The most populous black nation in the world, Nigeria is witnessing a tense political and economic situation, along with internal mishaps. On the other hand, the President, Muhammadu Buhari, has been on a month’s long medical leave. In lieu of this, he has remained out of the country, in the United Kingdom since January 19, 2017. He was supposed to return back to work on the 6th February, 2017. However, in a written statement to the National Assembly, he informed the parliament of his desire to extend his leave in order to complete a pending series of tests recommended by his doctors.
The mysterious disappearance after brokering peace talks in the Gambia and a continued stay in the UK have led to deepening suspicions that his health is far worse than the reports claim. The 74-year- old former military dictator has been dogged by speculation about whether he was physically fit for office even before he took power in May 2015.
Continue reading at The Indian Economist.
In the Huffington Post, Dale Hansen sums up many liberals’ views when he claims, “The recent appointment of Betsy DeVos has proved one thing – conservatives are far more concerned about politics than they are about educating children.” But the competitive education reforms that Devos champions are essential to giving kids the skills to thrive in a global economy.
Median wages in the US have stagnated, but liberals who decry this fact ignore a root cause: a mismatch between the skills that students acquire in school, and the skills that they need to thrive in the workplace. Jobs in many sectors keep commanding higher salaries: IT wages rose 18.4 percent from 2011 to 2015. The problem, as renowned economist Tyler Cowen notes in Average Is Over, is that our economy leaves behind people who lack the skills to compete in these sectors. And traditional public schools are still focused on outdated classes like cursive writing, in lieu of preparing students for the economy of the future.
The U.S. needs an education system that’s as dynamic as the market our kids will enter, where new technologies can spring up overnight and render old ones obsolete. The warehouse model of one teacher lecturing to 20-30 students, which has remained almost unchanged since its importation from Prussia in the 19th century, is no longer working.
Continue reading at Townhall.
Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump promised to revolutionize trade policy for the benefit of American workers and industry. He should begin by stopping the Export-Import Bank from purveying corporate welfare.
Ex-Im is a federal agency established to help American exporters by providing taxpayer-backed financing to governments and businesses in developing foreign markets without access to the necessary means to buy American products. In its youth, Ex-Im did just that and bolstered exports in the interwar period to Cuba, Haiti and Burma. Over the last 50 years, though, it has ventured far from its original purpose and has become a vehicle for ruinous market distortion.
According to the Mercatus Center, some of the largest beneficiaries of Ex-Im financing are companies like Boeing, Bechtel Power, General Electric and Caterpillar — all multinational conglomerates that could conceivably get financing directly from private lenders.
Continue reading at Washington Examiner.
With the French Socialist Party tearing itself apart, and the low-income electorate practically up for grabs, Marine Le Pen can confidently believe the polls that comfortably put her in the second round of the presidential vote this June. However, it’s not all good news as her conservative rival François Fillon can count on the middle class vote, especially social conservatives who want less regulation, a thinner public sector, restricted immigration and tougher drug laws. Fillon will also likely have support from the traditional left, who will undoubtedly support him over the National Front candidate.
The 2017 race will likely be uneventful, giving Marine Le Pen an audience for her cause but not an electorate to win. The road to the 2022 election will thus be a long, five years in which party infighting could dethrone her and make way for a younger alternative, her niece Marion Maréchal-Le Pen.
Marion Maréchal-Le Pen first entered politics in 1992 at age two, when she featured in a campaign poster alongside her grandfather, far-right icon and founder of the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen. Despite her early introduction to politics, Marion Le Pen’s childhood experiences made it seem unlikely that she would join the National Front.
Continue reading at Reaction.
Donald Trump claims he’ll “make America great again.” He claims that free trade and immigration have lead to widespread job losses and economic turmoil for Americans. These are the signature policies of his campaign, but the evidence just doesn’t support this view.
Americans rely on the benefits of trade everyday of their lives. The importation of low-cost goods drastically increases the purchasing power and lowers the cost of living for all Americans.
This is especially beneficial for the poor, who, according to the economists at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, gain 63 percent of their purchasing power from low cost imports. The prices of the goods consumed by the poor fall more than goods consumed by the wealthy. Imposing high tariffs on these goods would have devastating effects on their ability to survive.
Read the rest on the PanAm Post, here.