This is the new colonialism. Western corporations are forcing their junk food down the collective throats of the developing world.
The story is as much about economics as it is nutrition. As multinational companies push deeper into the developing world, they are transforming local agriculture, spurring farmers to abandon subsistence crops in favor of cash commodities like sugar cane, corn and soybeans — the building blocks for many industrial food products. It is this economic ecosystem that pulls in mom-and-pop stores, big box retailers, food manufacturers and distributors, and small vendors
The new reality is captured by a single, stark fact: Across the world, more people are now obese than underweight. At the same time, scientists say, the growing availability of high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods is generating a new type of malnutrition, one in which a growing number of people are both overweight and undernourished.
How Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food https://nyti.ms/2jyJTww
A look at what we could do to prevent the next crash as opposed to what we’ve done in the past.
The Fed missed the crisis in part because it has a dual mandate to keep unemployment and consumer price inflation low — and both were low before 2008. Real reform would add a third mandate: maintaining financial stability, and in particular stabilizing prices for assets like houses and stocks, which are not counted as “consumer prices” but now have a bigger influence on the economy.
What Trump Can Do to Prevent the Next Crash https://nyti.ms/2y0ynwn
So much of what besets the imaginations of Americans as catastrophic is merely distraction. The would be Tyrant-in-Chief is certainly not good for the country, but he is mostly distraction.
Tyrannophobia, the belief that the overwhelmingly important political issue is the threat to our liberal freedoms and institutions, has always been a powerful force in the United States. As history has shown, however, its tendency to redirect our attention from underlying social and economic problems has often been the real source of danger. It is easier to believe that democracy is under siege than to acknowledge that democracy put Mr. Trump in power — and only more economic fairness and solidarity can keep populists like him out.
If there is one lesson from the 20th century worth learning, it is that an exclusive focus on the defense of liberal fundamentals against a supposed totalitarian peril often exacerbates the social and international conflicts it seeks to resolve. This approach to politics threatens to widen the already yawning gulf between liberal groups and their opponents, while distracting from the deeply rooted forces that have been fueling right-wing populist politics, notably economic inequalities and status resentments.
The anti-communist politics in the United States of the early 1950s were rooted in assumptions that had much in common with those of anti-Trumpism today. There was, it was claimed, a serious risk to liberal democracy from American subversion within, in alliance with the Russians without, peddling seductive untruths. Other goals — like the creation of a more just and equal society — had to take second place to the country’s military posture.
Trump Isn’t a Threat to Our Democracy. Hysteria Is. https://nyti.ms/2uNrV9E
This is an interesting take down of the Atlantic piece on conspiracy theories. It’s a difficult time for trusting media following an explosion of truthiness. This is a good reminder that well intentioned pieces in reputable journals can still mislead by omission.
[The Atlantic’s list of conspiracies] omits the two most pernicious and consequential conspiracy theories of modern times: that Saddam Hussein had a hand in 9/11 and that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction. Fake Moon landings and healing crystals may be easier to deride, but their actual effect on politics, globally and domestically, is thus far (thankfully) fairly trivial.
As is so common this article about land and agriculture problems in Africa spends little time on the only meaningful solution: population control. The continent wouldn’t have the problems it does these days if contraception, family planning and family size were treated as legitimate solutions and pushed by governments and foreign aid providers.
The same solutions need to be pushed to the forefront worldwide. Environmental problems and resource scarcity won’t improve until we limit our growth.
Loss of Fertile Land Fuels ‘Looming Crisis’ Across Africa https://nyti.ms/2u72OP6
Subsidizing housing for the wealthy, especially members of Congress while denying those who need it most is just one of the cruel realities of the American Dream.
The idea that Congress needs $2500 a month for housing is insulting to most Americans.
This is a really good look at what’s wrong with how we think about our Constitution and our country’s history.
Sure, it was a great start, but it’s no longer working quite the way it should.
It’s time for some changes.
American exceptionalism is at best an innocent mistake that uninformed patriotism makes difficult to surrender.
The Making of a Non-Patriot https://nyti.ms/2uB4wZk