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James Goodwin | December 21, 2020
This was the year in which many of our worst fears about the Trump administration came to pass. Racial unrest reached a boiling point. The GOP’s attacks on our democracy leading up to and after the election will take decades to fix. And of course, tens of thousands of lives have been needlessly lost to an unprecedented pandemic. It was an ugly year. Not surprisingly, most of 2020’s top regulatory policy stories were ugly too. The incoming Biden-Harris administration can put us back on the right track, but they have a lot of work ahead of them. Here are the first five of this year’s 10 most significant developments affecting regulatory policy and public protections.
James Goodwin | December 21, 2020
In my last post, I began counting down the top ten most significant developments affecting regulatory policy and public protections from the past year. This post completes the task.
Laurie Ristino | December 8, 2020
At long last, we’ve reached “safe harbor” day, when states must resolve election-related disputes. Under federal law, Congress must count votes from states that meet today’s deadline. Donald Trump is essentially out of time to steal a second term; our democracy, it appears, will survive, at least for now. The last four years have been an urgent call to action to reclaim our democracy, to fix it, to reimagine it. The good news is we can use the tools of democracy to do so. The Center for Progressive Reform is launching Policy for a Just America, a major new initiative to repair and reimagine government. We’re developing a series of policy recommendations and other resources to advance justice and equity and create a sustainable future. We’re also using advocacy and media engagement tools to inform the public about the urgent need for reform and how to achieve it across all levels of government.
Amy Sinden, James Goodwin | November 18, 2020
After taking their oaths of office in January, newly minted President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will face a number of daunting challenges: the ongoing pandemic and economic downturn; structural racial and ethnic injustice; widening economic inequality; inadequate access to affordable health care; and climate change. And Congress, facing the prospect of divided control, is unlikely to respond with robust legislative solutions that the American people expect and deserve. The good news is that Biden and Harris will be able to meet these challenges head on by revitalizing governance and making effective use of the federal regulatory system. Better still, they can do so in a way that delivers justice and equity for all Americans.
James Goodwin | October 29, 2020
This week, I’m posting a new web article documenting the arbitrariness and subjectivity that cost-benefit analysis injects into regulatory decision-making, the latest installment in CPR’s Beyond 12866 initiative. Specifically, the piece explains how cost-benefit analysis deploys a wide variety of methodological techniques that can be clumsy, unscientific, ethically dubious, and, too often, downright absurd.
James Goodwin | October 15, 2020
Recently, the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) launched its Beyond 12866 initiative, which seeks to promote progressive regulatory reform as a key component of the progressive movement’s efforts to build a more socially just and equitable America. To accomplish this goal, though, we must come to grips with how the regulatory system is perpetuating racial injustice and reinforcing race-based inequities. In a new web article, I take this first step by sketching out some of the ways in which cost-benefit analysis has contributed to structural racism in the broader regulatory system.
Rena Steinzor | September 16, 2020
Presidents since Ronald Reagan have endorsed the assumption that government is too big and too intrusive. Yet the figurative poster children targeted by these chill words have been public health agencies heavily dependent on science-based decision-making as opposed to—as just one example—the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. No president has spent any concerted amount of time explaining how protective public health interventions, including regulation, make life better. No president has praised the civil servants who weather seemingly endless—and enervating—disputes over science and law that make it possible to deliver those protections. For the sake of the civil service and its broken morale, and for the American people, who are exhausted and rendered hopeless by the indiscriminate attacks on the government’s competence to keep the population safe, the next president should use the bully pulpit to advance a positive narrative about government’s accomplishments.
James Goodwin | August 25, 2020
This week, CPR is launching its Beyond 12866 initiative, an online platform focused on promoting a progressive vision for rebuilding the U.S. regulatory system. Such a regulatory system will be essential not only to achieving the progressive vision of a more just and equitable society; it will also do the heavy practical lifting needed for implementing key elements of a progressive policy agenda, such as the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and Black Lives Matter movement.
James Goodwin | August 4, 2020
Yesterday, I joined a group of CPR Member Scholars and staff in submitting comments on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) "benefits-busting" proposal, which would drastically overhaul how the agency performs cost-benefit analysis on its biggest Clean Air Act rules. As we explain in our comments, the action is a thinly veiled effort to rig the results of those analyses – more so than they already are – to make it harder to issue appropriately strong safeguards, thereby sabotaging the effective and timely implementation of the Clean Air Act.