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Memory and Myth in Economic Policymaking

Memory and Myth in Economic Policymaking

The real world is quite complicated. We make sense of it for the purposes of assessing policies by using the shorthand incorporated in accepted myths and memories. For instance, James W. Loewen explains how the many “facts” that can be brought to bear to explain the Civil War have been condensed into a myth that the Confederacy was about protecting states’ rights and intersectional differences over policies from an overpowering federal government. This myth, or the sense of memory that most Americans have in understanding the Civil War, of course masks the racism inherent in most right-wing extremism in the United States today. That “memory” of the Civil War lets people look past the racism of Donald Trump, to interpret him as heir to that stream of Americana of someone who bravely battles the meddling federal government in Washington.

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Trade or Human Rights? Integrity of State Department Trafficking Report Still an Open Question

Trade or Human Rights? Integrity of State Department Trafficking Report Still an Open Question

The State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report is a powerful tool to hold governments accountable for their failures to prevent human trafficking. The report ranks governments worldwide into one of three tiers based on their efforts to combat and prevent trafficking and forced labor, with the lowest ranking of tier three carrying economic sanctions. The release of the 2016 report has been met with mixed reviews from labor and anti-trafficking groups.

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