The People’s Policy Project output is organized into short posts that mostly discuss day-to-day issues and long projects that are akin to traditional think tank white papers.

You can browse all of our projects by looking through the “projects” tag. Below, I have also organized selected projects under issue headings to help people find policies relevant to particular topics.

Welfare State

Family Fun Pack. This paper argues that the US should create a suite of universal welfare benefits for families with children. The benefits include a baby box, free child care and prek, free school lunches, paid parental leave, free health care for children, and a universal child allowance. In a follow up to this paper, we commissioned a poll about free child care and prek that found the ideas were very popular.

Cleaning Up the Welfare State. This paper proposes a series of reforms to the existing welfare programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Unemployment Insurance, and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. The reforms create a simpler, more coherent, more centralized, and more comprehensive welfare system.

The Leisure Agenda. This paper argues that the US should make a suite of reforms aimed at increasing leisure time, including the creation of new federal holidays, mandated vacation and sick leave, more generous unemployment benefits, paid parental leave, and increases in benefits for the Social Security old-age pension.

The Myths of the Earned Income Tax Credit. This paper argues that, contrary to popular belief, the Earned Income Tax Credit does not increase work, is administratively inefficient, and only reduces poverty by half as much as is commonly reported.

Now Is the Time for an American Child Benefit. This paper argues that the US should eliminate the Child Tax Credit, Additional Child Tax Credit, and nearly all of the Earned Income Tax Credit, and replace these tax credits with a universal child benefit paid out monthly to every family with kids.

Climate Change

Green TVA. This paper argues that the US should use the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federally-owned electricity-generation company, to massively build out carbon-free electricity production in the US.

An Innovation Policy for the Green New Deal. This paper argues that the US should establish a climate-focused industrial policy. That policy would publicly fund early-stage green technologies like carbon-negative technologies, establish Green Innovation Institutes to facilitate the research and development of green technologies, and establish a Green Innovation Fund that would manage the government’s equity stakes in green technology firms and license green technologies developed by the government’s research and development activities.

Global Green New Deal. This paper argues that the US should send hundreds of billions of dollars annually to the UN Green Climate Fund to help developing countries make the clean energy transition.

Carbon Tax and Dividend. This paper argues that the US should impose a tax of $230 per ton of carbon pollution and use the proceeds to fund a per-capita dividend of $2,237 per year.

The Case for Nationalizing the Fossil Fuel Industry. This paper argues that the US should nationalize the fossil fuel industry in order to neutralize its political power and allow for the state to manage winding down the operations of fossil fuel companies.


Social Housing for America. This paper argues that the US should construct 10 million units of mixed-income social housing to alleviate the housing crisis, increase the stock of housing that is publicly-owned, and promote integration, among other things.

Collective Ownership of Capital

Social Wealth Fund for America. This paper argues that the US should create a collective wealth fund and give every American adult one share of ownership in the fund. The principal for the fund would be built up each year through taxes on the wealthy and other mechanisms. Each year the investment return generated by the fund would be paid out as a universal basic dividend to every American adult.

Other plans also emphasize collective ownership of capital, though are not exclusively about that. This includes the Green TVA proposal, the Green Innovation Policy proposal, and the Social Housing proposal.

Voting Rights

Prisoner Voting Rights. This paper argues that every adult in the US should have the right to vote, including those who are currently incarcerated. Universal suffrage should mean precisely that.

Racial Inequality

Police Killings in the US. This paper uses demographic and location information for 6,451 police killings to determine the racial and socioeconomic inequalities associated with those killings. It finds large class disparities in police killings, both overall and within each racial group. It also finds large black-white racial disparities in police killings, both overall and within each class group.

Mass Incarceration: New Jim Crow, Class War, or Both? This paper argues that racial disparities in incarceration are mostly the result of class disparities between racial groups. Once socioeconomic status is controlled for, most of the racial disparities in incarceration-relevant outcomes shrink to nearly zero, though some racial disparity still remains.

The Destruction of Black Wealth During the Obama Presidency. This paper argues that Obama’s response to the financial crisis, and particularly his response to the foreclosure crisis, wiped out the wealth of the black middle class.


Democrats Need to Nominate Better Judges. This paper shows that the way that Democrats currently select nominees to the federal bench is heavily slanted towards prosecutors, corporate lawyers, and political donors. It then argues that Democrats should instead use a federal judicial commission established by Democratic presidents to find judicial nominees. The commission should be staffed with lawyers from underdog sections of the legal profession.