Benchmark Blog

Here at The Center for Growth and Opportunity, we have a unique way of confronting challenges. Relentless optimism. Bold commitment. Fearless innovation. We want to leave the world a better place than when we got here. Whether it’s our award-winning students, or our world-class researchers, we look to work together to find creative solutions to today’s most pressing issues. We’re committed to turning ideas into action.

Optimism will save the world

The earth deserves more than doom and gloom This week marks the 49th Earth Day, a celebration of the natural wonders of the planet. Started in the United States in 1970, Earth Day is now a global environmental movement with 192 countries participating. This year, Earth Day comes on the heels of announcements from the US Energy […]

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The new identity politics

How the quiet battle over biometric data will shape the future Inwhat is being called “the first known example of a government intentionally using artificial intelligence for racial profiling,” China is using facial recognition technology and its network of surveillance cameras to identify and track Uighurs, a mostly Muslim minority in China’s Xinjiang region. As the New York […]

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Is America Full?

Not even close During a visit to the US border with Mexico, President Trump announced that the US was full. His comments, given during a press briefing in Calexico, California, are part of his administration’s work to prevent illegal immigration. The President was reviewing and touring an area of repaired and updated fencing at the Mexican border. The President’s […]

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The electrical grid is changing

It’s time our regulations changed too The electrical grid is changing. While at one time those interwoven lines and poles carrying power from electricity generators to you only flowed in one direction, that isn’t always the case anymore. Traditionally someone—usually far outside of your city — ran coal-powered power plants that sent electricity into cities. […]

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The electrical grid is changing

This article was originally posted on the Medium publication The Benchmark The electrical grid is changing. While at one time those interwoven lines and poles carrying power from electricity generators to you only flowed in one direction, that isn’t always the case

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Announcing the CGO’s Innovation Policy Fellowship

Come work with us! Atthe Center for Growth and Opportunity, we are dedicated to producing ideas that transform lives, improving individual well-being, and breaking down barriers that are holding back progress. As a part of this, our research team is focused on finding optimistic and actionable solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges and […]

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Smokey Bear’s big lie

It’s going to take a lot more than you to prevent forest fires *This piece is the first of a multi-part series by Brian Isom on wildfires. Click to read parts two, three, and four. Last year, as devastating wildfires burned across much of the Western United States, arguments raged over the key cause of the burns. President […]

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Smokey Bear’s big lie

This article was originally posted on the Medium publication The Benchmark This piece is the first of a multi-part series by Brian Isom on wildfires. Click to read parts two, three, and four. Last year, as devastating wildfires burned across much of the Western

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Does our immigration system encourage crime?

Let’s stop talking about bad hombres, and start talking about bad incentives Concerns about immigration’s effects on public safety and crime rates have become a consistent theme in public discussions, and are currently driving calls to build a wall. President Trump has now spent the last month threatening to declare a national emergency to get the funds to do […]

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Does our immigration system encourage crime?

This article was originally posted on the Medium publication The Benchmark Concerns about immigration’s effects on public safety and crime rates have become a consistent theme in public discussions, and are currently driving calls to build a wall. President Trump

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Riding in cars with strangers

How the sharing economy has increased trust by reducing transaction costs Afew decades ago, renting your home to a complete stranger for the weekend seemed crazy. How will you know whether you should trust the person not to ransack your home, throw a huge party, and leave the mess for you to clean up when […]

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Riding in cars with strangers

This article was originally posted on the Medium publication The Benchmark A few decades ago, renting your home to a complete stranger for the weekend seemed crazy. How will you know whether you should trust the person not to ransack your home, throw a huge party,

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The US Economy has changed. Tax policy should change too.

It’s time to rethink sales taxes The technological change that has dramatically reshaped industries hasn’t stopped at transportation and manufacturing. Almost every facet of the US economy has been touched. And perhaps the most underrated — and important — shift has taken place in consumer spending. From 1929 to the end of the 1960s, consumers […]

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The US Economy has changed. Tax policy should change too.

