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George WashingtonGeorge Washington is infamously known for his role as general of the Revolutionary War and for being the first president of the United States. Here are the top 10 interesting facts about George Washington. They reveal his efforts to ease international tensions and address the global issues of his time.

Top 10 Interesting Facts About George Washington

  1. He Believed in Neutrality – Much of Washington’s presidency was spent dealing with the ongoing tensions between Great Britain and France. Washington’s strategy for addressing this issue was to appear neutral. Washington tried not to take a side in this feud. Instead, he focused on the importance of strengthening U.S. foreign relations. Washington sent John Jay to Great Britain, which resulted in The Jay Treaty of 1794. The treaty strengthened trade relations with Great Britain and cleared the U.S. of war debts.
  2. He Wanted Humane Treatment for Prisoners –Washington set the standard for treatment of U.S. prisoners. In the Battle of New York, Washington witnessed British troops slaughter captured American soldiers. At the Battle of Trenton, where U.S. forces captured Hessian mercenaries, Washington had the chance to punish them in the same manner. Instead, he ordered his soldiers to treat the Hessians humanely. U.S. troops risked their lives to safely escort these prisoners across the Delaware River.
  3. He was Health Conscious – Washington was always very health-conscious. The deadliest disease of Washington’s time was smallpox, an illness that Washington found deadlier than “the Sword of the enemy.” When he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, he had all new soldiers inoculated for smallpox.
  4. He Played a Big Role in Establishing the Government – Part of Washington’s role as the nation’s first president was unifying the country. Washington acted swiftly and established the first United States Cabinet to advise him. He also played an integral part in the implementation of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, which guarantees rights to the American people.
  5. He Hated Slavery –Washington was firmly against the slave trade and put an end to the practice at Mt. Vernon. The former president then tried to ease the burden on his slaves by selling off mass parcels of land and change crops to diminish his need for intense human labor. Washington received little interest in his land, but he was finally able to legally release his slaves upon his death and the death of his wife.
  6. He Valued Religious Freedom – Washington did not want people to be persecuted against on the basis of faith and was a firm believer in religious freedom. America was to be a sanctuary for all people of all religious backgrounds. Washington fought for this belief, and helped establish freedom of religion during his presidency.
  7. He Supported Immigration – Washington was a staunch supporter of immigration. He believed that “America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges.” Washington passed the Naturalization Act of 1790. This law welcomed people of “good character” to immigrate into the U.S.
  8. He Lived by a Strict Code of Morality – George Washington was admired for his unfailing sense of morality. As General of U.S. forces, Washington pushed his men to be not only good soldiers but also good men. Washington’s most infamous moral act is perhaps when he refused to serve a third term as president because he believed no man should hold too much power.
  9. He Addressed Hostile Relations with Native Americans – After the American Revolution, many Native Americans still held resentment towards the U.S. Washington sought to address this resentment by signing the Treaty of Greenville. This treaty put an end to the ongoing Indian Wars. The treaty granted two-thirds of the territory from the Ohio River and Lake Erie to the U.S. In exchange, Native Americans received utensils, clothing and animals.
  10. He Eased Tensions with Spain – In early America, there were ongoing problems between Spain and the U.S. due to the Spanish occupation of New Orleans. Spain denied the U.S. access to the Mississippi River in an attempt to thwart trade. To resolve this issue, Washington signed Pinckney’s Treaty. The treaty allowed for the U.S. to sail ships on the Mississippi and for duty-free transport.

Why These Facts About George Washington Are Important

These facts reveal that, although known for being the face of the American Revolution, Washington was also an advocate of diplomacy. He spent the majority of his presidency trying to find diplomatic solutions to international conflicts. They also display his concerns with basic human issues such as morality, religious freedom and health. Washington spent his entire life trying to promote the importance of these issues, yet his efforts are often unheard of. These top 10 interesting facts about George Washington are important because they shed light onto the incredible efforts of America’s first president to fight for the causes he believed in.

Gabriella Gonzalez
Photo: Flickr

Afghan Journalists
In some of the world’s most vulnerable regions, journalists face prominent hurdles as they fight for their freedom of expression, an integral right preserved by the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Reporters Sans Frontières has been taking action in protecting the liberties of journalists, specifically female ones, and their freedom of speech so as to combat the threat of violence against journalists in Afghanistan.

