ECONOMIC CONDITIONS SNAPSHOT

Executives in emerging markets are newly optimistic for the future of their home economies, while respondents globally expect stable conditions in the world economy.

For the first time since 2014, executives in emerging markets are more optimistic about their home countries’ prospects than are their peers in developed markets—and Latin America is a particular bright spot, according to McKinsey’s latest survey on economic conditions. Respondents in the region, long the most downbeat on economic conditions at home, report increasingly positive views on the state of their countries’ economies and are among the most bullish on future conditions.

At the same time, executives in Latin America report increasing concerns over political issues at home—none too surprising, since Brazil’s Senate voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff the same week the survey was in the field. Political risks (specifically, leadership transitions and domestic political conflicts) also top the overall list of threats to domestic growth. Despite these risks, respondents predict stability in the global economy in the coming months, with emerging-market respondents again more positive than developed-market executives.

Newfound optimism in emerging markets

When asked about economic conditions in their home economies, executives tend to say conditions have stabilized and will hold steady in the months ahead. The largest share of respondents (44 percent) say domestic conditions are the same now as six months ago, and 38 percent expect conditions at home will stay the same—or improve—over the next few months.

On the whole, emerging-market executives report a more positive outlook than they did in June and relative to their peers in developed markets (Exhibit 1). This is the first survey since December 2014 in which emerging-market respondents have been more optimistic than their peers about their countries’ prospects.

Economic Conditions Snapshot, September 2016

Across emerging markets, responses from Latin America suggest steadily climbing optimism. Executives in this region have long been the most downbeat about the state of their home economies, but the share believing that domestic conditions are better now than six months ago has gradually risen. One year ago, only 5 percent of executives said conditions had improved; now 26 percent—nearly even with the global average of 30 percent—report improvement (Exhibit 2).

Economic Conditions Snapshot, September 2016

Looking ahead, 51 percent in Latin America believe conditions will improve in the coming months—a share that’s much greater than the global average (38 percent) and second only to India, where 91 percent of executives expect better conditions. One year ago, just 13 percent of respondents in Latin America expected improvements. Their peers in China also are more optimistic than they’ve been in past surveys: 31 percent of executives there predict improvements at home in the next six months, up from 18 percent in June.

Political (and geopolitical) risks at the fore

On the list of risks to domestic growth, political concerns have risen to the top overall and in Latin America (Exhibit 3). In Latin America—and during the week that Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff was impeached—52 percent of executives cite domestic political conflicts (up from 43 percent in June) as a risk to growth, and roughly one-third cite political transitions. Their peers in North America, too, cite leadership transitions and domestic political conflicts most often as domestic risks, as they’ve done throughout 2016. What’s more, respondents in Latin America are more than twice as likely as others to identify political transitions and conflicts as top risks to company-level growth.

Economic Conditions Snapshot, September 2016

Political transitions rank among the top five risks to global growth, too. Furthermore, the share citing this risk has grown steadily over time: from 10 percent a year ago to 27 percent now. Executives in every region but China cite geopolitical instability most often as a threat to global economic growth, while those in China (53 percent) are most likely to cite slowing growth in their home country.

Three months after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, only 17 percent of respondents identify the exit of one or more countries from the eurozone as a potential threat to global growth. Respondents in the eurozone are as likely as everyone else to identify eurozone exits as a concern. And globally, the share citing this concern nearly equals the 19 percent of executives who cited it in June.

Global views hold steady

Three months after the Brexit referendum, a decision that took much of the world by surprise, the latest results indicate that respondents’ views on the global economy have changed little. As in our previous survey, conducted a few weeks before the vote, executives are most likely to say that global conditions have stayed the same in the past six months and that conditions will remain steady in the months ahead (Exhibit 4).

Economic Conditions Snapshot, September 2016

In their views on the world economy, executives in emerging markets are again more optimistic than their developed-market peers. Thirty-five percent of emerging-market respondents expect global conditions will improve in the next six months, compared with one-quarter of those in developed markets—and those in Latin America are the most optimistic. At the other end of the spectrum is North America, where only 17 percent expect improvements in the world economy, though twice as many expect improvements in their home economies.

Economic Conditions Snapshot, September 2016

With respect to certain geographies—specifically, the eurozone and China—few executives expect dramatic changes in the near future. Executives tend to expect that over the next six months, the eurozone’s economy is likely to see either minimal growth (32 percent) or minimal contraction (31 percent). But those in the eurozone are likelier than others to expect growth (Exhibit 5). On China’s prospects in the next year, respondents overall are, as they were in June, more positive than not. Forty-six percent of all respondents (and 53 percent in China) say it is very or somewhat likely that the country will hit the 2016 targets of its current five-year plan.

NEW TECH TALENT

 

By Satty Bhens, Ling Lau, and Hugo Sarrazin

In today’s rapidly changing digital landscape, companies that understand their talent needs and know how to meet them have a competitive edge. Here’s how they do it.

While few would debate the importance of technology talent, its importance in successfully executing a digital transformation is often underappreciated. Over the next five years, large companies will invest, on average, hundreds of millions of dollars—and some more than a billion dollars—to transform their business to digital. And given that top engineering talent can, for example, be anywhere from three to ten times more productive than average engineers, acquiring top talent can yield double-digit investment savings by accelerating the transformation process by even 20 to 30 percent. Of course, such talent is hard to find. In the next five years, we expect the demand for talent to deliver on new capabilities to significantly outstrip supply : for agile skills, demand could be four times supply; for big-data talent, it could be 50 to 60 percent greater than projected supply.

The new capabilities you need

Understanding what talent is necessary starts with understanding what capabilities digital businesses need. While those will vary by market and geography, successful digital businesses share some common traits: they’re focused on the customer, operate quickly, are responsive and agile, and can create proprietary insights. And given the rapid pace of change, companies will increasingly need to be able to engage with broader ecosystems encompassing a range of businesses and technologies as well as position themselves to take advantage of emerging artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things.

That requires IT systems that can process massive amounts of data, continuously deliver new infrastructure environments in minutes, be flexible enough to integrate with outside platforms and technologies, and deliver exceptional customer experiences—all while maintaining core legacy IT systems. This way of working is much more dependent on the collective skills and strengths of a multidisciplinary agile team rather than on the heroics or talents of any one individual. In short, this reality means people not only need to have strong technical skills but also to be able to function well in teams. Poor team dynamics can crush even the most talented individuals.

While there is a broad range of skills needed, this set should be part of any company’s tech-talent list:

  • Experienced designers and engineers. As customer experience becomes increasingly important, companies will need to invest in the tech talent to deliver those experiences. These roles often straddle IT and other functions, with experience designers in particular focused on getting at the heart of the customer through ethnographic research, human-centered design, and rapid test-and-learn cycles with customers. Partnering with experience designers are in-place front-end and mobile engineers who can rapidly translate exceptional designs and digital experiences into working software that can be tested and iterated. This approach to rapid prototyping places a premium on user input and flexible software that can respond quickly to user needs.

    Experience designers tend to wear multiple hats, from driving insights through customer research to running rapid test-and-learn programs in the field. They should have considerable experience creating and iterating products or services based on real customer interactions (i.e., not just data) and translating customer research, insights and ideas into solutions using design tools such as personas, empathy maps, and customer journeys (to name just a few).

    Front-end and mobile engineers are typically software engineers with three to five years’ experience building high-performing, scalable, and elegant web and mobile user interfaces. They bring deep expertise in front-end web and mobile technologies that include browser-based HTML, CSS, and modern JavaScript frameworks (e.g., ReactJS, Angular.js, et cetera) and native mobile platforms on either iOS and/or Android. They should be comfortable creating “imperfect” code for the purpose of testing and have a clear understanding of how something will be used in the real world.

    In our experience, what separates a good from a great experience designer is the ability not only to focus on producing a sexy user interface but to be an advocate for the customer in solving customer-experience and design problems. This is someone who is motivated by customer empathy and can collaborate effectively with both product and engineering teams.

  • Scrum masters and agility coaches. “Agile development”—where software is rapidly developed in iterative cycles—is a core capability that drives the technology engine. Making the agile approach work relies on having “scrum masters” to manage teams during the development process. Scrum masters need great leadership and enabling skills, but also a deep understanding of technology and an ability to rapidly solve problems. As important as the scrum master is at the team level, to scale the agile culture across the broader organization, you need agility coaches. Think of them as Olympic trainers for the organization. They have strong communication and influencing skills, can create and roll out plans to support agile processes across the business, and put in place measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to track progress. While it’s desirable for scrum masters to be certified, it’s more important that they understand the values and principles of agile (e.g., value-focused delivery, adapting to change, continuous improvement, et cetera) and have at least two to three years’ experience training, coaching and working to build high-performing agile teams. They are people leaders with the ability to deal with conflict, influence ideas, and have empathy. It is helpful for them to have baseline knowledge of software engineering best practices to appreciate what goes into building high-quality software.

