By showing an identical clip of police clashing with protesters to both Republicans and Democrats, “CBS This Morning” co-host Tony Dokoupil got a firsthand look at how stark the differences could be. A growing number of researchers believe politics has the ability to alter one’s perception of reality and others. Gallup polling going back two decades shows a stark and widening political divide on many issues — more Americans are choosing to live in places that are politically like-minded, and UCLA research found in 2016 that more than half of Americans prefer their child marry someone from a specific political party — leading to questions over just show sharply one’s beliefs could shape their worldview. This year, some Republicans have accused Democrats of wanting “to destroy the country” and “spewing hatred,” while some Democrats can be heard saying Republicans are “fascists, ruining this country” — a far cry from what would be called ideological debate. … Read the whole story: CBS News More of our Members in the Media > “It’s getting worse, and I don’t see it unwinding anytime soon,” said New York University psychology professor Jay Van Bavel. “Political identities are one of the most important and powerful identities that people have right now in this country. And that’s grown over time.”
Tweet Share Share 24 Views no discussions Sharing is caring! Share NewsRegional C’bean gov’ts urged to improve budget management to raise living standards by: Caribbean Media Corporation – December 6, 2016 (Photo: CMC)SANTIAGO, Chile (CMC) — Latin America and Caribbean governments will need to improve public sector management and capacity, including budget allocation, to compensate for the pressure on public finances from sliding commodity prices, according to a new report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation (OECD) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).The second edition of “Government at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean,” covers Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Haiti, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, El Salvador, Panama, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay, Jamaica and Peru.It states that restoring stagnant productivity, reducing income disparities and improving social safety nets will require better managed government spending and overall public governance.The report finds that public spending on public schools and hospitals can ease income inequality – but governments in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) mostly under invest in such public services.In all, LAC countries spend just 8.7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) on average on social programmes like education, health, unemployment benefits and pensions compared with 16.8 per cent in OECD countries.“A combination of stagnant productivity, high inequality and low revenue collection is putting a pinch on LAC governments. There is very limited room to expand public budgets, so LAC governments will need to better target their public spending and improve policy design to ensure better living standards for citizens,” said OECD Deputy Director of Public Governance and Territorial Development, Luiz de Mello, launching the report at an international ministerial meeting on Productivity and Inclusive Growth here.Vicente Fretes Cibils, IDB Division Chief for Fiscal and Municipal Management said that in the last decade, Latin America and the Caribbean combined growth with a better income distribution, supported by favourable external conditions that facilitated the region’s growth and fiscal management.“With a less favourable international scenario, governments must improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending. That means better design and implementation of public programs so they can ensure every penny spent can contribute to the reduction of social inequality and poverty and increase productivity in order to improve people’s quality of life,” he added.Among the key findings of the report include the size of the state varies across LAC countries but is generally relatively small. Government spending in the LAC countries studied averages 31 per cent of GDP compared with 41.5 per cent in OECD countries, although the gap is decreasing.Similarly, public employment as a share of total employment averages 12.4 per cent in LAC countries compared with 21.6 per cent in OECD countries.The report also notes despite recent progress, LAC remains a highly unequal region in terms of household income, as demonstrated by an average Gini coefficient after taxes and transfers of 0.49 in the region compared with 0.29 in OECD countries.It said LAC governments could contribute to economic productivity in the region by lowering barriers to trade and investment, which are much higher than for the OECD area. Product market regulations also tend to be more restrictive in LAC countries.The report also notes that fiscal policy plays a more limited role in income distribution in LAC than in OECD countries due to the low distributive impact of tax and benefit systems.Among the findings of the report is that leadership and co-ordination by centres of government have increased, but they still focus more on procedures than policy content. LAC governments also lack a culture of policy evaluation that can lead to better design, budgeting and implementation.“In terms of quality of public services, most LAC countries now have a national citizen portal as a single point of access to government services. However, to reap the full benefits of these portals, new technologies should be adopted across governments.“Governments in the LAC region are making efforts to have their data openly available to the public. However, they could do more to facilitate its use by citizens and engage with them in designing solutions that will meet their expectations and needs,” the report noted.
