution of foreign aid in Uganda.

End Notes:

1. “Timeline: U.S. Military in Africa.” http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2011/10/201110141924329314.html 2. Ibid. 3. “U.S. sends Osprey aircraft, more Special Operations forces to hunt Ugandan warlord.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/2014/03/23/aa468ca6-b2d0-11e3-8020-b2d790b3c9e1_story.html 4. “Obama Ignoring War Powers Resolution in Uganda War.” http://antiwar.com/blog/2011/12/15/obama-ignoring-war-powers-resolution-in-uganda-war/ 5. “Timeline: US Military in Africa.” http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2011/10/201110141924329314.html 6. “Obama’s Kony 2014 hunt totally forgets a bigger conflict in Uganda and beyond.” http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/ mar/26/obama-kony-2014-troops-bigger-conflict-uganda 7. “U.S. sends Osprey aircraft, more Special Operations forces to hunt Ugandan warlord.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/2014/03/23/aa468ca6-b2d0-11e3-8020-b2d790b3c9e1_story.html 8. “U.S. Department of State: Daily Press Briefing.” Published March 24, 2014. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2014/03/223870.htm 9. “U.S. Secretary of State To Send Homosexuality Experts To Talk To Museveni.” http://news.ugo.co.ug/us-secretary-state-send-homosexuality-experts-talk-museveni/

74