Source: SEED

Universal Basic Income remains a hotly contested policy option. In order to provide a more data-based and scientific basis for the policy, a number of pilots are taking place in the United States and across the world. Recently, a year-long study was published that looked at such a guaranteed income experiment in Stockton. If you would like to learn a little more about UBI as a concept, I wrote an earlier piece about the policy’s potential benefits and drawbacks. …


Source: Ecosia Blog

Background: President Biden recently opened his Earth Day summit of forty global leaders by calling for the United States to make a fifty-per-cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The statement raised speculation amongst politicians and environmentalists as to how exactly the administration would achieve the goal. One of the strategies being recommended by National Academies is geoengineering which has been controversial. This piece will illustrate the potential moral hazard geoengineering presents and explore whether it is worth the risk to invest resources to research this area further.

So what even is geoengineering? The Oxford Geoengineering Program defines geoengineering


After a tumultuous year filled with fear and uncertainty regarding COVID-19 and its impact on our lives, it finally seems like there is light at the end of the tunnel with the FDA and CDC authorizing the Pfizer vaccine. However, one thing is clear — the demand for the vaccine will fast outstrip the supply especially in the short-term. Given this short-term supply problem, how does the US government determine the right pattern and priorities for distributing the vaccine? While this may seem like an economic issue, it is fraught with ethical dilemmas given how the virus has unevenly impacted…


Source: Noodle

How COVID harmed learning: According to the Bellwether Education Partners report, around 3 million marginalized students have not experienced any formal education — virtual or in-person — since March 2020. The reasons these many students aren’t attending school are complex and varied, but there are a few clear causes. The digital divide was made increasingly evident throughout the pandemic as it became known that many students lack the devices and Wi-Fi access to participate in virtual instruction fully. National analyses suggest that as many as 16.9 million children lacked home internet access before the pandemic, and 7.3 million children did…


Source: NY Gov

Background: When New Yorkers vote in the city’s primaries in June, it will be the city’s first use of ranked-choice voting, which lets voters list up to five candidates in order of preference instead of picking just one candidate.

A candidate must get more than 50% support to win. If no candidate reaches that mark, the person with the fewest votes would be eliminated.

The ousted candidate’s votes get redistributed to the voters’ second choices. That will continue until only two candidates remain.

Proponents say that the ranked-choice method gives voters a greater say in who gets elected and that…


Source: BBC

The population of China has seen a record decline over the past decade. At first glance, this may seem encouraging; after all, resources are scarce, and lower population numbers could mean more economic goods available to share. Unfortunately, a decaying population rate affects much more than initially meets the eye. The decreasing population in China has the potential to dramatically increase inflation and cause massive economic fluctuation across the globe. This piece will cover the population trends in China, their financial ramifications, and some potential scenarios to prepare for the changes.

Declining Population trends in China: China’s population is growing…


Source: Syracuse.com

Background: The Biden administration is now six months in, and it has already proven a willingness to pass and introduce new and progressive legislation. Recently, President Biden proposed a new 2 trillion dollar infrastructure bill to address various infrastructure issues plaguing America. While both sides of the aisle have generally accepted the traditional aspects of the bill, some lawmakers are claiming that the legislation includes stipulations that are frivolous or not part of infrastructure policy. Some lawmakers cite the $20 billion the Biden administration proposes to decrease the racial inequities in transportation policy as improper use of funds. However, those…


What are deep fakes? Many of you have probably seen them somewhere on the Internet, whether it be a fake Tom Cruise or Jon Snow’s moving apology for the dismal ending to Game of Thrones. However, the technology behind it is still unclear to most, so this piece will be dedicated to explaining deepfakes, their harmful effects, and some potential solutions to differentiate real and fake videos. Let’s begin with a brief overview of how they are made.

At their core, deepfakes are an example of advanced machine learning. Essentially computers are fed thousands and thousands of examples of…


Source

The COVID-19 stimulus bill, or the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), arguably the most significant issue that has been pushed by the Biden Administration so far, has finally been passed. The bill is large and complex, but there are sections that could provide substantial social policy change compared to the past. This post will look at a specific stipulation in the bill that will increase the monetary benefit for those families with children under 18.

How the child allowance will work: Essentially, what this section entails is an increase to an existing tax credit that benefits those with children under…


Although the Raise the Wage Act recently got rejected in the Senate as a part of the federal coronavirus relief efforts, I still believe it has the potential to be implemented in some form post-pandemic. Thus I will spend this piece synthesizing the most important aspects of my last two articles and using policy analysis to generate a conclusion as to which policy best fruits within a utilitarian framework — or what plan does the most amount of good to the most amount of people.

I’m going to be using a policy analysis framework that looks at the options based…

Armaan Khare-Arora

Exploring the moral & ethical dimensions of emerging policy and technology issues.

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