Share Share BusinessNewsRegional VAT Continues to Perform Well for Nevis In 2019, Finance Minister Brantley Says by: – December 13, 2019 40 Views no discussions Share Sharing is caring! Tweet Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance in the Nevis Island AdministrationNIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (December 12, 2019) — The Value Added Tax (VAT) continues to be the single biggest revenue generator for the Nevis Island Administration. However, it continues to streamline its VAT Exemption policy.Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance, made that disclosure when he presented the 2020 Budget Address with the theme “Building Resilience, Improving Infrastructure for Long-Term Development, a Harmonized approach to Economic Growth” at a sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly Chambers on December 03, 2019.“In light of this, we continue to streamline our VAT exemption policy and to grant exemptions from VAT only in respect of those matters as prescribed in the legislation. This tax, which is a broad-based tax, touches every sector of the economy, be it sale of goods or services, and it is therefore a good indicator of the state of our economic performance year after year…“The total VAT generated for the period January to October 2019 therefore amounted to $28.1 million. Based on this trend, it is clear that the VAT expected to be collected for fiscal year 2019 will be on par with that collected during the previous fiscal year,” he said.The finance minister explained that for the period January to October 2019, the administration collected through the Inland Revenue Department $14.6 million from VAT on goods and services. It represented a 3.9 percent decrease when compared to the similar period in 2018 when a total of $15.2 million was collected.He stated that the decrease in VAT collections was due largely to the four-month closure of the Four Seasons Resort and the effects on the economy.The collection of VAT through the Customs Department for a similar period in 2019 was $13.5 million. It represented a 4.7 percent increase when compared to the similar period in 2018 when $12.9 million was collected.Mr. Brantley attributed the increase to an uptake in construction and related services which he believes augurs well for VAT collected for January to October 2019.“This was due in part to the uptake in construction and its related services resulting from the major capital investment in the renovation of the Four Seasons property.“The total VAT generated for the period January to October 2019 therefore amounted to $28.1 million. Based on this trend, it is clear that the VAT expected to be collected for fiscal year 2019 will be on par with that collected during the previous fiscal year,” he said.
The fifth annual WordPress survey is now available. If you’re a user, developer, designer, or business that uses WordPress, you’re invited to take the 2015 survey.It takes about 5-8 minutes to complete the survey. I took the survey this morning; it took me less than five minutes to complete.Results of the survey will be shared in Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word address in December at WordCamp US in Philadelphia (tickets will be on sale soon). I’ve watched the State of the Word the last couple years on the livestream; fascinating to hear how people are working and creating with WordPress. Last year, over 33,000 people from 179 countries took the annual survey. I was impressed to learn 77 percent of responses were from people outside the United States and the future plans for language packs and internationalization.If you’re concerned about privacy, the survey instructions state:All data will be anonymized: no email addresses or IP addresses will be associated with published results.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedDo You Use WordPress? Complete the 2017 WordPress User SurveyIt’s back for another year! The seventh annual WordPress user survey is now available. If you use WordPress in any way, whether you’re a: Blogger Writer Photographer Business owner Hobbyist Designer Developer Programmer Digital marketer Manager Or someone else you’re invited to take the annual survey. The survey is short,…In “WordPress”Takeaways from State of the Word 2015At this week’s WordCamp US 2015 conference, Matt Mullenweg delivered the annual State of The Word address, focusing on WordPress accomplishments over the past year as well as what to expect in the future. For the past two years, I’ve watched the State of the Word address on livestream. This…In “Event/meeting recap”Takeaways from State of the Word 2014At yesterday’s WordCamp San Francisco 2014 conference, Matt Mullenweg delivered the annual State of The Word address, focusing on WordPress updates in the past year as well as future plans. In addition, Matt shared the results of the annual survey, completed by more than 33,000 WordPress users and developers. https://twitter.com/ahockley/status/526433228945883137…In “Event/meeting recap”
