Reform Policies – Translate Company Wed, 20 Oct 2021 20:45:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Reform Policies – Translate Company 32 32 Reviews | Colombians unite around land reform. Here’s why. Wed, 20 Oct 2021 19:30:04 +0000

Formally owning land provides rural family wealth, which can be used as an inheritance or as collateral for a loan. Landowners are less likely to fall under the sway of revolutionary Marxist groups, such as the FARC: “People with nothing to lose are trapped in the grubby basement of the pre-capitalist world,” de Soto wrote in 2001 in an article for the International Monetary Fund. .

Moreover, from the government’s point of view, the granting of land titles allows it to collect property taxes and gives more weight to illegal behavior. “Once someone who has illegal activity owns that piece of land, the incentive to do this illegal thing decreases dramatically as it becomes their asset,” Botero told me.

To save time and money, the Dutch government is helping Colombians through a surveyor project modeled on the Chinese barefoot doctors – health workers who have received basic training and then sent to areas where there were not enough doctors. Here is how the survey project is described on the Land in Peace website:

The farmers themselves do a lot of the work: with a special app on their smartphone or tablet, they walk along the boundaries of their land to demarcate their plot. Photos are also made of documents (ID, tax accounts, electricity bills), which connect the people on this particular plot to this land and are digitally combined with the GPS measurements of the polygons for subsequent municipal public inspection. . When the farmers in the community agree on the map they have drawn up, the land title can be formalized.

Five years after the signing of the peace agreement with the FARC, Colombia remains fragile. The violence continues, albeit at a slower pace than before the deal. According to the Financial Times, 71% of people polled in a recent poll said the implementation of the peace agreement was going badly. The stakes for the cadastre and land title are therefore high.

During his visit to The Times, Duque said with a smile that Lawrence Sacks, USAID’s mission director in Colombia, had tears in his eyes as they both attended a ceremony to mark a successful pilot in the program. cadastre in the northern city. of Ovejas. “It was a very emotional event,” Sacks told me today on a phone call from Colombia, where he was waiting for Blinken. “We believe that land is at the heart of the Colombian conflict, so we have always believed that it should be at the heart of the solution.

“It is dear to our hearts,” Botero, the head of Colombia’s planning department, told me. “We want this to be as far along as possible before we leave government next year.”

For people with end-stage liver disease, transplant eligibility depended on the donation service area and the 11 transplant areas in the United States the patient lived in: some had more livers available that others. In December 2018, the Organ Supply and Transplant Network approved a new system that calculates the number of kilometers between potential liver recipients and the nearest donor, regardless of the region. On September 28, the United Network for Organ Sharing, which manages the federally contracted transplant system, reported on the results of new rules for liver transplants, which came into effect in February 2020, and a related change to kidney transplants, which took effect in March 2021. He said the policies “extend equitable access to vital organs.” Liver transplants increased by 3% and kidney transplants by 16%, he said, “even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

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My body, my rights: Indigenous women want to end patriarchy Tue, 19 Oct 2021 06:17:20 +0000

Lima, Oct. 18 (EFE) .- Hundreds of women from indigenous communities in Latin America on Monday urged regional governments to promote public policies that guarantee their right to decide their bodies and fight to eradicate patriarchy and violence in against them.

“We are not seen as human beings, they see us as a sex object. Neither the government, nor the Church, nor civil society have the right to decide for us about our bodies, ”Lourdes Huanca, president of the National Federation of Peasant, Craft, Indigenous and Paid Women of Peru, told EFE. (Fenmucarinap).

It was one of the “strongest and most energetic” petitions in the declaration they will present to the United Nations Permanent Forum.

The statement includes the findings of the second Abya Yala Indigenous Women’s Summit, which brought together around 650 women from indigenous communities from more than ten countries in the region for five days in Lima.

The document called on the regional government to prioritize the fight against sexual, physical and psychological violence against indigenous women and the patriarchy that “kills and rapes” them.

“It is often said that it is ‘customary’ within indigenous communities for the father, uncle, brother or nephew to rape girls. It’s a violation of rights, ”Huanca told EFE.

She said summit participants pledged to demand that their respective states implement therapeutic abortion.

They also demanded that “the permanent and constant food sovereignty of all indigenous peoples” be guaranteed and that their traditional medicines be “respected and valued”.

Participants urged the Peruvian government to take indigenous and rural women into account in the second land reform that President Pedro Castillo launched on October 3.

“It must be a reform aimed at de-patriarchalization. Reform without women is not land reform, ”the document says.

They also called for a new constitution in Peru that recognizes their “identity, ancestral wisdom, cultures and rights, especially of women and youth”.

“We have learned and inspired by the constituent processes of Chile and Bolivia. The constitution must be the first step for Peru to finally overcome its historic debt to indigenous communities. “

The second Abya Yala Indigenous Women’s Summit kicked off in Lima on October 14.

About 500 indigenous women from all over Peru and 145 others from more than 10 Latin American countries participated in the event.

Abya Yala’s first summit was held in Bolivia in May last year.

A defense committee was set up during this summit to prevent violence and femicide against women.

The host associations said the idea was to organize two events per year.

Guatemala and Mexico could be the respective venues for the summits in March and October next year. EFE

csr / pd / ssk

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State of Michigan paid critical advocate of race theory $ 20,000 for hour-long virtual discussion: report Sun, 17 Oct 2021 20:37:08 +0000

Author and leading advocate of critical breed theory Ibram X. Kendi was reportedly paid $ 20,000 to speak at a one-hour virtual event last fall at the University of Michigan.

Less than two months after being listed in Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2020,” Kendi, a professor of humanities at Boston University, was paid $ 20,000 for participating in a Zoom discussion at the University of Michigan, according to the contract obtained through a public records request by Campus Reform.


The contract between the University of Michigan and Kendi’s conference agency Penguin Random House provided for Kendi to speak for 45 minutes and answer questions for 15 minutes during the presentation on November 11, 2020, Campus Reform reported. The contract would have stipulated that if the event had more than 1,000 participants, the university would be charged a higher amount.

“The costs of this event were covered from the university’s general fund,” the university’s director of public affairs and internal communications, Rick Fitzgerald, told Campus Reform. “General Fund money comes from a variety of sources, including tuition and tuition fees, state credits, and costs recovered from sponsored research activities. It pays for the university’s education, student services, facilities and administrative support. “

The November discussion mainly focused on Kendi’s 2017 book, “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America,” Campus Reform reported.

The description of the book on Kendi’s website reads: “From Puritan Minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant WEB Du Bois scholar to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading pro-slavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America. Contrary to popular beliefs, racist ideas are not born out of ignorance or hatred. Instead, they were designed and refined by some of the brightest minds of each era. These intellectuals used their brilliance to justify and rationalize the nation’s deeply rooted discriminatory policies and racial disparities in everything from wealth to health. “

Kendi, author of 2019’s best-selling book “How to Be an Anti-Racist”, is one of the leading figures promoting the implementation of “Critical Race Theory” in schools. The controversial line of thought teaches that racism is ingrained in all aspects of American society, often referred to as “systemic racism” on the left, and pushes for the dismantling of traditional power structures.

Kendi argued that the only way to undo systemic racism in America is to “identify and describe it in a coherent way, then dismantle it.”


The University of Michigan’s Fox News and Kendi’s requests for comment were not immediately returned.

David Rutz of Fox News contributed to this report.

]]> 0 The pandemic has ignited the spark of a housing revolution around the world Sat, 16 Oct 2021 10:00:12 +0000

  • The world is trapped in a housing shortage and governments are mobilizing to solve the problem.
  • The pandemic has sparked a global buying spree, but the lack of available housing has caused prices to skyrocket.
  • Millennials are asking for help as they risk being left out of the market as they reach their prime home buying age.

Potential buyers are at their wit’s end, and not just in America. After the pandemic revolutionized the real estate market – matching record prices – the next chapter in history is a revolt by homebuyers around the world, demanding a housing market that works for everyone.

The history of housing in America has echoed around the world. An intense buying frenzy at the onset of the pandemic rekindled domestic supplies, leading to bidding wars that drove prices up to record speed. At the end of September, Americans’ hatred of the US real estate market was the most intense since 1982.

