We discuss why Asian Americans need unconditional support; research to help inform the gun policy debate; the education “arms race”; supporting climate migrants’ mental health; use of cancer screenings during the pandemic; and addressing the unemployment system’s failings.
Asian Americans Need Unconditional Support
Last week, eight people were killed in a series of shootings in the Atlanta area. Six of the victims were Asian American women.
These attacks did not come out of nowhere. Violence and harassment directed at Asian Americans have risen sharply in the last year, and anti–Asian American racism is deeply rooted in U.S. history. What can be done to help?
RAND researchers Douglas Yeung, Peter Nguyen, and Regina Shih explain that support for the Asian American community is too often tied to serving some other purpose. What's needed now are actions that will specifically benefit Asian Americans.
“Truly meaningful support would affirm our inherent value and humanity, freeing us from playing a part in someone else's movie. If Asian Americans are to be truly seen as a diverse community rather than a monolith…support for our lives and livelihoods must be unconditional.”
Informing the Gun Policy Debate
Just days after the deadly events in Atlanta, 10 people were shot and killed at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. In the wake of back-to-back tragedies, the national debate about gun policy has again intensified, and President Biden has called for stricter gun laws. An ongoing RAND research initiative examines what scientific evidence tell us about the effects of firearm laws. The goal is to improve public discussions and establish a shared set of facts that will support the development of fair and effective gun policies.
'Getting Ahead' Through Education: What's Standing in the Way
For the majority of Americans, a high school diploma no longer provides a viable pathway to the middle class. But even as education levels have been rising for the past 50 years, public support for higher education is declining, college costs continue to increase, and low college completion rates threaten young adults' ability to obtain a two- or four-year degree. In a new paper, RAND experts describe how educational attainment has become “an arms race” for those seeking upward mobility.
A Mental Health Crisis Looms for Americans Uprooted by Climate Change
Floods, wildfires, hurricanes, winter storms, and rising tides are leading to more migrations. Displaced families have to find new homes and new jobs. But they may also experience substantial trauma that negatively affects their mental health. That's according to RAND's Aaron Clark-Ginsberg, Saskia Vos of the University of Miami, and Seth Schwartz of the University of Texas at Austin. It's important for policymakers to consider these mental health needs when devising climate change–related policies.
Use of Cancer Screenings Rebounded Quickly After the Pandemic Hit
During the first two months of the pandemic, routine screenings for breast cancer and colon cancer dropped dramatically—by 96 percent and 95 percent, respectively. But by July 2020, use of these procedures returned to near-normal levels. That's according to a new RAND study. These are the first findings to show that, despite real fears about COVID-19 causing a decline in cancer screenings, health providers quickly figured out how to deliver these important services.
Options to Address the Unemployment System's Failings
New data released yesterday show jobless claims falling to their lowest level since COVID-19 hit. Despite this hopeful news, the last 12 months have highlighted cracks in America's state-based unemployment system. And according to RAND's Kathryn Edwards, states could take away the wrong lesson from the pandemic: Why spend money to maintain robust unemployment benefits if Congress will step in when the economy goes south? Going forward, Edwards says there are two options. Congress can either fix state programs, or replace them with a federal one.
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