US Policy Changes Vol.33 (Miscellaneous Vol.3 – corporate interaction on innovation)

Here is an academic article on corporate interaction on innovation: The Benefits and Liabilities of Interacting for Innovation: a Quantitative Model (9/21/2014) | Levine, S. S., Gorman, T., & Prietula, M. J. [In K. Pugh (Ed.), Smarter Innovation: using interactive processes to drive better business results (pp. 111-119)] @ArkGroup @SSRN. This could be a hint for considering policy changes on deregulation, R&D, et al. Excerpt is on our own.

@SSRN
Abstract:
… Combining qualitative fieldwork – interviews, observation, and document analysis – with mathematical modeling, they show that sharing can benefit performance, matter little, or even harm it. The effect of sharing on performance depends on a least three variables (and likely more): the learning capacity of individuals in the organization, the state of organizational memory, and turbulence in the competitive environment. …

PDF
pIX Executive summary
… Only recently have innovation researchers begun to look at the rich microprocesses that operate within the interactions of individuals and groups. And few of those researchers have focused on the knowledge-related microprocesses. (In this context, “knowledge-related” refers to knowledge sharing, knowledge integration, sense making, and filtering – all of which play a role in catalyzing connections, testing innovation candidates for potential, and participating in myriad decisions about markets, capabilities, and industries.)
Smarter Innovation
…Peter Drucker, Eric Von Hippel, Clayton Christensen, Andy Hargedon, and Boynton, Fischer, and Bole…
…knowledge processes and microprocesses for innovation…

pX This report looks at innovation through the prism of five innovation “dimensions”, which reflect various knowledge-related interactions in the path to market (or operations) innovation. …
1. Bridging …a meeting or crowd-sourcing process integrating ideas across contexts, as AirBNB merges auctions and regional inventory, and Craig’s list merges social and for-sale listings.
2. Social and operational integration …a company discussing a product innovation on a social network, a community of practice debating an idea, or a town hall deliberating a process improvement.
3. Capabilities validation …UPS’s introspection as it assessed its readiness to go from shipper to logistician.
4. Market and industry exploration …an eCommerce firm using decision heuristics and clickstream data to identify unmet site-visitor needs. …
5. Commercialization …a family restaurant realizing when it’s better to reprice, rather than trim menu items, when the restaurant’s reputation as the “one stop shop” is at stake.

pXI We visit manufacturing, telecom, professional services, and computer hardware industries, to name a few. This extraordinary collaboration brings to mind a prescient quote by philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806–1873): “It is hardly possible to overrate the value… of placing human beings in contact with persons dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar… Such communication has always been, and is peculiarly in the present age, one of the primary sources of progress.” …

Chapter 14: The benefits and liabilities of interacting for innovation: A quantitative model
p111 … For instance, when the management of Yahoo canceled its work-from-home scheme, they justified the decision by reasoning that “some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings”. When leading General Electric, former CEO Jack Welch often spoke of “getting every brain in the game” as a means to generate ideas and spread practices. …

p112 …yet we rarely hear about the potential downsides of sharing. Few of the examples account for the costs of sharing. These costs can be direct: organizations invest to support knowledge sharing. … Even fewer of the anecdotes account for the indirect costs, including opportunity costs, which we begin to quantify here. Whether you are the one seeking to discover new information, or the one invited to share your expertise, whether in a momentary encounter by the water cooler or on a scheduled offsite retreat, you must forgo other activities to participate in sharing. …
…the effect of sharing on innovation. We systematically compare what employees could achieve on their own, without sharing, to what they can achieve when sharing. … Depending on specific characteristics and circumstances, sharing can enhance innovation, matter little, or even harm it. …
…the benefits of sharing are lower in organizations that operate in a turbulent or disruptive environment, that provide better support for employee learning, or that have stronger organizational memory (such as a knowledge management system).
… those that operate in a stable business environment, that provide little support for employee learning, or those whose organizational memory is weak. …

The research: From field observations to a quantitative model
… However, when in need, a member can access knowledge that resides somewhere else; in books and reports, in standard operating procedures and presentations – and in the minds of other members of the firm. …
They self-teach

p113 by accessing inanimate (asocial) knowledge, for example by reading a report; they consult close associates or friends; they barter or trade for knowledge, inside or outside the organization; or they search broadly for peers who are willing to share their knowledge.
… Such broad sharing means not only that “every brain is in the game” – that one can seek help from any other member of the organization – but also that help has no strings attached, no expectations of direct reciprocity now or in the future. …our analysis is most cautious: liabilities we find here are likely amplified when sharing is less extensive. In other words, if extensive sharing can become a liability, it is certainly true for less extensive forms, such as sharing in teams or when reciprocity is expected.
… This method was honed in the natural sciences and engineering, where performance – whether the survival of a pride of lions, the speed of an airplane, or the stability of a building – may be affected, jointly and simultaneously, by a multitude of variables. …
The model portrays an organization composed of employees. The organization faces a large innovation project, such as developing a new product, entering a new market, or resolving a manufacturing problem. As is done in organizations, the project is broken into tasks that are assigned to individuals, teams, and organizational units: somebody has to model the cash flow or a marketing team is tasked with producing advertising materials. To complete the tasks, the employees need knowledge. And if they do not have all the knowledge necessary, they supplement either by self-teaching or by seeking help from others.
The relative values of the two paths to knowledge, “self-learning” and “extensive sharing”, could be affected by various conditions, so the model features three:
1. The average capability of individual employees to learn: People differ in their learning capability, and we are interested in how differences in the capability of individuals, averaged across the organization (or unit), affect the benefits of sharing.
2. The scope of organizational memory: Organizational memory is the “stored

p114 information from an organization’s history that can be brought to bear on present decisions. …
3. … In the firm, no two projects were identical, leaving members struggling to determine how applicable knowledge obtained elsewhere – in a different region or industry, or at an earlier time – was to a current task. …
…how differences in turbulence (or stability) of the competitive environment, which may depreciate knowledge, affects the benefits of sharing.

… We intentionally chose variables at the individual, organizational, and industry levels. This wider lens enables us to account not only for individual behavior, as has been done elsewhere, but also for the interplay of industry dynamics on performance.
…organizational members are in one of three modes: working on their own tasks (which could include teamwork, attending meetings, etc.), searching for others who may be willing (and able) to share, or replying to an incoming sharing request from another. …
Ultimately, we want to understand how sharing affects performance; and performance can be defined in various ways. …

p115 The findings: When sharing benefits innovation; when it doesn’t
…the effect of sharing on innovation is highly contingent: the exact effect of sharing on innovation depends on at least three conditions… Depending on the circumstances, sharing can benefit innovation, play no role, or even harm innovation. …Table 1.

Individual implications
…when individual learning capability increases, the value of peer sharing decreases. The more people can teach themselves, the lesser is the value of others’ knowledge…

p116 Secondly, sharing benefits least when the company has invested in the other, asocial elements of organizational memory: libraries, databases, reports, and other inanimate source of knowledge. …
Finally, if the company operates in a turbulent environment, one in which knowledge depreciates quickly, employees should rarely seek peer advice.

p117 …seeking an expert takes time and taxes the expert, but if the environment has changed since the expert acquired her knowledge, the effort may be wasteful, even risky. …

Team implications
…teams often undermine the performance of individual members, and larger teams are worse. …
…first, teams solving innovative problems may benefit from recruiting members to maximize disparities in knowledge. …
… If members have similar knowledge, experience, or views, there is little to be gained from sharing: it will likely just entrench existing views, a risky tendency in teams. Members should also recognize that turbulent environment depreciates knowledge…

p118 … Finally, they should explicitly discuss the costs of peer-to-peer knowledge sharing …

Organizational implications
…investments in asocial knowledge sources, such as standard operating procedures or organizational depositories, are seldom compared explicitly with investments in peer-to-peer sharing, such as water cooler conversations. …
…companies should equally value the skills of self-learning, especially where the environment is turbulent.

To share, or not to share?
…the greatest benefit from sharing may be in low-tech organizations, such as capital-intensive manufacturing and established service organizations, not in knowledge-intensive ones. …
… In situations where customer preferences are rapidly changing, new players are entering, technology is evolving, or the regulatory environment is in flux, innovation is valuable…


Delaware Vol.1


US Policy Changes Vol.32 (Miscellaneous Vol.2 – voter turnout)

Here is an academic article on voter turnout: Increasing Voter Turnout: Is Democracy Day the Answer? (PDF; February 2009) | Henry S. Farber, Center for Economic Policy Studies (CEPS) @PrincetonEcon. Excerpt is on our own.

Introduction
… Some have argued that an important cause of low turnoput in the United States is a cumbersome registration process. The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993 (the so-called “Motor-Voter” law) was passed in order to address this. However, while Motor-Voter does appear to have increased the voter registration rate its effect on turnout is not clear.
Another proposal to increase voter turnout is to declare Election Day a national holiday (“Democracy Day”). Presumably, the argument is that granting workers the day off would give them the time to vote when they otherwise might not. The economic cost of such a holiday is substantial, particularly understanding that the act of voting is 1) generally not very time consuming (at least compared with the length of a work day) and 2) that the polls are generally open from early morning until late evening. …

2 Data and Simple Statistics on Voter Turnout
• Voter turnout is substantially higher in 2004 (a presidential election year) at 71.6 per-cent than in 2006 (an off year) at 54.3 percent. This reflects the perceived importance of presidential elections.
• More educated individuals…

2.1 Election Holiday Status and Voter Turnout
There are thirteen states with an election day holiday for state employees: Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. … However, absent the holiday policy, turnout would, counter-factually, have been lower in the holiday states. …

Table 1

5 Concluding Remarks
There is no evidence from the “natural experiment” of states providing an election holiday for state employees that such holidays significantly increase voter turnout. While there is some evidence that voter turnout is higher overall in states with an election holiday for state employees, there is no particular effect on turnout among state employees. I conclude that having an election holiday, by itself, is not an effective strategy to increase voter turnout.


US Policy Changes Vol.31 (Foreign Policy Vol.4 – international relations)

Here is an academic article on international relations: Power and liberal order – America’s postwar world order in transition (PDF; 2005) | G. John Ikenberry @OxfordJournals. Excerpt is on our own.

1 Introduction
… ‘No one can deny the extent of the American informal empire,’ argues Niall Ferguson (2002, p. 368), who likens today’s imperial order to its British precursor. But for Ferguson the organization of the global system around an American ‘liberal empire’ is to be welcomed: the United States provides order, security, and public goods. His fear is that America will fail in its imperial duties and interests (Ferguson, 2004; Bacevitch, 2002). … Chalmers Johnson (2004) argues that America’s far-flung Cold War military alliance system has been consolidated over the last decade into a new form of global imperial rule. …

2 The American system
… The United States is situated at the center of this complex liberal order – but it is an order built around the American provision of security and economic public goods, mutually agreeable rules and institutions, and interactive political processes that give states a voice in the running of the system. …
… One grand strategy is realist in orientation. Forged during the Cold War, it is organized around containment, deterrence, and the maintenance of the global balance of power. This strategy has been celebrated in America’s history of the last half-century. … The touchstone of this strategy was containment, which sought to deny the Soviet Union the ability to expand its sphere of influence outside its region. …
… The most important have been the NATO and United States–Japan alliances. …
This grand strategy has been pursued through an array of postwar initiatives that look disarmingly like ‘low politics’. The Bretton Woods agreements, the GATT and WTO, APEC, NAFTA, OECD, and democracy promotion in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and East Asia together form a complex layer cake of integrative initiatives that bind the democratic industrial world together. …
… Democracy provided the foundation for global and regional community. Trade and capital flows were seen as forces for political reform and integration.
… The realist grand strategy created a political rationale for establishing major security commitments around the world. The liberal strategy created a positive agenda for American leadership. The United States could exercise its power and achieve its national interests but do so in a way that helped deepen the fabric of international community. American power did not destabilize world order; it helped create it. …
Importantly, this American system is tied together in a cooperative security order. …
This American system is built on two historic bargains that the United States has made with the rest of the world. One is the realist bargain and grows out of its Cold War grand strategy. …
The other is a liberal bargain that addresses the uncertainties of American power. …
Three features of this order make American power more stable, engaged, and restrained. First, America’s political institutions – open, transparent, and organized around the rule of law – have made it a relatively predictable and cooperative hegemon. … Second, this open and decentralized political process works to reduce foreign worries about American power. … Finally, the postwar web of Western and global institutions create a framework for order that helps to establish credible commitments and restraints on American power. …

3 Unipolarity, liberalism, and empire
… In shaping world order, power and liberalism are a much more potent mixture than simply the exercise of crude material power alone. But the question remains whether the resulting American-led order is an empire.
…internationally, power has been distributed among states, while, domestically, governments have had what the German sociologist Max Weber termed a ‘monopoly on the use of violence’ within their nation-state territory.
… The rise of American unipolar predominance and the simultaneous unbundling of state sovereignty are a new world historical development. In historical terms, this is a radically new distribution and manifestation of state power, and so it is not surprising that the world is rethinking and worrying about the new rules and institutions of global order.
…Vittorio Emanuele Parsi (2003)… One is a shift from a pace d’equilibrio (‘peace of equilibrium’) to a pace egemonica (‘hegemonic peace’). …
The other grand transformation is the shift in security threats, which makes the Westphalian flip even more provocative and potentially destabilizing. This is the rise of non-state terrorism. …
… In a Hobbesian world of anarchy, the United States must step forward as the order-creating Leviathan. …

4 Unipolarity and its implications
… Growing power – military, economic, and technological – also gives the United States more opportunities to control outcomes around the world. But unipolarity also creates problems of governance. Without bipolar or multi-polar competition, it is not clear what disciplines or renders predictable US power. …
… Finally, to the extent that the unipolar state anticipates that its power advantages will wane in the near future, it has incentives to embed in the international order rules and institutions that will lock in some of its advantages in the out-years when it is in a relatively weaker position.
…the absence of alternative options gives the unipolar state bargaining advantages. …
But another implication of the disappearance of a rival pole is that one benefit of aligning with the United States also disappears – or is radically reduced – namely, the benefit of security protection. …
…American ‘unipolar dilemmas’. First, a unipolar distribution of power creates ‘legitimacy problems’ for the lead state…
… After the Cold War, the Clinton administration legitimated American power by championing globalization and open markets – ‘engagement’ and ‘enlargement’ were the watchwords. … But fear of terrorism is not a sufficient legitimating cover for American power.
Second, unipolarity also appears to have created problems in how the world sees the American provision of public goods. In the past, the United States provided global ‘services’, such as security protection and support for open markets, which made other states willing to work with rather than resist American preeminence. The public goods provision tended to make it worthwhile for these states to endure the day-to-day irritations of American foreign policy. …

5 ‘Hub and spoke’ governance
… One strategy is the multilateral rule-based strategy of the postwar era, manifested most fully in America’s relations with Western Europe. The other strategy is what might be called ‘hub and spoke’ bilateralism. …
… As the ‘hub and spoke’ security organization of East Asia suggests, there are incentives for the United States to operate a global order where it deals bilaterally with key states in all the various regions.
… Britain, France, and other major states were willing to accept multilateral agreements to the extent that they also constrained and regularized US economic and security actions. American agreement to operate within a multilateral economic order and make an alliance-based security commitment to Europe was worth the price: it ensured that Germany and the rest of Western Europe would be integrated into a wider, American-centered international order. At the same time, the actual restraints on American policy were minimal. …
… Rather than operate within multilateral frameworks, the United States forges a ‘hub and spoke’ array of ‘special relationships’ around the world. Countries that cooperate with the United States and accept its leadership receive special bilateral security and economic favors. More so than multilateral agreements, ‘hub and spoke’ bilateral agreements allow the United States more fully to translate its power advantages into immediate and tangible concessions from other states – and to do so without giving up policy autonomy. …

6 Multilateralism and unipolarity
There are three types of incentives for the United States to continue to operate within a loose multilateral order rather than simply disentangle itself from rules and institutions or pursue bilateral ‘hub and spoke’ relations. … First…as global economic interdependence grows, the need for multi-lateral coordination of policies also grows.
… Bilateralism requires the United States to bargain for favorable outcomes. It will win in most instances – given its power advantages – but bargaining also entails transaction costs. …
Second, American support for multilateralism will also stem from a grand strategic interest in preserving power and creating a stable and legitimate international order. The support for multilateralism is a way to signal restraint and commitment to other states, thereby encouraging the acquiescence and cooperation of weaker states. …
… There are two ways that the creation and strengthening of regional multilateral institutional order in East Asia might serve America’s long-term hegemonic interests. One is simply to create regional institutional structures that will shape and constrain China’s rising power. Chinese power will be rendered more predictable as it is embedded in wider regional institutions. Second, the more general strengthening of global governance institutions will serve America’s interests ‘after unipolarity’. As American relative power declines, its capacity to run the global system or even secure its interests will decrease. …
… The enlightenment origins of the American founding has given the United States an identity that sees its principles of politics of universal significance and scope. The republican democratic tradition that enshrines the rule of law reflects an enduring American view that polities – domestic or international – are best organized around rules and principles of order. America’s tradition of civil nationalism also reinforces this notion that the rule of law is the source of legitimacy and political inclusion. This tradition provides a background support for a multilateral-oriented foreign policy.

7 Conclusion
… it would be an era of American global rule organized around the bold unilateral exercise of American military power, gradual disentanglement from the constraints of multilateralism, and an aggressive push to bring freedom and democracy to counties where evil lurks. But this neoconservative vision is built on illusions about American power. …
…perhaps a more important international development, namely, the long peace among the great powers – or what some scholars argue is the end of great power war. … American success after both World War II and the Cold War is closely linked to the creation and extension of international institutions, which both limited and legitimated American power. In exercising unipolar power, the United States is today struggling between liberal and imperial logics of rule. …


US Policy Changes Vol.30 (Miscellaneous Vol.1 – tri-state area demography)

Here is an academic article on tri-state area demography: The Receding Metropolitan Perimeter: A New Postsuburban Demographic Normal (w PDF; 2014) | James W. Hughes, Joseph J. Seneca @blousteinschool. Excerpt is on our own.

