Social policy – Sociology Eso Science http://www.sociologyesoscience.com/ Mon, 11 Oct 2021 18:16:00 +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 Israel must find solutions to its poor school performance – opinion https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/israel-must-find-solutions-to-its-poor-school-performance-opinion/ Mon, 11 Oct 2021 18:16:00 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/israel-must-find-solutions-to-its-poor-school-performance-opinion/ The world entered the COVID crisis a year and a half ago and one fact remains hard to ignore – weak students and weak families have been hit hardest. The economic, educational and social disarray caused by the pandemic has had the greatest impact on the most disadvantaged part of the population. Two surveys recently […]]]>

The world entered the COVID crisis a year and a half ago and one fact remains hard to ignore – weak students and weak families have been hit hardest. The economic, educational and social disarray caused by the pandemic has had the greatest impact on the most disadvantaged part of the population. Two surveys recently published in the Israeli press highlight worrying trends and a lack of political initiatives to address the needs of Israel’s vulnerable children.

The first, a study conducted by the Shoresh Institute for Socioeconomic Research, described the poor state of education in Israel compared to other OECD countries. Academic performance in basic subjects in the Haredi and Arab populations was much lower than in the developed world as a whole. The poor academic performance of students living in the social and economic bottom, the periphery, has also been documented. When comparing what students know in reading, science and math and how they can apply it, Israel’s non-religious schools have fallen below one-third of developed OECD countries. Religious schools have fallen below 80% of these countries, even without the inclusion of Haredi schools, which do not participate in standardized tests. Part of the problem seems to lie in the poor quality of Israeli teachers. When comparing Israeli teachers to their international counterparts in the OECD Knowledge and Skills Assessment, Israel’s language arts teachers rank in the bottom third while math teachers rank. in the last row.

The education picture is complemented by similarly gloomy economic statistics. The Social Policy Institute at the University of Washington has found that 17% of Israeli families with children cannot afford the amount or type of food they need for normal development. At the height of the COVID crisis, food insecurity affected a quarter of Israeli families. The association between food insecurity and risk to children’s physical and mental health and behavioral well-being has been well documented. What is most alarming about the report is how food insecurity has grown from a problem affecting only the lower socio-economic segment of the population to one which also affects the middle class. Israeli food banks and social budgets have grown only marginally, forcing Israeli citizens to depend on loved ones and charity for additional funding. Despite the promise to increase the government’s budget for food security from NIS 20 million to NIS 118 million in 2022, the first budget was passed with just NIS 23 million.

And so, I keep asking myself, why is this allowed to happen in Israel, Start-Up Nation, the world’s most creative problem solver?

ARAB-ISRAELI teacher, Nedaa Rabie, poses in her classroom at Gvanim Secondary School in Kadima in 2013. Gvanim Secondary School currently employs five Arab teachers and is a successful example of the Ministry of Education’s program for education. ‘integration of teachers from Arab schools into the Jewish (credit: HADAS PARUSH / FLASH90)

Recently, I had the privilege of participating in Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s address to North American Jewish leaders. I was struck by his passion for history and the way he placed the current administration of Israel in a context of Jewish sovereignty dating back to the First and Second Temple periods. I enjoyed his description of how the coalition partners, who previously demonized each other, work together to address the real governance issues of a modern and complicated state.

But talking is not enough. Israel rightly believes that its best natural resource is its brainpower. This means that if Israel is to continue securing a vibrant and prosperous future, it must invest intelligently and fully in its children. There are several actions to be taken to make this dream a reality: First, the identification and implementation in Israel of educational strategies used successfully around the world to engage and maximize the potential of students. Additional tutoring, after-school programming, and enrichment can all play a part in exposing students to the world of possibilities and breaking the glass ceiling for underprivileged children. Second, rigid rules on teacher classifications, classroom requirements and exams must be replaced with flexible policies and structures dedicated to the acquisition of 21st century skills. And third, there must be an institutional force to reallocate government budgets to provide families and children with additional costs and support in terms of food, shelter and social assistance.

If this does not happen, the additional costs of poor health and low employment will very quickly eclipse the so-called savings resulting from a lack of investment in Israel’s future.

The writer is president of the AMIT educational network.


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Government could try to force Facebook to identify anonymous users https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/government-could-try-to-force-facebook-to-identify-anonymous-users/ Sun, 10 Oct 2021 11:07:05 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/government-could-try-to-force-facebook-to-identify-anonymous-users/ The federal government could try to force Facebook to collect more credentials from their users and pass it on to authorities if requested to do so, as part of Scott Morrison’s latest confrontation with the social media giants. This potentially opens the door for the government to consider a controversial plan for Australians to provide […]]]>

The federal government could try to force Facebook to collect more credentials from their users and pass it on to authorities if requested to do so, as part of Scott Morrison’s latest confrontation with the social media giants.

This potentially opens the door for the government to consider a controversial plan for Australians to provide 100 points of identification to maintain their social media accounts – a suggestion privacy advocates have condemned.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce suggested last week that Facebook and Twitter could be treated as publishers under Australian law.

Such a classification could see platforms become directly responsible for defamatory or harmful content posted by their users.

At a press conference, Mr Morrison particularly focused on people using anonymous accounts to abuse or harass others, suggesting that the government may be considering measures to force social media companies to identify these users.

“If they don’t want to say who they are, well, they’re not a platform anymore. They are an editor, ”the Prime Minister said.

“I think this problem – and the technology that enables it and the lack of accountability that surrounds it – just isn’t resolved. And you can expect us to look into this even more. “

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher was suspicious when grilled over the ABC proposal Insiders Sunday, but said attorneys general at the federal and state levels were already considering reform of the defamation law.

