Wisconsin Vol.8 (University of Wisconsin, Madison)


Australia Vol.17 (2019 federal election)

House of Representatives – who is leading? | @AusElectoralCom
2019 federal election boundaries map (w PDFs) | @AusElectoralCom
Infosheet 8 – Elections for the House of Representatives | Parliament of Australia
Senate Results | @ABCNews
How the Senate result is determined | @AusElectoralCom
Senate elections | Parliament of Australia

DELIVERING OUR PLAN | @LiberalAus
Our Plan – BUILDING OUR ECONOMY. SECURING YOUR FUTURE. | Liberal National Party
PLAN FOR A STRONGER REGIONAL AUSTRALIA – The Nationals’ heart is in the country and the coast. | @The_Nationals
OUR PLAN | @CountryLibs
Liberal Party’s Scott Morrison re-elected as Australian Prime Minister (Video; 05/18/2019) | @globalnews
Scott Morrison goes from accidental Prime Minister to homespun hero in election 2019 (05/20/2019) | Andrew Probyn @ABCNews
cf. Australia Vol.4 (Coalition – Liberal Party of Australia, Liberal National Party of Queensland, National Party of Australia, Country Liberal Party (NT) – 2016 Election Policies)
Malcolm Turnbull Election Night Speech 2016 (YouTube)
Tony Abbott Speech – 2013 Campaign Launch (YouTube)

Excerpts are on our own.
Australia’s conservatives relish unexpected 3rd term win (05/18/2019) | @reuters,@CBC
… The White House said Trump and Morrison spoke by phone and “pledged to continue their close cooperation on shared priorities.” Morrison told raucously cheering supporters late on Saturday, who just hours earlier had seemed resigned to defeat, that he had always believed in miracles. …
… Morrison, however, cast himself as the candidate who would work for aspirational voters and the tactic seemed to strike a chord. A Pentecostal church-goer, Morrison took over as prime minister last year when he emerged as the unexpected winner of infighting within the Liberal party…
… The government campaigned on a platform of tax cuts and stability, while Labor promised to reduce inequality through tax reform, higher wages, better public infrastructure and faster action on climate change. Fitch Ratings said in a note the result would bring policy continuity, including the coalition’s pledge to start delivering budget surpluses next financial year. …
Here are the winning stocks in Australia as Morrison takes victory at the elections (05/20/2019) | @CNBC
… Bank, coal miners, property and healthcare stocks jumped, pushing the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index to an 11-year high, after opening 1.7% higher and hitting its highest intraday level since 2007. …
… Yancoal Australia surged 5.7%, New Hope jumped about 4%, and Whitehaven Coal rose about 2%…
… Shares of Australia’s biggest lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia jumped about 6% and National Australia Bank surged 6.63%. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group also rose 6.46%, while Westpac soared 7.16%. …
… Property classified ads company REA Group was up 7% and shares of its rival, Domain Holdings Australia, rose 3% in early trade. Construction firm Lendlease Group bounced about 1%, while property developer Stockland jumped over 4.5%.
… Shares of the country’s biggest private health insurer Medibank Private were up 10%, while smaller NIB Holdings was up 9%…
What a Labor Victory Might Mean for Australian Foreign Policy (01/31/2019) | @elenacollinson @CFR_org
… In October 2016, Shorten declared Trump “entirely unsuitable to be leader of the free world,” having earlier that year described Trump’s policies as “barking mad.” In January 2017, Shorten called the new president’s policy barring visitors from several Muslim-majority from entering the United States “appalling.”…
… But any rift this may cause between the two countries is likely to be superficial. Shorten and the senior members of his shadow cabinet have articulated an “unshakeable” commitment to the U.S.-Australia alliance, terming it a “pillar” of the ALP’s foreign policy vision and “central to Australia’s strategic interests.”…
… With respect to China, there is no immediate indication that the ALP’s approach will differ significantly from that of the current government. Criticisms from Labor of the government’s handling of the Australia-China relationship have predominantly centred on rhetoric, variously characterizing it as “disjointed megaphone diplomacy,” “Chinaphobic” and “unwise and provocative,”…
…a ban on foreign political donations, and the decision to block Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from involvement in the rollout of Australia’s 5G network. Labor has also been supportive of strategies to balance China’s regional rise, actively engaging in the push to forge closer ties with Pacific nations, and articulating a strong commitment to the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. There is also general consensus between the two major parties… the Australian government is handling the mass internment of an estimated one million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang “the appropriate way” by enunciating Canberra’s concerns “very clear publicly and privately” but not immediately…
Shorten has also rejected the notion of “pre-emptively framing China as a strategic threat,” placing some distance between the Labor Party’s proposed China policy and the more adversarial posture toward China reflected in the U.S. National Security and National Defense Strategies and amplified in Vice President Mike Pence’s tough speech…
Two areas of potential difference in a Labor-led China policy may be on Australian strategy in the South China Sea and participation in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). …
One priority in Labor’s overall Asia strategy is to deepen economic ties with Indonesia, one of Australia’s most important, and often contentious, bilateral relationships. …
…in 2017, there is bipartisan support for the Australian foreign policy white paper released that year. The white paper, Australia’s first in fourteen years, examines the shifting power dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region, with a particular focus on the challenges presented by China’s rise…