    Strong agility coaches have deep experience working as change agents to transform how an organization thinks and works. To be successful, they need to be comfortable coaching people across different functions and levels of the organization, including senior executives. They are focused on impact and build organizational muscle around measuring progress.

    In our experience, what separates a good from a great scrum master is the ability to be a great people leader. A good scrum master protects the team from distractions, but a great one finds the root cause of distractions and eliminates them. For an agility coach, it’s building capabilities to help an organization create sustainable change.

  • Product owners. This role is often referred to as the mini-CEO of a digital product. Product owners clearly define the vision of a product or service, are fully empowered to make decisions that deliver high business value, and are laser focused on KPIs to track progress. The product owners work directly with developers, engineers, experience designers, and other stakeholders in the business on a daily basis. They need to understand technology and user-experience issues in order to make the right tradeoffs in deciding on the product or service features to develop. Product owners are not just proxies for the business-unit leader to manage the project. They need to be empowered to make product decisions. Product owner can often be the hardest job on an agile team, and those who do it typically require four key skills to be successful:
    • Vision: they can establish strategic vision for a product and align the organization around a clear view of what’s required to achieve business success.
    • Value focus: they possess a mini-CEO mind-set with a focus on delivering measurable business value, delighting the customer, and optimizing ROI.
    • Decisiveness: they are natural problem solvers who make decisions and prioritize initiatives using data and facts rather than intuition and feeling.
    • Product management: they typically have three to five years of strong product-management experience and a good sense for the intersection of business, user-experience design, and technology.

    In our experience, what separates a good from a great product owner is someone who has a strong sense of the complete product or service vision (and doesn’t get lost in the details of its parts), the ability to inspire and influence people to deliver on the overall vision (not just his/her piece of the project), and is focused on enabling the team by, for example, helping it make the hard product decisions.

  • Full-stack architects. These roles are particularly important in a more complex and rapidly changing technology landscape. The full-stack architect needs to be fluent across all technology components that include the web/mobile user interface, middleware microservices, and back-end databases, and have a “spike” (i.e., bring deep expertise) in one or more areas. As businesses increasingly engage with external ecosystems of technologies, full-stack architects can provide expertise in third-party packaged software, fluency in multiple best-of-breed technologies, and experience with multiple-technology integration strategies. Full-stack architects are generally hands-on developers with at least eight to ten years of software engineering experience and deep expertise with one to two core programming languages (e.g., Java, .NET, Node.js, et cetera). They also need to be knowledgeable and fluent across the different “stacks” of a large-scale software system (e.g., front-end user interface, middleware integration services, databases, et cetera). They are effective at linking the architectural vision with the business vision and building solutions that focus on business value, not just technical excellence. They have a deep understanding of how an architecture will need to evolve to meet changing business goals and like to produce working software as one of the best ways to illustrate a concept. In our experience, what separates a good from a great full-stack architect is not just the ability to provide technical excellence but also to embrace flexibility over building “bulletproof” systems. They are passionate learners who keep up with evolving technologies and techniques and are willing to experiment with them to test what would work for the business.
  • Next-gen machine-learning engineers. As companies move toward machine learning, they need a new breed of software engineer who knows how to use data, can program in scalable computing environments (e.g., Cloud, Hadoop, et cetera), and understands how to refine the algorithms in their software code. They are fluent in distributed computing techniques, have experience using different machine-learning algorithms and applying them effectively (e.g., choosing the right model, deciding on learning procedures to fit the data, understanding different parameters that affect the learning, et cetera) and understanding the trade-offs with different approaches. They work closely with customer-data managers in particular, who use machine learning to collect and rationalize the massive amounts of data—from social media to purchase activities—to create comprehensive 3-D pictures of customers. They have a strong computer-science foundation to understand how to structure data and make efficient use of computing resources (e.g., memory, CPU, et cetera) when designing and implementing machine-learning algorithms. They also have a baseline knowledge of probability and statistics (e.g., regression, probability theory, et cetera) techniques as well as experience in data modeling and evaluating data sets for patterns, trends, and predictability. This capability is important since machine-learning algorithms rely on these data sets to learn and iterate.

    What really makes a great machine-learning engineer is the ability to understand how an idea goes from concept to delivered insight. Throughout this process, a great machine-learning engineer not only focuses on the technical solution but is also effectively a thought partner to the business on shaping the problem to be solved, the insights generated, and the continuous learning required to improve the solution.

  • “DevOps” engineers. With the advancement of cloud computing and infrastructure as programmable software, infrastructure resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) can now be rapidly provisioned, managed, and operated with minimal effort. To build and take advantage of these technology advancements, organizations need DevOps (the integration of development and operations) engineers who have the experience to navigate a rapidly changing development and cloud-infrastructure computing ecosystem. They can build out tools and automations that provide development teams with self-service and on-demand access and infrastructure resources at the click of a button (compared with today’s traditional multiweek and months-long process to provision similar resources). DevOps engineers are generally software engineers with a passion to apply the same craftsmanship to IT infrastructure and operations. They typically have five to eight years of software-engineering experience and have now ventured into infrastructure-automation technologies (e.g., Chef, Puppet, et cetera), cloud platforms (e.g., AWS, Azure, et cetera), and more advanced containerization technologies (e.g., Docker). Besides technical excellence, DevOps engineers understand how technology serves business goals and are flexible in adapting approaches to changing business needs. What separates a good from a great DevOps engineer is the ability to role model the collaborative DevOps culture, think about infrastructure, and partner with the business to link solutions to real business problems.

Finding and hiring the talent

So now that you know what talent to look for, how do you find it? Any good talent strategy should focus on retaining and training existing talent, as well as on uncovering latent talent already in the business. But for the purposes of this article, we want to focus on how companies can acquire talent.

In most companies, IT recruiting typically is a slow process: the HR department creates and posts a job description for a candidate role. If they’re lucky, they find a midlevel employee in six months (and it’ll take another four weeks until s/he is productive). For an organization undergoing an aggressive digital transformation, that’s too slow.

We believe companies need to rethink their IT talent-acquisition strategy in six ways:

1. Build a compelling vision

Money is important, of course, in attracting talent. But we’ve found that as long as the pay is competitive, an inspiring mission and value proposition is what motivates the best talent.

This issue is particularly stark for large incumbents, which typically don’t have quite the “sex appeal” of a start-up. We’re seeing many inspiring examples of large traditional companies actively advertising and communicating their commitment to reinventing their brand for the digital age, such as General Electric’s aspirations to be a top-ten software company by 2020. We’ve even seen candidates and new hires take significant pay cuts to join organizations that communicate a cohesive story about their digital transformation and vision.

Companies need to make sure they can deliver on their promises. Large defections of people who find that the mission doesn’t meet the reality will scuttle the best-intentioned hiring strategies. Effective strategies include creating ministart-ups within the business, with their own vision, reporting structures, career paths, and even cultures.

2. Make targeted ‘anchor hires’

Like attracts like, and that’s true of top talent too. Therefore, many organizations have invested in anchor hires who are leaders in a particular discipline or industry. These anchor hires help attract other exceptional talent to the organization either through their personal networks and industry reputation or by signaling to the market how important that talent is. Companies should evaluate the networks of top talent, invest extra time, and involve senior business leadership in pursuing them. Attracting anchor hires often requires offering them significant influence in shaping the unit the business is building.

One leading North American technology company looking to create a new innovation lab prioritized finding two to three key anchor hires for the design team. It focused on people from Google, Facebook, and noted design agencies to build up their design team from nearly zero to over 30 top people in less than 12 months. The anchor hires were leaders in these design organizations and quickly signaled to the market the company’s commitment to design thinking and customer experience. It was able to triple the pace of hiring.

3. Reimagine recruiting

What makes hiring new kinds of IT talent more complex is that those with the right profiles may not have a traditional résumé or be searching for employment or posting to traditional careers sites. To engage with these technologists requires targeting international community discussions such as Hacker News, Github, Stackoverflow and Reddit. Recruiters can locate top software programmers by looking through the source-code repositories that programmers proudly open up for anyone to review and use.

To effectively engage with candidates in these new environments, companies often need to either retrain or acquire new recruiting capabilities to speak to candidates about relevant—and often very technical—topics in their industry, excite them about the opportunities in the organization, and assess whether the candidate would be a good fit. Top talent is often flooded with recruiter hits, and we have found it more effective and genuine to draft the best “athletes” (i.e., relevant tech stars) from within the organization to engage and recruit their peers or other technologists.

