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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 »

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In New York State, under the Public Corporations law, so called "Authorities" or "Public Corporations" can be created that have the ability to raise capital, make autonomous decisions, and act independently fro the state government. Normally, these semi-public institutions are governed by small boards of political appointees and operate with little or no oversight. However, there are ways to make these public corporations return financial decision making power to the very people these decisions affect people.
Everyone knows that the dollar is the reserve currency of the world.  But most people probably don't know what that really means and how it affects them personally.  The dominance of the dollar as the global currency of exchange has given the citizens and residents of the United States, a strong advantage in every aspect of foreign dealings, and also perhaps, holds the key to our future prosperity -- that is if the Tea Party does not succeed in returning us to the gold standard, a particularly ruinous policy for ordinary people. 
By Ed Chen | October 14th 2009 03:28 PM | Print | E-mail

It is unfortunate that Climate Change is one of those controversial issues in the US, and the world in general, which frames the argument in moral terms.  The other issues that come to mind are Gay Marriage, Abortion, and Immigration Reform.  Moral issues unfortunately are difficult to decipher, and many political theorists would agree, belong outside of the realm of political discourse.   Thousands of years of history tells us that when issues are framed as moral imperatives, the issue never gets settled.  Just think back to the protestant reformation, for starters.  Or the moral issues raised by the idea the earth revolves around the sun, rather than the inverse arrangement.

By Ed Chen | October 8th 2009 06:31 PM | Print | E-mail
To my fellow students:

The economic depression is likely to last for some time without the opening of some new economic frontier for further exploitation.  Indeed, after this financial crisis it seems the last 15 years have been more economic redistribution rather than economic growth.  Do not get me wrong, I am not innocent of going after some of that redistribution.  And I would likely continue chasing after personal economic prosperity, even after having thought through the consequences of taking the post-ivy league path of corporate economic security, and having borne it for some short time in, because I, like every individual educated in the economic orthodoxy, believes in the power -- no sovereignty -- of free markets.
By Ed Chen | September 21st 2009 02:38 PM | Print | E-mail

Climate Induced Migration and Conflict: A study of evidence, historical cases and causes.

By Ed Chen | September 18th 2009 01:35 PM | Print | E-mail
A high school student I mentor, Augustus, once brought up the matter of dying -- specifically from cancer.  "Dying of cancer is like the feeling you get when you are stuffed into a closet, except you never get out."