Federal election 2019: What a Coalition win means for you, major policies explained: Scott Morrison’s stunning win saw the Coalition remain in government, but some changes are still coming soon. Here’s what you need to know. (w Video; 05/20/2019) | @9NewsAUS
Former Liberal Party leader: How Morrison won Australian elections (Video; 05/20/2019) | @CNBC
Working-Class Voters Deliver a Win for Conservatives in Australia (05/19/2019) | @NRO
Five Things To Know About Australia’s Election Results: As the country attempts to get its head around what happened last night, we are offering up a few bite-sized takeaways to get you through a day of political small talk. (19/05/2019) | @vice
What Scott Morrison’s win means for Australian investors (18/05/2019) | Katarina Taurian @NestEggAU
Why China is not celebrating the unexpected Australian election result (05/20/2019) | John Lee @CNN
Australia’s conservative party retains power in shocking election result (05/19/2019) | Rachel Withers @vox
How did they get it so wrong? Polling companies explain what happened after predicting a Labor win for THREE YEARS (20/05/2019) | DANIEL PIOTROWSKI and STEPHEN JOHNSON @dailymailuk
10 key lessons from Australia’s poll-defying election results (05/20/2019) | @washingtonpost
4 things to know about Australia’s contentious election: After years of dysfunction, will conservatives get the boot? (w Video; 05/17/2019) | Eric Kleefeld @vox
2019 Federal Election Preview (12/05/2019) | @OddscheckerAu
Morrison’s Allies Retain Power in Most-Populous Australian State (03/23/2019) | Jason Scott and Jackie Edwards @bpolitics
FactCheck: has Australia’s net debt doubled under the current government? (08/06/2018) | Mark Crosby @ConversationEDU

Labor’s Policies For A Fair Go For Australia | @AustralianLabor
LABOR’S FISCAL PLAN (PDF) | @AustralianLabor
How Australian Labor lost ‘the unlosable election’ (Audio) | Rebecca Huntley @abcconvos
How did the Liberal National Party win over voters in Queensland? (YouTube) | @ABCNews
Bill Shorten quits as Labor leader after loss (YouTube) | @9NewsAUS
What the left can learn from Australian Labor: By combining radical economics with patriotism, the party has made itself the favourite to win this May’s general election. (16/01/2019) | Adrian Pabst @NewStatesman
cf. Australia Vol.12 (Queensland)
We’re building a future for all of us | @Greens
Swing of 2.6% will give the Greens a dominant role on Senate crossbench: Adam Bandt comfortably re-elected in Melbourne but party fails to make gains in the lower house (19/05/2019) | @Paul_Karp @guardian
The rise of the Australian Greens (22/09/2008) | Scott Bennett @ Politics and Public Administration Section @ Parliament of Australia
cf. Australia Vol.3 (Australian Labor Party’s 10 Year Plan for Australia’s Economy; AUSTRALIAN GREENS ELECTION PLATFORM 2016)
Election 2016: Bill Shorten’s full campaign launch speech (YouTube)
Kevin Rudd’s Labor campaign launch speech (YouTube; 2013)
Julia Gillard Campaign Launch (YouTube; 2010)

