“President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Lacks Moral Authority” –

first_imgNo administration in the history of Liberia has received so much support from the international community and goodwill from its citizens than President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s Unity Party-led government. Equally, no administration in the history of Liberia has caused so much short and long term damage to the future of Liberia and the mindset of the Liberian people than the Sirleaf-Unity Party-led government.The damage in the short term is that our nation has become a dishonest, greedy, unpatriotic and distrustful society where lies, crime and deceit are its visible characteristics. In the long term, Liberians will end up being slaves, paupers and strangers in their own country, and the time is fast coming. More than that, our neighbors would have been far developed while we would still look like a dark nation.From North America to Europe and some parts of Asia, Liberia’s image as an ungovernable, messy and useless nation has never being higher. Apart from rogue foreign investors and money launderers, no serious investors and credible investment institutions take Liberia seriously. In diplomatic circles, our country is considered a parasitic state, which is another form of being a nation of beggars, con-artists and hopelessness. This is so serious that no low level analyst at the United States State Department and no Congressional support staffer on Capitol Hill remember Liberia except when they are reminded about matters of misery and humanitarian assistance for poor, struggling and mismanaged nations. In view of this pathetic state of affairs, our president and corps knowingly pretend as if something normal is unfolding inside Liberia.Five years are basically enough to turn around a broken nation if a leadership establishes itself as one with a moral authority. Since 2006, President Sirleaf and the Unity Party-led government have had more than a decade in power, and yet, the stats are more dire and worrisome then they have ever been under past Liberian administrations, including even warlord Charles Taylor’s.Despite over $16 billion dollars in direct foreign investments in addition numerous international aid and a debt relief package, Liberia is ranked 126 amongst nations with dismal unemployment, according to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) World Fact-book. Total population dependency ratio in Liberia is 82.9%, among youth it is 77.4% high. 83.1% of the total Liberian population has unimproved access to sanitation; among rural inhabitants it is 94.1% and 72% among urban residents. In 2006, an estimated 63.8% of Liberians were living below the poverty line. This was a period when Liberian refugees were returning home from neighboring countries to begin rebuilding their lives. Today, after almost 12 years under the Sirleaf-Unity Party-led administration, an estimated 96.2% of Liberians live below the poverty line, and several hundreds are running away from the country to seek asylum and residency abroad due to hardship and poor healthcare conditions.Even an internationally isolated Liberian regime once headed by jailed warlord Charles Taylor had a better fiscal policy than the Sirleaf-Unity Party-led administration. According to the scoreboard of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. Government agency that has given over half a billion dollars to Liberia since 2006 Liberia ranks terribly when it comes to economic freedom. From fiscal policy (48%) to regulatory quality (44%), and land rights and access (22%), Liberia is in the red. When it comes to the agency’s ruling justly indicators, Liberia is also in the red. Liberia also does poorly in terms of government efficiency (23%) and the rule of law (48%). When it comes to the agency’s investing in people’s indicators, the Sirleaf-Unity Party-led government is also pathetic. Immunization rate is 12%, primary education expenditure rate is 15%, natural resource protection rate is 19%, child health rate is 47%, and girls’ primary education completion rate is 18%. Important to note that our president is a woman, and she was once a beautiful girl who became president as a result of education, an opportunity denied most beautiful Liberian girls today under her administration.Countries like Lesotho and Cambodia surpassed Liberia when it comes to better fiscal policy’s indicators, at 92% and 66%, respectively. Compared to our neighbor, the Ivory Coast, which experienced brutal civil wars too around similar times, our nation is a joke. Ivory Coast has a 62% rating on the MCC’s fiscal policy indicator, 56% in government efficiency, and 88% in controlling corruption. The Ivory Coast also does well in other areas, such as 71% in rule of law, 65% in primary education expenditures, 92% in business start-ups, and 100% in natural resource protection. For Liberia, our resources are mortgaged and the proceeds are choked by widespread systemic corruption and insatiable greed by a few inter-connected bedfellows. Our so-called National Oil Company of Liberia’s (NOCAL) funeral service and wake keeping were held before its death announcement, with millions flown out to individual’s personal accounts. Now our government is broke and the super stars, who came from poverty to overnight wealth, are heading for the doors. Others parade our wealth in our faces with glamour and pageantry as would-be 2017 political saviors while persistently abusing the power we gave them.Consistent U.S. State Department’s reports since 2006 paint Liberia as bleak, to say the least. From corruption to callous governance practices and abuse, our country is polling undesirably. Recent 2015 State Department’s report illustrates a realistic picture of what Liberia has turned out to be under the Sirleaf-Unity Party-led government. A month prior to the release of this latest report, I was at the State Department and on Capitol Hill pitching about the poor situation and outlining these concerns about Liberia, thinking that these realities were perhaps unknown to the Americans. My sense was that they already knew and, luckily too, no public relations firm in Washington, D.C. or New York City could have overturn or polish these realities no matter how much money is paid to them from our government as part of its routine and needless ‘image building’ tendency.The most alarming irony is that the Sirleaf-Unity Party-led administration has managed to game and outsmart the Liberian progressive old-timers with perks, comfort and affluence. Everyone benefits, even though some people chop more, and no one says anything.As one common-sense African leader once put it, “Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed”. Apparently, the Sirleaf-Unity Party-led administration does not share this view this is why our leaders in the Liberian government see their role as an opportunity to satisfy their personal greed and establish their fortunes.”There is no doubt that our president is an educated and intelligent woman, a Harvard graduate, internationally and politically seasoned. Testament to her smartness is the fact that she has used and continues to cajole all the old fashioned PhDs and progressives’ old-timers in her orbit. It is therefore impossible not to believe that she does not grasp the dire situation that millions of ordinary Liberians faced daily, from physical insecurity to food insecurity. Combined, Liberia has a national security time-bomb, especially as Burkinabe and others are encroaching on our territory in the southeast. The real factor here is that the president and the entire Unity Party-led government are out of step with the real and serious needs of the vast majority of the Liberian people this is why in a time of great need and excruciating deprivation among 97% of our population, they continue to offer business as usual.The president and I have a love-hate relationship, and it is hard to criticize the person you cherish. I love and respect our president, perhaps more than many of the white-collar criminals in her administration, but I also vehemently despise her administration’s policy and vices they endanger our nation and people. I despise the administration’s vices and corruption enabled policies because at any time in history, but especially in this time, it is awfully immoral for a president and the folks in his or her government to offer themselves as leaders of the nation while blatantly disregarding the survival needs of the nation. This is acting immorally. Here is the most appalling aspect about everything that is wrong with our government and our leaders: The refused to change knowing that only two people cannot change—God and a fool, and they are not God. The good news is we will not only continue to pray for them, we will also speak out against their political and economic immorality while still remembering that God is still in control.Williams is a Catholic educated philosopher and a U.S. trained public policy professional. He can be reached at jnw5050@gmail.comShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Competitive season expected as 9 teams see action in ABL