This article was originally posted on the Medium publication The Benchmark The technological change that has dramatically reshaped industries hasn’t stopped at transportation and manufacturing. Almost every facet of the US economy has been touched. And perhaps the

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Instead of replacing fossil fuels, let’s fix them.

We can achieve a green future without politics While we’ve spent much time discussing “green energy,” we’ve found little agreement over what the term even means. To some, any technology that emits zero greenhouse gasses qualifies as green. Others, however, are hesitant to include nuclear as green technology. Just take the hotly-debated Green New Deal as the […]

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Instead of replacing fossil fuels, let’s fix them.

This article was originally posted on the Medium publication The Benchmark Introduction While we’ve spent much time discussing “green energy,” we’ve found little agreement over what the term even means. To some, any technology that emits zero greenhouse gasses

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Toward a better Green New Deal

Regulatory reform and the future of energy Much has already been made of the Green New Deal (GND), and it has become the focal point for discussions about the federal government’s role in addressing climate change. It lays out an ambitious list of 10-year goals, including net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, infrastructure investments and improvements, and upgrading all existing […]

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No one reads online privacy policies

That’s probably a good thing Perhaps the most common activity on the internet today is mindlessly agreeing to terms of service (ToS). We’ve all been there. If you have ever signed up for new services at websites like Google, Facebook, Uber, or Amazon, the odds are that you agreed to the terms without reading any […]

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No one reads online privacy policies

This article was originally posted on the Medium publication The Benchmark Perhaps the most common activity on the internet today is mindlessly agreeing to terms of service (ToS). We’ve all been there. If you have ever signed up for new services at websites like

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Who benefits from the gig economy?

The short answer: Everyone. Much has been written about the growth of the gig economy, and many have tried to estimate just how fast it’s growing. In 2016, economists Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger released research showing that the percentage of the American workforce made up of alternative work arrangements had grown by more than 50 percent. […]

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Who benefits from the gig economy?

This article was originally posted on the Medium publication The Benchmark Much has been written about the growth of the gig economy, and many have tried to estimate just how fast it’s growing. In 2016, economists Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger

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What fracking can teach us about solving climate change

It will take serious innovation to reduce global carbon emissions, but history suggests that a solution is not as far off as we might think January 15th, the US Energy Information Administration released a report highlighting expected trends in energy production and consumption through 2020. Among those highlights was a forecast that US carbon emissions are […]

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What fracking can teach us about solving climate change

It will take serious innovation to reduce global carbon emissions, but history suggests that a solution is not as far off as we might think This article was originally posted on the Medium publication The Benchmark On January 15th, the US Energy Information

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Parks over politics

The latest government shutdown shows that America’s national parks are too important for politics The current government shutdown is now the longest in U.S. history. Because of its length, it’s also turning out to be more painful than any other before it, and government employees face the prospect of a second missed paycheck. And while the government shutdown has […]

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Parks over politics

The current government shutdown is now the longest in U.S. history. Because of its length, it’s also turning out to be more painful than any other before it, and government employees face the prospect of a second missed paycheck. And while the government shutdown has

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We should welcome the future of work

Technology is changing today’s workplace. That’s a good thing. Last year, Pew Research Center highlighted the growing concern across the world that robots and computers pose a significant threat to future work opportunities. In every country surveyed, a majority of respondents said that robots and computers will “probably” or “definitely” take over most of the jobs we […]

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We should welcome the future of work

Technology is changing today’s workplace. That’s a good thing. This article was originally posted on the Medium publication The Benchmark Last year, Pew Research Center highlighted the growing concern across the

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Is data privacy a market failure?

In the high-stakes fight over privacy regulation, we seem to be forgetting the most important question. This article was originally posted on the Medium publication The Benchmark In his opening remarks during this past September’s Senate Commerce Committee

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