Original Reporting

Original Reporting | By Mike Alberti | Alternative models, Quality of life, Urban Policy
In attempting to solve Detroit’s short-term cash flow problems, city officials want to layoff between 1,000 and 2,300 workers, reducing already-shriveled municipal services still further. But the long-term structural problems that brought Detroit to this point — a massive loss of population, an eroding tax base, and isolation from the rest of the region — remain unaddressed, and the short-term solutions will likely exacerbate the long-term problems. That stark reality has left many experts and advocates wondering whether local, regional, and state officials have set a drastically low bar for the city, abandoning altogether any hope that Detroit can become an integrated part of the larger, regional economy, and share in the gains its suburbs have made in recent decades. More
Original Reporting | By Kevin C. Brown | Alternative models, Labor
The big three German automakers — BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen — each produce vehicles not only in Germany, but also in “transplant” factories in the U.S. The former are characterized by high wages and high union membership; the U.S. plants pay lower wages and are located in so-called “right-to-work” states. It turns out that “inevitability” has nothing to do with the differing conditions; the salient difference is that, in Germany, the automakers operate within an environment that precludes a race to the bottom; in the U.S., they operate within an environment that encourages such a race. More
Original Reporting | By Craig Gurian | Taxes
If you have an adjusted gross income of $1.8 million, for example, and file a joint tax return, New York's Andrew Cuomo has engineered annual tax savings for you of $27,280 in future years. More
Original Reporting | By Craig Gurian | Immigration
Offered the opportunity to describe in extended interviews how immigration to the United States should ideally be regulated, representatives of three prominent pro-immigration organizations painted a broad picture of a much-liberalized ongoing system (above and beyond a "road to legalization"), but did not set forth any concrete limitations to apply. More
Original Reporting | By Abby Ferla, By Craig Gurian | NYC, Role of government
Wouldn't facility by facility information on operating costs, staffing, and level of use help New York City's Parks Department and outside observers assess whether there is equity in funding between and among parks as well as the related question of whether and to what extent to rely on private as opposed to public funding? Good luck getting the data. More
Original Reporting | By Mike Alberti | Economy, Taxes
In the ongoing negotiations on Capitol Hill over whether to extend and expand the payroll tax cut for another year, some advocates worry that doing so would undermine President Franklin Roosevelt’s original intention: to fund the program through a dedicated stream of revenues in order to make it difficult for lawmakers to dismantle Social Security in future years. They worry that, by allowing payroll taxes to be used for purposes other than Social Security, Democrats are opening the door to Republican efforts to reduce the payroll tax permanently — and to cut benefits to conform with the reduced revenues. More
Original Reporting | By Abby Ferla | Gender equity
No, the Constitution still doesn't say that equality of rights shall not be denied by the U.S. or by any state on account of sex. Why advocates fought so hard in the 1970s and 1980s for an Equal Rights Amendment, and why some are still fighting to secure its ratification. More
Original Reporting | By Margaret Moslander | Health care
Remapping Debate's follow-up to our article on doctor-patient communication explores an additional aspect of everyday medical interactions: the ways in which "inconveniences" imposed on patients — commonly seen as "just the way things are" — actually cause psychological and emotional harm. Long wait times, rushed appointments, and the failure of doctors to be forthcoming with important information lead patients to feel devalued, overlooked, frustrated, and "disrespected. More