Showing posts from August 26, 2016

The next big consensus view in economics has arrived

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[Fiscal stimulus is rapidly becoming the mainstream economic consensus. *RON*]

Myles Udland, Business Insider, 22 August 2016

It's official: Calling for more government spending is a mainstream consensus view.

For years following the financial crisis, policymakers around the world sought to follow the post-crisis response endorsed by the International Monetary Fund of reducing debt burdens to ease the stress of recession on various economies.

This mostly simply involves cutting government spending and raising taxes.

This is known as austerity.

In a series of notes to clients over the weekend, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch summarize the case for fiscal stimulus, who the big corporate winners might be, and which countries could still have some time to go before they jump all in on fiscal stimulus.

Is the TPP falling apart? Let's take a look at where the 12 nations are at

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["The deal [is] not quite a dead duck, but 'a duck on life support.'" – Shawn Donnan, editor of the Financial Times. *RON*]
By Marie Aspiazu,, 22 August 2016

As the ratification fight intensifies, we're watching closely as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) winds its way through national legislatures across the globe. So grab your popcorn, and let's take a look at where the TPP stands in each country yet to ratify.

United States

In addition to opposition from both major U.S. presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the TPP recently faced two significant setbacks as Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi came out against the deal and House Speaker Paul Ryan deemed it pointless to even bring it up during the Lame Duck session of Congress later this year.

Analysis finds that BC’s “record levels” of K-12 education funding are a fiction

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[Election 2017. Despite Christy's fairy tale that BC education funding is at "record levels," budget analysis shows that funding is dropping as a percent of the economy (GDP) and is second lowest in the country, nearly $1000 per student below the national average. Click on the link, below, to read the full report. And, winning the 2016 cynicism award, see also: Premier Christy Clark aims to win the 2017 B.C. election with policies targeted at individual constituencies. *RON*]

Alex Hemingway, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 24 August 2016

(Vancouver) Contrary to provincial government claims that education funding is at “record levels”, new analysis released today finds that education funding has dropped by 25% since 2001 as a share of BC’s economy (GDP).

What’s the real story behind BC’s education funding crisis? by Alex Hemingway was released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Not only has education fundi…

A Tale of Two Standoffs

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[The federal response to Lakota protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline couldn’t be more different than their reaction to this year’s Bundy occupation. See also: Why There’s a Media Blackout on the Native American Oil Pipeline Blockade. *RON*]

By Michael McLean, Jacobin Magazine, 21 August 2016
On a cold January afternoon in eastern Oregon, Ammon Bundy smiled from beneath his brown cowboy hat at a young, bespectacled reporter before explaining why he and his men had seized a federal building while armed with rifles. “The people need to be in control of their own land and not… have a people… three thousand miles away dictating how their own land works,” Bundy said. He was of course referring to the federal government, which controls and manages up to 80 percent of the land and natural resources in some Western states.

Bundy’s occupation stands in stark contrast to the one unfolding in North Dakota at this very moment.

There, hundreds of Lakot…

France burkini highest court suspends ban

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[Caved in to the global reaction. *RON*]

BBC World News, 26 August 2016
France's highest administrative court has suspended a ban on full-body "burkini" swimsuits that was imposed in a town on the Mediterranean coast.

The ban in Villeneuve-Loubet "seriously and clearly illegally breached fundamental freedoms to come and go, freedom of beliefs and individual freedom", it found.

The ruling could set a precedent for up to 30 other towns that imposed bans.

The court will make a final decision on the legality of the bans later.

Correspondents in France say the court's decision means that all the bans on burkinis are likely now to be overturned but one mayor in Corsica has already vowed to keep the ban in place on his town beach.

A human rights group, the Human Rights League (LDH), and an anti-Islamophobia association (CCIF), brought the ban in Villeneuve-Loubet to the court's attention.

Patrice Spinosi, a lawyer for the LDH, …

How Poverty Affects the Brain

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["Poverty and the conditions that often accompany it—violence, excessive noise, chaos at home, pollution, malnutrition, abuse and parents without jobs—can affect the interactions, formation and pruning of connections in the young brain." E,g, kids who grow up with higher levels of violence have weaker real-time neural connections and interaction in parts of the brain involved in awareness, judgment, and ethical and emotional processing. *RON*]

By Erika Hayasaki, Newsweek, 25 August 2016
The video tells the story of Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel Peace Prize winner from Pakistan who at 15 survived being shot in the head by the Taliban while riding a bus in 2012. “I want to get my education, and I want to become a doctor,” she says, adding that the Taliban throw acid on some people’s faces and kill others, but “they cannot stop me.”

A 15-year-old boy watching the clip on a laptop inside the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativ…