Brookings Mountain West

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Public Radio (KNPR) Interviews

Robert Lang, Director, Brookings Mountain West, September 15, 2014
Examining the Tesla Deal: Who Wins? Who Loses? And How Will it Change Nevada?
It's the biggest economic development deal in Nevada history. The state will grant $1.25 billion in incentives to Tesla Motors to build a $5 billion Gigafactory near Reno.

Critics of the deal have already pointed out that it will take money from the fledgling film production credit program. And other wonder whether state and local governments will ever recoup the tax breaks.

But lawmakers unanimously approved the deal. The factory could create up to 6,500 well-paid jobs that are badly needed in Northern Nevada. And they say that Tesla's presence, along with Apple and the drone industry, could enhance the region's reputation and attract more high-tech investment.

Audrey Singer, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, August 25, 2014
Two Years Later: Deferred Action In Nevada
Two years ago, President Barack Obama signed an order to protect certain immigrants who arrived in the country as young children. Many young undocumented immigrants in Southern Nevada have benefited from the program. But residents of our region have not been approved as quickly as those in other areas.

So how can the program work better in Las Vegas? And is it a good idea to allow the president to make immigration policy through executive order?

Pat Mulroy, Senior Fellow, Brookings Mountain West, July 1, 2014
Climate Adaptation and Environmental Policy
Three years of hot summers and winters lacking adequate snowfall are taking their toll on Dwayne Combs and other ranchers trying to make a living from the Nevada’s already dry landscape. Reservoirs in Nevada are also at dangerously low levels thanks to three years of drought. "In rural California, they have 50 percent to 60 percent unemployment," Pat Mulroy, senior fellow of climate adaptation and environmental policy at Brookings Mountain West told KNPR. "The magnitude of that lack of water resources becomes profound. For Nevada it is the same thing."

Mulroy, who also holds the Maki Distinguished Faculty Associate position at the Desert Research Institute, urged Nevada to develop "some real water strategies" to protect ranchers and urban areas. "I don’t think we have a choice," Mulroy said. "We have to balance the needs of agriculture and urban communities." Mulroy also congratulated Las Vegas for its conservation efforts.

"We don’t talk about our net footprint because we recycle everything," Mulroy said. "For the driest city in the United States to have a net footprint residentially of 75 gallons per person, per-day is phenomenal."

Robert E. Lang, Ph.D. UNLV Director, Brookings Mountain West, April 28, 2014
Should The States Takeover Federal Lands?
Cliven Bundy the man might be disgraced and discredited after his racist comments last week, but his anti-governmental stance has inspired a host of activity resisting the federal government –  including calls by Western state leaders to take back federal lands. We'll talk the ins-and-outs with our panel, and also hear how the Bundy saga is hurting Bureau of Land Management progress outside of Clark County.

John Page, Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution, April 7, 2014
The Future Of Africa
Africa has enjoyed great rates of economic growth in recent decades. But it still has high rates of corruption and troubled areas of war and poverty. What will it take to make the continent more sustainable? And more able to provide and raise a living for the booming population? John Page says it can no longer rely on selling resources. So what's his plan? What should Africa do?

Robert Lang, UNLV Director, Brookings Mountain West, April 3, 2014
Is Tier One Worth It For UNLV?
UNLV is pushing to be a Tier 1 Research University. Supporters of the effort say it will help lure top of the line professors to Nevada's largest institution of higher learning. But are the costs worth it? And will the investment pay off? We talk to an economic expert that says probably not.

Guests
Robert Lang, Director Brookings Mountain West
John Valery White, UNLV Provost John Valery White
Professor Alan Sanderson, University of Chicago
Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, senior vice president of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development for Advancing Research, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Arizona State University

Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution, March 25, 2014
The Future Of The U.S.- China Relationship
The relationship between the U.S. and China is now the most important part of the world's diplomatic puzzle. Neither side wants war, but the U.S. is unwilling to give up its long-held dominance in the Pacific, and China is unwilling to allow that to continue as its economic power in Asia grows. So how can this problem be negotiated? In an era of shrinking defense budgets, is the decline of American power inevitable?

Joshua Meltzer, fellow, Brookings Institution. March 11, 2014
The Future Of Internet Privacy
The integrity of the Internet has been thrown into doubt by the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. He says the spies are destroying the Web. So what has to happen to ensure that the Internet is safe and secure for people both here and abroad? Brookings Institution fellow Joshua Meltzer will be discussing those issues at UNLV on Wednesday night.