In March 2017, the organization opened the “Center for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists,” while in November, it held a training and advocacy visit to support safety within the field. Facing intimidation from the Taliban, as well as social pressures, women reporters encounter many obstacles in their pursuit of the truth, making such efforts essential.

Reporters Sans Frontières

In 1985, Reporters Sans Frontières, or RSF, was founded by four journalists in Montpellier, France with the intention of defending freedom of information and investigating violations across the globe. RSF has written to authorities and challenged governments that have put these rights in jeopardy, as well as supported journalists who have been imprisoned or exiled.

The non-governmental organization aims to construct pluralistic political systems and champion the right to seek factual material without hindrance; interestingly, the group also promotes the presence of watchdogs that have the ability to question corrupt authority.

RSF and the Media

Among other activities, RSF provides press releases about media freedoms in a variety of languages, generates awareness campaigns, and offers assistance and legal aid to endangered journalists. A report from Radio Free Europe stated that 2017 was one of the most violent years for journalists in Afghanistan.

According to the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, 20 journalists and media workers were killed, with 169 threats made to reporters.

Mistreatment of Female Journalists

RSF attributes much of Afghani conflict to civil war, with many intimidations and deaths coming from the Taliban. As a result of such in-fighting, the country has seen the rise of many “black holes” in information.

For female journalists, the situation is particularly perilous, as many have been confronted with the threat of attack or silencing. In many cases, and often as a result of such treatment, social pressures discourage women from becoming journalists, as their families may impress upon them the dangers of the profession.

Women experience harassment in the workplace as well as patriarchal standards, and the number of female journalists in Afghanistan has decreased since 2015.

Center for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists

In March 2017 on the eve of International Women’s Day, RSF opened the Center for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists — Afghanistan’s first center for the protection of female journalists’ rights. Based in Kabul and headed by Afghan journalist Farida Nekzad, the center provides a forum for women, combats discrimination, calls for equal rights and wages, advocates for better work conditions and prevents abuses.

The Center has offered support to reporters working in war zones, as well as organized seminars on physical and digital safety. The center will lobby the government to call for workplace safety and talk with families about their perceptions of female journalists.

Uniting Journalists

In recent months, Reporters Sans Frontières has been making stronger efforts to protect the rights of female journalists in Afghanistan. From November 22, 2017, the organization held a training and advocacy visit that focused on women journalists.

It organized seminars in Mazar-i- Sharif, Herat and Charikar, and even held a special seminar in Kabul for women reporters in conflict zones. At the meetings, journalists spoke about their experiences being threatened by armed non-state groups and the necessity of self-censorship.

Through the visit, RSF was able to unite journalists and create a discussion on the safety of reporters, with 65 journalists from 60 Afghan media outlets attending.

A Culture of Tolerance

Journalists in Afghanistan are met with a treacherous socio-political climate, facing the threat of violence and risking the loss of the right to expression. With its endeavors in the country, Reporters Sans Frontières has sought to protect the integrity of these reporters, support their safety and promote a culture of tolerance and freedom of information.

Efforts such as the foundation of the Center for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists and RSF’s seminars can enable greater independence of the media going forward.

– Shira Laucharoen

Photo: Flickr

Qualifications for the SenateThe United States Senate has been meeting since 1789 to ensure the prosperity of the country through legislation. The people of this legislative body are some of the most important leaders in the country, and 16 of our presidents were once a part of this institution. But what does it take to gain one of the 100 respected positions in the U.S. Senate?

There are informal as well as formal qualifications for the Senate in the United States. The formal qualifications are clearly outlined in Article I of the U.S. Constitution. First, senators must be at least 30 years old. The youngest person to become a senator, John Henry Eaton, was actually only 28 years old when he was elected in 1818, but many believe his age was unknown when he was sworn in and therefore no one realized he was violating the Constitution.

The second qualification states that senators must have U.S. citizenship for at least nine years before being elected. This qualification is slightly more flexible in comparison to the qualification for president, which requires candidates to be natural born citizens.

