Below are 10 of the things we learned this month from the research at the Brookings Institution.
1. There will be more of the status quo in the U.S.-North Korea relationship in the foreseeable future
On February 27 and February 28, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Hanoi for their second U.S.-North Korea Summit. Jung Pak analyzed the mixed results of this summit, writing that little policy change or progress was achieved.
2. Captain Planet should have been a woman
Christina Kwauk, reflecting on the ’90s cartoon “Captain Planet and the Planeteers,” writes that “research shows a clear linkage between women’s leadership and pro-environmental outcomes.” Even when controlling for local variable such as civil liberties, per capita GDP, and the presence of environmental organizations in countries, Kwauk notes that “women’s political participation remains a powerful and significant predictor of environmental protectionism.”
3. America is becoming increasingly polarized
Highlighting sections from his new book, “Divided Politics, Divided Nation,” Vice President of Governance Studies Darrell West discussed our polarized nation drawing on experiences from his life and family. From Clinton’s impeachment to whether Jesus would condone torture tactics to Brett Kavanaugh’s divisive Senate hearing, West takes the reader through a journey of our fractured nation.
4. The diversity gap for public school teachers is higher now than in previous generations
While there have been great strides in making the teacher workforce more diverse in the last three decades, the percent of non-white teachers in America’s public schools is now only 17 percent according to a report from Michael Hansen and Diana Quintero. Still, this increased attraction of minorities to the teaching profession is encouraging, especially in the face of realizing that educators are experiencing the biggest diversity gap ever.
5. Women are increasingly founding venture-backed startups across the country
2017 data showed than just 16 percent of venture capital funding in the U.S. went to startups with at least one female founder, and only 2.5 percent of that funding went to companies with all female founders. This is concerning as women make up 47 percent of the workforce. However, though these numbers are concerning, Ian Hathaway claimed that they do show improvement from previous numbers in 2005 and are a part of a trend of representation for women.
6. A reminder that college admissions have always benefited the elite
As wealthy and celebrity parents are headlined again in the college admissions cheating scandal, Richard Reeves, director of the Future of the Middle Class Initiative at Brookings, calls attention to the disparities that have always been present in college admissions. Through large donations or legacy student programs, wealthy parents can get their children into college easier than middle class or low-income parents. Reeves calls on elite universities to let this be a wake-up call to their admissions practices.
7. Mourning the victims of Christchurch, New Zealand
Daniel Byman offered his thoughts after the shooting that claimed the lives of at least 50 people and injured dozens more in Christchurch, New Zealand. Among his five points: Anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric fuels white nationalist hatred, and right-wing terrorism must be monitored more closely for the safety of minority groups. Leadership must be taken by government officials—as demonstrated by New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern—and social media companies to condemn hatred and to stop its global spread.
8. Brexit is delayed for now
Following dramatic developments and an inability to compromise, British lawmakers are pushing back their Brexit deadline in order to allow more time to get their plans in order. Amanda Sloat unpacks Prime Minister Theresa May’s continued failure to get her deal approved and the unlikelihood of a second referendum or a no-deal Brexit.
9. The Senate voted to overturn President Trump’s emergency declaration
Twelve Senate Republicans joined Democrats in rejecting President Trump’s national emergency declaration to build the wall on the southern U.S. border. Elaine Kamarck discussed why this could lead to a path for impeachment for the president. This sign of Republicans abandoning the president’s proposal could potentially be the first step toward a bipartisan coalition for impeachment.
10. Automation trends perpetuate the conservative-liberal divide
In a new report, Mark Muro, Jacob Whiton, and Robert Maxim confirmed a strong history of automation in heavily Republican counties, showing that “all but one of the ten states most heavily exposed to future job market changes cast its electoral votes for President Trump in 2016.” In these counties, economic anxiety fuels backlash politics against globalization and immigration, further polarizing right and left.
Julia O’Hanlon contributed to this post.