Showing 78 results
Sidney A. Shapiro | March 30, 2023
The American public has lost faith in expertise. The reason why, as author and national security expert Tom Nichols points out in his 2017 book The Death of Expertise, includes the transformation of the news industry into a 24-hour entertainment machine, the number of “low-information voters,” political leaders who traffic in “alternative facts,” and, as Nichols puts it, a “Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and lay people, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers — in other words between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all.” Bill Araiza offers another important insight in his book, Rebuilding Expertise: Increasing legal and political efforts to oversee agencies have resulted in the deterioration of civil service expertise and, with it, of public faith in government. On the front end, these efforts send a message that expertise can’t be trusted. On the back end, when the government stumbles in carrying out its functions, the message is that experts are not so expert after all. What is missed, as Liz Fisher and I contend in our book, Administrative Competence, is that law and politics can hold agencies accountable and still facilitate their capacity to do their job. Araiza’s last chapter ably discusses how this can be done.
Ajulo Othow, Sidney A. Shapiro | January 11, 2023
This op-ed was originally published in the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal and the Greensboro (North Carolina) News & Record. The Winston-Salem Journal recently reported that Walmart had joined environmental and climate advocates in opposition to Duke Energy’s proposed carbon reduction plan, which is now under review by the N.C. Energy Commission. In the clash of […]
Allison Stevens, David Driesen, James Goodwin, Sidney A. Shapiro, Thomas McGarity | November 21, 2022
We asked several of our Member Scholars how the midterm election outcomes will affect policy going forward in our three priority policy areas. Today’s post covers the implications for regulations.
M. Isabelle Chaudry, Sidney A. Shapiro | September 26, 2022
As Cole Porter crooned in 1948, “It’s too darn hot.” California and other parts of the American West are heading into another week of excessive heat that not only threatens public health and safety but also power shortages, which would cut millions off from the energy they need to fuel their lives. Workers, particularly those […]
Brian Gumm, Minor Sinclair, Robert L. Glicksman, Sidney A. Shapiro | April 18, 2022
We're sad to share the news that long-time Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar Dale Goble passed away at his home on April 14. Scholars and staff alike appreciated his warm presence at our scholars' meetings, and he brought a wealth of knowledge to the fields of wildlife and conservation law. When the founders of CPR were reaching out to the nation's leading progressive scholars, we were so pleased that Dale agreed to join. His humanity, his dedication to protecting public lands and wildlife, and his participation in CPR will be sorely missed.
Sidney A. Shapiro | March 14, 2022
When it comes to historically marginalized groups, an “out of sight and out of mind” approach has too often infected agency policymaking. Agencies have responded with outreach to marginalized communities, but regulatory policymaking is hardly inclusive. Last January, President Biden required the government to increase engagement “with community-based organizations and civil rights organizations,” and the Administrative Conference of the United States responded with a multiday forum on underserved communities and the regulatory process. Addressing the lack of participation by marginalized communities in regulatory decision-making is crucial, but there is another fundamental issue. The input of marginalized communities will not matter if agencies ignore or devalue it because these insights are not expressed using the standard narratives of policymaking.
Sidney A. Shapiro | February 14, 2022
When the Wake Forest University emergency communications systems called me at 12:01 am on Tuesday, February 1, I could not have guessed that it was about a chemical bomb capable of wiping out blocks and blocks of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The call warned university students to heed the city’s voluntary evacuation of the 6,500 people living within in a one-mile radius of the Winston Weaver fertilizer plant that was on fire — and in danger of exploding. Thankfully, the fire did not injure anyone, and the bomb did not ignite.
Melissa Lutrell, Sidney A. Shapiro | August 17, 2021
The surging COVID-19 delta variant is sending thousands of people to the hospital, killing others, and straining several states' hospital systems to their breaking point. The climate crisis is hurting people, communities and countries as we write this piece, with apocalyptic wildfires, crippling droughts and raging floodwaters. Systemic racism continues unabated, leading to vast economic and environmental injustices. It's beyond time for urgent action, but to get there, the federal government must reform the opaque, biased method it uses to evaluate our nation's public health, economic and environmental protections.
James Goodwin, Sidney A. Shapiro | March 23, 2021
To paraphrase French economist Thomas Piketty, the task of evaluating new regulations is too important to leave to just economists. Yet, since the 1980s, White House-supervised regulatory impact analysis has privileged economic efficiency as the primary and often only legitimate objective of federal regulation. The regulatory reform initiative launched by President Joseph R. Biden on his first day in office creates an opportunity to reorient regulatory analysis in ways that both reformers and the public support.