Global home prices rose at the fastest pace in four decades through the first quarter of 2021, JPMorgan economist sayss. Shortages and strong demand have pushed up domestic inflation in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Germany, Korea and Turkey, to name a few.

The problem isn’t necessarily affordability, Logan Mohtashami, senior analyst at HousingWire, told Insider, noting that mortgage rates are at historically low levels around the world. The global market simply does not have enough housing.

“This is the discussion that gets lost. We are talking about an affordability crisis, but if we had an affordability crisis, none of that would happen,” Mohtashami said, referring to the surge in purchasing. of housing. “The real way to solve this problem is through the production of houses. You just have to build. “

The problem is, builders “don’t care about the housing shortage” and “they never will,” Mohtashami said. This is where activists around the world are demanding governments step in, as the market serves home builders, realtors and sellers, not the people who can afford to buy new homes. The shortage needs a structural solution, they argue.

And he needs a fix soon. The world stands at a critical juncture as Millennials – the largest generation of adults – enter their prime home buying years. The group’s finances have already been rocked by the Great Recession and COVID-19, leaving them further behind than previous generations. Failure to address the housing shortage could leave millennials permanently on the back burner.

As the housing shortage persists, authorities around the world are rethinking the market from top to bottom. The economic future of a generation is at stake.

The American generational war of the NIMBYs against YIMBY

Each country’s housing crisis is slightly different, as is each government’s response.

In the United States, federal lawmakers are proposing a historic building campaign. The $ 3.5 trillion spending program championed by President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress includes $ 213 billion for affordable housing. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development estimates that the plan could create more than 2 million homes and reduce a significant portion of the country’s 6.8 million housing deficit.

Perhaps this is a case where throwing money at the problem works, Mohtashami said.

“You really need the government to start paying people to build houses and not care about their margins. Then the production can take place,” he added.

At the local level, baby boomers and millennials on opposite sides of the problem – the haves and have-nots, essentially – have split into respective “not in my garden” or pro-development NIMBY and YIMBY camps. YIMBYs – short for “yes in my backyard” – have more momentum than ever.

Berkeley, Calif., Which pioneered exclusive and user-friendly residential zoning for NIMBY in the early 1900s, just returned to politics in March. Previously, the city limited the number of households per lot in terms that explicitly discriminated against minority communities, especially black residents, and now it is poised to allow in-demand areas to double their housing capacity.

The same type of zoning was banned statewide in September; it is estimated to create 700,000 additional units statewide each year, a huge change from the California average of just 100,000 new units each year.

Further efforts

Instead of a wave of construction, Canada is pushing for more targeted policies to support buyers. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in August his intention to ban blind auctions, a process that prevents buyers from seeing other buyers’ bids.

The Prime Minister is also aiming to ban the purchase of Canadian homes for investment purposes, with financial companies increasingly criticized for the greater role they have played in the housing markets of major countries.

Across the globe, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s latest housing plan includes tougher rules for investors selling homes they don’t live in, and she has ordered the central bank to New Zealand officially examines house prices when setting interest rates. The move marks a major shift for a central bank and suggests that other countries may start to factor housing into the way they set monetary policy.

Activists in Berlin want the government to buy housing itself. In the municipal elections in September, a majority voted for the government to buy apartments from the country’s largest landlords in order to boost the supply of public housing. The rule could affect up to 240,000 Berlin apartments.

Whatever happens from here, one thing is clear: Homebuyers want a new housing policy from their governments, and governments are listening.

]]> 0 State agency says some insurers do not follow intent of auto reform law without fail Thu, 14 Oct 2021 21:49:05 +0000

LANSING, Michigan – The director of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services issued 2 bulletins in October clarifying the responsibilities of insurance companies under the state’s new no-fault auto insurance law, saying some do not respect the intention of the law.

Advocates for catastrophic car crash survivors say the new law, in many cases, has made it extremely difficult to find the medical services they need to survive.

Under the new law, which came into effect on July 2, any medical service not already covered by our federal Medicare law, which includes home caregivers and transport to medical services, will no longer be covered. reimbursed by insurance companies at 55% of what they were in 2019. The law also limits the number of hours that family members can provide care to just 56 hours per week.

There are approximately 18,000 Michiganders who currently receive medical benefits from their no-fault auto insurance policies.

