Antitrust enforcement is the cornerstone of a competitive marketplace. When that enforcement is misdirected—as it was for much of the Bush administration—consumers suffer. Two reports offered recommendations for how to make antitrust work in today’s economy. "Restoring Trust in Antitrust" by David Balto explained how to use antitrust enforcement to promote economic growth, and "A Different Approach to Antimonopolization Enforcement for the Obama Administration" by Andrew J. Pincus outlined how the new administration can strengthen antitrust in today’s marketplace given the recent history of lax enforcement.
Balto and Pincus also joined Christine Varney, the assistant attorney general for antitrust in the Department of Justice, for an event to discuss the reports. At the event, Varney announced that the Justice Department would rescind the Bush administration’s report on dominant firm conduct.
A report from David Madland and Ruy Teixeira showed that young Americans are more progressive on nearly every issue than previous generations. And an accompanying report from John Halpin and Karl Agne, "The Political Ideology of the Millenial Generation," documented political values and beliefs of young adults aged 18 to 29.
In his weekly public opinion snapshot, Teixeira examined polling data showing that the public may like Obama personally, but they also like and approve of his policies. And this week’s Think Again by Eric Alterman and Danielle Ivory highlighted the media’s obsession about potential Supreme Court nominees’ sexuality instead of their qualifications
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
The EPA’s WaterSense program, which Congress could authorize soon, can save water and energy, wrote Tom Kenworthy. Congress is also considering legislation to make public schools environmentally sustainable buildings, fostering healthier and more productive learning environments. In other news, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which will be marked up in committee on Monday, will achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas pollution, wrote Daniel J. Weiss.
An estimated 1.6 billion people worldwide do not have access to electricity. And even more people—a staggering 2.4 billion—use biomass such as wood or dung as their primary source of cooking and heating fuel. This lack of access to modern energy services hinders economic growth, but we must deploy energy cleanly, explained Kari Manlove in an "Energy Poverty 101."
And a report from CAP, the Center for Working Families, and Half in Ten, "Green Jobs/Green Homes NY," provided a policy roadmap for the largest residential retrofit program ever initiated in the United States that can serve as a model for the nation.
SECURITY AND DOMESTIC
Including programs not directly related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in the supplemental funding bill perpetuates the broken defense acquisitions process, wrote Laura Conley and Sean Duggan. And debating whether harsh interrogation tactics used by the United States were torture or not misses the point that they’re still illegal, argued William F. Schulz.
Shirley Sagawa wrote about how AmeriCorps continues to drive social innovation and give social entrepreneurs their start, and Angela Kelley and Vanessa Cárdenas reported on how immigration reform is gaining "friends in high places."