An international bank, looking to build digital talent in a new market for its digital factory, used nontraditional platforms such as Github, Aevy, and LinkedIn to build a heat map of the talent concentration, tech-community events, start-up spaces, and skill mix in the market. The bank also developed a recruiting team that contained traditional recruiters as well as digital talent that candidates would want to work with, such as agile coaches, full-stack engineers, and experience designers. In addition to combing through the online platforms, communities, and postings, the new recruiting team attended and contributed to communities through meet-ups, presented at conferences, and hosted hackathon events. The multifaceted approach paid off: The bank hired 50 top professionals in six months, a 50 percent improvement over an already aggressive aspiration.

4. Create a network of digital-labor platforms

Top talents know their value and have ready access to information about companies through online platforms such as Glassdoor, Hacker News, and StackOverflow, where employees share job satisfaction, company culture, and lifestyle information.

To connect with these people, leading companies are creating their own sourcing platforms. Some are hosting online competitions that allow users and prospective candidates to showcase their technical skills through digital platforms such as TopCoder, Kaggle, Codility and HireIQ. Digital-talent platforms such as Good&Co and HackerRank are also helping companies more effectively assess a potential employee’s match with the skill requirements and culture of the company.

Recent McKinsey Global Institute research estimates that businesses deploying digital-talent platforms to their full potential could increase output by up to 9 percent, reduce employee-related costs by up to 7 percent, and add an average of 275 basis points to profit margins.

5. Build an ecosystem of vendor partners

To effectively take advantage of the technology ecosystem, IT is shifting from having one or two primary vendors, as has traditionally been the case, to a broad array of external options that include traditional vendors, new partners, alliances, and crowd-sourcing. Engaging with a network of vendors also requires changes in skills certification and vendor-performance management. At the same time, the most productive relationships occur when these vendors are treated more like partnerships (exhibit).

A new paradigm for vendor relationships

A leading international travel company, disrupted by start-ups in the market, decided it needed to build up and acquire new digital talent to drive its transformation. An important component of its strategy was to use specialized vendors to support different components of its ecosystem (for example, mobile, search engine, CRM, payments). The company updated its internal processes around procurement, legal, and billing, so that it could move more quickly and be more flexible in managing the variety of vendors.

The impact of this approach was significant. By tapping into the right talent at the right time, the company was able to experience 20 to 25 percent improvements in time to market without increasing its vendor cost base.

6. Acqui-hiring talent

To build up a talent set, it can make sense to acquire a start-up that has specific needed capabilities. Many companies have used this “acqui-hire” approach, but many end up having trouble meshing cultures. Isolating the start-up to preserve its culture can be a useful approach in the short term, but it only delays the inevitable.

To address this issue, many companies are embracing a “reverse takeover” mind-set: A rotating team from the acquiring company begins to integrate and work with the start-up in a “ring fenced” environment that’s separated from the standard business processes. This allows the organization to begin taking advantage of the newly acquired talent while also “infecting” the broader organization with the start-up one small group of teams at a time.

One leading North American bank embraced the reverse-takeover approach for one of its start-up acquisitions. There was commitment from bank leadership to immediately begin cross-pollinating the start-up talent with those who were part of a new digital initiative already under way at the bank. The approach created an effective “digital lighthouse” for the bank and helped accelerate the first phase of the start-up’s integration by three to six months.


While technology isn’t the only element of a successful digital transformation, it’s one of the most important and complex. Getting it right means recognizing what sorts of new IT talent are necessary and changing the way the company goes about hiring it.

 

IMPLICIT BIAS

https://i0.wp.com/blueprint.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/feature-hero-police-racism.png

 

The presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Monday night was the most watched presidential debate in American history. Race was a prominent theme of the debate, as it has been the whole campaign. At one point, moderator Lester Holt asked Secretary Clinton if she “believed that police are implicitly biased against black people” and Clinton responded, “Implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police.”

Clinton is not the only prominent public official to recognize that implicit bias is a challenge for our nation. Last year, Supreme Court Justice Kennedy recognized the way in which “unconscious prejudice” contributes to inequality in a landmark decision involving the Fair Housing Act. And FBI Director Comey also publicly acknowledged the overwhelming research demonstrating the presence of widespread unconscious biases, and the way in which these biases may manifest in policing.

It bodes well that these scientific findings are making their way into our public discourse. However, their meanings and implications need to be carefully understood. Clinton was right that implicit bias is an issue that impacts all Americans, but does this mean that Americans are all secretly racist? Not at all.

Bias is not simply another word for racism. Bias represents an association between things. Everyone forms associations, a process that is simply part of being human. Even animals form such associations (think of Pavlov’s dog).

“Implicit” bias refers to associations that are not fully conscious. We could not survive if all our decisions were completely subject to the conscious mind. Because the mind processes so much information, the brain has evolved to look for short cuts. This is done by habituating many of the brain’s functions, letting the unconscious process large quantities of information through lumping data together in a streamlined, rapid fashion. While the conscious mind is slow and more deliberate, the unconscious is big and very fast.

Racial bias is not innate. The associations of the unconscious mind are largely formed by our environment, society, and culture. We are exposed to many images a day, by some accounts as many as 5,000. Certain images become paired in our unconscious mind. When two images appear repeatedly and frequently, the unconscious mind will connect them. These connections are largely environmental and do not need to be connected in actual fact. The unconscious does not make such distinctions. And these connections are built up over time, a process that happens largely without our conscious awareness, and without our conscious knowledge that we are using them to influence our reactions and behavior.

Through movies, music, news, and other cultural and social sources, our society has paired images of black men with drugs and guns. It does not matter to the unconscious that black people are factually no more likely to use drugs or guns then their white counterparts. Remember, facts are not necessary for implicit bias. The mere presence of cultural stereotypes between blackness and criminality will suffice. The unconscious will reach for the paired associations with the same ease that a commuter turns the corner upon reaching her or his street. Research by social scientist Jennifer Eberhardt from Stanford has shown that when people are exposed to a black face they can more easily and quickly identify a gun than a non-crime related image, even without their conscious awareness (Dr. Eberhardt was awarded a Macarthur genius grant for her research in this area).

These are not just individual issues, therefore our response should not be about individuals. What’s critical in the conversation around policing and implicit bias, as well as all Americans and implicit bias, is to understand that while implicit bias is not the same as racism, the results of implicit bias can still produce deeply racialized outcomes. Even if the conscious mind rejects racism, the unconscious may still hold biases. And these biases are even stronger when we are under stress.

Results based on these biases can undermine our conscious desire for fairness, but they are not insurmountable. There are things we can do to lessen bias, and knowledge and training both help. In the case of police, recognizing the role of implicit bias and providing sustained training to override those biases could save lives. Who could object to saving lives through such training?

Neuroscience is clear: Bias is part of being human. Racialized consequences of harmful implicit biases are not. And the content and strength of particular biases are socially constructed. Understanding the role of implicit bias in our national psyche is something that does affect all Americans and having public conversations about implicit bias, including from the platform of our presidential debate, is both powerful and promising.

Government is the #1 mafia.  Most people are victims of police and government. Citizens seem to be under the impression that the police help them recover stolen property, and that we’ll all appreciate the police if we’re ever a victim of property crime. Everyone who has ever owned a small business or otherwise been burgled, however, knows that when you are a victim of property crime, calling the police is a mere formality in which a police report is filed, and then sent to the insurance company. You will never see your property again, and you know it, but the police report is necessary for insurance purposes. If it weren’t for the insurance side of things, calling the police would be a complete waste of time.

Actually finding your stolen property is a very low-priority affair for the police. There’s nothing in it for them, since there is no connection between successfully protecting private property and the amount of revenue that the police department earns. From a budgetary standpoint, it is far more important for the police to simply assert that they protect property to politicians and, to a lesser extent, to voters. Whether they actually do it is immaterial, since those who are victims of crime have virtually zero say over whether or not the police should be rewarded for their services, or lack thereof.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that police departments receive their funding not through voluntary exchange, but through taxation, which is the coercive redistribution of wealth. Rarely are police budgets ever cut, regardless of the quality of service, and should voters or local government ever suggest that the budget might be cut, the police agencies will immediately respond by threatening to cut enforcement, and it is of course implied that enforcement of laws against violent crime will be cut immediately. Never do the police say “well we’ll just have to cut back on shutting down illegal lemonade stands set up by children, or enforcement of lawn-mowing ordinances and no-knock raids against old ladies.” No, it’s always night time patrols for real criminals that goes under the ax first.

Police respond by cutting the most-demanded services first, and the least-demanded services never seem to get cuts. Naturally, the police would never dream of cutting back on drug enforcement, because that is a major source of revenue for them.

Part of this stems from the error of viewing all police services as more or less equal.  There is a big difference between the value of police services which involve the investigation of murders, and police services that involve arresting people for jaywalking.

