‘Global democratic recession’ has been eroding freedoms since 2006, says study

The 20th century was marked by waves of pro-democracy revolutions. Now, the future of democracy looks uncertain.

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  • A recent paper examined the status of democracy among the world's countries.
  • The paper outlines three key indicators showing that democracy is generally declining worldwide, and it lists several potential reasons for the decline.
  • Surveys indicate that nearly half of U.S. citizens are dissatisfied with how democracy is playing out on the national level.
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Study: Do people trust governments less when ‘fake news’ proves real?

People remember when governments lie to them and it lowers their satisfaction in government officials.

  • A recent study measured how the public's trust in government differs when exposed to rumors, government denials, and subsequent verification of the initial rumors.
  • The study, conducted in China, also examined whether any changes in trust lasted over a three-week period.
  • The results suggest that governments that deem negative information as "fake news" may persuade some people, but over the long term it can cost them in credibility and public satisfaction.
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Study: Private prisons result in more inmates, longer sentences

The Labour Economics study suggests two potential reasons for the increase: corruption and increased capacity.

  • After adopting strict sentencing laws in the '80s and '90s, many states have turned to for-profit prisons to handle growing prison populations.
  • A new study in Labour Economics found that privately-run prisons correlate with a rise in incarceration rates and sentence lengths.
  • While evidence is mixed, private prisons do not appear to improve recidivism or cost less than state-run facilities.
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    Is this the end of the myth of American exceptionalism?

    In his new book, "American Rule," Jared Yates Sexton hopes to overturn a centuries-long myth.

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    • In "American Rule," Jared Yates Sexton wants to eradicate the myth of American exceptionalism.
    • Since its founding, Sexton writes that America has been constructed to protect the wealthy elite.
    • In this interview, the writer suggests that facing up to our tragic history affords us an opportunity to build something new.
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    Is a capitalist-socialist economy inevitable?

    The American economy may be locked into an unhealthy cycle that only benefits a select few. Is it too late to fix it?

    • What will the economy of the future look like? To answer that we must first consider the current trajectory and the ways in which modern capitalism operates, who it benefits, and if it is sustainable.
    • In this video, historians, economists, and authors discuss income and wealth inequality, how the American economy grew into the machine that it is today, the pillars of capitalism and how the concept has changed over time, and ways in which the status quo can, and maybe even should, change.
    • "It's not that hierarchy is bad," says John Fullerton, founder of Capital Institute, "it's that hierarchy where the top extracts from below is definitely bad and unsustainable." He says that the modern capitalist system works this way, and that it perpetuates the cycle of growing inequality.
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