… The new postwar suburbs of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s were an escape from inner-city turmoil, crime, poverty, failing schools, deteriorating public transit, ever-higher taxes, and recurring fiscal crises. This was the unparalleled era of tract house suburban America. …
… In the post-2010 years (2010–2013), a “new demographic normal” started to unfold: Population growth in the suburban ring slowed dramatically and, for the first time in the post–World War II era, population growth in the historic center of the region surpassed that of the suburbs. The regional core became much more attractive to suburban-saturated young adults as rental housing achieved housing market dominance. …
… The locus of population losses in the early postwar decades (1950–1980) occurred in the urban heart of the region. The post-2010 losses are taking place in the region’s outer suburban reaches. …

Summary of Findings
– Between 1950 and 1980, the suburban ring of 27 counties in four states experienced explosive growth, nearly doubling its total population; it gained more than 5.3 million people (+177,458 persons per year). At the same time, the regional core of eight urban counties in New York and New Jersey was contracting sharply, losing close to a million (-859,660) people (-28,655 persons per year).
– In the second period (2010–2013), the suburban ring continued to grow, but at a much reduced scale (+37,742 persons per year), barely 20 percent of the annual pace of the earlier period. In contrast, the regional core gained 85,284 persons per year, an annual increase more than double that of the suburban ring. And the core accounted for the great majority (69.3 percent) of the region’s total population growth—the suburban ring just 30.7 percent. This is unparalleled in postwar annals.
– The regional core is now the locomotive of the region’s demographic train. Brooklyn was the unquestioned growth leader in the post-2010 period; its total population increase of 82,426 people between 2010 and 2013 is a startling turnaround from its 1950–1980 performance, when it shed more than one-half million people.
– In the suburban ring, the highest growth totals were achieved by three inlying counties adjacent or close to the regional core: Bergen (New Jersey), Westchester (New York), and Fairfield (Connecticut). However, there were 12 suburban counties —out of a total of 27 suburban counties— that lost population between 2010 and 2013. Thus, over 44 percent of the counties in the suburban ring experienced demographic contraction.
– All of the population-losing counties, with the exception of Monmouth County in New Jersey, were located on the metropolitan outer rim (highlighted in table 1 and figure 2): Litchfield and New Haven in Connecticut; Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan, and Ulster in New York; Hunterdon, Sussex, and Warren in New Jersey; and Monroe and Pike in Pennsylvania. These counties, the demographic leaders of the second half of the twentieth century, have experienced a dramatic reversal of population dynamics.
– The extraordinary suburban population gains through 1980 provided the labor resources that underpinned the massive wave of postindustrial suburban office growth in the 1980s and 1990s. The new regional core population gains parallel new patterns of centralized job growth and may dictate a much more centralized economic geography in the future.
– Part of the new urban dynamic is being driven by young adults. The baby boom generation swelled the ranks of young adults (20 to 29 years of age) in the 1970s. Between 1970 and 1980, the suburban ring accounted for virtually all of the growth (96.0 percent) in this age sector.
– The pattern was strikingly different in the 2000–2010 period when echo boomers/millennials filled the 20- to 29-year-old sector. During this time the regional core almost gained parity with the suburban ring. The suburban ring’s share of total young-adult growth during the decade fell to 56.0 percent while that of the regional core increased to 44.0 percent.
… The post-2010 period has been characterized by significant changes in many of the dynamics that formerly propelled massive regional suburbanization. Major gains in public safety and fiscal stability in New York City removed a crucial impetus to suburbanize. Changes in the structural composition of the national and regional economies accelerated during and after the Great Recession of 2007–2009, significantly changing workplace geography. New demographics began to reshape the workforce, workplace preferences, and housing markets. The baby boom, the most suburban-centric generation in history, now confronts retirement and represents the workforce of the past—and the suburban values spawned in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. In their stead, the baby boomers’ children—echo boomers/millennials—are rapidly becoming today’s critical workforce dynamic. Now in their twenties and early thirties, they are a tech-savvy collaborative generation wanting to live in higher-density, nonsuburban activity environments and do not, in general, find suburban employment and one-dimensional insular office campuses particularly attractive. The most talented and highly skilled of these are now known as the digerati—and because of their labor market skills, they have even stronger work, location, and lifestyle preferences and impacts.
Profound advances in information technology, particularly mobile information technology, and the forces of globalization have fundamentally altered the nature of knowledge-based work and its underlying business models. Already, this technology is providing ubiquitous connectivity, unshackling and untethering workers from fixed-in-place information technology systems. …
Corporate America too has been transformed, with a new corporate urbanism supplanting the once obsessive desire for insulated and isolated suburban office campuses. New locational preferences centered on a different set of social and physical attributes have gained momentum. At the same time, the once glittering, spanking-new, leading-edge suburban office agglomerations of the 1980s are aging and, in many cases, have become obsolete.

The Context of the Report
In 1954, a landmark article, “The Tidal Wave of Metropolitan Expansion,” was published in the Journal of the American Institute of Planners by Hans Blumenfeld… It accurately forecast the pattern of large and rapid metropolitan growth for the balance of the twentieth century—an ever-expanding metropolitan periphery, with an unrelenting suburban development wave pushing further outward from the historic city center. This certainly depicted the secular post–World War II pattern of population growth in the 35-county, four-state region surrounding New York City. Demographic tidal waves swept westward (and southward) through New Jersey and crossed the Delaware River into Pennsylvania; flowed eastward across Long Island; and also moved northward, deeper into New York State and into Connecticut. But now, after more than a half-century, these waves appear to be receding.

The Big Picture: The Startling Reversal of Fortune
… In 1950, the core’s population (9.8 million people) was over 70 percent greater than the suburban ring’s (5.7 million people). By 1980, the suburban ring’s 11.0 million people was over 20 percent greater than the core’s 9.0 million people.
…a dramatic slowing of suburban population growth, population shrinkage on the outer metropolitan perimeter, and strong urban resurgence. …
… Between 1950 and 1980, the suburban ring’s rate of population increase (+93.8 percent) was nearly double that (+49.7 percent) of the United States. Between 2010 and 2013, the suburban’s ring’s growth (+0.9 percent) was less than half that (+2.2 percent) of the nation.

FIGURE 1

The Scale of Past Urban Decline
… Between 1950 and 1980 (table 1), New York (Manhattan) lost 531,816 persons (-27.1 percent), Kings (Brooklyn) lost 507,239 persons (-18.5 percent), and the Bronx lost 282,305 persons (-19.5 percent). The three counties combined had an aggregate population decline of over 1.3 million people, a total greater than the loss of the overall core (-859,660 persons). It was the city’s own outer periphery that escaped this widespread decline. The boroughs of Queens, which gained 340,476 persons (+22.0 percent), and Richmond (Staten Island), which gained 160,566 persons (+83.8 percent), experienced suburban-like population growth during this period. …

FIGURE 2

The New Growth Frontier
… For the first time, the core dominated. It accounted for 69.3 percent (255,853 persons) of this growth; the suburban ring, just 30.7 percent (113,227 persons). The regional core is now the growth locomotive of the region’s demographic train; the suburban ring is the caboose. …
Brooklyn was the unquestioned growth leader in the post-2010 period; its population increased by 82,426 people between 2010 and 2013. Brooklyn’s current performance is also illustrated by a comparison to the 1950–1980 period, when it shed more than one-half million people. In the suburban ring, the highest growth totals post-2010 were achieved by the inlying counties of Fairfield in Connecticut (+21,090 persons), Bergen in New Jersey (+18,731 persons), and Westchester in New York (+18,126 persons). However, the growth of all three combined (+57,947 persons) falls far below that of Brooklyn. …
… fully 44.4 percent of the counties in the suburban ring experienced population declines. With the exception of Monmouth County in New Jersey — which was suffering the harsh aftereffects of Superstorm Sandy — all of the counties that lost population were on the metropolitan edge …
Monroe and Pike Counties in Pennsylvania in particular are noteworthy. They are located immediately west of Warren and Sussex Counties in New Jersey, just across the Delaware River. In the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, they were the fastest-growing counties in the region (appendix table A-3). For example, between 1990 and 2000, the population of the suburban ring grew by 8.6 percent. In sharp contrast, Pike’s population grew by 65.6 percent and Monroe’s by 44.9 percent. But between 2010 and 2013, both Monroe (-1.7 percent) and Pike (-1.3 percent) Counties experienced population declines.

The Potency of Young Adults   TABLE 1, 2
… The first comprises maturing “60-somethings,” who are aging baby boomers now pursuing empty-nester lifestyles, trying to adapt to cutting-edge technologies, confronting their exit from the labor force, and facing retirement. The second comprises “20-somethings” and young “30-somethings.” These are echo boomers or millennials who are driving a resurgent entry-level rental housing market, new lifestyle preferences, and new workplace protocols and values. …
… Between 1970 and 1980, the four-state region added 378,755 “20-somethings.” Virtually all of the growth in such baby boom young adults took place in the suburban ring (363,595 persons), or 96.0 percent. The regional core added only 15,160 persons in this age bracket, or 4.0 percent. There would actually have been a shrinkage in young adults in the core if not for growth in Queens (+18,084 persons) and Richmond (+13,573 persons), which contain some of the more “suburban-type” areas of the core. The generation born and reared in the suburbs largely settled there as young household-forming adults. And in the two decades that followed (1980–2000), the suburbs dominated the region’s economic-growth ledgers.
… The suburban ring’s share of total regional growth during the decade fell to 56.0 percent (137,348 persons out of 245,220 persons), while that of the regional core increased to 44.0 percent (107,872 persons out of 245,220 persons). …

Conclusion
…both time frames represent two fundamentally different eras—unbridled suburbanization/urban decline versus recentralization/perimeter contraction—then a transformative regional change may be under way that is only just now beginning to reveal itself. The 2010–2013 period suggests that for the first time in the post–World War II era the tidal wave of metropolitan expansion has begun to ebb, with the regional core outperforming the suburban ring.
… the relentless demography of baby boom and baby boom-echo generations, rapid and sweeping technology changes, favorable quality-of-life improvements in the region’s urban core, and new cultural and locational preferences of millennials. …
Alternatively, Americans’ stubborn love affair with large vehicles, cheap gas, and free roads is still a powerful force working to maintain population dispersal. It seems to be impervious to repeated oil crises, $4-per-gallon gas (perhaps because $4 gas seems never to stick around long), and the possibility of higher energy costs in the long run for both transportation and residential heating. Also, although the powerful desire for homeownership may have been deeply dented by the Great Recession, it may recover and dominate housing markets once again.

TABLE A-1,2,3


US Policy Changes Vol.29 (Deregulation Vol.4 – privatization)

Here is an academic article on privatization. Excerpt is on our own.

The Meaning of Privatization | Paul Starr [Yale Law and Policy Review 6 (1988); Privatization and the Welfare State]
Privatization… emerges from the countermovement against the growth of government in the West and represents the most serious conservative effort of our time to formulate a positive alternative. … I hope to explain why I generally oppose privatization, even though I favor some specific proposals that privatization covers. …

I. Privatization as an Idea
A. The Public-Private Distinction and the Concept of Privatization
… Many things seem to be public and private at the same time in varying degrees or in different ways. …quasi-public…semi-private… Public is to private as the transparent is to the opaque, as the announced is to the concealed. …
…when we speak of public opinion, public health, or the public interest, we mean the opinion, health, or interest of the whole of the people as opposed to that of a part, whether a class or an individual. Public in this sense often means “common,” not necessarily governmental. …a “public act” is one that carries official status, even if it is secret and therefore not public in the sense of being openly visible. …
… To an economist, the marketplace is quintessentially private. But to a sociologist or anthropologist concerned with culture, the marketplace is quintessentially public–a sphere open to utter strangers who nonetheless are able to understand the same rules and gestures in what may be a highly ritualized process of exchange. …
…conceptions of the public sphere…open and visible…that which applies to the whole people…the domain circumscribed by the state…
…a second meaning of privatization: a shift of individual involvements from the whole to the part–that is, from public action to private concerns…
…an appropriation by an individual or a particular group of some good formerly available to the entire public or community. …
…in the patrimonial state public and private roles were mixed and in the modern state these roles are more clearly distinguished…
In liberal democratic thought… First, the concept of a public government implies an elaborate structure of rules limiting the exercise of state power. … Second, when the members of a liberal society think of their homes, businesses, churches, and myriad other forms of association as lying in a private sphere, they are claiming limits to the power of that democratic state. …
… As public agencies, cities were allowed only such powers as states delegated to them; as fictive individuals, private corporations came to enjoy rights protected by the Constitution. …
… On the one hand, private interests reach into the conduct of the state and its agencies; on the other, the state reaches across the public-private boundary to regulate private contracts and the conduct of private corporations and other associations. …
… An American public school is public, not only in that it is state owned and financed, but also because it is open to all children of eligible age in its area. … public television or radio in the United States is more dependent on private financing, less subject to control by political authorities, and less the symbolic voice of the state than the state-owned networks of other Western nations…

B. The Political Meaning of Privatization
… With the rise of conservative governments in Great Britain, the United States, and France, privatization has come primarily to mean two things: (I) any shift of activities or functions from the state to the private sector; and, more specifically, (2) any shift of the production of goods and services from public to private. … The second, more specific definition of privatization excludes deregulation and spending cuts except when they result in a shift from public to private in the production of goods and services. …
… First, the public sector here includes agencies administered as part of the state and organizations owned by it…
Second… shifts from the public to the private sector, not shifts within sectors. …
Third… not only from a deliberate government action, such as a sale of assets, but also from the choices of individuals or firms that a government is unwilling or unable to satisfy or control. …demand-driven privatization….
Fourth, if one shifts attention from the sphere of production to the sphere of consumption, one may alternatively define privatization as the substitution of private goods for public goods. …
… Strictly speaking, public transportation is not a public good, since exclusion is possible and only one person at a time can sit in a seat; however, because buses and trains are open to the public at large, common carriers are a distinctively public form of consumption compared to private cars. …
First, the cessation of public programs and disengagement of government from specific kinds of responsibilities represent an implicit form of privatization. … Second… the explicit form of transfers of public assets to private ownership, through sale… Third… the government may finance private services… Finally… the deregulation of entry into activities previously treated as public monopolies.
… The spectrum of alternatives runs from total privatization (as in government disengagement from some policy domain) to partial privatization (as in contracting-out or vouchers). …
… Often governments sell some voting stock in an enterprise but refuse to surrender control. …little more than a revenue-raising measure, as there may be no change in management…
… Entry deregulation of public monopolies is a form of privatization that is also liberalizing. However, it is entirely possible to privatize without liberalizing. When the Thatcher government sold shares of British Telecom and British Gas, it substituted private monopolies for public ones and introduced new regulatory agencies… Conversely, it is also possible to liberalize without privatizing–that is, to introduce competition into the public sector without transferring ownership. For example, governments may allocate funds to schools according to student enrollments where families are free to choose among competing public schools…
…first, the personal…informal sector, thought to exemplify the virtues of self-reliance, mutual aid, and sensitivity to individual preferences; second, the voluntary nonprofit…sector, consisting of formal, complex organizations, thought to display the same virtues as the informal sector, plus…; third, the small-business sector, acclaimed for entrepreneurship…; and fourth, the large-scale corporate sector, where hopes for improved performance rest not only on the profit motive but also on professional management and economies of scale. …

II. Privatization as Theory and Rhetoric
… By far the most influential is the vision grounded in laissez-faire individualism and free-market economics that promises greater efficiency, a smaller government, and more individual choice if only we expand the domain of property rights and market forces. … A Second vision… a more socially minded conservative tradition, promises a return of power to communities through a greater reliance in social provision on families… a third… a political strategy for diverting demands away from the state…
A. The Economic Theory of Privatization
1. Economic Model 1: Privatization as a Reassignment of Property Rights.
… Both attempt to enlarge the conventional economic paradigm by treating the classical firm and modern package of property rights as only one of various possible institutional forms. …
As developed by economists such as Armen Alchian, Ronald Coase, and Harold Demsetz, the theory of property rights explains differences in organizational behavior solely on the basis of the individual incentives created by the structure of property rights. …
… Since “shareholders” (citizens) have no transferable property rights in public enterprise, they cannot sell stock as a signal of dissatisfaction with performance; even moving to another jurisdiction is costly. Moreover, there is no “market for corporate control”: public enterprises cannot be taken over by bidders who believe that they can make more efficient use of the assets. …
… First, the theory holds that the form of ownership is the predominant explanation for the varying performance of different organizations. …
Second… the market as the standard for judging value and finds public institutions deficient because they fail to measure up to that standard…
Third… the market for corporate control is highly efficient and that the chief reason corporations are acquired is their management’s poor performance.
“Public choice,”…both a branch of microeconomics and an ideologically-laden view of democratic politics. Analysts of the school apply the logic of microeconomics to politics and generally find that whereas self-interest leads to benign results in the marketplace, it produces nothing but pathology in political decisions. …
…the public choice school makes a series of empirical claims: (1) that democratic polities have inherent tendencies toward government growth and excessive budgets; (2) that expenditure growth is due to self-interested coalitions of voters, politicians, and bureaucrats; and (3) that public enterprises necessarily perform less efficiently than private enterprises.
First, while the theory presents voters as narrowly self-interested, considerable evidence suggests that, even on economic issues, voters identify their interests with the overall performance of the economy, rather than simply voting in line with their private experience. …the evidence does not show an accelerating increase as a proportion of national income.
…federally owned rangeland is in better condition than nonfederal rangeland. …”tragedy of the commons”…
…public choice theory claims to face up to the self-interested basis of democratic politics and therefore treats all claims of higher purpose as smoke and deception. …a scientific advance over earlier romantic and idealized views of the state. But rather than being an advance of science over intuition, the appeal of the public choice school is precisely to those who are intuitively certain that whatever government does, the private sector can do better.
2. Economic Model 2. Privatization as a Relocation of Economic Functions.
… Of course, the overwhelming consensus is that private ownership is more efficient in providing private goods in competitive markets… Mainstream views do vary, however, about the proper role of public institutions in producing public goods and managing natural monopolies. Viewing competition as the critical issue, the neoclassically trained are inclined to favor privatization insofar as it represents a move toward competition under conditions when markets should be expected to work efficiently. However, in recent years the requirements for efficient markets have come to be understood more liberally, while the reputation of public enterprise has markedly declined…
…two recent developments have suggested more caution about public intervention. First, markets need not be perfectly competitive to perform efficiently; they only need to be contestable… Second, public choice theory has successfully raised the challenge that where markets fail, so, too, may government… …”nonmarket failure.”
…for if states and markets have peculiar weaknesses, perhaps philanthropy can be explained as an attempt to fill the void. …in the United States nonprofits are the “preferred” mechanism for delivering public services and that government programs arise to meet the problems of “voluntary failure.”…
… The various sectors provide alternative environments, and the problem is to decide whether a particular set of tasks is best carried out in one or more locations. …the most serious defect of this approach is that, like all the economic models, it is principally concerned with efficiency…

B. Privatization as Community Empowerment
… Peter Berger and Richard Neuhaus propose that government “empower” voluntary associations, community organizations, churches, self-help groups, and other less formal “mediating” institutions that lie between individuals and society’s “alienating megastructures.”…
… Salamon points out that the twentieth-century expansion of social spending in the United states has been largely a growth of what he calls “third-party” government (the third parties including local government as well as private nonprofit agencies). … Community empowerment might be a good idea, but if it is to come at all, it will come from more government intervention, not from privatization.