11 February 2009 South African state spending on education remains its single biggest investment, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel told Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday. “Trends in performance, both in terms of teaching and learning, show a worrying persistence of the social divisions of the past,” he said. An additional R700-million would be allocated for higher education subsidies and to accommodate anticipated growth in student enrolment from 783 900 in 2008 to 836 800 by 2011. There would also be a strengthening of training colleges and a recapitalisation of technical schools over the next three years, Manuel said. “Ironically, precisely where education is most needed to help break the cycle of poverty is where infrastructure, administrative and teacher capacity are least impressive,” Motlanthe said during the opening of Parliament. The President also raised concerns about the drop-out rate, particularly at secondary and tertiary levels, and challenged the country’s education system to produce the kind of skills needed by society. President Kgalema Motlanthe, in his state of the nation address on Friday, said he was concerned at a trend of schools in rural and impoverished areas lacking infrastructure and capacity. Source: BuaNews The government’s key priorities in education included extending the no-fee school policy from the current 40 percent to 60 percent of schools, expanding the school nutrition programme, reducing average class sizes in schools, serving lower income communities, and increasing expenditure on school buildings. “Education spending has grown by 14 percent a year for the past three years and accounts for R140.4-billion in the spending plans of provinces and national government for 2008/09,” Manuel said during his 2009/10 Budget speech. A further R330-million would go towards to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, while funding was also available for the establishment of a new National Education Evaluation Unit, which would evaluate a new salary dispensation for teachers, linked to school and teacher performance.
A group of volunteers working with some of the children at Dimphonyana Tsa Lapeng (image: Dimphonyana Tsa Lapeng Facebook)A little gift can go a long way to changing someone’s life, as has been demonstrated time and again by Mama Asnath Teffo, the founder of Dimphonyana Tsa Lapeng in the township of Olievenhoutbosch.Meaning “little gifts of home” in Setswana, Dimphonyana Tsa Lapeng has helped hundreds of children and their families in the township, just outside of Midrand in Gauteng, by giving them the care and support they needed after the loss of their parents, or because of poverty.Fourteen years ago Asnath, or Mama-Assie as she is affectionately known by the community, moved from nearby Noordwyk to Olievenhoutbosch with her family, bringing her passion for improving the lives of others closely in tow.When she arrived in Olievenhoutbosch the area was dominated by shacks and other informal housing, before the RDP houses that dominate the landscape today were built. Here she became aware of the need to intervene and help those around her who were struggling because of the circumstances they found themselves in.Knowing she couldn’t battle all of life’s misfortunes she prioritised the care of destitute women and children, taking orphaned or abandoned youngsters into her home to raise among her own children.Mama-Assie has invested countless hours of her time and a huge amount of her resources in the improvement of the lives of those around her. She has put a particular focus on the young people having to grow up facing challenging situations such as child-headed homes.THE RECYCLING SWOP SHOPAs part of Diphonyana’s attempts to provide for the basic needs of the Olievenhoutbosch community, they are currently setting up a recycle swop shop which, as the name suggests, will combine recycling with helping people get their day-to-day necessities.The project is planned as a three-pronged tool to fight poverty and help the community. It will help clear litter and waste from the environment while providing people with their daily needs, all the time fostering self-help, independence and dignity.The idea is for people to collect recyclable waste such as tins, bottles and plastic products, and bring it to the swop shop. In exchange they will be given a ticket valued according to the amount of sorted materials they have collected.The tickets would then be redeemed at the organisation’s shop for essential products such as toiletries, food and clothing, depending on what has been donated to Dimphonyana by members of the public sympathetic to the cause.An example of the valuation system is as follows: 5 points for a loaf of bread, or 35 points for a standard food parcel containing mealie meal, bread, tea bags, cooking oil, soya mince and other