Social policy – Sociology Eso Science http://www.sociologyesoscience.com/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 15:43:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/favicon-6-150x150.png Social policy – Sociology Eso Science http://www.sociologyesoscience.com/ 32 32 Rhodes scholar accused of lying on applications loses scholarship https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/rhodes-scholar-accused-of-lying-on-applications-loses-scholarship/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 15:43:52 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/rhodes-scholar-accused-of-lying-on-applications-loses-scholarship/ through: Joe Millitzer, Nexstar Multimedia Cable Job : January 13, 2022 / 09:43 CST / Update: January 13, 2022 / 09:43 CST Honorands and senior members of the University take part in the annual Encaenia ceremony at Oxford University in Oxford, west London, on September 22, 2021. (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images ) […]]]>

Honorands and senior members of the University take part in the annual Encaenia ceremony at Oxford University in Oxford, west London, on September 22, 2021. (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images )

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KTVI) — A former Ivy League student who won one of the most sought-after scholarships in the world is accused of stretching the truth about her application.

The problem was that the sad story Mackenzie Fierceton told colleges and committees did not match the year of her life spent in foster care.

Fierceton was named Penn’s 2021 Rhodes Scholar. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Penn and was working on a master’s degree in social work. The 23-year-old planned to use the scholarship to travel to Oxford to pursue a PhD. in social policy.

Fierceton beat more than 2,300 applicants from across the country to win the prestigious prize, which allows winners to study for free at the University of Oxford in England.

She won the scholarship, in part, because of her story. Fierceton said she grew up in the foster care system for children, bouncing from house to house and staying on friends’ couches because some of the living conditions were so bad.

Telling the Philadelphia Inquirer that she invested herself in her studies, she said: “School was always an outlet because I never felt like I had any control over my family life or on any other part of my life.”

“As a low-income, first-generation student and former foster child, Mackenzie is passionate about advocating for the youth of these communities through her academic, professional, and personal endeavours, dedicating herself to a life of public service,” wrote the University of Pennsylvania. President Amy Gutmann at the announcement of the award.

An investigation into his background by the Chronicle of Higher Education revealed that his story did not match reality. They say a tipster contacted the Rhodes and Penn committee, calling Fierceton’s story dishonest. She actually grew up with her mother in a house on a tree-lined street in an upper-middle-class neighborhood. His mother had a very good job at a hospital in the St. Louis area, and Fierceton enjoyed hobbies like horseback riding.

Fierceton also changed his last name while in college.

There were a few other red flags. A 2020 profile in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch shows that she graduated in 2016 from Whitfield School in Creve Coeur, a suburb of St. Louis. Tuition for this institution is approximately $30,000 per year before financial aid. She told the newspaper that her foster homes were in Manchester, Clayton and Creve Coeur.

Fierceton spent a year in foster care. It was after an incident with his mother. But people investigating the case say her childhood wasn’t as hard as she claimed.

The Rhodes Committee recommended that Fierceton’s scholarship be revoked. In response, she withdrew from the honor. Penn also withholds Fierceton’s bending due to their concerns about the truth. Fierceton says the administrators are involved in a conspiracy against her.

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Texas foster care reforms: U.S. District Judge hears report on state children without placements in decade-long legal fight https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/texas-foster-care-reforms-u-s-district-judge-hears-report-on-state-children-without-placements-in-decade-long-legal-fight/ Tue, 11 Jan 2022 18:47:44 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/texas-foster-care-reforms-u-s-district-judge-hears-report-on-state-children-without-placements-in-decade-long-legal-fight/ HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – More than a decade after the start of an ongoing lawsuit over the state’s troubled foster care system, U.S. District Judge Janis Jack was angry when she asked the state if it had a system to find out the whereabouts of foster children and the head of the agency said no. […]]]>
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – More than a decade after the start of an ongoing lawsuit over the state’s troubled foster care system, U.S. District Judge Janis Jack was angry when she asked the state if it had a system to find out the whereabouts of foster children and the head of the agency said no.

When Jack asked Department of Family and Protective Services commissioner Jamie Masters for an update on the system, Masters said IT was still working on it.

“Oh, for god’s sake. I just don’t understand this incompetence… You don’t know where the kids are,” Jack said. “Now we know today, 11 years after this trial, that no one knows where these children are placed. I’m just – I’m speechless. You are the parent. I don’t want to hear that the IT is still working. So.”

Minutes later, Masters received an update indicating that IT would go live with the system in July.

The video above is from a previous report.

Today’s hearing is part of a decade-long lawsuit that was filed in federal court in 2011. Over the years, the court has found that the state has failed to protect children by foster family against “unreasonable risk of harm” and called on court-appointed monitors to investigate areas for improvement and ensure standards are met.

Last year, 13 investigators reported that a teenager in CWOP, or “child without a placement,” snuck out of an unlicensed facility and was shot while allegedly attempting a hijacking. car.

RELATED: 13 Investigations: Teenager Shot After Sneaking, Another ‘Hangover Sleep’ Under CPS Care

Last year there were 165 children without a placement in January and it peaked at 416 children housed in offices and hotels in July, according to a report filed in federal court on Monday.