On October 5, Anita Fox, director of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, released a newsletter to tell insurance companies that they need to reimburse health care providers on a timely basis and to work collaboratively with healthcare providers. healthcare providers to process reimbursements.

“We wanted to do what we could within our authority as the Insurance and Financial Services Department to make sure that we a– told insurers and suppliers that we expected them to work together for an invoicing system that processes these invoices in a timely manner, ”Fox said Thursday.

“And second– to remind insurance companies what the obligations are and what the penalties were, if these invoices are not paid on time.

If insurers do things like repeatedly reject invoices without offering assistance to a supplier, they may be subject to administrative action.

“It gives providers extra support to engage with insurance companies and say, no, you have to pay these bills… you have to engage in a process that aims for resolution and end these delay tactics.” said Tom Judd, president of the Michigan Brain Injury Providers Council.

On Monday, October 11, Fox released another bulletin, this one providing a list of services that, in their interpretation of the law, should not be subject to the reduced 55% rate.

“We wanted to clarify this because these are services that catastrophically injured people need,” Fox said.

“When you think of things that a catastrophically injured person might need, like a modified van or modifications to their home, these are the things that are not within the limits of the price list.

Advocates like Judd say the bulletins show promise, but want Lansing lawmakers to consider more general fixes to the new fee structure.

“They obviously listen to what’s going on out there, and they do what they can within their scope and within the framework of the law… unfortunately the big picture of the big problem needs to be done. ‘a legislative solution,’ Judd said Thursday.

“I am optimistic… Cautious optimism is a bit strong because I don’t see any indication yet from the leaders or the chairmen of the insurance committee that this is an issue they want to raise anytime soon. “

FOX 17 coverage of the flawless auto-reform care crisis
May 17, 2021 – New law could have devastating consequences
June 2, 2021 – “We are paying the price with our lives”: FOX 17 extended coverage
June 9, 2021 – Hundreds of survivors demonstrate on Capitol Hill
June 10, 2021 – Representative Berman introduces bill to prevent cuts
June 23, 2021 – Defenders gather again at the Capitol
June 26, 2021 – House approves 10 MIL $ fund
June 30, 2021 – Advocates say $ 25 million is not enough
July 7, 2021 – Family Fears Losing Caregivers
July 23, 2021 – Suppliers start closing their doors
August 4, 2021 – Patients continue to lose care
Sep 24, 2021 – Changes causing chaos for survivors
Sep 27, 2021 – We Can’t Wait For Entry ArtPrize Highlights Care Crisis
October 4, 2021 – Protest outside SML Shirkey’s company

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In Poland, mayors demonstrate against planned economic reforms Wed, 13 Oct 2021 08:07:38 +0000

In Poland, mayors demonstrate against planned economic reforms

These would lead to significant cuts in budgets and local authorities

Mayors of major cities and towns in Poland are now organizing a mass demonstration in Warsaw. The reason: the big economic reforms planned, presented under the name of “the Polish agreement”, which should draw considerable sums from the local budgets. The organizers will present to parliament an appeal signed by hundreds of heads of local governments.

Local communities in Poland united for subsidiarity

Today, October 13, representatives of local governments, businesses and associations of local governments from all over Poland will protest against the “destructive” policies of the central government. In particular, the demonstrators will declare their position in favor of respecting the fundamental principle of subsidiarity (when problems are solved by the political entity closest to their emergence), constantly violated by the central government. Together, they will send an appeal to the Marshal and Deputy Marshals of the Sejm (the leaders of the lower house of the Polish parliament).

Why are Polish mayors protesting?

As LeMaire.EU previously reported, mayors oppose planned economic changes, fearing they will lose billions in funding. This would threaten their ability to provide major services and it would be an additional burden on the dire financial situation caused by the protracted coronavirus pandemic.

The mayor of Rzeszów, Konrad Fijołek, addressing Euractiv, explained that the central government’s plans were gradually unveiled without the mayors being aware of what was going on. He believes that the changes will lead to centralization, which is contrary to the spirit of local government reform.

