Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.25

Here are tweets of great stuff retweeted by @_WorldSolutions.


US Policy Changes Vol.68 (US business school professors Vol.1)

Here is a part of U.S. business schools’ tweets on economic/social/technological issues in which their professors are featured, quoted, et al. (mainly those from September to November 2017). Great stuff!
[We don’t have affiliations with these schools or professors.]


US Policy Changes Vol.65 (US law professors Vol.1)

Here is a part of U.S. law schools’ recent tweets on legal and political issues in which their professors are featured, quoted, et al. (mainly those in November 2017). Great stuff!
[We don’t have affiliations with these schools or professors.]


https://twitter.com/TheTakeaway/status/928266511038472192


UK Vol.87 (Post-EUref #Brexit Vol.16: 2017 General Election – Conservative Party Manifesto)

Here is FORWARD TOGETHER: THE CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO (issuu or PDF) in May 2017. Excerpts are on our own.

FOREWORD pp.4-5
…build a Great Meritocracy…

FIVE GIANT CHALLENGES pp.6-10
Strong and stable leadership
… Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger, we have seen confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations. …
Five giant challenges
1. The need for a strong economy.
2. Brexit and a changing world.
3. Enduring social divisions.
4. An ageing society.
5. Fast-changing technology.
Governing from the mainstream
… Rather than pursue an agenda based on a supposed centre ground defined and established by elites in Westminster, we will govern in the interests of the mainstream of the British public. We will get on with the job and take Britain out of the European Union. …
…there will be no ideological crusades. …
We will govern in the interests of ordinary, working families
We believe in the good that government can do
… If we want to overcome Britain’s enduring social divisions, we will need to give people real opportunity and make Britain the world’s Great Meritocracy. That will require government to take on long-ignored problems like Britain’s lack of training and technical education, as well as long-lasting injustices…
Our principles
… Because Conservatism is not and never has been the philosophy described by caricaturists. We do not believe in untrammelled free markets. We reject the cult of selfish individualism. We abhor social division, injustice, unfairness and inequality. We see rigid dogma and ideology not just as needless but dangerous.
True Conservatism means a commitment to country and community; a belief not just in society but in the good that government can do; a respect for the local and national institutions that bind us together…
A vision of a stronger Britain and a prosperous future

1. A STRONG ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE pp.11-27
p.12 Summary
p.13 A strong economy is the basis for everything we want to achieve as a nation.
pp.13-16 THE FOUNDATIONS OF A STRONG ECONOMY
Sound money and responsible public finances are the essential foundations of national economic success.
Keeping taxes as low as possible
Paying your fair share of tax is the price of living in a civilised democracy but politicians should never forget that taxes are levied on businesses that employ people, and individuals who work hard and face tough decisions about how they spend their money. …
By 2020, we will, as promised, increase the personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate to £50,000. We will continue to ensure that local residents can veto high increases in Council Tax via a referendum. And we will not increase the level of Value Added Tax.
Corporation Tax is due to fall to seventeen per cent by 2020 – the lowest rate of any developed economy – and we will stick to that plan, because it will help to bring huge investment and many thousands of jobs to the UK. …
Increasing trade
…we want to negotiate a new deep and special partnership with the EU, which will allow free trade between the UK and the EU’s member states. As part of the agreement we strike, we want to make sure that there are as few barriers to trade and investment as possible. Leaving the European Union also means we will be free to strike our own trade agreements with countries outside the EU.
We will ensure immediate stability by lodging new UK schedules with the World Trade Organization, in alignment with EU schedules to which we are bound whilst still a member of the European Union. …
We will create a network of Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioners to head nine new regional overseas posts. These commissioners will lead export promotion, investment and trade policy overseas. We will reconvene the Board of Trade with a membership specifically charged with ensuring that we increase exports from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as England, and that trade policy is directly influenced by every part of our United Kingdom. …
Effective regulation
…we will continue to regulate more efficiently, saving £9 billion through the Red Tape Challenge and the One-In-Two-Out Rule.
… We will therefore examine ways in which the regulation of utilities and transport infrastructure can be improved to deliver a better deal for customers and sharper incentives for investment efficiency.

pp.16-18 NEW RULES FOR A CHANGING ECONOMY
Conservatives believe that if you value something, you must be prepared to reform it in order to conserve it.
Guaranteeing a decent wage
…now receive a minimum of £7.50 an hour. A new Conservative government will continue to increase the National Living Wage to 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020 and then by the rate of median earnings…
Rights and protections in the ‘gig’ economy
…the government commissioned Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, to review the changing labour market. We await his final report but a new Conservative government will act to ensure that the interests of employees on traditional contracts, the self-employed and those people working in the ‘gig’ economy are all properly protected.
Stopping tax evasion
… We will improve HMRC’s capabilities to stamp down on smuggling, including by improving our policing of the border as we leave the European Union. We will also take further measures to reduce online fraud in Value Added Tax.
Protecting private pensions
… A Conservative government will act to tighten the rules against such abuse, and increase the punishment for those caught mismanaging pension schemes. We will build on existing powers to give pension schemes and the Pensions Regulator the right to scrutinise, clear with conditions or in extreme cases stop mergers, takeovers or large financial commitments that threaten the solvency of the scheme. …
Reforming rules on takeovers and mergers
… We shall also take action to protect our critical national infrastructure. We will ensure that foreign ownership of companies controlling important infrastructure does not undermine British security or essential services. We have already strengthened ministerial scrutiny and control in respect of civil nuclear power and will take a similarly robust approach across a limited range of other sectors, such as telecoms, defence and energy.
Fair corporate pay
… Senior corporate pay has risen far faster than corporate performance, and the gap between those paid most and those paid least has grown from 47:1 in 1998 to 128:1 in 2015.
The next Conservative government will legislate to make executive pay packages subject to strict annual votes by shareholders and listed companies will have to publish the ratio of executive pay to broader UK workforce pay. …
Better corporate governance
… To ensure employees’ interests are represented at board level, we will change the law to ensure that listed companies will be required either to nominate a director from the workforce, create a formal employee advisory council or assign specific responsibility for employee representation to a designated non-executive director. …

pp.18-24 A MODERN INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY
Our modern industrial strategy is designed to deliver a stronger economy that works for everyone – where wealth and opportunity are spread across every community in the United Kingdom, not just the most prosperous places in London and the south east.
… We will spend more on research and development, to turn brilliant discoveries into practical products and transform the world’s industries – such as the batteries that will power a new generation of clean, efficient, electric vehicles. … We will build on the success of world-beating sectors such as car and aero manufacturing, financial services, life sciences, digital technology and our creative industries… We will deliver the infrastructure – the road, rail, airports and broadband – that businesses need.
Increasing innovation
University investment funds
National Productivity Investment Fund
…a new £23 billion… This will include £740 million of digital infrastructure investment, the largest investment in railways since Victorian times, £1.1 billion to improve local transport and £250 million in skills by the end of 2020. …will take total spending on housing, economic infrastructure and R&D to £170 billion during the next parliament.
Future Britain funds
…backing British infrastructure and the British economy. We anticipate early funds being created out of revenues from shale gas extraction, dormant assets, and the receipts of sale of some public assets. …
The skills we need
… We will therefore ask the independent Migration Advisory Committee to make recommendations to the government about how the visa system can become better aligned with our modern industrial strategy. …
…we will double the Immigration Skills Charge levied on companies employing migrant workers, to £2,000 a year by the end of the parliament, using the revenue generated to invest in higher level skills training for workers in the UK.
Backing small businesses
The Conservative Party is the party of enterprise and of the entrepreneur. …
…we will ensure that 33 per cent of central government purchasing will come from SMEs by the end of the parliament. …
…we will use our buying power to ensure that big contractors comply with the Prompt Payment Code both on government contracts and in their work with others. …
Supporting industries to succeed
Our modern industrial strategy is not about ‘planning’ the economy. …
…advanced manufacturing, such as aero and automotive engineering…
Other industries, like the oil and gas sector, are transforming. The North Sea has provided more than £300 billion in tax revenue to the UK economy and supports thousands of highly-skilled jobs across Britain. …
… Life sciences, for example, employs 175,000 people and many of the world’s top medicines have been developed in the UK. We will continue to support research into the diagnosis and treatment of rare cancers and other diseases, including Genomics England’s work in decoding 100,000 genomes. …
Competitive and affordable energy costs
… Our ambition is that the UK should have the lowest energy costs in Europe, both for households and businesses. So as we upgrade our energy infrastructure…
A diverse energy mix
…while we do not believe that more large-scale onshore wind power is right for England, we will maintain our position as a global leader in offshore wind and support the development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland, where they will directly benefit local communities.
Natural gas from shale
We will set up a new Shale Environmental Regulator, which will assume the relevant functions of the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This will provide clear governance and accountability, become a source of expertise, and allow decisions to be made fairly but swiftly.
Finally, we will change the proposed Shale Wealth Fund so a greater percentage of the tax revenues from shale gas directly benefit the communities that host the extraction sites. …
Investing in transport
We are working through one of the largest-ever investment programmes in our roads and railways, putting some £40 billion into transport improvements…
…our programme of strategic national investments, including High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the expansion of Heathrow Airport…
… We want almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050 – and will invest £600 million by 2020 to help achieve it. …

pp.24-27 STRONGER COMMUNITIES FROM A STRONGER ECONOMY
Prosperous towns and cities across Britain
… We will hold a Great Exhibition of the North in 2018, to celebrate amazing achievements in innovation, the arts and engineering. We will support a UK city in making a bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. And in this 70th Anniversary Year of the Edinburgh Festival we will support the development of the new Edinburgh Concert Hall, reaffirming Edinburgh as the UK’s leading festival city and a cultural beacon around the globe.
Our countryside communities
… We will help Natural England to expand their provision of technical expertise to farmers to deliver environmental improvements on a landscape scale, from enriching soil fertility to planting hedgerows and building dry stone walls. …
We will continue to take action to improve animal welfare. We will implement our proposed reforms on pet sales and licensing and will make CCTV recording in slaughterhouses mandatory. …
…decide the future of the Hunting Act.
…a comprehensive 25 Year Environment Plan…
Our coastal communities
… To provide complete legal certainty to our neighbours and clarity during our negotiations with the European Union, we will withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention…

2. A STRONG AND UNITED NATION IN A CHANGING WORLD pp.29-45
p.30 Summary
p.31 The United Kingdom is embarking upon another era in our centuries-old story.
pp.31-35 OUR PRECIOUS UNION
We are a United Kingdom, one nation made of four – the most successful political union in modern history.
England
Scotland
…the 2012 and 2016 Scotland Acts…
… The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union but some would disrupt our attempts to get the best deal for Scotland and the United Kingdom with calls for a divisive referendum that the people of Scotland do not want. We have been very clear that now is not the time for another referendum on independence. In order for a referendum to be fair, legal and decisive, it cannot take place until the Brexit process has played out and it should not take place unless there is public consent for it to happen. This is a time to pull together, not apart. …
… Building on the City and Growth deals we have signed across Scotland, we will bring forward a Borderlands Growth Deal, including all councils on both sides of the border, to help secure prosperity in southern Scotland. We will protect the interests of Scottish farmers and fishermen…
Wales
…The 2017 Wales Act…
… We will build on the Cardiff Capital region and Swansea Bay City region deals, and bring forward a North Wales Growth Deal… …such as linking economic development between Cardiff, Newport and Bristol. …
…S4C…the Welsh language…
Northern Ireland
…the 1998 Belfast Agreement…
A Conservative government will continue to work for the full implementation of the 2014 Stormont House and 2015 Fresh Start Agreements. This includes new bodies for addressing the legacy of the past in fair, balanced and proportionate ways which do not unfairly focus on former members of the Armed Forces and the Royal Ulster Constabulary. …
Shared institutions of Union
United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund

pp.35-37 LEAVING THE EUROPEAN UNION
… In her Lancaster House Speech, the prime minister laid out the twelve principles she intends to follow in seeking a new deep and special partnership with the European Union. We have explained our approach in the White Paper on the United Kingdom’s Exit from, and a new relationship with, the European Union, during the passage of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act, in the prime minister’s letter to the president of the European Council invoking Article 50, and in the Great Repeal Bill White Paper.
Repatriating EU law to the United Kingdom
…the rights of workers and protections given to consumers and the environment by EU law will continue to be available in UK law at the point at which we leave the EU. … Once EU law has been converted into domestic law, parliament will be able to pass legislation to amend, repeal or improve any piece of EU law it chooses, as will the devolved legislatures, where they have the power to do so.
… We will not bring the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law. We will not repeal or replace the Human Rights Act while the process of Brexit is underway but we will consider our human rights legal framework when the process of leaving the EU concludes. We will remain signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights for the duration of the next parliament.

pp.37-41 GLOBAL BRITAIN
… We will continue to champion British values around the globe: freedom, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law. …
British leadership in international institutions
Global partnerships and alliances
…our proposed deep and special partnership with the European Union… …our existing special relationship with the United States… …our close links with our Commonwealth allies…
A global champion of free trade
Promoting British culture around the world
Leading the world in development
…we will maintain the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of our gross national income on assistance to developing nations and international emergencies.
Reforming asylum
… Wherever possible, the government will offer asylum and refuge to people in parts of the world affected by conflict and oppression, rather than to those who have made it to Britain. We will work to reduce asylum claims made in Britain and, as we do so, increase the number of people we help in the most troubled regions. We will continue to work with other countries in Europe, and the United Nations, to review the international legal definitions of asylum and refugee status. …
Protecting the global environment
…the Paris Agreement. We were the first country to introduce a Climate Change Act, which Conservatives helped to frame, and we are halfway towards meeting our 2050 goal of reducing emissions by eighty per cent from 1990 levels.
… We will work with our Overseas Territory governments to create a Blue Belt of marine protection in their precious waters, establishing the largest marine sanctuaries anywhere in the world.
Modern slavery
… As home secretary, Theresa May brought forward the Modern Slavery Act, the first of its kind in Europe, appointed the world’s first anti-slavery commissioner and set up the Modern Slavery Taskforce to bring together the heads of MI5, MI6 and the National Crime Agency to coordinate our response to criminal gangs operating across the world. …

pp.41-42 STRONG DEFENCE IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLD
… We will retain the Trident continuous-at-sea nuclear deterrent to provide the ultimate guarantee of our security.
We have the biggest defence budget in Europe and the second largest in NATO. We will continue to meet the NATO commitment to spend at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence and we will increase the defence budget by at least 0.5 per cent above inflation in every year of the new parliament.
The finest servicemen and women
… Under a Conservative government, British troops will in future be subject to the Law of Armed Conflict, which includes the Geneva Convention and UK Service Law, not the European Court of Human Rights. We will strengthen legal services regulation and restrict legal aid for unscrupulous law firms that issue vexatious legal claims against the armed forces. …
The best equipment for our armed forces
We plan to invest £178 billion in new military equipment over the next decade, creating high-skilled jobs across the whole country. For the first time in a generation the Royal Navy is growing. …
…HMS Queen Elizabeth…HMS Prince of Wales… Alongside our new Type 45 destroyers, we will build eight Type 26 anti-submarine frigates… We shall also deliver five Offshore Patrol Vessels.
For the Army we will deliver AJAX armoured vehicles, Apache attack helicopters, new drones, new missile and bomb systems, and better equipment for the Special Forces. The Royal Air Force will receive, with the Fleet Air Arm, the Lightning II strike fighter, as well as new Maritime Patrol Aircraft. …
Supporting our veterans
…the Armed Forces Covenant. …a one year holiday on Employer National Insurance Contributions… …a Veterans Board in the Cabinet Office.

pp.42-45 THE HOME OF DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW
…collective faith in our democratic institutions and our justice system has declined in the past two decades. …
A flourishing and secure democracy
… We will continue with the current boundary review, enshrining the principle of equal seats, while reducing the number of MPs to 600, similar to other Western democratic chambers. We will retain the first past the post system of voting for parliamentary elections and extend this system to police and crime commissioner and mayoral elections. We will retain the current franchise to vote in parliamentary elections at eighteen. We will repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. …
Celebrating public service
… We will continue to fund schemes to get graduates from Britain’s leading universities to serve in schools, police forces, prisons, and social care and mental health organisations. These programmes are now some of the UK’s largest graduate employers, taking the brightest and best from our universities and using their talents to tackle entrenched social problems. …
Reforming the justice system
Standing up for victims
…the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme…
Strengthening the police and security services
… We will create a national infrastructure police force, bringing together the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the Ministry of Defence Police and the British Transport Police to improve the protection of critical infrastructure such as nuclear sites, railways and the strategic road network. We will strengthen Britain’s response to white collar crime by incorporating the Serious Fraud Office into the National Crime Agency… …the National Cyber Security Centre…
Punishment and reform
… The £15 billion annual cost to society of reoffending shows we have so much more to do to make the penal system work better. …
We will invest over £1 billion to modernise the prison estate, replacing the most dilapidated prisons and creating 10,000 modern prison places. …