There are infinite degrees of all sorts of protection. For any given person or business, the police can provide everything from a policeman on the beat who patrols once a night, to two policemen patrolling constantly on each block, to cruising patrol cars, to one or even several round-the-clock personal bodyguards. Furthermore, there are many other decisions the police must make, the complexity of which becomes evident as soon as we look beneath the veil of the myth of absolute protection. How shall the police allocate their funds which are, of course, always limited as are the funds of all other individuals, organizations, and agencies? How much shall the police invest in electronic equipment? fingerprinting equipment? detectives as against uniformed police? patrol cars as against foot police, etc.?

The government has no rational way to make these allocations. The government only knows that it has a limited budget. Its allocations of funds are then subject to the full play of politics, boondoggling, and bureaucratic inefficiency, with no indication at all as to whether the police department is serving the consumers in a way responsive to their desires or whether it is doing so efficiently.

The situation would be different if police services were supplied on a free, competitive market. In that case, consumers would pay for whatever degree of protection they wish to purchase. The consumers who just want to see a policeman once in a while would pay less than those who want continuous patrolling, and far less than those who demand twenty-four-hour bodyguard service.

On the free market, protection would be supplied in proportion and in whatever way that the consumers wish to pay for it. A drive for efficiency would be insured, as it always is on the market, by the compulsion to make profits and avoid losses, and thereby to keep costs low and to serve the highest demands of the consumers. Any police firm that suffers from gross inefficiency would soon go bankrupt and disappear.

But of course, police don’t have to worry about supplying what citizens actually want. They have access to the taxpayer’s wallet. The policemen are not protecting private property, but are more interested in protecting police and making a show of force. Private property owners have to protect their own property with their own privately-owned firearms, even after being taxed year after year in exorbitant amounts for police services.

The police have no rational method of allocating resources.  Priorities are set by politics. The police, instead of attending to property crime, are busy pulling guns on people who jaywalk.

Police departments are being armed to the teeth via funds paid for by taxpayers.  Will these extremely-expensive weapons be used to protect people from violent crime? Anything is possible, although the fact that small town police forces now have a variety of armored vehicles and mountains of assault rifles, makes one wonder how that money might have been better spent were the private sector allowed to keep it.

With 39 percent of murders unsolved every year, but with SWAT teams being used to deliver warrants to nonviolent suspects, and people who smoke joints on occasion,  it’s obvious that there is a disconnect between a priorities list that serves police departments, and one that serves taxpayers. As is always the case, there’s plenty of talk about reform and accountability, but the only reform that matters is one that involves major budget cuts to departments that don’t enforce laws that actually matter.

Taxpayers should be able to check boxes on their tax returns saying which government departments should receive money. It would be a good idea to also include a checklist for which laws should be enforced. Virtually everyone would check laws against murder and robbery. Far fewer people would demand the enforcement of laws against adults smoking pot at home or sale of untaxed cigarettes. Then, when the budget is cut, police must stop enforcing laws with the fewest votes.

Police are not efficient because they don’t rely on customers’ voluntary support. They aren’t held accountable because they face no serious threat of losing power. They are abusive because citizens have two choices: Obey or suffer the punishment. They are militarized because they don’t operate on the profit and loss mechanism of the freed market and have an endless trough of stolen taxpayer money to waste.

If the police monopoly was broken up, the police as we know them would no longer exist. Private defense agencies, communal associations, neighborhood watch groups and mutual aid societies would take the place of state “defense.” While they would serve the end of protecting citizens, like the police claim to do, these organizations would likely look far different from modern local police forces.

Police forces are insulated from competition, market feedback, the price mechanism and the profit-loss system. As monopolies, they come with incentives to overspend, overcharge, under-produce, and generally work in opposition to the consumers’ interests and in favor of their own.

But firms and organizations that spontaneously arise on a freed market out of voluntary exchange are subject to market forces every step of the way. They must serve the consumers’ interests – they must produce a worthwhile product at an affordable cost or be crushed by competition. Being in the business of defense, they must minimize costly, violent conflict and pursue cheaper, peaceful solutions or else be out-competed by other organizations that better serve their customer’s interests.

Since these organizations would be at constant risk of losing business to competition, unlike the police, their methods and tactics would be completely different. They would have to respect their customers’ rights if they ever want their business. The agencies that better protect rights would be the most profitable and the ones that violate peoples’ rights would be quickly pushed out of the market.

Interpol is misused as a tool for oppression by authoritarian and corrupt governments. Interpol is the world’s largest international policing organization and, each year, issues thousands of red notices. These international wanted alerts can have a devastating human impact.

Even though some of Interpol’s 190 member countries are known human rights abusers and notoriously corrupt, there are no effective mechanisms to prevent these countries abusing the red notice system. Red notices have been used to pursue political opponents, journalists, dissident bloggers, and human rights defenders.

We demand improvements to prevent these abuses of Interpol. We also believe that people subject to red notices should be given a reasonable chance to challenge them through a fair and transparent process.

PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES MUST BE ABOLISHED RIGHT NOW

Some 300 higher education experts and administrators from around the world converged at UC Berkeley for the annual Times Higher Education World Academic Summit this week.

The best colleges on Earth are Oxford and Cambridge in England, Harvard and MIT in Massachusetts, and Stanford and Berkeley in California.  EU colleges are far below!

Whenever the European Commission (EC) does something very stupid, it calls it smart.  Smart has become a European euphemism for very stupid!  EC declares the Youth Guarantee is smart.  This means Youth Guarantee is very stupid!  It just creates gulags for neets, those not in employment, education, or training. 

Since there are no jobs, Youth Guarantee means most youth will be concentrated to college campuses.  Transforming colleges to concentration camps of morons, EU gulags, is a very stupid idea!  EU can take its gulags and shove them.

Erasmus, EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students, is the most disgusting program to brainwash students with EU propaganda. Each year, a quarter of a million college students study abroad thanks to the Erasmus program, squandering billions of taxpayers’ hard-earned euros. There are no qualification requirements, and many bad students participate for free dolce vita abroad. This is money gone with the wind.  This is not free education, but a free dolce vita to buy votes in future referendums for more integration of EU. 

The summit was the first THE global conference to be hosted in North America and bore the theme, “World-Class Universities and the Public Good.” Over sessions from Monday to Wednesday, speakers and delegates shared strategies universities can use to benefit both their immediate communities and the global population.

“It is easy enough, I think, to recognize how much a college degree benefits the individual who obtains it. It has become a truism that ‘the more you learn, the more you earn,’ ” said Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, during his welcome Monday night. Dirks went on to add that, on average, people in the United States who have a university education go on to make about $1 million more over the course of their lifetime than peers with only a high school diploma.

 

Mary Sue Coleman

 

“In recent years, however, the inclusion of higher education as a public good has been increasingly contested, even as the shifting of the responsibility for funding higher education from taxpayers to consumers has further compromised this general belief,” Dirks continued.

This theme was echoed during the opening keynote delivered by Robert Reich, the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at Berkeley who served as U.S. secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. Reich said that public education is “dying” in the U.S. because of skyrocketing tuition costs and dwindling of state funding for public institutions.

COLLEGES EXPLOIT STUDENTS AND ADJUNCT PROFESSORS TO SERVE A FEW TENURED PROFESSORS

Colleges charge too much and provide too little quality education.  They exploit students and adjunct professors to serve a few tenured professors.  Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw said: He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.

I regret squandering the most beautiful twenty-two years of my life, from primary school to graduate school, to get a PhD!  PhD now is just a toilet paper!  Employers consider attitude more important than aptitude, and they do not care about college degrees.  

Nowadays, lazy children go to colleges. Smart children join the real world, getting all information they need from the internet and their employers.   All big employers have in-house training programs.  The very smart children start their own business as soon as they get some experience. 

Free MOOCs, massive open online courses, are replacing colleges. Students now take the MOOCs of Harvard and Stanford, the two best universities on Earth, without paying a single dollar!   

Colleges have a huge negative impact on economy, because they destroy the most productive years of youth, trapping students in concentration camps, denying students experience in the real world, commoditizing their minds, and spreading the cancer of socialism.  Colleges also siphon eggheads away from industry, transforming them to lazy vegetables.  Donation to colleges is subsidy of your destruction!

Many colleges spread the cancer of socialism. Nevertheless, it is the businessmen’s money that supports colleges in the form of voluntary private contributions, donations, endowments, and scholarships.  Many billions of euros are donated to colleges by businessmen every year, and the donors have no idea of what their money is being spent on or whom it is supporting. Some of the worst socialist propaganda has been financed by businessmen in such projects.

Studentship and professorship have become sinecures!  Scholarships and fellowships are offered to students in order to fill classes, get donations and government money, keep eggheads employed, and lower official unemployment rates.  Colleges have become concentration centers for losers and the drones of society, those weak at heart who do not dare to compete in the real world, finding comfortable shelter in ivory towers.

