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Category Archives: Fiscal Freedom

The $4 billion piggy bank hidden from South Carolinians – The Nerve

Posted: October 24, 2019 at 10:59 am


As state agencies prepare their proposed fiscal 2020-21 budgets, what they likely wont reveal is the amount of other fund surpluses carried over year after year collectively billions of dollars.

As of June 30 the end of the 2018-19 fiscal year state agencies and divisions, plus several major state funds, had a total of nearly $3.9 billion in other-fund cash balances, according to S.C. Department of Administration records released to The Nerve under the Freedom of Information Act.

That amount works to be roughly $752 for every man, woman and child in South Carolina.

Since the end of fiscal year 2015, the total amount of year-end, other-fund surpluses has grown by more than $1.1 billion, or 43%, The Nerves review found.

Other funds include such things as fees and fines, college tuition, lottery proceeds, state gasoline taxes and a portion of the state sales tax earmarked for K-12 education. That money makes up nearly $12 billion, or about 40%, of the states total $30 billion state budget for this fiscal year, which includes state ($9.2 billion) and federal ($8.8 billion) funds.

The Nerve over the years has reported about massive other-fund surpluses. And that doesnt include state agency general-fund reserves.

The Nerve last month reported that state agencies had a collective $431.9 million in general fund reserves at the start of this fiscal year, according to state Comptroller General Richard Eckstroms 2018-19 year-end report.

That amount was nearly $53 million more and $280.3 million more than the balances of the states general and capital reserve funds, respectively the two big rainy day funds required by the S.C. Constitution as of June 30.

Lawmakers also have been squirreling away plenty of money for their respective legislative chambers. The Senate and House chambers had other fund reserves of $726,713 and $247,024, respectively, at the end of last fiscal year, Department of Administration records show on top of massive general-fund surpluses $23.4 million for the House and $5.2 million for the Senate as The Nerve reported last month.

Few surplus funds are ever refunded to S.C. taxpayers, however. For this fiscal year, lawmakers designated $61.4 million generated by a one-time lottery jackpot to be returned to eligible taxpayers; $50 refund checks are scheduled to be mailed on Dec. 2, according to Eckstroms report.

As for other fund surpluses, the state Department of Transportation easily led all state agencies in The Nerves latest review with a collective $1 billion in reserves at the end of last fiscal year a hike of $685.3 million since the end of fiscal 2015.

Its not clear whether the $1 billion surplus included reserves in a special state fund created with the gas-tax-hike law that took effect July 1, 2017. DOT spokesman Pete Poore did not respond to written questions this week from The Nerve.

The Nerve has repeatedly pointed out that DOT has spent relatively little from the special fund, known as the Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund. As of Aug. 31, the cash balance in the fund stood at $451.7 million, or 54.5% of the $828.1 million in collected revenues under the gas-tax-hike law, which raised the state gas tax 12 cents per gallon over six years, and increased other vehicle taxes and fees.

In passing the law, legislators promised that the revenues would be used to fix the states crumbling roads and bridges. But relatively few major road repair or reconstruction projects have been completed, as The Nerve has reported since the law took effect.

Besides state agency surpluses, Department of Administration records recently released to The Nerve also show large other-fund reserves in several major funds, including country transportation funds. Under state law, county legislative delegations appoint County Transportation Committees (CTCs) that approve local road projects with C funds, which come from part of the state gas tax.

The statewide surplus in those funds totaled $165.1 million at the end of last fiscal year.

Following is a list of the top-10 largest other-fund reserves as of June 30, according to Department of Administration records:

Besides DOT, The Nerve this week sent written questions to the Department of Administration, STIB, Commerce, Clemson and USC about their other fund surpluses. Commerce, Clemson and USC spokespersons didnt reply by publication of this story.

In an email response Tuesday, STIB spokeswoman Tami Reed said the $91.7 million other-fund surplus for the agency as of June 30 included the balance in the Act 98 account for Act 98 projects (until balance is exhausted), and our operating fund for payments on all other projects and the administration of the Bank.

Under Act 98 of 2013, $50 million was transferred annually from the DOT to the STIB to finance bridge replacements, and rehabilitation projects, and expansion and improvement projects for existing mainline interstates, according to STIBs website. Over the years, the STIB funneled several billion dollars to large construction projects in select counties.

The Department of Administration had an $84.5 million cash balance at the end of fiscal 2019, the majority of which, according to agency spokeswoman Kelly Coakley, is designated for improving K-12 school technology and other technology programs, replacing state vehicles, and distributing funds from the sale of surplus state property.

Still, the departments other fund reserves grew by nearly 19% since the end of fiscal year 2016 a trend shared by most state agencies, The Nerves review found.

Brundrett is the news editor of The Nerve ( Contact him at 803-254-4411 or Follow him on Twitter @RickBrundrett. Follow The Nerve on Facebook and Twitter @thenervesc.

Nervestories are free to reprint and repost with permission by and credit to The Nerve.


The $4 billion piggy bank hidden from South Carolinians - The Nerve

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Local groups win grants from Boston Foundation – Dorchester Reporter

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The Boston Foundation announced nearly $6 million in grants to a collection of Greater Boston organizations, including eight from Dorchester.

The Record Company, a recording studio and arts service organization based in Newmarket Square, received a $50,000 one-year general operating support grant. College Bound Dorchester received a $75,000 one-year project support grant for its Boston Uncornered program, which provides education access for gang-involved youth.

Freedom House, a Grove Hall organization that works to remove barriers to education for first-generation and low-income students of color, received a $75,000 one-year general operating support grant.

The University of Massachusetts Foundation received a $50,000 one-year project support grant for Success Boston, a college completion initiative.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health received a $100,000 one-year project support grant for Mass in Motion, an initiative designed to build capacity at the municipal level to create a sustained approach for healthy eating and active living in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Malden.

The Four Corners Action Coalition received a $45,000 one-year project support grant for its work as fiscal sponsor of Action for Equity and for its Creating Fairmount Corridor Special Protection Zones project, which will develop a new zoning overlay district for residents in the Fairmount Corridor to protect residents from displacement.

BAMS Fest, a Franklin Park-based music and arts festival, received $10,000 for general operating support, and The Guild, a Bowdoin-Geneva social enterprise focused on sustainability, received $5,000 for general operating support.

This quarters grants provide a continuation in our support of workforce development through SkillWorks and new investments in entrepreneurship through our support of EforAlls Roxbury expansion, said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation, in a press release. In addition, we are excited to target a series of grants toward strengthening programs and services designed to help lower-income Boston residents build their assets and find affordable, sustainable housing.

The largest grant--funds totaling $350,000--went to SkillWorks, an initiative that seeks to close skill gaps and provide employment opportunities by supporting training and engaging employers in industries such as health care, information technology and hospitality.

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Local groups win grants from Boston Foundation - Dorchester Reporter

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Glasgow pro-independence march ordered to re-route over disruption fears – HeraldScotland

Posted: at 10:59 am

THE organisers of a pro-independence march in Glasgow have been ordered to re-route.

Councillors ruled the Scottish Independence Movement must end its procession on Saturday, November 2 in Shuttle Street instead of George Square, which had initially been proposed.

The decision was made after advice from Police Scotland, with the force facing an exceptionally challenging day as two loyalist marches, a pro-independence rally in George Square,and the Scottish League Cup semi-final between Celtic and Hibernian at Hampden Park are set to take place.

Organiser Manny Singh had agreed to change the start time of the march to 11.30am but did not agree on an alternative route.

READ MORE:Route revealed for Glasgow march in support of independence

Asked, at the councils public processions committee, whether he would comply with the conditions imposed, he said: It will all depend on what decision you make here today.

The pro-independence group has offered to finish in John Street but the council believed this could cause significant disruption. Police Scotland raised concerns over policing a parade with an unclear plan.

Given the uncertainty in the number of participants taking part in the procession, the dispersal point suggested by the organiser could lead to substantial city centre disruption, a council report stated.

It is therefore suggested the dispersal point be Shuttle Street to minimise the disruption and detrimental impact the procession could have on the city centre.

Such an approach would recognise the organisers rights of freedom of assembly but balance it against the disruption to the life of the community in the vicinity of the procession.

The Scottish Independence Movement was recently launched by former members of All Under One Banner (AUOB), including Manny Singh.

READ MORE:All Under One Banner organiser reported by police over Scottish independence march

He was reported to the procurator fiscal for failing to comply with conditions imposed on an AUOB procession in Glasgow in May.

Organisers ignored a council order to change the start time of that march which had been made due to fears for public safety and possible disruption to the community.

Mr Singh was sacked by AUOB in July, a decision he disputed.

A report to the public processions committee reveals council officers have raised serious concerns over the organisers complete disregard of any health and safety legislation and environmental health controls during the previous march.

The authority was notified about the new organisations intention to march last month, stating the reason for the procession, starting at Kelvin Way, was to make a serious impact and be noticed.

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Chile and the Economic and Political Violence of the State – Council On Hemispheric Affairs

Posted: at 10:59 am

by Patricio ZamoranoFrom Washington DC

The media had to double down through aconstant barrage of violent photos and videos arriving through social networksso that especially non-Chileans, who are accustomed to the mythical image of astable and exemplary country, could internalize and believe the spectacle offire and blood on their screens.

