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jerryking : institutions   55

How to funnel capital to the American heartland
April 15, 2019 | Financial Times | by Bruce Katz.
* The Innovation Blind Spot, by Ross Baird.
* Ways must be found to rewire money flows in order to reverse the export of wealth
* A federal tax incentive intended to entice coastal capital into the heartland may end up helping to keep local capital local.

Over the past year, economically distressed communities across the US have been engaged in an intense discussion about mobilising private capital. Why? As mayors, governors, real estate developers, entrepreneurs and investors have learnt, buried in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a provision that created a significant tax incentive to invest in low-income “opportunity zones” across the country......the law’s greatest effect, ironically, has been to unveil a treasure trove of wealth in communities throughout the nation. Some of the country’s largest investors are high-net-worth families in Kansas City, Missouri, and Philadelphia; insurance companies in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Milwaukee; universities in Birmingham, Alabama, and South Bend, Indiana; philanthropists in Cleveland and Detroit; and community foundations and pension funds in every state.

These pillars of wealth mostly invest their market-oriented equity capital outside their own communities, even though their own locales often possess globally significant research institutions, advanced industry companies, grand historic city centres and distinctive ecosystems of entrepreneurs. The wealth-export industry is not a natural phenomenon; it has been led and facilitated by a sophisticated network of wealth management companies, private equity firms, family offices and financial institutions that have narrow definitions of where and in what to invest.

The US, in other words, doesn’t have a capital problem; it has an organisational problem. So how can capital flows be rewired to reverse the export of wealth?

Three things stand out:

(1) Information matters. The opportunity zones incentive has encouraged US cities to create investment prospectuses to promote the competitive assets of their low-income communities and highlight projects that are investor-ready and promise competitive returns.

(2) norms and networks matter. The opportunity zone market will be enhanced by the creation of “capital stacks” that enable the financing of community products such as workforce housing, commercial real estate, small businesses (and minority-owned businesses in particular) and clean energy, to name just a few. Initial opportunity zone projects are already showing creative blends of public, private and civic capital that mix debt, subsidy and equity.

(3) institutions matter. Opportunity zones require cities to create and capitalise new institutions that can deploy capital at scale in sustained ways. Some models already exist. The Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation, backed by patient capital from Procter & Gamble, has driven the regeneration of the Over-the-Rhine neighbourhood during the past 15 years.

More institutional innovation, however, is needed. As Ross Baird, author of The Innovation Blind Spot, has argued, the US must create a new generation of community quarterbacks to provide budding entrepreneurs with business planning and mentoring, matching them with risk-tolerant equity. These efforts will succeed if they unleash the synergies that flow naturally from urban density. New institutions will not have to work alone, but hand-in-glove with the trusted financial firms that manage this locally-generated wealth.
books  capital_flows  cities  coastal_elites  community  economic_development  economically_disadvantaged  economies_of_scale  high_net_worth  howto  industrial_policies  industrial_midwest  industrial_zones  institutions  investors  match-making  midwest  municipalities  networks  network_density  P&G  PPP  packaging  place-based  private_equity  property_development  prospectuses  Red_States  rescue_investing  rust_belt  tax_codes  venture_capital 
april 2019 by jerryking
After the SNC-Lavalin affair, we must strip the influence of political staffers - The Globe and Mail
Omer Aziz was a policy adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

From the outside, our government is a democracy with duly elected parliamentarians. From the inside, it can feel like an autocracy, with power concentrated in very few hands. There is a single node of power and all the channels run through it. That’s why the Prime Minister’s Office is colloquially referred to as “the Centre.”....At Global Affairs Canada, political staffers meet regularly with stakeholders, including human-rights groups, corporate representatives and anyone else who might be affected by our policies, and signals regularly came from above on how to manoeuvre on a certain file. If a message comes from “the Centre” to your office, you can bet that everyone will drop everything and make sure they are meeting expectations. Refuse, and well – these people hold your future in their hands.

It would be no stretch to say that most of the important decisions made by the Canadian government are made by only a handful of people. This has led to preventable errors and bad policy outcomes such as Justin Trudeau’s India trip or the SNC-Lavalin affair. As with too much accumulated wealth, too much accumulated power is ultimately bad for democracy.

There are more than 600 political staffers in Ottawa. These jobs are not publicly advertised and are notoriously difficult to come by if you’re not already well-connected. It’s no wonder that diversity is such a problem in government – and this includes viewpoint diversity as much as ethnic and racial diversity.

Pull back the curtain and it turns out the people in the backrooms mostly resemble one another. Within the political staff itself, there exists a hierarchy, with senior staffers in the Prime Minister’s Office at the top. This is where the real decisions are made.

We need to seriously scale back the influence of political staffers and legislate what the parameters of their jobs really are......The biggest problem with concentrating political power is that it leads to hubris and arrogance, and eventually to critical errors. It leads people to believe that they can overstep boundaries in the name of the Boss.

Absolute power not only corrupts, it is fundamentally corrupting to the entire operation. This is not how a parliamentary system of government is supposed to work. These people are not the mafia. The government does not belong to them.

We could cut the number of staffers in half and Ottawa would run better than it does now. There should also be a formal, publicly acknowledged policy process so Canadians can trust that the system of democracy is working from within and decisions that might shape the future of the country for decades are not being made by a cloistered elite.
centralization  Ottawa  PMO  political_power  SNC-Lavalin  politicians  political_staffers  Canada  Canadian  government  institutions  partisanship  GoC 
february 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The Strange Failure of the Educated Elite - The New York Times
By David Brooks
Opinion Columnist

May 28, 2018

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
See also
"Jun 18, 2007 | WSJ | Robin Moroney. Extreme intelligence might
undermine a person’s managerial capacity, he speculates. “What is
required at the top levels of govt. is not brilliance, but managerial
skill,” says Posner. That includes knowing “when to defer to the
superior knowledge of a more experienced but less mentally agile
subordinate.” Especially intelligent people also have difficulty
trusting the intuitions of less-articulate people who have more
experience than they do. That might be why many smart senior officials
in govt. have tried to reason their way through problems on their own,
assuming their civil servants’ inadequate explanations rendered their
judgments invalid."
the_best_and_brightest  books  civics  mental_dexterity  David_Brooks  diversity  dysfunction  elitism  failure  fractured_internally  the_Greatest_Generation  institutions  IQ  meritocratic  Steven_Brill  college-educated  baby_boomers  Tailspins 
may 2018 by jerryking
The APNU+AFC Govt. and African Guyanese: After three years, no major Policy Initiative that targets Black Empowerment – Kaieteur News
May 13, 2018 | | Hinds' Sight with Dr. David Hinds.

Many African Guyanese believe that any criticism of this APNU+AFC government, especially by one of their own, is sinful. This is the very attitude that was exhibited by many Indian Guyanese when the PPP held office and which African Guyanese found revolting. But now, with their government in power, African Guyanese are behaving in the same manner. This hypocrisy by our ethnic communities is at the root of Guyana’s failure to move from the backward politics of colonial domination to a more enlightened politics that embrace equality of opportunity and national consensus as guiding principles. And this failure has impeded economic liberation from poverty and want, and kept us a poor, underdeveloped country.......Most African Guyanese live in the urban areas and in ancestral villages. But these spaces are hardly hubs of economic opportunities. Three years after its assumption of office, there is still no comprehensive Urban and Village renewal initiative. Many African Guyanese villages and communities don’t have markets, for example. Hence, there is little money circulation in those communities.
I know there are many who would say that Village and Urban Renewal are not government business. I beg to disagree. The poor state of those communities is a direct result of government policies, so the repair job must be initiated by government policy.
Afro-Guyanese  economic_empowerment  equality_of_opportunity  Guyana  politics  economically_disadvantaged  economic_development  economic_dynamism  Guyanese  revitalization  institutions  ethnic_communities  David_Hinds  African_Guyanese_villages 
may 2018 by jerryking
A chilling portrait of the world's mafias
August 14, 2017 | Financial Times | Book review by John Lloyd of

Mafia Life: Love, Death and Money at the Heart of Organised Crime, by Federico Varese, Profile Books £14.99

Two of the most chilling observations in this learned, fluent book is, first, that the mafias “put themselves forward as institutions of government, ultimately in competition with the legitimate state”. Second, that “mafias thrive in democracies”.