C. Privatization as a Reduction of Government Overload
… First, the privatization of enterprises is a privatization of employment relations. …
Second, the advocates of privatization hope also for a privatization of beneficiaries’ claims. …
Third, the privatization of public assets and enterprises is also a privatization of wealth. …
… The predictions concern the probable effects of privatization on political consciousness and action; the normative judgments concern the desirability of weakening the political foundations of public provision. … However, some forms of privatization may, indeed, change the underlying political values…

III. Privatization as a Political Practice
A. The Political Contexts and Uses of Privatization
… The more dependent a nation is on foreign investment, the greater the likelihood that privatization will raise the prospect of diminished sovereignty and excite the passions of nationalism. …
… The conflict between privatization and national interests depends on the relative power of a given state in the world system–the weaker the state, the more likely the conflict. …
… When a country’s bureaucratic and entrepreneurial classes differ in ethnic composition, privatization may be understood as a transfer of wealth and power from one group to another and be politically resisted for that reason. …
… The potential private owners of public assets and contractors for public services represent specific interests and groups. Privatization is unlikely to be carried out with indifference to those social facts.
… Governments that are in a hurry to sell state-owned enterprises may make concessions to current managers, whose cooperation is instrumental in divestiture. Privatization then becomes an occasion for managerial enrichment and entrenchment. …privatization usually brings about little or no change in top management…
…because privatization attracts support not only from economists with a disinterested belief in liberalized markets but also from a privatization lobby consisting of investment banking firms…
… Privatization is a worldwide policy movement carried along by a combination of objective forces, imitative processes, and international financial sponsorship. Many countries whose public sectors expanded sharply in recent decades now find themselves confronted by rising debt and strong resistance to higher taxes. …
… Even where state enterprises are generally agreed to be highly inefficient, it is not necessarily clear that privatization will be a remedy. …
The property rights approach predicts politically imposed inefficiency on the basis of public ownership alone, but the variety of public sectors and state-owned enterprises in the world suggests instead that performance may be contingent on political culture, the structure of the state, and public policy toward enterprises. … A great array of institutional devices, such as independent governing boards with self-perpetuating membership and earmarked financing, can serve to insulate public organizations from political intervention. …
… Where the state is the only domestic institution capable of sustaining the confidence of foreign creditors or administering large undertakings and where it has demonstrated management competence, the case for state enterprise may be correspondingly strong. On the other hand…
… The sphere of public ownership in the United States has been so limited that I find implausible the view that Americans suffer from an oppressive government role in the production of goods and services. …
… So deeply entrenched are the barriers to unitary control that legitimate interests in coordinated management are thwarted. American public institutions at all levels of government suffer from rampant credentialism and proceduralism that hamper the ability of managers to hire and fire…
…government cannot be run “just like a business” in part because its more elaborate procedures are meant to produce something else besides the specific services that the private sector provides. … Privatization is a legitimate tool for sharpening the focus of government on those activities most important to the general welfare, but it is never simply efficiency that is at stake in such decisions.

B. Privatization as a Reordering of Claims
… The theory of property rights… misses the special claims of the public sphere in a democratic society–claims for greater disclosure of information, which should improve the social capacity to make choices, and for rights of participation and discussion, which permit the discovery and formation of preferences that are more consistent with long-term societal interests. …
… the conversion of a publicly budgeted health service, covering only a minority of employed workers, into a voucher system covering the whole population; and the empowerment of local nonprofit, grassroots organizations with funds stripped from elite-dominated central bureaucracies…
In practice, however, a progressive effect on income distribution seems highly improbable. …
Privatization is not only a policy; it is also a signal about the competence and desirability of public provision. …
Some individual proposals for privatization have considerable merit, but the overall message is clearly to call into doubt the nation’s capacity and need for collective provision. …
… To alter the public-private balance is to change the distribution of material and symbolic resources influencing the shape of political life. Privatization ought to be frankly recognized as part of an effort of conservatives to reinforce their own power position. …as we move public provision into the private sector, we move from the realm of the open and visible into a domain that is more closed to scrutiny and access. …

cf.
Privatization and Deregulation: A Push Too Far? (PDF) | @WorldBank
Trump advisers back deregulation, privatized Social Security (11/12/2016) | JEFF HORWITZ @AP


US Policy Changes Vol.28 (Infrastructure/Economy Vol.3 – Housing, Construction, Immigration, Finance, Key posts)

Here are articles on infrastructure including housing, and related immigration and finance. Excerpts are on our own.

What Economists Expect from a Donald Trump Economy (11/14/2016) | @JoshZumbrun @WSJ
Inflation Rate
2017: 2.2%; 2018: 2.4%
…higher than a month ago, as the potential for fiscal stimulus with an already low unemployment rate could lead to the first sustained bout of more than 2% inflation since before the 2007-09 recession. A trade war, in which countries apply tariffs to each other’s goods, could also potentially make the price of imports more expensive.
Interest Rate on 10-Year Treasury Bonds
End of 2017: 2.35%; end of 2018: 3%
The possibility of higher inflation and more government borrowing suggests that interest rates on 10-year Treasury bonds may be poised to rise. Yields have already jumped about 0.3% since the election. …
Housing Construction and Home Prices
2017 change in prices: 4.3%; 2017 housing starts: 1.3 million
…steady gains of about 5.5% over the past three years. …
Odds of Recession
In the next 12 months: 19%

How The Trump Administration Will Impact Housing (11/14/2016) | Ingo Winzer @Forbes
… Throughout most of the Rust Belt, where Donald Trump won strong support, prices for homes remain very low – partly because the local economic situation has for years been very poor. If government money is routed towards these most visible areas of economic stagnation, local home values will rise for years, as will demand for single-family rentals. …

How Trump’s Presidency Could Impact Real Estate (11/10/2016) | Lawrence Yun @Forbes
1. … A combination of tax cuts and government spending in the form of upgrading nation’s infrastructure and for national defense will provide a short boost to the economy in the first half of 2017. … Should the faster GDP growth be sustained and arise out of higher productivity, then inflation will be manageable. Moreover, more jobs will automatically mean more tax revenue, which will lessen budget deficit. …
2. … Should tariffs be raised to lessen the trade deficit, consumers will face higher prices. If exports and imports significantly decline, then history has repeatedly shown that recession…
3. … Wall Street will cheer because of less government regulation but will frown on restrictive international trade policies. … But the rise of uncertainty in the financial market will hold back corporate investment spending decisions. …
4. … the lifting of compliance costs imposed on small-sized banks. Around 10,000 local and community banks have traditionally been the source of funding for construction and land development loans. With less regulatory burden, …more loans…
5. … Credit is still tight for mortgages as evidenced by very high credit scores among those who are getting approved. …the exposure of random lawsuits by the government on lending institutions…
6. …less regulatory land-use and zoning burden for home construction, and thereby lower the cost of building. … Homebuilders say that is due to all the extra cost of regulation and not necessarily from higher input cost of lumber, cement, and worker wages. …
7. … Fortunately, after management changes Fannie and Freddie today are led by technicians providing a government guarantee on soundly-written mortgages. As a result, they have repaid all the taxpayer bailout money. Moreover, they are doing so well financially given the very low mortgage default rates, that the U.S. Treasury is getting added revenue on the backs of responsible homeowners. …
8., 9., 10.

Why Bond Markets Hate Donald Trump (11/15/2016) | @crobmatthews @Fortune
…prices have fallen a big for the bond market 1.4% in past week…
…theoretical backing: If financial assets’ value is determined by the present value of future income, then it makes sense that both stocks and bonds will be worth more if the economy is doing well…
…bond investors will receive fixed payments regardless of the level of inflation, which erodes the real value of those payments over time…
…@osullivanEcon High Frequency Economics “prospects of new stimulus has clearly been a driver of the bond market,” since last week’s presidential election. …
… The Republican Congress has been pushing for tax cuts, sure, but it’s also believes in cuts in entitlement and other spending, with the goal of balancing the federal budget within 10 years. That would necessitate deep cuts to programs that benefit poor and middle-class Americans, sapping their spending power. …
…higher inflation could cause the Fed to move to raise rates, which won’t be good for bonds, but shouldn’t be good for stocks either. …@pboockvar @TheLindseyGroup…
… Trump Administration could usher in an era of “stagflation” where the economy sees rising prices but slow growth to go along with. …

Victory for Trump could be a boost to US infrastructure (11/18/2016) | @Construction_IC
… “at least double” Hillary Clinton’s spending proposals.
The defeated Democrat Party presidential candidate had revealed plans to deliver a $275bn, five-year program for investment in transportation, water, energy and other projects, as well as launch a federal infrastructure bank. …
… According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the backlog of infrastructure projects is expected to cost $3.6trn by 2020. Under the outgoing administration of Barack Obama, total public capital investment (which includes infrastructure) stood at $611bn in 2015, the equivalent of just 3.4% of GDP, and the lowest in more than 60 years, according to data from the president’s Council of Economic Advisers. …
… How the longer term forecast will be adjusted depends on whether Mr Trump sticks with some of the more controversial polices that could greatly undermine economic growth, notably plans to impose severe trade protection measures and to place strict controls on immigration.
On the one hand, if his administration proceeds with plans to enact trade controls… could quickly escalate to a global trade war with dire consequences, not just for the US economy, while tighter controls in immigration… could slow population and productivity growth. …
On the other hand…toned down… …unlikely to be any major downturn in the US economy… Moreover, if his administration pushes ahead swiftly with infrastructure development spending, there is scope for an upward adjustment to the forecast growth in construction output.

The problem with Clinton and Trump’s infrastructure plans (8/8/2016) | @DannyVinik @PoliticoAgenda

Trump’s mass deportation plans would cripple the construction industry (11/18/2016) | Jake Flanagin @qz
…@nberpubs…
The working paper, released Nov. 14 by two economics professors at Queens College and titled “The Economic Contribution of Unauthorized Workers: An Industry Analysis,” estimates an immediate drop of $30.9 billion (5%) in the industry’s GDP, and a long-term decline of $47.6 billion from a 2013 industry total output of $619.87 billion. The same report estimates that legalization of undocumented construction workers could precipitate an immediate 1.2% jump (about $7.7 billion annually) and a long-term rise of 1.9% ($12.1 billion annually).
… “But over the longer term, you’re going to have to pay workers more,” Randy Capps @MigrationPolicy…

Why Ben Carson’s medical experience matters at HUD (12/6/2016) | @ikeswetlitz @statnews
… The responsibilities of the job — running a federal agency whose budget in 2016 neared $50 billion and that is responsible for helping local housing authorities manage over a million households…
…medical lens to the job — pushing for quality housing for low-income people and improving people’s health conditions within public housing.
“Not having access to safe, affordable housing is one of the least healthy situations you can find yourself in,” said Mariana Arcaya @MITdusp. …

Ben Carson’s Warped View of Housing (12/19/2016) | @nytimes

Ben Carson’s “life” in public housing qualifies him to be HUD secretary, supporters say (12/6/2016) | @SophiaTesfaye @salon

Trump’s pick for transportation secretary could be good for companies with self-driving ambitions (11/30/2016) | @JMBOOYAH @Recode
… First and foremost, Donald Trump’s priority — and perhaps by extension Chao’s — is his $1 trillion infrastructure plan to repair the country’s roads, bridges and tunnels.
That could mean two things: Self-driving regulations may not be at the top of Chao’s agenda but the DOT and Chao have the opportunity to work with the tech and transportation industries to create roads and infrastructure that are friendly to autonomous tech. …

Trump picks Elaine Chao, former labor secretary, to lead Department of Transportation (11/29/2016) | @jlgolson @verge

Trump’s Pick For Transportation Secretary Could Shape His Infrastructure Plan (11/29/2016) | @DianaBudds @FastCoDesign
… As Transportation Secretary, Chao — who is married to Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and whose family earned its wealth in the shipping industry — will oversee eleven agencies that manage air, ground, rail, and maritime travel. …
…vocally opposed government regulation, like carbon-emissions taxes, which is sure to impact how she leads the DOT. (Chao was on the Bloomberg Philanthropies board, but resigned in 2015 after the organization boosted funding to its Beyond Coal initiative.) Judging from her track record, fossil fuel alternatives are unlikely to be a priority…


US Policy Changes Vol.27 (Energy Vol.3 – Key posts, the Environment)

Here are articles on energy and the environment. Excerpts are on my own.

Trump’s cabinet could change the face of U.S. energy policy (12/15/2016) | @DanielBush @NewsHour
… Under his tenure, the departments of the Interior, Energy, State and the Environmental Protection Agency pushed plans to grow wind and solar power…
…Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Trump’s pick to head EPA…
In a National Review column co-authored with Luther Strange, Alabama’s attorney general, Pruitt wrote that the evidence linking human activity to climate change was “far from settled.” …
Freshman Rep. Ryan Zinke, Trump’s pick to lead the Interior Department…
In Congress, Zinke has backed the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a federal program that protects public lands and water. But he received a score of three percent — out of 100 — from the League of Conservation Voters for his voting record on environmentally-friendly legislation. …
… Last month, ExxonMobil came out in support of the Paris climate agreement, an ambitious deal to curb global greenhouse gas emissions reached by 195 countries. …
…a lawsuit from the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts claiming the company hid and deceived investors over decades about the dangers of climate change. …
During his tenure as governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015, Perry oversaw an expansion of oil and gas development. But under Perry the Lone Star State also became the country’s leading wind power developer…
…his position on climate change is unambiguous. Perry — who ran for president in 2012 and again in 2016 — has consistently questioned the existence of climate change. …
Perry’s main task at the Energy Department would be overseeing the county’s nuclear weapons, storage and scientific research programs. But Perry would have a hand in energy policy as well…
…he would take over an agency he vowed to eliminate during a disastrous 2012 debate performance that sunk his presidential ambitions. Perry said he would cut three federal agencies. He listed Commerce and Education, but couldn’t remember Energy.

U.S. oil industry cheers Trump energy pick, seeks gas export boost (12/15/2016) | @reuters
…and wasted no time making its first specific request of him: to support increased exports of America’s natural gas overseas.
Jack Gerard @API_News…
The United States exported its first cargo of liquefied natural gas earlier this year from an export facility on the Gulf Coast, but the industry has complained that boosting exports to match global demand has been constrained by a slow and opaque bureaucratic process.
U.S. energy exports have long been a contentious political issue, dividing lawmakers seeking to balance the benefits of low consumer prices at home and American energy independence against opportunities for companies to expand access to potentially lucrative foreign markets.
… An overwhelming number of scientists say carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels contributes to changes to the climate that are leading to sea level rise, droughts and more frequent violent storms.
Trump’s transition team said Perry’s tenure leading Texas, the nation’s second most populous state and a major producer of oil, gas and wind power, from 2000 until 2015 made him a strong pick for energy secretary.
… After his tenure as Texas governor, Perry joined the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, a Texas-based company building the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota that has been stalled by protests by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and supporters.

It’s complicated: As head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt will run an agency he sued at least 13 times (12/9/2016) | @taydolven @vicenews
… “I’ve been racking my brain to come up with something,” said @sethdavis50 @ABAEnvLaw. “I’m not saying there aren’t any cases, but I have not thought of one.” …
@jacklienke @PolicyIntegrity @nyulaw… “It’s not that uncommon in our nation’s history for someone from the industry that an agency regulates to be appointed to head that agency. …
…the Defense of Marriage Act… Bill Clinton signed into law despite his criticism that it was unnecessary and divisive.
…@LungAssociation @nationalgridus…

RYAN ZINKE, DONALD TRUMP’S PICK FOR INTERIOR SECRETARY, AND THE RISING AMERICAN LAND MOVEMENTS (12/16/2016) | @benwallacewells @NewYorker
… In this year’s election, Hillary Clinton won just under five hundred of America’s roughly three thousand counties. But those five-hundred-odd counties were populous enough that she received the most votes cast for President; even more striking, as @washingtonpost’s @jimtankersley found, those few Clinton counties are responsible for more than two-thirds of national G.D.P. …
…oversee the management and use of roughly a fifth of the land in the United States.
… The two movements shared a spiritual investment in the land, and a conviction that the federal government both misunderstood its proper uses and was diverting its worth to distant people. …
…the Army Corps of Engineers agreed to consider alternate sites for the Dakota Access Pipeline… But Trump’s spokesman has said that the President-elect favors the pipeline, and executives at the company building it, Energy Transfer Partners, have been optimistic about the fate of their project under the new Administration. …

Trump Picks Exxon’s Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State (12/13/2016) | @blkahn @climatecentral
… Historically, oil and gas produced by ExxonMobil are responsible for causing 3.2 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions to date. …
Tillerson has acknowledged climate change is occurring and driven by carbon pollution. Earlier this year, he told the U.S. Energy Association that, “At ExxonMobil, we share the view that the risks of climate change are serious and warrant thoughtful action.”
In the past, however, he has questioned… “I’m not disputing that increasing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere is going to have an impact,” …
…the unstoppable melt of the West Antarctic ice sheet which would raise seas 10 feet — that are harder to model. But scientists have said that that uncertainty is no reason to ignore tipping points, but rather a reason to take them all the more seriously and act on climate change.
“Addressing (climate change) effectively in concert with countries around the globe will be a central responsibility of the next secretary of state,” said @FredKrupp @EnvDefenseFund…

Trump’s energy and environment team leans heavily on industry lobbyists (9/29/2016) | @StevenMufson @washingtonpost
…@IOMcGehee @CampaignLegal…
The head of Trump’s energy transition team is Mike Catanzaro… a partner at the lobbying firm CGCN…
…Halliburton… …Devon Energy, Encana Oil & Gas, Hess and Noble Energy; Talen Energy…; …American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers; and Koch Industries.
…Jeffrey Wood, a partner at Balch & Bingham…
Andrew R. Wheeler, a lawyer… currently works for FaegreBD Consulting where his leading lobbying client is Murray Energy…
…Stephen Moore… “We can be the next Saudi Arabia for the next century.”
…Myron Ebell, head of energy and environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. …
…Mike McKenna, who is president of the firm MWR Strategies and who worked for both the Energy and Transportation departments. McKenna has lobbied on behalf of Dow Chemical, Koch Industries, Southern, GDF Suez and TECO Energy.
…David Longly Bernhardt, the former solicitor general of the Interior Department under Bush and a partner at the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. …

Trump victory reverses U.S. energy and environmental priorities (w Videos; 11/9/2016) | @StevenMufson,@brady_dennis @washingtonpost
… “It sure looks a whole lot friendlier than it would have under… President Clinton,” Stephen Brown, vice president of government relations for the oil refiner Tesoro…
…Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “Trump is now, as president-elect, soon to be the only head of state on the planet that doesn’t believe…
…Bill McKibben, founder of the climate action group 350.org… …it’s clear that he wants no part of environmental progress…
…when faced with the election of President Bush, the environmental community utilized the courts, the Senate filibuster, watch-dogged political appointees and galvanized the public to take action,” Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth…
Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters… …vowing that the community would continue to organize, litigate and pressure both companies and the government. “Despite what Mr. Trump might think, the climate crisis is real and not a hoax…
The Trump transition teams… David Bernhardt, former Interior Department solicitor general under President Bush, on the Interior Department. …Scott Segal, co-head of government relations at the legal and lobbying firm Bracewell…
Bernhardt, a partner at the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck… …regulatory issues such as the Endangered Species Act…
… His key advisers have included Oklahoma-based shale oil producer Harold Hamm and North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer (R). …

A letter to Mr. Trump: the economic case for energy, equity and climate leadership (11/15/2016) | @dan_kammen @ucberkeley
– Summary: The economic case for clean energy is as compelling as is the climate science. Pursuing both brings together economic advancement and political leadership.
… A president who claims to be a populist would be a hypocrite do anything but actively promote and campaign for a sustainable climate and the clean energy business that goes with it, and to do so in ways that promotes energy access, equality, and environmental justice. These are all pro-business, pro-worker positions. …

Obama’s Environmental Legacy: How Much Can Trump Undo? (11/14/2016) | @YaleE360
@bruneski @sierraclub…
@Revkin Environmental Understanding @PaceUniversity…
Christine Harbin @AFPhq…
@MichaelGerrard @ColumbiaClimate…
@mayboeve @350…
@BobPerch @C2ES_org… …We urge president-elect Trump’s transition team to take the time to hear from a broad range of perspectives on environmental and energy issues. …
@RobertStavins @HKS_BizGov…

How Donald Trump’s Energy Policies Are All About Removing Regulations (w Video; 9/26/2016) | @katiefehren @fortune
… The energy regulations that Trump says he’ll undo include opening up federal lands and offshore areas for oil and gas exploration and production, rescinding a moratorium on new coal mining leases on federal land, and removing rules to protect streams from coal mining and waterways and wetlands from industry in general. Furthermore, Trump says he would eliminate the Clean Power Plan…
… Ebell has called the Clean Power Plan “illegal” and has said joining the Paris agreement is “unconstitutional.” …


US Policy Changes Vol.26 (National Security Vol.2 – Key posts, Europe…)

Here are articles on national security including Eastern Europe. Excerpts are on our own.