Excerpts are on our own.
Australian election: Labor’s humiliating defeat – why it fell apart for Bill Shorten – ANALYSIS (19/05/2019) | Malcolm Farr @nzherald
… Bill Shorten’s attempt to parlay six years of Labor unity and preparation into a victory formula has failed, with Queensland bringing it undone. …
… Scott Morrison has established himself as a fierce political street brawler who surprised Labor with his energy, his aggression, and his read of the electorate. …
… As Liberal John Hewson found in 1993, Labor’s Bill Shorten has learned in 2019: Being a reformer exposes you to misrepresentation by an opponent unencumbered by fresh direction. …
… It should also be acknowledged his departure makes life easier for Morrison, who will not have to keep looking over his shoulder at creeping Abbott ambitions. … “It’s also clear that in at least some of what might be described as ‘wealthy seats’, we are doing it tough, and the Green left is doing better.”
…few political operative were able to pander to the desires for simplistic certainties, like Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer. @OneNationAus and @UnitedAusParty were crucial in regional Queensland results. …
Tanya Plibersek’s disastrous comment that cost Labor Queensland: Tanya Plibersek has been slammed over a remark she made in the lead-up to the election, which may have cost her party the crucial state of Queensland. (05/20/2019) | @gavindfernando @newscomauHQ
…she was out there denigrating the coal industry and saying it will phase out,” he told Sky News. “To say that on the eve of the election, in which there are six marginal seats in North Queensland in the coal belt, was absolutely disastrous. …
… The seats Mr Katter refers to are Peter Dutton’s northern Brisbane seat of Dickson, George Christensen’s marginal seat of Dawson, the Townsville-based seat of Herbert, as well as Flynn, Capricornia and Leichhardt. …
… The Labor Party was dealt a crushing blow in Queensland, with its vote falling to just 27.4 per cent…
… Last month, she told the ABC that Australians “can’t rely on an Indian mining company to bring jobs to central and north Queensland”. Prime Minister Scott Morrison slammed her over the remarks, comparing her to former NSW Labor leader Michael Daley. Mr Daley infamously accused Asians of taking Australian jobs during the NSW state election in March, before he went on to lose the vote. …
… “We needed to make it clear that if it was able to do so, that of course Labor would welcome the investment and jobs,” Mr Fitzgibbon said. The Hunter MP, who suffered a big swing against him towards One Nation’s pro-coal candidate, also said the party had drifted too far to the left. …
… Liberal senator Eric Abetz said the impact of the debate around Adani went beyond Queensland, into his own state of Tasmania. “Adani was seen … as an indication that the Labor Party was deserting its grassroots and the workers in favour of the suburban city elite…


Wisconsin Vol.7 (University of Wisconsin, Madison)


Ireland Vol.43 (Leinster Vol.10 – City of Dublin Vol.3)

The Dublin City Development Plan (2016-2022) | @DubCityCouncil
Chapter 6 – City Economy and Enterprise | @DubCityCouncil
About Dublin | @DubCham
Dublin | BRITANNICA
Dublin Economic Monitor | @DubCityCouncil
Dublin Economic Monitor (PDF; 05/2018) | @ey
Dublin Economic Monitor | @GovDataIE,@IRLDeptPER
DublinDashboard: How’s Dublin Doing? – Dublin Economic Monitor | @MaynoothUni
Dublin City economy seeing signs of stabilisation (07/02/2019) | @rte
DOING BUSINESS | @Dublin_ie
Dublin City | discoveringIreland
Best Practice: Creative Dublin Alliance – Creating the Leadership Consensus (PDF; 07/19/2011) | New York City Global Partners @NYCMayorsOffice
About Dublin Town …: Pre-Budget Submission (PDF; 08/2018) | @weareDublinTown
DESPITE HOUSING AND BREXIT ISSUES, DUBLIN CITY’S ECONOMY IS PERFORMING WELL (14/02/2019) | Rachel Darcy @DublinGazette
Ireland Property Rush Risks Repeat of Crisis (04/01/2019) | Neil Callanan @markets
Vision 2020 – Predictions for Dublin City Region | @FACIreland
Local Economic Indicators 2018: Doing Business Locally (PDF) | @ibec_irl
12 economic predictions for 2019 (12/17/2018) | Professor Neil Gibson @accountancyire
Local Business | @dublindocklands
The Full Startup City Guide For Dublin (12/02/2016) | Charlene Heaney @StartUscc
Dublin city’s LEO has funded 157 start-up businesses (31/10/2018) | John Kennedy @siliconrepublic
The Irish Tech 100 (Part One) (19/10/2015) | @DublinGlobe
TECH COMPANIES DOMINATE THE DUBLIN CITY CENTRE PRIME OFFICE MARKET (16/01/2018) | Robert McHugh @BusinessWorldIE
Dublin City – CULTURE AND CREATIVITY STRATEGY 2018-2022 | @creativeirl
SUPPORTING ARTISTS: Who We Work With | @LabDCC
This European country is bucking 2018’s downward trend (12/22/2018) | Annabelle Timsit @qz


Pinned tweets, etc.

