Friday, 22 August 2014

Equality, Opportunity, and the American Dream and other news and views for Friday 22 August

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  • Saving Horatio Alger: Equality, Opportunity, and the American Dream – “Lack of upward mobility is souring the national mood. As horizons shrink, anger rises. The political right has done a better job, so far, of converting frustration into political gain, by successfully—if implausibly—laying the blame for many of America’s woes at the door of ‘Big Government’.”
The idea of equal opportunity is central to the idea of America. From the very founding of the nation, the promise that talent and hard work will count for more than the lottery of birth has underpinned American self-identity.  In the latest Brookings Essay, Richard Reeves examines an issue so threatening to the American ethos—economic mobility—that President Obama has called it “the defining issue of our time.”
The idea of equal opportunity is central to the idea of America. From the very founding of the nation, the promise that talent and hard work will count for more than the lottery of birth has underpinned American self-identity. In the latest Brookings Essay, Richard Reeves examines an issue so threatening to the American ethos—economic mobility—that President Obama has called it “the defining issue of our time.”
  •  Caught out - Markets have defied expectations in 2014, leaving investors with few options – “Like a snake swallowing its own tail, the corporate sector is absorbing its own equity. How long this can continue is anyone’s guess. The peak year for share buy-backs was 2007, just before the debt crisis. That is not a great omen.”
  • China’s Fire Next Time – “Earlier this year, rumors of China’s impending financial doom – triggered by either a housing-market crash or local-government debt defaults – were rampant. But, in recent months, the economy has stabilized, leaving few doubts about China’s ability to grow by more than 7% this year. Given that the Chinese government had ample scope for policy intervention, this turnaround should come as no surprise. But the moment of financial reckoning has merely been postponed, not averted.”
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  • Rescuing Brecht – A review by Michael Hofmann of Stephen Parker’s ‘BERTOLT BRECHT - A literary life’
A bottle goes in and the food comes out: A special Turkish box allows people to nourish stray dogs by donating their recyclable bottles.
A bottle goes in and the food comes out: A special Turkish box allows people to nourish stray dogs by donating their recyclable bottles.
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