John Tuman, Department of Political Science, UNLV, March 5, 2014
Latinos Grapple With Jobs And Housing
As noted earlier this year in a UNLV-Brookings Institute Study, The Las Vegas Latino community is still in recession. That means the need for services — including housing assistance, foreclosure help, and health access — remains high as the economy improves generally. Yet, according to workers on the ground, the new trend in the community is to shun those services. We talk with Margarita Robellal, the Executive Director at Community Services of Nevada about a trend she says is deeply troubling and largely ignored. We also speak with UNLV professor John Tuman about why a bad job market lingers for Latinos.

Bruce Jones, Foreign Policy fellow, Brookings Institution, March 4, 2014
The world is facing another crisis because of Russia's push to keep Ukraine within its sphere of influence. But this is what we should expect, says foreign policy expert, Bruce Jones. The world was unusually quiet during the past 20 years but Russia and China no longer want to play that game and so we can expect more crises in coming years. Bruce Jones will be speaking tonight at the World Affairs Council of Las Vegas and tomorrow night at UNLV. He joins us ahead of those appearances.

Adie Tomer, senior research associate, Brookings Institution, February 25, 2014
Transportation, Jobs And Technology
Transportation problems, from poor planning to terrible congestion, can impede economic development. And while Las Vegas currently does a pretty good job connecting workers to available jobs on public transportation, the region may need to improve transportation options to attract diverse and high-tech employers. So what parts of our traffic system are working well? And what do we need to improve?

Neil Ruiz, senior policy analyst, Brookings Institution, February 4, 2014
Migration And Economic Development
Migration is a major factor in economic growth - whether it's attracting new highly-skilled migrants to the U.S. or the massive wave of workers flooding urban areas in China, Brazil and elsewhere to create new manufacturing industries. But how can we control it? And what is the best migration policy?

Vanda Felbab-Brown, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, January 28, 2014
The Future In Afghanistan
The war in Afghanistan has not ended with the democratic state that the United States had hoped to leave behind. Right now, the government is negotiating to ensure some security and stability after American troops leave in 2014. So what went wrong? And what can be done now? Vanda Felbab-Brown will be examining those questions at UNLV on Wednesday and she joins us ahead of that lecture to look at problems in America's longest war.

John Tuman, UNLV Political Science Department, January 14, 2014
Latino Unemployment Remains High
Unemployment in the Latino community remains high in Nevada, despite years of economic recovery. Other groups have been quicker to return to work, but Latino workers have increasingly dropped out of the work force or endured long stretches of unemployment. Why has the recession hit the Hispanic community so much harder than other groups? And what needs to happen to help them recover?

Rob Lang, UNLV Director, Brookings Mountain West, January 13, 2014
The Rough Road to Interstate 11
Should the federal government build a highway from Las Vegas to Phoenix? Many community and business leaders in Las Vegas believe such a road could help boost the economy in Southern Nevada. But residents in some of the communities in the path of the proposed interstate aren't so sure. They're worried about noise, traffic and the change that might occur in their towns if the road is built. So is the interstate really essential to the economic wellbeing of Las Vegas? How should planners accommodate the needs of smaller communities that could be disrupted by the project?

Beth Akers, fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings Institution, November 6, 2013
Is College Really Worth it?
The cost of going to college is rising. No matter what the rate of inflation, tuition has been going up four or five percent annually. So are colleges pricing themselves out of the market? Is the debt burden so great that it negates the additional earning power of a college degree? And should the community be putting more money into state and community colleges because it is a societal benefit? Beth Akers argues we need to re-think how we look at the investment in a college education. She talks with us ahead of her lecture at UNLV.

Ron Haskins, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution. October 29, 2013
Compromising On The Deficit
The national government has lurched from one crisis to the next in recent years – the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling, the Bush tax cuts and the recent shutdown. Those deals were always done to stave off major economic disaster. Brookings Scholar Ron Haskins says there is a better way. He faults both sides for refusing to admit that a real solution to the deficit crisis requires both tax increases and entitlement cuts. But how do we get there?

Adele Morris, Fellow in Economic Studies and Policy Director for Climate and Energy Economics, Brookings Institution, October 8, 2013
Will Carbon Tax Fix Energy Woes?
Adele Morris of the Brookings Institution is proposing a policy that she says would fix both the energy and fiscal problems of the United States simultaneously. A carbon tax - across all forms of fossil fuel energy - would raise additional revenue, encourage energy conservation and stimulate the development of new forms of renewable energy that would not attract the tax. She tells us why it's a great idea for the Mountain West.