basic cooking necessities.If all goes to plan, this innovative approach to tackling poverty while cleaning up the township will kick off on 1 June this year.OTHER PROJECTSAnother smart environment-friendly idea is the Dimphonyana Tsa Lapeng Greenery Project, which hopes to turn the many informal dump sites in the township into mini eco-parks.The greening project is planned to work alongside the recycling swop shop. Volunteers and members of the community will clean up the dump sites and then plant them with indigenous trees and other greenery, to create the mini parks. The swop shop would be an incentive, encouraging people to remove recyclable material from the dump sites and take it to the swop shop.The project will begin with a pilot phase involving two identified sites: one near the centre of Olievenhoutbosch and the other at Kings Hope.Once the recycling project is under way, a longer-term goal is to sell the collected waste to recycling companies, and use the income to pay the people working on Dimphonyana Tsa Lapeng projects.People are welcomed to visit the centre and see for themselves how Mama-Assie and her colleagues are making a difference on a daily basisPARTNERSHIPSDimphonyana hopes to partner with other organisations and corporations to get these projects off the ground.Organisations can help in a number of ways, such as adopting one of the dump sites to be made transformed into mini eco-parks, donating food products, toiletries and clothing for the swop shop or, as running the projects is likely to be labour-intensive, by offering their time as volunteers.The project is also open to receiving help from individuals in their own capacity who would like to donate their time and money or clothing and products.People are welcomed to visit the centre and see for themselves how Mama-Assie and her colleagues are making a difference on a daily basis.For more information on Dimphonyana Tsa Lapeng or if you’re looking to offer your help in the running of the organisation in whatever way you can, contact Shalate Teffo on 071 027 3060 or Asnath Teffo (Mama-Assie) on 082 503 3648.You can also visit their Facebook page at Dimphonyana Tsa Lapeng (Little Gifts of Home), their Twitter feed @dimphonyana_sa or their Instagram page via @dimphonyana_sa.
Technology now allows us to live and work in a borderless world. A diverse workforce is more important than ever to increasing an organization’s capacity for innovation and maintaining a competitive advantage in this global marketplace.While most organizations recognize the need for and have taken serious steps to develop strategies that will help build diverse teams, many still struggle with creating a consistent pipeline of diverse talent—especially for technical jobs. In her SHRM blog post How Events Build Diverse Talent Pipelines, PowerToFly President and Co-Founder Katharine Zaleski writes:In order to hire diverse candidates, hiring managers need to go to where the diverse candidates are – you can’t expect them to come to you via job boards. Why? Because you can’t “post and pray” in a world where one Harvard study shows that men apply to jobs when they match 60 percent of the skills on a job description and women only apply when they meet 100 percent.With a delta that big, you need to convince diverse candidates that it’s worth their time to apply for your role!The best way to do that is through events where you can reach out to candidates and tell them what your company is doing to evolve, what it’s doing to become more inclusive and diverse, and most importantly what its leadership is doing to get on board with D+I [diversity and inclusion] work. Getting these candidates into a room, talking with them and showing them the steps your company is taking to become more inclusive is half the battle – following up with them is the second half.Regardless if you’re making hires the day after an event or looking to launch a new team six months down the line, keeping passive candidates “warm” is crucial to building out your diverse pipeline. Providing constructive feedback to candidates you’ve passed on and making connections on platforms like LinkedIn, or even via email, can make all of the difference when a candidate looks back on their experience with your company.”Increasing diverse talent pools will also enable organizations to make greater strides with gender diversity and gender-parity initiatives. International Women’s Day 2019 will be celebrated on March 8, and the campaign’s theme, #BalanceforBetter, calls for more gender-balanced leadership, inclusive and flexible cultures, and the rooting out of workplace bias. Organizations around the globe are planning events to not only inspire women, but to encourage more employers to create solutions that will foster greater gender parity in the workplace.How are you managing the development of a diverse workforce and future pool of talent for your organization?Please join @shrmnextchat March 6 for #Nextchat