For the United States, you can search by putting each state’s name or “US Policy Changes” into the search box.

For European Union, you can check out
http://worldsolutions.work/tag/eu/ .

For Brexit, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc., you can search by putting each of these words into the search box, or check out categories and tags.


Massachusetts Vol.4 (corporations)

Massachusetts4 countyMassachusetts6 citiesMassachusetts5 coloniesMassachusetts7 Köppen


California Vol.19 (UCLA, University of Southern California, Pepperdine University, etc.)


France Vol.4 (Finance)

France7 13-Regions


https://twitter.com/BF_Nordics/status/1070979469190545410
https://twitter.com/TheVolawatcher/status/1069666244113129473


Illinois Vol.3


https://twitter.com/VonniMediaMogul/status/1066413301620531200


Utah Vol.3 (Utah State University, University of Utah, Brigham Young University)


North Carolina Vol.4 (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)


https://twitter.com/HereAtUNC/status/1015260221395128320


Tennessee Vol.2

Tennessee1
Tennessee2


https://twitter.com/UTKnoxville/status/993943910232809474


Switzerland Vol.3

Switzerland | OECD
Switzerland | The World Bank
Switzerland | The European Commission
2018 Index of Economic Freedom – Switzerland | The Heritage Foundation
Switzerland: Economy | global EDGE – Michigan State University
The Economic Performance of Swiss Regions – Indicators of Economic Performance, Composition of Cantonal Economies and Clusters of Traded Industries (PDF) | Philippe Gugler & Michael Keller Center for Competitiveness, University of Fribourg
Swiss economy to finally overcome weakness caused by sharp appreciation of Swiss franc – Year Ahead 2018 regional outlook: Switzerland (29/11/2017) | UBS
Switzerland – GDP and Economic Data | Global Finance
SWITZERLAND | EULER HERMES
Switzerland | Coface
Switzerland: the 2018 economic outlook (15/01/2018) | Roger Keller BNP PARIBAS
Switzerland Economy | ECONOMY WATCH
Best Countries For Business 2018 – Switzerland | Forbes
Switzerland – Detailed economic analysis, indicators and forecasts. | Moody’s Analytics, Inc.
Swiss National Bank
Free trade agreement Switzerland/EU and EFTA agreements (PDF)
Invest in Switzerland – Key Industries | Switzerland Global Enterprise
The Productivity Deficit of the Knowledge-Intensive Business Service Industries in Switzerland (PDF; 2015) | Boris Kaiser & Michael Siegenthaler – Study on behalf of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO
Greater Zurich Area
Switzerland | The Local
Switzerland | BBC
Switzerland | Guardian
Switzerland | The Telegraph
Switzerland | The New York Times
Switzerland | CNBC
Switzerland | CNN Money
Swiss Bankers Association
Switzerland (PDF) | Financial Secrecy Index
Switzerland | US News
Switzerland | EIU
Switzerland | The Economist
Switzerland | Credit Suisse
Switzerland | UN Global Compact
Switzerland – Human Development Indicators | UNDP
The CPT and Switzerland | Council of Europe
Switzerland | IAEA PRIS
Switzerland | National Geographic
Economy | Switzerland Tourism
Switzerland Innovation
Transforming the Swiss economy – The impact of automation on employment and industries | Deloitte
Switzerland | ARAB NEWS
Switzerland | Trading Economics
Is Switzerland the Perfect Economy? (07/31/2015) | Lina Kherchi The market Mogul
What makes Switzerland so competitive? (03/09/2014) | Thierry Geiger WEF
A Note on Switzerland’s Economy – Did the Swiss economy really stagnate in the 1990’s, and is Switzerland really all that rich ? (PDF) | Jean-Christian Lambelet and Alexander Mihailov Crea Institute, Lausanne University
Switzerland: Economy Overview (02/02/2010) | Ina Dimireva EUbusiness
Switzerland | European Social Survey
Switzerland’s Economic Dependence during World War II | HISTORY OF SWITZERLAND
Commanding Heights : Switzerland Overview | PBS
Global Innovation Index 2017: Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, USA, UK Top Annual Ranking (06/15/2017) | WIPO


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.46


https://twitter.com/IFRI_/status/973966653598912514


UK Vol.112 (Post-EUref #Brexit Vol.36)


https://twitter.com/EU_Commission/status/961141486250164224


https://twitter.com/EUlondonrep/status/959007285153591296


US Policy Changes Vol.76 (Trade, Energy, National Security, Financial Regulation, Tax, Values, et al.)

