by on February 10, 2018
The Department of Homeland Security—which awarded over $23 billion in contracts, grants, and other federal assistance in fiscal year 2017—needs to improve the way it keeps track of risky awardees, according to a recent report by the agency’s Inspector General. The watchdog concluded the Department’s suspension and debarment policies and practices are falling short, making it more difficult for the agency to ensure taxpayers’ money isn’t lost to fraud, waste, and abuse. Federal agencies use su...
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by on January 14, 2018
Bumper-to bumper, horn-honking traffic through Manhattan streets is about as New York as bagels and Broadway. A plan to ease that problem is tapping into another mainstay of city life: high driving tolls. The idea, called “congestion pricing,” involves using electronic tolling technology to charge fees to vehicles entering the most heavily trafficked parts of town during certain hours. Some big cities already do it, including Singapore, Stockholm and London, where it can cost more than...
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by on February 16, 2018
On the campaign trail in 2016, Donald Trump promised to fill his Cabinet with the "best people in the world." As President, Trump has indeed hired a fleet of high-flyers -- though not in the way most voters might have hoped. Over the past year, a series of top administration officials have been caught out, shamed and, in the case of former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, forced to resign over profligate travel spending. The latest revelation of unseemly business emer...
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by on December 11, 2017
Under the banner of welfare reform, the administration is eyeing changes to health care, food stamps, housing and veterans programs. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the welfare executive order as soon as January, according to multiple administration officials. The Trump administration and Republicans in Congress are hoping to make the most sweeping changes to federal safety net programs in a generation, using legislation and executive actions to target recipients of food sta...
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by on January 27, 2018
The latest Oxfam look at our global rich and poor offers up a striking goal that deserves the world’s full attention at Davos — and beyond. Oxfam is once again making headlines on inequality. Earlier this week, on the eve of the annual Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland, the activist global charity released its own annual contribution to the global economic debate: an updated analysis of our planet’s grand divides in income and wealth. As usual, this year’s Oxfam analysis featur...
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by on Yesterday, 9:43 pm
Basic income is one of the hottest topics in Silicon Valley right now. With growing backlash against the tech industry and the specter of automation looming over millions of Americans, more and more tech titans are urging policymakers to consider guaranteeing every citizen a livable income in the form of direct cash welfare. Chris Hughes None of the tech industry's elite has given this more thought than Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes, who just published a new book on the topic, Fai...
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by on December 11, 2017
Workers will eventually get 12 weeks off at 67% pay to care for a newborn or a sick relative Not everyone is happy about the new regulation Frank Kerbein's phone has been ringing off the hook. As director of the Center for Human Resources at the Business Council of New York State, he's been hearing from business owners concerned about a sweeping state law that starts Jan. 1. It mandates partially paid leave of up to 12 weeks for workers caring for a new child or helping out when a fami...
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by on February 1, 2018
Mayor Bill de Blasio released an $88.7 billion preliminary budget Thursday, saying the city was “keeping a watchful eye on the risks that are coming our way up I-95, and down the New York State Thruway.” For all of Bill de Blasio’s first term, New York City saw uninterrupted growth in tax revenue and continued economic expansion, enabling him to spend like no other mayor in the city’s history, growing the payroll and work force to a new level. With the Trump administration threatening ...
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by on December 29, 2017
Development aid has an urban bias. The role of aid in Africa has been a controversial issue over the years, with economists like Dambisa Moyo even arguing against it, due to questions surfacing around its effectiveness in economic growth and poverty reduction. A new research paper from Virginia Tech now delves deeper into this issue, noting that aid doesn’t even flow into poorer areas within countries. Looking at development projects commissioned by the World Bank and the African Devel...
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by on December 15, 2017
Tis the season for giving, and one Bitcoin investor claims to be giving away the majority of their cryptocurrency holdings after experiencing an incredible year. The unnamed donor has set up a fund to hand out $86 million worth of Bitcoin to various charities, and they’ve already started listing the donations and providing receipts. If this whole thing works out, you can just call this mystery person the Bitcoin Bill Gates. So far, The Pineapple Fund claims to have distributed just over $...
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by on February 10, 2018
Protesters rallying for a DACA bill on Capitol Hill last December. Economist Francesc Ortega says the economy would benefit if Congress protected "Dreamers" from deportation.  THE ISSUE There are approximately 3 million residents of the United States who were brought here as children and whose parents do not have legal residence. These DREAMers account for 1.3 percent of the population. About 1.6 million of these individuals meet the eligibility requirements for DACA, the Deferred Ac...
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by on December 30, 2017
A Turkana woman carries water on her head before attending a drought and peace meeting in Lobei village of Turkana district in northwest Kenya. The Pineapple Fund, a brand new charity project set up to give away an anonymous donor's $86 million of bitcoin to good causes, just donated $5 million to sponsor unconditional cash transfers to people in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda living in extreme poverty, according to a Reddit post from the fund's founder, who operates under the name of Pine. The...
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