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February 2019
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New York Times (February 3)

2019/ 02/ 05 by jd in Global News

In recent decades, per capita GDP has doubled in the U.S., but “the bulk of the bounty has flowed to the very rich. The middle class has received relative crumbs. If middle-class pay had increased as fast as the economic growth, the average middle-class family would today earn about $15,000 a year more than it does, after taxes and benefits.”


Fortune (January 28)

2018/ 01/ 30 by jd in Global News

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Ikea, died at 91. With an estimated net worth of $58.7 billion, he was the world’s eighth-richest person. Renowned for living miserly, he created a revolution in furnishings. In 2005, he was named “the most influential taste-maker in the world” by the U.K. style magazine Icon, which wrote, “‘if it wasn’t for Ikea, most people would have no access to affordable contemporary design. The company has done more to bring about an acceptance of domestic modernity than the rest of the design world combined.’”


New York Times (April 27)

2017/ 05/ 01 by jd in Global News

President Trump’s tax plan can hardly be called a plan, but it certainly takes the cake… and serves it up to the rich. “The skimpy one-page tax proposal his administration released on Wednesday is, by any historical standard, a laughable stunt by a gang of plutocrats looking to enrich themselves at the expense of the country’s future.”


Economist (October 1)

2016/ 10/ 02 by jd in Global News

“Globalisation’s critics say it benefits only the elite. In fact, a less open world would hurt the poor most of all…. There is a world of difference between improving globalisation and reversing it. The idea that globalisation is a scam that benefits only corporations and the rich could scarcely be more wrong.”


New York Times (April 6)

2016/ 04/ 08 by jd in Global News

“The first reaction to the leaked documents dubbed the Panama Papers is simply awe at the scope of the trove” that includes some 11.5 million documents illustrating “how offshore bank accounts and tax havens are used by the world’s rich and powerful to conceal their wealth or avoid taxes.” That reaction quickly gives way to disgust and questions: “How did all these politicians, dictators, criminals, billionaires and celebrities amass vast wealth and then benefit from elaborate webs of shell companies to disguise their identities and their assets? Would there have been no reckoning had the leak not occurred?”


Bloomberg (September 20)

2015/ 09/ 22 by jd in Global News

There has been “a huge and very worrying change in Japanese education policy….Essentially, Japan’s government just ordered all of the country’s public universities to end education in the social sciences, the humanities and law” with a non-binding order from Hakubun Shimomura, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. This is “a terrible direction for Japan to be going.” To succeed as a rich country in a service economy, Japan will need more conceptual thinkers who can communicate, rather than more engineers. “Japan needs to keep educating students in the social sciences and humanities. It needs to avoid a doomed attempt to return to a developing-country model of growth.”


Washington Post (October 31)

2014/ 11/ 01 by jd in Global News

“The U.S. recovery is frustrating—but it’s the envy of the advanced world.” Underemployment remains a problem and few Americans are feeling rich, but with annualized GDP growth reaching 3.5% in the third quarter, the U.S. is outpacing other leading nations.


The Economist (April 19)

2014/ 04/ 20 by jd in Global News

Coal is a “cheap, ubiquitous and flexible fuel” that will be “the fuel of the future, unfortunately.” Although it remains very dirty, coal “offers the best chance for poor countries wanting to get rich” and even for some rich countries, like Japan and Germany, seeking nuclear alternatives.


New York Times (January 23, 2014)

2014/ 01/ 24 by jd in Global News

“It is hard to imagine a country more miserable than the Central African Republic.” Though potentially rich, the country has been repeatedly looted by previous leaders. Ongoing conflict has displaced a quarter of the population and claimed 1,000 lives since December. “So, to the degree to which they can offer any hope for this broken-down state, the announcement of a new interim president, a decision by the European Union to send a peacekeeping force and a pledge of half-a-billion dollars in humanitarian aid are all good news.”