Vouchers and the Provision of Public Services

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For decades, the use of vouchers has been widely debated. But often lost in the heat of debate is the fact that vouchers are just another tool in the government's tool chest, a restricted subsidy that falls somewhere between the extremes of cash and direct government provision of services. The instrument itself is not new—the 1944 GI Bill of Rights was a voucher, and vouchers for food, college aid, and housing have been in place for decades. Until now, however, the study of vouchers has been restricted to a few controversial applications. This volume, which grew out of a conference sponsored by the Brookings Institution, the Urban Institute, and the Committee for Economic Development, fills the gap, offering a framework for comparative analysis of specific policy issues related to vouchers. Its 16 essays address the economics, politics, and legal issues of voucher use and explore how vouchers are currently employed in the United States and abroad for education, child care, job training, housing, and health care. C. Eugene Steuerle is a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and has worked under four different U.S. presidents on a variety of reform issues in such areas as social security, budget, tax, and health policy. Robert D. Reischauer, a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, was director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1989 to 1995. George Peterson is a senior fellow at the Urban Institute; from 1976 to 1985 he directed the Institute's Public Finance Research Center. Van Doorn Ooms, senior vice president and director of research at the Committee for Economic Development, was formerly executive director for policy and chief economist of the Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives, 1989-1990, and was the Budget Committee's chief economist from 1981 to 1988.
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About the author

C. Eugene Steuerle is a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. Van Doorn Ooms is senior vice president and director of research for the Committee for Economic Development. George Peterson is a scholar at the Urban Institute. Robert D. Reischauer was a former director of the Congressional Budget Office.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Dec 1, 2010
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Pages
550
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ISBN
9780815798316
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Public Policy / General
Political Science / Public Policy / Social Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Winner of the NBCC Award for General Nonfiction

Named on Slate's 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Past 25 Years, Amazon's Best Books of the Year 2015--Michael Botticelli, U.S. Drug Czar (Politico) Favorite Book of the Year--Angus Deaton, Nobel Prize Economics (Bloomberg/WSJ) Best Books of 2015--Matt Bevin, Governor of Kentucky (WSJ) Books of the Year--Slate.com's 10 Best Books of 2015--Entertainment Weekly's 10 Best Books of 2015 --Buzzfeed's 19 Best Nonfiction Books of 2015--The Daily Beast's Best Big Idea Books of 2015--Seattle Times' Best Books of 2015--Boston Globe's Best Books of 2015--St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Best Books of 2015--The Guardian's The Best Book We Read All Year--Audible's Best Books of 2015--Texas Observer's Five Books We Loved in 2015--Chicago Public Library's Best Nonfiction Books of 2015

From a small town in Mexico to the boardrooms of Big Pharma to main streets nationwide, an explosive and shocking account of addiction in the heartland of America.

In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America--addiction like no other the country has ever faced. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland.

With a great reporter's narrative skill and the storytelling ability of a novelist, acclaimed journalist Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of capitalism run amok whose unintentional collision has been catastrophic. The unfettered prescribing of pain medications during the 1990s reached its peak in Purdue Pharma's campaign to market OxyContin, its new, expensive--extremely addictive--miracle painkiller. Meanwhile, a massive influx of black tar heroin--cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico's west coast, independent of any drug cartel--assaulted small town and mid-sized cities across the country, driven by a brilliant, almost unbeatable marketing and distribution system. Together these phenomena continue to lay waste to communities from Tennessee to Oregon, Indiana to New Mexico.

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The federal policy changes that Congress and the President will have to make as we approach the 21st century will be among the most far-reaching since the enactment of the New Deal. The scope of legislation before policymakers as they continue their efforts to balance the budget will be vast and many of its elements very technical. This new, highly accessible book examines the nature of the challenges confronting policymakers, the options that are available to address these challenges, and the ramifications of the various options.

This new book, which continues Brookings' highly acclaimed and influential Setting National Priorities series, will serve as a guide for understanding and evaluating proposals of the next Congress and the new administration. It is also designed to inform the policy debate during the presidential election. Edited by Robert Reischauer, one of the nation's most noted budget experts, the book covers such critical issues as prospects for economic growth, how to reduce domestic discretionary spending, how to restructure Medicare; how much to lower the safety net, how to reshape national security for the post-Cold War world, whether to transform the tax system, and how to prepare for the retirement of the baby boom generation.

This book will be extremely useful for citizens anxious to make sense out of the campaign rhetoric, journalists attempting to explain the issues at play, and students of public policy, public health, political science, and economics.

In addition to Reischauer, the contributors include Henry J. Aaron, Barry Bosworth, Gary Burtless, David Cutler, William G. Gale, Thomas E. Mann, Charles L. Schultze, John D. Steinbruner, R. Kent Weaver, and Joshua M. Wiener.

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