Mr Fletcher noted a recent High Court case which found the media to be responsible under defamation law for comments posted by users on their Facebook pages.

But he said the government did not believe the law was clear on the responsibility of the social media platform.

“What is Facebook’s responsibility? For example, are they responsible for helping a litigant provide information about the identity of the person who posted the comment? Said Mr. Fletcher.

He said treating social media platforms like publishers was “one of the options available to us.”

“We expect a stronger position from the platforms. For a long time, they have gotten away with taking no responsibility for the content published on their sites ”, declared the Minister.

“What is their responsibility to support a private litigant who brings an action?

Mr. Joyce wrote in an article for Nine Newspapers last week that “the platform must be held accountable. If they allow vice, they pay the price ”.

But despite attacks that made headlines on social media, the government has not shared any concrete details about what such a crackdown might take.

Mr. Fletcher’s comments offered a potential clue.

His suggestion that social media platforms provide information about a user’s identity recalled an April report released by the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs – chaired by the Member of Parliament for Andrew Wallace Coalition – which recommended tightening controls on anonymous accounts.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Photo: AAP

The Domestic Violence Committee report recommended that Australian users be required to provide 100 credentials “to open or maintain an existing social media account,” and that social media companies “must provide these credentials. at the request of the electronic security commissioner, law enforcement or as ordered by a court ”.

Under Australian law, 100 points of identity can include a combination of driver’s license (40 points), birth certificate (70 points), passport (70 points), utility bill (20 points), Medicare card (25 points) or bank statement (25 points).

The committee’s recommendation was heavily criticized when it was published, with digital and privacy experts concerned about the prospect of private companies like Facebook having access to a vast mine of important documents.

Concerns have been raised about possible slippages, hacks or data breaches.

It has also been asked whether Facebook will comply with such an order to collect and store information.

Online Safety Commissioner Julie Inman-Grant said during a Senate hearing on the estimates in October 2020 – ahead of the report’s release – that requiring 100 identity points to use social media would ” very difficult ”to manage.

“How do they practically go back and do this?” And part of it has to do with the way the Internet is structured. So it’s not impossible, but it creates a series of other problems, ”she said.

Ms Inman-Grant also asked whether enforcing a ‘real names’ policy on social media would eliminate all abuse and harassment, noting that’ there are a lot of trolls who are not at all interested in hide their identity. So it won’t always be a deterrent.

Samantha Floreani, program manager at Digital Rights Watch, said it was “shortsighted” and a “bad idea”.

“There would be huge privacy and security implications,” she said. The new daily.

“It wasn’t that long ago that we saw Facebook’s biggest data breach. It would be incredibly irresponsible of the government to suggest that people be required to provide this documentation to social media companies. “

Ms Floreani also said she did not believe that imposing a ‘real names’ policy would eliminate all abuse, and that many people – including those from marginalized backgrounds – may have good reasons for wanting to remain anonymous.

“There is this important narrative that anonymous people online are bad people or are hiding something, but it might start by wanting to separate your online life from the real world, which is totally reasonable,” he said. she declared.

“They are also survivors of abuse, LGBTQI people who have not yet dated but want to explore their identity, or people in sensitive areas like law or the media who wish to participate in modern online life but do not cannot do so safely under their real name.

“These people and these circumstances are neglected. It’s really unfair to a lot of people.



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Northwestern must implement bathrooms for all genders now, some professors say https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/northwestern-must-implement-bathrooms-for-all-genders-now-some-professors-say/ Thu, 07 Oct 2021 13:42:14 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/northwestern-must-implement-bathrooms-for-all-genders-now-some-professors-say/ Daily archive photo by Owen Stidman The bathroom for everyone in the Norris University Center. Senate faculty members advocated on Wednesday for universal access to toilets for all genders. City policies and lack of university The action suspended pressure for universal access to toilets for all genders – and some members of the faculty’s Senate […]]]>

Daily archive photo by Owen Stidman

The bathroom for everyone in the Norris University Center. Senate faculty members advocated on Wednesday for universal access to toilets for all genders.

City policies and lack of university The action suspended pressure for universal access to toilets for all genders – and some members of the faculty’s Senate stressed in a meeting on Wednesday that Northwestern must act now.

A report from the queer, non-binary and trans gender task force published in winter 2020 recommended to ensure access to toilets for all genders in order to make the University more inclusive.

Students have pushes for access, including through the anonymous student action of the School of Education and Social Policy in the fall of 2019 and the activism of graduate students of the School of Communication in the winter of 2020. That same winter, students and teachers also united to fight against delays. The University has yet to respond to requests from students and faculty.

“We are looking for a movement on this from headquarters to put resources behind what is possibly one of the most visible and stringent minimum key recommendations to make the campus more inclusive for our gender community. non-binary and trans, ”Senator said and RTVF said Professor Kyle Henry.

The university has not conducted any investigation to determine where toilets for all genders are available, said Henry, the faculty representative for the LGBT employee affinity group Out Network.

Henry’s own department at Annie May Swift Hall does not have an all-gender bathroom, he added.

Campus goals to ensure toilets for all genders are widely accessible have been “thwarted” by Evanston City Council, said molecular biosciences professor and chair of the faculty Senate Robert Holmgren. Evanston building codes mandate a minimum number of male and female bathrooms in each structure.

Henry acknowledged that the codes prevent the university from progressing, but said students should not be required to put pressure on the city.

“We would like the central administration to solve the problems in a creative way,” said Henry. “(But) they say, ‘Our hands are tied. Unfortunately… this conflicts with a key recommendation of a university sponsored task force for a gender inclusive environment, (which) is a bathroom.

