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Showing posts from January 23, 2017

Rising inequality greatest threat to world economy, says WEF

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[The Davos plutocrats are well aware of this. Income gap was behind Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory, says World Economic Forum risk report. *RON*]
Larry Elliott, The Guardian, 23 January 2017
Rising income inequality and the polarisation of societies pose a risk to the global economy in 2017 and could result in the rolling back of globalisation unless urgent action is taken, according to the World Economic Forum.

Before its annual meeting in Davos next week, the WEF said the gap between rich and poor had been behind the UK’s Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election victory in the US.

The Astounding Collapse of American Bus Ridership

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[Ridership statistics from the past decade suggest that Americans have gotten off the bus, but this study shows that bus ridership is truly a case of "build it and they will come." *RON*]
Henry Grabar, Slate, 13 January 2017
Even in New York City, despite record population gains and new highs for subway ridership, bus ridership has fallen by 16 percent since 2002. Bus ridership in D.C., after a good decade, is down 6 percent this year on weekdays despite the troubles of the regional subway system.

Nationwide, bus trips have fallen from 5.86 billion in 2002 (a peak year) down to 5.11 billion last year, and dropped almost 3 percent between 2014 and 2015.

Republican congressman sneaks away from constituents demanding health care answers

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[So, when the Republicans get their way and completely disassemble the social safety net, who is going to vote them back into office? Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) escaped out the back door of his own event before it was over to avoid the angry crowd. *RON*]

Zack Ford, ThinkProgress.org, 15 January 2017

Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO) tweeted Friday that he was excited to return home to Colorado this weekend, but things didn’t go very well when he got there.

On Saturday, his open meeting to chat with constituents at the Aurora Central Library was overwhelmed by voters particularly concerned about the fate of their health care if the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare) is repealed — a plan Coffman supports — without a replacement put in place. Rather than meet with most of them or even address them, he left the event via a back door and escaped in a waiting vehicle.

Do We Want to Live in China’s World?

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[Great quote: "The United States offers developing nations sermons on democracy; China builds their airports, harbors, and highways." Will it be possible for Trump to rotate away from China toward Russia as much as he seems to think is possible? See also: U.S.-China Flashpoints in the Age of Trump. *RON*]
Robert Daly, China File, 19 January 2017
Each weekday morning, I cross D.C.’s National Mall and pass a sign on Constitution Avenue bearing an epigram by the U.S. architect Daniel Burnham: Make No Little Plans. Little plans, Burnham warned, have “no magic to stir men’s blood,” so we must “make big plans; aim high in hope and work,” and “remember that our sons and our grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us.”

Alabama found guilty of racial gerrymandering

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[A major ruling with national implications. With Trump in power we tend to forget that so much that impacts the real daily lives of people actually happens at the state level. The quotidian impact of the President is, I think, comparatively smaller. *RON*]

Alice Miranda Ollstein, ThinkProgress, 20 January 2017

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the state of Alabama engaged in unconstitutional racial gerrymandering in at least 12 districts in order to preserve a Republican supermajority. The ruling is a victory for the state’s Legislative Black Caucus, which has been fighting in court for years against voting maps that intentionally limit the voting power of African Americans by packing them into as few oddly-shaped districts as possible.

Rapid Money Supply Growth Does Not Cause Inflation

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[Ever since Thatcher and Reagan, national economics has been all about controlling the money supply. Interesting findings, since for many this has been a major source of concern about US fiscal policy. Inflation was also found to NOT be caused by a rapid growth in government debt (Hello, neoliberals!), declining interest rates, or rapid increases in a central bank's balance sheet. *RON*]
Richard Vague, Evonomics, 16 January 2017