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PolicySphere Morning Briefing – April 8, 2024

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#Housing – As we have been writing this newsletter, housing, and in particular the generational impacts of housing availability and affordability, have become a recurring theme. Making it unaffordable for young people to house themselves or get on the policy ladder is a policy for generational political (far-left) radicalization. We will be looking to keep on examining this theme. Meanwhile, Brookings has a nice overview of the state of the U.S. rental market.

#AmericanManufacturing – Key Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC received an additional $11.6 billion in CHIPS Act grant money, and is announcing plans to open three chip fabrication plans in Arizona. Bloomberg has the story. So, is DEI hobbling the CHIPS Act or not? Or were those reports simply a ploy by the Taiwanese to squeeze more money out of the Federal government? We will investigate.

#AmericanManufacturing – Speaking of American manufacturing, from a Politico piece on the damning new Navy report: “The Navy’s top admiral and civilian secretary have still not responded to questions about a damning Navy report released Tuesday outlining the sweeping failure of the Navy and its industrial partners to make expected progress on two submarine programs, an aircraft carrier and a new class of frigates. […] The delays in so many programs critical to how the U.S. projects power across the globe is virtually unprecedented, and is the result of decades of underinvestment in shipyards and relying on a shrinking number of shipbuilders to build the nation’s fleet”

#Trade – Mexico has surpassed China as the top source of imports into the U.S. CFR Senior Fellow Brad Setser, one of the best trade experts we know and a PolicySphere subscriber (hi Brad!), had a good breakdown of what the US now imports from Mexico.

#NewAgenda – From Claremont’s Joel Kotkin, interesting analysis on the political environment: “Pocketbook concerns override racial resentment in the current political climate.”

#Booze #TaxPolicy – Interesting, albeit niche, stuff from the Tax Foundation’s Adam Hoffer: “Alcohol production has been one of the most innovative spaces in the U.S. economy. New products have further blurred existing categorical lines. The changing product landscape suggests the need for a change in tax policy.” More in his paper.

#Patents – From R Street: “Patent eligibility, or the fundamental question of what is patentable, is currently under congressional review. Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) have introduced the Patent Eligibility Reform Act (PERA) to reform Section 101 of the U.S. Patent Act, which defines what can be patented. But some of the proposed changes do much more than clarify patent eligibility” Instead, R Street’s Wayne Brough contends that the goal is to broaden patent eligibility and that the result would be a morass of litigation and a net negative for innovation.

#Education – We have already covered the fact that absences and truancy in K-12 in the U.S. has doubled (!) since the pandemic. Interestingly, The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson, pointing out that truancy is up among all social classes, and equally in places went schools went remote vs those that didn’t. So what’s up? “Something deeper is happening.”

#LightBulbWars – Remember the Light Bulb Wars? Yep. They’re still around. The Biden DOE published new rules designed to eliminate incandescent light bulbs.

Chart of the Day

Meme of the Day

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