Donald Trump’s national-security team takes shape (11/26/2016) | @economist
… Despite General Mattis’s nickname, “Mad Dog” (earned for his aggression in combat and a talent for cheerfully menacing quotes), he is regarded as combining military dash with intellectual seriousness.
Moreover his views, expressed during his time spent as a scholar at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think-tank, contrast with Mr Trump’s zero-sum, transactional concept of foreign policy. “Like it or not, today we are part of this larger world and must carry out our part,” he said in testimony to the Senate armed services committee in 2015. “We cannot wait for problems to arrive here, or it will be too late; rather we must remain strongly engaged in this complex world.”
Generals Flynn and Mattis do have one other thing in common, in addition to their military service. Both were dumped before they were due to retire by the Obama administration. General Mattis was relieved of his command of CENTCOM…
General Mattis has continued to be a critic of Mr Obama’s foreign policy which, he believes, has emboldened Russia, China and Iran, who have exploited the president’s reluctance to apply America’s military power. If appointed, he would attempt to steer Mr Trump away from isolationism and deals with Vladimir Putin.
General Flynn is likely to push in the opposite direction. “We’re in a world war against a messianic mass-movement of evil people, most of them inspired by totalitarian ideology: radical Islam,” he wrote in a book published earlier this year. “But we are not permitted to speak or write those two words, which is potentially fatal to our culture.” In another passage, he asks: “Do you want to be ruled by men who eagerly drink the blood of their dying enemies?…There’s no doubt that they [Islamic State] are dead set on taking us over and drinking our blood.” …
General Flynn believes he was fired from his post as director of the Pentagon’s Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 2014 because of pervasive political correctness within the Obama White House, which disliked his conflation of Islam with terrorism. It was also infuriated by his insistence that the war against jihadists was being lost, even as Mr Obama was trying to put it behind him.

Who is Monica Crowley, Trump’s latest national security team addition? (12/16/2016) | @storyhinckley @csmonitor
… Lt. Gen. Kellogg and Crowley will serve under the council’s previously announced leaders: retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser and K.T. McFarland as deputy national security adviser. …
As director of strategic communications, Mr. Rhodes ran the Iran-deal messaging campaign and negotiated the reopening of American-Cuban relations. …

Web of deals compromises Donald Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn (12/17/2016) | @davidkski @smh
…FIG – by adding one senior executive whose firm does extensive cybersecurity work for government agencies and another who was soliciting defence department aviation contracts.
… In 2014, he founded his company with Bijan Kian, a prominent Iranian-American banker who served on the board of the Export-Import Bank, was a senior fellow at the US Naval Postgraduate School and a member of the White House Business Council. …
FIG worked as a lobbyist for Inovo BV, a Dutch company with close ties to Turkish President Recep Erdogan. When that arrangement was reported last month by The Daily Caller, Flynn responded by having FIG leave the field of lobbying and said he would “sever ties” with his company. …
He was re-elected to his paid position on the board of Drone Aviation on December 6…
…Jordan Libowitz @CREWcrew…

Michael Flynn, Trump’s new national security adviser, loves Russia as much as his boss does (11/21/2016) | @yochidreazen @voxdotcom
…. Democrats would have lashed into Flynn because he broke with the longstanding tradition of retired officers avoiding direct criticism of presidents they had served. Republicans would have pressed Flynn about Trump’s stated Russia policy, which is predicated on building closer ties with Putin despite the Russian strongman’s human rights violations and annexation of Crimea.
Republican lawmakers would also likely have grilled Flynn about his decision to do a paid series of events in Moscow…
During his July 9 2015 confirmation hearing to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. said, “Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security” and “could pose an existential threat to the United States.” ISIS was fourth on his list, behind China and North Korea.
… “The forces of radical Islam derive their ideology from radical clerics like Gülen, who is running a scam,” Flynn wrote in an op-ed in The Hill. “We should not provide him safe haven. In this crisis, it is imperative that we remember who our real friends are.”

Trump Picks General “Mad Dog” Mattis for Secretary of Defense (12/5/2016) | Patrick Martin @CRG_CRM
… Though this requirement was immediately waived to allow for the appointment of General George Marshall in 1950, no former general has occupied the post in the past 66 years.
There is, however, no commitment to the basic democratic issue of civilian control of the military within the US political establishment. There is little opposition in Congress, in either party, to the passage of a waiver for Mattis.
… Within these circles, Mattis—who has differed with Trump on Russia—is seen as a counterweight to any tendency of the incoming administration to move away from the anti-Russia policy.
The only real concern expressed by the Times is “whether General Mattis intends to roll back military personnel policy changes adopted during the Obama administration, including opening all combat roles to women, allowing openly gay troops to serve and accommodating transgender troops.” …
US imperialism has been at war for most of the past 25 years, and continuously since 2001. Barack Obama, when he leaves office next January 20, will be the first president in American history to have been a wartime commander-in-chief for an entire eight years in office. It is not an accident that under such conditions, the military has come to play such a decisive role in national-security policy.

How Defense Secretary James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis Will Remake The Pentagon (12/5/2016) | @lthompsonlex @Forbes
… Mattis is one of the most gifted warfighters of his generation, a highly decorated officer who has led troops in every major U.S. military campaign conducted since the new millennium began. That includes the occupation of Afghanistan, where he was the first marine ever to command a Naval Task Force in combat, and the invasion of Iraq, where he led the 1st Marine Division and then went on to command in both battles of Fallujah.
… He not only has an unsurpassed understanding of combat, he actually enjoys engaging in it. …James Mattis is the closest thing in modern America to the hard-charging General George S. Patton of World War Two fame…
… The NSC was originally conceived as a venue in which the most senior officials in the cabinet could meet to discuss security matters, not an independent player. …
… It’s a longstanding tradition in American politics to select service secretaries and other senior appointees with an eye to shoring up domestic political constituencies…
… Much of the time, congressional involvement in managing the Pentagon consists of thinly-veiled efforts to assist district-level interests at the expense of warfighters and taxpayers. …
…none of the “leap-ahead” technologies being discussed would have made much difference there, but cultural and language training would have helped a lot. …
… He will be more inclined to see air power and sea power as means for supporting the primary battle on land, rather than as alternatives to ground combat. …
… He knows Europe is mostly an Army theater, but the handful of Army units that would face an invading Russian army are so lacking in force protection, air defense, electronic warfare and the like that they are an invitation to aggression.
… Mattis knows that preparing for war is the most effective way of keeping the peace. … “No better friend, no worse enemy.”

Putin’s Russia seeks to project power with modern military (12/6/2016) | ‏@visachenkov @washingtonpost
… While all men aged 18 to 27 still face a mandatory year of military service, Russia increasingly is attracting volunteers for at least two years and building a culture emphasizing the military as a career.
While conscripts are paid a paltry 2,000 rubles ($31) a month, those signing contracts for longer tours of duty receive 10 times the starting pay and extra privileges. Promotion to sergeant could mean a monthly paycheck of around 40,000 rubles ($620), better than average civilian wages.
… At the start of the decade, the Kremlin pledged to spend 20 trillion rubles (more than $300 billion) on defense through 2020…
Last year alone, Russia spent a record 3.1 trillion rubles ($48 billion) on defense, 25 percent higher than in 2014 and more than a fifth of Russia’s entire budget. Russian forces received 35 nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles, more than 240 warplanes and helicopters, and nearly 1,200 tanks and other armored vehicles — a growth in Russia’s arsenal unseen since Soviet times.
… @DmitriTrenin said the prospect of personal rapport between Trump and Putin “could mean a better way to manage a fairly difficult relationship.”
… (Pavel Felgenhauer) “The Russian military,” he said, “has a vested interest right now in having more and more confrontation with the West.”

Finland walks a 1,300 kilometer fine-line with Russia (10/30/2016) | @herszenhorn @POLITICOPro
… Finnish officials said they shared a desire for greater cooperation, but that joining NATO was not an imminent consideration and that they also planned to keep up their good relations with the big neighbor next door.
…Finland’s defense minister, Jussi Niinistö, said he would refrain from offering any specific advice, either to the West or to Ukraine…
Niinistö, however, said he believed NATO’s increased presence was helping, especially in calming nearby NATO members unnerved by Russia’s recent moves.
“Yes, we have relatively good relationship with Russia and Finland’s view on this enhanced forward presence is that we think it’s good for the security of the Baltic Sea region,” Niinistö said. “We hope it calms things down and there will be no escalation.”
… Niinistö said it was important for countries to remember that being a partner of NATO is not the same as being member of the alliance, which carries the protection of the common defense clause — Article 5 of the NATO treaty. …

Poland: Russia seeks ‘new empire’ in Europe (11/25/2016) | @apsyrtus @euobs
…Witold Waszczykowski, the Polish foreign minister… said the fall of the Soviet empire “to an ever greater extent appears to have been a temporary situation, and not a definitive end in history”.
He said Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 and of Ukraine in 2014 showed that “Russia is ready to resort to military force against her neighbouring sovereign states”.
…@iiea…
… Flanagan, the Irish foreign minister, said Polish relations had “grown hugely in recent years” and that “the Polish community is an extremely valued and integral part of Irish society”.
Ireland and Poland also have special ties with the US. …

What are Moscow’s expectations for Slovakia and the EU? (7/9/2016) | Ruslan Kostyuk @Russia_Direct
… Even before the voting in the UK, the center-left government of Slovakia announced four key priorities of its future EU presidency…
The first of these priorities is the promotion of investment and the future economic development of the EU. … For this purpose, in particular, it is important to strengthen the European fund for strategic investments and activities, and move more quickly towards a common banking union.
Secondly… the formation of an Energy Union within the EU and the launch of a single digital market. The third… the immigration agenda.
The fourth priority, called “Europe, fully integrated into the global environment,” to a greater extent than the other priorities, should be of particular interest to Russian diplomats.
While the first three priorities are at least tangentially linked to the domestic political goals of the Slovak government of Robert Fico, the prime minister of Slovakia, the foreign policy direction of the Slovak presidency has almost no specific goals.

… As Grigoriy Sejnikov, head of the Slovak Institute for Social Problems, noted, “Slovakia is part of the integration system created by NATO.” Therefore, the position of the foreign policy program during Slovakia’s presidency of the EU seems quite clear: The Slovak presidency will help strengthen the strategic partnership between the EU and the U.S.
…a few months before Slovakia assumed its new role in the EU, Alexey Ulyukaev, the minister of Economic Development of Russia, said that Moscow is expecting to improve relations with the EU during the period of the Slovak presidency.
… According to historian Yulia Tscherbakova, Slovakia “is of great importance to Moscow, in terms of the transit of Russian energy resources directly to the West.” This is true, but then again, Slovakia itself is almost 90 percent dependent on Russian supplies of oil, gas and nuclear fuel. …
Many Slovak businessmen, politicians and parliamentarians agree with Fico’s point of view – that sanctions are counterproductive for Russia, as well as for the entire European Union.
At the same time, the current president of Slovakia, center-right politician Andrej Kiska, is a firm supporter of maintaining the sanctions regime against Russia, considering that the Baltic countries and Ukraine are in need of protection by the “collective West” against the aggressive encroachments of…

Shootout raises fears over Russian ties to Hungary’s far right (11/27/2016) | @aqbyrne @FT
… What was less well known was the far-right militia’s multiple ties to Russian secret services. “We don’t believe this attack was a plot orchestrated by the Russian government,” said Peter Kreko, director of Political Capital, a Budapest think-tank. “But there are strong suspicions…
… “It’s not about classical espionage, but rather manipulation of the press, the public and the political system,” he said, arguing that groups like the MNA can be used to destabilise politics. “The Russians are using totally different weapons to create an alternative reality. …
… Russian support to militants had been known for years but the government’s strong political links with Moscow and fears of an economic backlash had… Hungary’s heavy reliance on Russian gas and the €10bn in Kremlin funding to build two Russian-designed nuclear reactors in Paks, by far the largest investment in Hungary in years. Prime minister Viktor Orban, who enjoys cordial relations with Russian president Vladimir Putin…
… Peter Szijjarto, Hungary’s foreign minister, said he would await a full report from authorities before making any formal diplomatic complaint. …

EU should recognise Romania as bulwark against Russian expansionism (12/8/2016) | @NTenzer (@CERAP_Paris) @EurActiv
… First of all, the new cabinet must reaffirm Romania’s willingness to remain faithful to NATO and the EU. …
We should not forget that Russia now encircles Romania with new puppet presidents and that Russian troops stationed in Crimea are just 250 kilometres from Romania’s Black Sea coast.
Secondly, the future cabinet must ensure that its economic program is ambitious enough to give hopes to Romanians suffering through low wages and pensions, without undermining the budgetary balance. …
Thirdly, the new cabinet should be truly committed to pushing forward European and liberal values. Any complacency on populism and illiberalism…
Fourthly… Romania should show a true concern to push for a sustainable reform of the EU in the context of Brexit and the threats to media freedoms and the values of tolerance and openness being aired in Hungary and Poland.
… Romania will chair the European Council’s rotating presidency in early 2019, exactly when the UK and the EU are expected to finish Brexit negotiations. …

Pro-Russian candidates win presidential votes in Bulgaria and Moldova (11/14/2016) | @RolandOliphant @telegraph

The new presidents of Bulgaria and Moldova are less pro-Russian than advertised (11/14/2016) | @economist
… Victoria Bucataru of the Foreign Policy Association, a Moldovan think-tank, suspects that Mr Dodon and Mr Plahotniuc had “a secret alliance” to stop Ms Sandu and her reform agenda. …
Mr Radev was supported by Bulgaria’s ethnic Turkish community, whose main party has close links both to domestic oligarchs and to Russian businesses. Bulgaria’s Socialists are supported by conservative pensioners and the Moscow-linked Orthodox Church. Yet in previous governments, the party assented to hosting American military bases in Bulgaria and embraced NATO membership.
Dimitar Bechev of Harvard University says the country “can have its cake and eat it too,” by remaining a loyal member of the EU and NATO while reaching out to Russia… “Until recently, I flew a Soviet jet fighter. I graduated from an American academy. But I am a Bulgarian general. My cause is Bulgaria.”
… But the reality is that politics in both countries is driven by domestic forces, most prominently oligarchs’ efforts to secure their financial interests. Their leaders are well versed in the art of playing the West and Russia against each other. …

us-policychanges-nationalsecurity-2


UK Vol.62 (Post-EUref Vol.8 – BREXIT AND BEYOND Vol.3)

Here are excerpts from BREXIT AND BEYOND – HOW THE UNITED KINGDOM MIGHT LEAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION (PDF; Nov 2016) | @UKandEU @PolStudiesAssoc.

CHAPTER THREE: BEYOND ARTICLE 50 – SHAPING THE FUTURE RELATIONSHIP
… the Article 50 notification should set out two categories of negotiating items: those to be included in the withdrawal agreement, and the proposed framework for future UK-EU relations, to be set out in a separate document underpinning both the withdrawal agreement and any eventual UK-EU treaty governing their relations in the longer term.
… An important distinction should be highlighted between the agreement on the future framework for relations between the UK and the EU and the withdrawal agreement: a framework may not be legally binding, while the withdrawal agreement will be. …
… whether the UK can somehow retain its access to the EU Single Market after Brexit, while curbing the freedom of movement of workers from other EU countries and drastically cutting (or eliminating) its EU ‘membership fee’. …it appears incompatible with preserving UK membership of the Single Market. …
…Annex 2… Probably the least risky economically would be for the UK to have a status similar to Norway, participating in much of the Single Market, perhaps with some new curbs on free movement of labour. … The pure ‘Norway model’ seems, already, to have been ruled out.
… The UK, a founding WTO member, but currently a member via EU membership, may need to reapply to join the WTO… a further, fundamental problem about dividing up the EU’s tariff quotas… …negotiate to take over a portion…of the EU quota, or add a new quota itself. …the EU’s allowances for farm subsidies…
… a ‘Canada model’ in which a new free trade arrangement…would likely mean limits on market access for UK services…
… EU foreign and security policy is made largely on an inter-governmental basis…

3.1 What does Brexit mean for laws in the UK?
EXISTING LAWS
…repealing the European Communities Act (ECA) 1972… Many EU laws have been transposed into UK law under the European Communities Act by the Westminster Parliament…
… much more EU law has entered into the UK order through ministerial statutory instruments… The repeal of their ‘parent’ act could see these measures themselves wiped out. …a clause ensuring those measures remain in force pending a decision to amend or repeal them at a later date. …enact into UK law EU Regulations which currently automatically enter UK law without any further action at national/subnational level, due to their ‘direct applicability’. …
…given the extent of the task of unpicking existing EU-influenced law, the UK courts are likely to continue to have regard to the rulings of the ECJ, as its decisions have influenced many areas of English case law.
…Articles 2-6 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)… customs union, the functioning of the internal market, monetary policy within the Eurozone, conserving fish stocks and common commercial policy…
…agriculture, some of fisheries, environment and higher education and research. … If they are left to the devolved administrations, there would be a need for coordination mechanisms within the UK and provisions to maintain the single UK market.
…the monies previously coming from the EU to finance these policies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have to be diverted to the devolved administrations. The principal items are agricultural support, cohesion funds, and research funds. …Barnett Formula, but…

FUTURE EU LEGISLATION
Any new deal that the UK signs with the rEU will have to develop a position on the extent to which the former continues to apply the latter’s rules and regulations …‘acquis communautaire’…

FULL AND ON-GOING LEGAL COMPLIANCE:
… This would imply that Parliament would continue to transpose relevant EU legislation into domestic law, and that British courts would continue to ensure that UK citizens could rely on relevant provisions in any cases they might bring. … The quid pro quo here is that the EU commits to consulting with EEA states as it formulates this legislation, although…it certainly does not amount to any voting rights. … However, it would turn the UK into a rule-taker and would have some complications in terms of areas of the acquis being linked to budgetary contribution costs.