The naked truth about colleges is that a college degree is not worth the price of the sheepskin on which it’s printed!  College education is waste of time and money. The college bubble will burst soon, tearing down all ivory towers.  MBA frameworks are a bunch of academic mumbo-jumbo with no real applicability!

The college degree payback is very long, an expensive education is not a guarantee to higher real wages, and it is not worth going to debt to finance it. A widespread public skepticism is fueled by poor job prospects. Real wages, that is, what you earned after you subtracted inflation and taxes, entered a freefall in the past two decades. Rather than be out of work, most citizens quietly settled for lower real wages.

A college education has a value relative to future earnings, vocational success, and its ability to lift you above the economic burdens of underemployment and stagnant earnings. Right now, that equation just doesn’t measure up. The reward to risk ratio of college education is the lowest of all possible investments.

A 1-standard-deviation increase in university teachers’ effectiveness in boosting student performance reduces the students’ evaluations of their professors’ teaching quality by about half of a standard deviation, on average — enough to significantly reduce the teachers’ percentile ranking at the university, says a team led by Michela Braga of Bocconi University in Italy. Students, especially the least able, appear to respond negatively in their evaluations to the extra effort that good teachers require of them, a finding that casts doubt on universities’ reliance on student evaluations to inform faculty-promotion decisions. The researchers also found that student evaluations improve when there is fog and as the weather gets warmer, and they deteriorate on rainy days.

Peter Thiel, the superstar Silicon Valley investor has famously dismissed college as a waste of time and money, and even offered students cash to drop out. Thiel has argued that the brightest young minds should strike out on their own and start companies rather than take on crushing debt to pursue a college degree.

Mary Sue Coleman, president of the Association of American Universities, made the case for continuing to support public schools during a Tuesday keynote speech.

“Public universities are the workhorses of American research and education,” Coleman said, adding that there are far more benefits for college graduates than a bigger expected salary — graduates are more likely to vote, exercise and volunteer than their peers.

Additionally, public universities are responsible for countless innovations that benefit the greater public.

“We are not the newest smartphone or self-driving vehicle,” Coleman said, “though we probably created the technologies behind them.”

However, public funds for schools like Berkeley continue to plummet; 46 states continue to offer less support to their universities than they did before the economic crisis in 2008, Coleman said.

“As society goes, so goes the university,” said Coleman, quoting Berkeley’s first chancellor, Clark Kerr, who took the office when it was created in 1952. “But also as the university goes, so goes society.”

 

Though public universities are threatened, they are vital for advancement around the globe, said University of Cambridge Vice Chancellor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz during the closing keynote Tuesday.

“Universities create jobs and support livelihoods far beyond their own walls,” Borysiewicz said, adding that it is the academy’s responsibility to help improve the lives of the approximately 1 billion people who do not have enough to eat every day and the billions more who live on a few dollars a day.

“The society we serve is no longer limited to our community… but rather to this small planet that we all live on,” Borysiewicz said.

COLLEGES ARE FRAUDS

Colleges are frauds. Administrators rob the funds, professors trade grades for bribes and sex, and students dumb down!  Anyone who wants to learn anything can do it much better on the Internet, without retreating to fraudulent concentration camps, called campuses. Allons enfants de la Patrie!

As the importance of faculty research and publication increases, the value of teaching tends to decrease. At research universities, prestige is often measured by how little you teach! This creates an incentive for faculty members to design courses that are closely related to their research. Many courses are based on what the professor wants to teach rather than what the student needs to learn.

Colleges have little value, and their graduates cannot find jobs. They are an embarrassment to education. Sending a child to a university is irresponsible. Total college education, direct and indirect, including bygone salaries, costs around 200,000 euros. That money would bring higher reward-to-risk ratio in any other investment. College years are lost years.


The main effect of government student aid programs is not to transfer wealth from taxpayers to students, but from taxpayers to academic institutions. That’s because the rise in student subsidies over the decades appears to have fueled inflation in education costs. Tuition and other college costs have soared as subsidies have risen.


It is matter of supply and demand. More and more citizens have sought a college education, which has pushed prices higher. Ordinarily, such upward pressure would be restrained by consumers’ willingness and ability to pay, but as government subsidies have helped absorb tuition increases, the public’s budget constraint has been lifted. Federal subsidies are seen by colleges as money that is there for the taking. Tuition is set high enough to capture those funds and whatever else can be extracted from parents.


Over the past few decades, a vicious cycle has been perpetuated by college policy. Governments increase subsidies for colleges, inflating students’ purchasing power, in turn allowing universities to raise tuition, which ultimately increases the demand for more government subsidies. Not only would an increase in grant funding not break this vicious cycle, but it would also fail to place pressure on colleges to use resources more efficiently. The dysfunctional college market is an arms race where vast resources are targeted toward non-academic purposes such as athletics, building renovations, and administrative overhead costs in order to compete for students.


Most troublesome of all, continuing to increase subsidies for college raises questions of equity. Increasing government subsidies for colleges, whether in the form of grants or student loans, shifts the responsibility of paying for college from the student, who directly benefits from college, to the taxpayer. Transferring the burden of student loan financing from university graduates to the three-quarters of taxpayers who did not attend college is unjust. Kleptocrats should restructure the grant program so that funding goes directly to students, not to universities, and should limit access to grants after four years of undergraduate work.

Dropping out is a smart strategy of cutting losses short!  Most top presidents and self-made billionaires dropped out of high school or college! The list includes Bill Gates(Microsoft), Larry Page(Google), Michael Dell(Dell), David Geffen(Geffen Records), Steve Jobs(Apple), Richard Branson(Virgin), Ralph Lauren(Ralph Lauren), Jerry Yang(Yahoo) and Zuckerberg(Facebook). Zuckerberg and Gates went to Harvard.


Page and Yang both attended Stanford. Jobs only completed one semester at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Dell left the University of Texas at 19. Geffen dropped out of three universities before launching his record label. Lauren went to Baruch College in New York City, but left after two years. Branson, a mild dyslexic, never made it out of high school. Han Han, the world’s most popular blogger, dropped out of high school in China. Ford Motors founder, Henry Ford, never had any formal education, outside his training as a machinist. Most famous politicians, such as UK Premier Major and EP President Schultz, never went to college.

Greece has the worst public higher education system in Fourth Reich (EU).  The Greek Ministry of Education, George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth or Minitrue in Newspeak, harasses all private colleges and their professors. Professors of private colleges are required to submit myriad papers certified by lawyers and pay heavy fees. Visiting Minitrue is a very humiliating experience as the building is open for the public only from 12 to 1:30pm, with infinite queues and wild goose chase from room to room. After a professor submits an application to Minitrue, he might have to wait up to fifty days for an answer!

Fourth Reich has penalized Greece many times for harassing its private colleges, but Orwellian Greece continues its stupid behavior, because it’s a matter of its damned socialistic principles. Minitrue has created a special abusive office whose only function is to harass private colleges! Even though the Greek private colleges are much better than the public colleges, the Grand Brothel of Kleptocracy on Syntagma Square, passed a law that graduates of public colleges should get higher salaries than the graduates of private colleges!

Greek public colleges are covered with communist graffiti, stray dogs and communists run through buildings, professors pollute minds with socialist propaganda, and students dream of immigrating to Anglosphere. Colleges have been battered by kleptocracy and the cancer of socialism.

Buildings aren’t heated, schools nest sinecures, and professors hate teaching and cannot publish. It’s hard to be hopeful with youth unemployment surpassing fifty percent, communists seizing buildings, and professors spreading socialist nonsense.

ABOLISHING CLASSROOMS

Harvard and Stanford are the two best universities on Earth.   Now you can take their courses free of charge through EDX!  This way you could stay home, work, grow professionally, and take online courses from the legendary couple.

Most online students take free college courses from nonprofit organizations, such as EDX and Coursera.  Many smart students drop out of mainstream colleges now, attending online colleges. Without fundamental reform, universities will not be able to compete with cheaper and more effective online education providers. While many young people are still going to university, a growing portion of the best and the brightest students have given up attending classes, because the information is available in a more easily ingested form online.

The number of online educational offerings has exploded in recent years, but their rapid rise has spawned a critical question: Can such virtual classes cut through the maze of distractions — such as email, the Internet, and television — that face students sitting at their computers?  The solution is to test students early and often. By interspersing online lectures with short tests, student mind-wandering decreases by half, note-taking triples, and overall retention of the material improves.

While online classes have exploded in popularity in the past few years, there remains shockingly little hard scientific data about how students learn in the virtual classroom.  A lot of people have ideas about what techniques are effective. There’s a general folk wisdom that says lessons should be short and engaging, but there’s an absence of rigorous testing to back that up.