Other senators, including Steven Adams, Luis Amaral and David Schoenbrun, expressed disappointment that the University did not provide a plan for implementing the task force’s recommendation.

The Social Responsibility Committee will review the resolution and report back at the next Senate meeting.

“I am thinking of the type of alteration that can be integrated into architecture”, Adams noted. “We need to create a culture here at Northwestern where we can do things to address the issues of marginalized people before we are forced to, before we are forced.”

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @isabeldfunk

Related stories:

Faculty Senate resolutions call on the UN to create a rainy days fund and restore lost pension contributions

Gay, non-binary and trans gender task force members reflect on requests to Northwestern

Communication graduate students install toilet-for-all signs and advocate for access



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Pakistan ranked 151st out of 153 for gender inequality https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/pakistan-ranked-151st-out-of-153-for-gender-inequality/ Thu, 07 Oct 2021 01:00:00 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/pakistan-ranked-151st-out-of-153-for-gender-inequality/ Islamabad: Lubna Naz from IBA, Karachi, said gender equality should be the top priority for Pakistan as it is the fifth goal and the global priority of the SDGs, while Pakistan ranks 151st out of 153 countries in terms of gender inequality. Ms Naz was speaking at a web-based panel discussion on “Pakistan and the […]]]>

Islamabad: Lubna Naz from IBA, Karachi, said gender equality should be the top priority for Pakistan as it is the fifth goal and the global priority of the SDGs, while Pakistan ranks 151st out of 153 countries in terms of gender inequality.

Ms Naz was speaking at a web-based panel discussion on “Pakistan and the SDGs” hosted here by the Institute for Strategic Studies (ISS). The discussion was moderated by Dr Neelum Nigar,

Ms Naz believed that there was a growing need to involve men in the country and educate them on preventing violence against women, as this was one of the main components. of the SDGs.

Social Policy Advisor Nadeem Ahmed observed that the current SDG framework provided enormous opportunities for various sectors to participate in Pakistan’s development and move forward. Under the current government, the SDG working group and support units have been created at the federal and provincial levels for effective implementation of the policies developed.

Amir Hussain of the ISS pointed out that Pakistan spends only 2.3% of its GDP on education and that 40% of children under five are stunted, showing that more resources are needed to achieve the goals set by 2030.

Concluding the roundtable, the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Khalid Mahmood, said that the international community, regardless of the differences, is making great efforts to mobilize resources to shape public opinion in order to achieve social progress. economic. He felt that our government was lacking in its implementation due to limited resources and capacity.

ISS Director General Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said there is no lack of political will and ownership in Pakistan regarding the implementation of the SDGs as it is part of Pakistan’s Vision 2025. However, he said, more needs to be done on the implementation part adding that with geoeconomy becoming a priority for the Pakistani government, focusing on traditional and non-traditional security issues automatically makes SDGs a global political priority. .


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Progressives flex the muscles on Biden’s agenda, adopting new tactics https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/progressives-flex-the-muscles-on-bidens-agenda-adopting-new-tactics/ Tue, 05 Oct 2021 21:34:00 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/progressives-flex-the-muscles-on-bidens-agenda-adopting-new-tactics/ WASHINGTON – Progressive Democrats in Congress, who have long promoted a bold, liberal agenda but often avoided using harsh tactics to get it done, did something unusual this week: They dug. The nearly 100-member caucus refused to back a $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill that is a major part of President Biden’s agenda, seeking leverage […]]]>

WASHINGTON – Progressive Democrats in Congress, who have long promoted a bold, liberal agenda but often avoided using harsh tactics to get it done, did something unusual this week: They dug.

The nearly 100-member caucus refused to back a $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill that is a major part of President Biden’s agenda, seeking leverage for a bigger fight.

Their stance forced President Nancy Pelosi to delay a planned vote on the measure and ultimately prompted Mr Biden to side with them by saying there could be no vote on infrastructure legislation until then. a much broader, multi-billion dollar social and climate policy agreement.

The maneuver drew applause from liberal activists who had seen with dismay in the past their allies in Congress give in to pressure from Democratic leaders and go into political battles. And it signaled that progressives were enjoying new influence, including the support of a president long associated with moderates in his party.

“Things only happen here when there is an emergency,” Washington Representative Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said on Friday. “I’m so proud of our caucus because they stand up for people who feel like they haven’t been heard in this country for a very long time.”

Yet as the progressives won a tactical victory, negotiations continued to downsize the social policy and climate bill, which was already much smaller than the $ 6 trillion to $ 10,000 billion originally envisioned.

Their persistence also risked the collapse of both bills, angering party moderates who had handed over the slim majority to Democrats and are at the greatest risk of losing their seats in the midterm elections.

Despite its growing ranks, the Progressive Caucus has struggled for years to implement its agenda of providing more robust health services, taxing the wealthy, curbing military spending, and tackling climate change. Activists became frustrated helping elect members of Congress, who then lined up, voting for whatever Democratic leaders came up with.

In recent years, the caucus has tried unsuccessfully to cut military spending by 10% and has struggled to embrace major tenets of what it calls its People’s Budget. High-level progressives have protested this year against an expiring moratorium on evictions. But the effort failed to muster enough support for Democratic leaders to put in place legislation to expand it.

This week’s machinations have supported the movement. At a private meeting of the Progressives on Friday night, lawmakers were celebrating as they discussed how they were able to “hold the line” for Mr Biden’s agenda.

“There is no denying that this is a new era of progressive power,” said Mary Small, national policy director for Project Indivisible, a grassroots group. “They had a list of their priorities for the reconciliation bill, and they were harassed.”

