Home » Posts tagged with » Governance (Page 3)
The great battle of the 20th century was between the state and business. And the state was likely to win because the thinkers and bureaucrats at its service were better at occupying the moral and intellectual high ground. Today the problem is not the marginalisation of business but its excessive influence.
In May the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million, the highest since three million years ago. Sea levels then may have been as much as 65 feet above today’s; the Northern Hemisphere was largely ice free year-round. Unless we change course dramatically in the coming years, our carbon emissions will create a world utterly different in its very geography from the one in which our species evolved. By the next century, if not sooner, large numbers of people will have to abandon coastal areas in Florida and other parts of the world. Some researchers fear a flood tide of climate-change refugees. We’re going to see civil unrest, war. You just wonder how or if civilization will function. How thin are the threads that hold it all together? How do you get people to realize that Miami—or London—will not always be there?
Josette Sheeran is president and CEO of Asia Society. She is responsible for leading and advancing the organization’s work throughout the U.S. and Asia, and across its disciplines of arts and culture, policy and business, and education. Formerly, Sheeran was Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum and Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme.
Ian Andrew Goldin is Director of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford – the leading global scholarly centre of deep research into a broad range of future challenges. The School research faculty is seeking to find solutions to questions of health and medicine, energy and the environment, technology and society and ethics and governance.
After service as a Royal Marine and as an intelligence officer for the UK security services, Paddy Ashdown was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1983 to 2001, and leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1988 until 1999; later he was the international High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2002 to 2006.
Central bankers have always carried a mystique far beyond justification. Even as their policies and procedures have become markedly more transparent, the air of secrecy and power about them persists. And the ongoing financial crisis has brought their activities to the center stage of both economic policymaking and political attention, even as the crisis has revealed many inherent limitations of monetary policy and economic forecasting more broadly.
I worry that because of the excess hype, 3D printing will soon suffer the same backlash as solar energy and electric cars. We are only in the early stages of 3D printing. The curve is flat for the foreseeable future. We are about to see a renaissance in design. So let’s be excited, but adjust our expectations – the large-scale manufacturing revolution will happen only after we become bitterly disappointed.
Sir David Frost travels to New York to meet the legendary Israeli conductor and pianist, Daniel Barenboim. A giant in the world of classical music, Barenboim is also a man with very strong political views, and is believed to be the only man alive with both an Israeli and a Palestinian passport, reflecting his deep interest in the Middle East. Daniel Barenboim bares his life and his soul to Sir David: he is emotional and outspoken. His love of music shines through the whole interview, as do his political beliefs.
The court may be primed for a reinterpretation of its own rulings on metadata, which can be even more revealing than content. Congress has shown little appetite for clarifying these issues, and has reliably voted to expand, not limit, the surveillance powers of the executive branch. President Barack Obama’s position on the issues is not only a continuation of his predecessor’s, but a change from the views he held as a candidate.
Scientists say that the release of large amounts of methane from thawing permafrost in the Arctic could have huge economic impacts for the world. The researchers estimate that the climate effects of the release of this gas could cost $60 trillion (£39 trillion), roughly the size of the global economy in 2012.
A new study finds that if temperatures go up by just one degree Celcius, sea levels will eventually—as ice sheet melt over the next 2,000 years—rise 2.3 meters. If temperature goes up 2 °C, oceans will rise 4.8 meters. If the planet warms by 4 °C, which is within the IPCC range of estimates, they will eventually rise by 9 meters, on average, and up to 12 meters in some parts of the world.
The New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States. The foundation’s mission is animated by the American ideal that each generation will live better than the last. That ideal is today under strain.
The median compensation of chief executives at 200 of the nation’s biggest public companies came in at $15.1 million last year, a 16 percent jump from 2011. Is that excessive? One way to answer that question would be to look at the pay gap, the ratio of the pay of the chief executive to that of the company’s employees. But nobody really knows what the gaps are.
The first step forward for Europe has to be developing an economic growth strategy, to escape the union’s current debt trap and to create breathing space for the tough reforms that can make Europe as a whole competitive again. Then, to sustain reform, the union needs a clear path to legitimacy for a strong but limited European government, one that resembles today’s Swiss federation.
Obama’s injunction to “divest” was, pretty clearly, a signal to the thousands of college students who have been manning the barricades for nearly a year now, urging their colleges to rid their endowments of stock in fossil-fuel companies as a way of forcing climate change higher on the national political agenda.