Molly Jackman, Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings Institution, October 1, 2013
Gridlock Looms
So you only need to get 50 percent of the votes to pass a bill in Congress right? Well, not quite, says Brookings Institution Fellow Molly Jackman. In fact, the rules in the legislature have an enormous impact on what happens with a law and with government policy. Of course, we're seeing that played out in Washington right now with the looming shutdown of the government. So how do those rules affect what happens and do we need to reform those rules?

Jonathan Rothwell, Senior Research Associate, Brookings Institution, September 17, 2013
The Hidden STEM Economy
Americans have had an unending stream of bad news about science, technical, engineering and math education. We're middling or worse. But this misinterprets the nature of the STEM, argues Brookings Institution scholar Jonathan Rothwell. These numbers overestimate the need for higher degrees and misrepresent how much skill we actually have in the workforce. So how should we think of these disciplines? Are we really doing as well as we can?

Tracy Gordon, Fellow, Economic Studies, September 11, 2013
Where Are Nevada's Federal Dollars?
Nevada ranks last in the per capita receipt from the federal government. But why? Sometimes, the state won't match federal funding, and sometimes we just refuse to compete. But Nevada's poor haul from the federal government results from many factors, argues Brookings' scholar, Tracy Gordon.

Philip Wallach, Fellow in Governance Studies, Brookings Institution, March 20, 2013
EPA Focuses On Carbon Emissions
Just because Congress has not acted on climate change does not mean the president is powerless. The Environmental Protection Agency has considerable power to make regulations that would reduce carbon emissions. So how well can it work and what is the best way to achieve lower carbon? Brooking Institution Fellow Philip Wallach will be discussing those questions at a lecture at UNLV.

Audrey Singer, Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution, February 27, 2013
Large Gap Remains In The Immigration Debate
Republicans have made immigration reform a priority after last November's election. But how will the left and the right bridge the gap that exists in what that reform should look like? Brookings researcher Audrey Singer will speak at UNLV in March. She joins us to talk immigration reform.

Carol Graham, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, February 21, 2013
Measuring Happiness
Economists who have been calculating gross domestic product and trade deficits for years have turned their attention to happiness. They want to know what makes people happy, and what governments can do to promote more happiness in their citizens. But first they have to know how to measure happiness in the first place. So what does happiness mean to you? And do you know what you need to achieve happiness?

Adele Morris, Fellow, Economic Studies and Policy Director for Climate and Energy Economics, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution, October 23, 2012 
Can Clean Energy Boost the Economy
Experts say that clean energy, such as wind and solar, is good for the environment. But studies show it also can be good for our nation's economy. Brookings Institute scholar Adele Morris will take a look at how clean energy can boost our economy, and what states and local governments should be doing to build a clean energy industry.

Steven Pifer, Director of the Brookings Arms Control Initiative, October 8, 2012
Future of Nuclear Weapons Policy
Nuclear arms were created during the 1940s, and were used as a deterrent during the Cold War. Since then, the world has had to figure out how to handle the world's deadliest weapons. A presentation on Wednesday will explore challenges and opportunities facing Washington D.C. following the 2012 presidential elections in Russia and the U.S.

Bruce Jones, Nonresident Fellow, Foreign Affairs; and Director of the Managing Global Order Project, Brookings Institution, October 3, 2012 
Redefining America's Role On The Global Stage
There was a time when the United States was seen as the one global leader. But that is no longer the case, as China, Brazil and others increase their global clout. But while there are now more players on the global stage, the United States and the West still remain central to managing the new global order.

John Banks, Nonresident Fellow, Foreign Policy Program and Energy Security Initiative, Brookings Institution, September 25, 2012
Debating Energy Policy
Since the oil embargo of 1973, the US has struggled to implement a sustainable and comprehensive national energy policy. We'll talk with John Banks, a Brookings Institute nonresident fellow in foreign policy and energy security about what is impacting the energy policy debate.

Tracy Gordon, Fellow, Economic Studies and Urban Institute - Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center, September 18, 2012
Nevada Adjusts to Economy
Nevada was one of the states most affected by the economic downturn, which meant it also had to deal with one of the nation's worst state budget shortfalls in 2011. So what did state and local governments do well during the downturn? And what could we have done better?