The president of Chile, Sebastin Piera,realized a feat impossible to imagine after almost 30 years since the return ofdemocracy: provoke street clashes between Chilean youth, who were not raisedduring the dictatorship, and military troops, while enforcing a curfew, a state of emergency, and thesuspension of some constitutional guarantees. These measures create a ghostlycontinuum of the dictatorship embedded in the Chilean collective psyche.

The outcome thus far will go down in history: as of October 23rd, the official count is 16 deaths (5 of them by military and police forces), 226 wounded and 1,692 detained.[1] In addition to the human cost, more than 70 metro stations were damaged, with 20 set on fire, and some trains destroyed. A large amount of public and private infrastructure has also been destroyed.

Of course, the analysis by apologists forthe government, that this was all a surprise, is meant for foreign consumption.Last weekend Chileans knew all too well what was coming. The population of thecountry has been subjected to state violence for decades. The images of thesepast days are the same ones seen during the painful protests of the 80s, whenthe country seethed from the poverty and desperation produced by the politicaland economic repression of the Pinochet dictatorship. The images recall thestate repression inflicted against secondary school students 10 years agoduring the so called Penguin Revolution (penguin is a nickname forstudents, based on the colors of school uniforms), when children were attackedby police dogs. And the images also remind us of the legal coercive methodssuch as the violence of the anti-terrorist law applied to the Mapuches insouthern Chile.

The president of Chile, Sebastin Piera, realized a feat impossible to imagine after almost 30 years since the return of democracy: provoke street clashes between Chilean youth, who were not raised during the dictatorship, and military troops, while enforcing a curfew, a state of emergency, and the suspension of some constitutional guarantees.

The Chilean police, called carabineros,have always been a repressive force, adding to the other repressive institutions that have convertedChile into a great pressure cooker. The government struggles to maintain amade-up face before the international community. Far from creating a narrativeof reconciliation in response to social upheaval, the government uses the ideaof war against an internal enemy.[2] Pinochet used this painfulmetaphor to justify the violation of human rights of Chileans and provide amoral basis for soldiers to exercise repression directly against theircompatriots.

One has to remember that despite theadvances of the social agenda since the end of the dictatorship, Pinochetmanaged to implant neoliberal privatizations that still impact the daily livesof 17 million Chileans. He privatized education and created an underfinancedpublic sector that compromises the well being of millions of children,condemning them to substandard technical-professional training that leaves themill-prepared to compete with the sons and daughters of the national elite. Heprivatized health care making it into a totally regressive system, creatingconstant desperation for the nations majority who must either use the publicsystem slow, bureaucratic, and of poor quality or pay for private care.He also privatized pensions, which regressively provides benefits according tothe level of ones lifetime income and personal savings, favoring theprivileged.

Socialtrauma generated by the economic and political model

All of these privatizations have beencreating a social trauma that one can breath in on each visit to Chile. It is afeeling of permanent institutional harassment by economic pressures and by thenews media. The Chilean soul has been converted into an expression of permanentfrustration.

Salaries are at pauper levels. A study bythe Sol Foundation shows that 70% of Chileans earn less than $700 dollars permonth, and 50% earn less than $500 dollars, little more than the minimum wage.[3] Thelives of middle class Chileans are plagued by chronic debt, with millions ofpeople trying to attain a quality of life similar to that projected by themedia of those living in higher income neighborhoods.

Chronicdebt and generalized depression

Approximately half of the 9 millionChilean workers[4] arein debt.[5] AJune 2017 study showed that 31% of those in debt have a financial burdengreater than 40% of their income, and 22% of debtors have a financial burdengreater than 50%. Also, 43% of debtors have monthly income less than 500,000pesos, equivalent to a little less than $700 according to present exchangerates.[6] Itis simply impossible to make ends meet with peace of mind.

A 2014 international studyplaces Chile in second place in Latin America for credit card debt per capita.[7] Under these conditions, the possibility of saving orspending on leisure are very difficult.

This situation has repercussions formental health in the country. Chile has one of the highest rates of depressionin the world, afflicting more than 18% of the population. And this is a problemaffecting mostly the poor in Chile. Mariane Krause, psychologist and directorof the Instituto Milenio de Depresin y Personalidad, points out that highincome sectors have an 8% rate of depression, while the poor reach a rate of25%. This is to say, shockingly, that one of every four persons living inpoverty suffers from depression in Chile.[8]

The reasons for the social debacle ofrecent days leaves no room for doubt. The extraordinarily high rate of chronicstress may even be under-represented considering the limited access to mentalhealth services in a privatized system.

Transportation:a sensitive topic

The topic of the cost of riding the metroas well as other public transportation is not merely symbolic or just a matterof an increase of a few cents by decree. One needs to study the details. Tofigure out the real cost, note that a worker spends on a daily basis between $3and $6 dollars combined on public transportation, depending on the distancebetween home and work, and the number of trips taken, for work or other dailyactivities (picking up children from school, errands, emergencies, shopping,etc.). This is between $60 and $120 per month. About 50% of workers earn lessthan 500,000 pesos, a little less than $700 per month. If a father or motherare the only breadwinners, and there is a son or daughter that needs paidtransportation, for example, to attend university or take care of some businessor go out to eat some night . . . the picture emerges of constant financialpressure on millions of families.

Lets compare this to a city likeWashington, DC. A young worker with some experience can aspire to a salary of$4,000 per month. The metro in DC is expensive and in one day can cost about$10 for two trips or $200 per month. Yet that cost does not come to even 5% ofmonthly salary of the worker in Washington.

Chile:the same recipe as Ecuador and Argentina

This system of institutional violence isbased on the impunity of the elite. As Professor Javier Ruiz Tagle of theUniversidad Catlica points out, the extent of sacking of public funds revealedby prosecutions of large Chilean corporations has exceeded $4 billion over thelast few years.[9] Thisincludes tax evasion, price fixing, and illegal monopolies, all of whichinvolve large business groups, including that of Piera himself.

The social explosion under the governmentof Piera is not isolated from the international context. In Ecuador, thegovernment of Lenin Moreno has reversed the social policies of his progressivepredecessor, Rafael Correa. Moreno, for example, decreed a tax amnesty for thebank system and other large corporations that have not paid taxes for decades.This loss in State revenue comes to more than $4 billion.[10] Lenin Moreno transferredthis debt of the private finance sector to the Ecuadorian people, along with the elimination of gas subsidies. Thisblow to the population was felt immediately only a few days ago, especiallyamong the indigenous peoples. More than 500 were wounded and several killed.This was a crude reminder of the instability suffered by Ecuador for decadesand the cost of the structural adjustment package and conditions imposed by theInternational Monetary Fund (IMF). The approval rating of Lenin Moreno hasfallen to as little as 20%, one of the worst on the continent.[11]

A parallel situation has occurred in Argentina. Thefiscal and monetary policies of President Macri have dismantled almost entirelythe subsidies and social programs of the former progressive government.[12]Macri eliminated subsidies for public transportation, water, natural gas, andelectric services, provoking a 500% rise in the cost of the latter.[13] Thelooting and despair could not wait.[14] Just this past month, an enormous demonstration demanded measuresthat would stave off hunger among the population.[15] The IMF is also behindthese fiscal policies of austerity insocial spending, despite the fact that the banking system brought in $170billion in profits in 2018, 120% more than the 2017 figure.[16] What is the result of thesesocial policies? The poverty rate in Argentina exceeds 30%,[17] childhood poverty is at50%, and one in six children experiences hunger.[18]

Chilesregressive tax system: economic violence

In Chile, the neoliberal economic model,has been perpetuated by all presidents (including the socialists Lagos andBachelet) since the Pinochet dictatorship without any significant structuralchanges The taxation feature of thismodel places excessive weight on citizens and a minimal burden on companies.More than 40% of the tax collection in Chile comes from VAT (sales tax forproducts and services). The burden fallson citizens, not companies. Thisregressive and unfair situation disproportionately affects the mostvulnerable. People with higher incomes only represent 9% of tax revenue[19]. Companies in Chile also havegreat advantages when filing taxes that, in some cases, allow them to pay aslittle as 0%[20] . Companies in the miningsector, one of the most important sources of revenue for the country, have alsogreatly benefited. According to a study by economist Eduardo Titelman, between2004 and 2009, the state stopped receiving more than $10 billion due to specialdispensations offered to mining companies, privileges that few Chileans have[21] .

Everything leads to inequality. Accordingto a 2019 ECLAC report, the richest 1% of Chile hold 26% of the nations wealth[22] . And Chile ranks seventhamong the most unequal countries on the planet, as reported by the World Bankin 2018[23] .

More than 40% of the tax collection in Chile comes from VAT (sales tax for products and services). The burden falls on citizens, not companies. This regressive and unfair situation disproportionately affects the most vulnerable. People with higher incomes only represent 9% of tax revenue

The economic model then, is based on aregressive tax policy that exacerbates inequality. The system is so rooted inthe Chilean socio-political culture, that there are no institutional mechanismsin place to transform this model of economic violence into one that is moreequitable and fair. The electoral route, in that sense, has been totallyincapable of bringing about a change that benefits the whole country. Streetmobilization and violence appears, then, as the only way out, the cry ofdespair in the face of the chronic stress of daily life. And as we have seen,other governments in the region, also faced with the lack of substantive toolsto respond to these crises, are also resorting to extraordinary measures suchas, in the case of Piera, using curfews, military troops, the state ofemergency or the anti-terrorism law.