This qualification also allows for immigrant representation within the U.S. government. Many have been born in Europe or Canada and then immigrated to the United States and gained citizenship, allowing them to become senators.

The last of the specified qualifications for the Senate read that candidates must be a resident of the state which they represent at the time of the election. Former president and senator Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, yet represented Illinois in the Senate, as this was the state in which he resided at the time.

There are clear advantages to actually growing up and living in the state a potential senator wishes to represent, including making it easier to be elected. However, this qualification allows for politicians to move around more freely and live in a state where they are more likely to be elected than the one in which they grew up. Again, this benefits those born outside the United States, who can choose which state to reside in and represent.

Informal qualifications for the Senate have also emerged over the years. These are more like trends which have shown the type of people that citizens tend to deem qualified and choose to elect. Most senators have college educations, both private and public, and law school attendance is popular among these. Law also ranks as the number one declared profession by senators, followed by public service or politics. However, these qualifications are by no means necessary and many elected senators have not met them.

United States Senators are directly elected by the people they represent. This began when the 17th Amendment was adopted in 1913 to ensure Senate seats were not left open due to disagreements or corruption. The 17th Amendment stated that Senators serve six-year terms without term limits.

The Senate is crucial to the American political system. Its members are respected and work to pass laws that will advance the country. Because of the power they are given, their most important qualification is that the people have chosen them to serve and represent their interests to the best of their ability. When they are elected, they accept this responsibility and must value it above all else.

– Megan Burtis

Photo: Flickr

Parliamentary Democracy Government
There are several types of democracies, and here we will explain what a parliamentary democracy is by comparing it to a presidential democracy, which we have in the United States.

In short, a parliamentary democracy is a system of government in which citizens elect representatives to a legislative parliament to make the necessary laws and decisions for the country. This parliament directly represents the people.

In a presidential democracy, the leader is called a President, and he or she is elected by citizens to lead a branch of government separate from the legislative branch. If you remember back to government class, you will remember that the United States has three branches of the government: the executive, the judicial, and the legislative. The President leads the executive branch of government.

 

Role of Parliamentary Democracy

 

In a parliamentary democracy, you have a Prime Minister, who is first elected as a member of parliament, then elected Prime Minister by the other members of the parliamentary legislature. However, the Prime Minister remains a part of the legislature. The legislative branch makes the laws, and thus the Prime Minister has a hand in law-making decisions. The Prime Minister works directly with other people in the legislature to write and pass these laws.

In our presidential democracy, we still have a legislature, but we also have a president. He is separate from the legislature, so although he works with them, it is not as direct as if he were a Prime Minister. The laws that the legislature wants to pass must first go through the president; he can sign them into being or he can veto them. The President can go to the legislative branch and suggest laws, but they ultimately write them for his approval.

Furthermore, in parliamentary systems, the legislature has the right to dismiss a Prime Minister at any time if they feel that he or she is not doing the job as well as expected. This is called a “motion of no confidence,” and is not as much of a drawn out process. In the US, impeachment is an extensive, formal process in which an official is accused of doing something illegal.

Some countries with a parliamentary system are constitutional monarchies, which still have a king and queen. A few examples of these are the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Japan.

It is important to remember that both of these systems of government are democracies. Ultimately, the citizens who vote have the voice.

– Alycia Rock

Sources: Wise Geek, Scholastic, How Stuff Works
Photo: Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

 

parliamentary democracy government

How to Become a Politician
Are you looking into how to become a politician? Living the life of a politician can be a very stressful and demanding job. However, the profession can also be very rewarding and eye opening.

To anyone who is interested in becoming a politician- whether local or federal government- be ready for some tough days and long nights in the office. Before you are guaranteed the coveted seat of a politician, though, it takes a bit of preparation. Here are a few tips on how to become a politician.

 

Becoming a Politician

 

1. Become Educated: Although it is not required that certain politicians hold a college degree – one in 20 members of Congress doesn’t – it is a good idea to get as much schooling as possible.

Not only will constituents like to see a degree on a candidate’s resume, but the things learned in school can actually be helpful for planning a legislative and governmental future. The other aspect of “becoming educated” is studying up on legislature, government policies and voter patterns.