Totalitarian regimes, such as the Italian Fascists, suppressed the mafia almost to extinction; democracy restored, they grew again. Only now — with massive policing, greater ease of sentencing, increased surveillance and pentiti — is the Sicilian mafia facing, if not extinction, then severe reduction. But the Neapolitan Camorra and above all the Calabrian ’Ndrangheta across the straits of Messina have grown and grow still. Calabresi families are rich on the proceeds of the heroin trade from the container port of Gioia Tauro (unfortunately Varese doesn’t say much about them here).

Mafia life is often short and usually tense. The Russian vory v zakone (thieves-in-law), spawned in Soviet prison colonies, live more than any other by their own law, spurning contact with state and police, vicious in their feuds. The Japanese Yakuza, who like to trace their lineage back to the samurai (Varese thinks their origins are in late-19th-century gamblers), settle scores with a sword....
Mafias sometimes side with, and are used by, states. The Hong Kong Triads, facing pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014, took the side of the Chinese authorities in confronting the young demonstrators — and gained some credit with Beijing. Where mafia are powerful, as the drug cartels in Mexico and the Wa heroin refiners in Myanmar’s Shan and Kachin regions (said to process 45 per cent of world supply), they create their own “states” with laws, social provision and a savage punishment code.
organized_crime  drug_cartels  globalization  institutions  book_reviews  books  Japanese  Russians  Italians  mafia  gangs  viciousness 
august 2017 by jerryking
Donald Trump Poisons the World
JUNE 2, 2017 | The New York Times | David Brooks.

This week, two of Donald Trump’s top advisers, H. R. McMaster and Gary Cohn, wrote the following passage in The Wall Street Journal: “The president embarked on his first foreign trip with a cleareyed outlook that the world is not a ‘global community’ but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage.”

That sentence is the epitome of the Trump project. It asserts that selfishness is the sole driver of human affairs. It grows out of a worldview that life is a competitive struggle for gain. It implies that cooperative communities are hypocritical covers for the selfish jockeying underneath.

The essay explains why the Trump people are suspicious of any cooperative global arrangement, like NATO and the various trade agreements. It helps explain why Trump pulled out of the Paris global-warming accord. This essay explains why Trump gravitates toward leaders like Vladimir Putin, the Saudi princes and various global strongmen: They share his core worldview that life is nakedly a selfish struggle for money and dominance.

It explains why people in the Trump White House are so savage to one another. Far from being a band of brothers, their world is a vicious arena where staffers compete for advantage......In the essay, McMaster and Cohn make explicit the great act of moral decoupling woven through this presidency. In this worldview, morality has nothing to do with anything. Altruism, trust, cooperation and virtue are unaffordable luxuries in the struggle of all against all. Everything is about self-interest. David Brooks contends that this philosophy is based on an error about human beings and it leads to self-destructive behavior in all cases.

The error is that it misunderstands what drives human action. Yes, people are self-interested but they are also wired to cooperate....Good leaders like Lincoln, Churchill, Roosevelt and Reagan understand the selfish elements that drive human behavior, but they have another foot in the realm of the moral motivations. They seek to inspire faithfulness by showing good character. They try to motivate action by pointing toward great ideals.

Realist leaders like Trump, McMaster and Cohn seek to dismiss this whole moral realm. By behaving with naked selfishness toward others, they poison the common realm and they force others to behave with naked selfishness toward them........By treating the world simply as an arena for competitive advantage, Trump, McMaster and Cohn sever relationships, destroy reciprocity, erode trust and eviscerate the sense of sympathy, friendship and loyalty that all nations need when times get tough.....George Marshall was no idealistic patsy. He understood that America extends its power when it offers a cooperative hand and volunteers for common service toward a great ideal. Realists reverse that formula. They assume strife and so arouse a volley of strife against themselves.
op-ed  climate_change  Donald_Trump  Gary_Cohn  decoupling  human_behavior  worldviews  WSJ  H.R._McMaster  selfishness  U.S.foreign_policy  Greek  morals  realism  George_Marshall  Marshall_Plan  self-interest  autocrats  Thucydides  David_Brooks  transactional_relationships  national_interests  institutions  international_system  values 
june 2017 by jerryking
‘How Worried Should I Be?’ - The New York Times
By SUSAN CHIRAMAY 12, 2017

For scholars of democracy who have kept anxious watch over the tumultuous first months of this presidency, this week’s firing of James Comey set off a new round of alarm bells.

As President Trump attacked judges, intelligence agencies, the press, even the Congressional Budget Office — all potential independent constraints on presidential power — they constantly adjusted their scorecards, trying to sift the alarming from the merely noisy. But firing the official who heads an investigation into possible collusion between a presidential campaign and a foreign power crossed a line, they agreed......Few argue that the United States is in imminent danger of becoming an autocracy, a term much chewed over by pundits these days, including some conservative ones like David Frum...but in conversations over the past few months, scholars’ moods and assessments have soared and plummeted...... “Political scientists assume that politicians are ambitious and mainly motivated by a desire to win and retain office,” she said. “It’s not an uplifting image of our leaders but at least it makes them predictable, their actions explicable. An ever-improvising president, one who is utterly undisciplined, even to the point of undermining his own positions — [is worrisome].”....Political scientists are particularly concerned by the way congressional leaders immediately backed Mr. Trump [suggesting]
that partisan loyalty is still far more powerful than checks and balances,”....The scholars agree on what to watch for next: Who will be nominated as head of the F.B.I. and what will Republicans do?....“[Trump's] ability to undermine independent institutions is in the hands of the Republicans.”

Mr. Drutman said that if Republicans continue to reflexively back Mr. Trump, he would raise his “alarm-o-meter” to 8.
Donald_Trump  James_Comey  institutions  autocracies  authoritarianism  partisan_loyalty  democratic_institutions  warning_signs  checks_and_balances 
may 2017 by jerryking
Don't kid yourself that robots are colleagues
4 March 2017/5 March 2017 | Financial Times | by John Thornhill

Lunch with the FT: Daniel Dennett
Cambrian_explosion  philosophers  philosophy  artificial_intelligence  transparency  privacy  institutions 
march 2017 by jerryking
No Racial Barrier Left to Break (Except All of Them) - The New York Times
JAN. 14, 2017 | NYT | By KHALIL GIBRAN MUHAMMAD.

The future is no longer about “firsts.” It is instead about the content of the character of the institutions our new leaders will help us rebuild....The U.S. can’t create a more just nation simply by dressing up institutions in more shades of brown. Now there must be an effort to confront structural racism.....for African-Americans, Obama's travails are proof positive that MLK's contention that the content of one’s character would be the perfect antidote to racism is necessary but--by itself--insufficient to heal the gaping wounds of racial injustice in America.....in a post-assimilation America where there is no racial [occupational] barrier left to break, [African] Americans must turn to confronting structural racism and the values of our institutions....Obama's pedigree and character couldn’t protect/save him from the Tea Party revolution, Republican obstructionism, police brutality, voter suppression and Islamophobia.... individuals, no matter how singular, cannot bend the moral arc of the universe....In a post-assimilation America, recognize that institutions are far more powerful than individuals, no matter how many people of color can be counted in leadership. Structural racism is immune to identity politics....history matters. Black people in charge of, or embedded in, institutions that have not atoned for their history of racism can make it easier for those institutions to ignore or dismiss present-day claims of racial bias. That’s because the path to leadership has often meant accepting institutions as they are, not disrupting them.....people of color can inherit or perpetuate structures of inequality. Many institutions of government, finance and higher education were built on the backs of enslaved African-Americans and remain haunted by that history. Diversity and inclusion policies, therefore, should grow out of truth and reconciliation practices as well as strategic hiring plans. Intentional transformation, even reparations, one government agency, one company, one college at a time moves us past the denial and the empty promises....In post-assimilation America, people of color must continue to pursue leadership roles as the demographics of the nation inexorably change. But they must also reject their personal achievement as the core measure of progress and instead use history as a tool to measure systemic change.
Obama  legacies  institutions  farewells  history  obstructionism  GOP  Tea_Party  MLK  leaders  systemic_discrimination  systemic_racism  institutional_change  identity_politics  structural_change  African-Americans  Georgetown_University  assimilation  institutional_path_dependency 
january 2017 by jerryking
Emerging markets offer clue for investors in 2017
December 31/January 1 2017 | Financial Times | by Gillian Tett.