with special guest, president and co-founder of PowerToFly, Katharine Zaleski (@kzaleski). We’ll chat about how employers are boosting their diversity hiring to meet current and future needs. QUESTIONS:Q1. How is your organization measuring diversity and increasing the diversity of its applicant pool?Q2. Has your company tried hosting hiring events? What made them successful? What was unsuccessful?Q3. How can HR and recruiters use events to attract and network with candidates to create talent pools for current and future recruiting needs? Q4. Does your organization keep passive candidates “warm”? For how long? What are some tips for continuing the engagement?Q5. How can organizations ensure that gender-parity initiatives focus on outcomes instead of intentions?Q6. What is your organization doing to hire, develop and promote women? What specific pay-equity initiatives or programs have you created?Q7. How and where can women in technology—and in all industries—create and cultivate strong industry networks? What are some resources?If you missed this #Nextchat you can read the RECAP with all the tweets here. How to participate in an HR Twitter chat
I am in awe of the charitable spirit exhibited by people around the country in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. As the president of America’s Future Foundation Houston Chapter, watching my city succumb to this disaster has been painstaking, but seeing how people have come together to help in response has been truly moving.Though the storm has passed, dealing with the wreckage remains an ongoing battle. Many of our friends and family members have no choice but to start over with very little. They face being displaced from their homes for over a year due to flooding in areas that are still under mandatory evacuation to this day.Texans and Americans come together in times of need. We’ve been working on supply collection, as well as rescue and recovery efforts, since this tragedy began. We are vamping up our efforts and are asking you to join us.The leaders of our chapter have put together a list of supplies based on the needs of people on the ground. These supplies will help people in Houston and the surrounding area clean out their homes, rebuild their lives, and have food to eat during this trying time. If you’d like to contribute to our efforts and are located in Texas, you can reach out to me to make a contribution in person, and I will personally help facilitate that. Alternatively, you can make purchases to be sent to us directly from this Amazon wishlist. There are items ranging from $2 and up, and any contribution helps.If you haven’t already and would prefer to contribute monetarily, please consider donating to the JJ Watt Foundation. JJ Watt, a defensive end for the Houston Texans, set up a Houston Flood Relief Fund which has by far surpassed its fundraising goals and continues to go above and beyond to raise money for victims of Hurricane Harvey. You can find out more about his efforts in this video.https://www.cbsnews.com/video/houston-texans-star-j-j-watt-on-setting-up-harvey-relief-fund/Another option to donate that doesn’t cost a penny that many of us have pursued is donating blood. You can contact your local blood center and inquire about donations going directly to areas impacted by the hurricane that are in need.America’s Future Foundation has done an outstanding job of building a resourceful network of young, liberty-minded professionals. It’s time we come together to help our community in need. Please keep your Houstonian compatriots in your thoughts and prayers as we work through this trying time.
CCH Tax Day ReportA stop-gap spending bill to keep the IRS and federal government open after September 30 failed to clear a Senate hurdle on September 27. The continuing resolution (CR) introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., needed 60 votes to end debate on the measure and advance to further Senate consideration. The vote was 45 to 55; a vote to reconsider also failed.The CR would generally maintain funding for government agencies, including the IRS, at current levels through December 9 (TAXDAY, 2016/09/27, C.1). “This 10-week funding bill need not be, as some Democratic leaders seem to wish, some titanic struggle for the ages,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., said that Democrats are ready to pass a stop-gap spending bill but the measure must be free of “poison pill” riders.White HouseAlthough President Obama considered the bill to contain attractive elements, he was disappointed in the measure as a whole, according to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.” It’s not at all clear to me that President Obama is prepared to sign this bill because he believes that Congress has got more work to do,” Earnest said. Congress will need to pass a funding bill before September 30 to avoid a federal government shutdown.By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff