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RELEASE: 10 Recommendations That Will Improve Maine's Economy and Democracy – Center For American Progress

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RELEASE: 10 Recommendations That Will Improve Maine’s Economy and Democracy – Center for American Progress


Washington, D.C. — In Maine, more than 12 percent of residents live below the poverty line, and more than 1 in 3 families do not earn enough to pay for basic expenses. A new report from the Center for American Progress explains how strengthening worker power is key to reducing poverty and economic inequality in the state and how it would help to raise wages, close racial and gender pay gaps, and make the state’s democracy more responsive to the public.

While there are many steps the state could take to address these issues—including improving workplace health and safety standards, enforcing anti-discrimination rules, and reducing the influence of money in politics—ensuring that workers have a collective voice is crucial. Union membership in Maine has plummeted over the past 50 years. Today, only 5.5 percent of private sector workers belong to a union, despite the fact that research shows that unions help Mainers earn higher wages and benefits. Declining union membership has been accompanied by rising income equality in the state.

The report provides a blueprint for Maine policymakers to build worker power in their state, including these 10 policy recommendations:

  1. Provide workers a voice in setting and enforcing public health standards.
  2. Ensure that government spending creates good jobs.
  3. Improve workforce training by more fully involving worker organizations.
  4. Create workers’ boards to provide workers a voice in determining minimum industrywide pay and benefits.
  5. Partner with worker organizations and provide workers with a private right to action to ensure that workplace standards are enforced.
  6. Involve worker organizations in unemployment insurance modernization.
  7. Strengthen public sector unions.
  8. Use business permitting and licensing standards to support high-road businesses.
  9. Close loopholes that allow employers to skirt legal responsibilities and undermine worker power.
  10. Implement broad anti-retaliation protections.

“The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated inequalities and shone a light on unsafe conditions in many Maine workplaces,” said David Madland, senior fellow at CAP and co-author of the report. “Weak worker protections and low rates of union membership have made it harder for workers to speak out and ensure that they are compensated fairly for their work. State policymakers can ensure a safer and more equitable economy for all Mainers by enacting reforms that strengthen workers’ voices on the job and in the economy.”

Read the report: “Strategies To Build Worker Power in Maine: 10 Recommendations That Will Improve Maine’s Economy and Democracy” by David Madland and Malkie Wall

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Julia Cusick at .


The Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan
policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all
Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong
leadership and concerted action. Our aim is not just to change
the conversation, but to change the country.

© 2021 – Center for American Progress

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Economy

India's economy probably resumed growing last quarter: poll – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Manoj Kumar

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s economy probably returned to growth in its fiscal third quarter after a recession earlier in 2020, economists said, and the recovery is expected to gather pace as consumer demand and investments shake off the effects of the pandemic.

The median forecast from a survey of 58 economists this week predicted gross domestic product in Asia’s third-largest economy grew 0.5% year-on-year in the December quarter, after shrinking 23.9% and 7.5% in the April-June and July-September periods, respectively.

The forecasts ranged from a contraction of 4.7% to growth of 2.6%. India is set to announce GDP data for the December period on Friday at 1200 GMT.

Economists have raised their forecasts for the current and next fiscal year, expecting a pick-up in government spending, consumer demand and resumption of most of economic activities were helping the economic recovery.

“Improving consumption, government reforms to boost domestic manufacturing and low interest rates will propel corporate India’s post pandemic recovery,” Moody’s said in a statement on Thursday.

Moody’s revised its forecast to a 7% contraction for the current fiscal year, ending in March, from an earlier estimate of a 10% contraction. It predicted 13.7% growth for next fiscal year, helped by resumption of economic activities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government earlier this month rolled out plans to fund a huge vaccination drive, while outlining a slew of tax incentives to boost manufacturing.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which has slashed its repo rate by a total of 115 basis points since March 2020 to cushion the shock from the pandemic, has projected growth of 10.5% for the fiscal year starting April.

“We will continue to support the recovery process through the provision of ample liquidity in the system,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das told industrialists at an event on Thursday.

However, some analysts warn that a recent rise in crude oil prices and a surge of COVID-19 cases in parts of the country may pose risks to the nascent recovery. Moreover, some sectors, such as retail, airlines, hotels and hospitality, are still reeling from the impact of pandemic.

“Growth remains on an uptrend, although the recent rise in pandemic cases is a risk to monitor,” Sonal Varma, chief economist at Nomura, said in a note on Thursday.

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar; editing by Euan Rocha, Larry King)

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Blue economy – The ocean… land of innovation – Investors' Corner – Investors' Corner BNP Paribas

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The seas and oceans are fertile ground for innovation and experimentation, with new technologies including:

  • Maritime operations at ever-greater depths
  • Robotics
  • Video surveillance
  • Submersible technologies.

Technological progress has been spectacular. In general, the open location of ports and coastal communities is conducive to the emergence of new ideas. Achieving environmental goals is a constant source of innovation.

Biotechnologies

The oceans are a goldmine for biotechnologies. Maritime resources can be used

  • In cosmetics (creams, seawater therapy, etc.)
  • For the agri-foods industry (food supplements, fertilisers, etc.)
  • In the energy sector (notably biofuels)
  • In pharmacology.

It is possible to create substances derived from algae for food and cosmetics uses. In addition, scientists have discovered that ingredients from oysters can slow skin ageing. The production of biofuels from the triglycerides contained in algae is another potential area of interest.

Lithium

Seawater is a virtually unlimited source of lithium, with the seas and oceans containing some 230 billion tonnes of it.[1] However, lithium is highly diluted in seawater.