If officials are going to make rules for Americans, those officials should be Americans, democratically accountable to voters. Given the recent history of international meddling of this kind, even when a treaty is non-self-executing (that is, its implementation requires the passage of a law), this is not merely a theoretical concern.
The NSA programs represent a troubling increase in state power, even if—so far, and so far as we know—they have not occasioned a troubling increase in state wrongdoing. The harm is to the architecture of trust and accountability that supports an open society and a democratic polity. The harm is to the reputation of the United States as such a society, such a polity.
While the public and media are not allowed to see the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and members of Congress only receive limited, heavily restricted access, 600 corporations, including some of America’s worst corporate citizens, have been advising the president and suggesting amendments with full access to the documents.
Various NSA defenders beginning with President Obama have sought to assure the public that NSA surveillance is done under robust judicial oversight and that they do not target Americans. These claims are highly misleading, and in some cases outright false As part of the FISA court approval process, the NSA must submit a document describing how communications of US persons are collected and what is done with them; indeed, the principle purpose of the 2008 FISA Amendment Act was to allow government collection of Americans’ international communications. The Obama DOJ has repeatedly thwarted any efforts to obtain judicial rulings on whether this law is consistent with the Fourth Amendment.
Events in the greater Middle East are making it difficult for the United States to limit its involvement there. The irony is inescapable: a decade ago, Washington chose to immerse itself in the region when it did not have to, but now that most Americans want little to do with the region, U.S. officials are finding it difficult to turn away.
Detroit, which grew and prospered for much of the last century, has become a wasteland of abandoned buildings, lawlessness, and municipal debts. Somebody’s going to pay for that. It’s not going to be the politicians whose decisions undermined Detroit, nor the executives who made bad decisions yet retired with their full pensions and portfolios.
Pricing carbon to reduce emissions and tackle global warming is moribund in Congress for now, but not elsewhere. A new World Bank report finds that more than 40 national governments and 20 sub-national governments have either put in place carbon-pricing schemes or are planning one for the years ahead.
Far from being a passive victim, the United States has fostered as rich a tradition of illicit trade as any other country in the world. Since its founding, the United States has had an intimate relationship with clandestine commerce, and contraband capitalism was integral to the rise of the U.S. economy.
Verizon has been supplying the National Security Agency (NSA) with phone records for all domestic calls, and the NSA and FBI are datamining nine technology companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs enabling analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.
Mr. Obama has used some of the same aggressive powers in the name of guarding national security as his predecessor, even at the expense of civil liberties. Rather than dismantling Mr. Bush’s approach to national security, Mr. Obama has to some extent validated it and put it on a more sustainable footing.
The struggle in Iceland is ongoing, but the nation’s people have achieved monumental results in a relatively short amount of time due to the nature of their movement building – five goals should be sought in the US: Strive For Unity, Turn a Few Central Demands into Goals, Be the Banks, Be the Government, Crowdsource a New Constitution.
A new survey of corporate officials and employees in 36 countries indicates that there is plenty of corruption that needs investigating. The survey revealed a “corruption perception gap” in many countries, where respondents said bribery and corrupt practices were far more common in other parts of their country than they were in their own industry.
Elder financial exploitation is the illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds or property. It has been described as an epidemic with society-wide repercussions. While combating elder financial exploitation is largely the responsibility of state and local social service, criminal justice, and consumer protection agencies, the federal government has a role to play in this area.
Infrastructure such as roads and bridges, wastewater systems, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) centers are vulnerable to changes in the climate. Changes in precipitation and sea levels, as well as increased intensity and frequency of extreme events, are projected to impact infrastructure in a variety of ways.
During its audit of the IRS 2012 financial statements, GAO identified one new internal control deficiency that contributed to material weakness in internal control over unpaid tax assessments – IRS’s controls over estimating the balances of federal taxes receivable and other unpaid tax assessments were not effectively implemented.
The fact that the economy is “steadily healing” back to the old economy is the problem, not the solution. That economy featured growing inequality and a declining middle class. It was built on debt and speculative bubbles. Trade deficits hit new records as multinational companies shipped good jobs abroad.
