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Ed ChenRSS Feed of this column.

Ed is an NGO representative to the United Nations for the Lawyer's Committee on Nuclear Policy. He is a Columbia College graduate (Cum Laude; Departmental Honors in Economics) with a perfect 1600... Read More »

A potentially new form of public finance and public insurance may lie in institutions of community jury banking.  Jury banking is a new concept, as far as I can tell, though it is a combination of immigrant loan pools, and microfiance schemes.  Immigrant loan pools because immigrants tend to get together as small communities and pool money, lending this money to a single person as startup capital for a business.  THis is why south asian and east asians can afford to buy delis and taxis.  The money the business makes is partially returned to the loan pool and more money is available to new immigrants.  The return rates are high and dafault rates low, because everyone in the pool knows each other.  In the jury finance case, the loan pool is seeded by the state,
Why I believe in marriage equality or no marriage at all.
The Fourteenth Amendment of the United States constitution was passed after the civil war to provide equal protection to freed slaves under the law and to protect them from discriminatory behavior by the government. However, since then, the equal protection clause has been extended to prevent discriminatory action by the government against other races, as well as gender discrimination.
It is well known among those who study schizophrenia that speech which does not reflect the true underlying reality produces the kinds of violent and crazy reactions displayed by the assassin of Tucsan. When we can no longer trust that the words our elected representatives, that our public servants, say are true and reflective of their beliefs, a deliberative and representative democracy can no longer function, and it will necessarily devolve into a system where might equals right and violence becomes a preferred means of political expression.
 It is accepted wisdom that an increasing marginal rate on income taxes serve to balance inequality in our society, while also funding the massive entitlement programs created at the federal and state levels.  Indeed, the credo of so called progressives for solving the fiscal ills of our public sector is to raise the marginal income tax rate, while the credo of the republicans is to cut and borrow.  however, as has become patently obvious to any objective observer, both parties ideologies have driven the state and federal debt obligations to unsustainable levels, without achieving any of the objectives of wealth creation and social equity in a sustainable, non-redistributive manner.