Politics takes a dedicated person willing to devote their whole being to their campaign. Learning the ropes of government is a bit more involved than merely knowing how to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

2. Acquire Funding: Running for a position in politics is also a money game. Printing campaign posters, hosting charitable events, paying your campaign staff and a laundry list of other costs add up to a hefty bill just to run for a position, let alone hold one.

It is also important to have a steady job before running for office. This allows you to then have some money in the bank and establish resources or even potential voters. U.S. news stated that, “Running for office is a job in itself that no one will pay you for.”

Having friends and business connections is another important part of running for office. Connections with prominent people will allow your campaign to rise in popularity.

Be cautious of how much you spend on your campaign – you want to be able to survive afterward if you don’t end up winning.

 

3. Be Friendly: When they step in the polling booth, most voters do not actually know exactly which candidate stands for what issues. However, they will remember a candidate’s behavior and whether or not he or she was rude during an interview.

Cordiality and humbleness are a couple of key characteristics that attract voters. Making connections with voters so that they remember you and what you stand for could be the deciding factor between you and a competent running mate.

 

4. Don’t Let Your Feelings Get Hurt: Politics can be a harsh field that few thrive in. There will be hard times throughout your campaign, but knowing that you could help the lives of thousands of people is a great reward to the hardships you endure as a hopeful politician.

These may sound like some harsh pieces of advice on how to become a politician, but it is only because the politician’s role is a very important one in the United States. These people make, enforce and interpret the laws.

No matter the obstacles, if becoming a politician is your life’s goal then do not let these words, or others, deter you from becoming the next President of the United States (or a Superintendent of Schools, if that is what you so desire). Instead, use them as warnings to avoid road blocks on your journey to political change.

Sydney Missigman

Photo: Flickr


Everyone gets his or her news somewhere, but some sources are more reputable than others. Currently, six corporations control 90 percent of the media. On some of these stations, such as CNN or Fox News, owned by Time Warner and NewsCorp, respectively, there is little to no variety in the political ideologies promoted. However, political podcasts are usually smaller entities that aim to stay independent and provide multiple perspectives. I am an avid listener of several political podcasts and  use them for my news. Here are my top 10 political podcasts.

  1. My History Can Beat Up Your Politics with Bruce Carlson
    Coming in at the top of the list is Carlson’s interesting take on cable news’ relentless portrayal of all news as “BREAKING NEWS.” With terrorist attacks, issues of race, war and more, My History Can Beat Up Your Politics shows that most, if not all, issues are rooted in history. The podcast claims the makers “smash and bash the politics of today with a healthy dose of history.”
  2. The United States of Anxiety
    The presidential election of 2016 was so polarizing, so different and so unprecedented that many podcasts were dedicated to it entirely, and this is one of them. The United States of Anxiety makes it its duty to provide perspective in a time full of shouting, negativity and closed minds. The podcast brought voices from all sides of every debate, from politicians to people on the streets. While the podcast ended with the close of the presidential election, listening to it now provides a retrospective look into the election to figure out what happened and why.
  3. Politico’s Nerdcast
    This is simple, soft and relatively unbiased podcast on the current goings-on in politics by one of the most well-respected publications there is. Politico’s Nerdcast is hosted by individuals who would sit up on a Friday night and dissect political polls. They are heavily invested in politics and geek out about it just for you.
  4. Crooked Media’s Pod Save The World
    American foreign policy is important to The Borgen Project. We need to know all about it, we need to follow it and we fight for the improvement of it. For those who want to follow something that focuses entirely on foreign policy, Crooked Media’s Pod Save The World is just for you. It’s an honest and brash commentary on and analysis of everything foreign policy.
  5. Common Sense with Dan Carlin
    A frustrated, critical, cynical, sharp man is Dan Carlin, and his podcast follows suit. If you find yourself annoyed by the mass media relays, Carlin’s Common Sense may be an oddly pleasant choice for you. A self-anointed “Martian” to politics, Carlin’s independent viewpoint is never lacking. He is unabashedly honest.
  6. Slate’s Political Gabfest
    If you want professionals who have been living politics their whole life to tell you what is going on, Slate’s Political Gabfest is where you need to look. With legendary names like David Plotz, Emily Bazelon and John Dickerson, the podcast has its resumé ready to go.
  7. KCRW’s Left, Right, and Center
    At fourth on my top 10 political podcasts list, KCRW’s Left, Right, and Center is what I always look for: biased but fair commentary and analysis. As the podcast name suggests, it has three hosts, all self-proclaimed to be in one area of the political spectrum, and they tackle the week’s events. It’s arguably one of the best podcasts to listen to if you want reasonable perspectives from any side.
  8. NPR Political
    While I’m all for perspectives, sometimes I need simple, unbiased reporting. NPR Political is just that. The shows can even be around 10 minutes of just reports from the week. If you’re stuck in traffic and need a quick update, this show is for you.
  9. Crooked Media’s Pod Save America
    At second on my top 10 political podcasts and started by four people who have more than enough experience in the White House, Crooked Media’s Pod Save America is all for biased opinions. It feels like a real conversation you would be having with your own friends, except these people are more knowledgeable. Pod Save America promises “a no-bullshit conversation about politics.”
  10. Democracy Now!
    Democracy Now! is number 1 on my top 10 political podcasts for the sheer reason that it is what I believe corporate mass media should be. Democracy Now! is an unbiased news show that is quick, reports the news of the day, brings pundits who provide their own commentary or debate against other pundits and brings focus to grassroots organizations. From focusing on the Occupy movement to covering events overseas, Democracy Now! never misses a beat. However, the most incredible thing about the podcast is that it is run entirely on viewer donations. It owes no allegiance to any corporation or ideology. The makers are completely unsullied by money, so they can report the truth and only the truth.