Now (people = politicians = capriciousness/alternatively, unpredictable waves of populism) are shaping events, not established party platforms or policy programmes....the pricing of political uncertainty has moved from being an emerging market phenomenon to an emerged market issue....Is there any way for investors to adapt to this new world? ....(1) Start by abandoning the idea that asset values can be predicted by using neat economic models alone. ...investors urgently need to think about the difference between "risk" (i.e. events that can be predicted with a certain probability) and "uncertainty" (i.e. unknown future shocks). Until now, investors in developed markets have tended to focus primarily on risks and assume that these can be priced (and hedged against). But 2017 is likely to produce uncertainty. That cannot be easily priced or hedge--and investors should recognize this. (2) Investor should also embrace "optionality": the only way to prepare for a world of uncertainty is to stay as flexible and diversified as possible. Now is not the time for investors to put all their eggs in one basket, or bet on just one asset class. Nor is it time for businesses to be locked into rigid business plans: political and geopolitical upheaval could strike almost anywhere. (3) If 2017 does deliver more risk and uncertainty, expect financial markets to be "skittish" about "news" of all types, and not just economic....Bad news for those who despise market volatility (expectation: we're in for volatility like we've never seen before)....Uncertainty can deliver huge opportunity alongside risks..."good" surprises....Surviving 2017 in the developed economies requires that investors use tools beyond those found in the realm of economics: psychology, sociology and political science. Also, talk to successful emerging market investors to find out how they practice their craft.
concentration_risk  Gillian_Tett  emerging_markets  political_risk  unpredictability  Brexit  investors  Donald_Trump  uncertainty  risks  optionality  geopolitics  financial_markets  politicians  volatility  tools  economics  psychology  sociology  political_science  FT  institutions  rule_of_law  Gary_Cohn  populism  indicators  human_factor  assets  asset_values  asset_classes  diversification  dislocations  bad_news 
january 2017 by jerryking
The Women Who Met Hillary, and Spotted a Future Political Star - The New York Times
DEC. 24, 2016 | NYT | By SUSAN DOMINUS.

Hilary Clinton started changing American political culture for women as far back as the early 1970s — not through a candidacy of her own, but through a series of small, but crucial, networking moves.

The number of women who laboured in basement meetings, in consciousness-raising groups, in boardrooms, in unions, in news organizations and in their own kitchens to expand possibilities for women are far too many to count....Prominent among those who did were a few key friends of Mrs. Clinton whom she helped find paths to the cause, including a Texan political player named Betsey Wright....I’m ushered in to the National League of Women Voters headquarters, and Hillary tells them, ‘This can be your youth director.’”

Ms. Piercy, representing the league, went on to attend the Republican and Democratic conventions in 1972, a key inflection point for female activists. “We realized that the only way we could be accepted as equals was to be in office,” she said. “But the parties were not interested in cultivating women. So we realized we would have to train them ourselves.”...while Mrs. Clinton was a law student supporting the presidential candidate Senator George McGovern in San Antonio, she met Ms. Wright, the person she thought could galvanize and prepare potential female candidates.....Ms. Wright had previously worked on individual women’s campaigns. Yet it was Mrs. Clinton who suggested that Ms. Wright move to Washington to spread her expertise, by joining Ms. Piercy and Ms. Griffith to work for what would become known as the National Women’s Education Fund, an unofficial training arm of the National Women’s Political Caucus, with no formal affiliation. “Hillary was saying they really did need to get somebody who understood local races,” Ms. Wright said. “And she strongly urged me to go.”....Wright created seminars and training sessions that taught women how to maneuver within the political process.

She also formed a powerful partnership with Ruth Mandel, who had recently created the pioneering Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. It was not just that they needed to train women, Ms. Mandel said; they needed to “help women overcome their own resistance to gaining political power in their own right.”...Wright knew that revolutions start with pragmatics: She created a training manual that the Education Fund and the Political Caucus relied on heavily for years, a guidebook that broke down the logistics of opinion polling, reaching the news media and recruiting a staff. The training sessions offered advice on every aspect of campaigning, including details specific to women.
Hillary_Clinton  politics  political_campaigns  discipline  political_infrastructure  institutions  politicians  institution-building  women  networking  training  consciousness-raising  grass-roots  inflection_points 
january 2017 by jerryking
The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street
AUG 31, 2016 | The Atlantic | ALEXIA FERNÁNDEZ CAMPBELL.

Richmond was once the epicenter of black finance. What happened there explains the decline of black-owned banks across the country.

On April, 3rd, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech in Memphis. In it, he urged African Americans to put their money in black-owned banks. It wasn’t his most famous line, but the message was clear: “We’ve got to strengthen black institutions. I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in the Tri-State Bank. We want a ‘bank-in’ movement in Memphis … We begin the process of building a greater economic base.”

The next day, King was assassinated, and his hope of harnessing black wealth remains unfulfilled. Before integration, African Americans in cities like Richmond, Chicago, and Atlanta relied on black community banks, which were largely responsible for providing loans and boosting black businesses, churches, and neighborhoods. After desegregation, black wealth started to hemorrhage from these communities: White-owned banks were forced to open their doors to African Americans and the money that once flowed into black banks and back out to black communities ended up on Wall Street and other banks farther away.
MLK  African-Americans  banks  banking  community_banks  institutions  history  Richmond  desegregation  integration  black-owned  self-sufficiency  self-reliance  institution-building  generational_wealth  economic_clout  capital_formation  epicenters  1968 
september 2016 by jerryking
You Break It, You Own It - The New York Times
Thomas L. Friedman JUNE 29, 2016

It’s the story of our time: the pace of change in technology, globalization and climate have started to outrun the ability of our political systems to build the social, educational, community, workplace and political innovations needed for some citizens to keep up.

We have globalized trade and manufacturing, and we have introduced robots and artificial intelligence systems, far faster than we have designed the social safety nets, trade surge protectors and educational advancement options that would allow people caught in this transition to have the time, space and tools to thrive. It’s left a lot of people dizzy and dislocated.

At the same time, we have opened borders deliberately — or experienced the influx of illegal migration from failing states at an unprecedented scale — and this too has left some people feeling culturally unanchored, that they are losing their “home” in the deepest sense of that word.
Tom_Friedman  EU  Brexit  social_integration  United_Kingdom  safety_nets  circuit_breakers  social_fabric  institutions  automation  artificial_intelligence  unemployment  illegal_migration  dislocations  open_borders 
june 2016 by jerryking
Recharging the Canadian right - The Globe and Mail
PRESTON MANNING
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jan. 18, 2016

As Henry Kissinger once observed, politicians in office use up their intellectual, human and organizational capital rather than adding to it. Time out of office, wisely employed, can be used to restock the cupboard....

.....This is not to say that personal attractiveness and communications capabilities should be ignored in the recruitment of the next generation of political leaders. But if the aim of conservatives is not only to recharge the right politically, but also to be better able to govern the country as a result, putting all the renewal eggs in the charismatic leader basket would be a mistake for both conservatism and the country....
1. Greater recognition of the character traits that Canadians want to see in their elected officials – openness, honesty, transparency, integrity, compassion, humility – and making the possession of such traits a much more important factor in recruiting candidates, leaders and staff.

2. More clearly embracing those Canadian values – such as freedom, responsibility, equality of opportunity, stewardship, respect for life, democratic accountability – that conservatives want to strengthen and apply more rigorously to public policy.

3. Continue to strongly communicate the importance of trade liberalization, public-spending constraints, balanced budgets, debt reduction and tax relief.

