Politics and Economics

Is International Trade Good or Bad for Communities?

The human instinct for trade has deep historical roots, but its economic, social and political importance has risen in recent times due to industrialisation, technological advance and globalisation. In fact, there is evidence that our Cro-Magnon ancestors engaged in trade and moved from barter for their immediate use to trade for resale. The shift by

2020-11-11T07:41:15-06:00Tags: |

Dreaming of Downton

The last season of “Downton Abbey” has just finished airing the U.S., and a significant portion of the populace is once again caught up in the fortunes and misfortunes of the Earl of Grantham and his household, both above- and below-stairs. Why are we so interested?

To give it its due, the cast is phenomenal, the production values are

Reclaiming Capitalism

In a barber’s chair, you can get an earful from your neighbor. On a Saturday on a recent visit to the states, I got a rather bleak state of the union address as told by Bob, a Chicago native in his fifties, to his haircutter, Afif, a recent immigrant from Dubai. Afif, I noticed, visibly


Integrity Action – What Are We Going To Do About Corruption?

The Global Corruption Barometer survey across 107 countries found that, in 2013, in 51 of these nations, people perceived political parties to be among the institutions most affected by corruption. Bribery, corruption, theft and tax evasion cost developing countries $1.26 trillion per year, sufficient to lift the 1.4 billion people living on less than $1.25


West-Eastern Divan Orchestra: Building Bonds Across Deep Divides

Founded by Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim in 1999 as an experiment in coexistence, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is a unique enterprise. Since its inception, it has given about 176 public performances across a range of impressive venues such as Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the General Assembly Hall at the United Nations, among


What Next For Government Intervention in the Economy?

Tax revenues this year will surpass pre-great recession levels for the first time. But has the economy truly healed?

Recently, The Economist published an article entitled “A History of Finance in Five Crises.” The authors argued that financial institutions and fiscal policy evolved in spurts following economic hardship. Our current financial system is a result of


How Not To Do It

In 1857, Charles Dickens completed serial publication of his eleventh novel, Little Dorrit. Among other things, the novel includes a scathing indictment of a government whose main object is to prevent anything from getting done. This mission is embodied in the Circumlocution Office, a bureaucracy dedicated to “How Not To Do It.” Any individual wishing—scandalously!—to


Vocational Education

Business leaders and American citizens view the importance of a college degree very differently. Approximately 70 percent of Americans believe that having a bachelor’s degree remains essential for getting a good job. Unfortunately, business leaders are not so optimistic: only 33 percent believe that U.S. colleges provide graduating students with the skills their businesses need.


Scottish Independence: What Now?

On April 18, 1949, bells and celebrations erupted in Ireland. Thirty-three years after the beginning of the Easter Rebellion, the Republic of Ireland Act came into force, severing the last constitutional link to England and the British monarchy. This was followed by the Ireland Act of 1949, in which Britain conceded its former role and


Is Biased Media Bad?

Well-informed citizens are important for the preservation of democracy. So much so, the Founding Fathers protected the press in the First Amendment. Since even before the foundation of the United States, people have been using the press, media, and journalism to inform and influence others. Journalism has seen many changes since then. One change involves


Monied Interests and Democracy

Over $2 billion was donated to the U.S. presidential candidates in the 2012 election. After the donations had come in and most of the money had been spent, nearly 60 percent of eligible voters in the United States turned out on Election Day to cast their ballots in the presidential race. Open elections are ways

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