Behind Bars: Rethinking the Morality and Economics of Prisons

“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” The words of Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa and a man who spent 27 years locked up as a political prisoner, ring true even in the modern age.

Therefore, the question is: how do the nations of today present themselves when put under the scrutiny of these words?

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Gold is losing its sparkle, yet the economy cheers

With rising fears about the US-China trade war and an imminent global recession, investors sought safety in assets like precious metals and sovereign bonds to hedge the risk against unfavorable market conditions. Gold prices move inversely with inflation, and bonds are perceived to be a safer bet as the risk of default is lower than equities. In recent months, demand for gold has risen as global outlook looks increasingly pessimistic. That trend, perhaps comfortingly, started to falter last week.

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Beyond the Hype: is the Plant-Based Meat Revolution here to stay?

A meat-free diet was once only associated with the likes of eco-warriors and hippies, but attitudes are rapidly changing. Many traditional food chains and supermarkets, including Burger King, Nestlé, Tescos, and more, are beginning to embrace the blossoming meat-free revolution.

While plant-based meats are growing rapidly, is this trend worth the hype? 

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America’s STEM Shortage I: Hardline immigration policy is challenging the future of international students

In the first of a 3 part series, WES investigates how hardline immigration policy is challenging the future of international students in the US and the potential consequences of this shift in policy on the nation’s long-term STEM innovation.

The United States’  ability to attract the best and brightest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)  fields from around the world has provided it with a  competitive edge for the past half-century, yet this edge is at risk. 

Recent administrations have frequently bemoaned an ongoing shortage of STEM graduates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated there will be 1 million job openings in computer occupations alone. Last year, the Trump Administration directed the Department of Education to make promoting high-quality STEM education a top priority.

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America’s STEM shortage III: How can Skilled Immigration Reform propel technological progress?

As the US makes it harder for universities to attract foreign students, other countries are working to enroll more of them; this could be detrimental to the nation’s long-term innovation, start-up investment, and output-capacity.  

Evidence that the US is losing its luster to competitors comes from comparative changes in international student numbers. Although the U.S. retains the most international students across undergraduate and graduate education as a gross total, within the period 2016-8 this figure grew by only 4.9% in this period, lagging  behind both Canada (which increased 39.5% in this period) and Australia (which increased by  25.5%)

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America’s STEM shortage II: Why High-Skilled Immigrants are Vital for Innovation

Mounting visa problems and other obstacles are making it harder for talented students and skilled workers to enter the US, depriving the nation of the brainpower required to succeed in a fast-moving world built upon collaborative technological progress. 

Challenging conventional wisdom

Critical to embracing immigration reform is challenging the conventional notion that skilled-immigration unfairly increases competition and depresses the earnings to American workers in STEM.

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