Afury fueled by 30 years and the recipe for change

As in the cases of Argentina and Ecuador,both governed by right-wing presidents, Piera impacted a basic service ofcritical importance to the population, by increasing the price of the Metroticket and the public transportation system of Transantiago. Although theincrease was only a few cents, it precipitated the peoples fury against 30years of state violence, as the popular slogans on the streets say. Piera andthe powerful financial sector he represents are incapable of providing asolution to the Chilean problem. Chileans gain nothing by appealing to Pierafor a lasting solution; it would be tantamount to shooting themselves in thefoot.

The recipe is clear: the corporate groups( Angelinis, Luksics, Pieras and a long etcetera), must voluntarily cedepart of their factual power and allow a real tax reform that floods the statecoffers.

The privatization of the health systemmust be reversed immediately, and a universal insurance system must be createdthat covers all the needs of the population. That is, health care is a humanright. It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel: it prevails in Canada,Europe, and even in embargoed Cuba.

The pension system must also beuniversal, although mixed variants should be allowed that provide the option ofprivate pension accounts for those who can collect more as a fair reward fortheir previous income. But the state must guarantee a fair and substantial fundfor every retiree in the country. All proceeds from the investment operationsof these public funds must be returned to each citizen.

And the salary structure must be urgentlyreformed. The objective is to create income and consumption conditions thatfoster a strong domestic market, unlike the one now based on chronicindebtedness. The structure of consumption in Chile is based on the permanentdebt of the middle and working classes, which is not only unsustainablebut keeps the domestic marketpermanently depressed. The current equation exhausts the population by aconstant sense of job insecurity, harming productivity, professional morale,and the quality of life of families. If large business groups want morecommerce, more dynamism, more production, it is incomprehensible why they optfor the economic repression of millions of potential consumers. Simply put,there is conformity with the current profit levels, and even greater conformitywith the submissive passivity suffered by millions of workers in the country.

Economicfreedom, only for the elite

The most important challenge is toproduce a new mindset of the Chilean business elite. By supporting andfinancing the political and economic values of the Pinochet dictatorship, theholders of big Chilean capital opted for repressive and often lethal socialcontrol by the State, while pretending to advance the values of individual developmentand freedom championed by free market economists Milton Friedmanand his followers. Non-intervention of the State in the economy is a myth. Inreality, the State intervenes strongly to guarantee a permanent position ofeconomic privilege of a specific sectorof the population. The way in which this logic has been developed for more thanfour decades leaves no doubt. There is no interest in developing the productivepotential of the Chilean people. There is a huge distrust in the population thatis perceived by the ruling elites as a mass that must be controlled andrendered docile.

By supporting and financing the political and economic values of the Pinochet dictatorship, the holders of big Chilean capital opted for repressive and often lethal social control by the State, while pretending to advance the values of individual development and freedom championed by free market economists Milton Friedman and his followers.

Chiles low quality and expensive private health system keeps them sick and indebted with the private hospital system. The educational system frustrates the vast majority of young people and keeps them under-employed and under-educated. They are locked in a stagnant and insufficient salary structure, which prevents the accumulation of capital and savings, and truncates the possibility of sufficiently financing leisure, spiritual and creative activities. The electoral system does not provide an avenue for profound structural changes. It does not matter if the governments are nominally socialist, social democratic or right-wing; oligarchic rights are maintained at the expense of civil society. The law and constitutional coercive measures are used to crush the expression of social protest, leaving the door open to the raw expression of violence.

The Chilean explosion this weekend is nota new phenomenon. It has always been present, latent, sometimes submerged, butready to overflow the streets. The international community generallymisconstrues Chilean reality, convinced by the mirage created by macroeconomicfigures. Thus Santiago suffers, destroyed and rebuilt several times a year, ina cadence of rage that has already become a painful litany. The Chilean people,hardworking and persevering in a land full of natural calamities, politicalcalamities and social calamities, got tired this October of 2019, of turningthe other cheek.

Patricio Zamorano is a singer-songwriter, journalist and academic in political science. He is also Co-Director of COHA.

Translation by Fred Mills. Editing assistance by Roger Harris

[VISIT the Photo-Report of COHA prepared by four young Chilean photographers to document the social unrest in Chile]

End notes

[1] INDH anuncia querellas por cincopersonas fallecidas en Estado de Emergencia.

[2] Presidente Piera: Estamos en guerracontra un enemigo poderoso.

[3] Los verdades sueldos de Chile.

[4] Banco Mundial.

[5] SBIF realiza radiografa delendeudamiento en Chile

[6] SBIF realiza radiografa delendeudamiento en Chile

[7] Chilenos tienen la segunda mayor deudaen tarjetas de Latinoamrica.

[8] MARIANE KRAUSE: Chilerequiere un cambio sociocultural para superar la depresin

[9] La cifra de la indignacin: Acadmicocalcula en ms de cuatro mil millones de dlares las prdidas que sufri elEstado en beneficio de unos pocos.

[10] Ecuador: gobierno de Lenin Morenosacrifica a los sectores empobrecidos para satisfacer al FMI.

[11] Consultora Mitofsky.

[12] Macri persiste en su poltica deeliminar subsidios a los servicios.

[13] Gobierno de Macri elimina subsidios aelectricidad, se esperan alzas de hasta 500%

[14]Crisis econmica enArgentina: Intento de saqueo termin con un nio de 13 aos muerto por heridade bala.

[15] Argentina y una semana marcada porprotestas que exigen la emergencia alimentaria

[16] El sector financier siguesiendo el gran ganador de la era Macri.

[17] Argentina se hunde en lapobreza mientras el dlar se dispara.

[18] Ms de la mitad de los nios argentinos son pobres.

[19] Chile recauda cuatro veces msimpuestos por el IVA que por lo que pagan los ms ricos.

[20] Cmo y por qu el gobierno permitira las empresas no pagar impuesto corporativo.

[21] Los enormes beneficios tributarios alos que acceden las empresas mineras en Chile.

[22] Cepal describe a Chile como un pas desigual: Un 1% concentra el 26,5% de la riqueza

[23 ] Aparece Chile: estos son los 10 pases ms desiguales del mundo.

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Things We Pretend Not to Know: Douglas Murray and the Futilitarian Paradigm – Merion West

Posted: at 10:59 am

Mill is pointing to a driver, perhaps the chief driver of inequality in our economic system. The capital that young people today are unable to accumulate is, in fact, land (i.e. location) value.

The world is pulsing with unrest. There is an irreconcilable conflict between democratic ideas and the aristocratic organization of society. We cannot permit people to vote, then force them to beg. We cannot go on educating them, then refusing them the right to earn a living. We cannot go on chattering about inalienable human rights, then deny the inalienable right to the bounty of the Creator.

Henry George, Progress and Poverty, chapter 43 The Central Truth (1879)

What ignited todays radical anti-capitalism and woke left-wing cultural politics? According to Douglas Murray, interviewed on his new book, The Madness of Crowds, it started with the economy:

I trace all of this back ten years. We all understand this historically, when the economics goes wrong, other things go wrong. When the financial crash of 2008 happened it had social consequences too, a loss of confidence by people who were at the heart of what would have been the system because they feel, and not without merit, that the adults screwed up.

Quillette Podcast(c 31mins)

Specifically, the adults screwed up the housing market:

Interviewer: We live in a society post the crash where its very difficult to expect young people to be capitalists when they dont have the chance of having the one form of capital that historically ordinary people have had, which is to own their own home.

Douglas Murray: I say this in the introduction, its not clear why people who dont have any ability to accumulate capital will love capitalismIt is clear to me why if you dont think you ever have a chance of owning a flat, an apartment, you might find an ideology, which claims that it can solve every inequity on earth, has an appeal.

Interview, Triggernometry (c 10 mins)

Thus, according to Murray, todays horrible zero sum anti-capitalist radicalism is a temper tantrum over intergenerational unfairness in housing pricing. But the book, thoughtful and pertinent as it clearly is, does not dwell on economics. Murray shrugs off the crash; we had another failure of capital accumulation; we must do better. Look around he says and compare: where and when have we ever had it so good? Nevertheless this shrug jars a little, given the very real concern he voices in nearly every interview: that the poorly thought-out Marxist ambitions of the movement risk pulling the whole thing apart.

Murrays shrug has a specific origin. It is the reigning universal futilitarian paradigm of political economy:

Today, futilitarian Neo-classical economists have an array of dismal choices for us: equity vs.efficiency; attracting business vs. supporting public services; inflation vs. unemployment;pollution vs. unemployment; equality vs. incentives; productivity vs. full employment; equality

Neo-classical economics makes an ideal of choice. That sounds good, and liberating, and positive. In practice, however, it has become a new dismal science, a science of choice where most of the choices are bad. TANSTAAFL (There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) is the slogan and shibboleth. Whatever you want, you must give up something good. As an overtone there is even a hint that what one person gains he must take from another.

Mason Gaffney, The Corruption of Economics, 1994

Futilitarianism is the water in which we swim; it pervades discourse and now seeps into the cultural spheres Murray discusses in his recent interviews. It is the root of our division and derangement. One of the symptoms of our madness, Murray neatly states, Murray neatly states, has been a rejection of epistemological norms:We are pretending to know about things we dont know and pretending to not know things weve known til yesterday.