Judith Meltzer, president of the Center for the Study of Social Policy, helped write the report and said there are concerns about the number of children in Texas being placed in hotels or offices.

She said other states may have 10 foster children considered CWOP – far fewer than Texas.

“I know Texas is a great state, but the magnitude of the problem here has given us pause as the experts on the panel,” she said. “Institutionalize it as an approach to manage this program by setting up these unlicensed facilities across the state… we found that very unusual and very surprising.”

Meltzer worked within a panel of experts who interviewed 30 key stakeholders including the DFPS, state monitors, lawyers for both sides and other experts to prepare a report for the hearing. today.

“There are roots to this problem that go back many years and (they call for) significant reform,” Meltzer said.

She said the children in care “must be recognized as children” and not as CWOP children who have created problems so that the state can help “begin to heal the trauma these children have gone through.”

As she prepared for today’s hearing, Jack said she was once again heartbroken by the details of the children without an placement who end up sleeping in the offices or hotels of the Protective Services of childhood due to the lack of safe housing.

“I had to read it and take breaks because it broke my heart that Texas was treating these kids like that,” Jack said at the hearing.

A report filed in court on Monday details how a 15-year-old, whom CPS placed in a hotel due to the shortage, had sex with a hotel employee. Court documents say an investigation found the teenager feared this could happen to other foster children and authorities believe she may be a victim of trafficking.

In other cases, Jack has been disappointed to hear that some foster children are placed in 15 or more different places in a short period of time.

Jack said there were some bright spots in the report, but she is still discouraged.

“Looks like we’re going from bad to worse,” said Jack. “This unconstitutional and dangerous treatment of children continues to affect all those deeply involved in this matter.”

The panel offered several recommendations that the state said it would work to address, including discussing how they can extend mental health services to children in state care.

“With strong leadership, strategic coordination among all stakeholders, and targeted injection and coordination of resources, Texas can address the issue of children in unlicensed care without creating new restrictive GROs and can put measures in place. that benefit the long-term well-being of children. term, ”the report says.

RELATED: ‘I’m Letting These Kids Down,’ Says Head of State’s Foster Care System

Judge Jack and the state also opposed the low vaccination rate for foster children.

Jack said 75.3% of children in foster care are not vaccinated, far below the state’s vaccination rate for children 17 and under.

The state argued that some children refused the vaccine. Jack pushed back on the question of how this was possible since the state acts as the parent of children. The state said it could not force any of the children to get into a car and get vaccinated.

After going back and forth on the topic and continuing to disagree on why the vaccination rate of foster children is low, Jack finally asked the independent consultant if they had a problem. idea of ​​what she has had to deal with since the start of the trial.

“It’s not good,” Jack said. “My orders haven’t changed, the state of mind is there.”

The hearing is still ongoing and we will update this report throughout the day.

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Questionable Nicaraguan Congress takes office https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/questionable-nicaraguan-congress-takes-office/ Sun, 09 Jan 2022 21:32:09 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/questionable-nicaraguan-congress-takes-office/ Members of Nicaragua’s new congress took office a day before President Daniel Ortega was sworn in following highly questionable elections. Of the 90 legislators sworn in on Sunday, 75 belong to the Sandinista party of Ortega and the 15 others come from small parties considered to be collaborators of the regime. Lawmakers elected longtime Sandinista […]]]>

Members of Nicaragua’s new congress took office a day before President Daniel Ortega was sworn in following highly questionable elections.

Of the 90 legislators sworn in on Sunday, 75 belong to the Sandinista party of Ortega and the 15 others come from small parties considered to be collaborators of the regime.

Lawmakers elected longtime Sandinista and congressman Gustavo Porras to head the unicameral legislature.

Members of Congress like Ortega were elected in the November 7 elections that drew international condemnation.

Ortega was elected for a fourth consecutive term in the elections, which were widely criticized as a farce after seven likely candidates for Ortega were arrested and jailed in the months leading up to the vote.

The Nicaraguan government announced in November that it would withdraw from the Organization of American States, a regional body that has accused the Ortega government of acts of repression and election rigging.

The OAS General Assembly voted to condemn the elections, saying they “were not free, fair or transparent and lacked democratic legitimacy.”

Twenty-five countries in the Americas voted in favor of the resolution, while seven, including Mexico, abstained. Only Nicaragua voted against.

The list of people expected at Ortega’s inauguration includes representatives from China, North Korea, Iran, Russia and Syria.


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Joe Biden should depoliticize COVID-19 vaccine, says Arthur Brooks https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/joe-biden-should-depoliticize-covid-19-vaccine-says-arthur-brooks/ Sat, 08 Jan 2022 00:32:44 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/joe-biden-should-depoliticize-covid-19-vaccine-says-arthur-brooks/ Author and social scientist Arthur Brooks says it’s time to depoliticize the COVID-19 vaccine and for the Biden administration to start over with its public health advisory team. “It’s political. It’s sociological. It’s psychological right now, ”he said. “We have to depoliticize. We have to move away from force and coercion and we have to […]]]>

Author and social scientist Arthur Brooks says it’s time to depoliticize the COVID-19 vaccine and for the Biden administration to start over with its public health advisory team.