Great stuff!

Export Monitor 2017 (w PDFs; 08/18/2017) | Joseph Parilla and Nick Marchio @BrookingsInst

When renegotiating NAFTA, Trump should re-evaluate his premises on international trade (08/17/2017) | Dany Bahar @BrookingsInst

NAFTA renegotiation: Separating fact from fiction (08/17/2017) | Amanda Waldron @BrookingsInst

American Energy Policy (w PDF; April 2017) | Daniel Poneman @BelferCenter

Is the United States the new Saudi Arabia? (01/26/2018) | Samantha Gross @BrookingsInst

Learning from Katrina to care for Hurricane Harvey’s youngest victims (09/06/2017) | Jon Valant @BrookingsInst

Trump’s border wall is standard practice in other parts of the world (01/23/2018) | Michael Rubin @BrookingsInst

Hitting the wall: On immigration, campaign promises clash with policy realities (w PDF; 06/22/2017) | John Hudak, Elaine Kamarck, and Christine Stenglein @BrookingsInst

Strengthening and streamlining bank capital regulation (w PDFs; 09/07/2017) | Robin Greenwood, Samuel G. Hanson, Jeremy C. Stein, and Adi Sunderam @BrookingsInst

What Treasury’s financial regulation report gets right and where it goes too far (06/13/2017) | Nellie Liang @BrookingsInst

Hoarding the American Dream (Podcast & Transcript; 06/16/2017) | Richard V. Reeves, Bill Finan, and Fred Dews @BrookingsInst

Professionalism in politics: The paradox of populism (Podcast & Transcript; 06/28/2017) | Jonathan Rauch, Benjamin Wittes, and Adrianna Pita @BrookingsInst

Winners and losers in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Podcast; 12/22/2017) | Fred Dews and Adam Looney @BrookingsInst

Next Task for GOP: Spend Less and Help the Poor – Republicans did well to cut corporate taxes, not so well at expanding opportunity. (12/19/2017) | Michael R. Strain @bpolitics

Who would pay for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act? (w PDF; 12/08/2017) | William G. Gale, Surachai Khitatrakun, and Aaron Krupkin @BrookingsInst

Senate tax bill: Lower rates for corporations? Check. Broadening the tax base? Not so much. (12/05/2017) | Adam Looney and Hilary Gelfond @BrookingsInst

Relax, the housing market will be fine after tax reform (11/09/2017) | Alex Brill @AEI

Is the rent “too damn high”? Or are incomes too low? (12/19/2017) | Jenny Schuetz @BrookingsInst

Where the robots are (08/14/2017) | Mark Muro @BrookingsInst

Signs of digital distress: Mapping broadband availability and subscription in American neighborhoods (09/12/2017) | Adie Tomer, Elizabeth Kneebone, and Ranjitha Shivaram @BrookingsInst

Segregation and changing populations shape Rust Belt’s politics (09/14/2017) | John C. Austin @BrookingsInst

Census shows nonmetropolitan America is whiter, getting older, and losing population: Will it retain political clout? (06/27/2017) | William H. Frey @BrookingsInst

A primer on gerrymandering and political polarization (07/06/2017) | Fred Dews @BrookingsInst

The geography of desperation in America (07/24/2017) | Carol Graham, Sergio Pinto, and John Juneau II @BrookingsInst

Will the release of the JFK assassination records put to rest one of the most widely believed conspiracy theories? (w Video; 10/27/2017) | Karlyn Bowman @AEI

The Rudeness of King Donald (12/04/2017) | Niall Ferguson @BostonGlobe


Texas Vol.2

Texas5 geologicTexas1


https://twitter.com/KeepTexasGreen/status/933105021486383104


Delaware Vol.3

Delaware2


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.30


US Policy Changes Vol.74 (National Security Strategy)

The below excerpt of National Security Strategy of the United States of America DECEMBER 2017 (PDF) is on our own.