3. THE WORLD’S GREAT MERITOCRACY pp.47-60
p.48 Summary
pp.49-54 A COUNTRY FOUNDED ON MERIT
The greatest injustice in Britain today is that your life is still largely determined not by your efforts and talents but by where you come from, who your parents are and what schools you attend. This is wrong. …
More good school places
… There are still 1 million children in primary and secondary schools rated by Ofsted as ’requires improvement’ or ’inadequate’. If schools across the Midlands and north of England had the same average standards as those in the south, nearly 200,000 more children would be attending good schools. …
… We will replace the unfair and ineffective inclusivity rules that prevent the establishment of new Roman Catholic schools, instead requiring new faith schools to prove that parents of other faiths and none would be prepared to send their children to that school. We will work with the Independent Schools Council to ensure that at least 100 leading independent schools become involved in academy sponsorship or the founding of free schools in the state system…
A knowledge-rich curriculum
… To maintain progress as children go through secondary school, we will improve schools’ accountability at key stage 3. We will expect 75 per cent of pupils to have been entered for the EBacc combination of GCSEs by the end of the next parliament, with 90 per cent of pupils studying this combination of academic GCSEs by 2025. …
Supporting teachers
… We will increase the overall schools budget by £4 billion by 2022, representing more than a real terms increase for every year of the parliament. We will continue to protect the Pupil Premium to support those who need it. …
World-class technical education
… We have already introduced high quality apprenticeships that can reach to degree level and beyond for the 200,000 young people who choose to enter full-time vocational study after their GCSEs each year. …
We will start by replacing 13,000 existing technical qualifications with new qualifications, known as T-levels, across fifteen routes in subjects including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science. We will increase the number of teaching hours by fifty per cent to an average of 900 hours per year and make sure that each student does a three-month work placement as part of their course. …
… We will deliver our commitment to create 3 million apprenticeships for young people by 2020 and in doing so we will drive up the quality of apprenticeships to ensure they deliver the skills employers need. …
Career learning
More people in work
…we will offer a holiday on their employers’ National Insurance Contributions for a full year. …

pp.54-55 A COUNTRY THAT COMES TOGETHER
Controlling immigration
…with annual net migration standing at 273,000, immigration to Britain is still too high. …
Integrating divided communities
…help women in particular into the workplace, and teach more people to speak English. …
Defeating extremism
a Commission for Countering Extremism

pp.55-58 CONFRONTING BURNING INJUSTICES
To make Britain the world’s Great Meritocracy…we must look beyond divisions in educational opportunity.
The gender pay gap
… We will require companies with more than 250 employees to publish more data on the pay gap between men and women. …
The race gap
The mental health gap
…since 2010 we have increased spending on mental health each year to a record £11.4 billion in 2016/17, with a further investment of £1 billion by 20/21…
The disability gap
…the landmark Disability Discrimination Act of 1995. …
Preventing domestic violence
Reducing homelessness
…full implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act. Our aim will be to halve rough sleeping over the course of the parliament and eliminate it altogether by 2027. …

pp.59-60 CUTTING THE COST OF LIVING
Fair markets for consumers
… As Conservatives, we believe in markets as the best means to bring about prosperity and innovation, but we should act firmly and fast when a market works against the interests of consumers. Since 2010, we have capped the cost of credit for expensive payday lenders and will shortly ban letting agent fees. …
… We will strengthen the powers of consumer enforcement bodies to order fines against companies breaking consumer law and deliver redress for wronged parties. … We will strengthen the hand of online consumers. …
… A Conservative government will reform and modernise the home-buying process so it is more efficient and less costly. We will crack down on unfair practices in leasehold, such as escalating ground rents. We will also improve protections for those who rent… We will make billing for telecoms customers fairer and easier to understand… We will reduce insurance costs for ordinary motorists by cracking down on exaggerated and fraudulent whiplash claims. …
Fair energy markets
… First, we will ensure that smart meters will be offered to every household and business by the end of 2020…
… We will introduce a safeguard tariff cap that will extend the price protection…
… We will improve the energy efficiency of existing homes, especially for the least well off, by committing to upgrading all fuel poor homes to EPC Band C by 2030. …
Fair debt
…a “Breathing Space” scheme…

4. A RESTORED CONTRACT BETWEEN THE GENERATIONS pp.61-73
p.62 Summary
pp.63-64 DEALING WITH THE DEFICIT
… Conservatives believe in balancing the books and paying down debts – because it is wrong to pass to future generations a bill you cannot or will not pay yourself. …

pp.64-66 AN AGEING SOCIETY
Guaranteed annual increases in the state pension
A decade ago, pensions were in crisis and poverty blighted the retirement of many older people. It was wrong and it has been a Conservative government that has helped to put it right. By introducing the Pensions Triple Lock and the new State Pension, we have lifted the incomes of millions of older people, reducing pensioner poverty to historically low levels. …2020, and when it expires we will introduce a new Double Lock, meaning that pensions will rise in line with the earnings that pay for them, or in line with inflation – whichever is highest. …
… We will promote long-term savings and pensions products, including the Lifetime ISA, to encourage and incentivise more people to make provision for long-term needs, including a house purchase and retirement.
A long-term plan for elderly care
… We have already taken immediate action, putting £2 billion into the social care system and allowing councils to raise more money for care themselves from Council Tax. …
Under the current system, care costs deplete an individual’s assets, including in some cases the family home, down to £23,250 or even less.
First, we will align the future basis for means-testing for domiciliary care with that for residential care, so that people are looked after in the place that is best for them. This will mean that the value of the family home will be taken into account along with other assets and income, whether care is provided at home, or in a residential or nursing care home.
Second, to ensure this is fair, we will introduce a single capital floor, set at £100,000, more than four times the current means test threshold. This will ensure that, no matter how large the cost of care turns out to be, people will always retain at least £100,000 of their savings and assets, including value in the family home.
Third, we will extend the current freedom to defer payments for residential care to those receiving care at home, so no-one will have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care.
the Dilnot Report
…our forthcoming green paper will also address system-wide issues to improve the quality of care and reduce variation in practice. This will ensure the care system works better with the NHS to reduce unnecessary and unhealthy hospital stays and delayed transfers of care, and provide better quality assurance within the care sector. …
…we will meanstest Winter Fuel Payments, focusing assistance on the least well-off pensioners, who are most at risk of fuel poverty. …

pp.66-70 OUR NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE
The money and people the NHS needs
First, we will increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8 billion in real terms over the next five years…
Second… Last year we announced an increase in the number of students in medical training of 1,500 a year…
Third, we will ensure that the NHS has the buildings and technology it needs to deliver care properly and efficiently. …
Fourth…we will recover the cost of medical treatment from people not resident in the UK. … And we will increase the Immigration Health Surcharge, to £600 for migrant workers and £450 for international students…
Fifth, we will implement the recommendations of the Accelerated Access Review to make sure that patients get new drugs and treatments faster…
Holding NHS leaders to account
…NHS England… …the Five Year Forward View. … We will also back the implementation of the plan at a local level, through the Sustainability and Transformation Plans…
…in time for the start of the 2018 financial year, we will make non-legislative changes to remove barriers to the integration of care.
We will introduce a new GP contract to help develop wider primary care services. …
We will also help the million and more NHS clinicians and support staff develop the skills they need…
Exceptional standards of care, wherever, whenever
…we will make clinical outcomes more transparent so that clinicians and frontline staff can learn more easily from the best units and practices, and where there is clear evidence of poor patient outcomes, we will take rapid corrective action. …
…we will give patients, via digital means or over the phone, the ability to book appointments, contact the 111 service, order repeat prescriptions, and access and update aspects of their care records, as well as control how their personal data is used. …
…waiting times data for A&Es… …our National Diabetes Prevention Programme…
… Already 17 million people can get routine weekend or evening appointments at either their own GP surgery or one nearby, and this will expand to the whole population by 2019. …
We will retain the 95 per cent A&E target and the 18-week elective care standard…
… We will extend the scope of the CQC to cover the health-related services commissioned by local authorities. …
In cancer services, we will deliver the new promise to give patients a definitive diagnosis within 28 days by 2020…

pp.70-72 HOMES FOR ALL
… We will meet our 2015 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020 and we will deliver half a million more by the end of 2022. We will deliver the reforms proposed in our Housing White Paper to free up more land for new homes in the right places…
…maintaining the existing strong protections on designated land like the Green Belt, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. …government building 160,000 houses on its own land. …
We will enter into new Council Housing Deals with ambitious, pro-development, local authorities to help them build more social housing. …
…sold privately after ten to fifteen years with an automatic Right to Buy for tenants… We will enter into new Council Housing Deals with ambitious, pro-development, local authorities to help them build more social housing. …
…we will continue our £2.5 billion flood defence programme that will put in place protection for 300,000 existing homes by 2021.

pp.72-73 CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
High-quality childcare
…a Conservative government will introduce, this year, thirty hours of free childcare for three and four-year-olds for working parents who find it difficult to manage the costs of childcare… …we will immediately institute a capital fund to help primary schools develop nurseries where they currently do not have the facilities to provide one…
Children’s and young people’s health
… We are seeing progress: smoking rates are now lower than France or Germany, drinking rates have fallen below the European average and teenage pregnancies are at record lows. …
… Half of all mental health conditions become established in people before the age of fourteen. … A Conservative
government will publish a green paper on young people’s mental health before the end of this year. …
Protecting vulnerable children and families
… Placing a child under the oversight of social services and taking a child into care are amongst the most serious duties the state may discharge. We will demand all local authorities be commissioners of the highest-quality family support and child protection services, removing these responsibilities from the weakest councils and placing them in trust. We will ensure that councils provide consistency of care and cannot relocate vulnerable children far from their home when it is not in their best interests to do so. We will review support for Children in Need to understand why their outcomes are so poor and what more support they might require, in and out of school.
Finally, we shall explore ways to improve the family justice system. The family courts need to do more to support families, valuing the roles of mothers and fathers, while ensuring parents face up to their responsibilities.

5. PROSPERITY AND SECURITY IN A DIGITAL AGE pp.75-83
p.76 Summary
p.77 … These new technologies provide us with new and faster ways to communicate, learn, travel, have fun and do business. They accelerate the pace of change – ushering in new norms in the space of years rather than decades; challenging our laws and regulations to keep pace.
pp.77-80 A DIGITAL CHARTER
The best place for digital business
…our world-leading Enterprise Investment Scheme and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme… …open new offices of the British Business Bank in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newport… When we leave the European Union, we will fund the British Business Bank with the repatriated funds from the European Investment Fund.
… By the end of this year, 19 out of 20 premises will have access to superfast broadband and our Universal Service Obligation will ensure that by 2020 every home and every business in Britain has access to high speed broadband. … We will introduce a full fibre connection voucher for companies across the country by 2018 and by 2022 we will have major fibre spines in over a hundred towns and cities, with ten million premises connected to full fibre…
… By 2022 we will extend mobile coverage further to 95 per cent geographic coverage of the UK. By the same date, all major roads and main line trains will enjoy full and uninterrupted mobile phone signal, alongside guaranteed WiFi internet service on all such trains. …
The safest place to be online
… We will put a responsibility on industry not to direct users – even unintentionally – to hate speech, pornography, or other sources of harm. …
… To create a sound ethical framework for how data is used, we will institute an expert Data Use and Ethics Commission…
…we will bring forward a new data protection law…to ensure the very best standards for the safe, flexible and dynamic use of data and enshrining our global leadership…the National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care on a statutory footing…
We will continue with our £1.9 billion investment in cyber security and build on the successful establishment of the National Cyber Security Centre…
A free media
…the Leveson Inquiry… We will repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2014…

pp.80-82 DIGITAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SERVICES
… We will therefore create a new presumption of digital government services by default and an expectation that all government services are fully accessible online, with assisted digital support available for all public sector websites. …local issues and public transport…roadworks, planning applications and bus routes… …’schools maps’…
…central and local government will be required to release information regularly and in an open format, and data will be aggregated and anonymised where it is important to do so. We will incubate more digital services within government and introduce digital transformation fellowships…
…we shall roll out Verify, so that people can identify themselves on all government online services by 2020, using their own secure data that is not held by government. … …the ’Once-Only’ principle in central government services by 2022 and wider public services by 2025. …
Digital infrastructure
… We are leading the world in preparing for autonomous vehicles and will press ahead with our plans to use digital technology to improve our railways… Smart grids will make the most efficient use of our electricity infrastructure and electric vehicles, and we will use technology to manage our airspace better to reduce noise pollution and improve capacity. …
Digital land
…the property development industry… …we will combine the relevant parts of HM Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, the Valuation Office Agency, the Hydrographic Office and Geological Survey to create a comprehensive geospatial data body within government…

pp.82-83 A FRAMEWORK FOR DATA AND THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree. …
An international settlement
…a framework for data ethics…

CONCLUSION p.84


South Dakota Vol.1

cf. Midwest manufacturers growing, led by South Dakota and Minnesota (4/3/2017) | @cathy_roberts @StarTribune   Applied Engineering Upgrades Yankton, South Dakota, Manufacturing Plant (3/16/2017) | @AreaDevelopment (@SDGOED @yankton_ecodev)


Maine Vol.5

Today in History – March 15 : The Pine Tree State | @librarycongress    THIS DAY IN HISTORY : 1820 – Maine enters the Union | @HISTORY


Wyoming Vol.1


Illinois Vol.4

cf. Blue Man Show


US Policy Changes Vol.63 (Deregulation/Reform/Inequality Vol.7)

Here are articles on inequality, financial reform, tax, et al. Excerpts are on our own.

America on the Brink of Oligarchy (8/23/2012) | Paul Starr (@WilsonSchool) @NewRepublic
The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy
By Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney Verba, and Henry E. Brady (Princeton University Press, 693 pp.)
Oligarchy
By Jeffrey A. Winters (Cambridge University Press, 323 pp.)
The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy
By David Karpf (Oxford University Press, 237 pp.)
… Americans in the top fifth in socioeconomic status (a combined measure of income and education) are “roughly twice as likely to go to the polls as those in the bottom quintile” but about eight times more likely to make a political donation. …
… In research cited by Schlozman and her co-authors, Martin Gilens of Princeton University analyzed nearly two thousand questions in public-opinion surveys about proposed national policies from 1981 to 2002. On issues where opinion varied by income, he found that the policies finally adopted were strongly related to the preferences of upper-income people, and not at all to what the poor or even middle-income Americans wanted.
…twelve thousand organizations listed in the Washington Representatives directory. Contrary to a widespread misunderstanding, only a small proportion of groups represented in Washington (12 percent) are associations made up of individuals. The majority are corporations, governmental bodies, and associations of institutions. By sheer numbers, “representation of business is dominant.” In contrast, most workers who are neither professionals nor managers have no group in Washington representing their occupational interests, unless they are unionized—and only 7 percent of private-sector workers are now unionized.
The Unheavenly Chorus estimates that union members accounted for 25 percent of political activity in 1967 but for only 18 percent in 1990, and for just 11 percent in 2006. Meanwhile, corporations and the wealthy have been busily converting “market resources into political advocacy.”
… When C. Wright Mills wrote about “the power elite” in the 1950s, he was specifically referring to decision-makers at the pinnacle of corporate, military, and civilian bureaucracies. Winters rejects elite theory as a “detour,” and reaches back to an older tradition of thought stressing the distinctive role of wealth as a foundation of power. He traces his theory of oligarchy to Aristotle (“whenever men rule by reason of their wealth, whether they be few or many, that is an oligarchy”) and to Machiavelli, who was concerned with the means by which a republic could limit the power of wealth. …
… If a Michael Bloomberg decides to run for office, Winters points out, it is not because he is trying to keep his wealth safe from rivals or necessarily to advance his material interests. In a civil oligarchy, rather than seeking out the spotlight, the superrich can use their money to exert political influence, and they can hire the busy “worker bees” of what Winters calls the “Income Defense Industry,” including banks, investment advisors, and law and accounting firms. …particularly to the creation of tax shelters so costly that they are available only to the ultra-rich. …oligarchs have an interest in pushing tax obligations down to the mass affluent through a lower threshold for the highest tax bracket, which deflects some of the burden and may win the super-rich more allies in opposing higher marginal rates.
…the “lion’s share” of recent gains in income and wealth have gone “to a sliver of the population,” the top “1/10th and even 1/100th of the top 1 percent of households.” If political participation were the key, economic gains should at least have been diffused more widely among the mass affluent. …market-generated returns have also diverged because of changes in technology and the global economy, and although aggressively egalitarian policies might have limited the breakaway gains at the top, those policies were blocked by a conservative ideological resurgence that cannot be reduced to the influence of big money.
… Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corporation pays a tax rate of only 9.8 percent (compared with the statutory rate of 35 percent), because 90 percent of its earnings come from hotels and casinos in Singapore and Macao. Obama has proposed ending the deductions and credits that enable Sands to shelter billions in revenue from taxes. Adelson is also facing a Justice Department investigation of potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in his Macao dealings. Another big GOP donor, the Texas financier Harold Simmons, has used political contributions to win favorable legislation in his own and other states advancing his nuclear-waste business…
…David Karpf’s The MoveOn Effect… …@dailykos @DFAaction @BoldProgressive…
… In recent decades, while conservatives developed into a strong and cohesive political force, the rise of specialized, issue-based progressive advocacy led to a proliferation of separate agendas. So the rise of politically oriented “issue generalists” on the liberal side is a welcome development. In addition, the new groups are cheap to run, and they easily scale up to large dimensions.
…to suggest that the Internet is a “weapon of the strong” is to miss a crucial point: online organization does not depend on patronage by the wealthy. The new low-cost methods of organizing are especially important at a time when one of the central threats to American democracy is the entrenchment of oligarchic power. …