first_imgNonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH ‘Not about numbers’: Slaughter looking to help Ginebra in any way he can Read Next The addition of the teams, which was officially announced on Tuesday in a press conference Tuesday at Shangri-La Hotel at Bonifacio Global City, expands the league’s reach in Asia.“We’ll be able to bring more exciting games for the fans. You’ll be able to see other stars in the region,” Ilagan told INQUIRER.net. “You’re not just confined in the Philippines then you get to appreciate other countries’ basketball culture as well.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIlagan believes it will be a “very competitive” season.“I think most if not all of our games will be down the wire this year. All the teams we have this year are very competitive. The addition of CLS Knights from Indonesia, Mono Vampire from Thailand, they are very established teams,” he said. “Plus, you add that team from China and the group from Taiwan who equally love basketball as we do.” Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa The ninth season opens on Nov. 17. Alab Pilipinas begins its campaign on Nov. 19 against the Eastern Long Lions at Mall of Asia Arena.The Philippines, bannered by reigning local MVP Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and import Ivan Johnson, will be tested right away against Hong Kong, which will be led by Fil-German Christian Standhardinger and Thai-American Tyler Lamb.“It will absolutely be a tough game. They have a loaded team over there with Christian but we’ll do our part and be ready for our opening game,” said new Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag. ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Nine ABL teams for the 2017-2018 season. Photo from ASEAN Basketball LeagueA league record nine teams will see action in the new Asean Basketball League season which unfolds next month.Defending champion Hong Kong is expected to have its hands full with the entry of the Formosa Dreamers of Taiwan, CLS Knights Surabaya of Indonesia, Nanhai Long-Lions of China and returning Mono Vampire of Thailand.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  MOST READ PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH PLAY LIST 05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH01:18Sangley airport to be operational in 7 days – Tugade03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View commentslast_img read more