The American people elected me to make America great again. …
During my first year in office, you have witnessed my America First foreign policy in action. …
The United States faces an extraordinarily dangerous world, filled with a wide range of threats that have intensified in recent years. …
We are rallying the world against the rogue regime in North Korea and confronting the danger posed by the dictatorship in Iran, which those determined to pursue a flawed nuclear deal had neglected. …
At home, we have restored confidence in America’s purpose. …
The whole world is lifted by America’s renewal and the reemergence of American leadership. …

pp.1-4 INTRODUCTION
… Putting America first is the duty of our government and the foundation for U.S. leadership in the world.
A strong America is in the vital interests of not only the American people, but also those around the world who want to partner with the United States in pursuit of shared interests, values, and aspirations.
… Liberty and independence have given us the flourishing society Americans enjoy today-a vibrant and confident Nation, welcoming of disagreement and differences, but united by the bonds of history, culture, beliefs, and principles that define who we are.
… American political, business, and military leaders worked together with their counterparts in Europe and Asia to shape the post-war order through the United Nations, the Marshall Plan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and other institutions designed to advance our shared interests of security, freedom, and peace. …
A Competitive World
… China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity. …
…jihadist terrorists such as ISIS and al-Qa’ida continue to spread a barbaric ideology that calls for the violent destruction of governments and innocents they consider to be apostates. …
… North Korea-a country that starves its own people-has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that could threaten our homeland. …
An America First National Security Strategy
First, our fundamental responsibility is to protect the American people, the homeland, and the American way of life.
Second, we will promote American prosperity. …
Third, we will preserve peace through strength by rebuilding our military so that it remains preeminent, deters our adversaries, and if necessary, is able to fight and win. …
Fourth, we will advance American influence because a world that supports American interests and reflects our values makes America more secure and prosperous. …

pp.7-14 PILLAR I: PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, THE HOMELAND, AND THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE (“July 2017”)
… North Korea seeks the capability to kill millions of Americans with nuclear weapons. … Non-state actors undermine social order through drug and human trafficking networks…
Secure U.S. Borders and Territory
Defend Against Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
…deploying a layered missile defense system focused on North Korea and Iran to defend… Enhanced missile defense is not intended to undermine strategic stability or disrupt longstanding strategic relationships with Russia or China. …
Combat Biothreats and Pandemics
Strengthen Border Control and Immigration Policy
Pursue Threats to Their Source
Defeat Jihadist Terrorists
Dismantle Transnational Criminal Organizations
Keep America Safe in the Cyber Era
…assess risk across six key areas: national security, energy and power, banking and finance, health and safety, communications, and transportation. …
Promote American Resilience

pp.17-23 PILLAR II: PROMOTE AMERICAN PROSPERITY (“November 2017”)
… Working with our allies and partners, the United States led the creation of a group of financial institutions and other economic forums that established equitable rules and built instruments to stabilize the international economy and remove the points of friction that had contributed to two world wars. …
… Experience shows that these countries distorted and undermined key economic institutions without undertaking significant reform of their economies or politics. They espouse free trade rhetoric and exploit its benefits, but only adhere selectively to the rules and agreements. …
Rejuvenate the Domestic Economy
… Departments and agencies will eliminate unnecessary regulations that stifle growth, drive up costs for American businesses, impede research and development, discourage hiring, and incentivize domestic businesses to move overseas. …
… Federal, state, and local governments will work together with private industry to improve our airports, seaports and waterways, roads and railways, transit systems, and telecommunications. …
Promote Free, Fair, and Reciprocal Economic Relationships
…will pursue bilateral trade and investment agreements with countries that commit to fair and reciprocal trade and will modernize existing agreements to ensure they are consistent with those principles. …
Lead in Research, Technology, Invention, and Innovation
… The Department of Defense and other agencies will establish strategic partnerships with U.S. companies to help align private sector R&D resources to priority national security applications. …
Promote and Protect the U.S. National Security Innovation Base
…will reduce the illicit appropriation of U.S. public and private sector technology and technical knowledge by hostile foreign competitors. …
…will review visa procedures to reduce economic theft by non-traditional intelligence collectors. …
Embrace Energy Dominance
…will streamline the Federal regulatory approval processes for energy infrastructure, from pipeline and export terminals to container shipments and gathering lines, while also ensuring responsible environmental stewardship.