The changes mean that considerable amounts of finance will be lost over the next 10 years (around 145 billion zlotys). Only a small part (around 11 billion) will be returned to citizens through tax cuts, while the rest will go to the central government. In addition to this, a significant reduction in the powers of local governments, including in the areas of health, education and finance, has been foreseen.

Do they know better in Warsaw what the inhabitants of Tychy, Bieruń or Pszczyna need? NO! Should they decide on the investments to be made or on the functioning of the schools in our municipalities? Of course not!

I am one of the oldest presidents in Poland [Mayor of a large city], for years I have watched how the government has changed… He did not like local governments, but we and the people of cities and towns have never been subjected to such a destructive politics before,»Commented Andrzej Dziuba, Mayor of Tychy since 2000.

The protests start at 10:00 am at the Musical Theater in Roma and end at the Sejm, the lower house of parliament.

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Travis County leads housing reform Mon, 11 Oct 2021 21:39:27 +0000

As Austin continues to grow dramatically and soaring rent prices have prevented many residents from finding safe and stable housing, the Travis County Commissioners Court, led by the newly elected Travis County Judge , Andy Brown, has adopted several innovative policy changes to expand access to affordable housing. housing for working families.

Last week, the court passed a Tenants Bill of Rights resolution that provides basic protections to residents of more than 4,500 housing units owned or managed by the Travis County Strategic Housing Corporation.

“Safe housing is a human right,” Travis County Judge Andy Brown said. “The tenant protections adopted by the Court are an important step towards empowering and protecting those who live on Strategic Housing Finance Corporation properties. The county must ensure that all people living in Travis County have access to safe and affordable housing. I would like to thank BASTA and the tenants of Rosemont for working closely with my office and county staff over the past 3 months to prepare the resolution passed by the Court of Commissioners.

The vote comes after more than 80 families at the Rosemont complex received a lease termination notice in July. Through no fault of their own, tenants received an eviction notice after damage from the record February frost, including mold, which left the homes unliveable. These notices were overturned after the owners were forced to do so by the Commissioners Tribunal.

This small but important change to apartment regulations could serve as a model for city and state reforms that extend greater protection to tenants.

“When we started this, we had no idea that our fight would impact all residents of the SHFC, not just ourselves,” said Bee Dumas, member of the board of directors of the Neighbors tenants association. at Rosemont.

In a vote last month, Travis County passed one of the most progressive housing resolutions in the country. Travis County Commissioners have unanimously pledged to invest $ 110 million in bond funds and other funds to try to end homelessness over the next three years. Last Tuesday’s motion was introduced by Commissioner Margaret Gómez and Ann Howard.

“This resolution will help thousands of people end the cycle of homelessness and provide new opportunities to live and prosper. The innovative community-led effort reflects our values ​​and our commitment to making everyone safer, ”Brown said of last week’s landmark housing resolution.

The money, coming from a $ 247 million share of American Rescue Plan Act funds earmarked for county aid, will likely be administered by dozens of nonprofits, including $ 50 million for the new developments of Community First! Village communities and foundations.

“We can only do that if the federal dollars allow the use of each project and how that project wants to use the money.” So to make sure everything is cleared, we are still waiting for the treasury on some issues, ”Howard said.

The funds will be used to build affordable housing, as well as to strengthen existing strategies to protect people from homelessness, in line with Treasury requirements for using ARPA. The resolution also prioritizes meeting the diverse needs of Travis County by focusing on programs to help veterans, survivors of domestic violence, LGBTQIA + youth, and at-risk seniors access health care. lodging.

“City and county officials have come together and set a goal of relocating 3,000 people over the next three years,” said Commissioner Margaret Gómez.

The Commissioners’ Court is also expected to consider more innovative policies to expand access to affordable housing for working class families across Travis County, such as buying abandoned housing estates and transferring them to the Travis County Housing Authority. .

“I am so proud of the progress we continue to make in Travis County. I hope we continue to inspire the leaders of our country to invest in people and communities so that we can help our most vulnerable neighbors, ”said Brown.

Photo: George Rose / Getty Images

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Facebook’s reform promises are not reassuring. This is a bad joke. | Remark Sun, 10 Oct 2021 05:00:00 +0000

After whistleblower Frances Haugen unleashed a torrent of unflattering Facebook revelations in the Wall Street Journal and on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” the social media giant pledged to “fight the spread of disinformation and harmful content ”. But as long as the social network is making money from such garbage, such a promise comes across as an unhealthy joke rather than insurance.

