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Archive for 17. September 2016

No-Brainer Sustainable Development

Posted by hkarner - 17. September 2016

Photo of Bjørn Lomborg

Bjørn Lomborg

Bjørn Lomborg, a visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School, is Director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which seeks to study environmental problems and solutions using the best available analytical methods. He is the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, Cool It, How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the World a Better Place and The Nobel Laureates‘ Guide to the Smartest Targets for the World, and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2004.

SEP 15, 2016, Project Syndicate

BUDAPEST – The 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have among their objectives primary-school education for all children, jobs for all adults, and an end to hunger and poverty. These are noble aspirations – but very expensive. Can we really afford them all?

The OECD has estimated that meeting all 17 SDGs, which comprise 169 specific development targets, would cost $3.3-4.5 trillion annually – about the same as the United States’ 2016 federal budget, and far more than the nearly $132 billion spent globally on overseas development aid last year. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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British politics: Britain’s one-party state

Posted by hkarner - 17. September 2016

Date: 15-09-2016
Source: The Economist

Labour’s implosion leaves Britain without a functioning opposition. That is more dangerous than many realise

CHEERING crowds flock to his rallies. Youngsters embrace him for selfies and hang on his every tweet. Jeremy Corbyn, improbable, crinkly rockstar of the far left, is on course to be re-elected Labour’s leader on September 24th in a landslide vote among the party’s members, hundreds of thousands of whom have joined up in the past year just to back him.

Yet Mr Corbyn’s popularity among Labour’s half-million members and affiliates is not replicated among Britain’s 45m voters, most of whom do not share his desire to overthrow capitalism and unilaterally forsake the country’s nuclear weapons, nor his soft spot for strongmen such as Vladimir Putin and the late Hugo Chávez. The party is polling at its lowest in opposition for 30 years. Among young people, his most sympathetic constituency, Mr Corbyn has an approval rating of -18%. Among the over-65s it is -68%. Labour is on course to lose scores of seats at the next election. And it will not end there. Parties often pick bad candidates—mainstream Republicans recoil at Donald Trump, for instance—but it usually costs them no more than one election. Mr Corbyn, by contrast, is packing Labour with allies and seems more concerned with building a long-term “movement” than winning power. The Conservative government can expect years without being seriously challenged in Westminster. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The rise of the superstars

Posted by hkarner - 17. September 2016

Date: 15-09-2016
Source: The Economist

A small group of giant companies—some old, some new—are once again dominating the global economy, says Adrian Wooldridge. Is that a good or a bad thing?

ON AUGUST 31ST 1910 Theodore Roosevelt delivered a fiery speech in Osawatomie, Kansas. The former president celebrated America’s extraordinary new commercial power but also gave warning that America’s industrial economy had been taken over by a handful of corporate giants that were generating unparalleled wealth for a small number of people and exercising growing control over American politics. Roosevelt cautioned that a country founded on the principle of equality of opportunity was in danger of becoming a land of corporate privilege, and pledged to do whatever he could to bring the new giants under control.

Roosevelt’s speech sounds as fresh today as on the day he made it. A small number of giant companies are once again on the march, tightening their grip on global markets, merging with each other to get even bigger, and enjoying vast profits. As a proportion of GDP, American corporate profits are higher than they have been at any time since 1929. Apple, Google, Amazon and their peers dominate today’s economy just as surely as US Steel, Standard Oil and Sears, Roebuck and Company dominated the economy of Roosevelt’s day. Some of these modern giants are long-established stars that have reinvented themselves many times over. Some are brash newcomers from the emerging world. Some are high-tech wizards that are conjuring business empires out of noughts and ones. But all of them have learned how to combine the advantages of size with the virtues of entrepreneurialism. They are pulling ahead of their rivals in one area after another and building up powerful defences against competition, including enormous cash piles equivalent to 10% of GDP in America and as much as 47% in Japan. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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