15 October 2016   Leave a comment

Over the last twenty years we have witnessed two parallel developments in the world:  a striking rise in income inequality in the world as well as a dramatic surge in nationalism.  Many analysts (myself included) suspect that there is a strong link between the two changes, but parsing out the links between them is very difficult.  Robert Shiller, an economist from Yale, lays out some of the possible relationships and suggests that there are some very strong causal relationships.

Image result for income inequality graph  Image result for growth of nationalist parties


More than 150 countries reached an agreement to limit the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) which are used in refrigerators and air conditioners.  HFCs are powerful greenhouse gases and the agreement builds upon an earlier agreement, the Montreal Protocol, which limited chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in other circumstances.   The agreement affects countries differently, according to their level of development.  According to The Guardian: “Rich countries, including the US, Japan and Europe, will start phasing out synthetic HFCs in 2019, China in 2024, and India and less ambitious countries in 2028.

Analysts are becoming increasingly concerned about US-Russian relations.  Both sides accuse each other of provocative actions,  and there is certainly enough evidence to suggest that both sides are engaging in activities that are plausibly hostile.  Russia, however, seems to be playing from a position of relative weakness given the low price of oil and the Western sanctions which have depressed its economy.  The New Yorker has an excellent article which outlines possible Russian intentions and capabilities.


Posted October 16, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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