In one recent interview Murray quotes John Stuart Mill on the importance of listening to opposing views. He states it more fully in a Spectator article:

As John Stuart Mill argued in On Liberty, we must hear contrary opinions. Firstly, because what is otherwise kept from us may be true, or contain a portion of truth, and secondly because if our opinions go unchallenged then truth risks getting divorced from its rational roots and eventually becoming a dogma too feeble to sustain.

As a result of the discussion that right- and left-wing writers and politicians have initiated in recent years, a number of serious errors in our society have been rectified and a number of important principles reiterated. This is a direct result of that freedom.

With that in mind, consider a further quotation from Mill from his 1848 workPrinciples of Political Economy with some of their Applications to Social Philosophy, which goes to the heart of Murrays economic thesis:

The ordinary progress of a society which increases in wealth, is at all times tending to augment the incomes of landlords [landowners]; to give them both a greater amount and a greater proportion of the wealth of the community, independently of any trouble or outlay incurred by themselves. They grow richer, as it were in their sleep, without working, risking, or economizing. What claim have they, on the general principle of social justice, to this accession of riches? In what would they have been wronged if society had, from the beginning, reserved the right of taxing the spontaneous increase of rent, to the highest amount required by financial exigencies?

Mill is pointing to a driver, perhaps the chief driver of inequality in our economic system. The capital that young people today are unable to accumulate is, in fact, land (i.e. location) value. Murray conflates land and capital. This is not surprising: foundational to neoclassical economics is the axiom that land is but one form of capital. This is a rare example of a science unmaking a category distinction: that land and capital were fundamentally different was conventional theory in Mills day. This is why the land market (by orders of magnitude the largest market of all) nevertheless regularly outwits us and crashes the whole economy. We simply do not see it. And this is how a problem with the land market is consistently mistaken for a problem with capitalism.

This point, then, might very well be one of those things that we pretend not to know, which is highly unfortunate, because it just might have caused the 2008 crash.

Mill calls the private appropriation of the rent of land a social justice issue and points at a solution, a non-futilitarian classical liberal paradigm that was advocated by Adam Smith and fully described by Henry George a few years after Mill. If we were to simply shift taxes off of labour and capital and onto land, we would make a significant stepmaybe even a quantum leaptowards ending systemic inequality. Henry George came to use the term the Single Tax for this policy. Mason Gaffney uses the term Geofiscalism, such as in his1998 address at a meeting of the Land Policy Council, London:

Geofiscalism untaxes labor without raising taxes on capital, or capital formation.

Geofiscalism creates jobs without use of inflationary demand stimulus. It stimulates both supply and demand jointly, leveling them upwards. It proffers us True Fiscal Stimulus, in contrast to the current shallow usage of fiscal stimulus to mean deficit finance and bank expansion.

Geofiscalism makes jobs while abating demands on nature and the environment.

Geofiscalism promotes economy in government. By making jobs, it automatically lowers welfare costs.

Geofiscalism lets us raise tax rates without impairing the tax base: there is no Laffer-curve Effect.

Geofiscalism effects a radical social and economic reform in a completely non- catastrophic way, working silently through existing institutions and the free market.

Geofiscalism is impervious to tax-avoidance and evasion schemes.

Separately, in Gaffneys 1994work The Corruptionof Economics:Geofiscal reform would cut the Gordian knot of modern dilemma-bound economics by raising demand, raising supply, raising incentives, improving equity, freeing up the market, supporting government, fostering capital formation, and paying public debts, all in one simple stroke.

Thats an impressive list of claims. It promises a lot, maybe even enough for todays revolutionaries. Remodeling the tax system in this way might quench the thirst for social justice, and it would almost certainly reduce real estate costs.

Geofiscal reform allows us to recast the inequality problem as a technical issue, de-fangining it from politics. It gives both Left and Right what they say they want: a pro worker, pro capital meritocracy. It might even give the disaffected a chance to recover (or discover) a belief in capitalism.

But it remains an idea we cannot offer to ourselves. Viewed from inside the futilitarian paradigm, it is an impossibility, a violation of dogma. The last stage of the reform agenda of the nineteenth century is lost to us; classical liberalism has been schizophrened. No wonder the crowds are mad.

Darren Iversen is an independent student of Georgist history in England.

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COVER STORY | Colorado’s think tanks put ideas into action –

Posted: at 10:59 am

George Sparks still carries himself like a titan of industry -- a straight spine, a firm handshake and a purposeful gait as he greets a journalist and makes his way through the cavernous halls of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. His mission this day was to show off the reconstructed bones of a T. Rex dinosaur near the entrance, as parents and children shuffled in.

When he was 45 years old, he thought about the future, about his career withHewlett Packard and, before that, his service as an Air Force pilot. He made a plan to retire from global software matters at 55 to run a nonprofit. One informed decision led to another until 2004, when Sparks became president and CEO of the state's premier scientific institution, one thatbegan in a cabin in Breckenridgein 1868.

All that expertise and credibility evolved into the museum's Institute for Science & Policy, one of the few chief independent policy resources at the Capitol. That means that as Colorado presses ahead on issues such as climate change and renewable energy, the scientists working at the museum in East Denver will be at the forefront of solutions, if policymakers listen.

Colorado is home to at least two dozen institutes, policy organizations and collaboratives that pick apart issues related to the economy, health care, the environment, religious liberties, fiscal responsibility and other variables of the common good.

Some lean left, some lean right, and some call themselves nonpartisan for tax reasons, though their conclusions tend to follow an ideological direction. Though most own a point of view, they dive deeper into hot political issues and niche theories than mainstream media would or could, especially in a public arena with fewer and fewer professional journalists.

These organizations, funded by donors, inject knowledge and talking points into a process that runs on questions and assumptions ahead of often costly conclusions. Studies, white papers and fact sheets provide the meat in the sausage-making process in government.

Colorado Politics polled news-media experts, current and former legislators, lobbyists and other Capitol insiders about the most prominent and most credible think tanks, regardless of partisan slant.

Former State Sen. John Andrews, ubiquitous in Colorado politics for decades, has founded five such policy organizations, includingtwo of the think tanks on the list, the Independence Institute in Denver and the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood.

"Government is constantly interjecting itself into new areas of our lives, for better or worse," he said. "Most Americans are busy getting on with their lives, so it gives people participating in self-government and the average voter another resource to make sense of the issues beyond the sound bite or the intense emotional debate that gives off more heat than light."

Andrews said Twitter's short missives provide a poor substitute for rigorous study of the facts and an even more rigorous debate in the public arena of ideas.

Here's a look at 10 Colorado think tanks.

Institute for Science & Policy: "Science is going to win"

No one in Colorado tops the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on independence, stature and credibility, so when it officially opened its own policy think tank -- an outreach program tailored to public communicators and decision-makers -- two years ago, it was a natural fit at the top of the state's information food chain.

"I don't think you can have a war on science any more than you can have a war on math," Sparks said. "Science is going to win. Math is going to win. You can disregard science and math, but that always ends in tears."

The museum doesn't lean to any political view, though it might lend itself to one, depending on what the science yields. Sparks, though, hopes to ensure public policies have good scientific underpinnings to solve future problems that are sure to present themselves -- "issues like gene editing , AI [artificial intelligence], robotics, obviously climate change," Sparks said.

The Denver museum's think tank also is a Colorado engine for collaboration with universities, scholars and other research facilities that might shy away from politically motivated efforts of other think tanks.

Besides regularly training journalists and policymakers, the museum also puts on an annual symposium at the museum; this year's event on Oct. 26 is slated to take on aspirations versus pragmatism around climate change.

Sparks predicts Colorado is on the edge of a great energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources.

"The grid is going to be completely redone into something we couldn't have even imagined -- everywhere, but Colorado is right at the forefront on it," he said.

Mission: "We are a catalyzing force for better policy making by encouraging Americans to talk to each other again, and to solve problems through civil dialogue and scientific thinking."

Year founded:2017.

Key leadership:George Sparks, president and CEO of the Denver Museum of Natural & Science.

Number of staff, contributors or fellows: Four staff, three external contributors.

Annual budget: About $300,000.

Key financial contributors:Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

Why is your work important? "The Institute for Science & Policy was born out of a desire for science to be a valued part of the policy-making process. Too often scientific data are disregarded or distorted to suit a particular political agenda."

Bell Policy Center: 'Committed to being credible'

Andrews said The Bell Policy Center in Denver has been a counterweight to the Independence Institute he founded, with a much different view of the same issues, especially the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, libertarians' much-loved constitutional amendment that throttles state spending and returns tax dollars to taxpayers when government grows beyond the state spending cap.

"I respect the work Bell does even when I disagree with all their premises and conclusions," Andrews said.

That should be music to the ears of Scott Wasserman, Bell Policy's president since 2016.

The organizations credibility comes partly in its longevity, but also its reliance on solid facts to bolster solid arguments, Wasserman said.

Since we were founded in 2000, I think weve been really committed to being credible, he said. I think that folks understand that when we put out a report and we put out analysis, that you can disagree with the findings and you might disagree with the perspective were coming from, but you cant disagree with the facts.

Bell was one of the first research and advocacy organizations to tackle the questions around general economic opportunity policy in Colorado.

