U.S. gun laws and violence in Mexico: Is there a connection?

Arindrajit Dube

Arindrajit Dube, UMass Amherst economics professor, is co-author of the paper, “Cross-border Spillover: U.S. Gun Laws and Violence in Mexico.” The authors find that the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban in 2004 coincides with an increase in gun-related crimes and homicides in Mexico bordering on Arizona and Texas. A similar increase didn’t happen near the California border, perhaps because California has tough state gun laws, the authors say. (The New Republic, 6/15/11)


Pollin: Health care costs at heart of long-term debt problem

Robert Pollin

Robert Pollin, UMass Amherst economics professor and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, says controlling health care costs is at the heart of the nation’s long-term debt problem. Pollin suggests that it is possible to adopt a universal health care plan that could reduce per person expenditures, citing other advanced economies as examples. “What we really want is universal health care…for everybody, and to do it in a way where the costs are at least more or less in line with other advanced economies. Right now, the United States spends, on average, about twice as much per person as do other advanced economies, like Canada, like France, like the United Kingdom. And that’s not due to Medicare. In fact, Medicare is actually a relatively cheap way to deliver decent health care. The problem is the private insurance companies and the private pharmaceutical companies. And that’s what needs to be controlled to get long-term health care costs down. (Real News Network, 6/16/11)