Monthly Archives: May 2016

To Keep Kids Reading, Keep Them from Wheezing

One of the biggest barriers to equal educational opportunity disproportionately affects low-income and minority students, lasts throughout childhood, and causes more than 13 million missed school days annually. Yet this barrier—asthma—can be relatively easily controlled.   Children as young as pre-school age who are missing numerous school days, whether they are excused absences or not, […]

Programs and Policies that Improve Health, Education, Crime and Other Sectors Highlighted in New Win-Win Project Website

You often hear that it costs more to imprison a person for a year than to send them to Harvard with full tuition, room and board for a year. On the basis of factoids like this, people often claim cities and states can save money by investing in programs that prevent violence and crime, rather […]

Getting to No

Politicians love to say “yes” to their constituents, but sometimes social justice requires that we give policy-makers a little help in getting to No.   In 2006 Californians voters passed Proposition 84, a $5 billion bond measure to pay for water quality improvements and improved park access. As part of the language of the proposition […]

Income Segregation Reproduces Education Segregation

Sixty-two years ago this week, the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregated schools unconstitutional. Yet many remain racially, ethnically and family-income homogenous today. Just this week, a federal judge ruled that a Mississippi school needed to be desegregated. A recent study blames some of that segregation on parents with school-aged children. The author found that income […]

Come on—Get the Lead Out!

The previous two articles in our lead series paint a pretty dire picture when it comes to lead. What we have covered is that lead is all around us, it comes from myriad sources, and if it gets into the blood, it has health, mental and criminal impacts. What, then, is being done to protect […]

Fast Tax Facts

Total tax rates for all levels of government in developed countries.

Here is a visual blog post that largely speaks for itself.  The light gray lines represent other OECD countries. Some talking points, if you like: Taxation now is slightly below the level it was in the Nixon administration. Taxation in the US has always been below average among developed countries.  Now it’s the absolute lowest […]

Super Rosa

Visual representation is a big deal in public health. How we show what we know shapes how public health is known.   Geoffrey Rose wrote an article about the difference between causes of cases and causes of incidence that is de rigeur in public health.   Rose’s article is often—and justifiably—remembered for its appeal to […]

Lead Still Weighs Us Down

At the first mention of lead in the United States, almost every mind immediately turns to the ongoing crisis in Flint, Michigan. It is important to remember, though, that it is the cause of the disaster that makes Flint so unique, not the troubles with lead. Flint is facing a crisis because government officials switched […]

Happy Birthday, Jane Jacobs!

Google Doodle for Jane Jacobs

Without Jane Jacobs, our cities wouldn’t be less diverse and public health would suffer.   In honor of Jane Jacobs’ 100th birthday today, there are many wonderful encomiums on the web, including at Vox, the Guardian, and a rich, multi-faceted post at Curbed.  And of course, more on Google.  All are well worth reading, but Jacobs is chiefly remembered […]

The Molecule Made Me Do It

Several weeks have passed since the Michigan Primaries, and as the cameras and political spotlight left the state, the country that was once so outraged by the lead levels of Flint’s water has largely turned its attention to other issues. Meanwhile, the residents of Flint continue to work to improve their water quality, and they […]