It’s not sufficient for a lecture to be short. You need to have the testing. Just breaking it up and allowing them to do something else, even allowing them to re-study the material, does nothing to cut down on mind-wandering, and does nothing to improve final test performance. The testing is the critical component. Those tests act as an incentive for students to pay closer attention to the lecture because they know they’ll have to answer questions at the end of each segment.

Whether it’s in the classroom or online, students typically don’t expect to have to summarize a lecture in a way that makes sense until much later on. But if we give them an incentive to do that every now and then, students are actually much more likely to set everything else aside, and decide they can get to that text after class, or they can worry about their other class later, and they’re able to absorb the material much better.

Another surprising effect of the testing is to reduce testing anxiety among students, and to ease their fears that the lecture material would be very challenging.  We know that there is mind-wandering in classroom lectures. Testing intervention has stronger results. It’s not enough to break up lectures into smaller segments, or to fill that break with some activity. What we really need to do is instill in students the expectation that they will need to express what they’ve learned at some later point.

Recent developments in higher education, with leading institutions starting to offer courses online, suggest that the Internet is going to disrupt this industry, just as it has already disrupted the music and book industries and many others. We are entering a period of experimentation with new business models for higher education, with MOOCs (massive open online courses) the most prominent among these. Much MOOC attention is focused on EdX and Coursera. 

MOOCs are in the midst of a hype cycle, with expectations undergoing a wild swing.  At this early stage, it is not clear what the final product of online education will look like. But regardless of the specific form the new industry will take, there is likely to be more competition, lower costs, and higher quality. This is great news for consumers of higher education.

For many parents and potential students in developed nations, though, the bottom line is still return on investment, said Anthony Monaco, president of Tufts University, during a panel discussion moderated by Berkeley College of Letters and Science Dean Carla Hesse Wednesday.

However, more and more undergraduates are flocking to liberal arts degrees to obtain a broad and comprehensive skill set for jobs “that haven’t even been invented yet,” Monaco said.

In his closing comments Wednesday, Chancellor Dirks called on that spirit of idealism and innovation to drive higher education forward in the future.

“As I reflect on so much of I what heard and learned, I leave this summit with great hope and optimism for the future,” Dirks said. “I suspect that you, like me, come away from this gathering reinvigorated and better prepared to advance our cause and shared interests.

“And, among the primary reason for that confidence is another one of this summit’s powerful takeaways: We are not alone. We are all in this together. We are, each of us, a part of something larger — a global community of educators, scholars and administrators.”

EU RATIFICATION OF THE STUPID PARIS AGREEMENT

In a historic move, EU ministers today approved the ratification of the stupid Paris Agreement by the European Union. The stupid decision was reached at an extraordinary meeting of the Environment Council in Brussels. This stupid decision brings the Paris Agreement very close to entering into force.

The global economic forecast based on climate change as reported by Hsiang, Burke & Miguel in Nature are represented in the simulation above of Earth's future night lights, as seen from space, since richer economies tend to glow brighter. (Image by Hsiang, Burke and Miguel.)


https://i0.wp.com/www8.gsb.columbia.edu/ideasatwork/centennial/img/img-iaw-centennial-Heal.jpg

Green investments and green jobs are stupid socialistic ideas that deviate resources from more profitable investments and more productive jobs.  Climate change is heliogenic, not anthropogenic! 

The Roman Catholic Church is selling indulgences, the Orthodox Church is selling absolution certificates (συγχωροχάρτια – synchorochartia), and the European Commission is selling pollution allowances! 

Climate scare is the hottest hoax on Earth!  People tend to confuse environment protection with climate control. We have to take care of our rivers, lakes, seas, forests, and air. But humans cannot control the climate. Rabblerousers have been for a long time searching for a simple and sufficiently threatening catastrophe that could justify the implementation of kleptocratic ambitions. After having tried various alternative ideas, they came up with the idea of dangerous, man-made global warming. This concept was formulated despite the absence of reliable data.  

Once approved by the European Parliament next week, the EU will be able to deposit its ratification instrument before national ratification processes are completed in each Member State.

President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Today’s decision shows that the European Union delivers on promises made. It demonstrates that the Member States can find common ground when it is clear that acting together, as part of the European Union, their impact is bigger than the mere sum of its parts. I am happy to see that today the Member States decided to make history together and bring closer the entry into force of the first ever universally binding climate change agreement. We must and we can hand over to future generations a world that is more stable, a healthier planet, fairer societies and more prosperous economies. This is not a dream. This is a reality and it is within our reach. Today we are closer to it.”

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “They said Europe is too complicated to agree quickly. They said we had too many hoops to jump through. They said we were all talk.  Today’s decision shows what Europe is all about: unity and solidarity as Member States take a European approach, just as we did in Paris. We are reaching a critical period for decisive climate action. And when the going gets tough, Europe gets going.”

A freakish commercial of Greenpeace shows an angry child accusing all adults of destroying his future with global warming!  Thousands of drones benefit directly from the global warming scare, at the expense of the ordinary consumer. Environmental organizations globally, such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Defense Fund, have raked in billions of dollars.  Government subsidies for useless mitigation schemes are skyrocketing.  Emission trading programs are at two hundred billion euros a year level, with large fees paid to brokers, those who operate the scams, and kleptocrats.  Many people have discovered they can benefit from climate scares and have formed an entrenched alliance with mafiosi and kleptocrats.   

Sustainable development is not a neutral term. It is an empty undefinable leftist ideological concept. It can’t be a good basis for a serious discussion. Those who use this term do not want to discuss how to restart economic growth in the stagnating West, especially in Europe, how to accelerate growth in developing countries and how to overcome poverty in the world. Those would be meaningful topics. To speak about sustainable development suggests a debate about creating barriers or obstacles to rapid, healthy and much needed economic growth.

The term sustainable development can’t be turned into an operational concept. The exponents of this term are the prisoners of the ahistorical and anti-economic doctrine of the limits to growth advocated since the 1970’s by green politicians and their fellow travelers in institutions and organizations of global governance. We should be careful when using such ideologically loaded terms.   

Rabblerousers bought into the global warming dogma (WGD) at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, fell in love with it and – without waiting for its scientific underpinning – started preparing and implementing economically damaging and freedom endangering measures. They accepted the idea that participating in the global warming game is easy, politically correct and politically profitable, especially when it is obvious that they themselves will not carry the costs of the measures they are advocating and implementing and will not be responsible for their consequences.

There are plenty of arguments indicating that the real threat is not global warming itself. The real threat comes when kleptocrats start playing with the climate and with all of us. Environmentalism and global warming alarmism ask for restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions, which would substantially increase the costs of energy. This would be devastating, because cheap energy is the source of much of our prosperity.

The Global Warming Dogma (GWD) asks for an almost unprecedented expansion of government intrusion into our lives and of government control over us. They tell us how to live, what to do, how to behave, what to consume, what to eat, how to travel, how to spend our holidays and many other things.

Rabblerousers, their bureaucrats as well as many eggheads, who accept the GWD and with it the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate changes, probably hope that – by doing so – they are displaying intelligence, virtue and altruism. Some of them even believe they are saving the Earth. We should tell them that they are merely passive players in the hands of pullpeddlers, of producers of green technologies, of agrobusiness firms producing ethanol, of trading firms dealing in carbon emission permits, etc., who make billions at our costs. There is no altruism there. It is a cold-hearted calculation.

Obama visited Alaska, where he stood in front of a shrinking glacier and said, “Climate change is no longer some far-off problem; it is happening here, it is happening now.” At a conference in Anchorage, he made the apocalyptic prediction that “submerged countries, abandoned cities . . . entire industries of people who can’t practice their livelihoods, desperate refugees seeking the sanctuary of nations not their own, and political disruptions that could trigger multiple conflicts around the globe” would be the wages of failing to act now to stop global warming.

Most environmentalists cheered the stupid statements, while some have been critical of him for betraying the cause by allowing Shell Oil to drill off Alaska’s Arctic coast. But all assume that their opinions are based on hard science. While science does play a huge role in modern environmentalism, old cultural myths influence much of what many people believe about humanity’s relationship to nature. For some, their belief system approaches a nature worship that has little value for solving the environmental problems troubling the world today.

Ancient myths about nature and our relationship to it are deeply embedded in our culture. Particularly influential has been the myth of the Golden Age, a time before civilization when humans lived in harmony with nature, free from toil and grief, as the Greek poet Hesiod wrote, and enjoying all good things, for the fruitful earth unforced bore them fruit abundantly and without stint. People dwelt in ease and peace upon their lands and with many good things. Hesiod establishes the key elements of the myth that have persisted until today: an imagined time without crime, sickness, war, and misery; and a maternal nature that provides sustenance without human labor.