I have never been an avid fan of Facebook, although I have never been an ordinary user. I spent time with some of Facebook’s senior executives (except Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg) and found them to be brilliant, personable, and great at projecting social awareness. Their products, however, are very different. Haugen’s leaks make it clear how vast the gap is between the friendly facade and the ugly reality.

Haugen worked at Facebook as part of a team that was supposed to find a way to prevent the platform from being used to interfere with the elections. She left after two years, disappointed and disillusioned. After reading the Journal series of articles and watching the “60 Minute” interview, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that “Misinformation and harmful content” is a feature of the platform, not a bug. .

Perhaps Haugen’s most explosive claim is that Facebook executives are aware that Instagram – which Facebook owns and operates, and which has been a center of growth for the company as its major customers age – is toxic to the mental health of some users, especially adolescent girls. Young, vulnerable Instagram users can spend hours each day scrolling through photos and blaming themselves for falling short of the unrealistic standards of plasticine “beauty” that proliferate there.

“There were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” Haugen said on “60 Minutes”. “And Facebook, time and time again, has chosen to optimize for its own interests, like making more money.”

Haugen also alleges that, while Facebook tightened its policies against inflammatory political disinformation in the run-up to the 2020 election, the company again relaxed those policies as soon as the election ended. We know the result: Much of the ‘Stop the Steal’ nonsense – a gunned lie alleging widespread electoral fraud, encouraged by President Donald Trump, which fueled the violent January 6 insurgency on Capitol Hill – circulated on Facebook .

Instead of blaming Facebook, replied the company’s head of global affairs Nick Clegg, we should blame “the perpetrators of the violence, and those in politics and elsewhere who actively encouraged them.” He argues that Facebook is not a “root cause” of the polarization that divides the country into warring tribes.

But is that supposed to absolve the company? Do Facebook executives feel blameless because their decisions simply facilitated the spread of a dangerous lie, with deadly consequences? By all means, do justice to the rioters. But Facebook’s hand twist isn’t exactly convincing.

Facebook can’t deny that its algorithms amplify toxic disinformation. I wholeheartedly believe in free speech, so yes people should have the right to say crazy things. But there is a difference between allowing users to post vile nonsense and feeding someone who “likes” that nonsense more with the same bile.

It seems the company gets it. If Zuckerberg can reduce the heat as the election draws near, he can simmer it afterwards. Maybe that would come at the expense of some of the engagement that keeps users logged in to Facebook and exposed to advertising. But what counts as sufficient profit? This trillion-dollar company, with nearly 3 billion users worldwide, should be able to survive without jeopardizing democracy and without distressing impressionable young people.

If Facebook doesn’t take the need for reform seriously, governments need to act at the federal level and perhaps at the state level.

One obvious but drastic solution would be to classify social media sites not as platforms but as publishers. As such, they would have the same responsibility for disseminating false, defamatory or otherwise damaging information as the editors of the Washington Post and other media. They could be sued for pecuniary damages – a prospect that tends to focus the mind.

But in the news media, publishers control the content. How many publishers would Facebook need to comb through everything users have posted? Millions?

A less drastic step would be for Facebook to be completely transparent about how its algorithms work and the process of adjusting them. It would still require a considerable number of humans to oversee the process and make sure the algorithms were doing their job.

But what is no longer acceptable is the status quo. In pursuit of profit, Facebook has cost us too much.

– Eugene Robinson is on Twitter @Eugene_Robinson.

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Kishida abruptly breaks between reform and redistribution in key speech Fri, 08 Oct 2021 21:43:00 +0000

TOKYO – Breaking away from his predecessors, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida put income distribution at the heart of his inaugural political speech on Friday, emphasizing measures such as helping groups in difficulty while avoiding themes such as deregulation.

Unlike former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who used the word “reform” 16 times in his first political speech to parliament, Kishida did not utter the word once.

The difference underlines Kishida’s call to pivot towards a “new capitalism” and to move away from the neoliberal orthodoxy that has prevailed in the Liberal Democratic Party in power since Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. It also reflects the party’s hope that these policies will appeal to voters in the next general election.