Researchers have been working for years to extract it using evaporation or filtering membranes. They have already managed to do so in small quantities. Lithium is used in the glass and ceramics industries, to produce lubricant greases and in aluminium production. It is also essential in making electric batteries.

Energy

The enormous energy in tides, swells and waves is already being tapped. However, this is just the beginning. Innovative technologies will complement the systems already developed.

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/new-technologies-ocean-energy-sector

The most favourable coasts are those between the latitudes of 30° and 60°

  • In the southern hemisphere due to the wave heights
  • In the northern hemisphere due to the length of the coasts in question.

The Bay of Fundy’s tidal power station between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in Canada and the one in the bay of Mont Saint-Michel in France were pioneers in the field. In addition to tidal power stations, systems using energy from waves and tidal currents (underwater turbines and wave power systems) are also being developed.

The European Union, already quite advanced in the field of ocean power technology, should be producing 35% of its electricity from ocean sources by 2050.[2] Reducing the cost of technologies generating wind power is one of the main projects on which the most innovative blue economy players are working.

Pharmaceuticals

The ability of marine organisms other than fish and shellfish to contribute to the blue economy is beginning to be acknowledged thanks to the new gene sequencing technologies for living organisms. Tests of antiviral medicines obtained from nucleotides isolated from Caribbean sponges are already under way. That’s how high the stakes are!

The oceans are a gigantic pharmacy. Marine species are providing the pharmaceutical industry with a wide range of new compounds that have already led to major applications in the antiviral field, but also in cancer and pain treatment medicines.

The animal, plant and bacterial species living in the oceans contain impressive numbers of compounds with unexpected properties that are of interest from a medical standpoint. Some are already known such as those from ‘cone snails’ – gastropod molluscs.

These cousins of land snails secrete neurotoxins. Researchers have been working with them since the 1960s. Cone snails have enabled the development of a compound used in a powerful pain medicine that is stronger than morphine. Researchers are currently working on developing new medicines from cone snail compounds.

Anti-cancer agents are being produced from marine organisms. An anti-tumour medicine has been developed from small marine invertebrates. The most promising medicines already come from the oceans. They have been on pharmacy shelves and have been improving our health for several years now. The research on marine organisms being conducted around the world should continue to unveil new therapeutic properties.

A flourishing sustainable blue economy

Innovation is an essential factor in ensuring that a sustainable blue economy can flourish. Blue technologies hold great promise for established and start-up companies researching and developing solutions that have a positive impact on the oceans.

As a global sustainability theme, investing in the blue economy is fully aligned with BNP Paris Asset Management’s sustainable investment priorities. These are focused on the energy transition, environmental protection and equality & inclusive growth.

We believe investing in the blue economy will help advance the fight against climate change and ensure that the oceans can continue to function as a sink for carbon emissions from human activity. Such investments are suited for investors with a long-term perspective, an interest in contributing to a greener future and making a positive impact.

In our view, finance can play a major role in pushing companies linked to the blue economy to improve their practices. Those investors who consider the preservation of marine resources as an absolute priority are set to see investment opportunities in companies that develop marine and ocean projects opening up as awareness of the blue economy’s appeal grows.


[1] According to Agence internationale de l’Énergie in futura-sciences.com 21/07/2020

[2] See energiesdelamer.eu 12/06/2020


Read more about sustainable investing


Any views expressed here are those of the author as of the date of publication, are based on available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual portfolio management teams may hold different views and may take different investment decisions for different clients. This document does not constitute investment advice.

The value of investments and the income they generate may go down as well as up and it is possible that investors will not recover their initial outlay. Past performance is no guarantee for future returns.

Investing in emerging markets, or specialised or restricted sectors is likely to be subject to a higher-than-average volatility due to a high degree of concentration, greater uncertainty because less information is available, there is less liquidity or due to greater sensitivity to changes in market conditions (social, political and economic conditions).

Some emerging markets offer less security than the majority of international developed markets. For this reason, services for portfolio transactions, liquidation and conservation on behalf of funds invested in emerging markets may carry greater risk.

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Economy

B.C. economy set to grow in 2021, 2022, forecast suggests – News 1130

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VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – B.C.’s economy is looking up — at least for now — according to a new forecast.

Central 1 suggests the provincial economy is going to grow by 4.2 per cent this year and by 4.5 per cent in 2022.

Exports and the demand for housing are expected to be the main drivers as economies around the world bounce back from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccine rollout and development are also expected to help shape the provincial growth.

“Improved business conditions, rising exports and stronger commodity prices will drive a strong rebound in non-residential investment as firms begin to spend after holding back during the early stages of the pandemic,” says Bryan Yu, Central 1 chief economist. “For example, growth of more than 10 per cent is expected for machinery and equipment and building investment this year.”

However, while some sectors are expected to rebound, Central 1 notes the hospitality and “other face-to-face” sectors will likely take a longer time to recover fully.

According to the economic analysis, B.C. has regained close to 90 per cent of the jobs that were first lost when the health crisis began.

Despite this gain, jobs in the tourism and related sectors continue to be at levels far lower than before the pandemic.

“An improved labour market since the spring provides a solid launchpad for employment growth this year,” says Yu. “Average employment is forecast to rise 4.7 per cent, with growth sliding to 3.2 per cent in 2022.”

While Central 1 forecasts growth for 2021 and 2022, its analysis suggests there will be a drop to below three per cent in 2023.

Read the full report:

Central 1 BC economic forecast

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