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I Have little need to
remind you that water has become one of our major national
~Ezra Taft Benson, US Secretary of Agriculture, 1955
Contents EPS News In Other News
How Can I Help?
Holding Back the World Economy?
By Joseph E. Stiglitz, February 8, 2016
Seven years after the global financial crisis erupted
in 2008, the world economy continued to stumble in 2015. According
to the United Nations’ report World Economic Situation and Prospects
2016, the average growth rate in developed economies
has declined by more than 54% since the crisis. An estimated 44
million people are unemployed in developed countries, about 12
million more than in 2007, while inflation has reached its lowest
level since the crisis.
worryingly, advanced countries’ growth rates have also become more
volatile. This is surprising, because, as developed economies with
fully open capital accounts, they should have benefited from the
free flow of capital and international risk sharing – and thus
experienced little macroeconomic volatility. Furthermore, social
transfers, including unemployment benefits, should have allowed
households to stabilize their consumption.
dominant policies during the post-crisis period – fiscal
retrenchment and quantitative easing (QE) by major central banks –
have offered little support to stimulate household consumption,
investment, and growth. On the contrary, they have tended to make
Annual International Annual Conference on Economics and Security
International Annual Conference on Economics and Security will be
held at TED University, Ankara, Turkey on June 16-17, 2016.
ICES welcomes presentations that
address any issue relating to peace and security broadly defined.
The conference strives for a multi-disciplinary program comprising
contributions with a wide range of theoretical and methodological
approaches, including strictly theoretical work, game theory and
formal modeling, statistical and econometric analysis, qualitative
studies, and experiments.
Abstracts (150-250 words) with a tentative title submitted before
April 1, 2016 will be considered for the conference.
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Flint Crisis Reminds Us: Profit Motive Has No Place
When It Comes To Necessities
By Suzanne McGee, February 11, 2016 for The Gaurdian
A New Jersey
law makes it easier for cities to sell off municipal assets,
setting a dangerous standard at a time when citizens face threats
to water supplies.
was a disappointing year for many investors but over at American
Water Works, shareholders were celebrating. They scored a
13.5% profit last year, and have continued to swim against the
market tide so far in 2016.
if you happen to be a shareholder in the company. Not so much,
perhaps, if you happen to believe that the business of providing
water to our houses shouldn’t be about maximizing profits.
American Water Works
has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the unwillingness
and/or inability of state and municipal governments to invest in
upgrading or replacing everything from aging water pipes to
dilapidated sewer systems and pumping plants.
loser? In the short term, undoubtedly, it is the residents of
Flint, Michigan, struggling with the decision by city officials to
save money by drawing water from the local Flint river instead of
purchasing supplies from Detroit. The result? A cascade of
problems, culminating in serious lead contamination that may leave
thousands of children with lifelong health issues. One investigator
now says that any officials found to be negligent may even
face manslaughter charges, if deaths (such as an outbreak of
Legionnaires’ disease) can be tied to the contamination.
By Ann M. Simmons, February 11, 2016
for The Los Angeles Times
The number of Haitians who face severe food insecurity has doubled in
the last six months as a result of three consecutive years of drought
worsened by the global El Niño weather phenomenon, the United
Nations World Food Program said this week.
According to the agency, about 3.6 million people — or
more than a third of the country’s population — have been driven
deeper into poverty and hunger and are struggling to access a
reliable supply of food. Of those, 1.5 million are considered
“severely food insecure.”
The crisis was compounded by losses in the main harvest
of up to 70% in some areas, the agency said. It is a devastating blow
for one of the world’s poorest nation’s,
where agriculture employs half of working people.
“Without rain for the 2016 spring season, farmers will
lose their fourth consecutive harvest on which they normally depend
to feed their families,” Wendy Bigham,
deputy country director for WFP in Haiti, said in a statement.
How Do We Define Climate Pollution's Cost to Society?
By Elizabeth Shrogren,
February 8, 2016, for truthout
In a 2007 ruling on
a dispute concerning fuel economy standards for cars, a judge sent
a clear message to federal agencies. They could no longer continue
business as usual and fail to account for climate change when
assessing the costs and benefits of regulations. "The value of
carbon emissions reduction is certainly not zero," Judge Betty
B. Fletcher wrote in her opinion for the US Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit. And by treating it as such, her opinion
declared, the government was acting in an arbitrary and capricious
So, if the cost of polluting is not zero, what it
is? Fletcher's ruling challenged government officials to come up
with a dollar amount that represents how much a ton of carbon
pollution will "cost" society over the long run.
Economists refer to this as the social cost of carbon.