4. Undertake a fresh round of policy development to strengthen the creative application of conservative values and principles to those areas where conservatives are, rightly or wrongly, seen to be weak or disinterested, such as poverty, inequality, health care, education, environment, science and culture.

5. Investing heavily in training conservative-oriented Canadians for more effective participation in the country’s political processes; providing more and better training for volunteers, constituency executives, campaign managers and candidates.

6. With respect to all of the above, consulting and involving ordinary Canadians at every stage – not just party insiders and elites.
Preston_Manning  conservatism  revitalization  intellectual_capital  human_capital  constituencies  rebuilding  think_tanks  political_infrastructure  institutions  politicians  institution-building  right-of-center  Canadian  values  training  Henry_Kissinger  organizational_capital  renewal  character_traits  charisma  APNSA  right-wing 
january 2016 by jerryking
Black Church Is Target Again for Deadly Strike at the Heart - The New York Times
By RACHEL L. SWARNS and CAMPBELL ROBERTSON JUNE 19, 2015

in those years after Emancipation is what the African-American scholar W. E. B. Du Bois and others have described as the “first social institution fully controlled by black men in America.” Black churches ran schools, offered burial assistance and served as clearinghouses for information about jobs, social happenings and politics. More than just spiritual homes, they embodied their communities’ growing political aspirations.

And before long, they became targets.

In 1963, a bomb tore through the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., killing four girls. Black churches have long been a site of racist attacks.

In the fall of 1870, as the Ku Klux Klan battled to return African-Americans to subservience, nearly every black church in Tuskegee, Ala., was engulfed in flames. Ninety-three years later, as the civil rights movement gained momentum, a bomb blast killed four young girls in a black church in Birmingham, Ala., that was a well-known meeting place for movement leaders....In the 19th century, these centers of worship, small and large, rural and urban, stone and ramshackle, became vital community engines. More than 100 of the first black men to be elected to legislative office in the United States were ministers, according to Eric Foner, a Columbia University history professor known for his expertise in the Reconstruction era.

During segregation, churches became places where black men and women found leadership opportunities denied to them by white society.
clearinghouses  Charleston_shootings  African-Americans  churches  Civil_War  KKK  institutions  social_institutions  history  violence  Reconstruction  segregation  leadership  leadership_development  W.E.B._Du_Bois  19th_century 
june 2015 by jerryking
A half-century of progress and black America’s still burning - The Globe and Mail
DOUG SAUNDERS
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 09 2015

When it comes to race relations, America is better than it’s ever been,” the Washington journalist Jamelle Bouie writes. “With that said, we shouldn’t confuse optimism about race relations (or, again, how whites view blacks and other groups) with optimism about racial progress, or how groups fare in relation to each other. There, the news isn’t just bad – it’s bleak.”

Why have the huge improvements in American racial attitudes and general social measures not brought about an improvement in racial equality? Why do police attack and discriminate against black Americans disproportionately – even when, as is the case in Baltimore, most of the police force, its chief, its mayor and its president are African-American?

This is the paradox of the United States today: A population of voters and leaders who have largely moved beyond racial discrimination continue to produce often grotesquely racist results. Why does the reality not change with the attitudes toward it?

The answer is found in the cities and towns where these explosions of violence and deprivation are taking place: Once an institution (a city, a police force, a school system, an economy) is set up to create a racial divide, it will continue to do so, regardless who’s running it, unless there’s a dramatic intervention.
Doug_Saunders  African-Americans  race_relations  institutions  institutional_path_dependency  systemic_discrimination  disproportionality  institutional_racism  deprivations 
may 2015 by jerryking
Let’s train our leaders to be ethical - The Globe and Mail
PRESTON MANNING
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 06 2015

How about establishing an Institute of Political Managers and Directors, along the same lines as the Institute of Corporate Directors, with a similar commitment to ethical training and conduct? Such an institute would need to be cross-partisan, not non-partisan, since it would be providing ethical training for participants in the real political world, which is intensely partisan, whether we like it or not.

Its training emphasis should be heavily focused on ethics – promoting truth in communications and knowing where the lines are drawn among truth, spin and lies; advancing guidelines as to what constitutes ethical behaviour in an adversarial system and defining the limits to partisanship; demanding unwavering adherence to the rule of law by those who make laws; and inculcating a trusteeship ethic among those responsible for the handling of public money.

For training resources, the institute could draw in part upon business schools with well-developed courses in ethics, as well as Carleton University’s graduate program in political management. Carleton already includes an ethical component in each of its political management courses.
Preston_Manning  training  leaders  boards_&_directors_&_governance  Carleton  political_infrastructure  institutions  politicians  institution-building  ethics 
april 2015 by jerryking
We can’t afford a postinstitutional society - The Globe and Mail
Mar. 11 2015 | The Globe and Mail |STEPHEN TOOPE.

Institutions matter. One of the markers of advanced industrial societies is their rich network of institutions that support good governance, ensure security, provide needed social services and foster educated work forces. There is a continuing debate in the developing world about whether strong institutions are needed for economic growth or whether they result from the achievement of a certain income level. What is not in dispute is that successful societies thrive with strong institutions and decay without them.

Crowdsourcing may enable a startup tech company to survive another day; it may help a sick child gain access to specialized medical care. It will never replace a stock exchange or build a health system that’s available to all.

Google may soon produce a car that can drive itself. But that car can function only if there are socially mandated rules of the road that allow programmers to know on what side of the street the car should run, and what to do at a red light.
institutions  rules_of_the_game  good_governance  developed_countries  institutional_integrity  chicken-and-egg  developing_countries 
march 2015 by jerryking
Think tanks need to show us the money - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Feb. 09 2015

Like Brookings, almost of all of Canada’s leading think tanks claim to be independent and non-partisan. But while none – not even the Broadbent Institute – is directly affiliated with a political party, it’s not hard to discern an identifiable political agenda in the research they produce. American think tanks, says former think-tank founder David Callahan, “often operate as the motherships of ideological movements – weaving together a jumble of values and ideas into a coherent story and actionable agenda.” You could easily say the same of most of their Canadian counterparts.
Konrad_Yakabuski  think_tanks  lobbying  Brookings  institution-building  networks  institutions  political_infrastructure  transparency  political_advocacy  policy_analysis  policy  conflicts_of_interest  policymaking 
february 2015 by jerryking
Janice Gross Stein on smugness: ‘Comfort is our biggest enemy’ - The Globe and Mail
MONICA POHLMANN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 05 2014

Canadians aren’t change leaders. We’re deeply, deeply risk averse. If you give us a choice, we prefer the status quo, because we think it’s less risky. What we don’t understand is the cost of inaction. Most of our public-sector institutions are buried in process....The corporate sector is the least risk averse. It has a better-developed sense of risk and understands that the status quo is not sustainable...We need more entrepreneurial spirit in this country, most of all in the public and not-for-profit sectors.

If things turn out badly over the next 20 years, what would have happened?



We would have failed to keep our young people. They will go where the work is interesting and challenging, and where they can contribute. That will be a huge loss. If we don’t reorient our institutions to make them hospitable to members of this generation, they will just walk right around them and do other things. Our institutions will atrophy, because they won’t have people to shake things up and say, “No, we’re not going to do it this way any more.”

We will also fail if we do not recover from our terminal illness of smugness and self-satisfaction. Otherwise, we are not going to push ourselves hard enough and will ultimately slide into mind-numbing mediocrity.
Janice_Gross_Stein  complacency  status_quo  public_sector  institutions  cost_of_inaction  mediocrity  self-satisfaction  risk-aversion 
december 2014 by jerryking
‘The Bright Continent,’ by Dayo Olopade - NYTimes.com
By LYDIA POLGREEN APRIL 11, 2014

“The Bright Continent” resists broad-brush solutions when imposed from outside, and is largely dismissive of the role of governments in transforming the continent. But transformation tends to come when people push powerful institutions to change.
Africa  books  book_reviews  Ghana  Nigeria  cosmopolitan  entrepreneurship  institutional_change  institutions 
june 2014 by jerryking
Canada’s real wealth lies in its institutional integrity, not its resources - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN LEE CROWLEY
Canada’s real wealth lies in its institutional integrity, not its resources Add to ...
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Apr. 17 2014

Canada’s wealth, and the reason why the world beats a path to our resources, lies not in the resources themselves. What makes that endowment almost uniquely valuable in the world is that it exists within another vastly more important endowment of rules, institutions and behaviours.

