Author: The Conversation US

Rewriting NAFTA Has Serious Implications Beyond Just Trade

THE HUFFINGTON POST President Donald J. Trump has called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) our “worst trade deal.” After flip-flopping between scrapping NAFTA altogether and saying that the agreement required only tweaks, President Trump is trying to force a renegotiation of a deal that supports three million American jobs. While this may seem like just another trade dispute, albeit one repeatedly arbitrated by the World Trade Organization, NAFTA isn’t just a trade deal. Since its inception, NAFTA has bound together North America’s economic and security considerations. America’s changing border policies – whether spurred by the 9/11 attacks...

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Trump’s Family Planning Cuts Would Cause Global Side Effects

THE HUFFINGTON POST By Rachel Sullivan Robinson, American University School of International Service President Donald Trump is leading an assault on family planning around the world. Most recently, his administration cut off U.S. contributions to the United Nations Population Fund, which provides and funds reproductive health services in poor countries. That follows his reinstatement of what’s known as the “global gag rule,” the executive order enacted by all Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan barring foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive U.S. funding from even mentioning abortion. But Trump wants to go even further than his GOP predecessors by slashing...

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Here’s What The Georgia Runoff Will Tell Us About The 2018 Midterms

THE HUFFINGTON POST By Jeffrey Lazarus, Georgia State University AP Photo/John Bazemore John Ossoff at an election night party. The past month has been fun for me. Not only am I a political scientist who researches Congress and congressional elections, but I also live in Georgia’s 6th House district, which has been the focus of national attention for the past month or so. On April 18, the district held a special election to replace Tom Price, who left the House to become Secretary of Health and Human Services. The election was held under an unusual format known as a...

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Who Exactly Are ‘Radical’ Muslims?

By Z. Fareen Parvez, University of Massachusetts Amherst The Trump administration has been using the phrase “radical Islam” when discussing the “war on terror.” From his inauguration address to remarks to military leaders, President Trump has been warning against “Islamic terrorists.” Many different kinds of individuals and movements get collapsed into this category of radical Islam. A common one that is increasingly being used by politicians and journalists both in Europe and the U.S. to equate with “radical Islam” is the Salafist tradition. For example, Michael Flynn, who recently resigned as national security advisor, was clear that what unites terrorists is their belief in the “ideology” of Salafism. Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president, also describes Salafism as a “fundamental understanding of Islam” that justifies terrorism. France and Germany are targeting this movement, vowing to “clean up” or shut down Salafist mosques, since several arrested and suspected terrorists had spent time in these communities. As a scholar of religion and politics, I have done research in Salafi communities, specifically in France and India, two countries where Muslims are the largest religious minorities. Salafists constitute a minority of the Muslim population. For example, in France, estimates range from 5,000 to 20,000 – out of a Muslim population of over 4 million. Security experts estimate a worldwide number of 50 million out of 1.6 billion Muslims. But there’s not much...

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Republican talk of dismantling Obamacare means insurers likely to bolt

By J.B. Silvers, Case Western Reserve University There’s a joke among insurers that there are two things that health insurance companies hate to do – take risks and pay claims. But, of course, these are the essence of their business! Yet, if they do too much of either, they will go broke, and if they do too little, their customers will find a better policy. This balancing act isn’t too hard if they have a pool sufficient to average out the highs and lows. I speak with some experience as the former CEO of one of these firms. Employee-sponsored insurance has fit this model fairly well, providing good stability and reasonable predictability. Unfortunately, the market for individuals has never worked well. Generally, this model forces insurers to take fewer risks so that they can still make money. They do this by excluding preexisting conditions and paying fewer claims. In such a market, fewer people are helped, and when they are able to get insurance, they pay a lot more for it than if they were part of an employee-sponsored plan. The Affordable Care Act changed all of this. Companies were required to stop doing these bad things. In exchange for taking on substantially more risk of less healthy patients, they were promised more business by getting access to more potential customers. The federal government offers subsidies to help pay...

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