Piketty has last laugh as revolts threaten the pay status quo

Jonathan Guthrie

Financial Times

Economist is finding unexpected allies — stock market investors

Thomas Piketty’s 2013 tome Capital in the Twenty-First Century was dismissed by diehard critics as doctrinaire, statistically flawed and boring. Three years later the French economist’s broadside against rising financial inequality is receiving validation from an improbable quarter: stock market investors.

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by Dr. Zoltan Grossman

Published in Z magazine

Since the September 11 attacks on the United States, most people in the world agree that the perpetrators need to be brought to justice, without killing many thousands of civilians in the process. But unfortunately, the U.S. military has always accepted massive civilian deaths as part of the cost of war. The military is now poised to kill thousands of foreign civilians, in order to prove that killing U.S. civilians is wrong.

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A crucial handoff between United Nations climate chiefs

Guy Edwards and Timmons Roberts


Among the United Nations’ top diplomats, Christiana Figueres may not be one of the tallest, but she is about to leave a very large pair of shoes to fill as executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In her six years in charge, Figueres has taken the role to new levels, given her insatiable enthusiasm and energy for making the case for climate action and willingness to speak out publicly about the need for greater commitment.

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Global Emergencies, Urgent Challenges

Federico Mayor Zaragoza
President, Culture of Peace Foundation

This text is part of the 2015-2016 CEIPAZ yearbook, which addresses some of the current urgent challenges related to climate change, the refugee crisis, UN peacekeeping missions and the agenda of women, peace and security. It includes a Regional Perspectives section which addresses Cuban-United States relations, China and its economic crisis, Iran and the nuclear issue, Russia as a regional player and the African Union and its role in conflict management.

“We stand at a critical moment in the Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future”.
Earth Charter (2000)

It is urgent to take timely measures to halt the progressive damage to the habitability of the Earth and the conditions of life for the majority of all human beings. Otherwise, we may reach a point of no return that will irreversibly affect our present generation’s legacy to future generations.

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How Far Is Europe Swinging to the Right?

The candidate for the far-right Freedom Party in Austria lost the country’s cliffhanger presidential election on Monday by the slimmest of margins. Still, it was an example of the electoral gains made by right-wing parties in a growing number of European countries amid a migrant crisis, sluggish economic growth and growing disillusionment with the European Union. The right-wing parties included below range across a wide policy spectrum, from populist and nationalist to far-right neofascist.

Humanitarian Summit, The Big Fiasco

By Baher Kamal

ISTANBUL, Turkey, May 2016 (IPS) – The World Humanitarian Summit held in Istanbul on May 23-24, failed to achieve its fund raising goals. With the exception of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, none from the Group of the richest courtiers or of the UN Security Council attended. And the Summit could not mobilise the much-needed resources it had hoped for.

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The Real Reason Neocons Are So Upset About Donald Trump

By James Carden – The Nation

The armchair warriors seem to be realizing that they could be frozen out of the corridors of power for the next four years.

The past year has been a difficult one for the leaders of the neocon right. First, their campaign to torpedo President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran came to naught. Then their preferred candidate for the Republican nomination, freshman Florida Senator Marco Rubio, ran a lazy and uninspiring campaign and was easily routed by Donald Trump. And now, with Trump about to be crowned king of the Republican castle in Cleveland, the neocons are experiencing something of an existential meltdown over the prospect of a future Trump administration.

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Can Boko Haram Be Defeated?


The New York Times

ABUJA, Nigeria — Last December, Muhammadu Buhari, the president of Nigeria, declared that “technically we have won the war” against Boko Haram, the insurgent group that has been terrorizing the country for seven years. Mr. Buhari’s comments came after the military dislodged Boko Haram from territory it had seized in 2014 and 2015. But five months later, it’s clear that the president’s pronouncement of victory was premature.

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Africa has to go through its own industrial revolution

Kingsley Moghalu

Financial Times

The continent is in thrall to orthodoxies suited to more mature economies, writes Kingsley Moghalu

Capitalism is failing Africa. A relatively small number of entrepreneurs have prospered on the continent in the past decade, becoming the face of the “Africa Rising” narrative. But hundreds of millions more have remained poor and unemployed, and lacking electricity, good schools and access to adequate healthcare.

