Author Archives: Harmful Economics

Discrimination against women 2020

How women & girls are forced to trade sex for water Sareen Malik and Benazir Omotto Inter Press Service August 21, 2020

Rashmi Hamal is a local heroine who helped to save her friend from an early marriage. She campaigns actively against child marriages in the Far Western Region of Nepal. Credit: Naresh Newar/IPS

UN Report: World remains a ‘violent, highly discriminatory place’ for girls InterPress Service March 4, 2020
Twenty-five years after the historic Beijing women’s conference in China – a milestone in advancing equal rights – violence against women and girls is not only common, but widely accepted, a new UN report revealed. (Access full report.)

Protesting femicide in Mexico Brent McDonald and Miguel Tovar New York Times March 10, 2020
Mexico: Thousands stay in to protest violence against women Peter Orsi AP/Washington Post March 9, 2020

Women’s unpaid labor is worth $10,900,000,000,000 Gus Wezerek and Kristen R. Ghodsee New York Times March 5, 2020
Imagine you had a bucket big enough to hold all the money made in 2018 by the 50 biggest companies in the world. The $10.9 trillion that women didn’t earn would more than fill it.

Image: The U.S. has fallen below its traditional democratic peers.

Freedom in the World 2020 finds established democracies are in decline

Freedom House March 4, 2020. Despite mass protests in every region, world suffers 14th consecutive year of deterioration in political rights and civil liberties.

Democracy is under assault around the globe, and the effects are evident not just in authoritarian states like China, Russia, and Iran, but also in countries with a long track record of upholding basic rights and freedoms. While protest movements in every region have illustrated widespread popular demand for better governance, they have yet to reverse the overall pattern of declining freedom, according to Freedom in the World 2020, the latest edition of the annual country-by-country assessment of political rights and civil liberties, released today by Freedom House.

Countries that suffered setbacks in 2019 outnumbered those making gains by nearly two to one, marking the 14th consecutive year of deterioration in global freedom. During this period, 25 of the world’s 41 established democracies experienced net losses.

The report also found an alarming global erosion in governments’ commitment to pluralism, a defining feature of liberal democracy. Ethnic, religious, and other minority groups have borne the brunt of recent state abuses in both democracies and authoritarian countries. Left unchecked, such violations threaten the freedom of entire societies.

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Opposing oppression and injustice 2020

Salvadorans walk past a mural of Salvadoran martyrs Aug. 15, 2020, outside Our Lady of Pilar Catholic Church in Zaragoza, El Salvador. The mural includes four U.S. churchwomen slain in El Salvador in 1980; some Catholics in the country consider them part of a long list of Salvadoran saints and martyrs. (CNS/Courtesy Patricia Lazo)

Forty years after killings, Salvadoran city claims Maryknoll Sisters as its own Rhina Guidos Catholic News Service September 4, 2020

Bolivia under blockade as protesters choke access to cities María Silvia Trigo and Anatoly Kurmanaev New York Times August 7, 2020
Six million people have been marooned by 70 roadblocks set up to protest the government’s response to the coronavirus and the postponement of the country’s general election.

Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, civil rights leader and King aide, dies at 98 Douglas Martin New York Times March 28, 2020
Mr. Lowery helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and gave the benediction at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Darius Swann, lead plaintiff in Supreme Court busing case, dies at 95 Harrison Smith Washington Post March 23, 2020
He and his wife sued the Charlotte-Mecklenberg school district in 1965 to send their son to an integrated N.C. school.

Betty Williams, Nobel laureate and leader of peace movement in Northern Ireland, dies at 76 Emily Langer Washington Post March 23, 2020
After witnessing the deaths of three children during the Troubles, she co-founded a campaign that drew thousands of protesters to the cause of peace.

Catherine Hamlin, OB/GYN who healed injured and ostracized mothers, dies at 96 Harrison Smith Washington Post March 22, 2020
She and her husband perfected surgical techniques to treat obstetric fistulas, a debilitating childbirth injury common in Ethiopia.

Charles Trimble, advocate for Native American rights, dies at 84 Katharine Q. Seelye New York Times March 20, 2020
He dedicated his life to advancing the tribal causes of self-determination, sovereignty and human rights.

Tex’ Harris, U.S. diplomat who exposed human rights abuses in Argentina, dies at 81 Matt Schudel Washington Post February 29, 2020
Sending reports through a special ‘dissent channel,’ he brought worldwide attention to the military junta’s ‘dirty war.’

José Zalaquett, champion of human rights in Pinochet’s Chile and around the world, dies at 77 Emily Langer Washington Post February 20, 2020
A Chilean lawyer, he was jailed and ultimately expelled from his country for his efforts on behalf of political prisoners and “disappeared” people.

Thich Quang Do, defiant rights champion in Vietnam, dies at 91 Seth Mydans New York Times February 24, 2020
As the patriarch of a banned Buddhist church, he endured prison, house arrest and internal exile but refused to bend to the Communist authorities.

Fernando Cardenal, Nicaraguan priest who defied Pope, dies at 82 Sam Roberts New York Times February 23, 2020

José Zalaquett, leader in Chile’s search for truth, dies at 77 Neil Genzlinger New York Times February 22, 2020
He incurred the wrath of the dictator Augusto Pinochet, was exiled, and became an expert in how to heal traumatized countries.

Secrecy scores by country. Credit: Tax Justice Network

Financial Secrecy Index 2020

Tax Justice Network February 18, 2020

The Financial Secrecy Index ranks jurisdictions according to their secrecy and the scale of their offshore financial activities. A politically neutral ranking, it is a tool for understanding global financial secrecy, tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, and illicit financial flows or capital flight.

The Financial Secrecy Index complements our Corporate Tax Haven Index, which ranks the world’s most important tax havens for multinational companies.

Shining light into dark places

An estimated US$21 to $32 trillion of private financial wealth is located, untaxed or lightly taxed, in secrecy jurisdictions around the world. Secrecy jurisdictions – a term we often use as an alternative to the more widely used term tax havens – use secrecy to attract illicit and illegitimate or abusive financial flows.

Illicit cross-border financial flows have been estimated at US$1-1.6 trillion per year, dwarfing the US$135 billion or so in global foreign aid. Since the 1970s, African countries alone have lost over US$1 trillion in capital flight, while combined external debts are less than US$200 billion. So Africa is a major net creditor to the world – but its assets are in the hands of a wealthy elite, protected by offshore secrecy; while its debts are shouldered by broad African populations.

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Capitalism and imperialism 2020

Compromised encryption machines gave CIA window into major human rights abuses in South America Greg Miller and Peter F. Mueller Washington Post February 17, 2020
The CIA’s complicity in recent global atrocities revealed Robert Scheer Truthdig February 21, 2020
Argentina: Un ex militar admitió que tiraron vivas al mar a más de 4 mil personas Spanish Revolution June 3, 2019 (Argentina: ex-military admits that they threw [from planes] more than 4,000 persons alive into the ocean)

Inequality, stagnation and instability ‒ the new normal for finance capitalism Yilmaz Akyüz Inter Press Service February 21, 2020