Ms Small said progressives won the battle of ideas before the battle of tactics: The platform on social spending and climate change presented by Mr Biden largely stems from proposals by Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders and Chairman of the Budget Committee, who was the first Chairman of the Progressive Caucus. But unarmed tactics were also important, Ms. Small said.

“They have a plan to implement their priorities rather than just talking about their preferred policies,” she said.

Kaniela Ing, climate justice campaign manager for People’s Action, said many progressive activists were still upset with how Democrats allowed Republicans to weaken the affordable care law with a slew of amendments when the party controlled both houses of Congress. But he now applauds the position taken by the Progressive Caucus.

“They are doing exactly what we need to do,” he said. “The strategy is to spend exactly what Biden promised.”

Mr Ing added that progressives were only responding to political maneuvering by centrist Democrats, who sought to pass the infrastructure bill without the broader measures.

The Liberals’ tactics were reminiscent of those employed by the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, whose members regularly threatened to withhold their bloc of votes unless Republican leaders responded to their demands. More moderate Republicans, especially those in competitive districts, became furious with the group, accusing them of obstructing popular bills that were political imperatives.

On Thursday, some politically vulnerable Democrats were also angry with their progressive counterparts for delaying a bill that received broad support.

“When the people of Iowa tell me they are fed up with Washington games, that’s what they mean,” Iowa Rep. Cindy Axne said in a statement after executives said. announced the postponement of the vote on infrastructure. “All at once or nothing is no way to govern.”

But unlike the Freedom Caucus, the progressives’ stance does not appear to have angered their leaders in Congress or the White House.

Ms Jayapal said she had remained “in very close contact with the White House,” and Progressives said they were encouraged by the message they had received from Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff.

In meetings and discussions with progressive lawmakers, Mr Klain has been adamant about the President’s belief that Democrats must reach a framework agreement on broader social policy legislation before they can approve the infrastructure measure, according to three officials familiar with the discussions.

This seems to have emboldened the progressives.

A person familiar with Mr Klain’s calls said they left liberal lawmakers with the impression the White House was urging them to ‘stand firm’ against a vote on infrastructure until a deal could be reached with two centrist Democratic senators, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia. and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, who called for changes to Mr. Biden’s $ 3.5 trillion plan.

Progressives feared that if the infrastructure bill passed, giving moderate Democrats a big victory, Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema would have little incentive to give in to demands from the White House and progressives to retain as much as possible. $ 3.5 from Mr. Biden. a thousand billion proposals.

Mr. Klain retweeted a social media post from Representative Jared Huffman, Democrat of California and member of the Progressive Caucus, who said they were “putting the Biden agenda back on track” by delaying the infrastructure vote.

“The suggestion that Ron Klain or someone in the White House urged members to vote against or oppose any aspect of the president’s platform is false and doesn’t even make sense,” said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary. “The caucus members have been pretty clear on where they stand and what they need from their fellow congressmen to move forward and our goal has been to try to move the process forward to bring relief to the people. American”

On Saturday, Ms Jayapal said the White House had not pressured progressives against the passage of the infrastructure bill and did not need it. “Frankly, no one could have changed our minds,” she said.

Ms Jayapal said she plans to be in Washington all weekend to negotiate the legislation and continue to push for a vote on the $ 3.5 trillion reconciliation bill before proceeding with the bill. on infrastructure.

“I want a vote,” Ms. Jayapal said, “because I want to be sure that there is no delay and that there is no misunderstanding of what we have agreed on. OK.”

But she left the door open to soften her stance.

“If there is anything other than a vote that someone can offer me that gives me the same assurances, I want to listen to it,” she said.

A senior Democratic official not authorized to speak publicly said Ms Jayapal’s pressure for a vote on the broader bill was initially unrealistic and urged her to firmly back down.

“The president made it clear that the plan remains as the speaker and leaders described it: to come to an agreement, then move forward with the bipartite infrastructure framework,” the aide said. “This is not the position of the progressives as described by Representative Jayapal. We hope the member will change course and support the president. “

The progressive lawmakers’ stand this week came amid a surge in activism targeting Congress from the left. On Thursday, protesters held up signs in front of the Capitol saying “Put reconciliation first” and another group of activists rowed kayaks to confront Mr Manchin in the waters beside his large barge moored in a marina in Washington.

Before the infrastructure vote was delayed Thursday night, Ms. Jayapal warned caucus members not to cheer if they succeed in stopping the bill in its tracks, according to a person familiar with her comments.

But their success fueled an already poisoned relationship between some liberal Democrats and their more moderate colleagues.

Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, on Thursday night targeted Representative Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, a prominent centrist who had confidently said he was “1,000 percent” sure that the infrastructure would be adopted that day.

“In Congress, we don’t make predictions like this until we know we have the voices,” Ms. Omar wrote on Twitter. “Some of us understand this, others bluff and fall on our faces. Hopefully @JoshGottheimer and the remaining 4% Democrats won’t obstruct but negotiate and help us deliver @POTUS’s agenda for the people. “

In a statement Friday evening, Mr. Gottheimer lamented that “President Pelosi violated her firm and public commitment to members of Congress and the American people to hold a vote” and attacked a “small faction of leftmost”.

“This far-left faction is ready to jeopardize the president’s entire program, including this historic bipartisan infrastructure package,” he said. “They have endangered civility and bipartisan governance. “

But progressives bet their supporters wouldn’t see it that way. Ms Jayapal sent a fundraising email on Friday asking donors to donate $ 3 each to support her efforts.