Instead, the Prime Minister made “distribution” one of the key words in his speech, emphasizing the redistribution of wealth by investing in the middle class. He called growth and distribution strategies the “twin wheels” of his economic vision, while stressing that “without distribution we cannot have the next wave of growth”.

Kishida on Friday asked his cabinet to quickly develop economic stimulus measures. The aim is to have a package ready after the elections and to adopt a supplementary budget by the end of this year.

Tax expenditures are at the heart of Kishida’s distribution plans. The Prime Minister promised financial support for households with children, contract and temporary workers and others, as well as help for businesses regardless of region or sector.

It remains to be feared that if the new administration relies too heavily on the size of spending alone, it risks increasing debt while leaving the economy to stagnate.

Suga and his predecessor Shinzo Abe combined heavy fiscal spending with ultra-accommodative monetary policy, bringing total long-term debt nationally and locally to over 1.2 quadrillion yen ($ 11 trillion at current rates) compared to 932 trillion yen at the end of fiscal 2012.

The economy has not grown so quickly. Japan’s debt-to-gross domestic product ratio increased by more than 30 percentage points between fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2020 to reach 225 percent. The lack of progress on growth strategies, the third of the “three arrows” of Abenomics, is cited as the reason.

Kishida said he plans to “dramatically increase support from the tax system” for companies that raise wages, with the aim of increasing the share of income that goes to work.

But even with far-reaching incentives, the government cannot force companies to raise wages or invest more, and it will be difficult for many to take such steps without first improving their profitability. Tokyo will need to create an environment to facilitate both consumers and businesses contributing to economic growth.

Boosting the productivity of the workforce is an important step. Japan’s GDP per hour worked stood at $ 48 last year, nearly 30 percent below the Group of Seven average of $ 65, according to data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The United States has kept about 50% ahead of Japan over the past decade.

Policies such as regulatory reform can promote productivity-boosting investments and attract capital to Japan. It will also be important to encourage the transition to high added value sectors and to support the retraining of workers for a more digital economy.

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Andrew Yang’s front part is directionless Wed, 06 Oct 2021 22:00:13 +0000

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang on Tuesday announced his new effort to help Americans break free from a stagnant bipartisan “duopoly”: a new political party he calls the Forward Party.

The name of the third of Yang is typically sunny. But unfortunately, we don’t really know where this party is going or what problem it would solve.

In his announcement video, Yang spoke out against the scourge of polarization, which he described as the product of incentives in our media and political systems – particularly gerrymandering and the way primaries encourage politicians to please their base rather than voters. center – and suggested that a new party is needed to disrupt a political order that stifles competition. He also cited unsourced poll statistics on how dissatisfied most Americans are with Congress and want a third party.

Yang’s rise as an American political celebrity has been swift and surprising.

Yang is right that there is widespread disillusionment with Congress and our major political institutions. Self-confidence has been declining for many years. But his diagnosis of the problems that plague us all is superficial: our crisis of polarization is driven by much more than partisanship induced by primaries and uncompetitive districts. And there is little reason to believe that the solution he proposes – a third with no clear political vision other than universal basic income and a purse of mostly progressive democratic reforms – has a market or could inspire the type of mass movement that a third would need. to become viable.

Yang’s rise as an American political celebrity has been swift and surprising. A former entrepreneur and political neophyte, he led a surprisingly popular campaign in 2019 during the Democratic presidential primary. He has found success by leveraging his foreign status and pushing for a Universal Basic Income: $ 1,000 a month for every American, no strings attached. This launched a substantial political debate and won him goodwill; Yang was never a candidate with any real prospect of winning a state, but his focus on UBI was respected by the electorate and won him an online cult.

But when he turned that surge in popularity into a New York mayoral race earlier this year, Yang looked less impressive. Although he had shocking results in the polls for a while, when he was under intense scrutiny, he also revealed that he did not have a cohesive worldview. Annie Lowrey of the Atlantic summed up her odd run on a New Republic podcast this way:

He’s pushing all of this new spending and unconditional spending, but then he has a very corporate streak, and he basically said he wanted to cut taxes, had all of that like pro-business, anti-regulatory policies, and so on. is kind of an unusual and quite unpopular kind of politics that you kind of only see coming from Silicon Valley, like. I keep coming and going, thinking, “Is he really far to the left or really, really stuck in the middle?” And I think the answer is “Yes”. Like, I don’t know if you can actually square the circle.

