Democrats should take five steps to enable better governance and deter wanton obstructionism

Our nation faces many challenges. Sadly, too often, our government has been inept, dysfunctional, and not up to the task. Unless you count unnecessary tax breaks for the wealthy, what systemic challenge has Congress solved in the recent past? Our government couldn’t find a real solution on immigration, climate, endless wars, or almost any other issue of the day. The only notable legislative accomplishment in recent years may have been the Affordable Care Act of 2010, when a filibuster-proof majority of Democratic Senators came together to basically pass the Republican healthcare solution, Romneycare, instead of any progressive variant of healthcare…

Investors and businesses can help improve political behavior and de-risk investments by adopting filters for good leadership

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US Capitol (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

In early December 2020, over a dozen Republican Attorneys General cynically and hypocritically made a big show of going to the Supreme Court in support of Trump’s coup attempt, seeking to disenfranchise millions of voters in swing states like Michigan and Pennsylvania. That attempt failed, but a couple weeks later, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and several other Republican Senators announced plans to similarly undermine US democracy in support of Trump’s coup attempt. In reaction, #SeditionHasConsquences started to trend on Twitter. …

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The problem: Unequal opportunity and high cost for higher education

Student debt is a problem in America, both as a cause, and an effect. $1.6 trillion in student debt is in part a result of excessive inflation in higher education, as well as the expectation that college is a requirement to the best careers and opportunities. This burden also leads to many pernicious outcomes, such as stress, delays in family formation, delays in home purchases, and other key life milestones. Such overwhelming debt is not a sustainable situation, and must be addressed.

The context: Momentum moderated

In the presidential primaries…

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Turkish-Syrian border (Wikimedia Commons)

The Syrian civil war has continued for nearly a decade. No good ideas for how to peacefully, productively, or positively resolve the crisis have emerged. The recent flareup at the Turkish-Syrian border highlights the lack of coherent and obvious solutions. What follows is an attempt to outline a partial solution to some of the challenges facing the Syrian and others affected by the crisis.

Possible project name: Yeni Halep / New Aleppo / Halab Al Jadeedah

Context:

>Millions of refugees

>Widespread poverty, limited opportunities

>Stressed host countries, crowded cities

>Ethnic tensions

>Creation of new “safe zone”

>Poorly organized or mobilized…

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The State and its flagship University could collaborate with BCBSM to develop a local supply of low cost, Pure Michigan insulin

Insulin prices have been making headlines recently. By some measures, prices per unit of insulin have doubled or tripled in recent years, seemingly without justifiable reason. The US currently spends ~$15 billion p.a. on insulin, but has only three insulin suppliers, so oligopolistic pricing behavior is not surprising. To be sure, drug companies are innovating, and Congress may yet step in, but until then, diabetics (and insurers to a lesser extent) are at the mercy of the insulin cartel…

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The record setting Trump shutdown has made America a global laughingstock once again. It has undermined our national security. It has undermined public confidence in our government and our economy. It has also caused tremendous stress and financial pressure on countless federal employees and contractors, making all Americans complicit in the oppression of these workers (despite civil society’s best efforts to mitigate the impacts).

President Trump and House Democrats seem no closer to a resolution than at the beginning of this impasse. Trump wants money for a wall. Speaker Pelosi doesn’t want to give him any, especially while the government…

S. N. Syed

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