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Bush Center Briefing: September 2017
This issue of the bi-monthly Bush Center Briefing was emailed to subscribers on September 15, 2017. Subscribe today to receive this update in your inbox.
LETTER FROM THE CEO
America’s economic growth is only as good as the quality of our nation’s workforce. Employers depend upon innovative workers as well as a ready supply of talent. Without both of those factors, productivity declines and shackles the economy’s ability to expand.
In this Bush Center Briefing, we address that economic challenge with recommendations from two George W. Bush Institute experts. They describe how modernizing the immigration system and capitalizing upon the new Forever GI Bill can expand America’s workforce.
Laura Collins, deputy director of the Bush Institute’s Economic Reform initiative, details why Washington should focus immigration policies on skilled workers. And Jeffrey Cleland, a retired Marine corporal and manager of research and policy for the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, describes how universities and employers can tap the talents of America’s returning servicemembers through the updated GI Bill.
These recommendations add to our growing list of 2017 policy proposals aimed at addressing today’s most pressing challenges. Earlier this year, we presented Washington with a set of specific reforms from both our Domestic Excellence and Global Leadership Impact Centers. As is our mission, we speak to contemporary problems through the work of our Impact Centers and offer solutions to realize results.
-- Kenneth Hersh, President and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center
TEMPORARY WORKERS, SKILLED IMMIGRANTS COULD GROW THE WORKFORCE
The U.S. economy faces a conundrum. Thousands of jobs remain open at the same time that the economy is running at full employment. Employers simply cannot find enough qualified workers. The long-term answer lies in education and training. In the short term, writes Laura Collins, deputy director of the Bush Institute’s Economic Growth Initiative, U.S. policies should turn to skilled immigrants and temporary workers to meet our labor force needs.
UNIVERSITIES, EMPLOYERS, AND VETERANS SHOULD USE THE FOREVER GI BILL
The new legislation could be a boon for employers and universities seeking to tap the talents of members of the American military transitioning back into civilian life. Jeffrey Cleland, manager of research and policy for the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, describes how to make the bill work for veterans seeking to enter the workforce through a four-year degree or technical training that leads to a skilled job.
WATCH MRS. BUSH ON the role of first ladies
On Monday, September 18 at 8 a.m. EDT, Mrs. Laura Bush discussed the role and influence of global first ladies at the 2017 Concordia Annual Summit. She was joined Mrs. Monica Geingos, the First Lady of Namibia, for a livestreamed conversation on their unique platforms to empower women and girls.
Watch the livestream
IN THE NEWS
In Our Words
TARIFF-IED: Trade Talk with Matthew Rooney
This week, trade relations between the U.S. and India are continuing to escalate. Earlier this month, the U.S. stopped granting India special trade privileges by taking away the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, and India has responded by enforcing more tariffs of its own. The George W. Bush-SMU Economic Growth Initiative Director Matthew Rooney breaks down the trade conflict: For more information on trade groups and the global economy, visit www.bushcenter.org/scorecard.
How Trade Spreads Holiday Cheer
It is projected that the average American household will spend more than $1,000 during the holidays this year.
Deporting Salvadorans May Lead to Economic Decline
We should think carefully about a policy whose major impacts are likely to be reductions in employment and economic activity here at home, and increased instability and lawlessness along our borders.