EFFECTIVE, BUT NON-LEGAL COMPLIANCE:
…courts would only be bound by domestic law, rather than any international instrument. …imitation as flattery, in essence. The benefit of this would be that the UK retains the capacity for a high level of access to the EU (including the internal market), while keeping more formal independence and the freedom to choose not to apply certain provisions if it felt they were unacceptable. …

PARALLEL COMPLIANCE:
… Practically, the only change to current practice in the UK would be that the source of rules and regulations would be the relevant international organisation, rather than the EU. … Thus, the main areas will relate to technical and health standards, with security policy also falling roughly in this area too…

EXPLICIT NON-COMPLIANCE:
Finally… As a sovereign state, it would be well within its rights so to do, assuming it met its other international obligations, and there is no a priori need for the UK to accept any particular area of the acquis once it leaves. …the Leave campaign… both as a harking back to previous freedom of action and as a strategy for prospering in a globalising political economy… Rejection of existing policies and laws which derive from EU sources at a UK level may find resistance in devolved jurisdictions, where the political complexion of the incumbent government may place a higher value on, for example, environmental or social rights. This may generate pressures for greater devolution of competence in currently centralised areas (e.g. employment rights).


US Policy Changes Vol.25 (Healthcare Vol.3)

Here are articles on healthcare. Excerpts are on our own.

A plea to the president-elect Trump (12/4/2016) | PHILIP M. ROSOFF (@DukeMedSchool) @OUPPolitics
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”) millions of Americans were able to buy commercial health insurance and millions more who were fortunate to live in states that elected to expand Medicaid were enrolled – sometimes for the first time in their lives – and gained access to subsidized healthcare. … the Supreme Court’s decision to vacate the requirement to increase the Medicaid rolls, all led to not enough people being covered and the return of inexorably rising healthcare costs. But it certainly was an improvement over what we had before 2010, especially for those people without employer-provided (actually subsidized) insurance and those adults who couldn’t afford to buy their own coverage. …
…some of the more popular parts of the ACA, especially the provision to prevent insurers from discriminating against people with so-called pre-existing conditions and that which enables parents (mostly those with insurance via their employers) to keep their adult children on their policies up to the age of 26. …Jonathan Gruber @MITEcon…

Will Medicare Reform be a Republican Obamacare? (12/5/2016) | @shailinthomas @PetrieFlom
… Instead of providing for full insurance coverage through the government, as traditional Medicare currently does, Ryan’s proposal would have eligible patients purchase insurance from private companies with financial assistance from the government. The theory is that by having private insurers provide coverage, Medicare will capture efficiencies of the private market, while simultaneously offering consumers more choice in the coverage they receive.
… According to @KaiserFamFound’s analysis, the average out-of-pocket expense for beneficiaries increase from $5,630 under the current system to $12,500. The reason for this increase, according to the Congressional Budget Office, is that providing coverage is actually more expensive for a private insurer than it is for the government. …
… The Obama administration announced in October that premiums for 2017 will increase by an average of 25 percent — but for some they could increase by as much as 110 percent.
The GOP Medicare plan could have a similar effect, making affordable premiums short-lived. As with Obamacare, the plan would introduce a large number of older, sicker patients into insurers’ risk pools without adding any younger, healthier patients to offset them. As a result, it’s possible that the GOP plan would have the very same sustainability issues that Republicans are currently decrying in their criticism of the Affordable Care Act.
Proponents of the GOP proposal point to Medicare Advantage as an indication that all of Medicare can successfully and sustainably be privatized. But evidence from Medicare Advantage suggests that as people age and become sicker, they transition back to traditional Medicare, taking themselves out of the Medicare Advantage risk pools. …
…the 2016 Medicare trustees report estimates that Medicare as it currently exists will only be able to pay all its bills until 2028. …

University alum Tom Price chosen for Trump cabinet position (11/29/2016) | @c_chadwel ‏@michigandaily
… Under Price’s plan, individuals would receive age-adjusted tax credits when purchasing insurance and it would also allow insurers to sell policies across state lines in an effort to drive down costs by making insurance more competitive.
“True health reform in this country must put patients first while working to improve accessibility to, and affordability of, quality health care,” Price said in a press release on the legislation. “Rather than granting government more authority in the lives of patients and their doctors, we must seek reforms that empower patients while advancing the principles of accessibility, affordability, and quality of care.” …

Trump Picks Tom Price For HHS Secretary. Does This Really Mean He Wants to Repeal Obamacare? (11/29/2016) | @petersuderman @reason
… Price, in contrast, has actually drilled down, a sign of his seriousness about tackling the challenges of U.S. health care policy. Many of the Republican replacement plans take the form of statements of principle or white papers. Price’s plan, on the other hand, already exists in legislative form, as a 250-page bill known as the Empowering Patients First Act. The plan offers a level of detail that allows you to better imagine how it might work, and what sort of trade-offs it might entail.
… It would eliminate the health law’s essential health benefits rules—the list of mandates that require insurers to include a government-determined list of features, whether or not they’re wanted. This would free up insurers to offer a wider array of types of coverage, and could help make coverage cheaper for many people, especially those who are in relatively good health and don’t want or need comprehensive coverage. It would also allow for the purchase of health insurance across state lines to an even greater extent than already allowed under Obamacare.
Price’s plan offers two mechanisms for sicker individuals who might be sicker and more expensive to cover: a provision that does not allow insurers to charge more for health conditions so long as someone maintains continuous coverage, and $3 billion in funding, over a three year period, for high risk pools. …
…some real risks and worries… For one thing, it attempts to cut defensive medicine costs by offering legal protection to doctors who engage in best medical practices—which end up having to be determined by the federal government, or by some federally empowered board of medical providers. …
Price’s plan also relies on the creation of voluntary purchasing associations designed to give bulk purchasing power to small businesses and individuals—basically by allowing them to band together to act as large organizations that can get the discounted coverage and preferential treatment enjoyed by large corporations. But the voluntary association model has been tried in several big states already, including Texas, California, and North Carolina, and it didn’t work out. …
… As @brian_blase of @mercatus noted yesterday, new research indicates that about two thirds of Obamacare’s Medicaid enrollees were previously eligible—meaning they would have been able to get coverage without Obamacare, and would not be affected by repeal. …
… Sen. Lamar Alexander, who as Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is likely to be a key player in any GOP replacement effort, recently said that it might take six years to draw up a replacement plan—not mentioning that Republicans have been promising to deliver a replacement plan for about that long already, but have failed to unify around a plan. …

Fox 17 News: The future of Obamacare under a Trump presidency (Video; 11/11/2016) | @FOXNashville @VUHealthPol
…@MelindaBBuntin…”…One potential model that would be followed is a bill that was passed last year in the house that would provide the Affordable Care Act to end in 2018 so there would be a couple of years for people to prepare.”…

How Trump Could Devastate Obamacare By Barely Lifting A Finger (11/19/2016) | @JeffYoung @HuffingtonPost
… “The law will enable a President Trump either to cut the cost-sharing payments off or to continue them if he’d like to. He’s got the discretion to keep them in place or to terminate them,” said @nicholas_bagley,‏@UMichLaw who has written extensively about the case, known as House vs. Burwell.
These subsidies are available to people earning between the federal poverty level and 250 percent of that amount, or a range of $11,880 to $29,700 a year for a single person.
During this year’s health insurance sign-up period, about 57 percent of enrollees, or approximately 7 million people, received this assistance. For the poorest beneficiaries ― those with incomes under $17,820 ― this means having no deductible instead of having to pay thousands upfront before benefits kick in. …
To avoid the near-term consequences of ending the cost-sharing payments, Trump could ask House Republicans to drop the lawsuit while they write new health care legislation or even to appropriate the dollars needed…
“It’s not clear why the Trump administration would make a political priority of enabling the House of Representatives to bring lawsuits against the executive branch,” Bagley said.

With Donald Trump’s election, Obamacare faces greatest threat yet (w Video; 11/9/2016) | @dchangmiami @MiamiHerald
… With millions of Americans expected to sign up for an ACA plan during open enrollment, which began Nov. 1 and runs through January, the logistics of repealing Obamacare are also complex.
“To sign up for an insurance policy and then have that taken away in January or February, logistically, would be quite curious,” Steven Ullmann @UMiamiBusiness said. “It’s unclear how that would occur and what it would mean to see the uninsured increase so quickly again with no access. That is something that would have to be addressed.”
The number of uninsured Floridians fell by 1.19 million from 2013, the year before the ACA exchange began, to 2015, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau. In South Florida, an estimated 487,000 people gained health insurance in that time.
In Miami-Dade, the uninsured rate in 2015 was 18.3 percent or about 488,000 — down from an estimated 600,000 who had no health insurance in prior years. …
Rouck, the Fitch Ratings analyst, said one possibility for an Obamacare replacement would be allowing insurers to sell health plans with fewer benefits than those required under the ACA, which mandates that all qualified plans must offer coverage for obstetrics, pediatric care and other services — even for single adults with no children. …

Will Obamacare health coverage continue under Trump’s presidency? (11/9/2016) | @lschencker @ChiTribBiz
…Laurel Harbridge Yong @WeinbergCollege…
…Timothy Jost @wlulaw…
…Scott Serota @BCBSAssociation…

HOW TO SURVIVE A TRUMP PRESIDENCY (11/9/2016) | @dorfonlaw @Newsweek
…@VolokhC…

Repeal and replace Obamacare: what could it mean? (11/30/2016) | @stuartmbutler @BrookingsInst
…on his first day in office. For instance, he could decide not to appeal the lower court ruling in House v Burwell. A federal district court has ruled that that money cannot be spent on cost-sharing subsidies because Congress has not appropriated the money. So dropping the appeal would mean the end of these payments. In similar vein, he might demand repayment from insurers of billions of dollars of transitional reinsurance payments, citing a recent General Accountability Office letter declaring that the Administration lacks the legal authority to reassign to health plans some funds…
During the campaign, Trump supported the familiar Republican themes of tax-free HSAs and allowing families to deduct health insurance premiums in their tax-returns. …
… Let’s recall that many leading Republicans have in the past proposed tax credits for the purchase of health insurance, including “refundable” credits that are within the same species as ACA subsidies. …Orrin Hatch…Tom Price…Paul Ryan…
… Under a Trump administration, many red states could reverse themselves and agree to the Medicaid expansion and, with the Trump White House’s blessing, combine the new Medicaid money with tax credits to finance subsidies to buy private insurance.
… Also on day one, Trump could give states a bright green light to use Section 1332 of the ACA. This provision permits states to apply for waivers to jettison core elements of the ACA, including the individual and employer mandates, exchanges, and components of the required benefit package, as long as financial protections for families stay in place. …
… In a proposal written 12 years ago, when the ACA was not yet a gleam in elected officials’ eyes, and the prospects for any health legislation were particularly bleak, my now-colleague Henry Aaron and I offered a somewhat similar proposal for radical state-led coverage expansion within a national framework…

Obamacare repeal could be biggest 2017 tax cut for wealthy (12/8/2016) | @Brian_Faler @POLITICOPro
Rescinding the Affordable Care Act… means scrapping two big tax increases Democrats imposed on the wealthy to help pay for it all.
Republicans are likely to ax those taxes on the earnings and investments of those making more than $250,000…
…@GroverNorquist @taxreformer…
For those in the top 0.1 percent of incomes, repealing the investment tax alone would mean $154,000 in annual savings…@TaxPolicyCenter
… Some Democrats argue the Republican plan amounts to a tax increase on low-income people, because Obamacare insurance subsidies take the form of refundable tax credits, though budget scorekeepers generally consider those to be spending provisions.
…@ChuckCBPP @CenterOnBudget…
Repealing Obamacare’s tax increases, which budget analysts put the neighborhood of $1 trillion, will also make Republicans’ tax-reform plans easier to finance.
… Killing the ACA’s investment tax, for example, will reduce the total capital gains tax to 20 percent, from the current 23.8 percent. …
… the so-called “baseline.” … If they project the government will take in less revenue in the future, thanks to ACA repeal, it means less money Republicans have to make up as part of tax reform.
Democrats financed the law with more than a dozen tax increases…
But two of the largest were aimed at the wealthy: A surcharge on capital gains as well as dividends and interest income, and a surtax on their earnings, both of which took effect in 2013. Rescinding those two provisions would cost $346 billion…

Controversial Obamacare lab in GOP’s crosshairs (11/17/2016) | @rking_19 @dcexaminer
… Chief among the complaints is a mandatory experiment to cut payments to doctors under Medicare Part B for drugs administered in doctors’ offices such as chemotherapy. The idea behind the project was to get doctors to prescribe drugs that have better value, rather than just prescribing more expensive drugs in order to get a higher reimbursement. …
…Bob Berenson ‏@urbaninstitute…
…voluntary experiment where doctors can get a 5 percent boost to Medicare payments if they participate in comprehensive primary care plus.
The model would phase in a quality-of-care payment model for doctors, tying Medicare payments to certain quality measures including adopting electronic health records and 24/7 patient access.

Why Obamacare enrollees voted for Trump: In Whitley County, Kentucky, the uninsured rate declined 60 percent under Obamacare. So why did 82 percent of voters there support Donald Trump? (12/13/2016) | @sarahkliff @voxdotcom
…one of the more divisive pieces of the law — Medicaid expansion — might become even more robust, offering more of the working poor a chance at the same coverage the very poor receive.
… Narrow networks have become a problem in the area too. When Oller hosted an enrollment event at a hospital, she had to warn the enrollees that they couldn’t use their insurance at that particular facility.
… Medicaid is reserved for people who earn less than 138 percent of the poverty line — about $22,000 for a couple like the Atkinses. …
Obamacare currently limits how much insurers can charge older patients… insurance companies can only charge its oldest patients three times as much as the youngest ones. But the Price plan would get rid of that requirement and let insurers charge older patients… whatever they want.


US Policy Changes Vol.24 (Foreign Policy Vol.3)

Here are articles on foreign policy. Excerpts are on our own.

The next world order: Domestic dramas and dangerous dislocations – THE 2016 US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION (11/21/2016) | @timdunneAPR2P ‏@LowyInstitute
One of the most influential writers on US foreign and security policy, G John Ikenberry, refers to American’s capacity to steer world order. This simple metaphor recognises that despite the actual and potential conflicts that exist among the members of international society, world order can be led and managed. In the post-1945 world, America provided steerage capacity through a combination of close bilateral relations with key strategic allies and by creating enduring multilateral institutions.
… Even a moderate and informed voice, @FT ‏@philipstephens, was moved to argue that we are heading for a period where the new normal is going to be a succession of ‘dangerous dislocations’.

The decline of the West will still confront the next president (11/8/2016) | @robert_sibley @OttawaCitizen @edmontonjournal
And if Trump wins? … “May you live in interesting times.” …
Trumpism is a symptom of this geopolitical contestation. The élitists may regard him as “the avatar of the politics of anger and anxiety,” as one pundit remarks, but that simplistic view betrays their isolation from those whose lives have been destroyed in the effort to establish a universal and homogeneous world order.

TRUMP’S IMPACT ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (11/21/2016) | @AnetteStimmer @OxPolBlog
…it is about time to turn to an analysis of what Trump means for International Relations (IR) as a discipline. While the barriers between the different schools of thought in IR are eroding, two things haven’t changed: a preference for explanations that involve international rather than the domestic politics and for patterns rather than the personalities of leaders. It is possible that Trump might shake up these orientations. First, Trump’s presidency might reveal that the gradual build-up of domestic grievances can undermine some of the most established international organisations, and potentially lead to radical change. If this is the case, IR scholars would be well-advised to pay more attention to domestic politics. Second, IR has a tendency to favour explanations that involve patterns, whether these are structural or related to the ways in which actors make decisions. What Trump has demonstrated is that some actors can win by acting in unexpected ways, which were previously considered not ‘appropriate’ for gaining office, and perhaps not even ‘rational’, since they risked alienating too many voter groups. …
(1) If Trump and Brexit have taught us anything, then it is that looking at domestic dynamics is key. Large segments of Western societies feel unrepresented by the Western liberal consensus and yearn for different policies. Trump’s presidency will show whether this rejection of established practices and norms also translates to the international realm. If Trump’s anti-establishment agenda translates to international relations, will we see a revival of Ikenberry and Kupchan’s ‘hegemonic socialisation’? …
(2) Another answer to the question of whether Trump’s foreign policy will be revisionist, however, would be that the personality of leaders matters more than IR scholars tend to acknowledge. …
…some actors can be successful by acting very differently from what pundits would have expected.

America is making the world nervous: Column (10/28/2016) | John M. Owen (@Miller_Center) @USATOpinion
… It turns out that although its actions certainly have not pleased everyone, the United States for decades had the virtue of predictability. A large body of political science literature argues that democracies are more reliableinternational partners because of their domestic constraints and transparency. John Ikenberry, professor of politics and international affairs @Princeton, argues that American reliability is especially important to global order because of the country’s outsized power. …
…James Davison Hunter and Carl Desportes Bowman @iasculture…
… Foreign policy specialist Robert Kaplan is among those who thinks this is unlikely, writing ‘Trump seems post-literate, a man who has made an end run around books directly to the digital age, where nothing is vetted, context is absent and lies proliferate’.