James Hardison

Photo: Flickr

Albert_Einstein_refugee
As the author of the theory of special and general relativity, his name stands synonymous with the word “genius.” Changing fundamental ideas about the physical relationship between space, time, and gravitation, Albert Einstein radicalized how humans think about the building blocks of the physical world we live in. His theory of relativity was confirmed in 1919 from further research into solar eclipses. His popularization by the press gained him a quick rise to fame and in 1921, Einstein would receive the Nobel Prize for his related work.

Being himself a German Jew, Einstein cultivated an outspoken political personality and was well known for his pacifist ideals. His work, paired with his political persona triggered negative attention from extreme right-wing groups.

Anti-Semites were determined to publicize his discoveries as “un-German”. The rise of the Nazi party made it more and more difficult for Einstein to work in Germany, so in 1932 when offered a position at Princeton University, he accepted, retaining dual U.S. and Swiss citizenship.

While his theories were still widely taught, he was ultimately accused of treason in 1933 by the Nazi Third Reich; winning the party a partial victory when Einstein’s name could no longer be mentioned in academic circles. Although Einstein was not in Germany at the time, Nazi fanatics still had his property seized and his books were among those burned on the famous May 10, 1933, as a symbol of purging an “un-German” spirit.

He fled to the United States on October 17th of that year, using his fame and financial resources to work vigorously with his wife to obtain U.S. visas for other German Jew refugees. Einstein had haunting mixed feelings about his life in Princeton:

 

“I am privileged by fate to live here in Princeton…In this small university town the chaotic voices of human strife barely penetrate. I am almost ashamed to be living in such peace while all the rest struggle and suffer.”

 

Among many notable others, the legacy of Albert Einstein’s refugee status resulted in the founding of the German Academic Refugee Initiative Fund (DAFI), an organization whose primary objective is to promote self-reliance of refugees through providing professional qualifications for future employment. In addition, DAFI contributes to the development of critical human resources that may be needed in the potential restoration of refugees’ home countries. DAFI also offers a scholarship project; an effective instrument used to attain and maintain self-reliance of refugees when used in the right context. The funds given from the scholarship must be used to aid in the academic studies of eligible refugee recipients.

Thus, Albert Einstein left us not only with mind-blowing new theories in physics, but a key organization telling us that education paves the road out of socioeconomic poverty.

– Kali Faulwetter

Sources: Azer, UNHCR, Jewish Virtual Library, PPU, OFADEC
Photo: Native Pakistan

 

Donate to fight global poverty.