The Centrist Party need not be a mush of compromises between extreme positions. It should take the best of each party and ditch the nonsense. The Centrists will be fiscally sensible, socially progressive, and committed to the kinds of compromises that will appeal to the tens of millions of voters, particularly younger voters, who are currently without a political home.
As founders of the Common Sense Coalition, we came together in 2011 because we share a belief that our country has serious problems and that the current political environment leaves little hope of solving them. As we began to explore the consequences of inaction, it became clear that the America we leave our children would be greatly diminished, if we didn’t act.
James Gustave “Gus” Speth joined the faculty at Vermont Law School in 2010. Throughout his career, Professor Speth has provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to many task forces and committees whose roles have been to combat environmental degradation. He is the author, co-author or editor of books, including “The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability”.
No Labels is a growing citizens’ movement of Democrats, Republicans and everything in between dedicated to promoting a new politics of problem solving. No Labels promotes its politics of problem solving in three ways: by organizing citizens across America, providing a space for legislators who want to solve problems to convene and by pushing for common-sense reforms to make our government work.
Hoping to give new meaning to the term “natural light,” a small group of biotechnology hobbyists and entrepreneurs has started a project to develop plants that glow, potentially leading the way for trees that can replace electric streetlamps and potted flowers luminous enough to read by. They have attracted more than $250,000 in pledges in about two weeks on the Web site Kickstarter.
GAO’s 2013 annual report identifies 31 new areas where agencies may be able to achieve greater efficiency or effectiveness – many areas involve fragmentation, overlap, or duplication – the Department of Defense could realize up to $82 million in cost savings and ensure equivalent performance by taking addressing its fragmented approach to developing and acquiring combat uniforms.
B Lab is a nonprofit that serves a global movement of entrepreneurs using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Certified B Corporations are leading a global movement to redefine success in business.
The opponents of immigration reform have many small complaints, but they really have one core concern. It’s about control. America doesn’t control its borders. But the opponents rarely say what exactly it is they are trying to control. They talk about border security and various mechanisms to achieve that, but they rarely go into detail about what we should be so vigilant about restricting.
Investment bankers are a bright and resourceful lot. Some of the best minds of this generation are in search of the next big innovation in credit markets or risk management that will bring back the heady days before the financial crisis. But the industry’s voyage back to profitability will probably be slow, and not all banks will make it. Paradoxically, stricter regulation intended to tame banks that were thought too big to fail is leading to the creation of even bigger and more systemically important institutions.
The GEF IW:Science Synthesis Report, brings together the findings and efforts of the IW System Type Working Groups (Groundwater, Lakes, Rivers, Land-based Pollution Sources and, Large Marine Ecosystems and the Open Ocean). This report provides a global perspective on the state of challenges and pressures facing transboundary water systems, both freshwater and marine.
Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford. His books include Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, and The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World.
Economic growth, when widely shared, does more than increase living standards, it helps ease tensions within societies. Trade has an important role to play in boosting both growth and security, even more so when complemented by policies to ensure that its benefits are widely shared. Geopolitics is back. Or at least it should be – what we have been seeing instead is a paradox.
Income taken home by top earners in the United States has risen over the past few decades, along with popular concern about economic inequality. Outrage has centered on the compensation of the United States’ top corporate executives. The reality of executive compensation reveals a far different picture from this caricature of skyrocketing pay packages and crony capitalism.
Dr. Richard Haass is president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he was director of policy planning for the Department of State, U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan, and U.S. envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process.
The United States’ gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the first quarter; but this figure masks disturbing signs: an economy whose recovery has failed to match the pace of past expansions may now be facing a deceleration in its own modest growth rate.
On recycling in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come a long way. 11 years ago, Mr. Bloomberg eliminated a major chunk of the city’s recycling program to save money. He has since been working hard to restore the city’s recycling program to its pre-2002 levels.
At first glance, the latest economic growth report, released Friday, appears to show the economy revving up. In reality, the economy is either stuck in low gear, or worse, slowing to a stop as budget cuts harm not only the users of overstretched government services but the overall economy.
Repealing laws by failing to fund their enforcement or implementation works because the public doesn’t know it’s happening. The strategy bolsters the Republican view that government is incompetent – the public doesn’t know the reason why the government isn’t doing its job is it’s being hollowed out.
Espionage of any kind is serious, of course, but some do not understand how spying in the cyber world is different from spying in the physical world. Few realize that the same tools required to conduct digital espionage could allow intruders to go a step further and commit digital destruction.