“Last night we held the line,” he said. “We have stopped attempts by corporate America and a few conservative Democrats to pass their little bill without President Biden’s popular Build Back Better Act that makes long overdue investments in workers, families and our communities. Businesses are FURIOUS. But the progressives are not giving in.

Carl Hulse and Catie edmondson contributed reports.



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Vulnerable insurance clients in ‘lose-lose’ situation, report warns https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/vulnerable-insurance-clients-in-lose-lose-situation-report-warns/ Tue, 05 Oct 2021 07:21:38 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/vulnerable-insurance-clients-in-lose-lose-situation-report-warns/ Low-income and vulnerable insurance customers find themselves in a “lose-lose situation” when it comes to purchasing insurance, according to a report. Co-published by the Institute and the Faculty of Actuaries and the Fair By Design steering group, the report states that these clients faced some degree of market failure but were “unable to sufficiently prove […]]]>

Low-income and vulnerable insurance customers find themselves in a “lose-lose situation” when it comes to purchasing insurance, according to a report.

Co-published by the Institute and the Faculty of Actuaries and the Fair By Design steering group, the report states that these clients faced some degree of market failure but were “unable to sufficiently prove a failure of the market. market to government and regulators, and unable to take legal action. “

Due to insurers’ risk-based pricing – a process that is becoming increasingly individualized – the report argued that low-income and vulnerable consumers continue to face higher premiums, or are denied outright. insurance, because of the greater risks they pose.

The report highlighted concerns shared by consumer advocates over insurers potentially “in violation” of the Equality Act, passed over 10 years ago.

But finding the data to prove this “violation” to government and regulators is tricky, he said.

“Consumer advocates have said they are often not able to get enough information from insurers on how valuations are done or the data sources used,” the report said. “They demanded that this lack of transparency be examined. “

Through a 2019 Treasury Select Committee investigation, the Financial Conduct Authority found that several insurance companies were unable to provide immediate answers on the algorithms that underpin their pricing, how they compile ratings. data and whether each data complied with the law on equality.

The financial watchdog has since announced its customer duty principle, which is expected to come into effect next year. It is designed to ensure that financial services products in all areas provide fair value, which results in a fair relationship between the price paid by the customer and the quality of the benefits and services he receives.

But without a clear view of the data insurers use to price their products, consumers will have a hard time proving whether that relationship is fair or not, according to the report.

“Consumers and their advocates have signaled that they cannot assess whether a high or unaffordable premium, or an insurer’s decision not to offer coverage at all, is reasonable or fair,” he said. .

“They think this leaves them in a lose-lose situation – unable to sufficiently prove market failure to the government and regulators, and unable to take legal action.”

The report called for a number of changes in the industry. We would see the end of the monthly premiums paid by people who cannot afford to buy an insurance product in a single payment.

Another proposed that the UK government facilitate the provision of a “minimum level of protection” through the use of social policy interventions with the aim of removing what he called the “poverty premium” from the sector. insurance.

A problem before the pandemic, the ‘poverty premium’ is only expected to widen after the pandemic according to the report, as the government leave scheme ends and the UK inflation rate continues to rise. situate above the bank’s target.


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Democratic voters see many losers in party schism and one winner: Trump https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/democratic-voters-see-many-losers-in-party-schism-and-one-winner-trump/ Sun, 03 Oct 2021 17:09:57 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/democratic-voters-see-many-losers-in-party-schism-and-one-winner-trump/ RIDGEWOOD, NJ – On Election Day in 2018, Cathy Brienza opened her light blue colonial in a New Jersey suburb to dozens of Democratic activists for a rally to get the vote. Freshman Congressman Josh Gottheimer addressed a crowd filled with voters angry at Donald J. Trump’s presidency and hoping to regain Democratic control of […]]]>

RIDGEWOOD, NJ – On Election Day in 2018, Cathy Brienza opened her light blue colonial in a New Jersey suburb to dozens of Democratic activists for a rally to get the vote. Freshman Congressman Josh Gottheimer addressed a crowd filled with voters angry at Donald J. Trump’s presidency and hoping to regain Democratic control of the House.

It worked. Fueled by a so-called blue wave, Democrats toppled four seats in New Jersey, re-elected Mr. Gottheimer and won the House.

Now, as another midterm election looms, Ms Brienza is thinking of Mr Gottheimer again. But this time, she’s disappointed – and scared.

“It undermines President Biden’s agenda,” said Ms. Brienza, 62, founder of Ridgewood JOLT, which after the 2017 Women’s March became a 1,400-member political organization group based in Ridgewood, New Jersey. .

“President Biden is under siege,” she said. “If he doesn’t succeed, we’ll end up with another Trump.”

A moderate in a swing neighborhood that leans at right angles along the western and northern edges of New Jersey, Mr. Gottheimer, 46, has become a key player in the high-stakes negotiations that have split the centrist and liberal factions of the Democratic Party. and consumed Washington.

He is a leader among nine conservative-leaning Democrats in the House who initially said they would refuse to support a $ 3.5 trillion budget plan that includes high-profile initiatives including action to combat change climate change and expand child care to a benchmark of $ 1.2 trillion. bill on infrastructure has been approved.

Progressive lawmakers are now firmly holding on to a similar, but backwards, ultimatum, bogging down the infrastructure bill, which is seen as a mainstay of Mr Biden’s agenda. It includes funding to improve roads, bridges, airports and railways and expand high-speed Internet access. He cleared the Senate with rare bipartisan support, and polls show he enjoys broad public support.

The standoff put both initiatives at risk, and on Friday, after meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Mr Biden said a vote on the popular infrastructure measure would have to wait for Democrats to pass his policy package. much more ambitious social.