 

 Stateless People
Statelessness is a phenomenon that affects an estimated 10 million people globally. Those affected have been denied citizenship and are refused self-identification and other government documentation necessary for acquiring rights granted by the state.

Photojournalist Greg Constantine stumbled upon the issue of statelessness in 2002. In response, he created the project Nowhere People and for 10 years traveled to impoverished communities where statelessness is most common. Utilizing his photojournalism skills, Constantine has been able to put a face to the issue of statelessness and share the stories of those affected by it. His mission, he explains, “aims to show the human toll the denial of citizenship has claimed on people and ethnic groups” and to “provide tangible documentation of proof that millions of people hidden and forgotten all over the world actually exist.” The Nowhere People project has aroused awareness and drawn in advocacy from various organizations that share the same mission.

Of the many organizations fighting statelessness is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In 2014, the UNHCR launched the Campaign to End Statelessness – #IBelong – within 10 years. Through establishing coalitions with governments, organizations and stateless groups, the UNHCR has been able to erect a global alliance that offers supportive assistance for stateless people.

The UNHCR emphasizes that political support and involvement must occur in order for statelessness to end. Suggested political involvement of the states includes law and policy reform, the protection of children from statelessness, ending any discrimination that prohibits nationality, providing protection for migrants and appropriately providing identification documents.

Due to early efforts of the UNHCR, four million stateless people have been granted nationality since 2003. Following the launch of the Campaign to End Statelessness, the UNHCR has succeeded in expanding their budget and in 2015, held a budget of $68 million. Additionally, they have been able to send out specialists to foster relations and work collectively with other organizations and national governments.

Stateless people face insecurities every day surrounding their livelihood. Basic human rights are jeopardized, safety is uncertain, poverty is a reality and opportunity is hindered. Projects such as Nowhere People, along with the efforts of UNHCR and other allied organizations, not only offer hope that those experiencing statelessness will one day obtain nationality but also provides a nearer future for efficiently managing the progress of moving out of poverty.

Amy Williams

Photo: Flickr

Trump's Policy on Domestic Poverty
With so little time left until the U.S. presidential election, the tension between candidates, ideologies and policies has nearly peaked. Donald Trump’s policies hold the promise of “making America great again” by reinvigorating the economy through protectionist trade policies, ridding the country of those who take advantage of the system as well as tax cuts to the rich and corporations. Further study shows that a different outcome would result from Trump’s policy on domestic poverty.

According to many economic experts, these policies would lead the nation into recession, most harshly affecting the poorest households. Trump’s policies would “significantly” weaken the country and drive the U.S. into a “lengthy recession,” according to a Moody’s Analytics report. An estimated 3.5 million jobs could be lost and the unemployment rate could increase from five to seven percent. The average household would face a regressive consumption tax of $11,100 over five years.

Citing trade deficits with Mexico, China and Japan, Trump has continuously claimed that the U.S. has lost its dominance through weak trade agreements and outsourcing manufacturing jobs. To change this and promote domestic production, Trump plans to impose a 35 percent tariff on goods from Mexico and a 45 percent tariff on goods from China and Japan.

While producers and the government would gain $43 billion and $65 billion, the total loss to the U.S. economy would be $170 billion, according to the National Foundation for American Policy. The average household would lose four percent of its income and for households making “the lowest 10 [percent] of income up to 18 percent of their (mean) after-tax income” would be lost.

According to the study, tariffs on imports from the three countries would not even protect U.S. workers from foreign competition, meaning the, “only logical alternative would be to impose a similar set of tariffs on all other countries that export to the United States.” This approach could cost households with the lowest 10 percent of income to lose a massive 53 percent of their income.

Trump also promised to deport the more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. Although he recently softened his immigration stance, many still idealize a future without illegal immigrants.

The massive deportation, however, would shrink the economy by about two percent, from a $400-$600 billion GDP collapse, decrease the workforce by about seven million and cost millions of dollars to implement, not to mention the construction of a nearly 2,000-mile-long border wall.

The economic slump would inevitably magnify the struggles of the poor as it caused consumer product prices to increase.