This natural paradise, however, degenerates into the Iron Age, the world we now live in, a time of wickedness, depravity, hard work, and disease, when according to Hesiod men never rest from labor and sorrow by day, and from dying by night, and the gods lay sore trouble upon them. Later versions of this myth, most famously in the Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses, explicitly link this dystopia to the institutions of civilization like cities, law, government, private property, seafaring, trade, mining, metallurgy, and agriculture. Moral corruption runs rampant, especially greed, the wicked lust for possessing, as Ovid calls it, which incites violence, crime, and war. Civilization, particularly the unnatural technologies that exploit nature, ruptures humanity’s harmonious bond with the natural world, and creates the evils that afflict us. Eventually the crimes of the human race will lead to apocalyptic destruction at the hands of the gods disgusted by our depravity.

The Golden Age myth has been one of the most long-lived and popular in Western history, for obvious reasons. It imagines a lost paradise that offers psychic refuge from the complexities and trade-offs of civilization, especially the impact of the technologies that mediate our existence. It speaks to our anxieties about the power of science and the dangers of its meddling with nature. All these attractive consolations help explain why certain strains of modern environmentalism, despite their patina of science, have echoed the motifs of this ancient myth.

Consider the case of deep ecology, a term popularized by environmental activists Bill Devall and George Sessions in their environmental classic Deep Ecology, which was published in 1985. Deep ecology goes beyond mere resource management, the common sense imperative to conserve resources both for the present and future, which most people assume is the core of environmentalism. Rather, deep ecology is concerned with the psychological trauma inflicted on humanity by modern technology and by a fast-paced, anxiety-ridden urban existence. It shares with the old Golden Age myth the idea of a harmony with nature, or as Devall and Sessions write in Deep Ecology, an identification which goes beyond humanity to include the nonhuman world.

And just as in the mythic Iron Age, the disruption of that harmony is caused by technology. Technological society, Devall and Sessions write, not only alienates humans from the rest of Nature but also alienates humans from themselves and from each other. It necessarily promotes destructive values and goals which often destroy the basis for stable viable human communities interacting with the natural world.

Once a fringe belief, the ideas of deep ecology were taken up in one of the most influential books on the environment, former Vice President Al Gore’s Earth in the Balance, published in 1992 at the moment climate change was taking off as an international crisis. Gore went on to become the most visible proponent of the need to battle climate change, and a passionate spokesman for the larger view that modernity as a whole is destroying nature and making itself miserable in the process. His book was a bestseller, and his 2006 documentary on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth, won an Academy Award.

Gore’s primary assumption is that Western culture is dysfunctional, because our civilization’s rules require suppressing the emotions that might allow us to feel the absence of our connection to the earth–– the sense of awe and reverence that used to be present in our relationship to nature, and the natural harmony that entails the music of life. The cause of the loss of the old Golden Age harmony with nature is the modern Iron Age’s technological hubris and technological alchemy, which have driven an increasingly aggressive encroachment into the natural world and created the froth and frenzy of industrial civilization.

For Gore modern science is the culprit, particularly its intellectual forefathers Francis Bacon and René Descartes, whom Gore misrepresent as ensuring the gradual abandonment of the philosophy that humankind was one vibrant strand in an elaborate web of life, matter, and meaning. And he singles out Bacon for initiating the idea that new power derived from scientific knowledge could be used to dominate nature with moral impunity. In fact, Bacon’s concern was to understand nature more thoroughly in order to fulfill the Christian moral imperative to improve human life and alleviate suffering.

Like deep ecology, Gore’s version of the old Golden Age myth characterizes much of modern environmentalism, which demonizes science and capitalism for rupturing a harmony between humans and nature that never existed. In reality, everything we know about hunter-gatherer bands, the mode of existence often touted as the lost, pre-agricultural paradise of human harmony with nature, tells us that such existence was, in the words of Thomas Hobbes, marked by continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.

That’s why humans across the globe independently invented agriculture: so that they could control their food supply and provide the adequate nutrition that a fickle and cruel nature frequently stinted. Indeed, the myth of a lost natural paradise is the luxury of civilization, one indulged by people who no longer have to fear nature’s brutal indifference to human existence and who take for granted an adequate food supply provided by modern technology.

The psychic solaces of myth, when limited to consoling those who need it, are not a problem. But they can be pernicious when applied to public policy. The solutions to the alleged apocalyptic consequences of global warming––such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which recently proposed draconian regulations for coal-fired electrical plants––comprise a war on carbon that will damage our economy and compromise our well-being, especially that of the poor on whom the higher costs for gasoline and electricity fall most heavily. And in the case of the Clean Power Plan, this economic cost would buy a negligible 0.019˚C reduction of global carbon dioxide emissions by 2100.

Worse yet, the policies based on attacking the most efficient energy available to humans, carbon-based fuels, if put into practice in the developing world, would be disastrous not only for those countries’ economies and people, but for the natural world as well. That’s because the degradation of the environment in the Third World is a consequence of poverty, underdevelopment, and autocratic governments, not the economic globalization many critics of technology and capitalism blame for global warming. Affluence and freedom are friends to the environment, and the road to affluence and freedom provides the only practical pathway to achieving a sustainable future environment.

Concern for the environment is a luxury for those who no longer have to worry about sheer survival, and who have the political freedom to put their desires for a cleaner, more pleasing environment into government policy, as we Americans did by passing the Clean Air Act in 1963 and the Clean Water Act in 1972. A peasant struggling to feed his family doesn’t have the luxury of worrying about whether his farming techniques damage the environment or not. He just wants to survive one more day.

250,000 people will die from climate change by 2050; this year, 4.3 million will die from indoor air pollution, mostly due to poor people using dung and wood for cooking. Economic development that makes electricity affordable for these people could save millions of lives.

Policies that impact human well-being should be based on reliable science, not consolatory myths. Even if global warming is true, the attempts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by attacking carbon-based energy will not in the long run do much for slowing global emissions, even as they damage the world’s economies and retard the economic development that can improve the material well-being of billions of people. Those people should not suffer because comfortable, well-fed Westerners indulge their mythic longings for a lost paradise that never existed.

So far, 61 countries, accounting for almost 48% of global emissions have ratified the deal.  The Agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified.

The EU, which played a decisive role in the adoption of the Paris Agreement last December, is a global leader on climate action. The European Commission has already brought forward the main legislative proposals to deliver on the EU’s commitment to reduce emissions in the European Union by at least 40% by 2030.

Today’s approval will be forwarded to the European Parliament for its formal consent next week. Once Parliament has consented, the Council can formally adopt the Decision.

THE STUPID EUROPEAN COMMISSION HARASSES QUALCOMM

A man walks past Qualcomm stand while attending the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona March 3, 2015.    REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

 

U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm will attempt to fend off stupid EU antitrust charges at a hearing on Nov. 10 that it used anti-competitive methods to squeeze out a rival. Galileo muttered the phrase Eppur si muove, And yet it moves, after being forced to recant in 1633, before the Inquisition, his belief that the Earth moves around the Sun.  Similarly the new inquisition of regulators forces executives to admit something they did not do, in order to get smaller penalties. Eppur si muove! 

ANTITRUST ARMAGEDDON

There is an antitrust armageddon in Europe between tiptop companies and Fourth Reich (EU). Eurokleptocrats are willing to do anything in order to get kickbacks from industry leaders. The European antitrust laws have the unfortunate consequence of harming Europeans by chilling innovation and discouraging competition. Instead of protecting competition, EU laws protect competitors who give kickbacks to kleptocrats! Kickback is the lubricant that allows a European industry to run smoothly! No European machinery can run without lubricant! Eppur si muove!

The stupid European Commission may take Qualcomm’s arguments at the hearing into account in the case, which could delay the Commission’s decision and possible fine against the company if it is found to have infringed EU antitrust rules.

Qualcomm requested the closed-door hearing nine months after the stupid European Commission accused it of forcing British phone software maker Icera out of the market by selling certain baseband chipsets below cost between 2009 and 2011. Icera was later acquired by Nvidia Corp.

European antitrust law is wielded most often by favor-seeking businessmen and their kleptocrat allies. Instead of focusing on new and better products, disgruntled rivals try to exploit the law by consorting with kleptocrats. EU officials routinely direct antitrust regulators to bend the rules in pursuit of political ends. In reality, the threat of abusive EC power is far larger than the threat of oligopoly. Eppur si muove!

The only viable definition of monopoly is a grant of privilege from the government. It therefore becomes quite clear that it is impossible for the government to decrease monopoly by passing punitive laws. The only way for the government to decrease monopoly is to remove its own monopoly grants. The antitrust laws, therefore, do not in the least diminish monopoly. What they do accomplish is to impose a continual, capricious harassment of efficient business enterprise.

Participants at antitrust hearings typically include senior officials from the stupid Commission’s competition unit and other relevant departments, officials from national competition authorities, rivals and interested groups.