My list of those institutions and behaviours include the rule of law; independent judges and reasonably speedy and reliable resolution of disputes; the enforcement of contract; the absence of corruption among government officials and the police; respect of private property; a moderate, predictable and stable taxation and regulatory burden; a stable currency that keeps its value; responsible public finances; freedom to trade both domestically and internationally; a well-developed work ethic; and a refusal to resort to violence to resolve political disagreements. That is the greatest endowment that we have.

What happens when you nest a rich natural resource endowment inside this endowment of rules, institutions and behaviours? Companies can invest billions of dollars to unlock opportunities, such as the oil sands, reasonably secure in the knowledge that they know the fiscal, regulatory and contractual conditions they will face over a period of years that are sufficient to recoup their investment and make some money.
natural_resources  institution-building  institutions  Canada  independent_judiciary  integrity  political_infrastructure  predictability  property_rights  civics  rule_of_law  institutional_integrity  work_ethic  oil_sands  judiciary  judges 
april 2014 by jerryking
Why some see big potential in tiny farms - The Globe and Mail
Doug Saunders

Oxford, England — The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Apr. 12 2014,

TechnoServe, a long-established Washington-based non-profit whose 1,400 employees provide technical assistance to small developing-world farmers....Those small farmers don’t produce much food in part because they can’t afford to buy decent seeds and fertilizer. They can’t afford seeds or fertilizer because they can’t borrow money based on their future crop sales. And, Mr. Masha notes, that’s because lending them money can be so expensive: Interest rates on tiny loans are already, by definition, very high; add to that the cost of servicing loans across regions, and the considerable cost of hedging those loans against volatile developing-world currencies, and, he says, “you’ve priced them right out of the credit market.”

Banks and micro-credit agencies are also reluctant to lend because small farmers often have no collateral: Property ownership is ambiguous and few countries have small-claims courts to deal with defaults. (Brazil, an exception, owes a lot of its development success to the creation of such institutions.)

While the potential in these farms is huge, few want to take the risk of building agricultural supply and value chains in the developing world. Such investments take many years to generate returns, which tend to be very modest – rendering them uninteresting to corporations and venture capitalists, but increasingly appealing to Chinese state enterprises and a few people with local knowledge.
smallholders  farming  agriculture  size  scaling  Doug_Saunders  TechnoServe  poverty  tacit_data  supply_chains  value_chains  fertilizers  seeds  SOEs  China  interest_rates  microfinance  microlending  property_ownership  developing_countries  institutions 
april 2014 by jerryking
True democracy starts with the municipal - The Globe and Mail
Preston Manning

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Aug. 15 2013

there are more than 25,000 elected municipal officials in Canada, not counting elected school boards and health boards in many jurisdictions, and some 75,000 to 100,000 Canadians likely gave serious thought to running for their municipal council over the past three years.

And while there are numerous think tanks, interest groups, party organizations and communications vehicles that provide intellectual capital and training opportunities for politicians at the federal and provincial levels, candidates for municipal office are not nearly as well served. This is a situation that needs to be remedied – not by bringing federal or provincial party politics to the municipal level, but by creating and supporting more think tanks, training programs, and communications vehicles dedicated to the provision of better ideas and training for those willing to run for municipal office.

Of course, political innovation of this type at the municipal level will run into the same criticism and opposition that invariably greets political innovation at any level in Canada.
Preston_Manning  municipalities  democracy  political_infrastructure  institutions  institution-building  politicians  political_innovation  think_tanks  training  training_programs 
august 2013 by jerryking
Is the Black church in the Black community?
July 31 2013| Share News | Posted by Lennox Farrell.
Does Toronto’s Black community have any organizational base from which to respond to our social needs?

Which, in particular brings me back to the initial question, is there any institution in our community with the resources and the legitimacy to step up and step forward?

An institution assisting in developing leadership that consults. Leadership that embraces. Leadership that is forthright with the politicians and those who carry status?

Leadership that speaks with the institutional knowledge of what is past and who is present. Leadership that speaks to solutions and not to posturings. Because, if Toronto knows anything, it knows how to make a fig-leaf look like a fig-tree. It knows how to tire you out, calling meetings to call other meetings…

We live in a city and in a time that is at a watershed regarding racism and its impact on our youth. Employment and self-employment require training and resources, yes. These require even more: access and opportunity. In other words, these require a level playing field. Because access and opportunity is not about what you know, but about who you know; with whom you socialize in your church, club, family, golf-course, neighbourhood.

The only effective response to this (anti-Black racism) must come from institutions that are communal, that are resourced, legitimate, and have the wisdom and honour to unite, not divide the community from religious turf wars for paying memberships. Our community and our youth in particular, need back-up from the front.

What we urgently need is for individuals in leadership to be energized. What we need and before the next elections – municipal, provincial, federal – is greater and more substantive interaction with the most marginalized among us; with communities who might never attend church; who will not be in the choir; who might not give donations. Then, call together as many of the organizations and individuals who will volunteer to work and to work wisely under honourable leadership.
African_Canadians  institutional_knowledge  leadership  leadership_development  institutions  institution-building  networking  SIU  strategic_thinking  Toronto  turning_points 
august 2013 by jerryking
The African Guyanese community has to find a way to develop strong financial independence
April 8, 2013 | Stabroek News | F. Skinner.

The African Guyanese community is in deep trouble. The community is always protesting, shot at and sometimes killed by police, with no improvement to their situation. Why is that? Their representatives in the TUC, the majority opposition and ACDA have somehow manoeuvred them into a box of irrelevance, with no obvious way out unless they are willing to recognize/accept that they are flawed in their approach and are willing/able to take the necessary steps to get out.
What is the way out? Find a strategy to develop financial relevance in the community. I can hear the exclamations, “Here Skinner go again!” Well, Skinner knows that people respect education backed with strong financial capabilities. People respect people with strong financial independence. That is not in the community, thus the disrespect and the impotence....There should be an organization in every city, every village, every little community, teaching financial management and wealth generation. Look for cooperative business ventures that can be carried out in the communities. Look at struggling communities like Ituni and Kwakwani. See how we can match them with investors or get them equipped to get bank loans. Regulate Africans lands so that Joint Ventures can be done easily.
entrepreneurship  history  Afro-Guyanese  Guyana  letters_to_the_editor  African_Guyanese_villages  wealth_creation  self-determination  self-employment  self-help  self-reliance  economic_clout  economic_nationalism  strategic_thinking  institutions  institution-building  generational_wealth 
april 2013 by jerryking
Good leadership is Africa’s missing ingredient
Mar. 04 2013 | The Globe and Mail |Robert Rotberg.

Because so many of sub-Saharan Africa’s 49 countries are preinstitutional, and not yet fully nations, leaders matter immensely, more than they do in the developed world. Leaders call the shots, as they have in most sub-Saharan African countries since independence in the 1960s. They set the ethical tone. If leaders are greedy, as many are, their citizens become more cynical and the quality of governmental discourse suffers enormously.

In Africa and elsewhere, governments are expected by their subjects to provide security and safety, rule of law, open political participation, sustainable economic prospects and a large measure of human development (educational and health opportunities and services).

In states where political institutions are weak, legislatures are subordinate to executives, the media are barely free and the judiciary is subordinate rather than independent, the manner in which leaders behave as presidents and prime ministers is much more decisive than it might be in a fully-formed nation where political institutions work and constrain overweening political executives.

A majority of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa are still controlled by men who are motivated not by what they can do for their people but by what their people can do for them. Such leaders exist to prey on their own citizens, to extract from the body politic corrupt rents and other privileges that benefit the ruler and ruling class, their families, and their cliques or lineages.
leadership  leaders  leadership_development  Africa  CIDA  capacity-building  weak_states  judiciary  institutions  greed  rent-seeking  institutional_integrity  failed_states  ruling_classes  sub-Saharan_Africa  Non-Integrating_Gap  autocrats  misgovernance  predatory_practices  developing_countries  independent_judiciary 
march 2013 by jerryking
Our Second Adolescence - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: February 25, 2013

My dream Obama would take advantage of the fact that only the president can fundamentally shift the terms. He’d take advantage of George Santayana’s observation that Americans don’t solve their problems; they leave them behind.