“It’s political. It’s sociological. It’s psychological right now, ”he said.

“We have to depoliticize. We have to move away from force and coercion and we have to really start working on trust and fear. These are the key elements, and we have gone in the wrong direction.

Brooks addressed a variety of topical issues on Friday in an hour-long discussion at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. Utah House President Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, facilitated the conversation for a small audience of local politicians and community and business leaders.

The author of several books, including “Love Your Enemies,” “The Conservative Heart,” and a new book to help people find success and their goal as they age called “From Strength to Strength,” Brooks spoke to several times to the Utah public over the years.

Utah, he said, has garnered a lot of national attention.

“There is a possibility that Utah and Salt Lake City could help bring this country together again,” Brooks said.

Developing the COVID-19 vaccine is a moon-like achievement, but it’s an empty victory because so many people don’t trust public health officials, and “I understand why,” Brooks said. “It’s very politicized.”

National level public health leaders will not stand up and say schools should be open, said Brooks, a professor of management at Harvard Business School where he teaches a course on happiness. Public health data, he said, unequivocally indicates that schools should be open.

Utah House President Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, left, listens to Arthur Brooks, Professor William Henry Bloomberg of Public Leadership Practice at Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, speaks at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute Symposium at the Thomas S. Monson Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, January 7, 2022.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

“We need the President of the United States to stand up and say, ‘Open schools’. It would be a non-partisan thing to do, ”he said. “Non-partisan words are always more powerful when you stand by your side. “

Additionally, Brooks said President Joe Biden needs a new coronavirus team to “wipe out” what has really happened over the past two years, “a whole new team of people who haven’t fear”.

“I don’t want to slander anyone, but I think it’s very important to see new faces that are relentlessly apolitical,” Brooks said.

Public health officials must recognize that there is evidence that the virus originated in Wuhan, China, and that natural immunity is real, he said, noting that some studies show it is 27 times more potent than immunity vaccinated.

“We are not stupid. It is very important that we have confidence in public health officials. And when we trust the public health officials and they say ‘Yes, these things are true and you have to go and get vaccinated for the sake of our community and for your sake,’ then people will, ‘ Brooks said.

“When you force people to do it, they don’t want to. Americans are funny like that, aren’t they?

Brooks, the former president of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, also discussed how to overcome people’s lack of trust in government institutions.

He called it a “national crisis” that lasted long before the COVID-19 pandemic. The US military is the only government entity that has gained confidence over the years, although it has also declined a bit in recent times, he said.

Even though the loss of trust in institutions is a problem, Brooks said he does not see it as a threat to American democracy.

“I think it’s a threat to American unity and the trust we can actually have in each other, which makes it impossible or really, really hard for us to do things. This trust issue is something we need to address, ”he said.

Arthur Brooks, Professor William Henry Bloomberg of Public Leadership Practice at Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, left, chats with Catherine Kanter, center, and the Mayor of Salt Lake City Erin Mendenhall at a Gardner Policy Institute Kem C Symposium at the Thomas S. Monson Center in Salt Lake City on Friday January 7, 2022.

Arthur Brooks, Professor William Henry Bloomberg of Public Leadership Practice at Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, left, chats with Catherine Kanter, center, and the Mayor of Salt Lake City Erin Mendenhall at a Gardner Policy Institute Kem C Symposium at the Thomas S. Monson Center in Salt Lake City on Friday January 7, 2022.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Political, community and business leaders must publicly fight against excesses on their side.

In a speech Thursday on the anniversary of the Jan.6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Biden said, “You can’t love your country only when you win.” Brooks applauded the statement as a wise and correct message, but for the wrong audience.

“He has to say this to the people of the cultural left who only believe in elections when Democrats win, who love America only when progressive things happen and who hate America and slander this whole country. and think we’re all a bunch of right-wing stooges when the Supreme Court has the wrong makeup or the wrong party gains control of Congress, ”Brooks said.

“And the right has to do exactly the same.”

In addition, he said politicians on both sides must “be caught showing love”.

Brooks also touched on ways for leaders to depoliticize society at large, saying they shouldn’t use hot issues to gain partisan advantage by politicizing things that shouldn’t be political. It’s easy to make race or COVID-19 something that sets people on fire, he said.

“You make it worse under the circumstances,” he said.

Brooks said he believes the partisanship that exists in the country will wane over the next five years.

“We cannot keep this level of partisan energy around absolutely every issue,” he said. “It would be historically abnormal for the United States.”


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Recall of January 6: a national day of infamy, half remembered | News, Sports, Jobs https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/recall-of-january-6-a-national-day-of-infamy-half-remembered-news-sports-jobs/ Thu, 06 Jan 2022 05:13:59 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/recall-of-january-6-a-national-day-of-infamy-half-remembered-news-sports-jobs/ Trump supporters attempt to cross a police barrier on January 6, 2021 at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepared to affirm the victory of President-elect Joe Biden, thousands of people gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his allegations of electoral fraud. (AP Photo – John Minchillo) NEW YORK – Under […]]]>

Trump supporters attempt to cross a police barrier on January 6, 2021 at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepared to affirm the victory of President-elect Joe Biden, thousands of people gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his allegations of electoral fraud. (AP Photo – John Minchillo)

NEW YORK – Under a pale winter light and glare from television cameras, it seemed hard not to see the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol for what it was. The violent storming of the Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump determined to upset the election of Joe Biden was clear as day: democracy under siege, broadcast live in real time.

