By Anders Åslund – In the early days of his presidency, the French public is behind him; recent polling puts his approval rating at 62%. Yet goodwill can dissipate quickly, which is why Emmanuel Macron must move to capitalize on his early mandate by implementing reforms of fiscal policy, taxation, the labor market, and education, to name but a few areas where change is long overdue.
France’s most immediate problems are anemic growth and inadequate job creation. For the last 12 years, France’s GDP has increased by barely 1% a year, less than the mediocre uptick in the European Union as a whole, while unemployment currently hovers just above 10%.
Only five EU countries – Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Spain, and Greece – have higher unemployment rates.
Part of the unemployment challenge is tied to hidden costs. France has some of the highest labor costs for hourly employees in the EU, and a natural consequence is tepid hiring. With inequality also growing, many French are rightly upset that labor is taxed much more than capital gains. Indeed, France’s payroll taxes amount to 19% of GDP – far exceeding the EU average of 13%.
Likewise, government spending, at 57% of GDP – is the highest in the EU, where the average is 47%. This burden is excessive, and significantly hinders economic growth. more> https://goo.gl/jxchXt
By John Kamensky – India’s government is based on the British parliamentary system with career civil servants heading about 80 departments that report to political ministers.
Day-to-day operations are in the hands of career executives with the title of Secretary to the Government of India. It’s a more centralized system and in some respects and faces greater challenges. It serves a population nearly four times the size of the United States, with greater economic disparities.
Its 29 states (and 7 Union Territories) are largely sub-units of the national government with civil servants moving back and forth.
“A 21st century government cannot deliver with 19th century institutions,” Amitabh Kant said, and to that end, the government has identified over 1,000 laws to be reduced, streamlined, or repealed. In addition, the Indian government supports over 680 autonomous bodies (e.g., AMTRAK and the Postal Service are rough equivalents in the United States) and they are reviewing each to determine if they can be devolved or eliminated. more> https://goo.gl/jzRkNN
By Katy Steinmetz – The world’s most valuable venture-backed company is no doubt in crisis. And the story of Uber, in its extreme success and what may turn out to be extreme failures, is in some ways singular. But it also hits on issues in the technology industry that are far bigger than one company.
Silicon Valley has struggled for years with diversity and inclusion, as critics have wondered whether the industry can achieve its grand self-image: a bunch of brilliant minds set on making the world a better place, for whom no problem is too tough to solve, no status quo too established to upend.
Despite whistle-blowing at other companies about hostile office cultures and widespread acknowledgement that the industry needs to “do better” when it comes to hiring and retaining women and people of color, those problems have persisted.
The fact that Uber, the brightest product of the Silicon Valley ecosystem of the past several years, could become such an influential global powerhouse while seemingly neglecting its own workplace speaks to some of the reasons that broader progress, as many see it, has been slow.
The pressure for startups to grow fast — and the prospect of profits or an enriching “exit” for investors — can be blinding. Taking time to think about unsexy HR practices often feels antithetical to hard-charging disruption.
Company culture and bias can be hard things to see, much less change, especially if the people at the top believe they’re running a meritocracy. more> https://goo.gl/WwGncQ
Posted in Banking, Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Leadership, Media, Net, Regulations, Technology
Tagged Capital, culture, Exit strategy, Silicon Valley, Startup, Workplace
By Sasha Cohen O’Connell – Resolving today’s most pressing cyber security and Internet governance challenges is dependent on the tech industry and the government working together on both policy development and policy implementation.
Specifically, collaboration is required to successfully research, design, debate, and ultimately implement effective solutions.
While there is overwhelming consensus on the need for collaboration, it remains a huge challenge. Why?
While many factors contribute to the problem, including differing incentive structures, cultures and business models, one critical element—organizational structure—is a significant and often overlooked hurdle that needs attention and creative solutions.
Most collaborations today are done by ad hoc teams of operational personnel, lawyers, government affairs departments, and/or trade associations or other outside third parties. This setup is neither efficient nor effective. more> https://goo.gl/B0j8RA
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, CONGRESS WATCH, Economic development, Economy, History, Leadership, Media, Net, Regulations
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Congress Watch, Government, Internet, Leadership, United States, Wireless, Wireline
By Dara Lind – The Trump administration does not value the rule of law. It values law and order. It values law enforcement as a weapon to be wielded in a particular direction: against social disorder, real and feared. It respects the “front lines” of conflict to protect order, but sees less need to preserve the independence of investigators or prosecutors to choose which violations of law to pursue.
In other words, it’s embracing the brute reality of power — while obliterating one of its most important constraints.
Both “rule of law” and “law and order” are tossed around as political slogans more often than not — and often by the same people. But in practice, they represent slightly different sets of values.
The “rule of law” is a procedural value: It says that the right thing for the government to do is to set, and adhere to, proper processes in all cases, without favor or prejudice to where those processes might lead.
“Law and order,” by contrast, is a substantive value: It says something about what sorts of results the government ought to be getting out of its activity (namely, a reduction in crime and social disorder, and the assurance of a safe and loyal populace). more> https://goo.gl/B0pnlP
Posted in CONGRESS WATCH, Education, History, Leadership, Media, Regulations
Tagged Congress Watch, Government, Law and order, Leadership, Organization, Rule of law, United States