My dream Obama would abandon the big government versus small government argument. He’d point out that in a mature, aging society, government isn’t going anywhere. The issue is not size but sclerosis. The future has no lobby, so there are inexorable pressures favoring present consumption over future investment. The crucial point is not whether a dollar is spent publicly or privately, it’s whether it is spent on the present or future. The task today is to reform institutions and rearrange spending so we look like a young nation and not a comfort-seeking, declining one.

My dream Obama would nurture investment in three ways. First, he would take spending that currently goes to the affluent elderly and redirect it to the young and the struggling. He would build on the means-testing Medicare idea that Yuval Levin described recently in The Times. Older people with higher lifetime earnings would have fewer benefits, and they wouldn’t kick in until age 70.
David_Brooks  Obama  sclerotic  America_in_Decline?  reform  institutions  intergenerational_rivalry  aging  maturity  Medicare 
february 2013 by jerryking
If You Were the Next Steve Jobs...
September 3, 2012 | Harvard Business Review | by Umair Haque.

Imagine, for a moment, that you (yes, you) were the next Steve Jobs: what would your (real) challenges be? I'd bet they wouldn't be scale (just call FoxConn), efficiency (call FoxConn's consultants), short-term profitability (call FoxConn's consultants' bankers), or even "growth" (call FoxConn's consultants' bankers' lobbyists). Those are the problems of yesterday — and today, here's the thing: we largely know how to solve them.

Whether you're an assiduous manager, a chin-stroking economist, a superstar footballer, or a rumpled artist, here's the unshakeable fact: you don't get to tomorrow by solving yesterday's problems.

To solve today's set of burning problems, you just might have to build new institutions, capable of handling stuff a little something like this...
Singularity. Scale is a solved problem. We know how to do stuff at very, very large scale — if by stuff you mean "churning out the same widget, a billion times over". What we don't know how to do is the opposite of scaling up: scaling down an institution, to make a difference to a human life.
Sociality - something resembling the advanced dating stage of the courtship ritual.
Spontaneity - the act of human potential unfurling in the moment — and if it's human potential you wish to ignite, then it's spontaneity you need to spark.
what distinguishes organizations that achieve enduring greatness is teamwork and collaboration — and those are words so overused, they make my teeth ache just saying them. Here's my bet: it's time to drop the fourth wall of the "team" — and go beyond collaboration, to something like what Jung called synchronicity: a kind of uncanny intersection of seemingly unrelated lives.
Solubility. But the biggest lesson — and the one hidden in plain sight — is this: creating institutions capable of not just solving the same old problems, forever.... the greatest challenge for tomorrow's would-be problem-solver renegades is this: building institutions that don't keep solving the same old solved problems, like profitability, scale, efficiency, productivity, and the like. Over and over again, like algorithms of human organization run amok. Institutions that are capable of taking a hard look at unsolved problems around the globe — as big as climate change, sending humans to Mars, and redesigning the global financial system, and as small as Umair's perfect coffee — and then accepting the difficult, often painful, always fulfilling, work of attempting to solve them.
living_in_the_moment  creativity  Steve_Jobs  HBR  problems  problem_solving  umairhaque  political_infrastructure  ideas  value_creation  wealth_creation  threats  scaling  institutions  spontaneity  human_potential  superstars  financial_system 
february 2013 by jerryking
Time for Strategic Planning in the African Canadian Community
November 21, 2007 | PRIDE | Israelin Shockness.

"However, through collective action and some sacrifice, they are able to accomplish a great deal, because they are showing, not telling, the children and youth how they should live" "As a community, we have to think strategically, seeing each other as co-workers and not as competitors, and seeing the children and your in our community as our children and youth, and not as Mr. Jone's children or Ms. Rose's kids."
African_Canadians  co-workers  collective_action  distrust  disunity  ethnic_communities  institutions  institution-building  rivalries  sacrifice  strategic_thinking  strategic_planning  support_systems  Toronto 
november 2012 by jerryking
Return to Self-Reliance
August 13, 1997 | Wall Street Journal | Jason L. Riley

A sad truth of late-20th-century black history is the lack of emphasis black leaders have placed on economic independence, opting instead to funnel resources toward integrating predominantly white institutions, be they political, corporate or educational. Such was not always the thinking; indeed, blacks left bondage with a very different mind-set.

"When you think back to the situation right after the Emancipation Proclamation, African-Americans did a couple things coming right out of slavery," Mr. Price said recently in an interview. "They started up colleges and they started up businesses, like independent farms and burial societies that led to the creation of insurance companies. And as black folks moved into the cities, they started everything that came with living there--barber shops, grocery stores, hotels."

Part of the reason blacks were able to do these things despite the racial barriers of Reconstruction and, later, Jim Crow, was the guidance and support of individuals such as Booker T. Washington. The pre-eminent black leader of the late 1800s and early 1900s, Washington was a shrewd self-help advocate and educator, and a relentless promoter of black economic independence. In 1901, the black novelist Pauline Hopkins called him "probably the most talked of Afro-American in the civilized world today."

A famous William Johnson painting of Washington shows the former slave addressing a class full of attentive black children. The blackboard behind him depicts a plow, a shovel, books and writing instruments--symbolizing the "tools" Washington realized were essential to the postslavery progress of his race. Demonstrating a keen understanding of the central role money and wealth accumulation play in advancing a people, Washington said: "No race that has anything to contribute to the markets of the world is long in any degree ostracized."
Jason_Riley  African-Americans  conservatism  Booker_T._Washington  Emancipation  capital_formation  capital_accumulation  self-help  civil_rights  education  self-reliance  Jim_Crow  economic_empowerment  generational_wealth  institutions  desegregation  history  Reconstruction  leaders 
september 2012 by jerryking
U.S. political debate stuck in the past -
Aug. 30 2012 | The Globe and Mail | CHRYSTIA FREELAND.

The argument between the Democrats and the GOP about the size of the state comes with little regard for the economic realities of this era. Like generals fighting the last war, U.S. politicians are solving the economic challenges of the past century....Thanks to smart machines and global trade, the well-paying, middle-class jobs that were the backbone of Western democracies are vanishing. The paradoxical driver of this middle-class squeeze is not some villainous force – it is, rather, the success of the world’s best companies, many of them American (i.e. Big Tech, the major platforms)....the knottiest economic problem of our time: Figuring out how to manage an economy whose engines of growth are enriching the few but squeezing the many....It took more than the spinning jenny or the steam engine to transform local, agrarian, family-based communities into national, urban, individualistic ones. New political and social institutions will be needed to midwife the latest shift into global and virtual communities. Inventing those institutions is difficult, and talking about them can be frightening, but that is the political conversation the Western world should be having.
Big_Tech  Chrystia_Freeland  Campaign_2012  globalization  Outsourcing  institutions  middle_class  job_destruction  job_displacement  job_loss  institution-building  downward_mobility  hollowing_out  backward_looking 
august 2012 by jerryking
Black script needs new players
September 5, 1991 | Share Newspaper | letter to the editor by Malcolm Streete in response to article by Dr. Sheldon Taylor (August 1, 1991).

If problems as seen by Taylor do exist, it was even more important for him to state that cannot be addressed concretely and effectively, until some respected and credible leadership forward with a strategy.
The tragedy engulfing this whole scenario is that in Metropolitan Toronto and regions, with the largest population of Blacks in Canada, we continue In deal controversy and failure in the same manner:
* Without plan or strategy;
* With moral goals, instead of tangible, physical goals; and
* With old faces. using outdated models. that alienate the new.
More importantly --and at the same time, very damagingly-- so many of us have become too socially and economically comfortable, and have deserted the community.
There is also the growing reality that we have begun to separate ourselves from those now arriving from the Continent of Africa, without recognizing the fact that they are beginning to make up a sizable part of our growing community.
Unfortunately for Black people in Canada. the dominant culture views us in an unchanging stereotypical manner, all painted with the same Black brush. Thus. we need to look for solutions in places we have never looked before.

