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19 September 2016
Seven ways in which human ingenuity helps the planet - Hooray! It turns out that capitalism works after all - Theresa May has the power to curb tax avoidance – she should use it - Mao’s legacy suggests a path for change in China - How Oxfam gets it wrong on equality -
Watching the news, it can be easy to feel pessimistic about the state of the environment. But Professor Jesse H. Ausubel has shown how technological progress is allowing nature to rebound. Over the last 26 years, Europe gained 212,122 square km of forest area. And between 1961 and 2014, global cereal yields per unit of land increased by 154% - meaning that humanity now produces far more food using less land.
The latest sensation in economics has been the 'elephant chart' - an image showing how globalisation, while bringing wealth to the East, has wreaked havoc among lower-income earners in the West. But it turns out that the facts don't match up. A new analysis shows that the picture for most people in most developed countries is one of growth rather than stagnation. In other words, free markets work.
A 17-word amendment to the recent Finance Bill enables the government to force UK multinationals to declare publicly in which countries they really create value and where they pay their taxes. This isn't about punishing companies - it's about levelling the playing field so that small firms can compete on equal terms with the multinationals. Let's just hope the Prime Minister uses the power Parliament has given her.
Forty years after the death of the Great Helmsman, China's rulers in Beijing find themselves facing new challenges both internal and external - in particular unrest in Hong Kong and escalating tensions over North Korea. How they choose to tackle them, and whether they learn the right lessons from their predecessor, will do much to determine the path that China takes.
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