Yet a year later, when it comes to a time when you were in American history, there is a long way to achieve national consensus.

A Quinnipiac poll found that 93% of Democrats saw this as an attack on the government, but only 29% of Republicans agreed. A poll by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that about 4 in 10 Republicans remember the attack – in which five people died – as violent, while 9 in 10 Democrats do.

Such a disparity in memory may be inevitable in our hyper-polarized politics, but it is striking given the sharpness of January 6 then and immediately after. Minority Parliamentary Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Said at the time that “the president bears the responsibility” for attacks. Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Then majority leader, said: “They tried to disrupt our democracy. They missed. “

But since that day, separate versions – one factual, one fanciful – have set in. The Capitol riot – the violent culmination of an attempt to delegitimize the 2020 election and block its certification – has turned into a partisan party “Rashomon”, the classic Japanese murder film told from a variety of conflicting points of view. Indeed, the act of remembering can be a highly mercurial thing, especially when deeply held political views are involved.

“We continue to use terms like post factual, but it almost feels like there is psychosis or national amnesia about what happened a year ago,” says Charles Sykes, the former conservative Wisconsin radio host and founder of The Bulwark website. “It’s not just that we are two nations. It is as if we are living on two different reality planets when it comes to the memory of January 6th.

Nations remember the way people do: imperfectly. Neuroscientist Lisa Genova, author of “Remember: the science of memory and the art of forgetting”, describes how even the most vivid memories are changed each time they are revisited. An original memory is replaced by version 2.0, version 3.0 and above.

“Outside influences can creep in whenever we revisit and recall a memory of what happened. So for these collective memories, we have a lot of chances to revisit them. said Genoa. “Depending on your political perspective, the news channels you watch, what that meant to you, that memory is going to have a different slant depending on the story you tell yourself.”

And a lot of people worked hard to erase the memory of January 6th. Representative Andrew S. Clyde, R-Ga., Described the seat as as “A normal tourist visit.” Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Claimed the rioters were left-wing activists “Pretending to be Trump supporters.” “ Trump continued to insist that the election – Biden won a large majority, with little evidence of fraud – was the real insurgency.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson attempted to portray the attack on Capitol Hill as a “false flag” operation, orchestrated by the FBI. Carlson created a series about the riot that aired on Fox News’ subscription streaming service.

To counter such false claims, other documentary projects have attempted to capture January 6 in a rigorous and methodical manner. Jamie Roberts’ HBO documentary “Four hours on the Capitol” was motivated in part to firmly establish a visual timeline of that day, with the aftermath following Trump’s urging his supporters to “fight like hell.”

Roberts interviewed witnesses and participants. Some members of the crowd praised her film only to complain later after seeing Carlson’s series.

“People who were in the movie texted me saying, ‘Why the hell didn’t you put this in your movie? You are liars’ ” said Roberts. “What I was hoping for with the project was to bring together some very concrete and quick facts with people who can tell the story from a witness’s perspective. But for some people, it still isn’t going to reach them.

Alexander Keyssar, professor of history and social policy at Harvard and author of “Why do we still have the Electoral College? “, believes that a full-fledged commission of inquiry, like the one that followed the September 11 attacks, could have fostered a greater national consensus on January 6. In May, Senate Republicans used their obstruction power to block the creation of such a commission. (A House committee is due to release some of the findings of its six-month investigation soon.)

Instead, many Trump supporters have embraced the former president’s denial in the 2020 election. Over the past year, Republicans have passed dozens of laws in 19 states to restrict voting. More electoral battles are looming midway through 2022 and beyond.

“It is obviously dangerous because it becomes a precedent”, Keyssar talks about the Capitol riot. “It has become a prism through which events are seen. The prism for a lot of Republican adherents is that you can’t trust the election result. If you cannot trust the election result, that will be the case in the future as well. It becomes, as the great historian Bernard Bailyn said, “a grammar of thought”.

Instead of stepping back into the past as an unnatural threat to the heart of American democracy, the story of the Capitol Riot is not yet fully written. Some projects are in progress. To tell the story of January 6, the Capitol Historical Society creates an oral history. Some of the stories – such as those of staff members who have since left government and returned home – are particularly haunting for company president Jane L. Campbell.

During this time, the Capitol remains closed to the public. Where visits regularly paraded, only people with an appointment can now enter.

“When people say ‘Oh, it’s never been this bad’, well, we’ve had a civil war. It was bad. It was really bad ”, Campbell said. “But during the Civil War, Lincoln made the decision to finish the dome of the Capitol. We tell this story a hundred times.

