Debra Whitman

Talents Can Transform Your Life and the World

Posted on 12/17/2013 by |Public Policy | Comments

Public Policy InstituteIn the movie A Bronx Tale, Robert De Niro plays a father who declares that wasted talent is “the saddest thing in life.” Those words ring true for me on a lot of levels. As an economist I view older Americans as an undervalued asset, too often denied the chance to use talents honed over a lifetime. As a policy wonk and advocate, I look for strategies that can help people live rewarding lives and that remove obstacles in their …

We Need More Nurses to Provide Primary Care

Posted on 05/23/2013 by |Public Policy | Comments

Public Policy InstituteA recent survey of doctors and nurses has put the spotlight on a topic that is becoming more important every day — the shortage of primary care providers and the role for nurses in fixing it. According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the doctors and nurses broadly agreed that, “Nurse practitioners should be able to practice to the full extent of their education and training.” Unfortunately, they held very different views on just what that …

The Fiscal Crisis of Families

Posted on 02/28/2013 by |Public Policy | Comments

Money & SavingsWashington and the news media have long been focused on a series of budget deadlines and fiscal dramas. But a different headline stood out for me the other day, as I read a story in the Washington Post: “Fiscal Trouble Ahead for Most Future Retirees.” The story provided dramatic support for recent findings of AARP’s Public Policy Institute that the security of middle class Americans is under attack from all sides. AARP’s Middle Class Security Project and the Post article …