Bell has provided a backbeat for nearly two decades on the arguments against the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, an assembly of economic data and populist spin that have seeped into the states political bloodstream. A big piece of the issue rests on the November ballot. Proposition CC would allow the state to keep future tax refunds authorized under TABOR to support transportation and education. Voters would still get to vote on future tax questions, even if CC passes.

We need facts and we need nuance in the political process, he said. And the political process often doesnt lend itself to a careful, thoughtful conversation. I think what think tanks do at their best is that they throw out new ideas, new perspectives, they look deeper at questions. Its not just what but its who.

Mission:To promote economic mobility for every Coloradan.

Year founded:2000.

Key leadership:The founding president was Wade Buchanan. "Were very proud of our 'founding mothers' Merle Chambers, Linda Shoemaker and Jean Dubofsky," Wasserman said, adding that the current board chair is Kathleen Beatty, former dean of the University of Colorado Denvers School of Public Affairs.

Number of staff, contributors or fellows: 13.

Annual budget: More than $1 million.

Key financial contributors: Contributors include major foundations like the Merle Chambers Fund, Colorado Health Foundation, the Kresge Foundation and the Piton Foundation at Gary Community Investments. "We also receive major and small dollar support from hundreds of individual contributors," the center says.

Why is your work important?"Our work is important because we help everyone in Colorados public policy process see beyond the main economic headlines and understand what is happening to economically to Coloradans living in a variety of different circumstances. We highlight the challenges that people face and connect the dots back to our broader policy decisions. At minimum, we help to shape the conversation. At best, we have a hand in shaping the actual laws and regulations that shape life in Colorado. We also help Coloradans understand what is happening in what is often a very complex process. Our goal is to make economic mobility issues easy to understand and to give people facts and insights that stimulate bigger discussions about how to ensure a bright future for Colorado."

The Independence Institute: 'Freedoms ... are under assault'

Despite the reams of study, arguments, events and media that flow from the Denver-based Independence Institute, it's really about one thing, says Jon Caldara, who waves the baton for this civil libertarian ensemble.

Well, two things, if you count his joke about needing the job.

I think people think politics is a debate between parties or candidates, when really politics is a debate between philosophies, Caldara said. "And weve got to dive into those philosophies to set a course.

Our philosophy comes from a very simple thought, which is that people are better off when they can make their own decisions.

Caldara said Andrews founded the Independence Institute on the "enduring truths of the Declaration of Independence," explaining why there's a statue of Thomas Jefferson in front of the building.

We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," Caldara said. "We focus in a lot on that liberty part, and we drink a lot for the happiness part.

This year the institute is leading the defense of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights against Proposition CC, which would allow use of future refunds in excess of TABOR's cap for transportation and education.

Last year Caldara was the chief spokesman against a statewide sales tax for highways, running his own ballot question instead that would force the state legislature to fund roads from existing taxes. Both measures lost.

The Independence Institute is built to last as a political mover and shaker with top-level experts, well-financed research and a media reach deep into web reporting, podcasts, TV and radio that could rival Colorado news stations.

For us, the think tank is just the first step in the process, Caldara said. The next step is to get the ideas engaged.

Mission: "To expand the Colorado Culture of craving the Freedom to make our own decisions we work to empower individuals and to educate citizens, legislators and opinion makers about public policies that enhance personal and economic freedom. We are an 'action tank,' freeing Coloradans through regulatory work, litigation, coalition building, ballot initiatives, new media and investigative reporting."

Year founded: 1985.

Key leadership: Founded by John Andrews and later led by Tom Tancredo. Jon Caldara has been president and CEO since 1998.

Number of staff, contributors or fellows: "25 and one director of animal affairs, Miss Jazzy, our golden retriever."

Annual budget: About $3 million.

Key financial contributors: "We respect our investors privacy. We let them decide if they wish to publicize their investments."

Why is your work important? "Colorado has always been a beacon for those who wish to direct their own futures, take risk and write their own biographies. Colorado has traditionally been a magnet for creators who, though the power of voluntary relationships and free exchange, have made this state the envy of the nation. Our mission is more important than ever because the very freedoms that made Colorado special are under assault. Instead of policies that empower people to make their own decisions, lawmakers are making decisions for others and using the coercive power of government to take from others and force their values on those who dont share them."

Western Resource Advocates: 'Focused on collaborating'

When the late Boulder environmental lawyer Kelley Green started the Land and Water (LAW) Fund of the Rockies in 1989, she was concerned about the future of energy development in the West. She was concerned about healthy rivers that aren't dried up by farming and urban growth.

Those battles rage on today, led still by the organization she founded that became Boulder-based Western Resource Advocates in 2003.

Thirty years ago, no one with research and legal heft was bringing that to bear on local resource decisions -- water boards, statehouses, public utilities commissions and the like.

Nobody was representing the environment in those discussions at the time, said Jon Goldin-Dubois, the organization's current leader, who oversees a staff of 53 working in seven Western states.

What makes us unique, I think, is were outcome oriented first. he continued. What were looking at right now is: What does the next 30 years look like?

Hes hoping for a carbon-free West. He hopes for a more connected West where wildlife species can migrate and flourish around spaces now occupied by humans.

Mission: "Western Resource Advocates works to protect the Wests land, air and water to ensure that vibrant communities exist in balance with nature."

Year founded: 1989.

Key leadership: Jon Goldin-Dubois has been president of Western Resource Advocates since 2014.

Number of staff, contributors, or fellows: 53.

Annual budget: $8.8 million.

Key financial contributors: Approximately 50 foundations and 950 other donors.

Why is your work important?Western Resource Advocates is working to solve the biggest conservation challenges facing the West. What makes us successful is that were focused on collaborating to achieve conservation outcomes, not on the fight, said Jon Goldin-Dubois, president. "WRA works in seven states, primarily at the state and local level. Our staff of attorneys, economists, engineers, and policy experts seek to ensure the West has abundant clean water to support habitat for fish and wildlife, our communities, agriculture, and world- class recreational opportunities. We develop policies that will make sure that our homes, buildings, and transportation systems are powered by clean energy, so the West can prosper in a zero-carbon economy. And WRA envisions a future where half of Western landscapes and habitat will be protected and connected to support thriving wildlife populations, with unparalleled opportunities for people to enjoy the Wests natural beauty. We work to guarantee clean air and clean water for our communities.

Centennial Institute: 'Renew[ing] the Spririt of 1776'

Jeff Hunttook over as directorof the Centennial Institute from Andrews in 2015 and soon added the dual role of vice president of public policy for Colorado Christian University in Lakewood.

It comes as no surprise that that the institute opposes abortion and social drug use, while it defends constitutional rights, and the institute also brings some of the biggest names in politics to Denver each summer for the Western Conservative Summit. The summit is billed as the largest gathering of conservative politicians, media and operatives outside Washington, D.C.

"It creates opportunities for our state so that the grassroots can see these people, and we're able to bring together some experts with pretty serious policy analysis of the issues facing our state," Hunt said.

The Centennial Institute stays current on issues discussed around dinner tables, at churches and at town halls, he added.

"These are issues that are being discussed in the heat of public policy battles, and I think people want guidance and the best intellectual perspectives to draw from to make up their own minds."

He cited two key leaders for the Centennial Institute's success: Andrews and the late former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong, who founded Colorado Christian University.

"Certainly everything Bill Armstrong turned to gold," Hunt said.

Mission: "The Centennial Institute sponsors research, events, and publications to enhance public understanding of the most important issues facing our state and nation. By proclaiming truth, we aim to foster faith, family, and freedom, teach citizenship and renew the Spirit of 1776."

Year founded: 2009.

Key leadership: Founders were Bill Armstrong and John Andrews. Current leadership is Donald Sweeting and Jeff Hunt.

Number of staff, contributors or fellows: Four full-time staff, 15 members of the 1776 scholars (students), 11 professors and 22 fellows.

Annual budget: Undisclosed.

Key financial contributors: Undisclosed.

Why is your work important?"The Centennial Institute is first and foremost a think tank housed at Colorado Christian University. We train students and prepare them for significant positions of leadership in government. We also advance the strategic priorities of the university to impact culture on behalf of the Christian conservative worldview. We are holistically conservative, supporting social and economic conservatism, as well as a strong national defense. The Centennial Institute is important in blending academic research on important public policy with grassroots activism to implement change. By holding to natural law, we remind policymakers that liberty, order, and justice are required for a thriving community."

Colorado Health Institute: 'Surfacing the pros and cons'

Michele Lueck, president and CEO of the Colorado Health Institute, thinks a healthier state depends on a better public policies.

"We believe with research, expert analysis and insight and rigor, that's how we're going to get to better policy decisions and a healthier state," she said.

Her institute, much like the Museum of Nature & Science, isn't an advocacy organization per se.

"We don't espouse opinions unless those opinions are based on the evidence," Lueck said. "Our loyalty is to surfacing the pros and cost of certain ideas and putting that in the hands of legislators and other policy makers throughout the state of Colorado. It could be at a county level or a school district level."

The organization has had a large say in each of the last 10 major health care policy decision in the state, including expanding Medicaid and creating a health exchange under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

"We've brought to bear on all those decision, regardless of whether they were made by the legislative or executive branch or at city and county levels," Lueck said.

The institute also is the author of some of the state's most often cited evidence on public opinions, statistics, trends and studies related to health care in Colorado.