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The social safety net delivers – Mark Musu ‘ https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/the-social-safety-net-delivers-mark-musu/ Tue, 04 Jan 2022 05:50:00 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/the-social-safety-net-delivers-mark-musu/ The editorial “It’s time to reform social protection policy” called for reform that recognizes recent changes in our economy and society. While I strongly believe in the need for constant reform, I challenge the argument that Malta’s social protection policies are a relic and no longer fit for purpose. The European Commission National Report 2020 […]]]>

The editorial “It’s time to reform social protection policy” called for reform that recognizes recent changes in our economy and society.

While I strongly believe in the need for constant reform, I challenge the argument that Malta’s social protection policies are a relic and no longer fit for purpose. The European Commission National Report 2020 states that “the social scoreboard supporting the European Pillar of Social Rights indicates a relatively good performance of Malta”.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Solidarity, Family and Children’s Rights is engaged in developing a social vision for Malta 2035. A series of pre-consultation initiatives with a myriad of parties stakeholders were undertaken to help shape this vision, which will strengthen social resilience and mitigate emerging and future risks.

The ministry is also actively working on an action plan to implement the European Child Guarantee and is preparing two reports, one on homelessness and the other on the drug problem. It is a testament to our constant efforts to solve the most difficult social problems.

Our social policy is constantly evolving, focusing on early intervention and addressing problems at their source, to create pathways to greater autonomy and resilience.

The fact that, despite the COVID pandemic, the share of the population at risk of poverty or social exclusion has decreased demonstrates the resilience of the current system as well as the effectiveness of the additional social measures introduced over the past two years.

This year, the government is expected to have spent some 1.27 billion euros on social benefits, pensions and social services. This is almost double that of ten years ago.

In the provision of social services, the government actively engages with NGOs by funding public social partnerships. Spending in this sector has quadrupled since 2013 to € 39.4 million (when the disability sector is excluded).

I challenge the argument that Malta’s social protection policies are a relic-Marc Musu ‘

The editorial refers to significant disparities in employment and pay. Much has been said about it, but most are misinformed. The most recent EU statistics (relating to 2018) show that the gross monthly income dispersion rate in Malta was 4.3%, the best in the EU.

As for the editorial’s ‘army of low-paid workers’, EU data shows that the proportion of low-paid workers in Malta is almost the same as the EU average. Even Germany and Ireland had a higher percentage. Our median gross hourly earnings, in terms of purchasing power standards, are comparable to those of Italy and higher than those of Spain.

This is not to deny that we have precarious jobs or have nothing to do with them. But exaggerations get us nowhere.

Employment remains the basis of our economic and social policy. We are proud of the success of our workforce activation measures, which have seen our employment rate drop from one of the lowest in the EU to one of the highest. For example, 80 percent of those who benefited from the degressive benefit scheme remained in employment at the end of the degressive period.

We are also proud of measures, such as maternity leave and benefits, child credits and the elimination of general discrimination, which, along with the free childcare program, have contributed to an army of working women. – up 11 percentage points over the past six years. .

These and other measures have significantly reduced dependency on benefits by enabling people to earn a living. Since 2013, we have seen a 45% reduction in the number of people on social assistance and a 92% reduction in people receiving unemployment assistance.

We are also proud of the reform of family allowances and disability assistance, now means-tested if approved by a medical assessment.

Not to mention the improvements made to our retirement system. According to a Central Bank study, the increase in the minimum pension was nearly double that needed to keep pace with the rise in prices of the retiree spending basket.

The editorial rightly points out that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to reducing poverty rates, but we try and usually succeed. Quoting again the Committee’s Country Report 2020: “The rate of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Malta (19%) is lower than the EU average (21.9%) and has continued decrease in recent years. “

All this does not mean that there is more work to do or that the social safety net does not need to be updated. But that is different from claiming that the system is so run down that it should be thrown in the trash. Far from there.

Mark Musu ‘, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Solidarity

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Additional help from child tax credit ends, just as Covid resurfaces https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/additional-help-from-child-tax-credit-ends-just-as-covid-resurfaces/ Sun, 02 Jan 2022 10:00:14 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/additional-help-from-child-tax-credit-ends-just-as-covid-resurfaces/ This does not happen. Polls have found the public to be roughly divided on whether the program should be extended, with opinions dividing along partisan and generational lines. And the expanded tax credit failed to convince the person whose opinion mattered most: West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin III, who raised concerns about the cost […]]]>

This does not happen. Polls have found the public to be roughly divided on whether the program should be extended, with opinions dividing along partisan and generational lines. And the expanded tax credit failed to convince the person whose opinion mattered most: West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin III, who raised concerns about the cost and structure of the program in its decision to oppose Mr. Biden’s climate, fiscal and social measures. policy bill. The bill, known as the Build Back Better Act, cannot be introduced in the equally divided Senate without the support of Mr Manchin.

For supporters of family allowances, the lack of an extension is all the more frustrating because, according to most analyzes, the program itself has been a remarkable success. Columbia University researchers estimate the payments lifted 3.8 million children out of poverty in November, a nearly 30% reduction in the child poverty rate. Other studies have shown that the benefit reduced hunger, reduced financial stress among recipients, and increased overall consumer spending, especially in rural states that received the most money per capita.