When we see the changing demographics of both our community and the broader community. we see an expanding pool of resources.

Firstly. there are the young, articulate and energized females and males, who are more than capable of giving our aims directions, strategies and visions.

Next. with the older torch-bearers passing the torch to this new ‘and important younger generation. we can act as an ocean of resources, sharing our experiences, knowledge. contacts and financial

Finally, let us get our act together and build a cultural centre, through which we can begin to exert some kind of control over our politics, education, economics and destiny.
letters_to_the_editor  African_Canadians  reinventing_the_wheel  Toronto  self-help  revitalization  leadership  institutions  community  renewal  self-reliance  institution-building  complacency  demographic_changes  strategic_thinking  Sheldon_Taylor 
august 2012 by jerryking
Ride to the rescue of workers
Aug. 15 2007 | The Globe and Mail | JIM STANFORD. Economist with the Canadian Auto Workers Union

So imagine how surprised I was at the bank's rapid, powerful interventions into financial markets recently, issuing more than $4-billion in new low-cost loans in just three trading days to soothe frazzled nerves and keep the easy-credit machine out of the ditch. And it signalled in no uncertain terms there was plenty more where that came from.

Far from sitting back watching the economy "adjust to change," this drama featured the central bank as cavalry - charging over the hill just as the hedge-fund artists were making their last stand. Seems the prospect of bankrupt speculators tossed onto the street, forced to find real work, isn't the kind of change the bank has in mind. Now, don't get me wrong: What the bank did was prudent and important....This selective, one-sided approach to stabilization speaks volumes about the nature of the bank as an institution, and the biases of the inflation-targeting regime it espouses so passionately. The Bank of Canada is not a neutral, prescient team of technocrats, guiding us to some imaginary point of maximum efficiency. Like any other political body, its opinions and actions reflect value judgments about the relative importance of differing, sometimes conflicting, goals and interests. Job creation versus inflation control. Consumer inflation versus stock-market inflation. Financial troubles versus industrial troubles.

So, Governor Dodge, please carry on with your dramatic rescue mission. Just spread a little of that rescue around to the rest of us next time.
Jim_Stanford  economists  layoffs  manufacturers  bubbles  Bank_of_Canada  CAW  central_banks  biases  values  tradeoffs  financial_markets  politics  institutions  value_judgements  pairs 
june 2012 by jerryking
Who will preserve the past for future generations? - The Globe and Mail
J.L. Granatstein

The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Jun. 12 2012,

A national library is by definition national, the repository of the nation’s past and its treasures. It makes available the record of triumphs and failures, of glories and disasters, the sources for literature and history now and forever. But in Canada, for fear that the government be seen as elitist and Ottawa-centric, LAC’s priceless collection is to be broken up and dispersed.
libraries  literature  history  institutions  Canadian  archives  decentralization  heritage  J.L._Granatstein  preservation  digitalization 
june 2012 by jerryking
Wiring the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy - New York Times
By Matt Bai
Published: July 25, 2004 (look at Preston Manning links)

The presentation itself, a collection of about 40 slides titled ''The Conservative Message Machine's Money Matrix,'' essentially makes the case that a handful of families -- Scaife, Bradley, Olin, Coors and others -- laid the foundation for a $300 million network of policy centers, advocacy groups and media outlets that now wield great influence over the national agenda. The network, as Stein diagrams it, includes scores of powerful organizations -- most of them with bland names like the State Policy Network and the Leadership Institute -- that he says train young leaders and lawmakers and promote policy ideas on the national and local level. These groups are, in turn, linked to a massive message apparatus, into which Stein lumps everything from Fox News and the Wall Street Journal op-ed page to Pat Robertson's ''700 Club.'' And all of this, he contends, is underwritten by some 200 ''anchor donors.'' ''This is perhaps the most potent, independent institutionalized apparatus ever assembled in a democracy to promote one belief system,'' he said.
advocacy  belief_systems  conservatism  Democrats  discipline  donors  Fox_News  George_Soros  GOP  grass-roots  high_net_worth  ideas  ideologies  institutions  left-wing  Matt_Bai  messaging  moguls  political_infrastructure  politicians  right-wing  social_movements  think_tanks  training_programs 
may 2012 by jerryking
Why Nations Fail - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: March 31, 2012

“Why Nations Fail.” The more you read it, the more you appreciate what a fool’s errand we’re on in Afghanistan and how much we need to totally revamp our whole foreign aid strategy. But most intriguing are the warning flares the authors put up about both America and China.

Co-authored by the M.I.T. economist Daron Acemoglu and the Harvard political scientist James A. Robinson, “Why Nations Fail” argues that the key differentiator between countries is “institutions.” Nations thrive when they develop “inclusive” political and economic institutions, and they fail when those institutions become “extractive” and concentrate power and opportunity in the hands of only a few.
book_reviews  Tom_Friedman  China  U.S.  Afghanistan  Non-Integrating_Gap  Egypt  foreign_policy  institutions  foreign_aid  failed_states  institutional_integrity 
april 2012 by jerryking
Because one day, Tories, you’ll be out of office too - The Globe and Mail
preston manning
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012

Build and maintain your “democratic political infrastructure” – the intellectual capital generators for politicians, the training programs for political activists, and the political communications vehicles – when in opposition but continue to build and maintain it, outside of the civil service and through private donations, even after becoming the governing party.

To fail to do so is to court eventual political collapse and impotence from which it may take years, even decades, to recover – witness the current state of the federal Liberals.
Preston_Manning  contingency_planning  discipline  political_infrastructure  loyal_opposition  institutions  institution-building  politicians  training_programs 
january 2012 by jerryking
The Real Legacy of Nelson Mandela - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 10, 2011

The Real Legacy of Nelson Mandela
The antiapartheid hero refused to launch a personality cult. Why have other African leaders failed to follow suit?....The postcolonial history of Africa has shown that liberation parties harvest a potent crop of "struggle" legitimacy that generally neutralizes opposition for a generation or so. During that time, the countervailing institutions of the new state tend to wither in their infancy, constitutions are swept aside and the civil service is politicized as lines blur between government and party.
Nelson_Mandela  South_Africa  humility  heroes  inspiration  personality_cults  African  sub-Saharan_Africa  legacies  authoritarianism  loyal_opposition  institutions  institution-building  civil_service  postcolonial 
december 2011 by jerryking
Investing in Ideas - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 28, 2005 | WSJ | By MARK LASSWELL

Last month, the trustees of the John M. Olin Foundation met to approve its final grants. After a half-century of operation, the foundation is closing up shop, following the wishes of its founder, who deliberately limited the organization's life-span to prevent its one day falling into the hands of directors who were foes of his ideas. (Mr. Olin took comfort in the wisdom of this policy after Henry Ford II's angry resignation from the Ford Foundation in 1977 over its antipathy to capitalism.) Conservatives will thus lose one of their great sponsors and encouragers, a foundation that -- with its support of writers, intellectuals and magazines -- has had a profound effect on the dissemination of right-of-center ideas. Those ideas now inform much of the national conversation, but they struggled to be heard back in the 1970s, when the foundation got going in earnest.....Olin dollars helped fortify research institutions (including the American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation), got the Federalist Society off the ground, promoted the teaching of law and economics, and funded valuable publications (including the New Criterion, the National Interest, Commentary and an array of conservative college newspapers)...."A Gift of Freedom" is essential reading for anyone hoping to understand precisely how conservative thinking was reinvigorated over the past quarter-century. Even liberals might find it worthwhile -- as a playbook for plotting their own intellectual renaissance
philanthropy  foundations  ideas  ideologies  right-of-center  stewardship  conservatism  patronage  think_tanks  institution-building  networks  institutions  political_infrastructure  grants  book_reviews  '70s  right-wing  playbooks 
november 2011 by jerryking
Preston Manning's next big conservative idea
Oct 20, 2004 | The Globe and Mailpg. A.25 ||Jeffrey Simpson.