A Wasted Crisis?: Why the Democrats did so little to change Wall Street (7/12/2013) | Paul Starr (@WilsonSchool) @NewRepublic
…political changes have undermined whatever dignity and respect members of Congress once had. …
… But financial reform posed a difficult test for several reasons—the political power of the industry, the complexity of the issues, and the complicity of leading Democrats in the policies that helped to bring about the crisis.
…@OpenSecretsDC, which tracks political donations, “the financial sector is far and away the largest source of campaign contributions to federal candidates and parties.” Thanks in part to federal policy, finance has become the dominant sector of the economy, increasing its share of total domestic profits from 15 percent in the early 1980s to 41 percent in the early 2000s. The financialization of the economy promotes the financialization of politics, as money finds its way to power. …
… The ultimate basis of finance’s power is structural: if governments adopt policies that genuinely threaten financial markets, capital will migrate elsewhere, credit will tighten, and economic growth will suffer. But the more complicated the markets become, the more difficult it is to know where the danger point lies. Complexity amplifies the industry’s influence in discussions about alternatives, because its CEOs and lobbyists can make inflated claims of perilous repercussions from change that legislators do not know enough to discount. …
… Removing those barriers did exactly the opposite. …Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut…
… Robert Kaiser’s Act of Congress is a step-by-step, journalistic narrative of the legislative process from the eruption of the financial crisis in September 2008 through the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in July 2010. In Kaiser’s telling, Congress overcame special-interest pressures and partisan obstruction, worked through complex issues, and enacted substantial and intelligent legislation. In stark contrast, Jeff Connaughton’s The Payoff is a burn-all-bridges memoir of a longtime lobbyist who became a top aide to a liberal Democratic senator and says that Dodd-Frank was shot through with holes as a result of special-interest pressures and the connivance of both Dodd and the administration. And in the most weighty and analytical of the books, Political Bubbles, the political scientists Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole, and Howard Rosenthal argue that 2008 was a “wasted crisis” because American democracy failed not only in the run-up to the bailouts, but also in the aftermath. Dodd-Frank, they say, exemplifies a long historical pattern (except for the New Deal) of weak and often counterproductive governmental responses to breakdowns in the financial system.
… Frank and Dodd shared…the practical wisdom required to get things done. …
“Dodd’s personal attributes were even more important,” Kaiser writes. Not as brilliant as Frank but “bright enough,” Dodd was popular with other senators and shrewd in dealing with them, always looking for ways to address the “substantive concerns of his colleagues, especially Republicans.” In a memorable episode…
… Frank agreed to two concessions: a limit on the supervisory authority of the new agency that the law would establish to protect consumers, and a change in the formula for assessments paid to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which would shift more than $1 billion in annual fees from the community banks to the big banks. Wall Street would not like it, but by peeling off the hometown banks, Frank reduced local pressure on the Blue Dogs and other representatives to oppose the bill.
… Social scientists distinguish among three dimensions of power. Who wins and who loses in overt conflict is only the first dimension. The second dimension is control, often implicit, over what gets on the agenda and the issues and alternatives that never even come up for discussion. The third dimension involves the terms of debate, the ways of thinking about problems. …
… The industry opposed the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created under the law as well as other provisions, such as a watered-down version of the Volcker Rule…
…Jeff Connaughton…
… Dodd, whom Connaughton describes as “Machiavellian,” readily made concessions to Republicans who were not going to vote for the bill, while ignoring his own Democratic colleagues. …
In Political Bubbles, McCarty, Poole, and Rosenthal… “We favor a strong set of simple rules rather than regulatory discretion,” they write. “The thirty-seven pages of Glass-Steagall are much to be preferred to the nearly three thousand pages of Dodd-Frank.”…
… “Washington rushed to bail out the commercial and investment banks and American International Group (AIG), but did little to relieve small debtors” and Congress passed Dodd-Frank, which “leaves ample opportunities for future bubbles.”
… Institutionally, the key development has been the increased use of the filibuster in the Senate. Together, the growth in ideological polarization in Congress and the exploitation of institutional choke points have led to gridlock, blocking legislative adjustment of policies as conditions change. And in the case of finance, that failure to update policy has effectively meant deregulation, because of the creation in recent decades of new financial products not envisioned under the New Deal regulatory regime. …
…a consumer coalition in 2009 announced it would raise $5 million to support financial reform; in comparison, the lobbying expenditures by the finance industry in 2009 and 2010 totaled around $750 million.
… Dodd-Frank’s establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the ACA’s insurance reforms and expansion of coverage. As a result of those provisions, I wouldn’t say that Dodd-Frank was a “waste” of a crisis or that the ACA was a mistake—but both laws leave key interests undisturbed and therefore do not deal with critical problems in either finance or health care. …
Yet the battles over financial reform and health care differed in at least one way. Financial reform never had the public’s attention the way health care did. According to McCarty, Poole, and Rosenthal, “it was not because the public was divided, even along partisan lines, over the causes of the crisis or the need to reregulate the financial services industry.” In their view, skepticism about government’s ability to restrain Wall Street and confusion about what ought to be done dampened public engagement.
… During the debate over Dodd-Frank, neither Obama nor congressional leaders even tried to arouse public concern about Wall Street and build support for a stronger bill. Ironically, anger over Wall Street and the bailouts found its expression in the Tea Party in 2010. …
… Connaughton’s memoir is a reminder about such deceptions as Goldman Sachs’s sale of derivatives to customers who didn’t know that those derivatives had been designed to go bust, and Lehman’s shift of liabilities off its balance sheets before it went broke, and the tower of speculation built on liar loans and other subprime mortgages. Millions of people have lost their homes, whole communities have been devastated, but somehow the government does not have the ability or the will to prosecute the executives…
The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It, Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig… …the debts of the five biggest banks in the United States as of March 2012 totaled $8 trillion, a figure that they say would have been higher under European accounting standards. …

What Is Hillary Clinton’s Agenda?: She’s had so much to say on so many issues that voters may not know what she wants to accomplish. (6/20/2016) | Paul Starr (@WilsonSchool) @theprospect
… In 2010, congressional Democrats and the president prevented the extension of the tax cuts for the rich enacted under George W. Bush, increasing the top marginal income tax rate back to its level during the Clinton administration (39.6 percent) and reducing tax cuts on investment income and estates. When these changes went into effect in 2013, the top 0.1 percent paid $50 billion in taxes more than they would have paid under the previous rules. Partly as a result of a provision in the ACA, the tax rate on capital gains has gone from 15 percent to 23.8 percent. …


US Policy Changes Vol.60 (Infrastructure Vol.6 – Transportation)

Here are articles on transportation, et al. Excerpts are on our own.

Transportation and the Cost of Convenience (w Podcast; 1/12/2016) | @whartonknows
…Edward Humes…Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation…
Humes:… …every time traffic delays the average UPS route a minute, that minute costs the company $12.5 million. …
…the delivery companies around the world are lusting after drones, but not little ones — big ones, 747-sized drones. That’s where they see unmanned aircraft as the next disruption and provider of efficiency, lower costs — obviously, because they’re eliminating humans — and also more safety.
…$1.4 billion was spent to add a lane onto a 10-mile stretch… …just inviting more cars to come to the party. Adding capacity without changing the driving behavior, without providing some kind of incentive or disincentive to drive at peak times doesn’t work. …
… We lost about $160 billion to the economy in 2015 just from traffic delays and congestion and the wasted fuel they cause. … If even 10% of the commuting population in a large city defers their commute by half an hour, it could reduce congestion almost magically.
… You could replace the gasoline tax…with congestion pricing. …it eliminates that 50% of rush hour drivers who don’t really need to be there.
…the rise of the smartphone has also empowered ride-sharing, which is a huge disruptor. And when you combine that with the evolving technology of driverless vehicles, that’s a new paradigm for how we use and deploy cars — and whether or not we even want to own them in the future. We may just buy car time like…
…tunnels that are 100 years old. … There’s a $3.6 trillion backlog in repairs to our transportation infrastructure. …
…60,000 bridges… Every day that was closed, it cost the trucking and goods-moving industry $2.5 million. …
… We can’t forsake the people who are at the heart of our goods movement industry now whose jobs would be at risk from driverless technology. …
… Solve the inconvenience of getting to the train station. The driverless car comes and drops you off. …
… It’s not just big cities. … But yes, those are the places where traffic and a lot of the negative issues associated with it are most intense. …

How four macro forces will shape Elaine Chao’s tenure as Transportation Secretary (1/10/2016) | @AdieTomer @BrookingsMetro
… The next Secretary will have a chance to craft their own digital legacy, including revised street designs to accommodate autonomous and shared vehicles, standardize infrastructure sensor technologies, finalize drone regulations, and respond to products not even yet invented. …
… Infrastructure jobs are one of the few areas of the economy where workers can earn a living wage or more without advanced education. Yet some of those same jobs are among those most threatened by automation, including long-distance truck driving and many other positions involved in logistics and warehousing. The fact that many transportation workers are nearing retirement is simultaneously putting new demands on workforce training programs to prepare the next wave of vital infrastructure employees. …
… Emphasizing that electrified transportation is the industry’s future while downplaying the carbon reduction benefits.
…a 55,000-person agency with a $75 billion annual budget. …TIGER…

Why Better Urban Planning Won’t Reduce Traffic — but Taxes Will (w Video; 2/9/2016) | @whartonknows
… But new research co-authored by Wharton real estate professor Gilles Duranton finds that such policies may not have as great an effect as planners believe. In “Urban Form and Driving: Evidence from U.S. Cities,” Duranton and Brown University professor Matthew A. Turner find that increases in density cause only minimal decreases in aggregate driving, meaning it is unlikely to be a cost-effective policy for responding to traffic congestion or automobile-related pollution. …
Urban Form and Traffic
… One is greenhouse gas emissions — i.e., carbon that fosters climate change, global warming and all of that. And the second one is much more localized: small particulates, which could affect people’s health.
Key Takeaways
…if you bring up density by about 10%, it leads to reduction in traveling of about 1%.
Surprising Conclusions
…there’s one major characteristic of cities that matters: the density around you.
‘Everything Else Will Not Do Much’
… To go after local pollution, you need a tax for congestion — i.e., the concentration of traffic in some areas of a city — so you need to make drivers pay for that. And you need to tax carbon emissions. For instance, the province of British Columbia does this in Canada — it’s a resounding success. …
Global Problems, Global Solutions
…they require federal interventions. …
What Sets the Research Apart
…a big survey done by the Department of Transportation with nearly a million trips. …
What’s Next
…congestion…

How Federal Policy Is Paving the Way for Driverless Cars (w Podcast; 9/28/2016) | @whartonknows
A proactive regulatory regime and a cooperative approach from auto makers are the key backdrops of the U.S. government’s policy for automated vehicles Federal Automated Vehicles Policy – Message from Secretary of Transportation Anthony R. Foxx https://www.transportation.gov/AV… …automated vehicles, such as self-driving cars, could potentially save thousands of lives, especially when 94% of crashes on U.S. roadways are caused by human choice or error…
“Tradeoffs and design choices are being made,” says Wharton management professor John Paul MacDuffie, who is also director of Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation at the School’s @MackInstitute. Safety in self-driving vehicles hinges on two critical aspects – “good object recognition and good distance estimation,” he adds. “It may only be that when we have got camera, radar and Lidar (distance estimation using laser illumination) all operating that we may get the accuracy that we need.”
Technology Pulls Ahead: Ride-hailing services provider Uber is piloting driverless cars in Pittsburgh, Penn.; Tesla has launched new software for self-driving cars; and auto component suppliers are realigning themselves…
…breakups, such as that between Tesla and its supplier Mobileye… Mobileye has since teamed up with component supplier Delphi to develop fully autonomous driving technology.
Ahead of the Curve:… Federal policy could also be adopted as the regulatory template by various U.S. states…
Cooperative Stance from Automakers:…in the case of automated vehicles, it is “different and potentially more cooperative,” …auto companies and industry interest groups feel that this time “the government got it right in terms of guidelines…
Preparing for 2021:…the much-anticipated year when the auto industry expects to have a full fledged launch of self-driving vehicles…
…Level 3…the stage where the responsibility for driving is handed back and forth between the artificial intelligence software and the driver. Levels 1 and 2 deal with features like cruise control and alerts when cars stray off lanes. Level 4, where there will be no human intervention in driving at all is much further away…
Perfecting the Technology:…designed to learn from experience, so all the data from testing goes back to help identify different situations that come up… …when vehicles could communicate with each other, such as with transponders and some agreed-upon standards…
…a mix of human drivers and early adopters of automated vehicles… …Uber driverless taxis in Pittsburgh always have one or two Uber employees in them to collect data…

Railroads Present A Bipartisan Case For Regulatory Reform (1/21/2017) | Edward R. Hamberger (@AAR_FreightRail) @Forbes
… Too often, for instance, regulators propose new rules in response to news events without thoroughly examining their effectiveness or how they add to the cumulative burden of existing red tape. Regulators also seek to sidestep legal challenges to rules unsupported by data or evidence by issuing “guidance” which typically has the same effect as regulations. …
Meanwhile the Surface Transportation Board (STB), the economic regulator of the sector, is still mulling a mandate for railroads to use their private infrastructure and equipment for the benefit of competitors. …

Mercury, other toxins drained into Columbia-area creeks as sewage systems failed (11/16/2016) | @sfretwell83 @thestate


US Policy Changes Vol.50 (Infrastructure Vol.5 – Water)

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

Investing in water: Comparing utility finances and economic concerns across U.S. cities (12/14/2016) | Joseph Kane @BrookingsMetro
cf. https://twitter.com/_WorldSolutions/status/820261737555324928
SUMMARY
INTRODUCTION
Understanding water investment challenges at the city level
Comparing water investment across different cities
– Only a handful of drinking water utilities in the largest cities nationally rank highly across six major categories of water finance and related economic indicators.
– More than three-quarters of large drinking water utilities are able to cover their operating expenses each year.
– Many large drinking water utilities carry high levels of long-term debt—up to 96 percent of the value of their current assets—making it difficult to accelerate new capital investments.
– On average, large drinking water utilities are charging higher rates to cover needed costs, although the specific rates can vary widely from city to city.
– Many cities with large drinking water utilities are experiencing gains in income and population, but they are still struggling to balance affordability concerns, particularly for lower-income households.
Exploring potential strategies and innovations
CONCLUSION

The aging water infrastructure: Out of sight, out of mind? (3/21/2016) | Patricia Buckley, Lester Gunnion, Will Sarni @DU_Press
… The number of water main breaks across the country, from Syracuse to Los Angeles, is staggering: 240,000 per year… The direct cost of these leaks is pegged at $2.6 billion per year. … The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that, while the cumulative cost to households from degrading water/wastewater infrastructure will add up to $59 billion (in 2010 dollars) over the period between 2013 and 2020, the cost to business will be more than double that, at $147 billion.
EVOLUTION OF THE SYSTEM
SAFEGUARDING THE WATER SUPPLY
[The problem with lead]
THE ISSUES: AGING, FUNDING, PRICING
… The AWWA estimates that the cost of restoring underground pipes will total at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years, without including the cost of constructing new infrastructure or repairing treatment plants. Separately, the USEPA’s 2011 Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment (DWINSA) estimated that the United States will require $384 billion in capital investment over the next 20 years to ensure that drinking water standards are in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. … …the USEPA’s 2012 Clean Watersheds Needs Survey estimates that $271 billion in capital investment will be needed over the next 20 years to address water-related health problems and ensure that watersheds are compliant with the Clean Water Act.
… In 2012, most Americans paid less than $3.75 per 1,000 gallons of safe water. … …even though US water prices increased by 41 percent between 2010 and 2015,32 the average US household spent just $530 on water in 2014—only about 20 percent of the average amount spent on gasoline ($2,468).
… One of the most commonly proposed solutions for recovering costs is by shifting a greater degree of cost recovery to fixed fees from usage-based fees. …
… In December 2015, for instance, the US Congress passed a five-year, $305 billion transportation bill that, among other things, lifted a ban on the issuance of tax-exempt bonds with loans for projects under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). …
[Water prices worldwide]
THE PATH FORWARD
… With regard to innovative funding, we have seen the emergence of green bonds, such as the 100-year bonds used by DC Water, and public-private partnerships, such as that in Bayonne, New Jersey. …

A Tale of Two Public-private Partnership Cities (6/10/2015) | @whartonknows
… The water came from reservoirs 50 miles northwest of the city, delivered through an outdated aqueduct in need of frequent repair that the city could ill afford. Like many other cities, Bayonne had deferred maintenance on its water systems. Its excessive debt burden led to a poor credit rating that made further borrowing more expensive. …
Bayonne’s sewer system, pumping an average of 8.3 million gallons of wastewater daily, had similar challenges, including outdated infrastructure…
… Only a few months after Sandy…a joint venture partnership for both water and wastewater operations with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) funding 90% of the effort with United Water, a unit of French giant Suez Environnement S.A.
… In 2013, Moody’s Investor Service upgraded Bayonne’s bond rating from Baa1 with a negative outlook to Baa1 with a stable outlook, in particular citing the city’s recent progress in reducing its debt burden through the lease-sale of the MUA operations.
KKR and United Water further pledged to funnel another $157 million into the water systems over the 40-year length of the contract, with about $2.5 million a year earmarked for maintenance and upgrades. …
… “We receive $2.5 million per year, which is a nice chunk of money guaranteed. What the partnership does is remove the need for political will for the maintenance of the system. …
…@foodandwater…
…“Private Equity, Public Inequity,”…
…@NWFinancialGrp…
…the city could save almost $35 million over its 40-year contract, compared to operating the water utilities on its own. …
A Private Sector Lifeline for Rialto
… According to “Private Capital, Public Good,” a research paper from the Brookings Institution, Rialto’s “historically underfunded system also struggled to meet pension liabilities, which were starting to weigh on the utility’s ability to affordably raise capital in the tax-exempt market.” …
…state revolving loan funds and municipal bond financing often have not been sufficient to meet local needs. …
In 2013, Rialto entered into a 30-year, $300 million public-private partnership (P3) agreement with Veolia Environnement S.A.’s Veolia Water as the operator of the project. Ullico, a labor-owned insurance and investment company, was the lead finance partner, along with Table Rock Capital. …

The Path to Water Innovation (PDF; Oct 2014) | Newsha K. Ajami, Barton H. Thompson Jr., David G. Victor @hamiltonproj,@StanfordWoods
Abstract
… Today, it provides sufficient water to support over 315 million people, almost 55 million acres of irrigated farmland, and a $16 trillion economy. …
… Yet, in comparison to the electric power sector, investment in water innovation is extremely low. …
… Among the main management and policy barriers are (1) unrealistically low water pricing rates; (2) unnecessary regulatory restrictions; (3) the absence of regulatory incentives; (4) lack of access to capital and funding; (5) concerns about public health and possible risks associated with adopting new technologies with limited records; (6) the geographical and functional fragmentation of the industry; and (7) the long life expectancy, size, and complexity of most water systems. …
We focus on several recommendations: (1) pricing policies that would both better align with the full economic cost of supplying water and decouple revenues from the volume of water supplied; (2) regulatory frameworks to create an open and flexible governance environment that is innovation friendly and encourages valuable new technologies; and (3) financing and funding mechanisms, such as a public benefit charge on water, that can help raise sufficient funds to implement innovative solutions.