Last spring, Congress expanded the existing child tax credit in three ways. First, it made the benefit more generous, offering up to $ 3,600 per child, up from $ 2,000. Second, he began to pay off the loan in monthly installments, usually deposited directly into recipients’ bank accounts, turning the annual windfall into something closer to the child allowances common in Europe.

Finally, the bill made full benefits available to millions of people who previously had not been able to take full advantage of the credit because they earned too little to qualify. Poverty experts say the change, known in tax parlance as “full refundability,” was particularly significant because without it, a third of children – including half of all black and Hispanic children, and 70% of children raised by single mothers – did not receive full credit. Mr Biden’s plan would have made this provision permanent.

“What we saw with the child tax credit was a political success that was unfolding, but it is an achievement that we risk stopping just as it started,” said Megan Curran, director of policy at Columbia’s Center. on poverty and social policy. “The weight of proof is clear here in terms of what the policy does. This reduces child poverty and food shortages.

But the expanded tax credit doesn’t just go to the poor. Couples earning up to $ 150,000 a year could receive the full benefit of $ 3,600 – $ 3,000 for children 6 and over – and even the wealthiest families qualify for the initial credit of 2 $ 000. Critics of the policy, including Mr Manchin, have argued that it makes little sense to provide assistance to relatively well-off families. Many proponents of credit say they would willingly limit its availability to richer households in return for maintaining it for poorer ones.

Mr Manchin also publicly questioned the wisdom of unconditional cash payments and privately expressed concerns that recipients might spend the money on opioids, comments that were first reported by The Wall. Street Journal and confirmed by someone familiar with the discussion. But a Census Bureau survey found that most beneficiaries used the money to buy food, clothing, or other essentials, and many saved some of the money or paid back their expenses. debts. Other surveys have found similar results.


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Mitt Romney: A review of 2021 and a look at the sequel | Opinion https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/mitt-romney-a-review-of-2021-and-a-look-at-the-sequel-opinion/ Fri, 31 Dec 2021 16:28:15 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/mitt-romney-a-review-of-2021-and-a-look-at-the-sequel-opinion/ I could never have predicted what we went through in 2021. COVID-19 came and went, and came back. Vaccines have been both praised and maligned. We left Afghanistan as if we had learned nothing from our shameful exit from Vietnam. And in Washington, the president and Democrats have embarked on gargantuan social policy and spending […]]]>

I could never have predicted what we went through in 2021. COVID-19 came and went, and came back. Vaccines have been both praised and maligned. We left Afghanistan as if we had learned nothing from our shameful exit from Vietnam. And in Washington, the president and Democrats have embarked on gargantuan social policy and spending spree. In addition, their spending has spurred inflation that is increasingly reminiscent of the Jimmy Carter years.

Despite this somewhat bleak backdrop, I have been honored to serve the people of Utah by introducing and passing several bills that will make a positive difference.

First, I worked with a small bipartisan group of five Democrats and five Republicans to do what every president since George HW Bush had hoped to do: negotiate and pass an infrastructure bill.

Our bipartisan bill makes a historic investment in roads, highways, bridges, electricity grids and broadband across the country – without raising taxes or increasing our debt. Of particular importance to Utah, it provides funds to mitigate wildfires, tackle our drought, help fund the Central Utah Water Project, and provide running water to the Navajo in Utah. Basically, it enables officials in the state of Utah to plan and execute the highways, transit, water and other infrastructure requirements for the rapid growth that we will continue to experience. over the next few decades.

One provision of our bill includes the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission Act, which I brought forward with Senator Mark Kelly, D-Arizona, and Representative John Curtis, R-Utah. This establishes a commission of federal and non-federal actors to study, recommend and fund new forest fire prevention, mitigation, management and rehabilitation policies for forests and grasslands. Drought and global warming mean that the ways we have dealt with wildfires in the past are no longer adequate.

Our bipartisan infrastructure bill stands in stark contrast to the presidential multibillion-dollar spending and tax hikes program euphemistically called “Build Back Better.” His bill grants benefits to illegal immigrants, gives tax breaks to millionaires in the Blue State, promotes the Green New Deal, and pushes the federal government toward preschool and child care. I joined with all Republicans in Congress in opposing this senseless expansion of government.

Although I strongly oppose the Green New Deal, climate change remains one of my main concerns. A bill, which I promoted and which was passed by the Senate this year, facilitates the participation of farmers, ranchers and private landowners in voluntary carbon markets and encourages the reduction of harmful emissions.

My service on the Foreign Relations Committee has also enabled me to meet the challenges we face abroad. I am particularly concerned about China’s predatory economic policies, its military aggression and horrific human rights violations and the genocide of minorities.

China follows an explicit strategy to dominate the world economically, militarily and geopolitically. For our part, we respond to China’s actions on an ad hoc and disjointed basis. The recently passed Defense Authorization Bill includes a measure I drafted that requires the administration to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to meet China’s ambitions.

In addition, Senator Tim Kaine, D-Va., And I introduced an amendment demanding a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in order to shed light on China’s abuses against the Uyghur people. The administration recently announced the diplomatic boycott as official U.S. policy, and several other free nations, including Britain, Canada, Japan and Australia, have followed suit.