Last but not least, and perhaps most unclear to the public, are Trump’s tax plans. Although dubbed the “blue-collar billionaire,” Trump’s economic plan will give reduced tax rates to the wealthiest individuals, from 39.6 percent to 33 percent and corporations, from the proposed 25 percent to 15 percent.

The new tax policy would increase government deficit by an estimated $10 trillion over the next decade, according to the Tax Policy Center, slashing the funds for social security, medicare, Medicaid and interest payments that already make up more than two-thirds of the annual budget.

Yet Trump has offered few expenditure reduction proposals that would make up for the revenue loss, meaning that the millions of Americans who rely on these government benefits would likely suffer. Otherwise, spending on all other programs would need to be cut by 53 percent to meet the revenue loss, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

In response to his tax plan critics, Trump has cited his belief in trickle-down economics, a theory that states that if the rich receive tax cuts, the money they save will be invested and eventually trickle down to the poor, invigorating the entire economy.

The theory, however, has been repeatedly disproven. In 2012, the Tax Justice Network conducted a study that suggested between $21 and $32 trillion has been siphoned from the world economy by the rich and put into private, off-shore accounts.

In 2015, the International Monetary Fund also filed a report showing that the trickle-down effect does not exist, as the rich continue to get richer.

As Election Day nears, it is important to consider the impact of both candidates’ policies on the economy and the poor in particular.

Henry Gao

Photo: Flickr

SUN Movement
Malnutrition accounts for nearly half of all deaths among children under five. While the majority of these deaths occur in Africa and Asia, the loss of human life due to hunger and malnutrition is a global burden. Malnourished children are more likely to get sick, suffer from abnormally severe symptoms of common illnesses and die from otherwise preventable illnesses. Thankfully, organizations such as the SUN Movement work to reduce this hunger-related child mortality rate.

Malnutrition and Infection

The link between malnutrition and infection can create a cycle wherein poorly nourished children have a weaker immune system, which in turn deteriorates their nutritional status. Malnutrition can also stunt a child’s growth, predisposing them to cognitive disabilities.

Hunger and malnutrition take a particularly severe toll on the developing world, where one out of six children (about 100 million) are underweight, one in three children are stunted and 66 million children go to school hungry.

The SUN Movement

Scaling Up Nutrition, or SUN Movement, is a worldwide campaign to alleviate hunger and malnutrition. SUN aims to unite governments, the United Nations, civil society, researchers, donors and business into a cohesive movement to improve global nutrition.

Focusing on the goals established at the 2012 World Health Assembly, SUN movement identifies four strategic processes as the major institutional changes needed for scaling up nutrition worldwide:

  1. Endorsement of National Nutrition Policies that Incorporate Best Practices. Newly enacted laws and policies should reflect proven interventions while paying special attention to women and their role in society.
  2. Sustained Political Commitment and Establishment of Functioning Multi-stakeholder Platforms. Improving nutrition requires a political environment grounded in multi-stakeholder platforms. The dialogue around hunger and nutrition should be open, for different groups to share the responsibility of scaling up nutrition throughout the entire world.
  3. Alignment of Actions Across Sectors and among Stakeholders. Country plans to improve nutrition should reflect frameworks of mutual responsibility and accountability among stakeholders.
  4. Increased Resources for Nutrition and Demonstration of Results. Multiple sectors and stakeholders should increase financial resources for the implementation of plans to improve nutrition.

Each participating country is required to state specific goals and objectives for scaling up nutrition before they can partake in SUN Movement events, like the Annual Global Gathering. This event is where government leaders and multi-stakeholder groups meet to collaborate, share progress, learn from each other and offer new practices for improving nutrition.

SUN Movement has several mechanisms for maintaining oversight and staying on track to achieve its goals. The SUN Networks align resources and foster collaboration, the lead group provides strategic oversight and enforces accountability and the executive committee represents SUN Movement at the international political level. There is also a secretariat and multi-partnered trust fund.

SUN Movement acts like the United Nations for Hunger and Nutrition, with clear guiding principles to achieve goals through cooperation and collaboration. The multifaceted structure of SUN Movement accurately confronts the varied nature of hunger and malnutrition, making the organization an important player in the fight to improve nutrition worldwide.

Jessica Levitan

Photo: Flickr