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Darrell West
Darrell M. West is Vice President of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and the author of “Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust” (Brookings Institution Press, 2014).

Entries by Darrell West

Lessons for Democrats From the National Football League

(3) Comments | Posted February 6, 2015 | 8:19 AM

With the Super Bowl over, President Barack Obama this week unveiled a federal budget proposing tax hikes on the wealthy and policies that would aid the less fortunate. Many Republicans immediately condemned the proposals as unfair and socialistic. Representative Paul Ryan called Obama's ideas "envy economics" and said it was...

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The October Surprise Will Be Last-Minute Billionaire Dollars

(3) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 12:23 PM

In recent weeks, political observers have speculated about the factors that will decide the 2014 elections. Some point to the improving economy with hopes that the falling unemployment rate will boost Democratic fortunes across the country. Others point to chaos in Syria and Iraq and the battle against ISIS as...

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Can a Billionaire Save Ukraine?

(1) Comments | Posted May 30, 2014 | 9:29 AM

Outsiders have greeted the election of Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine's new president with tremendous hope. The billionaire chocolatier has vowed strong steps to bring peace to his troubled country and leadership that bridges differences with Ukrainian separatists and his Russian neighbors. Optimistic observers predict that he is too rich to...

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How Technology Can Stop Cheating

(5) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 8:07 AM

by Joshua Bleiberg and Darrell West

The integrity of student assessments has taken major hits in the past year. Former Atlanta School District Superintendent Beverly Hall faces a bevy of criminal charges along with other educators related to falsifying test scores. In Washington, D.C., former Chancellor Michelle Rhee has faced...

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Five Ways Teachers Can Use Technology to Help Students

(2) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 8:34 AM

By Darrell M. West and Joshua Bleiberg

Thomas Edison once said, "Books will soon be obsolete in the public schools... our school system will be completely changed inside of ten years." Amazingly enough, however, one of our nation's most important inventors was proven quite wrong. The American education system has...

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Inside the Immigration Process

(4) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 8:11 AM

At a time when national leaders are debating ways to reform immigration laws, most Americans would be shocked to know what actually happens inside the current process. As a native-born resident, I had no idea until I married a German woman and sought to get her citizenship. I assumed marrying...

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How the Politics of Immigration Reform Have Changed

(1) Comments | Posted February 5, 2013 | 10:14 AM

Last Fall, it would have been hard to imagine Republicans and Democrats working together to fix our broken immigration system. The country was locked in highly polarized discussions about a number of major issues and political dysfunction in Washington created little hope of action on this contentious subject.

But now...

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Speakers and Presidents: A Historical View

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 7:56 AM

It was a time of high budget deficits and extensive partisanship. The President and House Speaker came from different parties, and did not see eye-to-eye on fiscal policy. The challenges looked grim and difficult to resolve. Sound familiar?

Although the story is very familiar to a country facing a...

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Republicans Commit the Perfect Crime

(99) Comments | Posted September 12, 2011 | 4:23 PM

Americans face a mystery caper of gargantuan proportions. With 9.1 percent unemployment and only 1 percent growth in Gross Domestic Product in the last quarter, our national economy is sputtering. Economists fret about the possibility of a double-dip recession. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke worries that overseas investors are losing...

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Five Governance Problems That Contributed to the U.S. Credit Rating Downgrade

(54) Comments | Posted August 8, 2011 | 2:54 PM

The recent decision by Standard & Poor's to downgrade its credit rating of U.S. government debt from AAA to AA+ resulted not from lack of money, but poor governance performance by federal officials. A number of long-term trends has paralyzed policymakers and made it difficult to address pressing problems. Unless...

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Time to Allow Member Blackberrys and iPads on Congressional Floor

(6) Comments | Posted December 15, 2010 | 9:33 AM

A revolution is brewing in the United States Congress that could have profound consequences for public policy and institutional performance. It is not the GOP takeover of the House of Representatives that will bring scores of new members to Washington, D.C. in January.

Nor is it the proposed...

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Europeans Still Love Obama

(12) Comments | Posted September 16, 2010 | 11:34 PM

Europeans still support President Barack Obama, but are puzzled by his drop in domestic support. On a speaking tour this week of Germany and Netherlands, I found most people like Obama and think he represents a dramatic improvement over President George W. Bush. This impression is confirmed by a...

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Technology Lessons from Seoul, South Korea

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2010 | 6:52 AM

It is humbling to be an American technology expert visiting Seoul, South Korea. In case you don't know it, that Asian city has the world's fastest broadband. While there for the inaugural general assembly of the World e-Government Organization, I compared notes with meeting host Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon....

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Immigration Reform is Good Politics

(7) Comments | Posted April 26, 2010 | 7:08 AM

Recent statements by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about the importance of enacting immigration reform this year has led some observers to conclude immigration reform should not be attempted during an election season and that legislation on this subject represents bad politics. They...

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Medvedev Is Russia's Blogger-in-Chief

(2) Comments | Posted April 14, 2010 | 1:38 PM

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev does not receive very positive press in the Western media. Critics portray him as the hand-picked successor to Vladimir Putin and someone who has presided over a media crackdown, unfair business practices, and the undermining of democratic institutions.

But his recent treaty agreement with President Barack...

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America's Forgotten Colleges

(6) Comments | Posted February 1, 2010 | 7:53 AM

With double-digit unemployment, you would think community colleges would be at the center of our national agenda. After all, there are 1,200 such schools in America and they enroll nearly 7 million individuals. This amounts to around 40 percent of all the post-secondary students in the United States. And these...

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Is Obama Losing Health Care Reform?

(23) Comments | Posted August 4, 2009 | 4:19 PM

It is easy for Democrats to fear the sky is falling in. Grim headlines proclaim that voters are nervous and Democrats are fighting among themselves over health care. National public opinion surveys reveal a 10 percentage point decline in voter confidence in President Barack Obama's overall leadership. There are unresolved...

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The Two Faces of Twitter: Revolution in a Digital Age

(17) Comments | Posted June 22, 2009 | 7:49 AM

When Parisians stormed the Bastille in 1789, political communications centered primarily on newspapers and face-to-face conversations. News-gathering was localized, and it took weeks for political developments to spread around the world.

Now, political protest has shifted to the Internet. The role of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter in recent Iranian street...

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Expanding Health Information Technology

(1) Comments | Posted May 20, 2009 | 1:38 PM

During my last physical exam, I was pleased to see my doctor pull out a handheld computer. Since my regular checkup the preceding year, she had joined the small group of American doctors using electronic medical records. Complimenting her on this, I asked about my 26 years of medical history...

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Inside the White House

(9) Comments | Posted January 30, 2009 | 11:58 AM

I just came back from the White House event where President Obama and Vice President Biden launched their Middle Class taskforce. Held in the East Room of the White House, the room was filled with 200 representatives of labor, higher education, business, minority, and non-profit organizations. I met John Sweeney,...

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