The ambiguity of Yang’s candidacy and his lack of political connections with key constituencies ultimately sank his candidacy. And Yang’s new political project seems to fit more into the kind of confused ideological sensibility and inattention to the political pulse that we’ve seen during this run.

First, Yang’s diagnosis of the polarization problem is simplistic. While he shines a light on primaries and uncompetitive districts, he makes no mention of the fact that political scientists and journalists have consistently documented just how asymmetric the polarization in Washington is. Specifically, the Republican Party has radicalized, more resistant to good faith government, and has unilaterally or disproportionately defected from majority governance through practices such as abuse of Senate obstruction and nomination. to the Supreme Court standards. This is not, as Yang suggested, an issue where the two sides are simply forced to hate each other because of the way we call politicians, but the result of the emergence of a movement. radical right wing and a party hostile to governance.

Yang also fell prey to a common analytical mistake about the nature of polarization when he pointed out in his video that more people identify as independent than as Democrats or Republicans – and suggested that was a sign that there was a hunger for an alternative party. The problem with this line of thinking is that the overwhelming majority of independents systematically lean towards one party, and “true independents” hover around 10% of the electorate. Even among this set, there is little sign that they are ready to flee the two-party system. Consider that in 2016, a race between the two most unpopular leading presidential candidates of the modern political era only resulted in 6% of voters voting for long-established third parties.

Yang also seems indifferent to engaging in the broader ideological clashes that underlie the rift between Democrats and Republicans today. Both parties can be made to behave badly by certain electoral cues, but they are also locked into existential battles over the nature of our republic, with basic disagreements over the country’s degree of democracy, multiculturalism, and wealth. the people and the government owe every citizen.

Yang’s Forward Party offers no serious consideration of these major issues of the American social contract or of the issues between Red America and Blue America. In fact, he doesn’t seem to have a lot of ideas at all. In his main points on his party platform, Yang listed:

  • Open primary and preferential ballots
  • Universal Basic Income
  • Human-centered economy
  • Evidence-based governance
  • Modern and efficient government
  • Grace and tolerance

Open primaries and UBI aside, these are meaningless buzzwords. The intention is to appear non-ideological and solution-oriented, but the reality is that this suggests that Yang has no discernible theory about how society works and what needs to be done to change it.

The new Forward Party website doesn’t shed much more light. Yang’s vision remains surprisingly vague, and most of the additional policies listed are experimental but markedly small-scale democratic reform goals such as limiting lobbying and convening “civic juries” to influence policy makers. Little of what Yang is proposing sounds unreasonable, but little seems in any way proportionate to the crises facing our nation, from global warming to white nationalist politics to soaring inequality.

And it’s worth noting that a party platform meant to disrupt our political system and make it more democratic has nothing to say about the anti-majority characteristics of our democracy, including obstruction and the Electoral College. . Many of Yang’s proposed reforms would be trivial for a Democratic candidate to pass in a local race or in Congress.

Ultimately, if Yang has a few causes he wants to focus on – say UBI and Democracy Reform – history suggests he’d better try to build a movement within the Democratic Party than to go it alone. A third candidate was never elected president, and third parties tend to perform poorly at the national and local levels around this time as well. There are structural reasons for this, including our first past the post and unrepresentative system, the extreme administrative barriers to third party access to ballots, and the fact that many US voters view third parties as spoilers. . But movements such as the Tea Party and the Democratic Socialists of America and anti-establishment candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have shown that it is possible to disrupt the party system of in much more easily than from the outside.

Yang’s size of online subscribers and his membership in UBI, which has always had appeal across the ideological spectrum, means that we cannot rule out the possibility that the Forward Party may amass a sizeable number of supporters. But it’s safe to predict that most voters will understand that Yang offers no serious way out of our political woes.

Yang deserves credit for pushing a serious conversation about UBI into the mainstream in 2020. He should think more carefully about who is served by a party that no one seems to be asking for.

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