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Research Roundup

 

A major report (large PDF) by the bi-partisan Commission on the National Guard and Reserves bolsters criticisms by states that the Iraq war has led to neglect of the domestic mission of the National Guard and that coordination with states has been lacking.  The report recommends reforms to put a higher priority on domestic missions and increase the influence of governors over National Guard deployments.

Want to fight illegal immigration?  Raise immigrant wages.  That message is one counterintuitive implication of Drum Major Institute's updated "Principles for an Immigration Policy to Strengthen and Expand the American Middle Class: 2007 Edition," which highlights that an intelligent immigration policy needs to eliminate sweatshops, enforce the minimum wage and encourage higher wages for all workers, native and immigrant.

Also on the immigration front, the Public Policy Institute of California argues in a just-released report that immigration to California in the last decade-and-a-half did not undercut other workers' wages, while a report by the Immigration Policy Center shows that immigrant men aged 18 to 39 had an incarceration rate one-fifth that of native-born adults of similar age.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has released an updated A Chartbook about the Roles of Medicaid and SCHIP detailing the health needs of low-income children and how Medicaid and SCHIP operate to address those needs -- and which state practices are most effective in doing so.

While some people try to argue against minimum wage hikes in favor of an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), this Economic Policy Institute brief explains that the minimum wage and EITC are complementary policies that offer different benefits that are not substitutes for each other-- so minimum wage increases are needed regardless of changes in tax policy.

Using data from interviews with 42,033 households, a new RAND study has found that well-designed urban design, including four-way intersections and a dense, diverse business environment, are key factors in encouraging people to walk more.  This follows a RAND study last fall that found suburban sprawl to be a cause of chronic health ailments due to less physical activity.

If we want to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities, a new report by The Center for American Progress argues for stronger support for community health programs that do active outreach and education to whole communities to reduce higher-risk behaviors that contribute to hypertension, diabetes and obesity.