Chapter 1: Introduction
…almost 40 percent of the pipes used in the nation’s water distribution systems are forty years old or older, and some key infrastructure is a century old. On average, about 16 percent of the nation’s piped water is lost due to leaks and system inefficiencies, wasting about 7 billion gallons of clean and treated water every day…
… Research and development (R&D) is a public good that is likely to be suboptimal in scale without public financial support…
… First… Improper water pricing undercuts both the incentive for water-conserving technologies by water users and the financial stability needed to finance the adoption and implementation of new water technologies by the water suppliers. …
Second… …many current regulations frequently hinder the adoption of cost-effective technologies.
Third, we call for a public benefit charge on water to allow for more public funding for water innovation.

Chapter 2: Background
THE WATER SECTOR
FIGURE 1. Water Distribution and Use Cycle
…155,000 drinking-water systems and 15,000 wastewater systems exist…
… While private water suppliers still outnumber public suppliers in the United States, public suppliers today furnish water to about 80 percent of the nation’s domestic and commercial users and almost 20 percent of its industrial users. …
Public water entities are seldom subject to regulation by state public utility commissions. As a result, local political processes provide the principal oversight of public water suppliers. …
COMPARISONS TO THE ENERGY SECTOR
… First…
Second…
…the nature of ownership. …
…state-owned enterprises (SOEs)…
FIGURE 2. Comparison of U.S. Patents Filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty for Clean Energy and Water Purification, 1999–2011

Chapter 3: State of Innovation in the Water Sector
…53 percent of the water sector’s capital spending goes to system expansion, followed by 37 percent for replacing existing infrastructure and 10 percent for compliance. …
INNOVATION FRONTIERS IN THE WATER SECTOR
FIGURE 3. Size of the Major International Water Markets, 2010
… First, water managers assumed that demand for fresh water would increase with population and that the only way to ensure a balance between supply and demand was to find new sources of supply. …
… Water managers, moreover, generally looked to large-scale, centralized infrastructure projects to increase supply, on the assumption that large-scale projects would generate significant economies of scale and provide greater operational flexibility…
… Finally…if they designed water systems to meet current hydrologic conditions, those systems would also meet future conditions. …
1. Supply enhancement. …technologies that promise more-drought-resistant water supplies, such as reclaimed water or desalination; or that can reduce energy use, such as recycling technologies that extract significant energy from wastewater… …technologies that allow more-localized resource enhancement strategies, such as rainwater and storm water capture, and small-scale water reclamation.
2. Demand management. …technologies that encourage or enable water-use efficiency…or water conservation… Examples range from water-efficient appliances to drip irrigation to smart irrigation controllers. …smart meters…
3. Governance improvement. … Smart metering and advanced data collection methodologies…
These three categories cover a wide variety of technological innovations including:
• Smart water.
• Efficiency and conservation.
• Purification.
• Alternative sources.
• Storage (surface and ground).
• Groundwater.
EVALUATING PATTERNS OF INNOVATION IN WATER AND CLEAN ENERGY
Innovation Indicators: Investment Trends
…clean energy and water…
… In the United States, investments are dominated by venture capital activity in both sectors, but especially in the water sector where venture capital and corporate ventures account for 53 and 24 percent, respectively, of total investment dollars (figure 4b). By comparison, investment banking is the largest global contributor to both clean energy and water, at 31 and 27 percent, respectively, of total investment dollars (figure 4a).
… The United States accounts for approximately 50 percent of global investment deals in both the clean energy and water sectors…
… There were 4,193 venture capital deals for clean energy, raising $20 billion at an average of $4.8 million per deal. By contrast, 372 deals raised $800 million in venture capital for the water sector, at an average of $2.2 million per deal…
FIGURE 4. Sources of Investment Dollars for Global and U.S. Innovation in the Clean Energy and Water Sectors, 2000–13
Venture Capital Investment
FIGURE 5. Number of Deals and Relative Contribution of Investment Types for Global and U.S. Innovation in the Clean Energy and Water Sectors, 2000–13
FIGURE 6. Global and U.S. Investments in Clean Energy and Water by Venture, Corporate and Corporate Venture, and Public Sources, 2000–13
Corporate Investment
… First, some corporations might be seeking to improve their own internal operations. … Second, corporations might be looking for new market opportunities. …
FIGURE 7. Number of Patents Relative to Market Size for Solar and Wind Power Industry, 2000–11
Public Investment
…in the United States the clean energy sector has benefited from about $8 billion in public investment over the past thirteen years, while only $28 million in public dollars has gone to the water sector over the same period. …
Innovation Indicators: Patents
FIGURE 8. Patent Filings with Patent Cooperation Treaty for Water Purification and Clean Energy by Country, 1999–2011
FIGURE 9. Number of U.S. Patents Filed in the Clean Energy and Water Subsectors, 1999–2012

Chapter 4: Explaining Patterns of Innovation
PRICING PRACTICES
FIGURE 10. Tariff Price and Domestic Use per Capita, 2012
The pricing of water in the United States affects innovation in several ways. First, it reduces the revenue available to water suppliers to invest in innovation. …
…about 16 percent of the treated water in the United States is lost to leaky pipes and system inefficiencies. This translates to 7 billion gallons of clean water per day that is produced without generating any revenue for the water service providers…
…about 30 percent of the water in the United States falls under the category of nonrevenue water, meaning water that has been extracted, treated, and distributed, but that has never generated any revenue because it has been lost to leaks, metering inaccuracies, or the like…
Second…the extraction of water from a river or stream can have significant environmental costs. Because prices do not reflect such costs, however, analyses to decide whether to extract additional water for a growing city or to invest instead in water recycling and reuse…
Third, the underpricing of water can undercut incentives that water users would otherwise have to invest in new technologies to reduce water use. …
FIGURE 11. Relative Capital Investment to Revenue Ratio for Several Utility Services
… States with the highest electricity costs—such as Hawaii and California—have seen the most active programs to advance wind, solar, and other forms of renewable electricity. …
REGULATIONS
…(1) ensuring a significant market for recycling technology, (2) encouraging the diffusion of such technology, (3) enabling the refinement and improvement of recycling technology through actual use, and (4) driving the development of less-expensive recycling technologies.
TABLE 1. Regulatory Drivers and Barriers to Adoption of Water-Recycling Innovations
FIGURE 12. Importance of Industry Issues, 2012
LACK OF ACCESS TO CAPITAL

Chapter 5: Infusing Innovation into the Water Sector
IMPROVE WATER PRICING POLICIES
FIGURE 13. Number of Clean Energy Patents and Price of Electricity, 2001–11
BOX 1. California’s Decoupling Experience
DEVELOP INNOVATION-FRIENDLY REGULATION
…each state conduct a systematic review of its regulatory practices relating to the water sector. …:
• State legislators and regulators should avoid geographically inconsistent regulations. …
• Legislators and regulators also should consider crosssector impacts when adopting new regulations. …
• State regulations should provide sufficient flexibility to avoid blocking the timely adoption of new and innovative technologies. …
• State legislators and regulators should consider the appropriateness of rules that encourage the adoption of new technologies. …
INSTITUTE A MECHANISM FOR RAISING PUBLIC FUNDS FOR INNOVATION
FIGURE 14. Governance Structure of Public Good Charge for Electricity in California

Chapter 6: Conclusion

Chapter 7: Questions and Concerns
How can states and local agencies be encouraged or incentivized to implement the proposed reforms?
Would states need to build additional capacity or provide additional funding for these reforms?
Should there be a mandate for these pricing reforms?
What will be the potential obstacles or resistance to these reforms?
• Salience.
• Financial Impacts.
• Complexity.


UK Vol.65 (Post-EUref Vol.11 – including UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit speech)

Here are articles on Brexit including scholars’ analyses, UK Prime Minister’s speech, et al. Excerpts are on our own.

I was wrong on Brexit (12/12/2016) | Niall Ferguson @BostonGlobe
The three words you are least likely to hear from an academic are “I was wrong.” Well, I was wrong to argue against “Brexit,” as I admitted in public last week. …
…Europe became the world’s most dynamic civilization after around 1500 partly because of political fragmentation and competition between multiple independent states. …the rule of law ? and specifically the English common law ? was one of the “killer applications” of western civilization.
…the costs of Brexit would outweigh the benefits. …the doom-laden projections of a post-Brexit recession from the International Monetary Fund, the Treasury, and others. …
…Americans since the 1960s have wanted the Brits inside the EU to counterbalance the French…
… First, the warnings I and others gave about European monetary union back in the 1990s have been wholly vindicated.
Second, Europe’s supposedly common foreign policy has been a failure. …
Third, the EU institutions mishandled the financial crisis. …
Nor is that all. Last year EU leaders… Finally, they utterly misread the mounting public dissatisfaction ? not only in Britain ? with the consequences of unfettered free population movement.
… His mistake was to accept the risible terms that the European leaders offered him back in February on EU migrants’ eligibility for benefits, instead of marching out of the conference room and announcing that he would campaign for Brexit. My mistake was not to urge that.
… Many “Remainers” have dug in deeper and waste their time dreaming up ways of derailing Brexit. The Brexiteers meanwhile are dividing like 19th-century Protestant sectarians over how “hard” Brexit should be. …

Key points from May’s Brexit speech: what have we learned? (w Video; 1/17/2019) | @jonhenley @guardian
The single market
…her top two Brexit priorities are controlling EU immigration and withdrawing from the jurisdiction of the European court of justice.
… Single market membership, she said, would mean accepting the EU’s four freedoms – free movement of goods, services, capital and people – and “complying with the EU’s rules and regulations that regulate those freedoms”.
…Britain will seek “the greatest possible access to it through a new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement”.
The customs union
…goods from outside the area are charged a common external tariff to cross its border and enter it; goods already within it can circulate and cross borders freely.
…she did not want Britain to be bound by the common commercial policy and the common external tariff.
But she also said she wanted tariff-free trade with Europe and cross-border trade there to be “as frictionless as possible”…
… Car parts, for example, cross EU borders dozens of times before completion, and customs checks would be disastrous…
Parliamentary involvement and article 50 timing
… This deadline may be problematic if the supreme court rules, as expected, later this month that parliament must vote on the formal article 50 notification to the EU, and it could also be delayed by elections in Northern Ireland.
… “I can confirm today that the government will put the final deal that is agreed between the UK and the EU to a vote in both Houses of Parliament, before it comes into force.”
Controlling EU immigration
…while wanting to continue to attract “the brightest and best to study and work in Britain”…
… She has previously rejected the idea of a point-based regime, and ministers have hinted at the possibility of work visas, but no new system has yet been formally announced.
A transitional deal
…a “cliff-edge”: …with no future relationship defined.
…“implementation period”…
But she is opposed to the kind of interim arrangement favoured by some who want a lengthy…
Status of EU citizens in UK and UK citizens on continent
…“negotiating capital”. …the government wants to guarantee their rights – and those of British citizens on the continent – “as early as we can”. …
The EU budget
…“some specific European programmes… …it is reasonable that we should make an appropriate contribution.”
The EEA option
… “We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries.”
… Britain did not want “partial membership…or associate membership…
Ireland and the union
…maintaining the pre-EU common travel area between Britain and Ireland… …avoid a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
…describing the union between England, Scotland and Wales as precious. …
Tone
…“I want us to be … the best friend and neighbour to our European partners,”…
…“an act of calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe. …
…“no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain”…
Conclusion

Theresa May’s Brexit speech in full: Prime Minister outlines her 12 objectives for negotiations: Britain is leaving the Single Market but will still cooperate in other areas (1/18/2017) | @independent

London Mayor Sadiq Khan in stinging attack on Theresa May’s Brexit plans, warning they could ‘rip Britain apart’ (w Videos; 1/18/2017) | @PippaCrerar @standardnews

How a British Court Ruling Could Delay Brexit Negotiations (w Podcast; 11/9/2016) | @whartonknows
… Olivier Chatain, professor of strategy and business policy at the HEC Paris business school, and a senior fellow at Wharton’s Mack Institute of Innovation Management, and Michelle Egan, a professor at American University’s School of International Service…
More Uncertainty
Economic Impact
Finding Common Ground
Brexit Referendum Will Stand
A Brexit Bill

Oxford academics warning of Brexit ‘disaster’ (1/11/2017) | @seanjcoughlan @bbc
A “hard Brexit” would be the “biggest disaster” to have hit the UK’s universities for many years, a university head told MPs.
‘Culturally allergic’
‘Manchester Utd problem’
Research funding
Unanswered questions

Can Brexit Be Achieved with Minimal Damage? (w Podcast; 10/7/2016) | @whartonknows
American University’s Michelle Egan…

How Brexit Could Boost the European Union (9/21/2016) | @whartonknows
Size Matters a lot
Then There Is Regulation
Talent Is Key
Real Investments
Yet More Uncertainty
Opportunities for the Rest of Europe
– Big is beautiful? promote it
– Boost the single market? but shift the focus to direct benefits for people
– Smart integration? do things that could not be done before
– Bring over banks, corporates and the ecosystem? make it appealing to move
– Leverage investment opportunities? follow the money
– Attract the leaders of tomorrow? EU-27 as the place to be
– Make it appealing for skilled workers to move back
– Finally, it is all about trust, stability and the reduction of uncertainty

Amid Brexit and Spotify threats, Stockholm adapts to remain globally competitive (9/20/2016) | Elizabeth Patterson and Marek Gootman @BrookingsInst

What Comes Next for Europe? (6/27/2016) | @DBachYSOM & ANDREW METRICK @AdvancedMgmt @YaleInsights
Andrew Metrick:… The bigger concerns are long run. … With the UK exiting, it’s the first time we’ve seen any significant pullback from this project, which had mixed success, but certainly kept alive its noble ideals. …
… Uncertainty discourages people from making long-term investments. …
David Bach:… Three million EU citizens live and work in the UK, and 1.5 million UK citizens live in Europe. …the European Union has to think, on the one hand, about how to manage this exit in a way that protects the interests of the stakeholders in the 27 continuing EU countries…
…at least three different groups within the “Leave” camp. You have conservative, neo-liberal types around Boris Johnson and others who feel that EU regulation was stifling business and want to control their own sovereignty. The second camp is around Nigel Farage and the UK Independence Party—the nativists who are anti-immigration. And then you have a third group, trade unionists who felt that Europe was too pro-business, and they want to go back to a model of greater protection. …
Metrick:… Northern Ireland is really tricky. It is the case that they’ve had no borders with the Republic of Ireland for a while, but I don’t know whether the religious issues that made this split in the first place are going to be any less potent.
Bach:… The presumption was that if we used Article 50, it was going to be some small Eastern European nation that couldn’t keep up with the regulations. …
Metrick: No one believes the optimal size of government is everybody under one government. There are always going to be certain things we want local control over. This is a battle we have a lot of experience with in the United States, and we fought a civil war over it. …

Ivan Rogers and the great British Brexit pantomime (1/4/2017) | @RGWhitman @ConversationUK @UKandEU

Scottish independence: Decapitate Britain, and we kill off the greatest political union ever (9/8/2014) | Boris Johnson @telegraph


US Policy Changes Vol.45 (Foreign Policy Vol.7 – globalization)

Here is an article on globalization: WHAT IS GLOBALIZATION?: Four Possible Answers (PDF; Dec 1998) | Simon Reich @KelloggInst @NotreDame. Excerpts are on our own.

Introduction
… Structuralism, with its rationalist underpinnings, came under attack in political science from constructivists, and within a short period no professional conference or symposium was complete without a genuflection towards the attributes of ‘globalization. …
…finance, technology transfer, transnationalism, multilateralism, and regionalism…
…globalization signaled the reduced importance of (at least traditional forms of) security studies in international relations and a corresponding elevation of international political economy questions—as well as suggesting new linkages between OECD and non-OECD states, the private and public sectors, capital and labor, work and leisure, state and society. …globalization explains the Clinton Administration’s preference for focusing on economic issues in foreign affairs, the causal linkage between this apparently global phenomenon and current policy remains elusive. …

Definition
James Rosenau… Globalization is not the same as globalism, which points to aspirations for an end state of affairs wherein values are shared by or pertinent to all the world’s five billion people, their environment, their roles as citizens, consumers or producers with an interest in collective action designed to solve common problems. Nor is it universalism—values which embrace all humanity, hypothetically or actually.
Anthony McGrew… …multiplicity of linkages and interconnections that transcend the nation states (and by implication the societies) which make up the modern world system. It defines a process through which events, decisions and activities in one part of the world can come to have a significant consequence for individuals and communities in quite distant parts of the globe.
Philip Cerny… Globalization is defined here as a set of economic and political structures and processes deriving from the changing character of the goods and assets that comprise the base of the international political economy—in particular, the increasing structural differentiation of those goods and assets.