The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance’s mission is to deepen the impact and visibility of sustainable investment organizations at the global level. Its vision is a world where sustainable investment is integrated into financial systems and the investment chain and where all regions of the world have coverage through membership institutions that advance sustainable investing.
The belief that America is losing its economic edge is pervasive. The misgivings are easy to understand, but despite glaring problems, the outlook is less bleak than the pessimists maintain. America’s competitive recovery is not as strong as it should be, but it is real, and pessimists should take a closer look.
Over decades California’s green rules have inspired other states and the federal government to follow. Older rules focused on conservation, newer ones focus on investment, new technologies and development projects.
America’s 50 states are competing to find the best formula for regulation and taxes and introducing sweeping reforms to that end. These changes will become systematic only if promoted at the federal level.
To run his coal trains, Buffet needs to seize land from a bunch of Montana cowboys. The coal industry will ignore global warming. But a federal agency charged with weighing the environmental consequences of a coal-carrying railroad should do better. So should America’s most admired investor.
Joseph Stiglitz is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and the John Bates Clark Medal. In 2011 he was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
American University professor Akbar Ahmed’s new book, The Thistle and the Drone, cautions wisely about the geostrategic dangers that can result if Washington is seen as using force disproportionately or carelessly in ways that hurt innocent people. However, the United States has made huge progress in minimizing civilian casualties.
On March 3rd, 68% of the Swiss electorate passed the “people’s initiative against fat-cat pay”, a measure that requires listed companies to offer shareholders a binding vote on senior managers’ pay and appointments at each annual general meeting. Criminal penalties apply in the event of non-compliance.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg turns eighty this month. There is some irony in Ginsburg’s reputation for reserve, because she is, by far, the current Court’s most accomplished litigator. Ginsburg, during the 1970s, argued several of the most important women’s-rights cases in the Court’s history.
Shareholders used to mount activist campaigns only at firms that were performing horribly. Even then, shareholder activism was rare. But since the financial crisis of 2008, which revealed widespread flaws in corporate governance, shareholders have flexed their muscles more often.
Why pay through the nose for something when you can rent it more cheaply from a stranger online? That is the principle behind a range of online services that enable people to share cars, accommodation, bicycles, household appliances and other items, connecting owners of underused assets with others willing to pay to use them.
The Fed has resorted to a radical, uncharted spree of money printing. But the flood of liquidity has stayed trapped in the canyons of Wall Street, where it is inflating yet another unsustainable bubble. When it bursts America will descend into an era of zero-sum austerity and virulent political conflict, extinguishing even today’s feeble remnants of economic growth.
Republicans and Democrats’ fibs rest on ill-concealed contempt for an undeserving other: the feckless poor, the immoral rich, those who live in states of the wrong partisan hue. Mutual dislike is the dirty secret that best explains European paralysis. American politicians have no business stoking it in their far more ambitious union.
Discusses how government, and the Democratic Party, changed after the New Deal, with the onset of the Cold War and the disenchantment of Southern Democrats. Discusses the history of worries about the emergence of a new ruling class composed of bureaucrats and technocrats.
Patagonia wants to be in business for a good long time, and a healthy planet is necessary for a healthy business. We want to leave behind not only a habitable planet, but an Earth whose beauty and biodiversity is protected for those who come after us. We think that business can inspire solutions to the environmental crisis.
The World Resources Institute focuses on the intersection of the environment and socio-economic development. We go beyond research to put ideas into action, working globally with governments, business, and civil society to build transformative solutions that protect the earth and improve people’s lives.
Secure World Foundation envisions the secure, sustainable and peaceful uses of outer space contributing to global stability on Earth. SWF works with governments, industry, international organizations and civil society to develop and promote ideas and actions that achieve the secure, sustainable, and peaceful uses of outer space.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned back a challenge to a federal law that broadened the government’s power to eavesdrop on international phone calls and e-mails. The ruling illustrated how hard it is to mount court challenges to a wide array of antiterrorism measures, including renditions of terrorism suspects to foreign countries and targeted killings using drones.
A dream Obama would point out that the issue is not size but sclerosis of government. The future has no lobby, so there are inexorable pressures favoring present consumption over future investment. The crucial point is not whether a dollar is spent publicly or privately, it’s whether it is spent on the present or future.