Original Reporting

Original Reporting | By Eric Kroh | Labor, Unions
In exchange for agreeing to build a new subcompact car at its Orion, Michigan assembly plant, General Motors got the United Auto Workers to agree to permit 40 percent of plant workers to be paid about half of the standard union wage of $28 an hour. For workers being paid "Tier 2" wages, there will be a dramatic difference in security and standard of living from that of their Tier 1 counterparts. We examine the expected concrete impacts on the lives of lower-paid workers and their families. More
Original Reporting | By Alyssa Ratledge | Environment, Media
According to a recent Financial Times report on the extent of public support for green energy development (based on a poll sponsored by Lazard), U.S. voters cap their willingness to pay for renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, at $10 per month. But can the poll results be trusted? Remapping Debate sought to find out, but neither the Financial Times nor Lazard — despite the transparency that the standards of professional practice in the polling field call for — would provide the basic information required to make this determination. More
Original Reporting | By Mike Alberti | Gender equity, Health
As Remapping Debate recently reported, new findings show that life expectancy for women has declined significantly in hundreds of U.S. counties over the course of the last generation. That trend is leading many to ask why so many states fail to put basic public health measures in place, especially since the absence of those measures — often thought of as “gender neutral” — exerts a profoundly negative and disproportionate effect on women. More
Original Reporting | By Eric Kroh | Education, Employment, Health, Income inequality, Politics, State government
Can "benchmarks" and "indicators" be implemented in a way to have a real impact on public policy? A key question: do indicator systems work by attempting to “insulate” them from politics, or by attempting to have them do battle in the political arena by challenging those who don’t accept the importance of the indicators and by promulgating specific policy recommendations? More
Original Reporting | By Mike Alberti | Gender equity, Health
New study shows shocking, regionally focused departure from upward trend in life expectancy in period from 1987 to 2007. The new trend is the largest decline in life expectancy in the U.S. since the flu pandemic of 1918, but it is unique in that it is not the result of a specific disease. More
Original Reporting | By Mike Alberti | Economy, Income inequality, Labor
Won't technological gains eventually supplant short-term worker pain with broadly shared prosperity as was once reliably the case? Actually, many say, there is no more common or dangerous mistake than taking a past pattern and projecting it into the future regardless of changing external factors. The impact of tech gains is largely contingent on policy choices regarding how benefits from those gains are distributed and what adaptations are made to remedy tech-driven dislocations. More
Original Reporting | By Eric Kroh | Food safety, Health
If the current trend continues, it appears that we are on the threshold of an era in which now-treatable infectious diseases re-emerge as frequent life disrupters, and, ultimately, as major killers. For the U.S. and other developed countries, that means that fundamental expectations about the normal course of life would be exploded, and that the insecurity of the pre- World War II era — where untimely death was much more routine — would return. More
Original Reporting | By Mike Alberti | Health care
In the year since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, there has been a resurgence of interest in moving the United States into a single-payer model for health insurance, both to contain costs and to increase quality and access to care. But some groups — like AARP, the nation’s largest organization representing seniors — have not joined the fray, because they believe that by supporting measures that go above and beyond health care reform, they will effectively be undermining it. According to advocates who continue to press for a single-payer system, however, the acquiescence of those sympathetic to pro-access arguments has had a significant impact on narrowing the debate over how the health care system in the U.S. should work — and on moving the center of gravity of that debate further to the right. More