1. Globalization as a Historical Epoch
… The demise of the Cold War coincided with the onset of globalization, raising the question of whether there is a causal relationship between the two. Certainly, the comments of scholars like Immanuel Wallerstein (echoing Trotsky), who registered concern that Communist states could not sustain themselves in the context of a capitalist system, may be interpreted to imply as such. Whether causally related or not, globalization as a period might be said to ‘succeed’ the Cold War historically. …
… The first was the introduction of détente between the United States and Soviet Union. The second was the breakdown of the ‘Social Contract,’ initially in Britain but eventually throughout the advanced industrial countries. …

2. Globalization as Confluence of Economic Phenomena
… Linking globalization to processes of economic integration, Robert Z. Lawrence, for example, makes the broad statement that “economic integration generally leads to convergence, with poorer economies growing more rapidly than richer economies.” Jeffrey G. Williamson, noted Harvard economist and then President of the of the Economic History Association, also argued in his presidential address that globalization leads to convergence—and has done in prior historical periods. …
… R.J. Barry Jones who suggests that globalization may simply be an intensification of the process
of international interdependence…
… Wilfried Ruigrok and Rob van Tulder are specific in their characterization of globalization, associating it with increased international capital mobility and a growing incidence of mergers and acquisitions and of strategic alliances. …

3. Globalization as the hegemony of American values
… Edward Banfield’s The Moral Basis of A Backward Society or David Apter’s comment, in describing the theme of the Politics of Modernization, that “Despite an emphasis on methods of comparing governments and studying
their political growth and adaptation, analysis begins with moral content. …
Francis Fukuyama suggests that convergence is inevitable:… All countries undergoing economic modernization must increasing resemble one another: they must unify nationally on the basis of a centralized state, urbanize, replace traditional forms of social organization like tribe, sect, and family with economically rational ones based on function and efficiency, and provide for the universal education of their citizens… Moreover, the logic of modern natural science would seem to dictate a universal evolution in the direction of capitalism…
… Protestant values that purportedly epitomize the Enlightenment. Even Samuel Huntington, noted critic of the initial formulations of modernization theory (and explicit opponent of the concept of convergence), appears to have accepted a central proposition of modernization; the stimulant of economic growth on the propensity towards democratization. …
… But it is a specific form of liberal democracy—it is John Locke’s and not Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s variant. And it is, comparably, a particular form of economic development—it is the Anglo-Saxon classicism of Adam Smith rather than the ‘Continentalism’ of Friedrich List. …
… The effort to co-op elites, at least initially from across the Triad of Japan, North America, and Europe, has effectively defended the stability of a liberal international order and warded off any movement towards mercantilism, averting an imperialist crisis of capitalism anticipated by a Leninist approach. Here, Gramsci’s stress on hegemony’s reliance on consensuality rather than domination is critical in explaining the emergence of a transnational class structure which is buttressed by a substructure predicated on the free movement of capital. While American power in a realist sense may have therefore declined, the capacity of organic intellectuals like those found in organizations such as the Trilateral Commission has proven indispensable in exporting a universalist ideology (of neoliberalism), thus constructing a historic bloc and thereby sustaining America hegemony.
… For liberals it often disintegrates as part of this change in ‘zeitgeist.’ …
… Ann Marie Slaughter concurs: A new world order is emerging, with less fanfare but more substance than either the liberal internationalist or new medievalist visions. The state is not disappearing, it is disaggregating into its separate, functionally distinct parts. These parts—courts, regulatory agencies, executives, and even legislatures—are networking with their counterparts abroad, creating a dense web of relations that constitutes a new, transgovernmental order… Transgovernmentalism offers its own world order ideal, less dramatic but more compelling than either liberal internationalism or the new medievalism. It harnesses the state’s power to find and implement solutions to global problems.

4. Globalization as Technological and Social Revolution
…of globally integrated production; of specialized but interdependent labor markets; of the rapid privatization of state assets; and of the inextricable linkage of technology across conventional national borders. …
The notion that glocalization is the localization of economic and political relations, shifting authority from the national level downward in a manner that enhances responses to globalization, conflicts with alternatives views that suggests the two are dialectically opposed. …
… Winfried Ruigrok and Rob van Tulder … globalizing firms pursue a strategy that strives for a worldwide intrafirm division of labor while glocalizing firms pursue an alternative strategy in which they seek to replicate production within a number of regions, thereby avoiding the risk associated with the formation of trade blocs. Glocalizing firms therefore seek to generate a geographically concentrated interfirm division of labor.
… Consistent with this distinction, the two behave in very different ways. Multinational firms may decentralize production and sales but their decision-making remains firmly centralized in a hierarchical structure. This, in behavioral terms, is reflected in their propensity to retain the overwhelming majority of R&D facilities at home, with very few exceptions.
…Ohmae… As private sector managers and government policymakers are discovering, it makes no sense in so borderless a world to think, say, of countries like ‘Italy’ or ‘China’ as discrete economic entities. …
…that of a paradigmatic shift in the sociological relations that are the foundation for relations among state, economy, and civil society. …
… Peter Schwartz and Peter Leyden who offer the prospect of four decades of sustained growth and ‘remarkable transformation,’ stimulated by the ‘big bang’ of technological development (computers, telecom, biotech, nanotech, and alternative energy) and deregulation. … An unprecedented alignment of an ascendant Asia, a revitalized America, and a reintegrated greater Europe—including a recovered Russia—together will create an economic juggernaut that pulls along most other regions of the planet. These two metatrends—fundamental technological change and a new ethos of openness—will transform our world into the beginnings of a global civilization. …

Conclusion
…four distinct approaches; the first being historical, the second economic, the third sociological, and the fourth technological. …

cf. Review “Good-Bye Hegemony! Power and Influence in the Global System (2014) by Simon Reich and Richard Ned Lebow” | G. John Ikenberry
Reich and Lebow have joined a long list of writers who have announced the end of U.S. hegemony and the coming of the next world order. In fact, they argue that hegemony has been dead for many decades. “Hegemony is a fiction propagated to support a large defense establishment, justify American claims to world leadership, and buttress the self-esteem of voters,” they proclaim. But they have an odd notion of what constitutes hegemony, which they equate with “the blunt exercise of force.” Reich and Lebow note that influence is far more important than raw power and identify three functions that leading states must perform to sustain order in today’s allegedly post-hegemonic international system: agenda setting (advocating policies and principles of order), custodianship (stabilizing the world economy), and sponsorship (initiating rules and institutions). These are perfectly good points, but the main critique relies on a straw man: political scientists and policymakers are well aware of the distinction between raw power and influence. Indeed, the field of international relations even has a term for the strategy of influence that Reich and Lebow advocate. That term is “hegemony.”


US Policy Changes Vol.41 (Deregulation/Reform Vol.6 – Finance, Federal Reserve)

Here are articles on financial deregulation, and reforms of the Federal Reserve System and the International Monetary System. Excerpts are on our own.

Adapting regulation for the FinTech world (12/4/2016) | @Aarondklein @RegBlog @BrookingsEcon
With the stroke of a pen, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) quietly modernized regulations associated with a 38-year-old law to bring consumer safeguards to today’s mobile world.
…wide-ranging protections to pre-paid cardholders. …protections to cover electronic person-to-person payments, like those made via PayPal.
Congress solved this problem by enacting the Electronic Funds Transfer Act of 1978 (EFTA). The Act offered a straightforward solution: clear guidelines assigned liabilities to the parties regarding their rights and responsibilities concerning this new piece of property, the debit card. EFTA, and its associated regulations, assigned limited liability to consumers of between $50 and $500, assuming that the consumers reported their loss in a responsible and timely manner. Banks assumed substantial liability, which subsequently motivated them to create secure networks with robust fraud detection.
… In the Coasean world, the proper role of government is to assign property rights clearly, allow them to be traded, and then get out of the way. Relying upon several key assumptions of perfect information and no transaction costs, Coase theorized that the market would efficiently sort out the rest. While the real world often violates these assumptions, the Coase Theorem is practical enough to rank among the most cited economic theories. In the case of assigning liability and property rights for financial transactions, Coase’s ideas have worked remarkably well.
…the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. First, the legislation explicitly brings remittances into the EFTA framework. I worked on this section of Dodd-Frank both prior to and during its enactment. By including remittances, EFTA expanded to cover transactions that occur outside of the banking system and traditional consumer accounts. Dodd-Frank also moved responsibility for EFTA from The Federal Reserve to the CFPB. …
… Use of these cards reportedly has grown from $1 billion in 2003, to $40 billion in 2010, and researchers expect pre-paid cards will generate $100 billion this year. …
Moving money is all about trust. Markets work more efficiently when consumers, businesses, payment processors, and financial institutions all trust each other. The CFPB’s actions in modernizing EFTA regulations marks an important step forward in creating a regulatory regime that enhances trust, provides the legal and regulatory framework to assign rights and responsibilities, and allows the market to work and innovate. …

Message to the candidates: Hands off the Federal Reserve (10/25/2016) | Alan Blinder @BrookingsEcon

The international monetary system: Is it fit for purpose? – To fix the international monetary system, first get domestic policies right (w PDF; 10/5/2016) | @EswarSPrasad @BrookingsEcon
1.1 WHAT’S THE ISSUE?
1.2 WHAT’S THE DEBATE?
1.3 WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR?

The Challenge of Central Banking in a Democratic Society (12/5/1996) | Alan Greenspan – 1996 Francis Boyer Lecture @AEI Annual Dinner
… William Jennings Bryan… “…you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.” …
… The experiences with paper money during the Revolutionary War were decidedly inauspicious. “Not worth a Continental” was scarcely the epithet one would wish on a medium of exchange. This moved Alexander Hamilton, with some controversy, to press for legislation that established the soundness of the credit of the United States by assuming, and ultimately repaying, the war debts not only of the fledgling federal government, but of the states as well. Equally controversial was the chartering of the First Bank of the United States…
…endeavored to restrict state bank credit expansion when it appeared inordinate, by gathering bank notes and tendering them for specie. This reduced the reserve base and the ability of the fledgling American banking system to expand credit. The issue of states’ rights and concern about the power of the central government reflected the free wheeling individualism of that time. The Second Bank was a major issue of the election of 1832. …
After the Civil War, redemption of the paper greenbacks issued during the war brought an era of a gold-standard induced deflation…
…the rural-based pressures for a more elastic currency did not diminish and ultimately were reflected, in part, in the creation of the Federal Reserve.
Nonetheless, many of the proponents of banking reform in the 1890s, and in the aftermath of the Panic of 1907, were suspicious of creating a central bank. In very large measure, those concerns underlay the various threads of reform that were joined together in the design and creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913. …
The world changed markedly with the advent of the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the evisceration of the gold standard. …
… The 1970s saw inflation and unemployment simultaneously at relatively elevated levels for some time. The notion that this could occur was nowhere to be found in the conventional wisdom…
… Monetarism, and new insights into the effects of anticipatory expectations on economic activity and price setting, competed strongly against the traditional Keynesianism. …
… That inflation could reduce employment was a highly controversial subject in the mid-1970s when introduced into communique language drafts. … Today in similar communiques such language is accepted boiler plate and rarely the focus of discussion. …
… It is generally recognized and appreciated that if the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decisions were subject to Congressional or Presidential override, short-term political forces would soon dominate. …
Because monetary policy works with a lag, we need to be forward looking, taking actions to forestall imbalances that may not be visible for many months. …
Augmenting concerns about the Federal Reserve is the perception that we are a secretive organization, operating behind closed doors, not always in the interests of the nation as a whole. This is regrettable, and we continuously strive to alter this misperception.
… We have recently commenced to announce all policy actions immediately, federal funds rate changes as well as discount rate changes, and have expanded the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee.
… Inflation concerns were not a dominant factor in economic forecasting in the 1950s and early 1960s, for example. Since the late 1970s, however, such concerns have become an important element in policy-making. …
…during the decades of the 1970s and 1980s, trends in money supply, first M1, then M2, were useful guides. …
Unfortunately, money supply trends veered off path several years ago as a useful summary of the overall economy. …
… As we seek price stability and maximum sustainable growth, the changing economic structures constantly present more analytic challenges.
…we will remain as the guardian of the purchasing power of the dollar. But one factor that will continue to complicate that task is the increasing difficulty of pinning down the notion of what constitutes a stable general price level.
… We as central bankers need not be concerned if a collapsing financial asset bubble does not threaten to impair the real economy, its production, jobs, and price stability. … But we should not underestimate or become complacent about the complexity of the interactions of asset markets and the economy. Thus, evaluating shifts in balance sheets generally, and in asset prices particularly, must be an integral part of the development of monetary policy.
The rapidly changing technologies of recent years… …where specific priced services have become effectively and competitively provided by private sector suppliers, the Federal Reserve needs to reassess whether the extent of our participation in those services fulfills a reasonable public purpose. …
Finally, the substantial changes under way in bank risk management are pressing us to continuously alter our modes of supervision and regulation to keep them as effective and efficient as possible.
… Recent mini-crises have identified the rapidly mushrooming payments system as the most vulnerable area of potential danger. …we have endeavored in recent years, as the demands on our system have escalated (we clear $1-1/2 trillion a day on Fedwire), to build in significant safety redundancies. …
A democratic society requires a stable and effectively functioning economy. …


US Policy Changes Vol.34 (Deregulation Vol.5 – Finance)

Here is an article: A Short History of Financial Deregulation in the United States (PDF; Jul 2009) | Matthew Sherman @ceprdc. Excerpt is on our own.

p1 Timeline of Key Events

p3-4 Background
… The experience of the Great Depression changed attitudes regarding the regulation of financial markets. Much of the current system is the result of changes put in place during the 1930s. In 1933, Congress fundamentally reformed banking with the Glass-Steagall Act. One provision of the act, named Regulation Q, placed limits on the interest rates banks could offer on deposits. The federal control removed the possibility of competitive rate wars and kept rates from soaring to exorbitant levels. Regulation Q also made a small exception for institutions specializing in mortgage lending, especially the savings and loan associations. Deposits at these firms received a quarter-percent advantage over other consumer deposits. This was explicitly designed to encourage a flow of money into housing. …

p5 Usury Laws
… In one instance, the state of South Dakota considered completely eliminating usury ceiling legislation in the state in order to attract the credit card operations of Citibank. The arrangement promised to create new jobs in the languishing economy of South Dakota while removing interest rate restrictions for the national commercial bank. …the process moved so quickly that the legislation was introduced and passed in one day. Overnight, South Dakota had become a regulatory haven for the credit card industry. …

p6 Removing Interest Rate Ceilings
After the Great Depression, banks were restricted in the rate of interest they could charge on all types of deposit accounts. Under Regulation Q of the Banking Act of 1933, savings accounts were capped at 5.25 percent, and time deposits were limited to between 5.75 and 7.75 percent, depending on maturity. Checking accounts were restricted to an interest rate of zero. The regulation was intended to prevent rate wars at exorbitant levels, but it made a special distinction for institutions specializing in mortgage lending. In order to encourage mortgage lending within local communities, thrift institutions were allowed to offer deposit accounts interest rates a quarter-percent higher than banks.
In the late 1970s, inflation caused market interest rates to rise above the limits mandated by Regulation Q. The restrictions may have been prudent when inflation was around 3 or 4 percent, but with inflation as high as 10 or 11 percent, investors began to seek out and find alternatives to traditional deposit accounts. In the commercial paper market, investors could lend directly to borrowers, bypassing banks as intermediaries. Brokerage firms and other financial institutions began to create money market mutual funds, which pooled small investors’ funds to purchase commercial paper. These money market funds operated without reserve requirements or restrictions on rates of return. They quickly became popular among small investors who shifted their money out of the regulated accounts in depositary institutions, which paid considerably lower interest rates. …
p7-8
In a deregulated industry with poor supervision, the competition for deposits could spiral out of control. Some institutions attracted capital by offering large brokered deposits at above-market rates of return. Between the years of 1982 and 1985, deposits flowed in and the savings and loan industry underwent a rapid expansion. Investors saw potential for profit in the new investment powers granted to thrifts, and invested in condominiums and other commercial real estate. This meant that the investment portfolios of savings and loan associations shifted away from traditional home mortgage loans into higher-risk loans. From 1981 to 1986, the percent of savings and loan assets in home mortgage loans decreased from 78 percent to 56 percent. …

p8-9 Repealing Glass-Steagall
The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 had established a firm separation between commerce and banking in the financial world. The bill prevented institutions that were “engaged principally” in banking activities from underwriting or dealing in securities of any kind, and vice versa. The Bank Holding Act of 1956 applied the same wall of separation to bank holding companies. After the experience of the Great Depression, the restrictions were intended to curb conflicts of interest and excessive risk-taking in the combination of banking and securities dealing. The structure of regulation and deposit insurance created under Glass-Steagall was very effective at minimizing bank failures throughout the mid-twentieth century.
Banks began lobbying Congress as early as the 1960s to loosen the restrictions of Glass-Steagall. With money market mutual funds and other complex financial instruments that blurred the lines between deposits and securities, the banking industry complained the Glass-Steagall restrictions were becoming obsolete. Banks wanted to enter the municipal bond market, among other securities markets, to remain competitive. Regulators in government were sympathetic to the industry’s concerns on some accounts. There was always a fear that financial deregulation in foreign countries would entice firms to take their capital abroad, and many in government shared the free market
ideology of deregulation. …
p10 
… The crumbling walls of Glass-Steagall received a final blow in 1999 when Congress passed the Financial Modernization Act, also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The act repealed all restrictions against the combination of banking, securities and insurance operations for financial institutions. The deregulation was a boon for national commercial banks, allowing for the formation of “mega-banks.” The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was the crowning achievement of decades and millions of dollars worth of lobbying efforts on behalf of the finance industry. The repeal of Glass-Steagall was a monumental piece of deregulation, but in many ways it ratified the status quo of the time.

p11 Hands-Off Regulation
… Ultimately, the fate of derivatives regulation was decided in Congress. Senator Phil Gramm, co-sponsor of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, was one of several Congressman to push legislation that would deregulate the market. Gramm, in particular, wanted strict language to limit the direct oversight of the CFTC and SEC. A group of regulators, including the Chairs of the CFTC and SEC as well as Treasury Secretary Summers, reached a compromise with Gramm, and Congress moved quickly on the bill. The day after the Supreme Court effectively decided the fate of the 2000 Presidential election, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 passed in Congress, attached as a rider to an 11,000-page spending bill. The legislation, passed without debate or review, exempted derivatives from regulation and made a special exemption for energy derivative trading that would gain notoriety as the “Enron loophole.” …

p12 Inflating the Bubble
… The mortgage market began to evolve as early as the 1980s. The Alternative Mortgage Transactions Parity Act of 1982 lifted restrictions against classes of mortgage loans with exotic features, such as adjustable-rate and interest-only mortgages. These loans carried low “teaser” rates during the first few years, after which interest rates reset at much higher levels. Consumers often did not understand the complex financial arrangements they entered into. Mortgage lenders also targeted lower-income, higher-risk borrowers with lower credit ratings through the use of alt-A and subprime loans. As these markets became more and more profitable, the mortgage industry aggressively pushed these non-conforming loans onto consumers. The Wall Street Journal reported the surprising fact that in 2006, 61 percent of subprime borrowers had credit scores high enough to qualify them for conventional mortgages. …
p13 
… There was enormous opportunity for profit with house prices at bubble-inflated prices, and the mortgage industry found creative ways to expand lending. Complex financial instruments were labeled as safe, while their underlying mortgage assets could be shoddy. All the while, government regulators took a hands-off approach to the activities of private actors. The system was highly vulnerable, and the inevitable collapse would have ramifications for the broader economy.

