Day: March 4, 2021

75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: INDIA’S TOILET-BUILDING PROGRAM

Following his election as Prime Minister of India in 2014, Narendra Modi launched Swachh Bharat (“ensuring cleanliness”), a major drive to improve national cleanliness and hygiene standards. At its heart was a gargantuan effort to build millions of public toilets in order to end the long-running practice of defecating in open fields. This required not …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL POLICE (INTERPOL)

Although the first International Criminal Police Congress took place in 1914 and the International Criminal Police Commission emerged nine years later, the agency came under Nazi control in 1938 and was effectively moribund until being revived after the Second World War. In 1956, the ICPC adopted a new constitution and new name as The International …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: QUANTITATIVE EASING

QE, as it became known, came of age in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, though it had been part of the central banking toolkit for years. The term “quantitative easing” was coined in 1995 by Richard Werner, a German economist, and the US Federal Reserve had, albeit belatedly, deployed the policy during …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: THE FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT

Over 400 American public companies paid bribes to foreign officials to “grease the wheels” of business, according to investigations in the early 1970s by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Notable offenders included aerospace giant Lockheed.     These bribes were not always illegal in the countries in question, where often they were regarded simply as …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: THE WARNOCK REPORT

Louise Brown, the world’s first “test tube baby”, was born in Oldham, England, on July 25th 1978. Her arrival prompted wide-ranging public debates about the ethics of in vitro fertilization and related issues about the emerging field of embryo science.   Four years later, the British government appointed Baroness Mary Warnock, a highly respected Oxbridge …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: BALTIMORE’S LIVING WAGE LAW

In December 1994, Baltimore became the first US city to adopt a living wage law, requiring contractors working for the municipal government to pay workers a wage “sufficient to provide the necessities and comforts essential to an acceptable standard of living”. Since then, similar laws have been passed in at least another 140 US cities, …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: THE 0.7% TARGET

After international aid flows to poorer countries increased steadily in the quarter century following the Second World War, in 1970 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a target for development assistance from advanced economies to rise to 0.7% of GDP. This money would be separate from assistance provided to deal with humanitarian crises.     …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: NEW ZEALAND’S 2% INFLATION TARGET

In late 1989, as part of a reform package that also made the country’s central bank independent from political interference, the government of New Zealand set a target of keeping the country’s rate of inflation at between 0-2% a year.     Before that, like many other countries, New Zealand had been struggling to keep …

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