The concept is still evolving and will only become
more important to understand as governments grapple with how to
address climate change in the most effective and least costly
The Pentagon Has Fired The First Shot In A New Arms
Race By Mary Dejevsky, February 9, 2016 for The Gaurdian
the voters of New Hampshire braved the snow to play their
part in the great pageant of American democracy on
Tuesday, the US secretary of defence was
setting out his spending requirements for 2017. And while the
television cameras may have preferred the miniature dramas
at the likes of Dixville Notch,
the reorientation of US defence
priorities under the outgoing president may turn out to exert
the greater influence – and not in a good way, at least for the
future of Europe.
a speech in Washington last week, previewing his announcement,
Ash Carter said he would ask for spending on US military forces in
Europe to be quadrupled in the light of “Russian aggression”. The
allocation for combating Islamic State, in contrast, is to be
increased by 50%. The message is unambiguous: as viewed from the
Pentagon, the threat from Russia has become more alarming, suddenly, even than the menace that is Isis.
Happiness is a loaded word. Many scientists feel that happiness is
too squishy. Ajit Zacharias of the Levy
Institute, who helped develop the Measure of Economic Well-being,
sent some thoughts on happiness, starting with this from Charlotte
Bronte: “No mockery in this world ever sounds to me as hollow as
that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice
mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted and tilled with
First of all, happiness is subjective. How can we
measure it? Some rely on self-reported surveys. Others work with
proxies that have been shown to correlate to happiness, wellbeing,
or life satisfaction. We can improve methods of collecting
self-reports on happiness, and we can study which proxies seem best
to reflect happiness; and still, what makes me happy might make you
miserable. It is very hard to make policy recommendations under
such apparently arbitrary conditions.
Table of Contents
Becomes a Fundamental Human Right and Goal Jayme
from the Director Thea
Surprising Optimism of Black Americans Carol
The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Volume
10, Number 2 (October
In addition to a four-article symposium on Afghanistan, this issue contains
three stand-alone articles. The first two, respectively by Charles H.
Anderton and by Sebastian Ille and Dina Mansour, both construct evoluationary game theory models to study the
social evolution of violence and potential levers for intervention and
the creation of peaceful environments. The third, by Uih Ran Lee, discusses the creation and
application of a new dataset on the intentional targeting of
civilians in war. The symposium on field research in Afghanistan is
introduced by guest editor Travers B. Child and contains articles by
Daniel Karrel, Greg Adams, Jan Koehler,
Kristof Gosztonyi, Keith Child, and BasirFeda, and James
Weir and HekmatullahAzamy.
social evolution of genocide across time and geographic space: Perspectives
from evolutionary game theory
Charles H. Anderton
atrocities and state formation: A game theoretic approach to the
case of ISIS
Sebastian Ille, Dina Mansour
of targeting civilians in armed conflicts Uih Ran Lee
the ground: Field research from Afghanistan
Travers Barclay Child
power, and grievances: Lessons for war and peace from rural
the proper edge: CERP and the two-sided potential of
military-led development in Afghanistan
mixed-methods impact evaluation: Making stabilization
assessments work for development cooperation
Jane Koehler, Kristof Gosztonyi, Keith
impediments to a Taliban peace process
James Weir, HekmatullahAzamy
The Journal is
a peer-reviewed online publication hosted by EPS. Published twice
yearly, it raises and debates issues related to the political economy
of personal, communal, national, international, and global peace and
security. Previous contributors include Joseph Stiglitz, James
Galbraith, and Lawrence Klein. The Journal’s website
also features book reviews submitted by members and subscribers.
EPS members receive a 50% discount on the annual subscription to
of Peace and Security Journal. A regular one-year
subscription is $50; for EPS members, it's only $25!
This year, Congress could
take positive steps on mass incarceration. New legislation, the
Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, has broad bipartisan support
in Congress. But in an election year this legislation will not be
approved unless members of Congress hear from their constituents.
Senator Grassley (IA) and eleven bi-partisan
co-sponsors introduced the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of
2015, S 2123, on October 1. This bill is the product of
negotiations among Senate Judiciary Committee members and with
other keenly interested senators. The bill takes an important
major step toward restoring judging authority to judges, reducing
mandatory minimum sentences and lowering the population of federal
have a foreign policy alternative that should be heard in the halls
Citizens for Global Solutions Political Action Committee (Global Solutions
PAC) works to elect federal candidates who support building
effective democratic global institutions that will apply the rule
of law while respecting the diversity and autonomy of national and
April 12 - 13, 2016The 25th
Annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference on the State of the US and
World Economies hosted by The Levy Economics
Institute of Bard College and The Ford Foundation will be held
at Bard College
·June 20 - July 4, 2016The
3rd International Summer School in Sarajevo and Srebrenica,
Learning from the past - Exploring the Role of Transitional Justice
in Rebuilding Trust in a Post-conflict Society will be
held at The International University of Sarajevo (IUS).
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