p13-14 Crisis
… Since the spring of 2008, financial markets have experienced turmoil not seen since the Great Depression. The prominent investment bank Bear Stearns was liquidated and sold to JP Morgan Chase at a fire-sale price. Lehman Brothers, another prominent major investment bank, declared bankruptcy. The other large investment banks either merged with investment banks or changed their status to become bank holding companies. Some of the largest financial firms, including Bank of America and Citigroup and AIG, received huge sums of capital assistance from the federal government. The system of non-bank institutions, sometimes referred to as the “shadow banking system,” experienced a massive withdrawal of funds in a sort of modern day bank run.
Regulators have responded to the current crisis with various emergency measures. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) oversaw the takeover of the failed bank IndyMac, the largest failure of an insured bank in history. The FDIC completed the sale of IndyMac in March of 2009. The FDIC also authorized the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program, providing a federal guarantee to newly issued unsecured debt as well as non-interest bearing transaction accounts. Congress also passed legislation that raised the level of deposit insurance at FDIC to $250,000.
The distress in the housing market also prompted changes in regulation for the government-sponsored entities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 guaranteed up to $300 billion in loans to subprime borrowers on the condition that lenders write down the loan principal to 90 percent of the current value of the home. The legislation also created the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to oversee the government-sponsored enterprises. In September of 2008, with assistance from the Treasury, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed under the conservatorship of the FHFA. …


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…


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.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.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.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.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. …


US Policy Changes Vol.14 (Deregulation Vol.2)

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

IV. Regulatory Effects on Growth
@BizRoundtable…: Nearly three-quarters of @BizRoundtable CEOs list regulations as one of the top three cost pressures facing their businesses. … Fifty-six percent believe pending regulations will negatively affect their hiring and capital spending over the next two years. And 68 percent indicate that if existing regulatory costs were reduced by 20 percent, the money saved would be invested in increased research and development. … “82 percent of @BizRoundtable members said they find the U.S. regulatory system more burdensome than those of other developed countries.”
In 2015, @FedRegister lists over 3,400 final rules issued. …@Heritage: The number and cost of federal regulations increased substantially in 2015, as regulators continued to tighten restrictions on American businesses and individuals. The addition of 43 new major rules last year increased annual regulatory costs by more than $22 billion, bringing the total annual costs of Obama Administration rules to an astonishing $100 billon-plus in just seven years.
@Heritage and @ShopFloorNAM have estimated regulatory costs to be in the range of $2 trillion annually – about 10% of our GDP. @ShopFloorNAM finds that “small manufacturers face more than three times the burden of the average US business.” According to @ceidotorg, this “hidden tax” of regulation amounts to “nearly $15,000 per US household” annually. …

The Trump Regulatory Reform Plan
We assume the Trump plan seeks to reduce the current regulatory burden by a minimum of 10% or $200 billion annually.
According to @ShopFloorNAM, “for every one worker in manufacturing, there are another four employees hired elsewhere.” In addition, “for every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.81 is added to the economy” and this is “the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector.”
… According to @TheMfgInstitute:
More than any other sector, manufacturers bear the highest share of the cost of regulatory compliance. … Manufacturers spend an estimated $192 billion annually to abide by economic, environmental and workplace safety regulations and ensure tax compliance—equivalent to an 11 percent “regulatory compliance tax.”

Scoring The Effects of Regulatory Reform
… Donald Trump’s strategy will trim a minimum of $200 billion from America’s annual regulatory burden. This is roughly one-tenth of the $2 trillion consensus estimate of that burden.
This reduction in regulatory drag would add $200 billion of pre-tax profit to businesses annually. Taxing that additional profit at Trump’s 15% rate would yield $30 billion more in annual taxes. This would leave businesses with an additional $170 billion of post-tax earnings.
Businesses typically pay out one third of increased post-tax earnings so on this $170 billion of increased post-tax earnings, $56.67 billion more would be paid in dividends and taxed at an 18% percent effective rate. This would leave $113.33 billion of investible extra cash flow, and add $10.2 billion of personal income tax revenues to the Federal treasury each year. …


US Policy Changes Vol.12 (Trade Vol.1)

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

WTO
Trump is right to ditch TPP. Here’s why WTO should go next. (11/22/2016) | @AlanTonelson @CNBCopinion
…the Buy America regulations governing federal civilian and military purchasing already require imports to contain certain levels of American-made parts and components. …
An enormous and pervasive trade distortion could be corrected through a border adjustment tax on imports from countries that use Value Added Taxes – i.e., nearly all countries. These levies in effect penalize U.S. goods seeking overseas customers and subsidize foreign goods destined for America. Some estimates judge that this policy discrepancy generates about half of the U.S. trade deficit.
To carry out much of this program legally, the U.S withdrawal from the World Trade Organization is necessary. …
A new America First trade policy along these lines will foster not only more but better quality U.S. growth – based mainly on investing and producing rather than on the borrowing and spending that inflated the previous decade’s bubbles. …

China will defend WTO rights if Trump moves on tariffs: official (11/23/2016) | @davelawder @Reuters
… Trump has said China is “killing us” on trade and that he would take steps to reduce the large U.S. goods trade deficit with China, including labeling Beijing as a currency manipulator soon after he takes office on Jan. 20, 2017, and levying duties of up to 45 percent on Chinese goods to level the playing field for U.S. manufacturers. …
“China will take a tit-for-tat approach then. A batch of Boeing (BA.N) orders will be replaced by Airbus (AIR.PA). U.S. auto and (Apple (AAPL.O)) iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and U.S. soybean and maize (corn) imports will be halted,”…

Trump’s leadership is vital for world trading system: WTO chief (11/9/2016) | @tgemiles @Reuters
…and he would support the administration of Donald Trump in ensuring trade was a positive force for job creation.
… Trump has described the Geneva-based trading club as a “disaster” and suggested he could pull the United States out of the WTO if the rules proved an obstacle to his plans to protect U.S. manufacturing.

China scores WTO victories against some U.S. anti-dumping methods (10/19/2016) | @tgemiles,@davelawder @Reuters
… Specifically, the panel found fault with the U.S. practices of determining dumping margins in certain cases of “targeted dumping,” in which foreign firms cut prices on goods aimed at specific U.S. regions, customer groups or time periods.
Dumping is normally found when a foreign producer’s U.S. prices are lower than its home market prices for the same or similar goods, or when the imports are sold at prices below production costs. …

U.S. Files WTO Case Against Chinese Agriculture Subsidies (9/13/2016) | @jwilson29 @business
… China is offering excessive support for the production of corn, rice and wheat, in the process denying American farmers the ability to compete fairly for exports.
The value of China’s price support for the commodities last year was an estimated $100 billion more than what it had committed to when the nation joined the WTO…
“The most likely impact in the next six months might be to motivate China to impose anti-dumping tariffs on U.S. products, including agricultural products,” William Tierney, chief economist for @AgResource… “It will have little or no impact on Chinese ag policies.”

Donald Trump Says It Might Be Time for the U.S. To Quit the WTO (w Video; 7/25/2016) | @ianmount @Fortune
… “Europe got together so they could beat the United States when it comes to making money. In other words, on trade.”
…Trump highlighted the fact that the U.S. economy has lost almost one-third of its manufacturing jobs since 1997. He drew links between this drop and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that President Bill Clinton signed four years before, as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton’s support of China’s entrance into the WTO four years later. …

WTO helping China Loot Caterpillar (10/4/2010) | Howard Richman & Raymond Richman @AmericanThinker
Why can’t Caterpillar make a profit exporting mini-excavators to China? The answer is simple: China has a 30% tariff on all excavators. …
…Larry Summers… oversaw China’s entry to the WTO (World Trade Organization), and he let China declare all these vehicles as a “strategic sector” entitled to high protective tariffs. …
China… simply manipulates currency exchange rates to make its exports attractive and to keep imports expensive, thus perpetuating and increasing its trade surplus.
… First it forces vehicle-making companies to locate their factories in China if they want to sell to the growing Chinese market. Then it forces them to “share” their proprietary technologies with Chinese competitors. Caterpillar already has 11 factories in China. It also has two Chinese competitors – Liugong and Sany – that are producing what one expert describes as “knockoffs” of Caterpillar models, and they are exporting them to the world.
… At first SAIC just shared production and profits with GM on GM brands produced in China. Now SAIC competes directly with GM by selling its own models in China using GM’s technology. …
China’s self-created trade imbalances have given it a 10% growth rate while its victims’ economies stagnate (exports stimulate growth). China is now using its rapid growth as a lever for demanding that high tech and pharmaceutical companies move their R&D laboratories and patents to China…
WTO rules permit China to place 30% tariffs on vehicles. WTO rules let China manipulate currency exchange rates in order to keep its trade out of balance. WTO rules let China loot western companies of their technologies.
…one special WTO rule… allows a country experiencing trade deficits to impose duties or other limitations on imports in order to bring trade into balance. It’s time…

WTO Entry Boosts China’s Economy (2002/11/18) | @chinaprgcn

Manufacturing
American Manufacturing Groups Push Donald Trump to Rethink His Trade Threats (11/16/2016) | @Reuters @Fortune
… His suggestions that his administration could impose 45% across-the-board tariffs on goods from China have drawn threats of retaliation by Chinese state media against U.S. soybeans and companies such as Boeing (+0.15%) and Apple (-0.51%).
… “I’m of the belief that there is a lot of space between our current policy and an all-out trade war,” @ScottPaulAAM (@KeepitMadeinUSA) said, adding that he would like to see Trump be more proactive on enforcing existing trade rules.
“There are 2 million manufacturing jobs in this country that are dependent on our trade relationship with Canada and Mexico,” said @LDempseyNAM (@ShopFloorNAM). “…we certainly don’t want to put those jobs in jeopardy.”
… “Obviously Congress and the president could always look at everything, but they have to keep in mind both the production and the supply chains are deeply integrated into the three countries and that integration also supports a lot of American jobs,” Mark Fields (@Ford) said. …

Donald Trump Poised to Pressure Mexico on Trade: While an abrupt withdrawal from Nafta trade deal is unlikely, the president-elect and his advisers are gunning for big changes (w Videos; 11/21/2016) | @willmauldin,@davidluhnow @WSJ
… If Mr. Trump wins concessions from Mexico, Canada likely would seek comparable advantages with Mexico. Any talks with Canada, which had a trade agreement with the U.S. that predates Nafta, would likely bring up thorny issues that have long dogged relations, including softwood lumber imports from British Columbia, Canada’s support for its dairy farmers and the labeling of beef in the U.S. produced from cattle born or raised in Canada. …
… Export quotas… would be “the beginning of pure protectionism, and it would be shooting both of our countries in the foot. …
Rep. @BradSherman (D., Calif.) suggested negotiating within the framework of Nafta the option for Washington to impose special tariffs of up to 4% on Mexican goods to reduce the bilateral trade deficit to $25 billion, excluding oil and agricultural goods. “Good neighbors have balanced trade relationships,”…
The “destination-based cash-flow tax” could be challenged at the WTO, but Mr. Trump’s advisers say they will use Washington’s leverage at the Geneva-based trade body to change the treatment of VAT and other border-adjusted taxes. …

The Trump policy that will ‘shrink the economy and make the US poorer’ (11/17/2016) | Benjamin Powell @CNBCopinion
… According to exit polls, 50 percent of voters in Wisconsin and Michigan agreed with the notion that international trade kills American jobs. Similarly, 53 percent of Pennsylvanian voters and 48 percent of Ohio voters bought into this fallacy. Among the voters in the four states who expressed agreement with the trade fallacy, Trump’s support ranged from 59 percent in Michigan to 67 percent in Ohio. …
More than half of all imports are intermediate components or raw materials that go into the production of other goods and services. When international trade makes these materials and parts cheaper and more widely available, the domestic industries that use these items become more competitive, enabling them to sell more products, which results in expansion and increases in jobs.
Similarly, when foreigners receive dollars by exporting to the United States they’re able to buy more, which increases the market for U.S. exports. …
Exit polls showed that only a small minority (fewer than 13 percent) of voters in the Rust Belt battleground states understood that international trade has no net effect on the number of jobs. Candidate Trump benefited from their ignorance. …

In China-U.S. Trade War, Trump Would Have Weapons (11/10/2016) | @KeithBradsher @nytimes
…@DanRDimicco…
… Since President Ronald Reagan, Republican and Democratic administrations have been reluctant to confront countries that may be subsidizing or dumping exports, either because the evidence is unclear or because of a risk of damaging diplomatic or strategic relations.
… The Obama Administration has been preparing to file a World Trade Organization case against China over claims that it subsidized aluminium exports. And the United States, Japan and the European Union already complain that Chinese government subsidies have produced a bloated domestic steel industry that they say dumps millions of tons of excess goods on world markets each year.
… General Motors and Ford Motor… But much of the design and engineering work is still done in the United States. …
American farmers… but it is unclear how badly they could be hurt by any trade action. …
China’s biggest potential weapon is to disrupt the supply chains of multinationals by halting exports of crucial materials or components. …

FTA
Scoring the Trump Trade Plan: Magical Thinking – Who knew Donald Trump was a fan of Latin American fiction? (w PDFs; 9/28/2016) | Marcus Noland @PIIE
… If you want to lower the nation’s trade deficit, increasing the saving rate, not launching a trade war would be the right place to start. But there is not a word of this in “Scoring the Trump Economic Plan: Trade, Regulatory, and Energy Policy Impacts.” It’s all perfidious foreigners and incompetent trade negotiators instead. …

Trump Trade Proposals Could Sink Economy: Marcus Noland discusses a newly released PIIE Briefing analyzing the economic pain to the US economy that would occur if Donald Trump were to implement his trade proposals as president. Also discussed are the lost opportunities from Hillary Clinton’s trade stance. (w Video/Voice/Transcript; 9/19/2016) | Marcus Noland @PIIE
Marcus Noland: …both China and Mexico, especially China, in their dealings with the United States in the past have shown no reluctance to retaliate when the United States does something. So in that scenario, the United States economy goes into a mild recession. Private sector job losses relative to baseline are 4.8 million. Those are concentrated in the capital good sector and some mining sectors…
When we examine the geographical incidents of it, Washington State is the worst affected state losing 5 percent of its jobs relative to baseline. But then there’s a broad swath of states that lose 4 to 5 percent of their jobs. And these include a number of so-called battleground states. We have North Carolina in that group, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and so on.
… The worst affected counties happen to be two counties in California in Northern California which lose 7 percent of their jobs.
A second scenario we examined is we call asymmetric trade war. And in that scenario, China and Mexico do not put the across the board tariff on the United States, but they respond in other ways. …three illustrative possibilities. First one is China halts purchases of US aircraft. The aircraft sector is a very contentious sector because a lot of purchases are effectively state purchases. …Airbus is a clear alternative to Boeing. …
Another one we examined is a kind of buy no American policy where the government of China tells its state-owned enterprises stop buying American business services. So that really affects software, financial services, and so on.
A third possibility is an embargo on soybeans. US-China bilateral trade in soybeans is a quarter of the world market. And so, China just puts on an embargo.
In that first one in the aircraft scenario, …the Seattle area, Seattle-Tacoma, Everett, Washington, very hard hit, Wichita, Kansas, hard hit, parts of Connecticut and Texas where Pratt & Whitney produces engines, hard hit.
In the case of the business service scenario… Silicon Valley, Seattle again, poor Seattle, New York City, Boston. …
Marcus Noland: …an embargo against soybeans, that’s the one that would probably be the least persistent because soybeans is a commodity. …
…some of these rural counties in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri are absolutely devastated for a year. …
…what we call the abort of trade war. …
…the Chinese have a secret weapon…. the iPhone. …
Chinese value added on iPhone is only about 4 percent. … But it would cost the United States a lot. iPhone prices would go skyrocketing. …
… Shutting down trade with Mexico and China would have ripple effects in ways that people don’t think about.
Marcus Noland: …that leadership in trade policy would extend to other areas of diplomacy as well. …
…the perception that the United States might not be steadfast or the perception that the US alliances with South Korea and Japan might be weakening could set off unpredictable sorts of developments in Northeast Asia including promoting nuclear proliferation. …

Assessing Trade Agendas in the US Presidential Campaign (PDF; Sep 2016) | Marcus Noland, Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Sherman Robinson, and Tyler Moran @PIIE
“Could a President Trump Shackle Imports?” | Gary Clyde Hufbauer
Table 1.1
LIMITED STATUTES
Section 232(b). … Under the 1962 Act, upon the request of another federal department or agency, or a private party, or his own initiative, the director of the Office of Emergency Planning shall investigate the impact on national security of the importation of a specified article, and if he finds an adverse impact the president shall impose the necessary import restrictions. …
… Conceivably a President Trump could instruct his officials to investigate the national security implications for the US industrial heartland resulting from thousands of Chinese and Mexican imports. Without exception, the courts defer to executive branch determinations of national security. …
…Section 232(b) tariffs seem immune from challenge either in the US courts or the WTO. However, trading partners might bring a case under GATT Article XXIII Nullification or Im-
pairment, claiming compensation because their legitimate expectations of trade benefits had been defeated by the Article XXI action.17 Or they might simply retaliate without waiting 18 months or more for the WTO Appellate Body to adjudicate their claim.
Section 122. … Under Section 122, the president can impose a
tariff of upto 15 percent or quantitative restrictions, or a combination of the two, for up to 150 days, as a remedy, either on a nondiscriminatory basis or against one or more countries selected because of their large balance of payments surpluses. …highly doubtful that the courts… then invoke it against the same target country or countries for another 150 days.
…unlike Section 232(b) of the 1962 Act, Section 122 tariffs can be imposed across the board without the need for a prior national security investigation.
… Given the historical origins of Section 122 it seems likely that the courts would equate “balance of payments deficits” —the common description of trade deficits in the 1970s and earlier— with the modern concept of “current account deficits.”
… At best, the target countries could bring a GATT Article XXIII Nullification or Impairment case or resort to self-help.
Section 301. …the USTR first determines that a foreign country is denying the United States its rights under a trade agreement or is carrying out practices that are unjustifiable, unreasonable, or discriminatory and burden or restrict US commerce. …
…the Uruguay Round Agreements Act of 1994 does not forbid the USTR from invoking Section 301; it merely gives the USTR discretion not to invoke the statute in the wake of an adverse determination by the WTO. …
ALMOST UNLIMITED STATUTES
Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917. … As originally written, Section 5(b) of TWEA delegated to the president broad war-
time powers to regulate all forms of international commerce and to freeze and seize foreign assets. …
…the US Court of Customs and Patent Appeals (526 F 2d 560) held that the 10 percent surcharge, imposed for three months as part of the “Nixon shock” in 1971, fell within the presidential power to “regulate” imports. …it should be recalled that the constitutional use of the word “regulate” in Article I, Section 8, clearly encompasses the imposition of tariffs. …
Despite the limitation “During the time of war,” which appears in the opening language of Section 5(b)… no congressional declaration (pursuant to Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution) is required for the United States to engage in war.
…Trump’s lawyers could easily invoke GATT Article XXI Security Exceptions to defend against a WTO challenge. Again, however, US trade partners might bring a GATT Article XXIII Nullification or Impairment case in the WTO against the United States or might simply resort to self-help by restricting US exports…
International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. … only during an “unusual and extraordinary threat.” But the courts have never questioned presidential declarations of…
…the history of liberal interpretation of “national emergencies” under TWEA argues strongly against a narrow interpretation of “national emergencies” under IEEPA. …
As with Section 232(b) and TWEA tariffs, Trump’s lawyers could defend IEEPA tariffs against a WTO…
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIONS?
…“A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.”
“Irreparable harm” might be the easiest requirement for the corporate plaintiffs to meet. …
CONCLUSION
…trading partners and US firms would quickly fall into line. But if he… imposes the trade restrictions of the magnitudes threatened, foreign countries will soon retaliate. They will not patiently wait for US court proceedings or WTO litigation to vindicate their rights under national or international law.28 Enormous economic damage will ensue long before the legal battlefield is cleared.
Only congressional revocation of powers delegated by TWEA, IEEPA, and other statutes could ensure against the isolationist trade policies…