Five Foreign-Policy Challenges for President-Elect Trump (11/10/2016) | Simon Reich @ConversationUS ‏@DefenseOne
Foreign policy was once bipartisan
Old and new style
Challenge number one: the Middle East
Challenge number two: Russia
Challenge number three: Europe
Challenge number four: China
Challenge number five: Free trade agreements
Finally, the black swan challenge from the Arctic

What will the US presidential election mean for Europe? (11/1/2016) | Simon Reich ‏@LSEEuroppblog ‏@ruglobalaffairs

Andrew Moravcsik in Washington Post (4/15/2016) | @TrnsAtlantic
The United States is riding Europe’s superpower coattails (4/15/2016) | Andrew Moravcsik ‏@PostOpinions
… Without naval ports, air force bases, hospitals and command centers in Italy, Spain, Germany and Turkey, U.S. military operations in the Middle East, South Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa and the Arctic would be nearly impossible. …
…$3.4 billion next year are earmarked for NATO “reassurance measures” in Eastern Europe. … Poland alone spends nearly $10 billion annually on its military, and NATO Europe as a whole more than $250 billion.
… The primary external force helping Ukraine resist Russia today is not the U.S. military but European geo-economic and diplomatic power.
… No Western policy is more critical to keeping Russia at bay than Europe’s $9 billion in annual economic aid and debt relief to Ukraine…
Brussels also recently signed a free-trade agreement with Ukraine…
Europe pays a high cost in lost trade to sustain Western sanctions against Russia…
Russia’s policy options are limited also by its dependence on European energy markets. …
… Within the Minsk Process, in which the United States is not formally involved, they have persuaded Putin to limit his territorial gains in eastern Ukraine, concede a cease-fire and withdraw heavy weapons…
The geo-economic and institutional instruments of power… are simply unavailable to the United States, with its… antipathy to international legal commitments and secondary economic status in the former Soviet zone, as well as…

Why Russia Is Excited About Donald Trump’s Pick for Secretary of State (w Video; 12/13/2016) | @shustry,@tcberenson @TIME
… One of the most impressive deals of Tillerson’s career was a 2011 agreement to drill for oil in the Arctic along with Rosneft, Russia’s state-run energy conglomerate. Though Tillerson’s formal partner in those talks was Igor Sechin, the Rosneft chief executive, Putin personally oversaw the negotiations, which were finalized at his residence in Sochi that summer. In exchange for Arctic drilling rights, Tillerson gave Russia unprecedented access to oil fields in his home state of Texas and in the Gulf of Mexico, allowing Putin to feel like an equal and long-term partner, rather than another one of the world’s many oil-rich autocrats who sells chunks of his country to global corporations. Two years later, Putin rewarded Tillerson with the Order of Friendship, one of the highest civilian honors that Russia can grant a foreigner. …
…the Russians… want to see a whole new approach to American diplomacy, one that stops putting principles ahead of profits, focuses instead on getting the best political bargain available — and treats Russia as an equal on the global stage. …
… What the Kremlin would offer in response is anybody’s guess. One option would be a military coalition against terrorist groups in Syria and elsewhere. Another would be a Russian promise to respect the NATO alliance, stop violating its airspace and pull its troops away from NATO borders. …

Editorial: The world of Rex Tillerson: Appraising Trump’s pick for secretary of state (12/14/2016) | @Trib_Ed_Board @chicagotribune

For Republican Russia Hawks, a Dilemma Named Rex Tillerson (12/14/2016) | @jestei @nytimes
… “Russia is going to be the central litmus test for United States policy,” said Heather A. Conley @CSIS…
It is the same dynamic that has prevented a larger outcry from congressional Republicans over revelations that Russia interfered with the presidential election. They fear they could appear aligned with Democrats in raising questions about the election’s legitimacy. While congressional leaders called for investigations into possible tampering, they stopped short of ordering expansive efforts like a select committee. …
Both of the last two major defense bills authorized funding for security assistance to Ukraine, including lethal assistance the Obama administration has refused to provide.
This year’s bill authorizes $3.4 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, a fourfold increase from last year, focused on increasing the size, capability and readiness of American forces in Europe against growing threats to their security and territorial integrity. …
“I have found Congress on both sides of the aisle to be entirely robust on the issue of Russia,” said @Billbrowder… “It is hard for me to imagine that Congress would suddenly change their mind about Russia just because Donald Trump has a different view.” …


US Policy Changes Vol.23 (Infrastructure/Economy Vol.2)

Here are excerpts on Trump’s infrastructure plan from Trump Versus Clinton On Infrastructure (PDF; 10/27/2016) | Wilbur Ross & Peter Navarro.

The Trump Private Sector Financing Plan
…on average, prudent leverage will be about five times equity. Therefore, financing a trillion dollars of infrastructure would necessitate an equity investment of $167 billion, obviously a daunting sum.
…the interest rate in today’s markets will be 4.5% to 5.0% with constant total monthly payments of principal and interest over a 20- to 30-year period. The equity will require a payment stream equivalent to as much as a 9% to 10% rate of return over the same time periods.
To encourage investors to commit such large amounts, and to reduce the cost of the financing, government would provide a tax credit equal to 82% of the equity amount. This would lower the cost of financing the project by 18% to 20% for two reasons.
First, the tax credit reduces the total amount of investor financing by 13.7%, that is, by 82% of 16.7%. …82 percent of the commitment has been returned. …
Equity… requires twice as high a return as the debt portion, 9 to 10% as compared to 4.5 to 5.0%. Therefore, the 13 percent effective reduction in the amount of financing actually reduces the total cost of financing by 18 to 20 percent. …
… Two identifiable revenue streams for repayment are critical here: (1) the tax revenues from additional wage income, and (2) the tax revenues from contractor profits.
A Tax Policy/Repatriation Interaction
…Companies paying the ten percent tax on the repatriation of overseas retained earnings could use…
… Repatriate $1 billion, incurring $100 million of tax, and invest $121 billion in the equity of an infrastructure project. The 82 percent tax credit on the $121 thereby fully extinguishes the repatriation tax so at the end of the day they have a $121 million infrastructure equity investment and no tax bill while the US has more and new infrastructure. Any revenues in excess of the basic amounts needed to support the financing, as well as any long term residual values remaining after full repayment of the financing could go for recoupment of the extra $100 million. …

The Trump Plan In Historical Context
… First, somewhat lower quality revenue stream projects need an equity component or a guarantee by a creditworthy public authority or municipality. …
Second, construction costs tend to be higher when projects are built by the government rather than the private sector… These higher construction costs more than offset the benefit of lower interest rates, especially in today’s low rate environment when spreads between taxable and tax-free bonds are so small.
Third… In today’s especially low short-term rate environment this means the project will have to pay a negative interest rate arbitrage on money it actually doesn’t need yet or get a short term construction loan and run the risk that interest rates will rise between the date that the loan is taken down and the date of the long term refinancing. In the tax exempt market it is expensive to obtain fixed rate commitments years before the draw down.
…used historically to target real estate investment. However, the concept of offsetting a major portion of project cost with income tax credits that are repaid as issued by means of the tax revenues generated just by the construction is new. …

Conclusion
With the Trump plan, there is no need to create a new government bureaucracy to make infrastructure loans. The private sector is well equipped to do so, provided enough equity is invested, and that is what the Trump plan provides. …


US Policy Changes Vol.22 (Healthcare Vol.2)

Here are articles on healthcare. Excerpts are on our own.

Republicans can repeal Obamacare. They can’t repeal the logic of health insurance. (11/23/2016) | Uwe Reinhardt @voxdotcom
Chart: Health Spending by Decile of the U.S. population, 2013
… For the most part, however, they represent chronically ill people, often with multiple conditions that can be medically treated, albeit at great expense that exceeds these individuals’ capacity to finance their care with their own financial resources.
The fundamental questions in the US, as in other countries, are a) what kind of treatments these very sick members of society should receive, especially end-of-life treatments, and b) how those treatments should be financed, given that these treatments can quickly exhaust the budgets of the afflicted.
…three alternative outside sources of financing…:
1. public subsidies financed from general taxation,
2. cross-subsidies baked into health insurance premiums, forcing healthier individuals to subsidize through the premiums they pay the health care of chronically sicker member in the same insurance risk pool, or
3. cross-subsidies baked into the prices charged paying patients by doctors, hospitals and other providers of health care, which forces paying patients to cover these providers’ so-called “uncompensated care.”…
Canada…the first…
Germany…the second…
…Public programs…
The far flung employment-based private health insurance system… …younger or healthier employees cross-subsidize the care of their sicker colleagues.
Finally… an informal catastrophic health insurance system operated mainly by hospitals. …the cost of health care rendered to uninsured patients unable to pay for it is added to the prices charged insured or self-paying patients.
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) incorporates a judicious mixture of the first two approaches. Within age belts… The law limits the differences among age groups, so that people over 64 pay no more than three times what 21-year-olds pay…
Chart: “Actuarially fair” versus “Community-Rated Premiums”
…the remaining risk pool of insured individuals will contain relatively more sick people… …one major reason why premiums between 2016 and 2017 have risen by an average of 25 percent across the nation…
…the increase will seriously impact individuals with higher incomes and those who for one reason or another procure coverage apart from the ACA exchanges and are therefore not entitled to federal subsidies…
…Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland — impose strictly enforced mandates on all individuals to purchase health insurance with a specified benefit package.
…the penalty of disobeying it (an amount equal to 2.5 percent of income) is generally much lower…
First…very difficult to repeal the ACA in its entirety. …the Senate…is not filibuster proof, which would require 60 Republican votes… The Senate could use a maneuver called “budget reconciliation” to get rid of any provision…
Second…the actuarial problem… they would face the problem of how to finance health care for the very sick…
…many components of the ACA would actually reappear under…Trumpcare or Freedomcare…

OPINION: MOVING ON TO TRUMPCARE (11/28/2016) | Joel Cantor ‏@njspotlight
… Over 670,000 New Jersey residents gained Medicaid or nongroup private health insurance since the implementation of the main coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014.
…over the first two years of ACA implementation, the share of nonelderly adults in New Jersey without coverage dropped nearly 40 percent (from 17.5 percent to 10.8 percent). Over the same period (2013 to 2015), the share of New Jersey’s nonelderly adults with private health insurance, mostly through employers, grew modestly from 72.3 percent to 78.2 percent.
… Repeal of the ACA in the first 100 days of the new administration is exceedingly unlikely. A super-majority of the U.S. Senate would be required to repeal the law, enabling Democrats to block repeal. Defunding the ACA is possible without a super-majority, but…
The White House could unilaterally and immediately trigger a similar defunding scenario by simply withdrawing its appeal of House v. Burwell, a court ruling that would block federal funding of some ACA subsidies. …people living in solidly Republican counties have disproportionately benefited from ACA coverage subsidies.
… Healthy people would drop coverage until they need it, and insurance carriers would withdraw from the market as they faced unsustainable costs. …
Another, more likely, path would enable the congressional majority and new administration to keep their repeal-and-replace promise without triggering immediate market failure. Congress could enact a budget resolution that ends marketplace subsidies and the tax penalty for being uninsured, but delay…
Starting the clock to defund Obamacare down the road if Congress does not act to replace the rest of the ACA would be very risky, not just for insurance markets. …a true bipartisan compromise, but…
…health insurance can already be sold across state lines and health savings accounts are already available… …changing Medicaid from an entitlement to a capped block grant has historically been opposed even by Republican governors.
…majorities, including about half of self-identified Republicans, favor expanding Medicaid and subsidizing private health insurance for those who cannot afford it…
…“repeal and replace” would have to proceed more like precision surgery than the swing of an ax. …they can undermine many ACA provisions by simply changing implementation plans, working through the courts, and issuing executive orders, none of which require congressional action…
… Obama, for example, sought to entice ideologically resistant states to adopt the ACA Medicaid expansion by allowing them to impose “personal responsibility” requirements on enrollees such as cost sharing and behavior changes or to move some enrollees into the private health insurance markets. …
… ACA Section 1332 waivers will permit states to reshape not just Medicaid, but many other ACA provisions including the mandate, penalties, and some insurance rules. Section 1332 waivers can only be approved if they are budget-neutral and do not reduce the number of people with comprehensive coverage. …

OPINION: RISING PREMIUMS FOR OBAMACARE PLANS, SOME HIDDEN GOOD NEWS (10/31/2016) | Joel Cantor ‏@njspotlight
… First… the costs for plans on the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplaces for 2017 coverage… In New Jersey, however, the increase of the benchmark silver plan rose by less than a third as much, by 7 percent.
… But happily, the New Jersey increase was lower than all but 11 states…
The pain will be even less for the eight-in-ten buyers on the marketplace who are eligible for federal subsidies. …
…healthy people would be slow to enroll. …part of the 2017 premium hike reflects the one-time impact of this subsidy going away.
This year three of five insurers stopped selling marketplace plans… But… the carriers that left had small market shares and the remaining two, AmeriHealth and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, appear to be competing in a fairly stable market. …we may see more carriers return to the subsidized marketplace in 2018…
A second important marker that augurs well for New Jersey is that our premiums are looking comparatively better than other states. …

Rep. Price, Obamacare Critic, Is Trump’s Choice to Lead Health Agency (11/29/2016) | @annaedney,@HouseInSession,@JenniferJJacobs @ijournal

Trump Names Obamacare Detractor As HHS Secretary (11/29/2016) | @nic_fisher @Forbes

The future of public health under President Trump | John McDonough, Karen Feldscher @HarvardChanSPH

How might the election affect Obamacare? (11/18/2016) | @NicoleEFeldman
@MichelleM_Mello and David Studdert: … In an interview on Nov. 11, he said he is interested in keeping some of the key provisions of the law, such as a ban on insurers discriminating on the basis of pre-existing conditions and provisions allowing young people to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26. But his opposition to other provisions, including the cornerstone provision requiring individuals to purchase insurance coverage, likely will remain. …
Laurence Baker: The reality of the health care system is that there are not easily available alternatives to the ACA that would protect coverage and be palatable to broad groups of Republicans. Single-payer, or national health insurance, is a non-starter, so they’d be left with market-oriented reforms, and there are not obvious ways to pursue those without at least some core features of the ACA. Most of the proposals recently put forward for a replacement, including those highlighted by the Trump campaign, like cross-state competition, tax credits for insurance purchase and block granting Medicaid, would not really offer coverage to a large number of the people who would lose it under repeal. …

Post-election Q&A: What Now? (11/21/2016) | @HealthforceUCSF
It appears highly likely that people with pre-existing health conditions will be protected and young adults on their parents’ plans will still be covered until age 26. These are popular components that President Obama and Senate Republicans support.
What are good sources of information to remain up-to-date on health care policy and news? ー @HealthforceUCSF, @politico, @KHNews, @MorningConsult, @CalHealthline, @statnews, @NASHPhealth

Trump’s First 100 Days: Health Care (11/28/2016) | @Saragoud @sciam
…“I can’t imagine a full house and a third of the Senate wants to run in 2018 having withdrawn funding for expanded coverage without having anything in its place,” says @gailwilenskycom,@projecthopeorg…
“You’ve got to convince people that it’s a good idea to take health care away from middle- and low-income Americans and give tax cuts to high-income Americans,” @Cutler_econ,@HarvardEcon says.
… “Generally speaking, as a matter of constitutional law, it is up to Congress how federal money is spent,” says David Law, a professor of constitutional law and political science @WUSTL. “If Congress wants to ensure Planned Parenthood gets money, it can do so regardless of what the president wants—because the president carries out the laws and can’t contradict the laws. Conversely, if Congress wants to strip Planned Parenthood of money, it can do so regardless of what the president wants.” …
Other initiatives, such as Trump’s call for reduction in drug prices through increased drug importation would require legislation to pass, a process unlikely to occur in the first three months of his presidency. “While drug importation could provide relief in narrow situations, like a drug shortage, it will not provide immediate relief to consumers that struggle to afford high drug costs,” Caitlin Morris @FamiliesUSA says. “To protect consumers from rising prescription drug costs, we need a comprehensive set of reforms, including increased transparency surrounding drug companies’ pricing and practices, and alignment of prices with the value they provide to patients. …

Trump’s Obamacare Repeal Could Spell Chaos for Consumers (11/21/2016) | @nadiaprupis @commondreams
@adamcancryn,@pauldemko write: Even if Congress delays immediate action to kill the health care law, Obamacare insurers would have just a few months to decide whether to stay in the law’s marketplaces for 2018. Deep uncertainty about the Republicans’ Obamacare replacement could drive out those companies, cutting off insurance for, potentially, millions of customers.
@WA_OIC…
@MarcSantoraNYT write: … “The fact that more than 20 million children in the U.S. experience insurance and noninsurance barriers to getting comprehensive and timely health care is a challenge that needs to get the highest-priority attention from the new administration,” said @IrwinRedlenerMD,@ColumbiaMSPH.
@CeciConnolly,@_ACHP…


US Policy Changes Vol.21 (Deregulation Vol.3 – Finance; Infrastructure)

Here are articles on financial reforms and infrastructure investment. Excerpts are on our own.