UST notches 2nd straight win, downs NU

first_imgSEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte For what it’s worth, Eya Laure delivered somewhat of a redemption game after she avenged her previous championship losses against NU in several finals in the high school level.Laure put up a game-high 20 points but it was role players Dimdim Pacres and Caitlyn Viray, who finished off the Lady Bulldogs.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesPacres twisted her attack to evade NU’s block to put UST in match point, 24-15, and although the Lady Bulldogs were able to score two more, Viray had enough and converted on a crosscourt kill to end the affair.UST head coach Kung Fu Reyes said his team’s two straight wins were a big morale booster for them after they lost Season 80 Rookie of the Year Milena Alessandrini to injury four games into the season. P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Thai playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin raises profile in Japan Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policycenter_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES UST Golden Tigresses. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas had its first taste of back-to-back victories after turning back National University in four sets, 26-24, 25-17, 23-25, 25-17, in the UAAP Sweason 81 women’s volleyball tournament Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Golden Tigresses, who swept De La Salle in their previous game, 25-20, 25-22, 25-17, now tied the Lady Spikers for the No. 2 spot with identical 4-2 records.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end “This is huge for the players’ morale and it’s a good thing we’re now able to recover,” said Reyes in Filipino. “The back-to-back wins are big because we’re doing this for Milena.”Cherry Rondina supported Laure’s offensive exploits with 16 points while Pacres had 12.Princess Robles and Ivy Lacsina had 14 points for the Lady Bulldogs, who dropped their third straight game for a 1-5 record.ADVERTISEMENT P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbedlast_img read more

TransCanada to restart Keystone pipeline Nov 28 following leak repairs

first_imgCALGARY – TransCanada Corp (TSX:TRP) says it plans to restart operations on its Keystone pipeline on Nov. 28 after making repairs to a leak that spilled about 795,000 litres of crude oil in South Dakota.The company says U.S. regulators have cleared its restart plans, which include restarting the pipeline at a reduced pressure before gradually increasing the volume of crude oil in the system.TransCanada says that as of Nov. 24, it had recovered about 168,000 litres of crude oil from the spill in a farmer’s field, and that there are no indications of the spill affecting water sources.The spill on Nov. 16 forced the company to shut the section of the Keystone pipeline system between Hardisty, Alta., and Cushing Okla. and a spur line to Patoka, Ill., while a southern section extending to the Gulf Coast remained in operation.The leak increased scrutiny of the company’s pipeline operations just days before Nebraska regulators voted on whether to allow the company’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline project to run through the state.Regulators gave the go-ahead for the project on Nov. 20, but approved an alternative route to the one preferred by TransCanada.last_img read more

BBC pays damages to Ukraine President over Trump report

first_imgKiev: The BBC on Thursday said it had agreed to pay damages to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko over an article that incorrectly claimed Kiev paid USD 400,000 to secure a meeting with US leader Donald Trump. Poroshenko, who is seeking re-election in weekend polls, sued the broadcaster over the report from May last year. The article on the BBC website claimed that Kiev gave Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen a “secret payment of at least USD 400,000” to “fix talks” at the White House in June 2017. “We apologise to Mr Poroshenko for any distress caused and have agreed to pay him damages, legal costs and have participated in a joint statement in open court,” the BBC said in a statement on its news site. It did not give any indication of the size of the payment. Poroshenko had said via lawyers that the article harmed his “political and business” reputation and caused him “substantial distress and embarrassment”. Allegations of “serious corruption” were especially damaging because of Poroshenko’s “promotion of a number of anti-corruption measures in Ukraine”, a claim said. Poroshenko was elected in 2014 after Ukrainians took to the streets to oust his Kremlin-backed, graft-tainted predecessor. But Ukrainian and Western observers have repeatedly questioned pro-Western Poroshenko’s resolve to reform the country’s kleptocratic system.last_img read more