US Policy Changes Vol.4 (Deregulation Vol.1)

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

The Cost of New Banking Regulation: $70.2 Billion (7/30/2014) | @SaabiraC @WSJ
New regulation stemming from the financial crisis has cost the six largest U.S. banks $70.2 billion as of the end of last year, according to a new study.
Between the end of last year and the end of 2007, regulatory costs rose by more than 100% –or $35.5 billion– for ‏@BankofAmerica, @Citi, @GoldmanSachs, ‏@jpmorgan @Chase, ‏@MorganStanley and ‏@WellsFargo, according to data from policy-analysis firm Federal Financial Analytics Inc (@KarenPetrou).
The costs come from a mix of requirements that are specific to these banks, such particular capital surcharges, and those that apply to banks with assets over $50 billion…
…@FDICgov… @USOCC… and @federalreserve. Of the $35.5 billion in added costs… $29.07 billion came from capital costs, $2.06 billion from interchange fee restrictions, $3.95 billion from FDIC premiums and $407.1 million from supervisory assessments…
…data from @SPGlobal suggesting that pre-tax earnings would drop by between $22 billion and $34 billion at these eight banks each year due to regulations tied to the Dodd-Frank act…

How can Trump support deregulation and Glass-Steagall? (8/9/2016) | Peter J. Wallison @AEI ‏@AmerBanker
… The best interpretation is that it’s an awkward outreach to the disappointed “progressive” supporters of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. The worst is that it calls into question whether Donald Trump really supports financial deregulation.
… Glass-Steagall was modified in 1999—permitting bank holding companies (but not banks themselves) to engage in the securities business…
… It was far less expensive for a firm in need of credit to sell bonds, notes or commercial paper to investors than negotiate complex financing arrangements with a bank.
… These competitive issues had become obvious by 1999, providing the foundation for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall language that prohibited affiliations between banks and securities firms. …
… One can’t believe in the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall and still believe in the repeal or significant modification of Dodd-Frank. It’s like saying free markets work, but price controls can help.

Trump Advisers Back Deregulation, Privatised Social Security (11/12/2016) | @JeffHorwitz (@marcygordon) @AP @nytimes
…Michael Korbey… acknowledged that some of the changes his group backed would hurt retirees… in 1996. A decade later… an advocate for…
… While there are some true Washington outsiders on the team — such as @DanRDimicco…
@BillWalton, one of the two people overseeing the economic transition effort, is the former chief executive for Allied Capital… both a trustee for the @Heritage and a senior fellow at…@DiscoveryCSC…
David Malpass… “Don’t Panic About the Credit Market.”
In…”Chris Dodd’s Big, Misguided Bill,” Malpass… should “streamline and concentrate” existing consumer protection regulators, a step that he said “would result in a reduction of government jobs.”
…Paul Atkins… We all know that overregulation can “kill the goose that laid the golden egg,”…

@IMF Working Paper: Assessing the Cost of Financial Regulation (PDF; Sep 2012) | Douglas Elliott, Suzanne Salloy and André Oliveira Santos
p15-18
– Higher capital requirements.
…once Basel III is implemented. The result is to increase costs substantially for U.S. banks across the board. On the other hand, non-banks…
– Higher liquidity requirements.
Basel III rules…would also force U.S. banks to shift their asset-liability management to favor shorter asset maturities and longer liability maturities. …
… This impact is likely to be somewhat less, however, for the commercial banking portion of the business, which can access a substantial amount of stable deposits that are favored by the liquidity rules. … Universal banks would fall in between, given their split of business between commercial and investment banking. …
– Tightening of derivatives regulations.
The Dodd-Frank Act requires regulators to take a series of actions to push business away from customized derivatives towards exchange-traded derivatives and away from bilateral counterparty arrangements and into central clearinghouses. … Customized derivatives will carry higher capital charges for banks and bank affiliates and collateral will often be required from counterparties where it was not needed before. … Banks are likely to recoup some of their losses from additional business conducted with these entities, however. Insurers and non-bank financials will suffer some of the same losses as the banks, to an extent sufficient to reduce their net benefit…
– Accounting changes.
Changes in the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) used for U.S. accounting will almost invariably make U.S. financial institutions look less attractive and require more capital. … The most painful changes are probably those that make it considerably harder to move transactions off-balance sheet, inspired in part by the problems created by Structured Investment Vehicles (SIVs)… …with somewhat less effect on insurers and somewhat more on other non-bank financials, which generally relied much more on wholesale funding from vehicles like SIVs. …
– Changes to securitization regulations.
…aimed at increasing transparency and trying to incentivize the firms that put together the securitizations to care about the quality of their securitizations. This meshes with reforms in other areas such as regulation of the rating agencies and increases in capital standards for securitizations under Basel III. …restoration of faith in the securitization market could ultimately reduce costs for banks by allowing them to resume the more active use of those markets. Non-bank financial institutions are shown as more affected, since some of them have made very heavy use of securitizations in the past.
– Enhanced consumer protection regulations.
Commercial banks in the United States are likely to be considerably affected over time by the newly established @CFPB. … The industry clearly views the CFPB as a major threat to profitability… Investment banks should be less affected since they sell fewer retail products, most of which would remain under @SEC_News supervision anyway. Many non-bank financial institutions…for the first time…the largest impact.
– Expansion of the regulatory perimeter.
…a question of which firms should be heavily regulated and which can be left outside the regulatory perimeter and subjected to a lesser degree of control. …banks and insurers need to be within the perimeter. Investment banks were not included, but largely now are, as a result of the crisis. The Dodd-Frank Act did not do much directly about bringing “shadow banking” within the perimeter, but the Financial Stability Oversight Council has considerable power in this area and the CFPB does as well in areas that touch on consumer protection…
– Higher taxes or fees facing financial institutions.
Deposit insurance fees…increased considerably in response to losses at ‏@FDICgov as a result of the financial crisis. … Finally, the U.S. Administration has proposed a Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee that was originally pegged at about US$10 billion a year and was subsequently reduced to about US$3 billion a year… The Dodd-Frank Act, complemented by international efforts coordinated through @FinStbBoard, is clearly intended to make it considerably easier to deal with large, troubled financial institutions and to reduce the chance that government support would be provided to aid bondholders and counterparties. …
– Tougher regulation of credit rating agencies.
The Dodd-Frank Act encourages greater SEC oversight of the rating agencies, requires more transparency, and raises their legal liabilities. …unbiased and accurate ratings.
– Structural changes to banks and activity limits.
Relatively little structural change is being required by Dodd-Frank, with the exception of the so-called Volcker Rule to eliminate proprietary trading and related activities and through some changes in where derivatives business can be housed within a banking group. …
– Changes in regulation of compensation and governance.
relatively minor… …the most effect, such as in forcing better management of compensation arrangements…approaches that discourage unreasonable risk-taking and by helping hold down overall employee compensation. …

Extending Deregulation: Make the U.S. Economy (PDF; 2008,2016) | Robert W. Crandall @BrookingsEcon


US Presidential Election 2016 Vol.3 (Mr. Donald Trump’s policies)

Here are #GOP @realDonaldTrump’s positions (policies). Excerpts are on our own.

CYBERSECURITY
Order an immediate review of all U.S. cyber defenses and vulnerabilities, including critical infrastructure, by a Cyber Review Team of individuals from the military, law enforcement, and the private sector.
– The Cyber Review Team will provide specific recommendations for safeguarding different entities with the best defense technologies tailored to the likely threats, and will followed up regularly at various Federal agencies and departments.
– The Cyber Review Team will establish detailed protocols and mandatory cyber awareness training for all government employees while remaining current on evolving methods of cyber-attack.
Instruct the U.S. Department of Justice to create Joint Task Forces throughout the U.S. to coordinate Federal, State, and local law enforcement responses to cyber threats.
Order the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to provide recommendations for enhancing U.S. Cyber Command, with a focus on both offense and defense in the cyber domain.
Develop the offensive cyber capabilities we need to deter attacks by both state and non-state actors and, if necessary, to respond appropriately.

VETERANS AFFAIRS REFORM

TRADE
Negotiate fair trade deals that create American jobs, increase American wages, and reduce America’s trade deficit.
Donald J. Trump’s 7 Point Plan To Rebuild the American Economy by Fighting for Free Trade
1. Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has not yet been ratified.
2. Appoint tough and smart trade negotiators to fight on behalf of American workers.
3. Direct the Secretary of Commerce to identify every violation of trade agreements a foreign country is currently using to harm our workers, and also direct all appropriate agencies to use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses.
4. Tell NAFTA partners that we intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers. If they don’t agree to a renegotiation, we will submit notice that the U.S. intends to withdraw from the deal. Eliminate Mexico’s one-side backdoor tariff through the VAT and end sweatshops in Mexico that undercut U.S. workers.
5. Instruct the Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator.
6. Instruct the U.S. Trade Representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the WTO. China’s unfair subsidy behavior is prohibited by the terms of its entrance to the WTO.
7. Use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes if China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets – including the application of tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
KEY ISSUES
America has lost nearly one-third of its manufacturing jobs since NAFTA and 50,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization. [@EconomicPolicy]
Our annual trade deficit in goods with Mexico has risen from close to zero in 1993 to almost $60 billion. Our total trade deficit in goods hit nearly $800 billion last year. China is responsible for nearly half of our entire trade deficit. Almost half of our entire manufacturing trade deficit in goods with the world is the result of trade with China.

TAX PLAN
Reduce taxes across-the-board, especially for working and middle-income Americans who will receive a massive tax reduction.
Ensure the rich will pay their fair share, but no one will pay so much that it destroys jobs or undermines our ability to compete.
Eliminate special interest loopholes, make our business tax rate more competitive to keep jobs in America, create new opportunities and revitalize our economy.
Reduce the cost of childcare by allowing families to fully deduct the average cost of childcare from their taxes, including stay-at-home parents.
CONTRAST WITH HILLARY CLINTON
[@taxfoundation]

REGULATIONS
Ask all Department heads to submit a list of every wasteful and unnecessary regulation which kills jobs, and which does not improve public safety, and eliminate them.
Reform the entire regulatory code to ensure that we keep jobs and wealth in America.
End the radical regulations that force jobs out of our communities and inner cities. We will stop punishing Americans for working and doing business in the United States.
Issue a temporary moratorium on new agency regulations that are not compelled by Congress or public safety in order to give our American companies the certainty they need to reinvest in our community, get cash off of the sidelines, start hiring again, and expanding businesses. We will no longer regulate our companies and our jobs out of existence.
Cancel immediately all illegal and overreaching executive orders.
Eliminate our most intrusive regulations, like the Waters of The U.S. Rule. We will also scrap the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan which the government estimates will cost $7.2 billion a year.
Decrease the size of our already bloated government after a thorough agency review.
KEY ISSUES
The U.S. economy today is twenty-five percent smaller than it would have been without the surge of regulations since 1980. [@mercatus]

NATIONAL DEFENSE

IMMIGRATION
Prioritize the jobs, wages and security of the American people.
Establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.
Protect the economic well-being of the lawful immigrants already living here by curbing uncontrolled foreign worker admissions
– Select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in the U.S. and their ability to be financially self-sufficient.
– Vet applicants to ensure they support America’s values, institutions and people, and temporarily suspend immigration from regions that export terrorism and where safe vetting cannot presently be ensured.
– Enforce the immigration laws of the United States and restore the Constitutional rule of law upon which America’s prosperity and security depend.
Donald J. Trump’s 10 Point Plan to Put America First
1. Begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border, on day one. Mexico will pay for the wall.
2. End catch-and-release. Under a Trump administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country.
3. Move criminal aliens out day one, in joint operations with local, state, and federal law enforcement. We will terminate the Obama administration’s deadly, non-enforcement policies that allow thousands of criminal aliens to freely roam our streets.
4. End sanctuary cities.
5. Immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties. All immigration laws will be enforced – we will triple the number of ICE agents. Anyone who enters the U.S. illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws and to have a country.
6. Suspend the issuance of visas to any place where adequate screening cannot occur, until proven and effective vetting mechanisms can be put into place.
7. Ensure that other countries take their people back when we order them deported.
8. Ensure that a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system is fully implemented at all land, air, and sea ports.
9. Turn off the jobs and benefits magnet. Many immigrants come to the U.S. illegally in search of jobs, even though federal law prohibits the employment of illegal immigrants.
10. Reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers, keeping immigration levels within historic norms.

HEALTH CARE
cf. https://assets.donaldjtrump.com/Healthcare_Reform.pdf
Repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
Work with Congress to create a patient-centered health care system that promotes choice, quality, and affordability.
Work with states to establish high-risk pools to ensure access to coverage for individuals who have not maintained continuous coverage.
Allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, in all 50 states, creating a dynamic market.
Maximize flexibility for states via block grants so that local leaders can design innovative Medicaid programs that will better serve their low-income citizens.
KEY ISSUES
President Obama said his health plan would cut the cost of family premiums by up to $2,500 a year. Instead, premiums have gone up by almost $5,000 since Obamacare passed.
Premiums have skyrocketed across the nation, with a national average of almost 25%, with some states experiencing rate increases up to 70%. In Iowa, one plan got a 43% increase approved. In Florida, the individual market will see an average rate increase of 19%. In Pennsylvania, at least three plans requested rate increases over 40%. And the average rate requested in Minnesota is 54%.

FOREIGN POLICY AND DEFEATING ISIS
Peace through strength will be at the center of our foreign policy. We will achieve a stable, peaceful world with less conflict and more common ground.
Advance America’s core national interests, promote regional stability, and produce an easing of tensions in the world. Work with Congress to fully repeal the defense sequester and submit a new budget to rebuild our depleted military.
Rebuild our military, enhance and improve intelligence and cyber capabilities.
End the current strategy of nation-building and regime change.
Ensure our security procedures and refugee policy takes into account the security of the American people.

ENERGY
Make America energy independent, create millions of new jobs, and protect clean air and clean water. We will conserve our natural habitats, reserves and resources. We will unleash an energy revolution that will bring vast new wealth to our country.
Declare American energy dominance a strategic economic and foreign policy goal of the United States.
Unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves.
Become, and stay, totally independent of any need to import energy from the OPEC cartel or any nations hostile to our interests.
Open onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands, eliminate moratorium on coal leasing, and open shale energy deposits.
Encourage the use of natural gas and other American energy resources that will both reduce emissions but also reduce the price of energy and increase our economic output.
Rescind all job-destroying Obama executive actions. Mr. Trump will reduce and eliminate all barriers to responsible energy production, creating at least a half million jobs a year, $30 billion in higher wages, and cheaper energy.

EDUCATION

CONSTITUTION AND SECOND AMENDMENT

CHILD CARE

ECONOMY
Create a dynamic booming economy that will create 25 million new jobs over the next decade.
For each 1 percent in added GDP growth, the economy adds 1.2 million jobs. Increasing growth by 1.5 percent would result in 18 million jobs (1.5 million times 1.2 million, multiplied by 10 years) above the projected current law job figures of 7 million, producing a total of 25 million new jobs for the American economy.
Reform policies with a pro-growth tax plan, a new modern regulatory framework, an America-First trade policy, an unleashed American energy plan, and the “penny plan.”
Boost growth to 3.5 percent per year on average, with the potential to reach a 4 percent growth rate.
KEY ISSUES
Over the last seven years, 14 million more people have left the labor force.
The lowest labor force participation rate since the 1970s.
1 in 5 American households do not have a single family member in the labor force.
23.7 million Americans in their prime-earning years [ages 25-54] are out of the labor force – an increase of 1.8 million over the last seven years.
Real GDP grew only 1.1% in the second quarter of this year. Over the last seven years, real GDP grew 2.1% the slowest seven-year period since at least the 1940s.
It’s the weakest so-called recovery since the Great Depression.
Hourly earnings and weakly earnings are lower today than they were in 1973.
The number of Americans on Food Stamps during Obama’s time in office has increased by more than 12 million.
2 million more Latinos are in poverty today than when President Obama took his oath of office less than eight years ago.
45% of African-American children under 6 are living in poverty.
1 in 6 American men between the ages of 18-34 are either in jail or out of work.
Student loan debt exceeds $1.3 trillion — nearly doubling under the Obama administration.
Since President Obama took office, the national debt has doubled.
U.S. trade deficit in goods reached nearly 800 billion dollars last year alone.
The U.S. homeownership rate fell to 62.9 percent in the second quarter – the lowest rate in 51 years.

us-presidentialelection-trump-policies


Indexes Vol.4 (The Global Competitiveness Index 2016-2017 – methodology, et al.)