Robert Lang, UNLV Director, Brookings Mountain West, July 2, 2012
Is the Las Vegas Economy Keeping up with the Region
The economies in Metropolitan areas in the Mountain West region are recovering at a good pace but unemployment still remains high in Las Vegas and across the entire state of Nevada. That's according to a new report from Brookings Mountain West at UNLV. Is Nevada keeping up with the region? And what needs to be done to keep pace with our neighbors in places like Arizona, Colorado and Utah? We discuss the latest Brookings Mountain Monitor report and the latest on Nevada's economic activity.

Adele Morris, Fellow, Economic Studies, March 27, 2012
The Future of the Tax System
Most everyone agrees that the American tax system is unfair, unnecessarily complicated, and riddled with loopholes for special interests. There is, however, no consensus on the fix. One person's loophole is another's great social policy or national economic security. And then what should be done about popular tax breaks like the mortgage interest and charitable deductions? Brookings Institution Economist Adele Morris is giving her thoughts at UNLV and gives us a preview of her thinking.

Peter Singer, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy and Director, 21st Century Defense Initiative, March 20, 2012
What is Changing in War and National Security?
P.W. Singer has established himself as one of the leading experts on modern warfare - drones and robots as well as armies of children and corporate employees. Singer is the Senior Fellow and Director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution.

Rob Lang, UNLV Director of Brookings Mountain West, January 30, 2012
The Future of Infrastructure in Las Vegas
The freeways are being widened and McCarran has a new terminal but does that cover Las Vegas infrastructure needs? Could new roads and railroads really strengthen the economy in Southern Nevada? And what else will diversify the kind of business that is carried on in Nevada? The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, which is usually opposed to new government spending, is a convert to the idea that we need to re-think the infrastructure needs of Las Vegas. Who converted the members? Urban Studies Professor and Director of Brookings Mountain West Robert Lang. He joins us to discuss the long-term development of the economy in Southern Nevada.

Tom Loveless, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, January 9, 2012
How U.S. Students Compare Globally
Tom Loveless is a former sixth grade teacher and Harvard public policy professor. He's been studying the achievement gap, education policy, and school reform. So how can we reform our school district? What would teachers and the state have to do? How do we close the achievement gap? And can we compete on a global scale with other countries, whose students surpass us? Tom Loveless of the Brookings Institution weighs in.

Ron Haskins, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, October 19, 2011
How Federal Deficit Cutting Might Impact Nevada
As part of a deal to reduce the nation's deficit, Congress created a "super committee" tasked with finding $1.2 trillion in cuts over the next ten years. With those cuts could come reduced funding for state programs that rely on federal money. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction as it is officially known, has been working since September but has been pretty quiet about what's going on. Ron Haskins discusses how the super committee is working and what might be in store for Nevadans.

Robert Lang, UNLV Director, Brookings Mountain West, September 2, 2011
A Look at the Future of Las Vegas
Las Vegas continues to struggle with how to climb out of the current economic crisis. The numbers are overwhelming and all too familiar. The highest foreclosure rate, lowest graduation rate, tops in unemployment and a struggle with diversification. We continue our discussion with the BBC's Lawrence Pollard and panel of local experts and leaders about what's in store for Las Vegas looking ahead.

Clifford Gaddy, Economist and Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institute, April 19, 2011
Clifford Gaddy on the Power of Russian Oil
Many people associate oil with the Middle East. But Russia is actually the world's largest producer of oil and gas. For 40 years, oil and gas have driven Russia's economy and foreign policy. So what role does Russia play on the fuel stage today? And how can it influence world energy security and geopolitics? Brookings Mountain West scholar Clifford Gaddy joins us for an in-depth look at Russia's "liquid gold."

Darrell M. West, Vice President and Director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, March 9, 2011
Cost of Not Having Immigration Reform
Darrell West is one member of a panel that explores this important issue. Arizona, and many more states across the country, are pushing forward with their own immigration laws. They're frustrated the federal government is not doing something about the issue. We'll look at the latest bills in Arizona's legislature as well as debate the true cost of having so many undocumented workers in America.

Rebecca Winthrop, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Universal Education, the Brookings Institute, February 10, 2011
Education in the Developing World
Rebecca Winthrop has studied education in some of the world's most violent and conflicted hot spots. The former head of education for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has studied how girls and refugees learn in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, and Sudan. Can education cut down on militant extremism? Rebecca Winthrop gives an insider's look at how people learn inside war-torn countries, and what the next steps are for third-world education.

