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Norm Mineta: The Mission Ahead
Secretary Norman Y. Mineta is vice chairman of Hill & Knowlton based in its Washington, DC office where he provides counsel and strategic advice to Hill & Knowlton clients on a wide range of business and political issues including expertise in transportation (aviation, surface transportation, and infrastructure) and national security. He is recognized for his accomplishments in economic development, science and technology policy, foreign and domestic trade, the environment, budgetary issues and civil rights.
Secretary Mineta served in Congress for over twenty years and in the Cabinets of both Republican and Democratic presidents. For almost thirty years, Mineta represented San Jose, California, first on the City Council, then as Mayor, and then from 1975 to 1995 as a Member of Congress. He was appointed the United States Secretary of Transportation by President George W. Bush in 2001, where he served until he joined Hill & Knowlton in July, 2006. Following the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Secretary Mineta guided the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, an agency with more than 65,000 employees, and the largest mobilization of a new federal agency since World War II. Mineta was vice president of Lockheed Martin before joining the Commerce Department, where he oversaw the first successful implementation of the EZ-Pass system in New York State.
Among his numerous accomplishments, Secretary Mineta received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the US, and the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, awarded for significant pubilc service of enduring value to aviation in the United States. While in Congress, he was the co-founder of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Chair of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission in 1999. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.
Norm Mineta: I’m Norm Mineta and I’m Vice Chairman of Hill & Knowlton.
Question: Why is infrastructure important?
Norm Mineta: Well, the reason that infrastructure is so important is it’s directly linked to productivity increases and there’s been a tremendous amount of productivity increase since the end of World War II and that increase stopped maybe not stopped but it slowed down about maybe 10, 12 years ago. They were still increasing but the rate of the increase flattened out. But in the last, I think, five years or so, five to eight years, productivity has gone down because of congestion in urban areas.
And so my feeling is that here we are competing in a globally economic place and we cannot allow and we can’t afford to have our productivity going down at a time when we’re competing in the economic world marketplace, and so that’s why need this kind of infusion of money into infrastructure.
Norm Mineta: Well, the logical source in the past has been the gasoline tax or the fuel tax for a diesel fuel or excise tax on batteries and tires, etc. Now, with the fuel efficiency of automobiles going up, the 18.4 [percent] federal gasoline tax just produces less money into the Highway Trust Fund.
So, it’s either going to be increased gasoline taxes for which those have resistance or some other form of fuel tax maybe based on the odometer reading, but there’s still going to be a gap from what that generates and what the needs are. And my feeling is that public-private partnerships ought to be used to fill that gap.
Norm Mineta: I think when you think about infrastructure, it probably would surround what I would think of maybe as employment, especially right now, giving the unemployment rate, what does it do in terms of employment? What does it do in terms of the environment? And what does it do in terms of the economy as a whole? And I think from there you can take subsets of each of those broad areas and come up with criteria that would be applicable to any project that might be funded so that you’re looking for efficiency and effectiveness of that funding. So that at the end of the day, it’s not just the question of, oh, that’s nice, you spent $200 million on that project, but what did we get for that $200 million?
Norm Mineta: It seems to me that there’s been a lot of talk about return to more bipartisanship that the American people are tired of the kind of constant bickering going on back and forth between the Congress and the executive branch and that there ought to be more civility, I guess, in the relationship between the administration and the Congress and within the Congress as well.
November 12, 2008
The former Secretary of Transportation outlines his action plan for America's future.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.