The Cardinals Spread It Out Like No Other Team But How Much

Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 32,67245.0+0.12 Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group Play-action is more effective, especially with fewer receiversExpected points added (EPA) by the number of eligible receivers in route, for play-action plays vs. all other dropbacks, 2017-18 regular seasons If your goal is to fool your opponent into thinking you’re going to run the ball, bringing in a bunch of players who look like blockers is probably a good idea. That’s an intuitive finding that makes sense. Meanwhile, it’s also heartening to see that adding eligible receivers to the route design of a non-play-action passing play leads to greater passing efficiency. That’s also a finding that we’d expect — the more passing options the better!It’s no surprise that play-action continues to show up as one of the most efficient play types in football. Analysts have been calling it the NFL’s corner three for years. But it’s still somewhat shocking to see just how pervasive and massive an effect a little deception can have on the success of an offense. It will be interesting to see how much play-action the Cardinals incorporate into their attack moving forward. With a healthy dose, along with the ability to successfully flood the field with wide receivers over the course of 16 games, Arizona shouldn’t stay near the bottom of our Elo rankings for long.Check out our latest NFL predictions. 42,78350.6+0.216,17142.5+0.01 2 or fewer1,20139.0-0.03 Based on success rate2The share of those plays with a positive EPA. and EPA per play, the optimum number of receivers to send out into routes is three. NFL rules dictate that five receivers at most can report as eligible to catch a pass on any given play,3The sixth non-lineman must pass the ball and is normally referred to as the quarterback. so this finding would appear to support passing out of heavy sets with big tight ends staying home to help shore up the pass blocking. Or perhaps teams should keep a running back in the backfield to help chip rushing defenders. But it also could be that those heavier sets are effective because of the deception they afford via the play-action pass.To find out, we broke out all plays by the number of receivers and then split the plays by play-action and non-play-action. When we look at the plays this way, we find that play-action accounts for all the efficiency we see from the plays with three or fewer receivers. When play-action snaps are removed, passes with three or fewer receivers have a negative expected value leaguewide. 31,43848.8+0.221,13040.3-0.01 New Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury and Arizona have brought a variant of the Hal Mumme Air Raid to the NFL, and while the Cardinals didn’t earn a Week 1 win — they tied the Detroit Lions in their home opener — the system lived up to its billing. Known for its spread concepts and heavy use of the forward pass, the Air Raid relies on a smart, accurate passer to distribute the ball to a bevy of playmakers sent into routes that attack all areas of the field. And spread they did. With first overall pick Kyler Murray running the offense, the Cardinals trotted out more four wide receiver sets (45) on Sunday than the rest of the NFL combined (36).Clearly Kingsbury isn’t afraid to be different, but it comes with risks. Going four-wide is an approach that hasn’t typically paid off for NFL offenses. In the 2017 and 2018 seasons, NFL teams ran 1,185 plays from four-WR sets and ended up stubbing their toes. Over that fairly large sample, the expected points added per play across the league was negative, at -0.03 EPA per play. Meanwhile, teams found success featuring fewer wideouts, averaging positive EPA per play numbers with their personnel groups of two and three wide receivers.1Two-WR formations earned 0.04 EPA play, while three-WR formations earned 0.02 EPA play.[/footnote.That pattern continued in Week 1: Teams averaged -0.03 EPA per play on passes with four wide receivers — right in line with the two-year average.[footnote]On 86 dropbacks. As we saw, the Cardinals were responsible for the majority of those plays, though, so it’s encouraging they performed slightly better than the league mean, earning -0.01 EPA per play.The Air Raid encompasses a set of passing concepts that many teams have integrated into their schemes, so it’s not completely new. Andy Reid of the Chiefs incorporated parts of the Air Raid into his system to suit the specific strengths of Patrick Mahomes, Kingsbury’s former QB at Texas Tech. But the difference for the Cardinals may be in the details. Kingsbury used wide splits and 3×1 wide receiver sets often to stress the Lions defense with his four wideouts, and Murray improved as the game went on. Perhaps they have what it takes to make four-wide in the NFL successful.But we also wondered: Wide receivers aside, does a team having more eligible receivers running routes lead to more production in the NFL? Or do offenses benefit when players stay in to protect their QB? Is adding more receivers to a play ineffective?Expected points added (EPA) per play by number of eligible receivers running routes, for 2017-18 regular-season plays ≤ 242353.6+0.4276438.3-0.05 Number of RoutesDropbacksSuccess RateEPA per play 49,41944.9+0.07 525,73944.8%+0.04 Routesdropbackssuccess rateepa per playdropbackssuccess rateepa per play 52,75349.0+0.1522,48244.3%+0.03 play-actionnon-play-action read more

Opinion Additions of Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh the best thing for