As the home of our nation’s strategic ground deterrence program, Hill Air Force Base in Utah plays a critical role in sustaining and modernizing our nuclear deterrence – a critical component of our ability to deter aggression. Chinese and Russian. Hill also helps repair and maintain the U.S. F-35 fleet. This year’s defense bill, which I have enthusiastically supported, includes an authorization of $ 4.4 billion for the Air Force’s F-35A program and $ 2.6 billion for the GBSD program.

Look ahead

As I plan for the year ahead, I am increasingly concerned about our growing deficits and our national debt. My TRUST Act legislation, now sponsored by Senator Joe Manchin, D-WVa., And a bipartisan group of 10 other senators, is designed to tame federal spending and borrowing. In addition, it provides for the future solvency of social security and health insurance trust funds.

Our declining national birth rate and the resulting financial pressure from inflation make the review of my Family Security Act even more urgent. Even the New York Times editorialized that it’s better than what President Biden has proposed. It would support families with children, help financially during pregnancy, promote marriage and provide equal treatment for working and stay-at-home parents.

I will continue to fight for many of Utah’s other priorities, including securing funding for rural programs and working to restore more local control to our state’s public lands. Senator Lee and I reintroduced the Utah Rural Economy Protection Act (PURE), which would protect Utah from abuse of the Presidential Antiquities Act in the same way as Alaska and Wyoming are currently protected.

It is an honor to serve the people of our state. If you have any suggestions and advice for me, please feel free to write or email me on my website (http://romney.senate.gov).

I wish you and your family the best for a safe and healthy 2022.

Senator Mitt Romney has served as a United States Senator from Utah since 2019.


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Where equity investors should consider investing their money in 2022 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/where-equity-investors-should-consider-investing-their-money-in-2022/ Thu, 30 Dec 2021 01:16:20 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/where-equity-investors-should-consider-investing-their-money-in-2022/ José Luis Pelaez Inc | Digital vision | Getty Images After several years of outsized gains in the stock market, investors may be hoping that 2022 will once again be seen as déjà vu. Don’t count on it. While future performance cannot be predicted with certainty, many financial advisers expect returns to come back down […]]]>

José Luis Pelaez Inc | Digital vision | Getty Images

After several years of outsized gains in the stock market, investors may be hoping that 2022 will once again be seen as déjà vu.

Don’t count on it. While future performance cannot be predicted with certainty, many financial advisers expect returns to come back down to Earth.

“We have told clients to expect a lackluster year in the stock market and in portfolios generally, with persistently high inflation, slower economic growth and interest rate hikes,” the planner said. chartered financier Shon Anderson, president and chief wealth management strategist of Anderson Financial. Strategies in Dayton, Ohio.

So far this year, the S&P 500 Index – a broad measure of the condition of US companies – has posted a total return (price gains plus dividends) of around 29.2%. This is on the heels of 18.4% in 2020 and around 31.5% in 2019 (and a loss of over 4% in 2018). Over time, the annual average is around 10%.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average is showing a total return so far this year of 21.1%, after 9.72% in 2020 and around 25.3% in 2019 (and a loss of 5.6% in 2018). The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index, meanwhile, has gained 23.2% so far this year, after 44.9% in 2020 and around 36.7% in 2019 (and a loss of 2 , 84% in 2018).

While 2022 may end with lower returns – that is, single-digit gains, perhaps – the economy is expected to continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace than at the start of this year. the year. In the third quarter, gross domestic product – which measures all economic activity – grew at an annual rate of 2.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This follows annual growth of 6.5% in the second quarter and 6.4% in the first quarter.

With this slower growth as a backdrop, coupled with persistent inflation and the Federal Reserve’s latest expectations that interest rate hikes are underway next year, some industries or market sectors could outperform. others.

“The environment is ripe for caution and defensiveness… but there are still opportunities to make money,” said CFP Matthew McKay, investment analyst at Briaud Financial Advisors in College Station, Texas.

“Typically this is an environment where utilities, healthcare, and consumer staples can outperform, in general,” McKay said.

International equities, both in developed and emerging markets, could also outperform, he said.

“In the second half of the year, many countries are expected to show year-over-year growth, which would be quite positive for these two big markets, especially given the reasonable multiples at which they are valued,” McKay said.

Real estate investment trusts could also outperform the broader market, Anderson said. REITs, as they are called, are companies that own and / or operate properties such as office buildings, shopping malls, apartment complexes and warehouses.

“Especially for REITs, we believe there are more opportunities in data centers, self-storage and healthcare [facilities]”said Anderson.

Homebuilding-related stocks can also be a highlight, said Joseph Veranth, chief investment officer and portfolio manager at Dana Investment Advisors in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

“There is still a huge pent-up demand for housing,” said Veranth. Favorite picks include home builder DR Horton and Fortune Brands Home & Security, whose products include those related to plumbing, cabinetry, exterior and home security.

Industrials stocks can also benefit from a strong economy and additional spending on infrastructure or defense, said CFP Barry Glassman, founder and chairman of Glassman Wealth Services in Vienna, Virginia. Typically, companies in this industry manufacture and distribute goods used by industries such as construction, engineering, aerospace, and defense, or they may be involved in transportation and logistics services.