Manning is working through a set of plans to spread the conservative movement. The plans are still in the formative stage, but they involve everything from grassroots organization to new conservative publications and websites to think-tanks and conferences for discussing and disseminating conservative ideas.

Mr. Manning likens a political party to a plane. The leader, like the pilot, keeps it aloft. But a plane also needs a competent crew, ground staff, mechanics, engineers -- just as a political party needs workers, ideas, organization and outlets for its message. Conservatives in Canada lack enough of all this.

Mr. Manning says he doesn't look to the United States for inspiration. But there, the conservative movement since Barry Goldwater's presidential defeat in 1964 has outorganized and outfinanced the liberals.

Conservatives, not liberals, frame the majority of political discourse in the United States. Conservatives have their own publications (such as the Washington-based Weekly Standard), think-tanks (Cato, Hoover, American Enterprise Institute), links to religious groups, training programs for campaign workers, and conferences.

That's the kind of network Mr. Manning wants to build beneath the Conservative Party. The idea needs money, and lots of it, from people Mr. Manning rather euphemistically describes as "political venture capitalists."

This means encouraging very rich people or companies to contribute millions of dollars.
Jeffrey_Simpson  Preston_Manning  ideas  ProQuest  ideologies  conservatism  think_tanks  institution-building  networks  institutions  political_infrastructure  training_programs 
october 2011 by jerryking
Building better conservatives to build a better democracy
Sep 14, 2005 |The Globe and Mail. pg. A.21| Preston Manning.

A contemporary political philosophy such as democratic conservatism needs a vehicle -- a party -- to participate effectively in the democratic process. To fly successfully over the long haul, it also needs a multitude of think tanks and links with academia to generate ideas and policy analyses; education and training institutions and programs to train everyone from poll captains to potential cabinet ministers; communications vehicles to link itself to its grassroots and voters; national forums and political trade shows to bring conservatives together from across Canada; and links with interest groups capable of waging issue campaigns on subjects of importance to conservatives and voters. And of course it needs institutions and programs to finance all the above....

The Manning Centre intends to facilitate the development of such conservative democratic infrastructure, with guidance from the Toronto roundtable and follow-up advisory panels. As a "do tank" rather than a think tank, we hope to bridge the gap between conservative idea-generation and the practical implementation of those ideas in the real political world.
Preston_Manning  conservatism  institutions  nonprofit  Manning_Centre  training  think_tanks  activism  ProQuest  political_infrastructure  idea_generation  long-haul 
october 2011 by jerryking
Modern citizens know a library’s worth
Aug. 30, 2011 | Globe &Mail | VINCENT LAM. There are two
priceless features of each of the 18 million annual library visits in
this city. First, sharing wisdom through the library & its programs
increases the wealth of our community. We learn, innovate and enrich our
city by sharing knowledge through books, films, lectures and
discussion. Second, the library is completely democratic. It provides
access to information, culture &leisure for new immigrants and
established Canadians, to children and the elderly, and to all
Torontonians whether they’re rich or going through tough times.

Speaking of tough times, in which we’re told that all belts must
tighten: Such are the precise times in which those with less disposable
income need access to good libraries more than ever. Those who can’t buy
books need to access the library’s collections, not to see acquisitions
or library hours cut. The destruction of the ancient Library of
Alexandria is one of the intellectual tragedies of antiquity.
civics  citizenship  libraries  Toronto  Rob_Ford  cutbacks  hard_times  austerity  TPL  social_fabric  commonwealth  institutions  engaged_citizenry 
september 2011 by jerryking
DeForest B. Soaries Jr.: Black Churches and the Prosperity Gospel - WSJ.com
OCT. 1, 2010 |WSJ| by DEFOREST B. SOARIES JR. Traditionally,
black churches emphasized spiritual renewal, social justice, educational
uplift, community improvement & civic engagement in addition to
individual achievement. That the church was the locus for community
& personal advancement made it a powerful force for hope &
survival. Leaders like the late Dr. Samuel Proctor, pastor of the
Abyssinian Baptist Church, emphasized religious & secular education
as keys to economic progress. Proctor & others like him produced
strong institutions, not just a few fabulously wealthy individuals.
Given today's weak economy, the prosperity movement might consider
focusing on financial literacy, personal discipline & saving for the
long term, rather than emphasizing supernatural possibilities.
Depending on miracles as a financial strategy is a dangerous way to
live. Churches can be effective in teaching people how to convert from a
culture of borrowing & spending to a culture of saving &
investing.
African-Americans  churches  leadership  institutions  savings  financial_literacy  pastors  self-discipline  investing  weak_economy  prosperity_gospel 
october 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - Leading With Two Minds - NYTimes.com
May 6, 2010 | New York Times | By DAVID BROOKS. Five years
ago, the United States Army was one sort of organization, with a certain
mentality. Today, it is a different organization, with a different
mentality. It has been transformed in the virtual flash of an eye, and
the story of that transformation is fascinating for anybody interested
in the flow of ideas.

The process was led by these dual-consciousness people — those who could
be practitioners one month and then academic observers of themselves
the next.

It’s a wonder that more institutions aren’t set up to encourage this
sort of alternating life. Business schools do it, but most institutions
are hindered by guild customs, by tenure rules and by the tyranny of
people who can only think in one way.
David_Brooks  U.S._military  organizational_change  institutional_change  dual-consciousness  institutions  critical_thinking  strategic_thinking  U.S._Army  introspection  self-analysis  self-awareness  transformational  mindsets  idea_flows 
may 2010 by jerryking
The Globe and Mail: In hard times, our justice system gives us a competitive edge
Monday, April 6, 2009 | The Globe & Mai Page A13 | By
WARREN WINKLER

If a customer doesn't pay, a supplier fails to deliver, a competitor
misappropriates a patent or a business partner backs out of an
exclusivity agreement, you need to know, and the wrongdoer needs to
know, that you can go to court to get a remedy. This is known as the
"rule of law." While only a fraction of transactions wind up in
litigation, an effective court system must be there - just in case.
Canadian_justice_system  infrastructure  legal_system  rule_of_law  competitive_advantage  Canada  Canadian  institutions  institutional_integrity  hard_times 
april 2009 by jerryking
Trust and distrust in organizations: Emerging perspectives, enduring questions
Roderick M Kramer. Annual Review of Psychology. Palo Alto:
1999. Vol. 50 pg. 569, 30 pgs
" ((infer or confer) w/3 trustworthiness) w/5 individual"

The review also describes different forms of trust found in
organizations, and the antecedent conditions that produce them. Although
the benefits of trust are well-documented, creating and sustaining
trust is often difficult. Accordingly, the chapter concludes by
examining some of the psychological, social, and institutional barriers
to the production of trust.
trustworthiness  social_networking  Toronto  social_capital  institutions 
february 2009 by jerryking
Central Banks Are Creatures of Financial Crises
JANUARY 27, 2009 WSJ op-ed by JUSTIN LAHART provides an
overview of three centuries of central-banking history. Central banks
have been built on financial crises, with each major tremor expanding
their role. And today's economic convulsions foreshadow more changes to
come at the Fed.
backward_looking  central_banks  crisis  economics  economists  financial  financial_history  foreshadowing  institutions  U.S._Federal_Reserve  Walter_Bagehot  financial_crises 
january 2009 by jerryking
What Life Asks of Us - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com
January 26, 2009 NYT op-ed by David Brooks argues that there
are at least two schools of thought regarding the purpose of an
education. Individualists who espouse unsettling presumptions,
defamiliarizing oneself of the familiar, revealing what is going on
beneath and behind appearances, and disorienting young people to help
them to find ways to reorient themselves.

The members of the other school are institutionalists who are defined
by what life asks of us. As we go through life, we travel through
institutions — first family and school, then the institutions of a
profession or a craft. Each of these institutions comes with certain
rules and obligations that tell us how to do what we’re supposed to do.
David_Brooks  education  purpose  liberal_arts  institutions  disorientation  individual_initiative  inner_workings  young_people  presumptions 
january 2009 by jerryking

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