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh watches the action against Penn State on Saturday, Nov. 21 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. Michigan won 28-16.Credit: Courtesy of TNSThe rivalry between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines is about to get a lot more interesting on Saturday.This will be the first game in which Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh will face off in what many would consider the most intriguing meeting between the two teams since 2006. Harbaugh has been a successful head coach on both the college and professional level. In stops with the University of San Diego and Stanford, Harbaugh posted a 58-27 record with two conference championships at San Diego in 2005 and 2006, respectively. After Stanford finished 12-1 with an Orange Bowl win over Virginia Tech in 2011, Harbaugh left the collegiate ranks for the NFL, becoming the head coach for the San Francisco 49ers. He posted a 44-19 record, including a loss to his brother’s team, the Baltimore Ravens, in Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. After a rift between Harbaugh and the 49ers front office following an 8-8 finish in 2014, Harbaugh left San Francisco to go back to his alma mater and coach the team he onced quarterbacked: Michigan. Both Michigan and OSU have been teams to be reckoned with in the Big Ten this season, and part of that is due to the job that both Meyer and Harbaugh are doing at their respective schools. ESPN College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit said this game will be different because of what Harbaugh brings to the table as the man in charge at Michigan. “Spice. Intensity. For me, even when Ohio State was winning with Jim Tressel, the fan in me liked Woody (Hayes) and Bo (Schembechler). I like the angst, the emotion, the, ‘I’m not going to cross midfield to shake his hand,’” Herbstreit said. “I don’t know if we are going to get to that level with (Meyer) and (Harbaugh), but it’s going to be different. It’s going to be different just because of the personality of (Harbaugh). I’m one of these guys that starting Sunday morning, I don’t know if I’ll sleep because of what could be at stake this weekend. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”Despite much of the focus being on the two successful coaches, Harbaugh said in a Monday press conference that the focus should not be on them but on their players.“My reaction to the coach vs. coach build-up is he’s not going to be blocking anybody; he’s not going to be tackling anybody,” Harbaugh said. “I’m going to be on the sideline blocking and tackling nobody.”OSU coach Urban Meyer stands on the sideline during a game against Michigan State on Nov. 21 at Ohio Stadium. OSU lost 17-14.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorEven so, it’s hard to ignore the impact the coaches have had on their respective programs and in turn, the rivalry in general. When each coach took the helm, the program finished under .500 the year prior. In Meyer’s first season in Columbus in 2012 and Harbaugh’s first one this year, the teams made major strides. Based on the first-year improvement, it’s completely reasonable to assume that the programs will maintain a level of success for years to come. That is the reason why these two teams have the potential to re-establish arguably the biggest rivalry in all of sports. With these two premier coaches leading the programs, the recruiting classes for these two teams should be among the best in the country, so the talent pool should be overflowing. With all of the eventual talent coming to these schools, the rivalry will only grow. And with that, the prominence of one of college football’s biggest rivalries will be restored. read more

Lenglet Dembele is not restless at Barcelona

first_imgBarcelona defender Clement Lenglet insists fellow Frenchman Ousmane Dembele remains fully committed to the clubThe Catalan giants signed Dembele in 2017 from Borussia Dortmund for a staggering €105m deal following a stunning season in the Bundesliga.However, life in Catalonia has not gone smoothly for Dembele with injury problems and a lack of opportunities spoiling his debut campaign.And things don’t appear to be improving for Dembele after failing to make manager Ernesto Valverde’s squad last Sunday, which saw Barcelona suffer a shock 4-3 home defeat to Real Betis.Valverde’s decision to omit Dembele came after his absence in a training session last week.The 21-year-old has only started two of his last five matches for Barcelona now, but Lenglet is certain there are no problems at Camp Nou.David Villa, FC BarcelonaTop 10 players who played for both Barcelona and Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to talk about the best players who represented both Barcelona and Valencia, prior to their La Liga encounter at Camp Nou this evening.“If Dembele looked serious in the stands I think that is understandable,” Lenglet told Goal on Dembele’s behaviour.“We were losing and if he started to laugh people would not understand that either.“I don’t think there is any problem with him, he was ill, he couldn’t make training and the coach chose another player.“These are things that happen at every club and we all have to pull in the same direction to reach our goals.”Barcelona will return to action on November 24 in a La Liga game away to third-place Atletico Madrid.last_img read more

Soldotna Declares May As Bike Month

first_imgMayor Anderson: “Through the month of May the residents of the City of Soldotna and its visitors will experience the joys of bicycling through educational programs, races, community events, charity events, or simply getting out and going for a ride.”  The proclamation was presented to representatives of BIK&S a community-led advocacy group working to promote safe bike travel within and between the cities of Kenai and Soldotna. Kaitlin Vadla with BIK&S: “I just want to thank the city staff, council, and parks department for your spirit of collaboration. I hope to see you at many of those awesome bike month events.”  BIK&S organizes a monthly group bike ride held every full moon. Check out the Full Moon Bike Ride page for more information about the monthly rides.center_img The group envisions bike-friendly communities where bicycling is a convenient, routine, safe, and healthy transportation option that contributes to the high quality of life for Kenai Peninsula residents. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享May has been declared as ‘Bike Month’ by the City of Soldotna. Soldotna Mayor Nels Anderson presented the proclamation at the council meeting on Wednesday, April 24.last_img read more