Additionally, Glassman said, his company is focused on total shareholder return – that is, stocks with constant dividend payouts, as well as stock buybacks. The latter usually raises a company’s share price because there is less stock in the market after the buyback is completed.

“I can’t imagine the S&P continuing its impressive three-year run, but even if the index isn’t doing as well, I think there are some stocks that could do better,” Glassman said. “I think what will prevail is profitability and stable earnings.”

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OTHER VOICES: ‘Build Back Better’ falters under its own weight | Opinion https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/other-voices-build-back-better-falters-under-its-own-weight-opinion/ Tue, 28 Dec 2021 02:00:00 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/other-voices-build-back-better-falters-under-its-own-weight-opinion/ ST LOUIS POST-SEND Media coverage of the debate over “Build Back Better”, the social policy and the $ 1.75 trillion climate plan of President Joe Biden currently stranded in Congress, has focused so much on legislative strategy and the political drama between Biden and Senator Joe Manchin that the most crucial element – what the […]]]>

ST LOUIS POST-SEND

Media coverage of the debate over “Build Back Better”, the social policy and the $ 1.75 trillion climate plan of President Joe Biden currently stranded in Congress, has focused so much on legislative strategy and the political drama between Biden and Senator Joe Manchin that the most crucial element – what the package would actually do – got lost in the noise.

In a nutshell, it would bring America in line with most advanced countries in terms of policies that improve the lives of families with children, while also addressing the existential threat to humanity posed by global warming. Among the provisions of the bill already adopted by the House are family leave benefits, the extension of the tax credit for childcare, universal preschool, tax incentives for electric vehicles and solar panels, rental assistance, drug cost reduction, and Medicare and Medicaid expansion.

But that cornucopia of strong progressive goals in the bill is, ultimately, its weakness. The many unrelated ornaments hanging from this one-measure Christmas tree threaten to tip it over. This newspaper strongly supported the essential elements of the legislation, in particular the initiatives favorable to the family and the climate. But it has become clear that charging Santa with these disparate political issues with the goal of bringing them all down the chimney at the same time has in fact hampered the delivery of these crucial gifts to America.

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This is again a strategic issue, and we will come back to it. But first, it’s worth considering what’s at stake.

Families and Children: The program provides four weeks of paid leave for workers who are ill, caring for sick family members or are new parents. America is today one of the few advanced countries in the world that does not offer paid family and sick leave.

The package would maintain the improved child tax credit from $ 250 to $ 300 per child that was included in this year’s pandemic relief plan and is expected to expire next week. It would limit childcare costs for families with children under 6 to no more than 7% of income for low and middle incomes, by subsidizing care for around 20 million children. It would extend free preschool to 3- and 4-year-olds. It would extend free school meals to nearly 9 million children who are not currently eligible and provide summer food benefits to another 29 million.

Healthcare: The measure would maintain existing improved benefits under the Affordable Care Act, which will otherwise expire at the end of next year, affecting medical insurance coverage for more than 3 million Americans. This would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, thereby lowering prescription costs. It would add Medicare hearing aid coverage, improve Medicaid home care services, and limit insulin costs for people with diabetes to $ 35 per month.

Environment and climate: Legislation would invest hundreds of billions in clean energy initiatives. It would provide families with up to $ 12,500 for the purchase of electric vehicles, along with other incentives for the purchase of home solar panels. It would pay utilities to increase their renewable energy supply – and fine those that don’t.

Other arrangements: According to Biden’s proposal, billions of new dollars would be spent on low-income housing, rent and down payment assistance, expanding Pell grants for students, anti-housing programs. community violence and more.

The Democratic-controlled House passed its version of the package last month, but it is stuck in the Senate, where Democrats have a slim majority and cannot afford to lose even a single Democratic vote. The situation (not for the first time) put enormous power in the hands of Manchin, the centrist Democrat from West Virginia, who was negotiating with the Biden administration to reduce what he saw as too expensive a bill. Negotiations collapsed last week, perhaps damning the whole measure.

As frustrating as it may be that a senator can wield as much power over a measure as the majority party wants, that is the reality of the American political system. Those who support the initiatives might more constructively direct their anger at the self-defeating way the bill has been marketed.

The price has changed, but has generally been described as close to $ 2 trillion. However, that’s a deceptively high number because it spans a decade, and it’s paid for (or mostly paid for, depending on who’s doing the analysis) by tax hikes on corporations and the wealthy. Even the Congressional Budget Office, whose numbers are more pessimistic than Biden’s, puts the actual addition to the deficit at less than $ 370 billion in total over 10 years.

Yet this phrase of “$ 2 trillion” continues to emerge as the focal point of the debate, providing a big target for Republican opponents. In addition, linking so many different issues inevitably makes it easier for opponents to justify their opposition.

Since one of Biden’s Build Back Better programs is still recoverable, it may be best to recover it in smaller, more politically digestible pieces. This would present smaller price tags as targets and force opponents to debate each idea on its merits. The merits are numerous.


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