Top 7 Reports from September 2012
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
This seminal report reveals the stark differences among countries in the opportunities they offer young people to enter higher education, notably for children of poor families or whose parents have had a limited education.
The defining narrative of the U.S. is that of a nation where everyone has an opportunity to achieve a better life through talent, creativity, intelligence, and hard work, regardless of the circumstances of their birth. The reality is that economic success in America is not purely based on merit. We don’t have as much equality of opportunity as we’d like to believe, and we have less social mobility than some other developed countries.
Building a Competitive Future Right from the Start: How Paid Leave Strengthens 21st Century Families
National Center for Children in Poverty
The U.S. remains the only advanced, industrialized nation without a federally mandated paid family leave policy, standing with Liberia, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland in its failure to offer legal protection to workers who need time off to care for a new baby. The absence of such support highlights our outlier status among the 178 nations that guarantee paid leave for new mothers and the 54 countries that do so for fathers. Our federal and state family and work policies are woefully out of synch with the dramatic demographic changes underway elsewhere.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Almost 15 percent of American households were without secure food throughout the entire year in 2011, meaning that they never had access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. Yes, this is the U.S. we’re talking about.
Propelled by private entrepreneurship, technology gains, and public support, clean energy and energy efficiency solutions have begun to proliferate in recent years. Yet federal policy gridlock and state budget challenges are now jeopardizing the availability of government finance, impeding large-scale deployment of low-carbon energy solutions.
Congressional Research Service
It’s not high on too many people’s list of ways to reduce the budget deficit, but a tax on carbon – historically a hard sell – is now gaining favor for a range of societal benefits, not least is the salutary effects it might have for climate change.
Natural Resources Defense Council
Over the past 40 years, wind has provided an increasing amount of the energy we use. Today, wind farms generate about 50,000 megawatts of clean, renewable energy—the equivalent of the energy produced by 12 Hoover Dams. As this report illustrates, energy is just the start of what we get from growing the number of wind farms across the country, not least employment for 75,000 Americans.