pp.25-35 PILLAR III: PRESERVE PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH (“DECEMBER 2017”)
… Three main sets of challengers-the revisionist powers of China and Russia, the rogue states of Iran and North Korea, and transnational threat organizations, particularly jihadist terrorist groups-are actively competing against the United States and our allies and partners. …
… China and Russia want to shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests. China seeks to displace the United States in the Indo-Pacific region, expand the reaches of its state-driven economic model, and reorder the region in its favor. Russia seeks to restore its great power status and establish spheres of influence near its borders. The intentions of both nations are not necessarily fixed. …
For decades, U.S. policy was rooted in the belief that support for China’s rise and for its integration into the post-war international order would liberalize China. Contrary to our hopes, China expanded its power at the expense of the sovereignty of others. China gathers and exploits data on an unrivaled scale and spreads features of its authoritarian system, including corruption and the use of surveillance. It is building the most capable and well-funded military in the world, after our own. Its nuclear arsenal is growing and diversifying. Part of China’s military modernization and economic expansion is due to its access to the U.S. innovation economy, including America’s world-class universities.
Russia aims to weaken U.S. influence in the world and divide us from our allies and partners. …
Renew America’s Competitive Advantages
Renew Capabilities
Military
Defense Industrial Base
…will work with industry partners to strengthen U.S. competitiveness in key technologies and manufacturing capabilities. …
Nuclear Forces
Space
… America’s newly re-established National Space Council, chaired by the Vice President, will review America’s long-range space goals and develop a strategy that integrates all space sectors to support innovation and American leadership in space.
Cyberspace
Intelligence
… To prevent the theft of sensitive and proprietary information and maintain supply chain integrity, the United States must increase our understanding of the economic policy priorities of our adversaries and improve our ability to detect and defeat their attempts to commit economic espionage. …
Diplomacy and Statecraft
Competitive Diplomacy
… Diplomacy is indispensable to identify and implement solutions to conflicts in unstable regions of the world short of military involvement. It helps to galvanize allies for action and marshal the collective resources of like-minded nations and organizations to address shared problems. Authoritarian states are eager to replace the United States where the United States withdraws our diplomats and closes our outposts. …
… Diplomats must identify opportunities for commerce and cooperation, and facilitate the cultural, educational, and people-to-people exchanges that create the networks of current and future political, civil society, and educational leaders who will extend a free and prosperous world.
Tools of Economic Diplomacy
… Economic tools?including sanctions, anti-money-laundering and anti-corruption measures, and enforcement actions?can be important parts of broader strategies to deter, coerce, and constrain adversaries. …
Information Statecraft
… China, for example, combines data and the use of AI to rate the loyal of its citizens to the state and uses these ratings to determine jobs and more. Jihadist…
Russia uses information operations as part of its offensive cyber efforts to influence public opinion across the globe. …
… Local voices are most compelling and effective in ideological competitions. We must amplify credible voices and partner with them to advance alternatives to violent and hateful messages. …

pp.37-42 PILLAR IV: ADVANCE AMERICAN INFLUENCE (“JULY 2017″)
… During the Cold War, a totalitarian threat from the Soviet Union motivated the free world to create coalitions in defense of liberty. Today’s challenges to free societies are just as serious, but more diverse. …
… The United States offers partnership to those who share our aspirations for freedom and prosperity. We lead by example. “The world has its eye upon America,” Alexander Hamilton once observed. “The noble struggle we have made in the cause of liberty, has occasioned a kind of revolution in human sentiment. …
Encourage Aspiring Partners
… China and Russia target their investments in the developing world to expand influence and gain competitive advantages against the United States. China is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure across the globe. Russia, too, projects its influence economically, through the control of key energy and other infrastructure throughout parts of Europe and Central Asia. …
… The United States will promote a development model that partners with countries that want progress, consistent with their culture, based on free market principles, fair and reciprocal trade, private sector activity, and rule of law. The United States will shift away from a reliance on assistance based on grants to approaches that attract private capital and catalyze private sector activity. …
Achieve Better Outcomes in Multilateral Forums
… Authoritarian actors have long recognized the power of multilateral bodies and have used them to advance their interests and limit the freedom of their own citizens. If the United States cedes leadership of these bodies to adversaries, opportunities to shape developments that are positive for the United States will be lost. All institutions are not equal, however. …
… The United Nations can help contribute to solving many of the complex problems in the world, but it must be reformed and recommit to its founding principles. We will require accountability and emphasize shared responsibility among members. If the United States is asked to provide a disproportionate level of support for an institution, we will expect a commensurate degree of influence over the direction and efforts of that institution. …
…  The United States will promote the free flow of data and protect its interests through active engagement in key organizations, such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the UN, and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Champion American Values
… America’s core principles, enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, are secured by the Bill of Rights, which proclaims our respect for fundamental individual liberties beginning with the freedoms of religion, speech, the press, and assembly. Liberty, free enterprise, equal justice under the law, and the dignity of every human life are central to who we are as a people. …
… We support, with our words and actions, those who live under oppressive regimes and who seek freedom, individual dignity, and the rule of law. We are under no obligation to offer the benefits of our free and prosperous community to repressive regimes and human rights abusers. We may use diplomacy, sanctions, and other tools to isolate states and leaders who threaten our interests and whose actions run contrary to our values. …