Model shows how surge in wealth inequality may be reversed

first_img Journal information: PLoS ONE (Phys.org)—For many Americans, the single biggest problem facing the country is the growing wealth inequality. Based on income tax data, wealth inequality in the US has steadily increased since the mid-1980s, with the top 10% of the population currently owning about 73% of the country’s wealth. In a new paper published in PLOS ONE, researchers have quantitatively analyzed several of the major factors that affect wealth inequality dynamics, and found that the most crucial factor associated with the recent surge in wealth inequality since the ’80s has been the dramatic decrease in personal savings, followed closely by a large increase in the dominance of capital income over labor income. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Yonatan Berman, et al. “Modeling the Origin and Possible Control of the Wealth Inequality Surge.” PLOS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130181 Wealth inequality doubles among US householdscenter_img © 2015 Phys.org Taking these findings a step further, the researchers showed in their model that reversing these two trends can prevent and even reverse a further increase in wealth inequality in the future. The researchers hope that the findings will lead to policies that reproduce these results in the real world. But progress in this area may not even have to rely solely on policy changes, as the researchers note that the 2008 financial crisis has caused Americans to save more money, potentially bringing an opportunity to restrain some of the growth in wealth inequality.The research was led by Eshel Ben-Jacob, who was Professor at the School of Physics & Astronomy at Tel-Aviv University, but passed away unexpectedly before the paper was published. Ben-Jacob was perhaps best known for his work on bacterial self-organization and its applications in complex systems. The other coauthors of the paper are Yonatan Berman, a PhD student, and Yoash Shapira, an adjunct researcher, both at Tel-Aviv University.Overall, the researchers’ model closely reproduces the wealth inequality dynamics in the US from 1930 to 2010, as measured by the share of wealth owned by the top 10% of the population. As the researchers explain in their paper, the usefulness of the new model arises from its ability to quantify the contributions of various factors affecting wealth inequality dynamics, and consequently to serve as a test-bed for predicting the outcomes of future policies.”The greatest significance of the work is that we succeeded in quantifying the relative effects of different factors contributing to wealth inequality,” Berman told Phys.org. “The inequality surge is not due to a single factor. Therefore, in order to understand it better, such a quantification is important. I also think that a very interesting finding is how important personal savings are. Though other elements may be equally important in general, the dramatic decrease in personal savings is probably the single most important ingredient contributing to the increase in wealth inequality in the past 30 years.”Shapira added that, while the dominance of capital income is a very complicated matter that involves the technological change of the past few decades, dealing with the savings issue is relatively easier.Among the other main results, the researchers’ model reveals the complex implications of economic mobility—that is, how easily individuals can change their economic status. On one hand, mobility plays an essential role in restraining wealth inequality, and becomes even more important when the economy becomes dominated by capital income, as is the current trend; when the researchers did not include economic mobility in their model, the model-market correlation dropped dramatically. On the other hand, the researchers also found that further increasing mobility above its current value is likely to have little effect on wealth inequality, suggesting that policies that target improving economic mobility may not be as effective as those that promote increasing personal savings and reducing the dominance of capital income over labor income. In the future, the researchers plan to investigate how such policies may affect other aspects of the economy besides wealth inequality. For example, an increased savings rate may have the unintended consequence of reducing GDP growth, which tends to increase wealth inequality. Future work will require optimization between these two outcomes.Other areas of future work will involve investigating the effects of various tax strategies and other additional factors that contribute to wealth inequality dynamics, as well as applying the model to the economies of different countries. Citation: Model shows how surge in wealth inequality may be reversed (2015, July 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-07-surge-wealth-inequality-reversed.html For economic data up to 2010, the model (red line) closely matches the actual wealth inequality (blue line), which is measured by the share of wealth owned by the top 10% of the population. After 2010, possible scenarios are those described in the graph above (where α represents an increase in the dominance of capital income over labor income), as well as a simple linear extrapolation of the wealth inequality during 2000-2010 (dashed blue line) and predictions based on the model (dashed red line). The results suggest that, by increasing private savings to 10% in 2030 (squares), wealth inequality can be reversed. Credit: Berman, et al.last_img read more