Every other year, the institute surveys10,000 Colorado households for the most in-depth look at health insurance coverage, access to health care and the factors helping and hurting Coloradans' health.

The survey is funded in partnership with The Colorado Trust, the Colorado Health Foundation, the Colorado Springs Health Foundation, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, and the Colorado Department of Human Services' Office of Behavioral Health.

"The politics will always be sticky" around health care, Lueckj said. "We've certainly encountered our fair share of those issues, but on balance I think we bring deliberation to what's ostensibly a deliberative process."

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Stewarding Africa-US Relations: Choosing the Right Partner at the Right Time – Townhall

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From the start of the 21stCentury, till today, the world we live in has drastically changed and some parts of it have become landing pads for those who wish harm to U.S. interests. These circumstances are precarious but they also have the potential to impact Africa-U.S. relations. With the rising economies of Ghana (and others) along with the Intra-Africa Free Trade Agreement on the horizon, the possibilities within Africa are enormous, but Africas foreign trade partners will also play a vital role in determining the future. In these complex times, choosing the right partners is as important as the plan for growth itself.

In the face of the Cold War, Governor Ronald Reagan gave a speech historically called, A Time for Choosing. The speech was about choosing freedom at all costs. A poignant excerpt from that speech states:

We're at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it's been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening...

The increasing activity of China and Russia on the continent represents a clear and present complication for Africa and U.S. relations. Africa and the U.S. must not divert attention or lose focus on each other as a historic opportunity for partnership takes shape.

Between 1995 and 2006, US aid to Africa was roughly equal to the amount of assistance provided by all other donor nations combined, said former National Security Advisor John Bolton. For Fiscal Year 2017 alone, the U.S. Department of State and USAID provided approximately $8.7 billion dollars in development, security, and food assistance to Africa, he reported. In the prior fiscal year, the aid in these areas was $8.6 billion dollars. There is room for growth in these areas based upon an alignment of national strategic interests.

Meanwhile, China has made moves into many parts of the African continent. As an example, its predatory lending will result in China taking over Zambias national power and utility company as repayment of debt. In another case, Djiboutis debt to China results in a Chinese military base near Camp Lemonnier, a key to U.S. counter terrorism efforts in east Africa. Moreover, a strategically located Djibouti port is believed to be the next concession to China. These developments stand between Africa and U.S. relations.

Likewise, Russia continues to sell arms and energy in exchange for votes in the United Nations, Bolton said. And equally troubling, radical terrorist organizations all operate, recruit, and plot attacks against American citizens and targets on the continent.

Consequently, on December 13, 2018, Bolton delivered the Trump Administrations New Africa Strategy that paves the way for success for Africa-U.S. relations. The New Africa Strategy stresses three core U.S. interests on the African continent: (1) advancing U.S. trade and commercial ties with nations across the region to the benefit of both the United States and Africa; (2) countering the threat from Radical Islamic Terrorism and violent conflict; and (3) ensuring that U.S. taxpayer dollars for aid are used efficiently and effectively.

The relationship between Africa and the U.S. can be better than ever; the U.S. has held firm on its commitment to Africa and the emphasis around economic development, trade, and security remains great as evidenced by both the president and then-Secretary Tillerson conducting high-level dialogue, visits to the continent and sustained USAID.

Moreover, the U.S. commitment is codified in the Africa Grown Opportunity Act (AGOA) passed in May 2000 (and extended) to assist the economies of sub-Saharan Africa and to improve economic relations between the United States and the region.

Since 2000, under AGOA, demonstratable gains have been made. Approximately 300,000 jobs were created, a four-fold growth in non-oil exports realized, and export-oriented industries built. Further, trade between the U.S. and Africa was 13.5 percent higher than in 2017, said AmbassadorMatt Harrington.

However, future gains are at risk where China, Russia and Radical Islamic terrorism undermine U.S. interests.

There is a new starting point for productive relations between Africa and the U.S. On that journey toward growth and economic development, eradicating corruption, alleviating human rights abuses, cooperating in combating Radical Islamic terror groups and ensuring accountability for U.S. investments are important to this key relationship.

The New U.S. Africa Strategy strongly assures that Africa will have a U.S. partner that will respect its uniqueness and independence and it will receive the support for humanitarian, security, and development assistance it requires. Africa can win with the Trump administration and the new strategy for Africa-U.S. relations.

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Myanmar Climbs Six Spots in World Bank Ease of Doing Business Ranking – The Irrawaddy News Magazine

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Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, government officials and businesspeople attend the Invest Myanmar Summit 2019 in Naypyitaw in January. / Invest Myanmar Summit

By Nan Lwin 24 October 2019

YANGONMyanmar moved up six places to 165th on the World Banks 2020 ease of doing business ranking in the banks latest report, which cites several reforms including creating an easier environment for starting a business and greater protections for minority investors.

On Thursday, the World Banks latest report on ease of doing business ranked documented regulatory changes in 12 areas of business activity in 190 economies that encourage efficiency and support the freedom to do business.

The World Bank said Myanmar introduced substantial improvements in five areas of doing businessstarting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, protecting minority investors and enforcing contracts.

Myanmars ambitious reform program allowed the country to rise out of the bottom 20 to a ranking of 165, the World Bank said.

In the 2019 ease of doing business index, Myanmar retained the No. 171 spot it held in 2018, making it the least favorable ASEAN member in which to conduct business.

The World Bank said Myanmar made starting a business easier by introducing an online platform for company registration and by reducing incorporation fees. Moreover, the country strengthened construction quality control by imposing stricter qualification requirements for architects and engineers and making building permit requirements available online.

Likewise, Myanmar has improved its water and sanitation infrastructure and made the process of obtaining building permits more efficient by introducing service quality standards. The country also made property registration faster by streamlining deed registration and appraisal. Additionally, the quality of Myanmars land administration system has improved thanks to the publication of a fee schedule, official service standards, and statistics on property transfers for the previous calendar year.

The bank said Myanmar strengthened minority investor protections by requiring greater disclosure of transactions with interested parties, increasing director liability and requiring greater corporate transparency.

Moreover, Myanmar made enforcing contracts easier by publishing performance measurement reports, according to the World Bank.

The World Bank monitors 12 areas of business regulation. Ten of these areasstarting a business, dealing with construction permits, accessing electricity, registering property, accessing credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvencyare included in the ease of doing business score and ease of doing business ranking.

Recently, a World Bank report listed Myanmar among the top 20 improvers in its Doing Business 2020 report, alongside China, Bangladesh and India. The country was also included in a list of countries that have made it easier to do business in three or more of 10 areas.

Last year, after Myanmar failed to improve on the World Bank index, Myanmars Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations formed a taskforce to find ways to improve its performance.

The Myanmar government set the ambitious goal of reaching the top 100 of the index for 2020.

Since taking office in 2016, the National League for Democracy has implemented numerous economic reforms, including amending investment laws and introducing a Myanmar Companies Law to boost confidence among foreign investors. It has created a new ministry and drawn up the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP), a road map to promote equal development in social and economic sectors.

The government has also set up an online registration system for domestic and foreign companies to remove red tape. Additionally, it introduced the Myanmar Investment Promotion Plan (MIPP), which aims to attract more than US$200 billion (305.7 trillion kyats) in investment from businesses over the next 20 years.

MIPP projects are expected to receive US$8.5 billion between 2021 and 2026, US$12.3 billion from 2026 to 2031 and US$17.6 billion from 2031 to 2036.

Myanmar also introduced a project bank that aims to create a centralized and publicly accessible database to enable the government to coordinate with ministries and departments and prioritize proposals that are in line with the MSDP.

On Monday, at the Myanmar Investment Conference in Tokyo, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said her government has been both aggressive and strategic in liberalizing various key economic sectorsciting the recent reform of the insurance sector allowing 100-percent foreign-owned life insurance companies to operate in Myanmar.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said the government is planning to introduce a new Land and Property Bank that will expedite processes that involve the lease of state-owned land and properties through centralized electronic means.

Myanmar is in the process of transforming an opaque, non-competitive, connections-based economy into a larger, more transparent, more competitive, rules-based economy, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi added.

Government-approved foreign direct investment so far this fiscal year totals US$4.1 billion, nearly a 70-per-cent increase from the same period last year but short of the US$5.8 billion target.

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Publications – Research & Commentary: Poor Assessment Results Highlight Need for Education Choice in Oregon – The Heartland Institute

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The latest results from Oregons Smarter Balanced exams show just 52 percent of students in grades 38 tested proficient to grade level in English language arts (ELA), while only 40 percent did so in mathematics. These are the worst results in the tests five-year history.

Looking further into the data, only 30 percent of black students tested proficient in ELA, and just 17 percent in math. For Hispanic students, 35 percent tested proficient in ELA and 24 percent in math. For low-income students, 39 percent were proficient in ELA and 28 percent in math. Only 58 percent of students in Portland Public Schools, the states largest district, tested proficient in ELA and just 45 percent in math.

The results of these tests show Oregon public schools are failing to educate to grade level roughly half of the studentsin their charge in ELA and math. These mediocreresults from Oregon public schools are unacceptable and highlights the need for a stark and immediate change from the status quo.

Oregon public schools need more competition. Moreover, Oregon families need more education options. These goals could be achieved by establishing more private school choice options such as an education savings account (ESA) program.