“These so-called moderates, who are really acting like Republicans, are hampering the president’s agenda,” said Harry Waisbren, 36, a Democrat who lives in Mr. Gottheimer’s district of Glen Rock. Mr Waisbren said he believed delaying radical action on climate change would be “catastrophic,” noting the flash floods in New Jersey that killed at least 30 people last month as a result of Hurricane Ida .

“I am afraid that they are acting on behalf of their corporate donors rather than our children,” he added.

Mr. Gottheimer represents a large and diverse district that includes some of New Jersey’s few remaining Republican strongholds as well as populated and affluent areas closer to New York City that are teeming with liberal-minded Democrats who helped propel him to the victory in 2016.

“What I’ve always said is that I think both parts of the president’s agenda are critically important to New Jersey and the country,” Gottheimer said in an interview on Saturday. “I just don’t think we should be holding one for months. “

At lunchtime Friday, Jeff Bolson, a self-proclaimed “hard-core Democrat” who, like Mr. Gottheimer, lives in Bergen County, said he feared the brothel policy in Washington could jeopardize the bill on infrastructure and climate change initiatives, which he both supports.

“We neglected the infrastructure,” he said. “If the economy is to go forward, we have to strengthen it. “

Yet Mr Bolson, a chartered accountant, cleared the scale of the $ 3.5 trillion package, which includes paid family and medical leave, health insurance expansion, preschool funding. universal and initiatives to slow down and combat the negative effects of a warmer climate.

“There is a lack of accountability when everything becomes free,” he said. “People need skin in the game.”

In rural Sussex County, where Mr Trump gained nearly 20 percentage points in 2020, many residents have said they support Mr Gotthheimer’s approach.

“Anyone who’s ready to take a break and take a serious look at it, I’m late,” said Rick Wahlers, who has twice voted for Mr. Trump and owns a clock and watch repair shop downstairs. street from Mr. Gottheimer’s district office in Newton. .

“The government gives them the money and has no responsibility for how it is spent,” he added, adjusting the magnifying glass he wears on his glasses and which he uses to repair tiny clocks. “It’s way too much.”

Nearby, in a bar run by Veterans of Foreign Wars, men gathered Thursday afternoon eating the remains of a funeral reception held the day before at the lodge.

Bill Schmitz Jr., who is the VFW quartermaster and who served in the military during the Korean War and voted for Mr. Trump, has said he is okay with ending the addiction the country to fossil fuels and supported anything that would create new jobs.

“Our infrastructure is collapsing – I get it,” said Schmitz, 61, as negotiations over the two plans raged 250 miles away in Washington, where he worked for about 10 years for the State Department. . But he said he feared the broader initiative might be filled with “pig.”

“Just to get out and drop billions and billions of billions,” he said. “Where does this money come from?

Colleen Waselik sees it differently. A mother of five who works for a school district, she recently quit the Republican Party, yearning for a spirit of greater cooperation and bipartisanship.

“I was embarrassed – disgusted – at the way the Republicans were behaving,” said Ms Waselik, 61, who said there was an urgent need to improve internet connectivity in rural Sussex County and fix the problem. faulty infrastructure of the country.

“It hasn’t been discussed for so long,” she said outside Hayek Market in Newton. “They have to go fat.”

Much of the ambitious social policy bill would be paid for by reversing the Trump-era tax cuts. One version of the plan called for raising the corporate tax rate to 26.5% for the wealthiest businesses and imposing an additional surtax on individuals who earn more than $ 5 million.

Mr. Gottheimer, a prodigious fundraiser, has $ 10 million for his re-election campaign, according to a July report filed with the Federal Election Commission – nearly five times more than Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat of the Washington State, which has established itself as the voice of the left in the House.

Ms Brienza, the Ridgewood activist, said she feared Mr Gottheimer was more concerned with meeting the needs of wealthy donors than “creating an economy that works for everyone.”

On Friday night, after the talks reached a new deadlock, Mr Gottheimer released a statement criticizing President Nancy Pelosi for failing to hold a promised vote on the infrastructure bill and blaming an “small far left faction”.

“We can create these jobs and help invest in infrastructure this week if we pass it and send it to the president’s office,” Gottheimer said on Saturday. “The other is not yet written.

Still, the fear that everything would collapse and escalate pressure on Democrats trying to defend a slim majority in Congress in next year’s midterm election was not far from the minds of many voters.

“Showing a loophole makes it very easy for Republicans – which I don’t like to see,” said Harriet Sausa, 71, a retired teacher who lives in Glen Rock and is a registered Republican, though she said she rarely votes. for the candidates of this party.

She hopes for a quick compromise.

“I think a lot of things in the big bill are important,” she said, “but not enough to jeopardize the infrastructure bill”.

Sherouk Aziz and Yusuf Waiel, a newlywed couple who live in Hackensack, a medium-sized town, said they were closely monitoring the negotiations, fearing the process could result in problems for the future of the Democratic Party.

“It’s kind of one more problem that makes them seem more divided and more broken up,” said Ms Aziz, 28, a software engineer and Democrat who said she “votes left.”

“We are going to lose an opportunity to reinvest in our own country,” said her husband, Mr. Waiel, 25, who is also a software engineer.

“And it’s going to cost them halfway through,” he added.


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Biden’s agenda in doubt as he helps progressives fight with moderates https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/bidens-agenda-in-doubt-as-he-helps-progressives-fight-with-moderates/ Sat, 02 Oct 2021 20:58:21 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/bidens-agenda-in-doubt-as-he-helps-progressives-fight-with-moderates/ This did not, however, prevent the two factions of the party from claiming that they are the ones seeking to secure adoption of its platform. The result is quite a turnaround. “We are fighting for the Build Back Better program,” said Ms Omar, using Mr Biden’s favorite slogan – which would have been shocking at […]]]>

This did not, however, prevent the two factions of the party from claiming that they are the ones seeking to secure adoption of its platform.