Here are our excerpts concerning #GCI methodology, et al. of @wef’s The Global Competitiveness Report 2016–2017 (w PDF).

PDF
CHAPTER 1.1 Competitiveness Agendas to Reignite Growth: Findings from the Global Competitiveness Index p5-11
Monetary policy is not enough: Insufficient competitiveness is a constraint for reigniting growth worldwide
… Figure 2 shows how economies that perform poorly in the GCI have seen their central banks boost their balance sheets more than better-performing economies, and yet those with higher competitiveness have recovered faster from the financial crisis and ensuing recession, achieving faster growth rates. The fact that monetary stimulus has been more effective and growth has been higher in more competitive economies, regardless of fiscal policies followed, suggests that the constraints may be on the supply side. Improving the conditions for businesses to flourish and increase their productivity is therefore the main policy challenge for advanced and emerging economies alike.
figure23
At the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution era, technology and innovation are increasingly driving development
… Innovation and business sophistication are more closely associated with income levels in general, and in emerging economies and commodity-exporting economies in particular, than they used to be. Figure 3 shows how, since 2010, for these two groups, GDP per capita has become more closely correlated with the GCI’s technological readiness, business sophistication, and innovation pillars than it is with the infrastructure, health and primary education, and market-related pillars (goods markets efficiency, financial market development, and labor market efficiency). These results illustrate how sources of productivity within firms and production units that are related to their ability to incorporate new technologies into their production processes, and that change the ways in which those firms and units perform tasks, are playing a larger role than investment in basic physical and human capital and well-functioning factor and goods markets, frequently thought to be sufficient to reignite growth. It also shows how the price changes experienced since the end of the commodity cycle and faster technological change are creating incentives for firms and policymakers to engage in more innovative activities.
figure45
Declining openness is endangering future growth and prosperity
An open, trading economy generates incentives to innovate and invest in new technologies because firms are exposed to competition and new ideas and can benefit from the technology transfer that comes from mports and foreign investment. … protectionist measures, especially non-tariff barriers, have increased and global trade has not recovered since the global trade slowdown following the financial crisis. Figure 4 illustrates that, according to GCI data, economies in all income groups have become less open since 2007, driven mainly by non-tariff barriers, including increased legal and normative requirements. Figure 5 shows that economies that are open to foreign competition (as measured by the foreign competition subpillar of the GCI) are also more innovative, suggesting the importance of openness for innovation. …

Appendix A: Methodology and Computation of the Global Competitiveness Index 2016–2017 p35-37
weights-classificationpillar123
1st pillar: Institutions
The institutional environment of a country depends on the efficiency and the behavior of both public and private stakeholders. The legal and administrative framework within which individuals, firms, and governments interact determines the quality of the public institutions of a country and has a strong bearing on competitiveness and growth. It influences investment decisions and the organization of production and plays a key role in the ways in which societies distribute the benefits and bear the costs of development strategies and policies. Good private institutions are also important for the sound and sustainable development of an economy. The 2007–08 global financial crisis, along with numerous corporate scandals, has highlighted the relevance of accounting and reporting standards and transparency for preventing fraud and mismanagement, ensuring good governance, and maintaining investor and consumer confidence.
6th pillar: Goods market efficiency
Countries with efficient goods markets are well positioned to produce the right mix of products and services given their particular supply-and-demand conditions, as well as to ensure that these goods can be most effectively traded in the economy. Healthy market competition, both domestic and foreign, is important in driving market efficiency, and thus business productivity, by ensuring that the most efficient firms, producing goods demanded by the market, are those that thrive. Market efficiency also depends on demand conditions such as customer orientation and buyer sophistication. For cultural or historical reasons, customers may be more demanding in some countries than in others. This can create an important competitive advantage, as it forces companies to be more innovative and customer-oriented and thus imposes the discipline necessary for efficiency to be achieved in the market.
pillar4567pillar89101112
7th pillar: Labor market efficiency
The efficiency and flexibility of the labor market are critical for ensuring that workers are allocated to their most effective use in the economy and provided with incentives to give their best effort in their jobs. Labor markets must therefore have the flexibility to shift workers from one economic activity to another rapidly and at low cost, and to allow for wage fluctuations without much social disruption. Efficient labor markets must also ensure clear strong incentives for employees and promote meritocracy at the workplace, and they must provide equity in the business environment between women and men. Taken together these factors have a positive effect on worker performance and the attractiveness of the country for talent, two aspects of the labor market that are growing more important as talent shortages loom on the horizon.
8th pillar: Financial market development
An efficient financial sector allocates the resources saved by a nation’s population, as well as those entering the economy from abroad, to the entrepreneurial or investment projects with the highest expected rates of return rather than to the politically connected. Business investment is critical to productivity. Therefore economies require sophisticated financial markets that can make capital available for private-sector investment from such sources as loans from a sound banking sector, well-regulated securities exchanges, venture capital, and other financial products. In order to fulfill all those functions, the banking sector needs to be trustworthy and transparent, and—as has been made so clear recently—financial markets need appropriate regulation to protect investors and other actors in the economy at large.
11th pillar: Business sophistication
Business sophistication concerns two elements that are intricately linked: the quality of a country’s overall business networks and the quality of individual firms’ operations and strategies. These factors are especially important for countries at an advanced stage of development when, to a large extent, the more basic sources of productivity improvements have been exhausted. The quality of a country’s business networks and supporting industries, as measured by the quantity and quality of local suppliers and the extent of their interaction, is important for a variety of reasons. When companies and suppliers from a particular sector are interconnected in geographically proximate groups, called clusters, efficiency is heightened, greater opportunities for innovation in processes and products are created, and barriers to entry for new firms are reduced.
12th pillar: Innovation
The last pillar focuses on innovation. Innovation is particularly important for economies as they approach the frontiers of knowledge, and the possibility of generating more value by merely integrating and adapting exogenous technologies tends to disappear. In these economies, firms must design and develop cutting-edge products and processes to maintain a competitive edge and move toward even higher value-added activities. This progression requires an environment that is conducive to innovative activity and supported by both the public and the private sectors. In particular, it means sufficient investment in research and development (R&D), especially by the private sector; the presence of high-quality scientific research institutionsthat can generate the basic knowledge needed to build the new technologies; extensive collaboration in research and technological developments between universities and industry; and the protection of intellectual property.

Appendix B: Global Competitiveness Index 2016–2017 rankings p43-50
table1-p44table3-p48table3-p49table4-p50

CHAPTER 1.2 Modernizing the Measurement of Drivers of Prosperity in Light of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: The Updated Global Competitiveness Index
p56-57 SELECTED ISSUES: DISCUSSION AND PRELIMINARY RESULTS
Four subindexes
Innovation
table4-p61
According to the latest thinking, innovation occurs in an ecosystem where businesses, regulations, and social norms promote connectivity, creativity, entrepreneurship, collaboration, and the adoption of the latest technologies to generate new ideas and bring new products and business models to market. These concepts are measured by four pillars: technological adoption, market size, business dynamism, and innovation capacity. … As long as new ideas cannot find a practical implementation they might contribute to knowledge accumulation but they do not immediately translate into advances in human welfare. In some cases finding a practical application for a new idea is just a matter of time, because technological progress in other fields has to occur before these ideas can be put into practical use. It is, however, crucial for a country to develop the skills and the conditions that can ignite the process of transforming abstract innovation into new products and processes.

Appendix: Updated Global Competitiveness Index Structure p63-75

CHAPTER 1.3 The Executive Opinion
Survey: The Voice of the Business Community
box2-figure1-p84box2-figure2-p85


Ireland Vol.4 (Manifesto 2016 of Fine Gael – Irish ruling party since March 2011)

Here is Fine Gael’s manifesto in February 2016. After the eletion, the party formed a minority government. Excerpts are on our own.
@FineGael GENERAL ELECTION MANIFESTO 2016 – LET’s KEEP THE RECOVERY GOING [PDF]

[The Long Term Economic Plan – Three Steps to Keep the Recovery Going] p.9-10

[Agriculture and Food] p.13-15
By 2025, we will deliver:
• An increase in value of exports by 85% to €19bn
• An increase in value added by 70% to €13bn
• An increase in value of primary production by 65% to almost €10bn
• The creation of a further 23,000 jobs in the agri-food sector

Farm Gate Investment: Fine Gael has committed €4bn to on-farm investment through the Rural Development Programme (RDP). Schemes like GLAS, TAMS, the Beef Data and Genomics Programme, locally led environmental schemes, knowledge transfer programmes, horticulture, organics and Areas of Natural Constraint are being rolled out as a priority…

Beef:… The Beef Data and Genomics Programme will spend over €300m on modernising and improving efficiency in the beef herd as well as supporting farm incomes. This, in tandem with the introduction of a framework for producer organisations and knowledge transfer schemes (discussion groups), will support farmers in increasing efficiency and profitability.

Dairy: The abolition of milk quotas continues to represent the biggest opportunity for the Irish dairy sector and, as markets stabilise, Fine Gael will ensure that Irish producers are best placed to benefit from this, on the back of prudent investment. We will continue to convene a dairy forum to manage growth, ensure sustainability and address challenges within the sector. Fine Gael has invested heavily in the future of this sector through supports for processors expanding their enterprises, and this is being matched by on-farm capital investment through TAMS and knowledge transfer schemes. We have also supported farmers through the recent period of market volatility with a €25m compensation fund. We will also encourage the establishment of a futures market for dairy produce and encourage price stabilisation tools to combat price volatility.

Sheepmeat: Developing the sheep sector is a key focus of the Food Wise 2025 strategy. We will improve efficiency and profitability in the sector through the knowledge transfer programme (discussion groups). We will further support sheep farmers through GLAS, the Areas of Natural Constraint scheme and TAMS…

Poultry:…
Pigmeat:…

Horticulture: We recognise the importance of the horticulture sector and will continue to prioritise capital investment for development in this area. We recognise the potential to grow the output value of this sector to over €500m in the medium term and will deliver on the actions in the Food Wise Strategy to achieve this target. We are conscious of the need to safeguard this sector from potential unfair practices in the grocery sector and will monitor the impact of new legislation in this area in that context.

Forestry: The role of forestry in the effort to mitigate against climate change is very significant. Fine Gael will implement the Forestry Programme 2014-2020. The programme targets an increase in planting each year over the lifetime of the programme, commencing with 6,000 ha of new forests in year one, increasing to 8,290 ha in 2020. The programme will aim to build on research by COFORD on the eligible land considered suitable for forestry across the country.

[Economy, Public Finances and Taxation] p.43-44
Corporation Tax: Fine Gael defended our corporation tax regime throughout the financial crisis and we are committed to maintaining the 12.5% rate into the future…

Capital Gains Tax Relief for Start-Up Companies:…Gains arising on chargeable business assets acquired from 2017 and held for 5 years will be charged at a rate of 10% on disposal, up to a maximum liability of €10m.

[Housing] p.73-74
Framework to Support Mortgage Holders in Arrears:…Fine Gael wants to keep people in their homes and, building on the progress which has seen the number in mortgage arrears decline for 9 consecutive quarters, we will continue to adapt and strengthen the existing mortgage arrears framework as necessary…

Increasing Home Building: To meet housing demand Fine Gael will support an increase in the annual housing output to a sustainable level of 25,000 by 2021. As part of this goal, we will support NAMA to deliver on their target of 20,000 residential units before the end of 2020.

Investing Strategically: Fine Gael will improve the availability of finance for new home construction, with a €500m joint venture to finance the building of 11,000 new homes through the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF)…

[Jobs, Enterprise and Regional Growth] p.78-80
Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs): Enterprise Ireland (EI) will support the LEO network to develop their own capacity and their range of policy tools, to grow their base of start-ups and small businesses…

Export-Led Growth:…government-supported, Irish-owned companies will grow exports by 40%, or €10bn, by 2020, by driving client companies to target new markets, and by increasing the value of sales in existing markets.

Innovating to Drive Growth: Fine Gael will implement Innovation 2020, Ireland’s 5-year strategy for research and development, science and technology. …reaching our overall goal of increasing public and private investment in research and development (R & D) to 2.5% of GNP by 2020. This will amount to an almost doubling of current levels of investment. As part of this, €1.25bn in funding will be drawn down from the EU Horizon 2020 programme…

Smart Regulation:… We will publish new guidelines, taking account of the latest EU and OECD smart regulation practices…

[Local Government and Communities] p.89
Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs): Enterprise Ireland (EI) will support the LEO network to develop their own capacity and their range of policy tools, to grow their base of start-ups and small businesses…

[Northern Ireland, European and Foreign Affairs] p.92-95
Outstanding Commitments: We will support efforts to implement the unfulfilled commitments under previous Agreements, including the establishment of a North-South Consultative Forum; the establishment of a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane; and the promulgation of a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.

Ireland-UK Relations: Building on the successful state visits of 2011 and 2014, we will continue to enhance Ireland’s relationship with the United Kingdom, including under the Good Friday Agreement, through the British-Irish Council and the annual summits between the Taoiseach and British Prime Minister. We will strengthen cooperation with all devolved administrations.

Economic Cooperation: Fine Gael pioneered trade missions jointly led by Jobs ministers north and south. …boost economic growth in the North West through the North West Gateway initiative, the upgrading of the A5 road and the further development of the Ulster Canal…

Narrow Water Bridge:…
Atlantic Youth Trust Initiative:…

North South Ministerial Council: …(NSMC) and harness the potential of the Stormont House Agreement to develop new areas of cooperation in areas such as trade, health, tourism, sport and security.

EU Supports: …benefit from EU funding through the INTERREG and PEACE programmes.
Addressing External Threats:…
Effective Institutions:…
UK Membership:…
The European People’s Party (EPP):…
Taxation:…
EU Competitiveness and Growth:…
Trade Missions:…
New Cross-Sectoral Trade Strategies:…
Continuing Reform and Modernisation:…

[Public Sector Reform and Public Procurement] p.105
Better Regulation: We will mandate the Cabinet Secretariat within the Department of An Taoiseach to act as a centre of expertise for, and enforce compliance with, the regulatory impact assessment procedures for all major regulatory and legislative proposals. To promote the better regulation agenda the Taoiseach will also host an annual meeting of economic regulators to discuss ways to promote greater efficiency in the regulated industries.

[Rural Ireland] p.111-114
Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) (see the Jobs, Enterprise and Regional Growth chapter for further detail):…
Agriculture (see the Agriculture and Food chapter for further detail):…
Technological Universities:…
Rural Transport:…

Community Involvement Schemes (CIS) and Local Improvement Schemes (LIS): We will provide funding for Community Involvement schemes and Local Improvement Schemes, on an annual basis. As part of our commitment to local government reform we will also give councils greater discretion in how they spend their money on local and regional roads.

Greenways (see the Tourism and Sport chapter for further detail): During a second term of government, Fine Gael will build on the success of the development of the Greenway network and establish a central fund for supporting the network across the country. While we will continue to expand the network, we are also conscious of the rights of farmers and landowners and will work with them to ensure that the expansion of the network is beneficial for both users and landowners.

Regional Airports (see the Transport chapter for further detail): We will invest €28m under the Capital Plan for safety and security enhancements across the regional airports. We will also look to establish a fund to assist developing new flight routes from all airports outside of Dublin.

Spreading Growth in Tourism throughout Ireland (see the Tourism and Sport chapter for further detail): During a second term of government we will build on successes such as the Wild Atlantic Way to drive tourism to all parts of the country, in accordance with their potential.

Post Offices:…

[Seafood and the Marine] p.115-116
FOOD WISE 2025 – SEAFOOD
One of the most significant growth areas in our strategy for the agri-food industry, Food Wise 2025, is the seafood sector. With an increase of 37% in seafood exports since 2011 and an estimated 40 million tonnes of seafood required globally by 2030, our target is to increase the share of value-added seafood by 30-50%, maximising the value from our raw material base.
We will invest €24m from the Seafood Development Programme in seafood processing to support investment in capital infrastructure, innovation and business planning, scaling and new market development.

INVESTMENT and LEADERSHIP
Fine Gael has secured an EU co-funded Seafood Development Programme worth €240m, which will be central to achieving our ambition for growth in the seafood sector. This is more than double the size of the previous Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) fund. This investment will be targeted at a range of supports for fishermen to adapt to the challenges of the new CFP, seafood processing and marketing, aquaculture, inshore fisheries, Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGS), data collection and enforcement.

THE NEW COMMON FISHERIES POLICY (CFP)
Ending Discards:… €45m will be made available to support the industry in adapting to the new CFP. Additional quota to cover the increased landings has been negotiated. For 2016, this uplift has resulted in a 10% increase in whitefish quota, with a value of €9m.
Setting Quotas Based on Science:…

[Transport] p.125-126
Public Transport Investment: We will invest €3.6bn across the lifetime of the next Capital Plan to enable a number of major public transport projects to proceed, and to fund additional capacity to meet existing and future commuter needs…

Sustainable Transport:… Under the Capital Plan, €100m is being committed to smarter travel and carbon reduction measures, including Greenways, to ensure that the transport sector makes a major contribution to climate change mitigation targets.
Electric Vehicles:…
Roads Investment:…

[Tourism and Sport] p.128-129
Dublin Airport:…
Cork Airport:…
Shannon Airport:…
Regional Airports: Fine Gael understands the continued importance of Donegal, Kerry, Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK) and Waterford airports, due to the level of international connectivity that they bring to their respective regions, both in terms of tourism and business. To this end, we will invest €28m under the Capital Plan for safety and security enhancements across the regional airports. We will continue to provide funding to assist developing new flight routes from all airports outside of Dublin. This would be similar to a recent UK initiative which has been shown to be permissible under EU rules.

[Appendices] p.134-136