Is Steve Mnuchin Just Another Wall Street Banker? (11/30/2016) | @ThoBishop @MisesBlog
… He also entertained the idea of following the lead of other countries in possibly issuing 50–100 year bonds government bonds. As Dr. Joseph Salerno wrote recently on the subject of Austria’s 70-year bond:
The creation of [long-term bonds] enables the political elite to covertly and repeatedly plunder and impoverish productive savers, capitalists, entrepreneurs and workers, while avoiding the need to incur the wrath of the productive class by raising taxes.
… Though he started his career on Wall Street, his most recent banking experience came when he and other investors acquired subprime lender IndyMac which was re-branded as OneWest. Though the California-based bank had its own bad headlines for controversial foreclosure practices, his experience in the regional banking sector does give him a perspective from outside the world of Too Big to Fail banks. Since Dodd-Frank has increased the market share of players like Goldman and JP Morgan Chase, at the expense of community and regional bankers, perhaps his time with OneWest will keep him more focused on…
…the Volker Rule, which banned banks from proprietary trading. Since it can be difficult for government regulators to figure out what bank activity is reasonable and speculative, the rule has been criticized for requiring bureaucrats to become mind-readers. … Since Glass Steagall would explicitly put a barrier between deposit and investment banking, it would eliminate the uncertainty caused by the Volker Rule while protecting taxpayers from bailing out FDIC-insured banks from the sort of reckless lending…

How Trump Can Bring Outside-the-Box Thinking to Bear on the Fed (12/9/2016) | @TenthAmendment
… Fed officials worry the Trump presidency represents a unique threat to the Fed’s closely guarded “independence.” Sound money proponents, meanwhile, are hopeful that some long overdue reforms of the monetary system could begin to take shape.
The first item on the new president’s Fed agenda will be to appoint two members to the Board of Governors. The seven-seat Board currently has two vacancies that can be filled immediately. …
… Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs alumnus, and Ross, a billionaire investor, have benefited from the easy money policies of Yellen and her predecessors. The values of financial assets get artificially propped up by the Fed’s injections of stimulus into the financial system. …
… The incoming president’s job is to represent the interests of ordinary Americans. Trump ran a populist campaign that drew heavy support from the South and from “flyover country.” These regions have historically been under-represented in the media, in government, and in the financial system.
Northeast elites continue to wield outsized power. That certainly holds true within the Federal Reserve itself. Since 1996, 80% of Fed governors have come from the East Coast, according to an analysis by Yale Law & Policy Review. Worse, nearly all ascribe to the Keynesian interventionist school of economics of inflation, debt, and government stimulus. …
… Senator Rand Paul and Representative Thomas Massie will try to push the Federal Reserve Transparency Act through Congress for President Trump’s signature. …
… Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby proposes a commission to overhaul the structure of the Federal Reserve.
Congress could also move to limit the Fed’s authority over interest rates by imposing a rules-based formula. The so-called Taylor Rule…
One advocate of this approach is Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore. …
…”dual mandate”… While other central banks are tasked with the single objective of price stability, the Fed also has the job of pursuing “maximum employment,”…
It wasn’t always this way. In 1977…
… But the political reality is that a Republican administration that rode into power on a platform of bringing back jobs won’t want to see any potential tools for promoting job growth eliminated on its watch.
… Allison has indicated he’d also consider serving as the next Fed chairman. As an opponent of central planning and a proponent of free-market economics and gold, he would bring the sort of “outside the box” perspective needed to reform the Fed. …

Fed’s Kaplan backs rate hike but says Fed will keep an eye on Trump’s policies (11/30/2016) | @elizabethgurdus @CNBC
… Kaplan told reporters he had been “comfortable” with a rate hike at policy meetings in both September and early November. “My view has not changed. I believe we are at the point where we ought to be removing some amount of accommodation in the near future,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, he said: “I would advocate that we take further action” to raise rates next year. …

Mnuchin and Bove Tell FBN that the Fed Should End Fannie, Freddie Conservatorship ASAP (12/8/2016) | @_InvestorsUnite @valuewalk
…government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)…
… “They’re [Fannie and Freddie] acknowledging that they’re going to have negative capital and that’s going to create a crisis,” he said. “Second, they’ve gone back to the policies that Cuomo and Clinton had in place, which put them into trouble in the first place. They’re buying mortgages for down payments of only 3% down. They’re putting money into trust funds which are basically being used to fund subprime mortgages,” he said. …

Trump’s Treasury Secretary Pick is a Lucky Man. Very Lucky. (12/1/2016) | @eisingerj @ProPublica

Trump Picks Former Goldman Banker Steven Mnuchin As Treasury Secretary (11/30/2016) | @tylerusesoap @zerohedge

Bond Vigilantes Stir As Trump Team Hints At “Infrastructure Bank” (11/17/2016) | @tylerusesoap @zerohedge
…a “very big focus is regulatory changes, looking at the creation of an infrastructure bank to fund infrastructure investments” which to Wall Street was pure poetry, as it heard just two words: “more debt”, and thus greater probability of future QE.
… They released a plan in October advocating the provision of as much as $140 billion in tax credits to support $1 trillion in infrastructure investment, which would offset the credits through tax revenue from the projects’ labor wages and business profits.
…while the wrapper which Trump’s stimulus takes is irrelevant, whether infrastructure bank, tax credits, or direct investment, the real question is just how much more debt will this fiscal boost end up adding to America’s already $20 trillion in total debt. …
…we may find ourselves in an entirely new regime: one where the bond vigilantes take on not the Fed, but the president.“ Here is BV’s subsequent take:
One week of falling Treasury prices does not a bear market make. But if Donald Trump intends to flex the fiscal lever, bond market vigilantes could return with a vengeance, making it increasingly expensive for him to do so.

Fed Up Friday: Trump’s US Treasurer Pick Mnuchin Wants to Slash Taxes (12/2/2016) | @SchiffGold

Trump’s Treasury pick will have unprecedented power over Wall Street and the economy (11/30/2016) | @Ostaley @qz
…if Trump successfully establishes a new infrastructure bank to fund the improvements… that could be located within the Treasury Department, adding to Mnuchin’s influence.
… In 2010, under the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, they clarified the central bank’s procedures for responding to crisis situations and required that the secretary of the Treasury approve emergency loans. …
FSOC… …chaired by the Treasury secretary. …has the power to determine whether banks and institutions like hedge funds or insurance companies are “systemically important,” and if they are, to bring them under federal oversight. …
…depends on how well they get along with the president,” says @andrewtlevin @dartmouth…
…Matthew Weatherly-White @TheCAPROCKGroup…

Donald Trump’s curious Goldman Sachs connections (w Video; 11/30/2016) | @mattmegan5 @CNNMoney
… Wall Street certainly believes that Trump will be a friend. Since Trump’s election, big bank stocks are skyrocketing on hopes that Trump will dial back or even kill the Dodd-Frank financial reform regime. …

Trump’s Treasury and Commerce picks tepid on Fed’s Janet Yellen (11/30/2016) | @Matt_Belvedere @CNBC

Trump Shows Deregulatory Hand by Meeting With Former Cato Chief (11/28/2016) | @ryan_rainey @morningconsult
… Nominating Hensarling or Allison instead of Mnuchin would be a risky move because their aggressive approach to deregulation could conflict with Trump’s other priorities in immigration or health care. Trump has indicated financial deregulation is more of a second-tier issue that could be tackled after the first 100 days of his administration.
“Having a very aggressive Treasury secretary is not necessarily what you want when your priorities lay elsewhere,” said @BrandonBarford @beaconpa…

us-policychanges-deregulation-3


US Policy Changes Vol.20 (Foreign Policy Vol.2 – International Politics)

Here are articles on US foreign policy and international politics (world politics). Excerpts are on our own.

How Trump Can Save the Liberal Order (12/1/2016) | @RHFontaine ‏@ForeignAffairs @CNASdc
… Its creation was a response to the destructive wars, economic depressions, and rise of dictatorships that marred the first half of the twentieth century. Since then, the world has seen the longest period of great-power peace in modern history, the largest number of people ever pulled up from poverty, and an unprecedented expansion of democracy. To paraphrase British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the liberal order is the worst form of international organization — except for all the others.
… Trump should likewise work to extend the order’s reach to cyberspace, where there are no norms governing international behavior. …

On foreign policy, Donald Trump is no realist (11/21/2016) | Robert D. Kaplan @postpolitics @CNASdc
… Realists like myself should be very nervous about his election.
Realism is a sensibility, not a specific guide to what to do in each crisis. And it is a sensibility rooted in a mature sense of the tragic — of all the things that can go wrong in foreign policy, so that caution and a knowledge of history are embedded in the realist mindset. Realism has been with us at least since Thucydides wrote “The Peloponnesian War” in the 5th century B.C., in which he defined human nature as driven by fear (phobos), self-interest (kerdos) and honor (doxa). …
… A sense of history comes mainly from reading. That’s how we know in the first place about such things as our obligations to allies and our role as the defender of the West. …
Realists know that while the balance of power is not a panacea, maintaining an advantageous balance of power with rivals is generally in a nation’s interest. …
Realists know that because values follow interests and not the other way around…
Realism is about moderation. It sees the value in the status quo while idealists only see the drawbacks in it. …
… the United States is the most well-endowed and advantageously located major state on Earth. … Realism is about utilizing such power to protect allies without precipitating conflict. It is not about abandoning them and precipitating conflict as a consequence. …

An Open Letter on Donald Trump’s Vision of U.S. Foreign Policy (7/26/2016) | @Ali_Wyne @Medium
An Open Letter on Donald Trump’s Vision of US Foreign Policy (7/19/2016) | @Ali_Wyne @aminterest
Trump’s 19th Century Foreign Policy (1/20/2016) | @thomaswright08 @POLITICOMag
… In sum, Trump believes that America gets a raw deal from the liberal international order it helped to create and has led since World War II. He has three key arguments that he returns to time and again over the past 30 years. He is deeply unhappy with America’s military alliances and feels the United States is overcommitted around the world. He feels that America is disadvantaged by the global economy. And he is sympathetic to authoritarian strongmen. Trump seeks nothing less than ending the U.S.-led liberal order and freeing America from its international commitments.
… With his background and personality, Trump is so obviously sui generis that it is tempting to say his views are alien to the American foreign policy tradition. …particular echoes of Sen. Robert Taft, who unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination in 1940, 1948 and 1952, and was widely seen as the leader of the conservative wing of the Republican Party. Taft was a staunch isolationist and mercantilist who opposed U.S. aid for Britain before 1941. After the war, he opposed President Harry Truman’s efforts to expand trade. Despite being an anti-communist, he opposed containment of the Soviet Union, believing that the United States had few interests in Western Europe. He opposed the creation of NATO as overly provocative. …
…a President Trump’s foreign policy…: “He would believe very strongly in extreme military strength. He wouldn’t trust anyone. …
… As the world’s only superpower, one of America’s most important functions has been to ensure open access to what are called the global commons—the oceans, air and space. The U.S. Navy guarantees the openness of sea lanes for civilian trade, for example.
… Well, in 1988, he told Oprah Winfrey that Kuwait should pay the United States 25 percent of their oil profits because the United States “makes it possible for them to sell it.” … In his 1987 letter, he wrote, “Tax these wealthy nations, not America.” … It is excessive tribute in exchange for protection. …
… He wants to slap tariffs on other countries — again harking back to 19th-century protectionism — and negotiate bilateral deals. Most economists believe this would create a downward spiral in the global economy, but Trump does not seem to care.
… In 1990, he told Playboy… Asked whether that meant he favored China’s crackdown on students, he said, “When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government…put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. …”
… China would offer President Trump an extraordinarily preferential economic deal and in exchange he would leave China alone to do as it wished in the South China Sea and East China Sea. After all, it would help American workers, at least in the short term. …
…virtually no chance that he would “tack back to the center” and embrace a conservative internationalist foreign policy. …he would do his utmost to liquidate the U.S.-led liberal order…
After his election, other countries will immediately hedge against the risk of abandonment. There will be massive uncertainty around America’s commitments. …
… Trump may well see such uncertainty as a positive. Putting everything in play would give him great leverage. But by undoing the work of Truman and his secretary of state, Dean Acheson, it would be the end of the American era.
… In 1971, faced with inflation and stagnation, he canceled the convertibility of the dollar to gold without consulting his allies. This brought a dramatic end to Bretton Woods. Nixon and his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, were also famously comfortable with strongmen and authoritarian regimes.
But Trump is no Nixon. …
To understand Trump, in the end, we have to go back to Taft and Lindbergh. The difference is that, unlike Trump, Taft was not outside the mainstream of his time. Many people believed…that it did not matter who ran Europe. Also, unlike Trump, Taft was boring… Lindbergh led a national movement that was divisive, xenophobic and sympathetic to Nazi Germany.
The reason we must revisit 1940 is that Republicans have struggled to find a new north star after Iraq. … Cruz seems to have thought little and said even less about America’s global role outside the Middle East. …
… Internationalists will have to explain all over again why the United States flourishes and benefits from a healthy international system. Taft and Lindbergh lost before, but it would be a mistake to underestimate the messenger this time.

Why George Washington Would Have Agreed With Donald Trump (5/5/2016) | Michael Hirsh @POLITICOMag
…already shaping up to be a debate over America’s global role of the kind we haven’t had for decades, perhaps since the last “America First” movement of the late ‘30s.
…should abandon the “dangerous idea that we could make Western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming a Western democracy.” …he wants them to “prove” they are our friends…
Trump does appear to be giving short shrift to — and perhaps does not fully comprehend — a lot of the history that underlies America’s modern approach to the world. He doesn’t always make sense when he talks about foreign policy, calling at once for steadiness and unpredictability, a military buildup and a major war on ISIS but also restraint in the use of U.S. force overseas. …
But Trump is also correct in suggesting that the current global system is an aberration in American history, and he is persuasive in arguing that it may not be sustainable forever under current conditions, and America should focus more on fixing our own economic house for a long time to come… “Since the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union, we’ve lacked a coherent foreign policy,” Trump said in his speech. This is also arguably true. …
… “The world must know we do not go abroad in search of enemies.” The line was an allusion to the famous injunction of John Quincy Adams in 1821 that America “does not go in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.” …
… Princeton scholar John Ikenberry, author of Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order, says that starting in 1946, the United States added a new ally — a nation with which it had some kind of security relationship — every five years or so. Today, it has a total of 62 permanent allies, including many from the former Soviet bloc. …
…a quarter century after the Cold War, the U.S. still has no real challenger as the lone superpower on earth, and U.S.-created global institutions…provide layers of multilateral cover that serve to take the raw edge off American hegemony… That is highly unusual in the history of great powers, which in the past have always provoked new rivalries and alliance-building against them. … Everyone inside this international system gets richer and stronger, while everyone outside it grows relatively weaker and poorer. Even Russia and China appear to realize this…
… Maybe this vast, expensive global order was necessary against Hitler, and later Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev…
Translated, what Trump is calling for is nothing less than a return to an American normalcy that frankly has always been somewhat isolationist…
…Exceptionalism. …that America was conceived, uniquely in history, as an idea — an apotheosis of the best ideas about the rights of man coming out of the Enlightenment — and that God blessed the new nation with the luxury of conducting this grand experiment on its own continent with two broad oceans to protect it. As Thomas Paine wrote in “Common Sense” in 1776: “We have it in our power to begin the world again.” Abraham Lincoln…in 1837: “…All the armies of Europe and Asia could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. …”
… Trump is exploiting much of the self-doubt already set into motion by the launching of a completely unnecessary war in Iraq, which seriously damaged the postwar alliance-and-trading system by grossly abusing America’s position within it. …
…Bill Clinton, who was known in his time as the “globalization president.” (“There is no longer a clear division between what is foreign and what is domestic,” he said at his first inaugural in 1993, and reiterated the point in his final foreign policy address in 2000…
… Suppose, with the end of the Soviet Union, America had mysteriously disappeared as well, or more realistically had retreated to within its borders…
… But most data show that globalization has created a far wealthier (if unequal) world overall. …
… There are limits to how much change a president can really effect, and inevitably even a Trump administration would probably maintain most of Washington’s now-entrenched role of global overseer. But it’s worth asking how much he would be able to pare it back or disrupt it—and whether a badly divided America can, or wants to, sustain this role forever. …
… For most of America’s first century of existence, U.S. policy abroad was constrained by the Monroe Doctrine… That began to change with Teddy Roosevelt… TR was intent on becoming the first true internationalist American president… Initially, he confined himself to reasserting the Monroe Doctrine, mainly in an effort to secure the new Panama Canal for trade and to rid the New World of lingering European claims in Cuba and Latin America…
… He presciently predicted Japan’s victory over troubled Czarist Russia in 1905… Worried about the rise of the Japanese in the Pacific, TR stepped in and negotiated the Treaty of Portsmouth between Japan and Russia. It was a first foreshadowing of the U.S. president’s arbitrator-in-chief role that would become familiar to later generations.
In 1917…the notorious Zimmerman Telegram, in which Berlin pledged to help Mexico regain the American territory it had lost in 1848 in return for an alliance, was a key trigger. Bolshevized Russia also represented for the first time an ideological threat. That led Wilson to turn exceptionalism on its head… Ikenberry points out that the “paradox” of Wilson’s agenda was that “he wanted to avoid involvement in European politics, so he pursued a vision that entailed the utter transformation of European politics.”
… But out in the heartland, and among their representatives in Congress, many Americans continued to believe that John Quincy Adams was still right. …his League of Nations went down to defeat in the Senate when Henry Cabot Lodge, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, refused to sign off on Article 10, which obligated all League members to intervene in the event of aggression against other members. …
… “We have torn up Wilsonism by the roots,” Lodge crowed after Harding won in a landslide. …other abject failures of international law, especially of the 1929 Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war. …
… Americans after the war, wrote historian Robert Divine, “yearned for a magic formula which would permit them to live in peace without constant involvement abroad.”
… Thus the global system we have today is truly a kind of accidental American empire. …


US Policy Changes Vol.19 (Trade Vol.4)

Here are excerpts on trade, et al. from Scoring the Trump Economic Plan: Trade, Regulatory, and Energy Policy Impacts (PDF; 9/29/2016) | Peter Navarro and Wilbur Ross.

IX. Inflation and Trade War Critiques of The Trump Plan
… Trump’s proposals will reverse these trends, concentrate more wealth and purchasing power in the hands of domestic workers, and result in substantially higher employment. …

Income Benefits Vs. Inflation Concerns
…as products develop a competitive advantage in America and increase their production and margins, prices per unit will go down. Those purchasing products made in America will not only purchase them duty-free but from a dramatically reduced business tax, with lower energy costs, and reduced regulatory costs. …

Trump Will End, Not Start, A Trade War
… It is a war in which the American government has surrendered before engaging. Unfair trade practices and policies of our competitors are overlooked or ignored. …
… However, most of these imports do not come from the US. With Trump promising to increase oil and natural gas production in the US and remove any restrictions on US exports, there are reasonable deals to be made here with little or no cost to our petroleum-dependent trading partners, and…
… However, a Trump Administration will confront China’s continued high tariffs on a wide range of American products, from motorcycles to raisins, as well as China’s limits on imports such as cotton from the US.
Trump will also insist that China relax its numerous non-tariff barriers now blocking US exports across a wide range of products, including autos, agricultural commodities, fertilizers, and telecommunications equipment. …
Ultimately, our view is that doing nothing about unfair trade practices is the most hazardous course of action – and the results of this hazard are lived out every day by millions of displaced American workers and deteriorating communities. …

_________________
I. Introduction
…the Tax Foundation does not score other elements of the Trump economic plan that are growth-inducing and therefore revenue-generating.
…the overall plan is fiscally conservative and approaches revenue neutrality in the baseline Tax Foundation scenario. …
Table One: Tax Revenue Offset Under Trump Trade, Regulatory and Energy Policy Reforms

X. Conclusions and Recommendations
… Our analysis indicates that the Trump trade, regulatory, and energy policy reforms would collectively increase Federal tax revenues by $2.4 trillion. …
… the Trump economic plan is fiscally conservative. When properly scored, it approaches revenue neutrality and, with proposed budget savings outlined by the campaign are taken into account, it achieves revenue neutrality …
Journalists are likewise urged to consider the following checklist when they are reporting the latest results from the modeling community:
1. Does the model account for supply side tax policy effects?
2. Does the model account for energy and regulatory policy effects?
3. Does the model account for synergies between tax and trade policies? (For example, a cut in the corporate tax will boost business investment, and increase GDP growth and revenues – is that counted?)
4. Does the model account for trade deficit and offshoring effects, which represent significant drags on U.S. GDP growth?
We hope this analysis will spark an important debate that goes beyond the old and tired critiques that have little or no relevance for the challenges we face in this new century. …

p23-29 Appendix A-D


US Policy Changes Vol.18 (Trade Vol.3)

Here are excerpts on scoring trade (seemingly OK only for reference at this point) from Scoring the Trump Economic Plan: Trade, Regulatory, and Energy Policy Impacts (PDF; 9/29/2016) | Peter Navarro and Wilbur Ross.