pp.45-53 THE STRATEGY IN A REGIONAL CONTEXT
Indo-Pacific
… Although the United States seeks to continue to cooperate with China… Its efforts to build and militarize outposts in the South China Sea endanger the free flow of trade, threaten the sovereignty of other nations, and undermine regional stability. China has mounted a rapid military modernization campaign designed to limit U.S. access to the region…
… Our alliance and friendship with South Korea, forged by the trials of history, is stronger than ever. We welcome and support the strong leadership role of our critical ally, Japan. Australia has fought alongside us in every significant conflict since World War I… New Zealand is a key U.S. partner contributing to peace and security across the region. We welcome India’s emergence as a leading global power and stronger strategic and defense partner. We will seek to increase quadrilateral cooperation with Japan, Australia, and India.
In Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Thailand remain important allies and markets for Americans. Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore are growing security and economic partners of the United States. …
… We will work with allies and partners to achieve complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and preserve the non-proliferation regime in Northeast Asia.
…we will cooperate on missile defense with Japan and South Korea to move toward an area defense capability. We remain ready to respond with overwhelming force to North Korean aggression and will improve options to compel denuclearization of the peninsula. We will improve law enforcement, defense, and intelligence cooperation with Southeast Asian partners to address the growing terrorist threat. We will maintain our strong ties with Taiwan in accordance with our “One China” policy…
Europe
… Russia is using subversive measures to weaken the credibility of America’s commitment to Europe, undermine transatlantic unity, and weaken European institutions and governments. With its invasions of Georgia and Ukraine…
China is gaining a strategic foothold in Europe by expanding its unfair trade practices and investing in key industries, sensitive technologies, and infrastructure. Europe also faces immediate threats from violent Islamist extremists. Attacks by ISIS and other jihadist…
… We will encourage European foreign direct investment in the United States to create jobs. We will work with our allies and partners to diversify European energy sources to ensure the energy security of European countries. We will work with our partners to contest China’s unfair trade and economic practices and restrict its acquisition of sensitive technologies.
… We expect our European allies to increase defense spending to 2 percent of gross domestic product by 2024, with 20 percent of this spending devoted to increasing military capabilities. …
Middle East
… For generations the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been understood as the prime irritant preventing peace and prosperity in the region. Today, the threats from jihadist terrorist organizations and the threat from Iran are creating the realization that Israel is not the cause of the region’s problems. States have increasingly found common interests with Israel in confronting common threats. …
… We remain committed to helping our partners achieve a stable and prosperous region, including through a strong and integrated Gulf Cooperation Council. We will strengthen our long-term strategic partnership with Iraq as an independent state. We will seek a settlement to the Syrian civil war that sets the conditions for refugees to return home and rebuild their lives in safety. … We remain committed to helping facilitate a comprehensive peace agreement that is acceptable to both Israelis and Palestinians. …
South and Central Asia
… We will help South Asian nations maintain their sovereign as China increases its influence in the region. …
Western Hemisphere
Stable, friendly, and prosperous states in the Western Hemisphere enhance our security and benefit our economy. Democratic states connected by shared values and economic interests will reduce the violence, drug trafficking, and illegal immigration that threaten our common security…
… Transnational criminal organizations—including gangs and cartels—perpetuate violence and corruption, and threaten the stability of Central American states including Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. In Venezuela and Cuba, governments cling to anachronistic leftist authoritarian models that continue to fail their people. Competitors have found operating space in the hemisphere.
China seeks to pull the region into its orbit through state-led investments and loans. Russia continues its failed politics of the Cold War by bolstering its radical Cuban allies as Cuba continues to repress its citizens. Both China and Russia support the dictatorship in Venezuela and are seeking to expand military linkages and arms sales across the region. …
Africa
… China is expanding its economic and military presence in Africa, growing from a small investor in the continent two decades ago into Africa’s largest trading partner today. Some Chinese practices undermine Africa’s long-term development by corrupting elites, dominating extractive industries, and locking countries into unsustainable and opaque debts and commitments. …
… We will offer American goods and services, both because it is profitable for us and because it serves as an alternative to China’s often extractive economic footprint on the continent. …

p.55 CONCLUSION
… It is realist because it acknowledges the central role of power in international politics, affirms that sovereign states are the best hope for a peaceful world, and clearly defines our national interests. It is principled because it is grounded in the knowledge that advancing American principles spreads peace and prosperity around the globe. We are guided by our values and disciplined by our interests. …


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.1

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.1


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