With ESA, state education funds allocated for a child are placed in a parent-controlled savings account. Under the proposed program, parents could use a state-provided, restricted-use debit card to access education funds to pay for resources for their childs unique educational program. ESA funds could be used to pay for tuition and fees at private and parochial schools,textbooks and curriculum materials, online courses, tutoring services, educational therapies, computer hardware, or transportation costs. They could also be used to cover the fees required to take national standardized achievement tests, such as the SAT or ACT,as well as tuition, fees, and textbooks at postsecondary institutions.

Copious empirical researchcovering ESAs and other school choice programs shows they offer families improved access to high-quality schools that meet their childrens unique needs and circumstances. Moreover, these programs improve access to schools that deliver quality educationinexpensively. Additionally, these programsbenefit public school studentsand taxpayers by increasing competition,decreasing segregation,andimproving civic values and practices.

Students at private schools are alsoless likelythan their public school peers to experience problems such as alcohol abuse, bullying, drug use, fighting, gang activity, racial tension, theft, vandalism, and weapon-based threats.There is also astrong causal linksuggesting private school choice programs improve the mental health of participating students.

It is probably for these reasons that choice programs are more popular with parents than ever before. The results of EdChoices sixth annualSchooling in Americasurvey, released in December 2018, found 74 percent of respondents favor ESAs, up 3 percentage points from 2017. According to the survey, support for ESAs is 76 percent among millennials, 72 percent for those with incomes less than $40,000 a year, 79 percent for blacks, 70 percent for Hispanics, 72 percent among self-identified Democrats, and 77 percent among independents. Another 64 percent support voucher programs and 66 percent support tax-credit scholarships.

Supporters of parental freedom in education hope Oregon lawmakers will take a closer look at the popularity and efficacy of school choice programs in 2020. It is time to reform Oregons mediocre public education system. Beaver State families are ready for education choice. Public schools should not hold a monopoly on education. By implementing an ESA program, legislators can ensure more Oregon children have the opportunity to attend a quality school.

The following documents can provide more information about ESAs and parental choice in education.

The 123s of School Choice report from EdChoice is an in-depth review of the available research on private school choice programs in America. Areas of study include: private school choice program participant test scores, program participant attainment, parent satisfaction, public school students test scores, civic values and practices, racial/ethnic integration and fiscal effects.

A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Choice (Fourth Edition) paper by EdChoice details how a vast body of research shows educational choice programs improve academic outcomes for students and schools, saves taxpayers money, reduces segregation in schools, and improves students civic values. This edition brings together a total of 100 empirical studies examining these essential questions in one comprehensive report.

Protecting Students with Child Safety Accounts thisHeartland Policy Brief, Vicki Alger, senior fellow at the Independent Womens Forum and research fellow at the Independent Institute, and Heartland Policy Analyst Tim Benson detail the prevalence of bullying, harassment, and assault taking place in Americas public schools and the difficulties for parents in having their child moved from a school that is unsafe for them. Alger and Benson propose a Child Safety Account program, which would allow parents to immediately have their child moved to a safe school private, parochial, or public as soon as parents feel the public school their child is currently attending is too dangerous to their childs physical or emotional health.

2018 Schooling in America Survey: Public Opinion on K12 Education, Parent and Teacher Experiences, Accountability, and School Choice annual survey from EdChoice, conducted in partnership with Braun Research, Inc., measures public opinion and awareness on a range of K12 education topics, including parents schooling preferences, educational choice policies, and the federal governments role in education. The survey also records response levels, differences, and intensities for citizens located across the country and in a variety of demographic groups.

The Public Benefit of Private Schooling: Test Scores Rise When There Is More of It Analysisfrom the Cato Institute examines the effect increased access to private schooling has had on international student test scores in 52 countries. The Cato researchers found that a 1 percentage point increase in the share of private school enrollment would lead to moderate increases in students math, reading, and science achievement.

The Effects of School Choice on Mental Health study from Corey DeAngelis at the Cato Institute and Angela K. Dills of Western Carolina University empirically examines the relationship between school choice and mental health. It finds that states adopting broad-based voucher programs and charter schools witness declines in adolescent suicides and suggests that private schooling reduces the number of times individuals are seen for mental health issues.

Competition: For the Children study from the Texas Public Policy Foundation claims universal school choice results in higher test scoresfor students remaining in traditional public schoolsand improved high school graduation rates.

Nothing in thisResearch & Commentaryis intended to influence the passage of legislation, and it does not necessarily represent the views of The Heartland Institute. For further information on this subject, visitSchool Reform News, The Heartland Instituteswebsite, andPolicyBot, Heartlands free online research database.

The Heartland Institute can send an expert to your state to testify or brief your caucus; host an event in your state; or send you further information on a topic. Please dont hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance! If you have any questions or comments, contact Heartlands government relations department, atgovernmentrelations@heartland.orgor 312/377-4000.

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Publications - Research & Commentary: Poor Assessment Results Highlight Need for Education Choice in Oregon - The Heartland Institute

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The Boston Foundation announces nearly $5.9 million in grants to Greater Boston organizations – Sampan

Posted: at 10:59 am

Boston The Boston Foundation is pleased to announce its quarterly discretionary grants after a meeting of the Foundations Board of Directors last week. The Board approved $2,637,000 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to 29 organizations, and also acknowledged another $3,242,134 paid out between cycles through other discretionary programs of the Foundation.

This quarters grants provide a continuation in our support of workforce development through SkillWorks and new investments in entrepreneurship through our support of EforAlls Roxbury expansion, said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. In addition, we are excited to target a series of grants toward strengthening programs and services designed to help lower-income Boston residents build their assets and find affordable, sustainable housing.

The $350,000, one-year grant toSkillWorks, the largest in the docket, demonstrates the Boston Foundations continuing support to a program it co-founded over a decade ago. The initiative seeks to close skill gaps and provide employment opportunities by supporting training and engaging employers in industries such as health care, information technology and hospitality.

In addition, the Foundation is making a $100,000, one-year general operating support grant toEntrepreneurship for All (EforAll), as it seeks to bring the documented success of its system of supports to entrepreneurs to Bostons Roxbury neighborhood.

In neighborhoods and housing, the Foundation is providing $200,000 over the next two years toHousing Navigator Massachusetts, Inc., to support the development of a new tool to make it easier for low- and middle-income households to find housing and housing supports that best suit their needs. The new Housing Navigator software seeks to bring together information about programs and services for homeowners and renters, improving the odds for residents to find appropriate, affordable, sustainable housing for themselves and their families.

The Foundation continued its support of colleges and universities taking part in theSuccess Bostoncollege completion initiative with four grants totaling $200,000 to Boston-based colleges to support Success Boston liaisons, individuals based on each campus who can provide needed assistance to Success Boston students and their coaches and maximize the overall impact of the programs on campus.

Other grants of note include a grant of $250,000 over two years to theSomerville Public Schoolsto support its Equity in Action initiative. This grant seeks to enhance the districts open-source student data tool, Student Insights, to better capture student-centered analytics and performance insights through an equity lens as students move through the district.

And the Foundation extended two long-standing commitments to organizations for whom we were There at the Beginning, with a $100,000, one-year grants to theMassachusetts Department of Public Healthfor its Mass in Motion health policy initiative, and a $200,000 grant over two years to theInstitute for Nonprofit Practice, which provides training to expand the skills and resources of promising nonprofit leaders. INP is also receiving a $150,000 grant over three years in collaboration withTSNE MissionWorks, to create a training program for consultants who can work with nonprofit organizations and leaders who are seeking to advance and implement diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

A full list of quarterly discretionary grants is below, separated by strategy area.


Arts and Culture

Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, Inc.:A$35,000one-year general operating support grant to the Arts and Business Council, one of Boston and Greater Bostons largest Arts Service Organizations (ASOs) providing a full suite of services to the arts community, including legal aid, fiscal sponsorship and professional development programs.

The Dance Complex, Inc.:A$25,000one-year general operating support grant to the Dance Complex to continue its work as a hub for performing artists and the local community, providing easy, affordable access to classes, rehearsal and venue space, and vibrant community programming.

MASSCreative, Inc.:A$50,000one-year general operating support grant to MASSCreative, an organization that works to engage and build the political strength of Massachusetts arts and cultural sector, for its efforts to organize a broad-based action network that will advocate for increased investment in arts and cultural activities by federal, state and local leaders.

The Record Company:A$50,000one-year general operating support grant to the Record Company, Bostons only arts service organization serving musicians with space and professional development, to continue its organizational development and growth into a new space and to support its increased programming which helps Boston musicians take their art to market.

The Yard, Inc.:A$10,000project support grant to the Yard, Inc., an organization that supports contemporary dance makers and related artists through paid research residency, public performance, and long-term education, in support of the 2019 Bessie Schonberg Creative Mentorship Residency Boston Artists Pilot.

Education: Early Childhood

Urban College:A$52,000one-year program support grant to the Urban College of Boston, an agency whose mission is to provide opportunity to every student seeking a college degree or professional advancement, for its program Strengthening Supports for English Language Learner (ELL) Educators to strengthen and support the English language acquisition of non-native English-speaking professionals enrolled in their early childhood courses.

Education: College Completion

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology:A$50,000one-year project support grant to Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology for their Success Boston Liaison, which provides support for Success Boston coaches and students at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, aiming to increase college persistence and completion for graduates of the Boston Public Schools.

