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 February 7, 2018
The solution starts at the top, with Governor Cuomo and MTA leadership. Why was the Second Avenue Subway the most expensive subway project per mile in human history? When he began looking into the MTA over the summer, New York Times reporter Brian Rosenthal didn’t set out to expose waste in the agency’s capital construction practices. Rosenthal and his colleagues simply wanted to understand why subway service was falling to pieces. “Through the process, we heard from a lot of people...
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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 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 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 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 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 February 3, 2018
2017 was a pivotal year for women, beginning with the historic marches that took place after Trump’s inauguration and continuing throughout the year with an unprecedented surge of women stepping up to run for office, organizing grassroots actions at a local level and supporting powerful movements, such as #MeToo, at a global level. We saw women everywhere become resolute, energized and acting as a collective transformative force, speaking out for justice, equality and change in our country and t...
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by on December 26, 2017
Do you really know what bitcoin is? Maybe it was those stories you heard — Lamborghinis and second mortgages, fortunes made and lost off of something you didn’t even really know existed until six months ago. Maybe it’s those eye-popping charts you keep seeing, the ones that go $5,800 per unit to $19,00 per unit in just one month … and the other ones that go in the opposite direction in just one week. Maybe all of your friends are constantly watching their phones, tracking their own invest...
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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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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 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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