The result is quite a turnaround.

“We are fighting for the Build Back Better program,” said Ms Omar, using Mr Biden’s favorite slogan – which would have been shocking at that time two years ago, when she rallied early on to the candidacy of Mr. Sanders.

Throughout 2019 and into the early months of 2020, Mr. Biden has been the subject of contempt from the left. He was too old, too moderate and clearly ill-suited to an increasingly young, diverse and progressive party, they said, often mocking him in harsh terms.

Mr. Biden believed the Liberals were the ones out of step with the Democratic center of gravity. And he has indeed proven it by assembling a multiracial coalition driven by the defeat of Mr. Trump more than by a daring political agenda.

Yet because his primaries were largely focused on ousting Mr. Trump and unifying the country, he had few firm political plans. And by making peace with the progressives after getting the nomination, he adopted a number of their ideas.

It allowed left-wing Democrats to say, with big smiles, that they were only trying to realize Mr. Biden’s vision. The question now is whether his attempt to pass both bills will pay off – or whether his decision not to push for swift passage of the infrastructure bill will leave him in a prolonged stalemate, or nothing. at all.

What is certain, however, is that after Mr. Biden’s all-in-all campaign, he embarked on many policies that his liberal critics were skeptical he would adopt.

“For all the progressives who kept telling me there was no difference between Joe Biden and Mike Bloomberg,” said Rep. Brendan Boyle, an early Biden supporter in Philadelphia, “where Biden is descending into this internal debate shows just how absurd this claim still was. “


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How Democrats Can Put Biden’s Home Agenda Puzzle This Week Together https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/how-democrats-can-put-bidens-home-agenda-puzzle-this-week-together/ Fri, 01 Oct 2021 16:41:15 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/how-democrats-can-put-bidens-home-agenda-puzzle-this-week-together/ Follow our live news cover on the government shutdown and infrastructure bill. WASHINGTON – In a pivotal week, at a pivotal time for President Biden’s national agenda, Congress Democrats attempt to put together a jigsaw puzzle of four jagged pieces that may or may not fit together. Getting them to work as a whole is […]]]>

Follow our live news cover on the government shutdown and infrastructure bill.

WASHINGTON – In a pivotal week, at a pivotal time for President Biden’s national agenda, Congress Democrats attempt to put together a jigsaw puzzle of four jagged pieces that may or may not fit together.

Getting them to work as a whole is critical to the party’s political agenda and outlook, and how quickly they can piece the puzzle together will determine whether the government suffers another costly and embarrassing shutdown – or, worse yet, a first-time failure of the government. payment on its debt which could precipitate a global economic crisis.

Here are all the moving parts.

At 12:30 a.m. Friday morning, parts of government that operate at the discretion of the annual congressional spending process will be cash-strapped if an interim spending bill is not passed. October 1 marks the start of the fiscal year, and with larger issues dominating their attention, the Democratic House and Senate have not completed any of the annual appropriation bills to fund the departments of Defense, Transportation. , Health and Social Services, State and Homeland. Security, to name a few.

It is not unusual. Most often, individual finance bills pass only in the winter. In the meantime, Congress passes “rolling resolutions” to keep departments open at current spending levels, with perhaps some adjustments for pressing priorities and emergencies like hurricane response and, this year, relocation of staff. Afghan refugees.

By Thursday, Congress could easily pass such a resolution to avoid a funding cutoff that could put federal workers on leave and force “essential” employees, like those in the Transportation Security Administration, to work without money. But on Monday, such a palliative measure was blocked by Republicans in the Senate because it was attached to …

The federal government has operated for decades under a statutory cap on how much it can borrow – in common parlance, the debt limit. The federal debt of $ 28 trillion is growing inexorably, not only because the government spends far more than it recovers in taxes, but also because some parts of the government owe money to other parts, primarily the government. Most of the government that owes Social Security money after decades of borrowing. .

In essence, raising the debt limit is like paying off your credit card bill at the end of the month, as a higher borrowing limit allows the treasury to pay creditors, contractors, and agencies money that has already been mined from them in the form of treasury bills and notes. or contracts. It is not for future obligations.

The last time the problem surfaced, in August 2019, Congress and President Donald J. Trump suspended the debt ceiling until July 31 of this year. On August 2, the Treasury reset the debt limit to $ 28.4 trillion, and the government broke it a few days later. Since then, the ministry has been swirling money from account to account to make sure its bills are paid, but between mid-October and the end of October, these “extraordinary measures” will run out and the bills will remain. unpaid. It would be a shock to the international economy, since US government debt is a global haven for all kinds of cash and investment.

During Mr Trump’s presidency, Republicans and Democrats did not fight for increases in the debt limit, in part because the steep spending increases for the coronavirus pandemic and other priorities were bipartisan – although the big tax cut in 2017 was not.

This year, Republican leaders have said that because Democrats control the House, Senate and White House, they and they alone need to raise the debt ceiling.

Republicans have made it clear that they intend to obstruct a regular bill to raise the debt ceiling, as they did on Monday. For Democrats to do this unilaterally, they would most likely have to use a budget process called reconciliation that protects tax measures from obstruction.

This is a complex and time consuming business. Everything must be done in the next two to three weeks, to beat the still unknown “date X” which is fast approaching when the government defaults. Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury, told Congress on Tuesday that the deadline was October 18.