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Monopoly’s New Era

Joseph E. Stiglitz
Project Syndicate

NEW YORK – For 200 years, there have been two schools of thought about what determines the distribution of income – and how the economy functions. One, emanating from Adam Smith and nineteenth-century liberal economists, focuses on competitive markets. The other, cognizant of how Smith’s brand of liberalism leads to rapid concentration of wealth and income, takes as its starting point unfettered markets’ tendency toward monopoly. It is important to understand both, because our views about government policies and existing inequalities are shaped by which of the two schools of thought one believes provides a better description of reality.

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We may have already committed ourselves to 6-meter sea-level rise

by Systemic Disorder

Even if humanity were to stop throwing carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere today, a catastrophic rise in sea levels of six meters may be inevitable. Two previous prehistoric interglacial periods, in which the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere was believed to be about what it is today, resulted in dramatic rising of the oceans.

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Noam Chomsky: How Imperial Violence Backfires – Lessons from the Middle East

Excerpts from his new book, Who Rules the World? (Metropolitan Books).

In brief, the Global War on Terror sledgehammer strategy has spread jihadi terror from a tiny corner of Afghanistan to much of the world, from Africa through the Levant and South Asia to Southeast Asia. It has also incited attacks in Europe and the United States. The invasion of Iraq made a substantial contribution to this process, much as intelligence agencies had predicted. Terrorism specialists Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank estimate that the Iraq War “generated a stunning sevenfold increase in the yearly rate of fatal jihadist attacks, amounting to literally hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of civilian lives lost; even when terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan is excluded, fatal attacks in the rest of the world have increased by more than one-third.” Other exercises have been similarly productive.

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‘De-Ba’athification was a recipe for disaster’

The Hindu

Zalmay Khalilzad on the successes and failures of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq

Afghanistan-born Zalmay Khalilzad has been the highest-ranking Muslim in the U.S. administration and has worked under President George W. Bush in various capacities. He was Ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq during the U.S.-led invasions, and played a major role in shaping the U.S.’s policies in West Asia. His memoir, The Envoy: From Kabul to the White House, My Journey Through a Turbulent World, has just been published, offering fresh insight into the American conduct of the wars.

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Time to End the Greek Debt Tragedy

The New York Times

It’s the season when Greece’s continuing debt saga approaches what has now become a familiar summer climax, with citizens protesting austerity cuts and international creditors squabbling over the terms of loans. It’s time to exit this cycle and face reality: Without relief, Greece’s economy will never recover, with repercussions the European Union can ill afford.

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A surprising number of Americans dislike how messy democracy is. They like Trump.

By John R. Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse
Monkey Cage
The Washington Post

Donald Trump’s candidacy – or more to the point, his substantial and sustained public support — has surprised almost every observer of American politics. Social scientists and pundits note that Trump appeals to populists, nativists, ethnocentrists, anti-intellectuals and authoritarians, not to mention angry and disaffected white males with little education.

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The Microcredit Summit Campaign: A Legacy of Impact, On a Shoestring

Alex Counts


When I sat down with Larry Reed a few weeks back and learned of the significant changes in store for the Microcredit Summit Campaign, two decades of memories were stirred up. I tried to imagine what the world would be like had the original Microcredit Summit not taken place and even more important, if the Campaign that followed it had been stillborn or less robust.

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A borderless economy that will be controlled

Parminder Jeet Singh
The Hindu

Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has proposed a new business-led initiative for framing global e-commerce rules. Announcing it at the Boao Forum for Asia, he said: “Let businesses drive it with governments and NGOs and other organisations participating”. Mr. Ma’s proposed setting up what he calls the World e-Trade Platform (WeTP). The WeTP is supposed to complement the World Trade Organisation which can remain in charge of global rules for offline trade. Alibaba will present this plan in the G-20 meet later this year in Hangzhou, China, where it is headquartered. In short, this means that those who run e-commerce businesses are proposing to draft the rules for e-commerce too, because in their view, they know best.

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