VIII. Trade Policy Effects
… However, imports in goods have risen at an even faster pace, from $40.9 billion in 1970 to $2.3 trillion in 2015. Although some of our imported goods contain American export content, they still represent a significant subtraction from GDP growth, even after accounting for the positive contribution of services to the trade balance. …

Scoring Trade Deficit Drag
In 2015… trade deficits matter a great deal when it comes to GDP growth.
…completely eliminate its roughly $500 billion 2015 trade deficit through… in a one-time gain of 3.38 real GDP points and a real GDP growth rate that year of 5.97%.

Income Statement Approach to Scoring Trade Effects
… Again assuming labor is 44 percent of GDP, eliminating the deficit would result in $220 billion of additional wages. …
In addition, businesses would earn at least a 15% profit margin on the $500 billion of incremental revenues, and this translates into pretax profits of $75 billion. …
This leaves businesses with $63.75 billion of additional net profit which must be distributed between dividends and retained earnings. …
…at least two more increments of revenues. …businesses will retain $42.5 billion of cash flow after paying both taxes and dividends.
Since taxes are paid in nominal, not real, dollars, we have applied to them a 1.1082 inflation factor for a total of $869.76 billion of incremental tax revenues over the ten years from the elimination of the trade deficit. …

See Appendix D (p28-29)


UK Vol.61 (Post-EUref Vol.7 – BREXIT AND BEYOND Vol.2)

Here are excerpts from BREXIT AND BEYOND – HOW THE UNITED KINGDOM MIGHT LEAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION (PDF; Nov 2016) | @UKandEU @PolStudiesAssoc.

brexitbeyond-annex1

CHAPTER TWO: INVOKING ARTICLE 50 TEU
2.1 Who gets to decide (whether) to trigger Article 50 TEU?
…the Government’s position that it can, through notification, trigger Article 50 negotiations without parliamentary assent on the basis that treaty negotiations fall within the Crown prerogative. Beyond general constitutional law doctrines about the relationship between Parliament and the executive, much…rests on the outcomes of these challenges, which have been brought together in an action to be heard by the High Court in October, with a possible leapfrog to the Supreme Court in December. … Beyond Government reporting on what it thinks fit, significant involvement of Parliament will be confined, it would appear, to repealing the European Communities Act 1972, under the Government’s plan for a ‘Great Repeal Bill’.
… Triggering Article 50 does not in itself have an impact on the legislation which brings EU law into effect within the legal orders of the UK – the European Communities Act 1972. Nor does it necessarily follow that EU-derived rights currently available in this UK legislation will be removed by Brexit. …
… A slightly stronger argument is that even without legislation, exit will result in British citizens losing certain rights granted by the European Communities Act. These include the right to vote and stand for the European Parliament, to secure grants from EU institutions and to apply to work in EU institutions. This is true, but…
… Possibly most persuasive may be the arguments raised by litigants from Northern Ireland, where there was a majority vote to remain from 55.8% of the electorate. In the Northern Ireland case there is an additional set of constitutional concerns, specific to the island of Ireland, which may support the need not just for the UK Parliament’s approval, but also that of the Stormont Assembly. …

2.2 Article 50 TEU: Many negotiations or one?
…@instituteforgov…there will have to be at least two negotiations as Article 50 talks only of ‘arrangements surrounding withdrawal’. … Article 50 goes only to those matters which would, otherwise, lead to a legal limbo on exit, and separate negotiations will be needed, possibly in parallel, for the UK’s future arrangements with the EU on matters such as trade, security, protection of the environment and transport. …these can be rolled into one. …any Article 50 arrangement is required to take account of the UK’s future relationship within the EU, and this is simply not possible if any exit agreement is confined to legal limbo issues.
The scope of Article 50 negotiations will, therefore, be one of the first issues to be formally engaged with after the handing in of the Article 50 notification by the UK Government. …
… First, an Article 50 agreement only requires a qualified majority in the Council. Trade and security agreements of the sort sought by the UK outside the Article 50 framework will almost certainly require a unanimous vote. …
Second… Article 50 negotiations have to be concluded within two years, unless the unanimous agreement of the other Member States can be secured to extend the negotiations…. there is a likelihood that these could take longer than two years. …

2.3 The minimum Article 50 TEU items of negotiation
ACQUIRED RIGHTS:
The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which binds both the EU and the UK, requires that when a treaty is dissolved, any rights acquired by virtue of it and which now have an independent existence continue to be protected. … Property rights, contracts and pension rights…are almost certainly protected. Similarly, employment or transnational contracts for the supply of goods and services would almost certainly have to be honoured. There is a belief that those granted permanent residence in another EU Member State would retain that status. …
TRANSITIONAL REGIME:
…both the UK and the EU will want to make sure that they are legally protected as the courts will look at what a prudent trader could have anticipated. … These include receipt of EU funds, pending applications for EU authorisations for products and processes, and protection of existing contracts to supply goods or services into the UK from outside the EU.
SHARED LIABILITIES AND ENTITLEMENTS:
…who is responsible for existing liabilities and who receives unallocated funds for projects or actors in the UK. …
TRANSFER OF REGULATORY AND POLICING RESPONSIBILITIES:
EU institutions have regulatory and policing functions over the UK, whether this be in the form of Europol files, or Commission authorisations in fields as diverse as competition law, genetically modified food or pharmaceuticals. …

2.4 Parliamentary Consent(s) and a second referendum at the end of Article 50 negotiations?
A statute will be needed at the end of the Article 50 negotiations – agreement or not – if only to stop EU law generating new rights, obligations and responsibilities after secession by virtue of the European Communities Act 1972. …Great Repeal Bill …Sewel Convention provides that the Westminster Parliament will not normally legislate on devolved matters without the devolved parliaments’ consent, and does not amount to a blanket prohibition. …a further stimulus to a redefinition of the relations between the nations of the UK.
… The European Union Act 2011 …section 4(1)(i) of the Act …a referendum must be held if the new treaty confers any power on any EU institution to impose a requirement or obligation on the UK. …

2.5 Can the triggering of Article 50 be revoked?
…given that the process is likely to take an extended period of time, the situation…might well change, necessitating a breaking off of the process before it can be concluded. …changes in government, major economic shocks, major diplomatic shocks and military aggression. …
MUTUAL CONSENT:
… Hence if the UK were to indicate that it was changing its mind, then it should find a broadly positive response from the rEU. …the working assumption would be that the UK would continue as a Member State on the terms of the status quo ante. In particular, the deal concluded by David Cameron in spring 2016 would not come into effect, as the European Council has now agreed that this has lapsed: specific re-approval would be needed for it enter into force. …
UNILATERAL REVOCATION BY THE REU:
Under both Article 50 and customary international law, this is not an option. …
UNILATERAL REVOCATION BY THE UK:
…one where the UK decides to abort Article 50 without seeking the approval of the rEU. If this is possible, then it changes the balance of bargaining power within the Article… Instead of choosing between taking a deal that might contain much that is unfavourable and leaving with no deal at all, the UK might be able to terminate Article 50 and revert to the prior terms of membership. …
The 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties offers some guidance on the matter. Articles 65-8 establish that a Member State is not only free to leave a treaty if it no longer wishes to be subject to it, but that until it finally leaves, it is also free to change its mind on the matter and retain its membership. …
… First, not all Member States of the EU are signatories to the Vienna Convention… the EU itself is not a signatory… However, the Vienna Convention itself is essentially a codification of customary international law…so a case would have to be made that the UK’s unilateral rights did not apply here. …
…no exit mechanism exists… Article 54 of the Vienna Convention states that once a Member State has made its notification to withdraw, it effectively cedes its rights to change its mind, especially since its initial decision will have been made in accordance with some domestic decision-making procedure – such as a referendum. …
…if the British Government revoked Article 50 in the face of a bad deal, and then shortly afterwards submitted a new Article 50 notification, in the hope of securing a better deal from the rEU with the clock reset. …highly politically damaging, with substantial reputational costs …use of both the EU treaties and the Vienna Convention… potentially lead to the United Nations playing a role in settling the dispute.


US Policy Changes Vol.17 (Trade Vol.2)

Here are excerpts on trade from Scoring the Trump Economic Plan: Trade, Regulatory, and Energy Policy Impacts (PDF; 9/29/2016) | Peter Navarro and Wilbur Ross.

VII. The Structural Underpinnings of Trade Deficit Drag
… In contrast, Donald Trump views America’s economic malaise as a long-term structural problem inexorably linked not just to high taxation and over-regulation but also to the drag of trade deficits on real GDP growth. …(1) currency manipulation, (2) the equally widespread use of mercantilist trade practices by key US trading partners, and (3) poorly negotiated trade deals that have insured the US has not shared equally in the “gains from trade” promised by textbook economic theory.

#1: Currency Manipulation
… In a world of freely floating currencies, the US dollar would weaken and the Chinese yuan would strengthen because the US runs a large trade deficit with China and the rest of the world. American exports to China would then rise, Chinese imports to America would fall, and trade should come back towards balance. …
China’s purchases of US treasury securities are one way the Chinese government holds down their currency relative to ours. Maintaining their manipulated currency peg perpetuates the trade imbalance. Effectively, we are borrowing from China to pay for our trade deficit. It is analogous to a money-losing business borrowing money every year to stay afloat.
… In effect, the weakness of the southern European economies in the European Monetary Union holds the euro at a lower exchange rate than the Deutschmark would have as a freestanding currency. This is a major reason why the US has a large trade in goods deficit with Germany – $75 billion in 2015 – even though German wages are relatively high.
… The broader structural problem is an international monetary system plagued by widespread currency manipulation. Of course, a weaker currency stimulates the currency manipulator’s exports, discourages imports, brings about a more favorable trade balance, and the currency manipulator grows at the expense of its trading partners.
Donald Trump has promised to use his Treasury Department to brand any country than manipulates its currency a “currency manipulator.” This will allow the US to impose defensive and countervailing tariffs if the currency manipulation does not cease.

#2: Mercantilism and Trade Cheating
… The elaborate web of unfair trade practices includes illegal export subsidies, the theft of intellectual property, the aforementioned currency manipulation, forced technology transfers and a widespread reliance upon both “sweat shop” labor and pollution havens. The People’s Republic of China also engages in the massive dumping of select products such as aluminum and steel below cost. …

#3: Renegotiating Bad Trade Deals
Dating back to at least 1993, the US has entered into a series of poorly negotiated trade deals that have not distributed the gains from trade fairly. …
The analytical question is not whether trade deficits matter in the process of economic growth. We know that to be true from the simple arithmetic of the GDP equation.
Instead, the analytical questions are: How much growth might be gained from reducing America’s trade deficit as Trump has proposed to do, and how might a policy of balanced trade contribute to a balanced budget through the creation of additional income and tax revenues?


UK Vol.60 (Post-EUref Vol.6 – BREXIT AND BEYOND Vol.1)

Here are excerpts from BREXIT AND BEYOND – HOW THE UNITED KINGDOM MIGHT LEAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION (PDF; Nov 2016) | @UKandEU @PolStudiesAssoc.

FOREWORD
Despite Michael Gove’s claims during the EU Referendum campaign that the public has ‘had enough of experts’, post-referendum uncertainty highlighted the need for experts to respond to the question of “what happens next?” …
Helena Djurkovic CEO, @PolStudiesAssoc

… When Theresa May declared that ‘Brexit means Brexit,’ she had hit upon a pithy and effective way of stymying debate in the short term as the political class headed off for their summer. It quickly became widely apparent, however, that tautology was not a clear guide to future policy.
…@ESRC… @CSBarnard24, @IainBeggLSE, Damian Chalmers (@LSELaw), @sarahagemann, @johunt, Michael Keating (@CCC_Research), Martin Lodge (Centre for Analysis of Risk & Regulation, LSE), @Usherwood and @RGWhitman …
@anandMenon1 Director, @UKandEU

brexitbeyond-annex2brexitbeyond-annex3-1brexitbeyond-annex3-2brexitbeyond-annex3-3

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
The first stage is for the UK to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), setting in motion the separation from the EU. … Despite provisions for the rest of the EU (rEU) to prolong the negotiations by unanimous agreement, most commentators consider it unlikely that they would be willing to do so.
… A ‘soft Brexit’ is commonly taken to mean continued Single Market membership, including free movement of not only goods but also services, capital and labour, as the non-EU states Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have. The hardest ‘hard Brexit’ is usually understood to mean the UK having no preferential relationship with the Single Market and relying only on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. This implies not merely non membership of the Single Market (meaning the potential for non tariff barriers to be adopted, hindering trade) but also the imposition of tariffs on at least some trade in goods between the UK and the EU. …
… Devolution and the Northern Ireland peace settlement were designed and implemented during the UK’s membership of the European Union, and the EU provides an important framework for both. Key competences are shared between the EU and the devolved governments, with no UK-wide departments, but with institutional structures, such as the Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC)…

1.1 Does the referendum give a legally binding mandate for the UK to leave the EU?
…the last UK-wide referendum, which was on the Alternative Vote (AV) system for parliamentary elections. The legislation governing that referendum required the Government to bring into force the provisions governing AV in the event of a majority vote in support (Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, s 8). The 2016 referendum can be seen as advisory only, creating no legal mandate for either the Government or Parliament to act on it. However, the language and politics of the campaigns make it difficult to see how the result could be ignored. …


Arctic Vol.1


US Policy Changes Vol.16 (Tax Vol.2)

Here are excerpts on tax from Scoring the Trump Economic Plan: Trade, Regulatory, and Energy Policy Impacts (PDF; 9/29/2016) | Peter Navarro and Wilbur Ross.

VI. The Role of Offshoring In The GDP Growth Process
…(1) the role of domestic manufacturing in the process of economic growth and income creation, (2) how corporate strategy guides locational and investment decisions, (3) why high taxation and over-regulation help “push” US corporate investment offshore, and (4) how the “pull” of poorly negotiated trade deals and the unfair trade practices of America’s trading partners help transform what would otherwise be growth-inducing domestic investment into growth-inhibiting outbound Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

The Role of Manufacturing in Economic Growth
… To be clear, when we are talking about manufacturing, we are not just talking about cheap tee shirts and plastic toys. We are talking about aerospace, biomedical equipment, chemicals, computer chips, electronics, engines, motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals, railroad rolling stock, robotics, 3-D printing, resins, ship building, and more. …

The Offshore “Push” of Unfavorable Tax and Regulatory Policies
… While these are complex investment decisions driven by factors such as market location, resource availability, and the configuration of the supply chain, this is also true: Corporate executives seeking to maximize profits will be far more inclined to produce not in the US but in countries where the tax burden is lower and the regulatory environment is less burdensome. …

Lowering the Federal Corporate Income Tax
@WSJ has offered this Aesop’s-style tax tale to further illustrate the need for such a realignment of incentives:
The US system of world-wide taxation means that a company the moves from Dublin, Ohio to Dublin, Ireland, will pay a rate that is less than a third of America’s. …87.5 cents after taxes… after-tax return drops to $.65 or less…
Figure One: Top Corporate Marginal Tax Rates Over Time

Ending the Unequal Value-Added Tax Treatment Under WTO Rules
… While the US is the largest economy in the world, it has the same WTO voting rights as countries like Albania with economies a tiny fraction of that of the US. …
… While the US operates primarily on an income tax system, all of America’s major trading partners depend heavily on a “value-added tax” or VAT system. …
Under WTO rules, any foreign company that manufactures domestically and exports goods to America (or elsewhere) receives a rebate on the VAT it has paid. This turns the VAT into an implicit export subsidy. At the same time, the VAT is imposed on all goods that are imported and consumed domestically so that a product exported by the US to a VAT country is subject to the VAT. This turns the VAT into an implicit tariff on US exporters over and above the US corporate income taxes they must pay.
Thus, under the WTO system, American corporations suffer a “triple whammy”…

The WTO’s VAT Rules Are A Poster Child of Poorly Negotiated US Trade Deals
… Donald Trump understands that the only way to correct this unfair tax treatment is for the US to use its status as the world’s largest economy, the world’s largest consumer, and the world’s largest importer to put pressure on the WTO to change this unequal treatment. Without the US as a member, there would not be much purpose to the WTO, but prior occupants in the White House have been unwilling to lead on this issue despite its significant negative impacts. …

Corporate Strategy and the “Push” and “Pull” of Tax, Regulatory, and Trade Policies
…the rules of the WTO… provide no specific dispute resolution mechanisms or relief against the use of either sweatshop labor or lax environmental regulations. Nor… prevent countries from undervaluing their currency to gain competitive advantage.
… The dispute resolution mechanisms that do exist within the WTO make it a lengthy and uncertain process to obtain relief against even the most egregious behavior. Examples include the dumping of steel into global markets by countries ranging from China, India, and Italy to Korea and Taiwan and the use of non-tariff barriers to offset lower tariffs required under WTO rules. …


US Policy Changes Vol.15 (Energy Vol.2)

Here are excerpts on energy from Scoring the Trump Economic Plan: Trade, Regulatory, and Energy Policy Impacts (PDF; 9/29/2016) | Peter Navarro and Wilbur Ross.

V. Energy Policy Growth Effects
…@Columbia_Biz Geoffrey Heal… …@NERA_Economics…
…@IERenergy has estimated that America’s GDP will increase by $127 billion annually for the first seven years and by $450 billion annually for the subsequent 30 years as a result of the expansion of our energy sector.
…we discount the @IERenergy $127 billion estimate by 25% to $95.25 billion for the purposes of our calculations and ignore any step-up in years eight through ten. …

Running The Energy Policy Numbers
We assume that wages are 44% of revenues, or $41.9 billion per year. They are taxed at a 28% effective rate (including a withholding tax rate of 21% and a trust tax rate of 7%). Therefore, $11.73 billion will be paid in personal taxes.
We assume that the pre-tax profit margin on incremental sales will be 15%, or $14.29 billion. Applying the 15% business tax rate, this results in $2.15 billion in taxes paid, leaving $12.14 billion in post-tax earnings.
We also assume that energy companies will pay out only 20% of their incremental post-tax earnings in dividends or $2.43 billion. This yields additional tax revenues of $440 million at a tax rate of 18%.
…the $12.14 billion in post-tax earnings minus the $2.43 billion in dividends paid leaves producers with $9.71 billion of post-tax, post-dividends earnings. …