Republicans in the US House of Representatives have proposed a step toward immigration reform. The bill would change who can receive an annual block of 55,000 US permanent resident visas. Currently those visas go to people from countries with relatively low rates of immigration to the US via a lottery system. The new bill would close that program and reallocate the visas toward people earning doctorates in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
CGD Policy Blogs
The Washington Post reported yesterday that India will, starting Jan 1st in 51 districts, pay cash directly into the accounts of poor families as it begins unraveling its convoluted web of food, fuel and other subsidies. India’s been toying with this idea for a while, so it’s good news that it’ll finally kick-off in the New Year. Many others will be watching.
This is a joint post with Lawrence MacDonald.
What do the stalled climate talks getting underway in Doha, Qatar, this week and the partisan jousting in Washington over the impending “fiscal cliff” have in common? Not much if you get your information from the mainstream media, which has mostly either ignored the idea or poured cold water on it. Below the surface, however, there is fresh interest in the United States in taxing carbon pollution, including from some unexpected quarters. Such a move can’t come soon enough.
With relentlessly bad news out of Syria, the search continues for what the world can do to put pressure on Assad’s regime and to lay the groundwork for a future, legitimate Syrian government. The case for preemptive contract sanctions is becoming ever more compelling. Under this approach, the United States, United Kingdom, and other members of the Friends of Syria, would declare that new contracts with the Assad regime are illegitimate and that our courts should not enforce them if a legitimate successor government in Syria repudiates them. This could deter new loans and investments in Syria’s oil or other sectors and send a signal to the Assad regime that the economic pressure will not loosen.
The Millennium Development Goal of universal primary-school completion has been successful. By 2011, 90 percent of countries had already met the goal; only 19 of 212 countries are unlikely to meet it by 2015. That is good news for international campaigns and government efforts to get more kids in school. But meeting enrollment targets does not necessary improve education.
This is a joint post with Christian Meyer.
For global producers of consumer products, the rise of a middle class in India is great news. Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, and IKEA have all recently announced they will move into the Indian market. The Swedish furniture maker plans to invest up to €1.5 billion over the next 15 to 20 years. A growing and more economically secure middle class in a country that, for all its troubles, is expected to continue to grow at a healthy if not torrid pace, ensures a healthy consumer market for years to come.
Over the last half-century, global health gains have increased at historic levels (you can see for yourself by using Hans Rosling’s entertaining and informative Gapminder tool). While parts of the gain can be attributed to economic growth, specific health efforts continue to generate significant health benefits.
Apparently a spot has opened up in senior management at a major microcredit and development organization in Bangladesh. Here's the "help wanted" ad recently placed in the Daily Star to fill the position (HT Todd Bernhardt of the Grameen Foundation). Maybe you can figure out which organization is hiring? Maybe you know someone who fits the description?
Virtually all the footwear that Americans buy is imported, and those shoes are taxed at an average rate of 10 percent—eight times higher than the average for all imports. This “policy” is a relic of an earlier age that poses an unjustified burden for poor American consumers, who spend a higher share of their incomes on highly taxed shoe and clothing imports than do richer Americans.
Why does Britain score consistently well in its approach to aid? At a recent Center for Global Development in Europe event, Sir Tim Lankester, a former British civil servant, shed some light on this. His new book, The Politics and Economics of Britain’s Foreign Aid: The Pergau Dam Affair, sets out the story of a decisive moment in British development policy.