Bunker Hill Community College:A$50,000one-year project support grant to Bunker Hill Community College for their Success Boston Liaison, which provides support for Success Boston coaches and students at Bunker Hill Community College, aiming to increase college persistence and completion for graduates of the Boston Public Schools.

College Bound Dorchester:A$75,000one-year project support grant to College Bound Dorchester for their Boston Uncornered work, which provides education access for gang-involved youth and aims to increase college enrollment and completion among low-income young people of color from Boston.

Freedom House, Inc.:A$75,000one-year general operating support grant to Freedom House, an organization that works to remove barriers to education by providing first-generation college-going and lower-income students of color with college-level learning opportunities, intensive summer college preparation programs, and ongoing coaching throughout college.

NextGen Talent:A$65,000one-year project support grant to NextGen Talent, an organization working to boost the career success of low-income and first-generation college students in Greater Boston, to support a strategic assessment of trends, factors, and strategies associated with Boston students transitions from college into the labor market. The grant is payable to Friends of Excel Academy, Inc. as fiscal sponsor.

Roxbury Community College:A$50,000one-year project support grant to Roxbury Community College for their Success Boston Liaison, which provides support for Success Boston coaches and students at Roxbury Community College, aiming to increase college persistence and completion for graduates of the Boston Public Schools.

University of Massachusetts Foundation, Inc.:A$50,000one-year project support grant to support the Success Boston Liaison at UMass Boston, which provides support for Success Boston coaches and students at UMass Boston, aiming to increase college persistence and completion for graduates of the Boston Public Schools.

Education: Structural Reform

Somerville Public Schools:A$250,000two-year project grant to Somerville Public Schools to support its Equity in Action initiative, primarily through enhancing and transforming its open-source student data tool, Student Insights, into a broader equity-focused dashboard that drives action through more strategic use of analytics and supports addressing student challenges through an equity lens.

Health and Wellness

Massachusetts Department of Public Health:A$100,000one-year project support grant to Massachusetts Department of Public Health for Mass in Motion, an initiative designed to build capacity at the municipal level to create a sustained approach for healthy eating and active living, specifically in Dorchester, Roxbury and Malden.

Jobs and Economic Development

Entrepreneurship for All:A$100,000one-year general operating support grant to Entrepreneurship for All, an agency that works to create an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem that helps early state entrepreneurs efficiently launch and grow businesses that are capable of generating wealth, jobs, and transforming the local economy.

Institute for a Competitive Inner City, Inc.:A$25,000one-year program support grant to Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, an agency that works to drive economic prosperity in under-resourced communities around the country through private sector investment to create jobs, income and wealth for local residents, for its Inner City Capital Connections-Boston program.

SkillWorks/The Boston Foundation:A$350,000one-year general operating support grant to SkillWorks/The Boston Foundation, an initiative that targets the Boston regions skill gaps and systemic challenges by expanding employer engagement in healthcare, information technology/technology, and hospitality in order to aggregate better labor market intelligence to inform training programs in the region.

Neighborhoods and Housing

Action for Equity:A$45,000one-year project support grant to Action for Equity, a coalition of 13 community-led organizations dedicated to creating and implementing policies to address the issues of race and class inequities, for its Creating Fairmount Corridor Special Protection Zones project, which will develop a new zoning overlay district for residents in the Fairmount Corridor to protect residents from displacement. The grant is payable to Four Corners Action Coalition, Inc. as fiscal sponsor for the coalition.

Alliance for Business Leadership:A$30,000one-year project support grant to the Alliance for Business Leadership, a coalition of progressive business leaders united in the belief that social responsibility and sustainable economic growth go hand in hand, to support the continuation of the Business Leaders Learning Project: Mobilizing the Business Community on Workforce Housing.

Asian Community Development Corporation:A$50,000one-year project support grant to Asian Community Development Corporation, an organization that works in underserved and immigrant Asian American communities in the Greater Boston region to create and preserve affordable, sustainable, and healthy neighborhoods, for the Innovation and Gentrification Initiative, a collaboration with the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

BSA Foundation:A$30,000two-year project support grant to the BSA Foundation, an organization dedicated to building a better Boston by engaging the public in the importance of design, inspiring vibrant neighborhoods and a more resilient and equitable city, and provoking positive change through collaborative efforts, for its Housing Innovation Design Fellow program, which will also be supported by the City of Bostons Housing Innovation Design Lab.

Compass Working Capital:A$100,000two-year project support grant to Compass Working Capital, an organization that supports families with low incomes to build assets and financial capabilities as a pathway to greater economic opportunity and out of poverty for its Expanding the Scope and Impact of the Compass FSS Program in Boston, which will allow any family in federally-subsidized housing the opportunity to build assets as a pathway to economic opportunity.

Housing Navigator Massachusetts, Inc.:A$200,000two-year project support grant to the Kuehn Charitable Foundation on behalf of Housing Navigator Massachusetts, Inc. to support the development of the Housing Navigator software which will provide information to low- and moderate-income households so they can make the best choice possible for their housing needs. The two-year grant will be paid in equal annual installments to Citizens Housing and Planning Association as fiscal sponsor.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation:A$120,000one-year general operating support grant to LISC Boston, an intermediary organization that does capacity building and lending to CDCs, and community change work.

Nonprofit Effectiveness

Institute for Nonprofit Practice:A$200,000two-year general operating support grant to Institute for Nonprofit Practice, an organization that seeks to transform communities by equipping the most promising nonprofit leaders with the skills, confidence, and resources they need to make their organizations effective, innovative, and sustainable.

Institute for Nonprofit Practice/TSNE MissionWorks:A$150,000three-year project support grant payable to Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP) to support INP and TSNE MissionWorks to create a training program to build consultants capacity to support nonprofit organizations and leaders to implement policies and practices that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Other/Unaligned Grants

Latino Legacy Fund:A$150,000three-year grant to the Boston Foundation for the Latino Legacy Fund grant-making program, which was established in 2013 with the goal of contributing to our regions civic vitality by supporting organizations that help Latinos realize their full potential, with a specific focus on improving the educational experiences of Latinos in Greater Boston from early childhood through post-secondary education.

The Equality Fund:A$100,000two-year grant to the Boston Foundation for the Equality Fund grant-making program, which was established in 2011 with two primary goals: making high-impact grants to the most innovative nonprofits serving the diverse members of the LGBTQ community; and building a permanent endowment that will benefit the LGBTQ community of Greater Boston in perpetuity.

Selected other grants:

Boston Foundation Grassroots Fund

A small grants program that supports program activities that might include, but are not limited to, community events and celebrations, pilot or demonstration projects, conferences and convenings, and small programs that mirror those funded by discretionary grants, but which lack sufficient scale to be eligible or competitive. Grants released in the past quarter totaled $54,705. Selected grants over $3,000 included:

First Teacher$10,000:For general operating support

Massachusetts Voter Education$7,500:For the Let Me Lead Conference and Hustlex2 Career & Entrepreneurship Conference

Multicultural AIDS Coalition, Inc.$4,500:For the Other and Belonging Conference

Union Capital Boston, Inc.$5,000:For general operating support for the Collier Connection

Other between-cycles and special fund grants acknowledged by the Board included:

BAMS Fest, Inc.$10,000:For general operating supportBaraka Community Wellness$10,000:For the Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids Food Cares program

Boston Educational Development Foundation$4,250: For the BPS Valedictorian Luncheon

Boston Landmarks Orchestra$60,000: For the 2019 Summer Concert Series free concerts at the Hatch Shell

Boston Public Library$50,000: For the Fund for the Boston Public Library

CONEXION, Inc.$10,000:For Leadership Development Programming

Enterprise Community Partners$40,000: For support ofUndesign the Red Line

Environmental League of Massachusetts$25,000: For the Civic Action Project

Haley House, Inc.$25,000:For Haley House Bakery Caf Re-Envisioning and Relaunch consultant support

Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers$50,000: To develop a shared services model for its membership and to provide job placement and training for people with disabilities

Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO), Inc.$5,000:For Multicultural Youth Tour of Whats Now (MYTOWN)

Silver Lining Mentoring$25,000: For the Thought Leadership Institute

Urban Guild, Inc.$5,000:For general operating support

Grants previously shared publicly in Boston Foundation-sponsored announcements:

The Board of Directors also acknowledged several grants paid out during the quarter that were previously announced by the Foundation in other grant announcements, including:

The Equality Fund: $173,300

Health Starts at Home Fund: $260,000

Live Arts Boston grants: $629,363

My Summer in the City Fund: $67,500

Pozen Prize for Innovative Schools: $90,000

Social Innovation Fund grants: $414,615

Success Boston-related grants: $629,455


The Boston Foundation, Greater Bostons community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of over $1.2 billion. In FY2018, the Foundation and its donors paid nearly $130 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $200 million. The Foundation is a close partner in philanthropy with its donors, with more than 1,100 separate charitable funds established either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. Since its founding, the Boston Foundation and its donors have given more than $2 billion to nonprofits, including over $1 billion in the past decade.

The foundation also serves as a major civic leader, think tank and advocacy organization, commissioning research into the most critical issues of our time and helping to shape public policy designed to advance opportunity for everyone in Greater Boston.The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), the consulting arm of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visittbf.orgor call 617-338-1700.

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The Boston Foundation announces nearly $5.9 million in grants to Greater Boston organizations - Sampan

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