1525 Chapters
Medium 9780253354303

9 Protecting against Pandemics

Thomas G. Weiss Indiana University Press ePub

• Antecedents: Smallpox as a Model

• Knowledge Gaps: From Ignorance to Ignorance

• Normative Gaps: A Missing Prelude to Action

• Policy Gaps: The Need to Scale Up the Attack

• Institutional Gaps: Necessary but Insufficient Organizations

• Compliance Gaps: Who Is Listening?

• Close Calls: SARS and Avian Flu

• Conclusion: Fitful and Halting Progress

The rapidity with which some diseases can spread to become global pandemics; the emergence of new, deadly, and highly contagious diseases; the absence of border defenses to protect against such diseases; and the greater vulnerability of poor countries and poor people because of virtually nonexistent preventive and negligible therapeutic care are among the down sides of globalization. A deadly cocktail of exotic diseases crosses borders free of passport and visa regulations due to the back-and-forth movement of business travelers, tourists, traders, soldiers, migrants, and refugees; the modes of transport they use; incubation periods that ensure that many who contract diseases develop symptoms only after borders have been crossed; and the ability of some diseases to jump across plant, bird, and animal species.

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Medium 9781576753361

The Fringe Auto Industry

Karger, Howard Jacob Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Credit, the problem and solution to all of life’s problems.
–Vista Cars & Trucks, Houston, Texas

Owning a car has become a necessity in many American cities. In particular, many of the post-World War II car-based cities of the Midwest, Southwest, South, and West Coast have notoriously poor public transportation—fewer than 5% of U.S. roadways are served by public transportation. Having a reliable vehicle is important for getting to work on time, for picking up children in day care, for shopping at the lowest-priced stores, for visiting friends and family, and for finding employment. Vehicle ownership is also fertile ground for all types of fraud, from used-car purchases to auto title pawns, and even to tire rentals.146

This chapter explores some of the hurdles that the poor encounter when trying to find and keep basic transportation. In particular, it examines how the used-car industry is organized, the difficulties that the poor face when trying to find affordable used cars, the ins and outs of used-car financing, and subprime financing. It also looks at loosely regulated fringe auto insurers and auto title pawns. Finally, the chapter offers some solutions to help rein in the fringe auto economy.

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Medium 9781626563377

Chapter 3: Weaning off Wall Street

Brill, Hal Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The Three Investment Strategies:
Close to Home, Sustainable Global Economy, and Evolutionary

AS WE TURN OUR FOCUS TOWARD THE COLUMNS OF THE RESILIENT Investing Map, it is time to recall our quick survey of the VUCA world—volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous—in which we live. There’s an unfathomable intertwining of relationships that underlies the global economy and the physical world, making predictions virtually impossible. As financial advisors it has not been easy for us to overcome our desire for certainty about where the world is heading. But once we acknowledged that the world as it is may not be sitting on the most solid of foundations—and that our clients hold a range of views about our possible futures—it became essential to explore strategies that speak to both emerging innovations and local resilience.

Even a few years ago, such a multifaceted approach would have been impractical, as there were few opportunities to invest our money in either the close-to-home or evolutionary strategy. Now we are energized by the explosion of creativity taking place in virtually all the RIM zones—particularly for one’s financial assets, where it is increasingly possible to select options that do not come from Wall Street. In recent years formerly obscure niches, such as international microfinance, local food systems, and “social purpose bonds,” have catapulted into categories recognized by institutional investors. The World Economic Forum describes these outside-the-box approaches as moving “from the margins to the mainstream.”1 And while some of the ways to invest in personal and tangible assets are timeless, here too there have been exciting innovations, many of which—such as the sharing economy—have been empowered by technological advances.

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Medium 9781576758625

3: Stopping Foreclosures and Predatory Lending

Rathke, Wade Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In the last decade of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st, there seemed to be significant progress in home ownership, especially among minority and lower-income households. But in the blink of an eye, most of the gains for minorities in home ownership over the last twenty years have been wiped out by the crises in the subprime lending sector.1 Current estimates that another 5 million to 10 million homeowners are in danger of foreclosure underscore the dimensions of this crisis in home ownership.

Bizarrely, some of the rhetoric of the 2008 presidential campaign tried to target the Community Reinvestment Act (and even ACORN!) as culprits for the meltdown in housing and the excesses of subprime mortgage lending and securitization. This is a classic case of understanding the facts or, as Richard Pryor used to joke, your lying eyes. The problems in the subprime market could have been prevented, but the unwillingness to move quickly and move outside of the herd, driven by pursuit of what any casual reader of the daily papers knows now were false profits, was the undoing of the housing industry and triggered the collapse of the economy.

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Medium 9780253001931

4 - A World Awash in Weapons

John T. Shaw Indiana University Press ePub

In May 2009, Richard Lugar attended a conference on Islam hosted by the Aspen Institute in Dubrovnik, Croatia. After the initial session concluded, Lugar left and headed for the airport, where he boarded a U.S. military plane for a 5-hour flight to Chelyabinsk, Russia, on the western edge of Siberia. The senator interrupted the comfort of the Aspen conference to attend the opening ceremonies of the Chemical Weapons Destruction Facility in Shchuchye. Lugar arrived at Chelyabinsk a little before midnight, checked into a Holiday Inn, and was on the road by 7 the next morning for the 2.5-hour drive to Shchuchye. This trip, Lugar’s fourth visit to Shchuchye, represented the culmination of a long struggle to help build this chemical weapons destruction facility in Russia.

Lugar’s more than decade-long battle to support Russia’s construction of this facility included tense congressional tussles with those who opposed helping Russia until it behaved better in the world and fully adhered to its obligations under treaties it signed regarding the elimination of biological and chemical weapons. The Shchuchye project ran into serious cost overruns, disputes with contractors, misunderstandings with Russian officials, and bewildering certification requirements in American law. On at least a dozen occasions over the past decade, Lugar interceded to keep the project on track. He made calls to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and personal pleas to President George W. Bush, sent letters to congressional colleagues, and maneuvered to push America’s funding commitments through Congress and the complex Pentagon bureaucracy.1 Lugar viewed the building of a state-of-the-art chemical weapons destruction facility in Russia as hugely important for practical and symbolic reasons. To help get it built, he took on multiple roles: senior statesman, legislative dealmaker, international diplomat, and bureaucratic operative.

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