Matthew N. Murray, Professor of Economics and Associate Director, CBER, University of Tennessee, January 5, 2011
State Budgets and Planning for the Future
States in the Intermountain West like Nevada are likely to face budget challenges over the next decade. The reason? Poor planning and a lack of foresight in budget planning. That's according to a new report from Brookings Mountain West at UNLV. So do Nevadans and the state's elected leaders have the will to make things change? We discuss how Nevada can prepare for future state deficits and if the political process is in place to make it happen.

Alan Mallach, nonresident senior fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program of The Brookings Institution, October 25, 2010
The Future of US Housing Policy
Foreclosures and plummeting housing prices. That pretty much summarizes daily life in Las Vegas. That's fundamentally changed how America's housing market works, says a Brookings expert. How will this shape future housing policies? How do we turn empty lots into community assets? Alan Mallach talks about the housing market "reset" and what's in store for homeowners.

Mark Muro, Co-Dir, Brookings Mountain West, and Fellow and Policy Director Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, September 2, 2010
Brookings Centers of Invention
Brookings Mountain West at UNLV says that Nevada can be at the heart a transformation in how the country reduces its carbon footprint. By establishing federally funded innovation centers across the intermountain West, Brookings says the region can capitalize on its many world class assets. Two of the six proposed centers in the report are in Nevada, one in Reno that would focus on geothermal research and one in Southern Nevada which would focus on solar energy. So how can Northern and Southern Nevada benefit from its existing resources and build out on its purported potential? We talk with Brookings Scholar, Mark Muro about the report and why Nevada would be a good place for energy innovation.

Robert Puentes, Senior Fellow, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and Tom Skancke, President of The Skancke Company, July 27, 2010
Building the I-11
Now is the time to focus on building Interstate 11. The proposed freeway would connect Phoenix and Las Vegas and be part of a redesigned Boulder City bypass. But who would benefit from this highway? And how will it be funded?

William Antholis, May 18, 2010
Reclaiming Prosperity
Strobe Talbott and William Antholis of the Brookings Institution are in Las Vegas on May 19th to speak at UNLV about their new book, Fast Forward: Ethics and Politics in the Age of Global Warming. Bill Antholis speaks with us about the increasing threat of climate change.

Bruce Katz, April 20, 2010
Reclaiming Prosperity
Bruce Katz from the Brookings Institution tells us how Nevada can rethink its approach to business and innovation and bring Las Vegas out of the recession. And the key factors in creating and sustaining jobs and a strong educated workforce.

Mark Muro, March 22, 2010
Mountain Monitor
Nevada's economy typically roars back from recession, but not this time around. We're joined by Mark Muro, one of the authors of the Brookings Mountain Monitors Report. He tells us why Nevada continues to struggle even as the nation inches forward.

Adele Morris, Nov. 17, 2009
Cap and Trade
Brookings Institution economist Adele Morris explains why the Copenhagen conference will not be able to agree on a common plan to tackle climate change. She instead suggests that the United States has to pass its climate legislation before it can expect a serious response from the rest of the world to treaty proposals. She also recommends a tax on carbon emissions but it will have to be imposed by the emissions trading scheme now in Congress.

Pietro Nivola, Nov. 10, 2009
Fuel Economy
Since the Carter administration, the government has been trying to improve the nation's fuel economy. But the average miles per gallon are still around 27 mpg more than two decades after the effort began. What went wrong. Brookings Institution scholar Pietro Nivola discusses the long and winding road to fuel economy in the United States.

Mark Muro, Oct. 8, 2009
Air Travel Trends
A new report from the Brookings Institution suggests that there's much more air travel out west than previously thought. That might also spell out the need to rethink high-speed rail in the Southwest and not limit it to the left and right coasts. Mark Muro of the Brookings Institution discusses the new findings.

Clifford Winston, Oct. 7, 2009
Markets and Regulation
Brookings Institution economist Clifford Winston talks about the lessons of the financial meltdown for regulating the financial system. He discusses the efficiency of markets and what he thinks the lessons are.

Rob Lang, Sept. 9, 2009
Brookings West
UNLV is teaming up with The Brookings Institution. The partnership will create a western branch to bring an arm of the Washington-based think tank to Las Vegas. Brookings West will research public policy on infrastructure and quality of life changes facing intermountain west states. Robert Lang, senior fellow, at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, tells us why Las Vegas is the place for Brookings.