#studyBE: What The Next President Inherits | Can Police Reform Reduce Crime? | Leading on Climate Migration

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“What the next president inherits: More than 25 million workers are being hurt by the coronavirus downturn”

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There is a huge amount of confusion about the number of workers impacted by this downturn because two major, completely separate, government data sets that address these questions are reporting very different numbers. Specifically, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the official number of unemployed workers in October, from the Current Population Survey, was 11.1 million. But during the reference week for the October monthly unemployment figure—the week ending October 17—the Department of Labor (DOL) reported that there were a total of 21.5 million people claiming unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in all programs. The UI number is compiled by DOL from reports it receives from state unemployment insurance agencies.

What is going on? In a nutshell: The BLS official number of unemployed workers vastly understates the number of workers who have faced the negative consequences of the coronavirus recession, and DOL’s UI number overstates the number of workers receiving unemployment benefits.


“Violent Crime Rates Declined in 10 Jurisdictions Following Comprehensive Police Reform”

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As calls for comprehensive police reform take front and center in the national conversation, policymakers may have concerns about whether such changes would lead to an increase in the incidence of violent crime, based on academic literature that supports a negative relationship between violent crime and the number of police officers. To assess the relationship between comprehensive police reform and violent crime, this column examines violent crime rates over time in jurisdictions where the police department fulfilled a reform agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (the division). This analysis relies on estimates of violent crime rates from the FBI’s “Crime in the United States” publications spanning from 1995 to 2019. The compiled data cover the entire timeline within which the agreements were reached and fulfilled. These agreements emphasized institutional reforms to address systemic police misconduct — as opposed to isolated instances of wrongdoing—and as such, serve as appropriate benchmarks for the type of comprehensive police reform advocates are calling for today.

The data show that in the years following these agreements, violent crime rates declined in all 10 of the analyzed jurisdictions, following the national trend. This analysis undermines potential concerns that comprehensive police reform would increase violent crime and lends additional support to efforts to implement such reforms.


“A New Framework for U.S. Leadership on Climate Migration”

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Our understanding of the impact of climate change on human mobility is in its early stages. We know sea level rise threatens coastal communities around the world and that heat waves, storms, drought, and wildfires made more frequent and severe by climate change will shape global migration patterns. Research on the scale and geographic distribution of climate migration is still nascent, as is the development of potential policy responses. Properly understanding the interplay between climate change and migration is of critical importance for policymakers. Getting our understanding and responses right—or wrong—has enormous implications not only for hundreds of millions of migrants and forcibly displaced people, but also for security and human development.

Despite evidence indicating climate change is already impacting human mobility—and will do so with even greater regularity and severity the longer global temperatures continue to climb—scientists, legal scholars, and policymakers have yet to come to a consensus on what defines a climate migrant. Neither is there an adequate strategy, either internationally or within the United States, for dealing with climate migration.


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