Healthcare Systems Around the World

Health, Policies

Healthcare Systems Around the World

There are many philosophies shaping healthcare services around the world, and this article glances at some prominent examples. This may help understand why different countries experience healthcare differently.

The USA does not have a universal, free healthcare program, unlike most other developed countries. Instead, in line with the free-market-virtue mindset, most Americans are served by a mix of publicly and privately funded programs and healthcare systems.

Most hospitals and clinics are privately owned, with about 60% being non-profits, and another fifth being for-profit facilities. Coverage by federal and state programs is partial, and most insured Americans have employment-based private insurance.

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This crisis is different’: the dramatic rebound in the global economy

Economy, Policies

This crisis is different’: the dramatic rebound in the global economy

From an economic point of view, it is almost as if the last year was just a bad dream.

As recently as October, the IMF was warning that coronavirus will cause “lasting damage” to living standards across the world with any recovery likely to be “long, uneven and uncertain”.

Yet the forecast it released this week is very different. By 2024, the IMF now believes, the US economy is likely to be stronger than it had predicted before the pandemic. For most advanced economies, it says, there will be only limited scars from the crisis.

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Climate Change, Rich-Poor Gap, Conflict Likely to Grow: U.S. Intelligence Report

Ecology, Poverty, Threats

Climate Change, Rich-Poor Gap, Conflict Likely to Grow: U.S. Intelligence Report

Disease, the rich-poor gap, climate change and conflicts within and among nations will pose greater challenges in coming decades, with the COVID-19 pandemic already worsening some of those problems, a U.S. intelligence report said on Thursday.

The rivalry between China and a U.S.-led coalition of Western nations likely will intensify, fueled by military power shifts, demographics, technology and “hardening divisions over governance models,” said Global Trends 2040, produced by the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC).

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Article: Cold War 2.0 isn’t about nuclear weapons

Civil War, Threats

 Cold War 2.0 isn’t about nuclear weapons

THE so-called ‘Cold War 2.0’ brewing between the United States and China/Russia bears little resemblance to the post-World War II scenario. The present scenario is different in two fundamental ways: it does not have roots in two opposing ideologies of communism and capitalism, with one trying to overwhelm the other, and it is least about establishing military superiority in terms of achieving a permanent nuclear edge over the rival bloc.

The current phase of rivalry between the US and China/Russia is more about preserving US unilateral hegemony over economy, technology and global sphere of influence than about military’s offensive and defensive capabilities. The rise of China and Russia challenges the US more in terms of the latter’s unilateral domination in essentially non-military fields, although both economy and technology have military implications as well.

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The Global Economy’s Uneven Recovery

Economy, Policies

The Global Economy’s Uneven Recovery

While the US, China, and other leading economies are on their way to a robust recovery, many others are struggling to return to pre-pandemic GDP levels. In most regions, including Europe and Latin America, the 2020 recession will most likely leave long-lasting scars on both GDP and employment.

The chances for a swift, uniform rebound from the COVID-19 crisis have dimmed, and the world economy now faces sharply divergent growth prospects. Although the latest update of the Brookings-Financial Times Tracking Indexes for the Global Economic Recovery (TIGER) offers some grounds for optimism, it also raises renewed concerns.

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Wealth Matters: Could US dollar lose its status as a reserve currency?

Economy, Policies

The International Far-Right Terrorist Threat Requires a Multilateral Response

A frequent question I encounter is whether the U.S. dollar will lose its status as the world’s primary reserve currency.

Investors are concerned that the Federal Reserve’s easy monetary policy, combined with rising budget deficits, will undermine confidence in the dollar. The recent decline in the dollar over the past year has heightened these concerns.

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Counter-Terrorism: Rocks Of Doom

Terrorism, Threats

Counter-Terrorism: Rocks Of Doom

In western Iraq (Anbar province), the Syrian border has turned into another contested area where high-tech sensors are very useful detecting hostile border crossers. American and Iraqi forces cooperate to monitor the border and in late 2020 the Americans suggested using hidden night-vision digital cameras that covertly detect anyone crossing at night and can either store images on an SD card or transmit the data to a UAV high overhead which can then use its more powerful sensors to track the border crossers to their destination.

The success of this technique led the Iraqis asking to expand the use of this tech as well as help replacing cameras discovered and removed or destroyed by smugglers, Islamic terrorists or even some civilians looking to make some money.

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Nuclear disarmament: Thinking outside the silo

Proflieration, Threats

Nuclear disarmament: Thinking outside the silo

Every five years since 1970 diplomats and arms control experts have gathered to review progress – or lack of it – in the disarmament process enshrined in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The latest review conference, which was scheduled for May 2020, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This postponement is a silver lining behind a very dark cloud made up of the pandemic and several looming nuclear crises. It has bought time and with that time a new administration in Washington, one that is likely to be more open to multilateral efforts, pragmatic compromise and cooperative solutions.

A second cold war is tracking the first

Civil War, Threats

A second cold war is tracking the first

In Washington, Beijing and Moscow, officials all say that they want to avoid a new cold war. A recent piece in the New York Times suggests they have little reason for concern. It argued that “superpower rivalries today bear little resemblance to the past”. The article pointed to Russia’s relative weakness and China’s technological prowess to underline how things have changed since the late 1940s.

Those differences exist, of course. But to me, the parallels between today’s events and the early years of the cold war look increasingly convincing, even eerie.

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Farmers face complex political, economic landscape in 2021

Agriculture, Policies

Farmers face complex political, economic landscape in 2021

Farmers face a complex landscape for 2021, above and beyond the usual variables that affect them — such as, quite recently, drought and windy weather that is stirring up dust and a potentially harsh spring here in the MonDak.

Not only is America still struggling with economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic — which is itself threatening to resurge on the strength of COVID-19 variants amid slower-than-hoped vaccinations — but there is a new sheriff on board, with very different priorities than the previous federal administration, and that shift in focus includes agriculture.

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