Qualcomm, which faces a second antitrust charge of making illegal payments to a major customer for exclusively using its chipsets since 2011, did not ask an oral hearing for this case. The company could face a fine up to $2.5 billion or 10 percent of its 2015 revenue, if found guilty of breaking stupid EU rules.

ABUSE OF GOVERNMENT DOMINANCE

When a company is forward-thinking, proactive, innovative, and productive, it will produce good products that customers want to buy. As a result, it will win a large market share. If the company is much better than its competitors, it might win most, or almost all, of the market. This is the case with Microsoft. It has earned its market share by producing good products that customers want to buy.

AN OFFER YOU CAN’T REFUSE

EU FEDERAL PROSECUTORS FORCE ANTITRUST DEFENDANTS TO PLEAD GUILTY

A company that wins a large market through its own productive efforts deserves accolades. This is because justice, morally, tells us that we must reward the good. However, to the government, a large market share is taken as evidence of anti-competitive behavior, which makes the company a target for antitrust action. This seems to be the motive behind the antitrust suits against Microsoft and Google.  EU hoodwinks companies to plead guilty of antitrust, in exchange for smaller penalties!  Eppur si muove!

To punish the good because it is good is the vilest inversion of justice conceivable. Yet this is the essence of antitrust, and this is exactly what antitrust is doing to Microsoft and Google. Microsoft and Google are being targeted because they are good at their business, because they are successful, because they are competent. Nothing could be more unjust than this.

If you want to produce something in Fourth Reich, you’d better play the game. Contribute to politicians’ campaigns, hire their friends, go hat in hand to a hearing, and apologize for your success. In a parasite economy no good deed goes unpunished for long. Kleptocrats, seeing an opportunity to extend their power and rake in some campaign cash and kickbacks, are circling like sharks. When executives don’t show up when kleptocrats invite them, all it does is to increase kleptocrats’ interest in what executives are doing and why they do not show up.

Kleptocrats are costing trillions of euros and dollars every year. Brilliant minds waste time and energy on protecting their companies instead of thinking up new products and new ways to deliver them to consumers. Dragging smaller companies into the political swamps is just the latest diversion of Fourth Reich’s productive resources into the unproductive world of political predation.

European antitrust laws lead to huge corruption, because government officials ask for kickbacks in order to erase the alleged violation. The standard kickback in EU is 10% of the erased penalty! Many Greek officials were caught on tape asking for the corrupt tithe! Many European political parties make up their election expenses from kickbacks on antitrust cases! This is the worst possible blackmail, where tiptop ethical companies are held hostage by European kleptocrats. Eppur si muove!

 

MERKEL HARASSING ZUCKERBERG

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is seen on stage during a town hall at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California September 27, 2015.   REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

 

Stupid German prosecutors are again considering whether to press charges against Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives for failing to staunch a tide of racist and threatening posts on the social network during an influx of migrants into Europe.

 

https://i2.wp.com/gatesofvienna.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/maas-hate1.jpg

 

There is a huge conspiracy of governments, kleptocrats, dictators, big investors, ragheads, eggheads, naïve good-doers, social platforms, and search engines to harass free speech, especially hate speech and islamophobia.

Führer Juncker wants to eliminate hate speech on cyberspace, but he is out of his mind! The Orwellian European Commission is in cahoots with the social media to stop hate speech, an important form of free speech. The Commission has been itching to shut down free speech in the Parliament and now they’re attacking social media. We have already seen Facebook and Google policing freedom posts.

 

 

Munich prosecutors said they had received a complaint filed by a stupid German technology law firm two weeks ago alleging that Facebook broke strict stupid national laws against hate speech, sedition, and support for terrorist organizations.

Attorney Chan-jo Jun, who filed a similar complaint in Hamburg a year ago, is demanding that Facebook executives be compelled to comply with stupid anti-hate speech laws by removing racist or violent postings from their site. Jun is a stupid principal partner of the stupid law firm Jun Lawyers of Wuerzburg in Bavaria.

 

Free-speech

 

The Ministry of Truth, Minitrue, is the propaganda ministry in charge of hate speech. Minitrue is a misnomer and in reality serves the opposite of its namesake. It is responsible for any necessary falsification of events. In another sense, and in keeping with the concept of doublethink, Minitrue manufactures truth in the Newspeak sense of the word.

Merkel reincarnated Stasi to stop hate speech. Moreover, Germany imposes extraterritorial diktats. According to §130 StGB, offenses committed abroad, no matter whether by German citizens or by foreigners, can be prosecuted like a domestic offense, if they appear that they have been committed in-country, so as to disturb the public peace in Germany, and violate the human dignity of German citizens. So, for example, it is enough that offensive content is accessible from Germany via the Internet, for instance in form of an HTML page. Subsequently German courts are responsible for crimes of incitement committed from foreign countries.

 


 

Facebook said the complaint had no merit. “Mr Jun’s complaints have repeatedly been rejected and there is no merit to this (latest) one either,” a Facebook spokeswoman said.

“There is no place for hate on Facebook. Rather than focusing on these claims we work with partners to fight hate speech and foster counter speech.”

Free speech includes hate speech. Hate speech accusation is a contemporary example of the Orwellian newspeak promoted by Minitrue, used to silence critics of social policies that have been poorly implemented in a rush to appear politically correct.

The right to free speech includes the right to offend. Offensiveness is intrinsically valuable in the marketplace of ideas because it enables self-actualization and the freedom of association, among other important interests. Not only does the right to be offensive secure the livelihood of our favorite comedians, it protects scientific and medical researchers in their quest to push the limits of human knowledge into fields once considered taboo and enables one religion’s heretic to become another’s prophet. And should a member of a third faith, or no faith at all, wish to define himself as an iconoclast by mocking, degrading, or insulting a prophet—that too, is protected by the First Amendment.

There’s no offensiveness exception to the First Amendment and it would be insulting for the Supreme Court to allow government to tell us what’s offensive. Those who are offended shouldn’t have a veto over free expression and putative offenders should be judged in the court of public opinion.

Facebook’s rules forbid bullying, harassment, and threatening language, but stupid critics say it does not do enough to enforce them.

A spokeswoman for the public prosecutor in Munich said a decision would be taken in coming weeks on whether to act on the new stupid complaint, which names Zuckerberg – Facebook’s founder and chief executive – and regional European and German managers.

Hamburg prosecutors denied Jun’s earlier complaint on grounds that the regional court lacked jurisdiction because Facebook’s European operations are based in Ireland.

Jun wrote on his website he believed he would get a more favorable hearing in Bavaria because the justice ministry had signaled an openness to hearing stupid racial hate crime cases.

Stupid Jun has compiled a list of 438 postings over the past year that include what some might consider merely angry political rantings, but also show clear examples of racist hate speech and calls to violence laced with references to Nazi-era genocide.

Free speech is a fundamental good, necessary for democratic life and for the development of other liberties. Kleptocrats view speech as a luxury rather than as a necessity, or at least as merely one right among others, and not a particularly important one. Speech from this perspective needs to be restrained not as an exception but as the norm.

The answer to whether religious and cultural sensibilities should ever limit free expression depends upon which of these ways we think of free speech. For those who look upon free speech as a fundamental good, no degree of cultural or religious discomfort can be reason for censorship. There is no free speech without the ability to offend religious and cultural sensibilities.

The European Court of Human Rights has stressed on numerous occasions that freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of society, and this includes the expression of ideas which offend, shock, or disturb the State or any sector of the population. Samuel Adams pointed out it does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.

For socialists for whom free speech is more a luxury than a necessity, censorship is a vital tool in maintaining social peace and order. The key argument made in defense of the idea of censorship to protect cultural and religious sensibilities is that speech must necessarily be less free in a plural society. In such a society, so the argument runs, we need to police public discourse about different cultures and beliefs both to minimize friction and to protect the dignity of individuals, particularly from minority communities. As socialists put it, if people are to occupy the same political space without conflict, they mutually have to limit the extent to which they subject each other’s fundamental beliefs to criticism.

It is precisely because we do live in a plural society that we need the fullest extension possible of free speech. In such societies it is both inevitable and important that people offend the sensibilities of others. Inevitable, because where different beliefs are deeply held, clashes are unavoidable. And they should be openly resolved, rather than suppressed in the name of pseudorespect or pseudotolerance.

Following a public outcry and pressure by stupid German politicians for failing to delete a rash of racist postings on Facebook, the Silicon Valley social networking giant earlier this year hired Arvato, a business services unit of Bertelsmann, to monitor and delete racist posts.

A rash of online abuse and violent attacks against newcomers to Germany occurred amid a migrant influx last year, which led to a rise in the popularity of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and has put pressure on stupid Chancellor Angela Merkel and her stupid Christian Democratic party.