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Forum on Public Policy Online

Vol 2012 no 1

Values||Poverty and Global Security||Environment||Early Childhood||Women's Issues


Poverty and Global Security


Low-Wage Worker Characteristics: Implications For Children In Poverty
Jan E. Christopher, Associate Professor of Economics, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Delaware State University

Low-wage workers and their related demographic and socio-economic characteristics are of major consideration in almost all industrialized nations.  The resulting wage differential that exists between skilled and unskilled labor is substantial, making the topic of low-wage worker characteristics a major global concern.  Historically, the challenges in conducting a research study on low-wage workers have been noteworthy. For decades, it was not possible to accurately estimate the cost-of-living across major metropolitan areas that covered multiple state lines in terms of consumer prices. Most scholars agreed, however, that rural poverty and living standards differed significantly from urban poverty and standard of living.  In the United States, and only within the last two decades, have there been strides in the ability to calculate the costs of living across major metropolitan areas in a consistent measure. This paper provides the framework of wage-rate and poverty-level determination to assist in the critical analysis of the interrelationships among poverty and low-wage worker characteristics. 

The Economics and Cost of Safety and Security for the United States in a Post-9/11 World: Waste, Expense, and Lack of Oversight
William Gorman, Department of History, Monmouth University

This paper will focus on the budget expenditures and realities that face the United States government with emphasis on how to balance the need for safety and security and yet not waste what are obviously limited financial resources.  Obviously, since the face of terrorism is consistently evolving, it is important to note that the Department of Homeland Security must be even more diligent in the spending of resources.  Therefore, there will be an examination of waste, inefficient areas of expenditure,   and an examination of solutions to achieve efficient use of resources while attempting to protect the American public simultaneously.  This dilemma presents an ongoing challenge to those within the American political system and establishment.


The Importance of Beautiful Things: An Art Historical Perspective on Global Security and Civilization
Theresa Grupico, lecturer, Department of Art and Design, Monmouth University

In seeking to combat terrorism and strengthen global security, the potential contribution of the arts and crafts should not be overlooked.  The terrorism arising from the Islamic world today is analogous to Western extremist groups (communism, fascism, and Nazism) of the nineteenth and early twentieth century.  Like the Western extremists who emerged in the wake of social utopian movements concerned about the impact of the Industrial Revolution and the resulting increased urbanization and modernization on the individual, Islamic extremists have emerged in a context of societal transitioning from a pre-industrial to an industrial and modern world.  As in the West, where the Arts and Crafts Movement provided an alternative response to industrialization and modernization, so the arts and crafts can play a similar role today.  They can: 1) offer economic opportunities at local levels, and with this, strengthen the sense of community; 2) offer meaningful work which fosters rather than represses the critical thinking and decision-making skills needed for citizens to partake in democracy; 3) preserve and reflect Islamic traditions and, in so doing, provide a forum for dialogue and understanding between the Islamic and Western worlds.  Finally, 4) the arts and crafts can address the sense of spiritual loss threatening not only the Islamic, but also the Western world.

The Role and Purposes of Public Schools and Religious Fundamentalism:  An International Human Rights Law Perspective
Douglas Charles Hodgson, Professor of International and Obligations Law, Faculty of Law, The University Of Western Australia

The question of what are today the legitimate and proper role and purposes of public schools can only be answered by a close examination and analysis of the human right to education which has been developed by such international organizations as the United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and by such international treaties as the Convention against Discrimination in Education 1960, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989.  This paper will begin by considering the various types and definitions of education and tracing the historical development of the right to education.  It will then address the following questions:  What are the underlying philosophical rationales of the right to education and how is this right classified?  What is the minimum or core content of the right to education under both international conventional and customary human rights law?  What were the historical aims and objectives of a primary public school education and what are today the contemporary aims of such an education?  To what extent do these aims embrace democratic and religious values and freedoms and can they be extended to accommodate the emergence of religious fundamentalism?

Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorist Financing, and The Global Banking System  Three Anomalies
Walter P. Loughlin, Partner, K&L Gates LLP
Any broadly implemented system of laws and regulations can lead to anomalies, unintended consequences, and departures from expected norms.  This paper identifies three such anomalous circumstances arising from the requirements imposed on banks by the procedural regime designed to address the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing, and proposes how they may be modified to align more closely to the goals of the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing legal regime.

Legal Responses to the Boko Haram Challenge: An Assessment of Nigeria’s Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011
Akin  Oyebode, Professor of International Law and Chair, Office of International  Relations, Partnerships and Prospects, University of Lagos, Nigeria
The scourge of terrorism has since become a reality of our everyday existence. If some thirty years ago, the exploits of the Con Bendits,  Symbionese Liberation Army,  Bader Meinhof’s Red Brigades,  Japanese Red Army, Tupamaros  and Sendero Luminoso (or the Shining Path), seemed remote,  sporadic or episodic, today, the atrocities of innumerable terrorist groups all over the world especially, Islamic fundamentalists such as Al Quaeda, Talibans and El Shabbab  have become commonplace and assumed an eerie permanence on the global landscape so much so that people have now become numb to the successively outrageous nature  of terrorist acts perpetrated by these common enemies of humanity. The threat posed to international peace and security by these modern day crusaders of evil  is such that the very survival of human civilization might well be in question except and unless decisive action is taken by the international community to arrest the growing incidence of terrorism. This explains the rationale for the adoption by the family of nations of several international anti-terrorism instruments whose signatories are obliged to implement them within their respective legal orders.

Global Security and Catholicism: Augustine, Aquinas, Teilhard, and the Dawn of Noopolitik
Paul Sukys, Professor of Humanities, North Central State College

Catholic theologians have always had an unsettling relationship with the question of war. On the one hand, Catholicism is allegedly a religion of peace, extoling as it does the virtues of charity and benevolence.  Yet, theologically within the Catholic tradition we find Augustine and Aquinas defending the concept of Just War and historically in the Middle East we see the heritage of the Crusades. Resolving the conflict is no easy task and at times it requires consulting a curious alliance of theologians and philosophers from both inside and outside the Catholic tradition.

The solution to the problem may involve abandoning the Just War Theory and seeking, instead, the moral foundation upon which that theory was built, thus simplifying the moral judgment process and restoring the original message of Catholic theology while, at the same time, adjusting to the evolving nature of that moral theology. This effort calls for reinstating Augustine’s basic moral structure and modifying Thomistic moral philosophy so that it blends more easily with that of Teilhard de Chardin and with the political strategy of Noopolitik.



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