November 5, 2012 by Taylor Dibbert
The Republican Party Today and the Romney Campaign
The Republican Party is in a state of disarray and needs to change. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, and the extreme positions from which he is now trying to distance himself, provides insights into this situation. It is not surprising that Governor Romney tacked hard to the right during the Republican primary and is now emphasizing a more moderate brand in his latest incarnation of himself.
Nonetheless, I am concerned about a range of public policy issues: the deficit, a disastrously dysfunctional Congress and the rising cost of higher education. I am also worried that there is no overarching strategy that underpins American foreign policy today. Yet, as this election cycle painfully draws to a close, what bothers me the most is the current state of the Republican Party and its dismal prospects for the future.
September 19, 2012 by John Hall
In the lead up to the global financial collapse, America’s top 1 percent held nearly 35 percent of the nation’s wealth; a 275 percent increase over the past 30 years. Growing income inequality has been a concern for generations; however, the nation’s shift away from its traditional economic policies succeeded in silencing the most vocal critics. America’s transition into a service economy and subsequent push for market dominance has created an elite class that has superceded its predecessors in expanding enterprise and cementing personal advantages. The economic reforms that enabled the spread of ideas, innovation, and wealth also centralized power into the hands of a new plutocracy.
May 7, 2012 by Ethan Wilkes
Identity matters in international affairs. How political, economic, or military power moves the affairs of state is easy to see. But it is what people believe and hold to be true—their identities—that underpins these power resources and define their use.
From transnational movements to nation brands and even new nationhood, national identities are increasingly vying for international influence. They are being packaged for global consumption and exist inasmuch as they earn international recognition.
January 12, 2012 by Tristan McInnis
As the world’s largest yearly migration of people is underway in the PRC many travelers will be wondering on the long journey to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival what good fortune the year ahead will bring? Cheng Siwei, Former Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) is fresh off his interview with the BBC show Hardtalk and had a few choice comments about China’s outlook and the hurdles they face in 2012, but stuck very much to the Party line.
He was frank when asked what he thought about the outlook of the Chinese Economy in 2012, the supposedly lucky “year of the Dragon”. Mentioning external factors such as excessive liquidity and low interest rates as a cause for concern due to the inflationary pressure in developing countries, he mainly was referring to the US Fed policy of quantitative easing that has produced two rounds so far pumping billions into the global economy. This money moved to developing economies in what some called “speculative investment“. Moroever Cheng Siwei spoke of the massive deleveraging and withdrawal of investments in the coming year as part of China’s slowdown.
January 9, 2012 by Johan Galtung
The clouds are dark and we sense one on the horizon. The omens are not good––a major war, even with Russia-China, to revive an economy in depression, which means destroying capital and rebuilding. Depression? Yes. Because of the dismantling of the welfare state (The Nation, January 2, 2012), the withering away of livelihoods will show up as increasing morbidity and mortality on the health indicators––the only true measures of “development.”
When we need them most, the unemployment, health and pensions safety nets are torn apart, exposing the most vulnerable sector of society, older people, hit by costly diseases, and no jobs. The standard measure of recession, negative economic growth two quarters in succession, does not capture this. It is a system indicator of economic activity measuring the value added of traded goods and services. But what is value added?
The power to define a price tag with a solid profit margin for oneself. What is trading? The idea that, instead of producing oneself, get the product through exchange. Evidently, it is a measure favoring producers and traders, for real products for end consumption, and for financial products for buying and selling. As the Gross National Product (GNP) grows, so do they; as it shrinks they shrink in numbers, but not in wealth.
November 1, 2011 by Daniel Wagner
It seems the worst nightmares of ‘Sir Alan Walters and Margaret Thatcher’ with regard to the grand European project are coming to full and dangerous fruition.
The wheels have already come off the latest Eurocrat attempt to put a band aid on the gaping wound that has become the Euroexperiment, instead of performing major surgery. Sadly, it seems Europe has no leaders of stature and probity to lead us out of this economic mess. The task of facing reality coldly in the face with courage and conviction by taking bold action is instead being left to committee after committee, with no realistic long-term prospect of success.
Jeffrey Sachs: Tax the Rich! Throw the (Washington) Bums Out! A New Prescription for an Ailing Body Politic
October 5, 2011 by Claire McCurdy
The Price of Civilization
by Jeffrey D. Sachs Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, was named among the 100 most influential leaders in the world by Time Magazine in 2004 and 2005. Sachs, the Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, is also Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. From 2002 to 2006, he was Director of the UN Millennium Project and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals, the internationally agreed goals to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger by 2015.
Sachs is also President and Co-Founder of Millennium Promise Alliance, a nonprofit organization aimed at ending extreme global poverty. He is author of many books, including the New York Times bestsellers Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (Penguin 2008) and The End of Poverty (Penguin, 2005).
His most recent work, The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity, has just come out and is already the subject of controversy. By the time Sachs arrived at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore on 82nd and Broadway in New York, the place was packed with intent listeners, many sprawled on the ground. A group of Polish economists stood near me—the chairs were gone; many neighborhood characters had turned out. And with the exception of the blonde economists, the heads of hair tended more towards the gray than black or brown.