In August, with rare bipartisan boast, the Senate passed a $ 1 trillion bill to build or fortify roads, bridges, tunnels, public transportation, and rural broadband networks. The 69 “yes” votes included Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and 18 other members of his party.

Then it got more complicated.

Pressing for a quick vote on the bill, nine conservative Democrats in the House threatened to withhold their votes for the party’s $ 3.5 trillion budget bill until the infrastructure adopted by the Senate frees their room.

The budget plan was necessary to push Mr. Biden’s sprawling social policy and climate change agenda beyond Republican obstruction in the Senate, through the reconciliation process. So, in a signing maneuver, President Nancy Pelosi struck a deal with the nine moderates: vote for the budget resolution to launch the social policy bill, and she would pass the infrastructure bill from here. September 27, three days before a multitude of transport and infrastructure programs must exhaust their legal authority.

Ms Pelosi hoped that by then the reconciliation package would also be ready for action. But that did not happen, and now the Liberals in the House are threatening to withhold their votes for the infrastructure measure.

September 27 passed Monday without a vote or agreement between the factions, with the speaker securing the agreement of her moderates to postpone the action until Thursday. The question is whether enough Liberal Democrats in the House will vote for it pending the final details of …

The Democrats’ hugely ambitious social policy bill, which Biden calls his “Build Back Better” plan, is chock-full of the party’s long-standing priorities. The House wrote a 2,465-page version that includes a wide range of climate change programs, the extension of a generous child tax credit, universal preschool, significantly expanded access to community college, increased resources for elderly care and paid leave, and an extension of health insurance to cover vision, hearing and dental care – all paid for by billions of dollars in increases taxes on companies and the rich.

Ms Pelosi had hoped to vote on it this week, but she ran into two problems: At the moment, Democrats probably don’t have the votes, and Democratic Senate leaders have yet to produce a draft. detailed law that can get the support of every member of their caucus.

Several conservative Democrats in both chambers, including Senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, said they could not support the plan as proposed. And because Republicans have made it clear that they are united in their opposition, Democrats cannot afford to lose even a voice from their party in the Senate.

The math is almost as daunting in the House, where Democrats can afford to lose as few as three votes.

Mr Biden negotiated with the holdouts to determine what they might support. But for now, the lack of agreement on the sprawling plan is blocking its progress – and also leaves the fate of the infrastructure measure uncertain.

On Monday afternoon, Pelosi signaled Democrats that a vote on the reconciliation plan would have to be postponed until differences are ironed out.


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Sinema to raise funds from business groups opposing budget bill https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/sinema-to-raise-funds-from-business-groups-opposing-budget-bill/ Thu, 30 Sep 2021 04:51:27 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/sinema-to-raise-funds-from-business-groups-opposing-budget-bill/ WASHINGTON – Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the impenetrable Democrat who may hold the key to passing his party’s ambitious social policy and climate bill, is expected to hold a fundraiser on Tuesday after midday with five business lobby groups, many of whom fiercely oppose the bill. Under the political logo of Ms. Sinema, the influential […]]]>

WASHINGTON – Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the impenetrable Democrat who may hold the key to passing his party’s ambitious social policy and climate bill, is expected to hold a fundraiser on Tuesday after midday with five business lobby groups, many of whom fiercely oppose the bill.

Under the political logo of Ms. Sinema, the influential National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors and PAC of Grocers, as well as lobbyists for roofers and electrical contractors and a group of small businesses called the S- Political Action Committee. Corp, invited association members to an undisclosed meeting held on Tuesday afternoon for 45 minutes to write checks between $ 1,000 and $ 5,800, payable to Sinema for Arizona.

Full coronavirus vaccinations will be required, according to the invitation.

The planned event comes in a pivotal week for President Biden’s agenda, when House Democrats attempt to pass a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill that Ms Sinema helped negotiate, and attempt to spell out the details of a social and climate policy bill that could spend up to $ 3.5 trillion over the next decade.

Ms Sinema said she could not support such an important bill and privately told her Democratic colleagues in the Senate that she was opposed to increases in corporate and personal tax rates as drafting boards. House and Senate taxes had planned to use to help pay. the measure.

In both positions, she is likely to find an audience receptive to fundraising. The S-Corp PAC, for example, told its members that the rate hikes in the package passed by the House Ways and Means Committee would “bring private companies to their knees” like theirs that pay taxes by the House. through the personal tax system, not the corporate tax system.

Eric Hoplin, chief executive of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, which buys products from manufacturers at wholesale rates and distributes them to retailers, said in a statement earlier this month: America’s job creators then recovering from a global pandemic is the last thing Washington should do. “

In a lengthy message to members this month, Robert Yeakel, director of government relations at the National Grocers Association, reviewed a “laundry list of tax hikes Democrats are considering.”

“Even though a handful of moderates balk at many of these increases (Senators Sinema and Manchin have already publicly opposed the $ 3.5 figure), grocers and other industries are still going to see their tax bills go up,” he wrote, also referring to Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia.

In a Senate divided equally between Republicans and caucus members with Democrats, a single vote can decide the fate of the legislation, and Ms. Sinema has not hesitated to use that power. Exactly what she will and will not agree to in the final bill is not yet clear, but her colleagues say she is methodically examining its content.

John LaBombard, spokesperson for Ms Sinema, declined to comment on the fundraiser, but said the senator “voted yes in August on the budget resolution” which paved the way for a bill on social policy and climate that cannot be blocked by Republicans. He added that she “was working directly, in good faith, on the legislation with her colleagues and the administration.”

Jim Dudlicek, the grocers association’s communications director, said the organization would not comment on the fundraising.


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