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HOW TO REVIVE THE AMERICAN DREAM: The Reeves Solution

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My latest article on Impakter, here is the beginning:



HOW TO REVIVE THE AMERICAN DREAM: A CLASS DISPUTE
Book Review: The Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do about It by Richard V. Reeves published by Brookings Institution Press, June 2017



Take the top 20 percent of the American population and remove from it the One Percent, the ultra-rich. What do you get? A new class, roughly the “top” of the middle class, that is changing the way America consumes, thinks, and votes.

That, in a nutshell, is the argument made by several highly respected social scientists, starting with Tyler Cowen, who was the first out with his book, The Complacent Class in February 2017. Unsurprisingly, it was an instant bestseller, he is a respected economist with a popular blog. Next out in May was Elizabeth Currid-Halkett’s excellent, Veblen-inspired The Sum of Small things (reviewed on Impakter), followed in June by two mor…

G20: American Isolationism is Back

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My latest article on Impakter, all about the G20 - I do  believe it marks a turning point for American world leadership. Here is the beginning (and Trump does look grumpy!):



The G20 meeting that just finished in Hamburg on 8 July confirmed the United States’ embrace of isolationism. Presided over by Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, Trump de facto stole the show. Both she and Emmanuel Macron, the new President of France, tried very hard to woo Trump back in the concert of nations. Macron even held a last-minute meeting with UK’s Theresa May and Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull on the climate change issue to try and change Trump’s mind.

To no avail.

THE US IS ALONE ON CLIMATE

The final communiqué is clear, the G20 is split.

Nineteen countries declare the Paris Climate Accord as “irreversible”, one does not, the United States. The country that was once the world’s leader – ever since World War II – emphatically goes its own way, with a whole paragraph in the G20 Declaration dedicated to t…

THE DARK SECRET OF TRUMP’S FIGHTING INSTINCT REVEALED

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Impakter magazine has just published a fascinating piece from my dear Canadian friend and sociologist Hannah Fischer Lauder. And I wanted to share it with you, I think it's a must read and a real eye-opener on what kind of man Trump really is. Scary. 

Here is the beginning of the article:

THE HIDDEN ROOTS OF TRUMP’S FIGHTING INSTINCT

The bizarre video Trump attached to yet another “modern presidential” tweet showing him wrestling with CNN has a lot more behind it than the press has yet uncovered.

The outrage about it being un-presidential, while understandable, ignores something far more fundamental and revealing: this video is just the tip of the iceberg. It is not simply a video of a single event that happened in 2007, it is part of a series of events that Trump was involved in. He’s been interested in wrestling since the 1980s when his Trump Plaza casino held to Wrestlemania events back to back.

With this video, what we see emerging is a whole side of Trump that few people outsid…

A NEW CLASS IS BORN

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Here's my latest article on Impakter. A must read for anyone concerned with what is happening to the middle class in America! It's changing, and changing fast and in unexpected ways...


Book Review: The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, published by Princeton University Press (May 2017)


Have you ever wondered why in an America replete with 13,000 Starbucks stores, small bars serving totally unknown, unbranded coffees can survive, and even thrive though the coffee they sell may be more expensive?

These are “single origin specialty coffees”, like the ones served by the Intelligentsia coffee company that practices “direct trade”, working with farmers in Guatemala and elsewhere, removing the middleman:





IN THE PHOTO: DIRECT TRADE PRACTICE, LOCAL FARMERS BECOME PARTNERS. SOURCE: INTELLIGENTSIA COFFEE.COM

As explained on their website, the company adheres to sustainable farming and environmental practices and, at the same time, is comm…

The Real Impact of US Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord

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I am happy to reblog this Editorial Board piece of Impakter Magazine, I wholly subscribe to what is said here and it really needs to be said.



THE REAL IMPACT OF US WITHDRAWAL FROM THE PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD by MICHELE BONANNOon June 10, 2017 
IMPAKTER EDITORIAL BOARD
President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement is likely to have two major consequences. The first is environmental, the other political.

Starting with environmental impact. It will be bad for the planet, but it will be bad primarily for the United States.

Above all, it means that the Federal Government will play no supporting role in the move to a non-fossil fueled economy, in total contrast to what governments of all other countries plan to do and are already doing. This leaves the United States at a clear disadvantage in the concert of nations. And it is already happening, to see this go no further than India, the world’s third largest polluter after China and the US: Prime Minister Modi has made abandoning …

THE SOFT POWER OF AMERICAN PHILANTHROPY

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Impakter magazine just published another one of my articles and I'm happy to share it with you - it's a book review, great read, highly recommended! Here's the start of my review:

THE REAL ROLE OF THE NEW MEGA-DONORS: SHAPING THE SOCIAL AGENDA



BOOK REVIEW: THE GIVERS BY DAVID CALLAHAN, PUBLISHED BY KNOPF (APRIL 2017) 352 PAGES

Is philanthropy good or bad for society?

With the global explosion of philanthropy, the new forms of giving and volunteering, and the rise of social entrepreneurship and impact investing, the issue is more pressing than ever. Nowadays, the soft power of mega-donors has grown so much that in many areas it has displaced governments – even very large ones like the Federal government.

Philanthropists address critical social problems, they move in where public funds have failed (or are weak). Ultimately, they set the social agenda, not only in the United States but around the world.

Yet, unlike democratic governments and politicians that must face voters,…

HOW TO STOP CLIMATE CHANGE AND REVERSE GLOBAL WARMING

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My latest article on Impakter, hope you enjoy it. I tackle here what I consider the key issue of our time and these are great books, a must read, the authors make a truly convincing case: Thanks to people like them and their work, we should not despair, all is not lost in the fight against climate change....



BOOK REVIEWS:  CLIMATE OF HOPE: HOW CITIES, BUSINESSES, AND CITIZENS CAN SAVE THE PLANET BY MICHAEL BLOOMBERG  (AUTHOR), CARL POPE  (AUTHOR) PUBLISHED BY ST MARTIN’S PRESS (APRIL 2017) 272 PAGES;

DRAWDOWN: THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE PLAN EVER PROPOSED TO REVERSE GLOBAL WARMING BY PAUL HAWKEN  (AUTHOR, EDITOR), TOM STEYER (FOREWORD) PENGUIN BOOKS (APRIL 2017) 240 PAGES; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON PROJECT DRAWDOWN’S WEBSITE

Two books published this year on the same day (April 18) and on the same subject, climate change. Two books that could change our lives, our children’s lives and how we view the challenge of climate change.

Two books that make reversing global warming look like it’s wi…