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Wearing the white hat of environmental stewardship
Written by Daryll E. Ray and Harwood D. Schaffer   
Thursday, 18 August 2011 15:28

Mention the words “pollution” and the “Environmental Protection Agency” (EPA) in the same sentence and you will have the attention of most U.S. farmers. But the issue of the role of farming practices in environmental pollution predates the creation of the EPA in 1970 by Richard Nixon.

In the years before the Great Depression and the images of the Dust Bowl, future Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace used the pages of Wallaces’ Farmer in Iowa to rail against farmers he characterized as soil miners. He was concerned about soil erosion, the creation of gullies in once productive fields, and the loss of fertile soil to the waterways of the Midwest.

Heading to Havana-Lifting of travel ban is good policy
Written by Sharon Hostetler   
Thursday, 04 August 2011 14:34

For most Americans, visiting Cuba is inconceivable. Not so for travelers from the rest of the world. The Caribbean country's stunning beaches, colonial architecture, vintage cars, and vibrant musical culture attract more than 2 million tourists a year from Europe, Latin America, and elsewhere.

Indeed, until the Cuban Revolution and Washington's decision to isolate the country, Cuba was a top destination for American tourists. The island, after all, is close enough that 61-year-old endurance swimmer Diana Nyad plans to swim a 103-mile route from Cuba to Florida as soon as sea conditions appear optimal.

U.S. has plenty of cash but it's in the wrong pockets.
Written by David Korten   
Thursday, 28 July 2011 14:13

Thanks to massive bailout funding from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury, Wall Street survived the financial crash it created. This year, its titans are enjoying record share prices, corporate profits, and executive bonuses. The financial assets of America's billionaires and the idle cash reserves of the most profitable corporations are at historic highs. Their biggest challenge is figuring out where to park all their cash.

SEC’s revolving door spins out of control
Written by Michael Smallberg   
Thursday, 09 June 2011 16:14

If you're looking for evidence of the revolving door that spins between the federal government and Wall Street, look no further than Daniel Gallagher, President Barack Obama's recently announced nominee for Securities and Exchange Commission commissioner.

Gallagher certainly appears qualified for the job. He previously worked at the SEC as a counsel to then-Chairman Christopher Cox, and later played a key role in organizing the SEC's response to the financial crisis. Yet Obama's nomination of Gallagher to help lead the agency during a critical time in its history is also the latest example of the agency's coziness to the industry it oversees.

Free trade with Central America the wrong approach
Written by Jess Hunter-Bowman   
Thursday, 31 March 2011 13:21

President Barack Obama recently traveled to Latin America, seeking refuge from budget battles at home by promoting increased trade with countries across the region. During his trip to Chile, Brazil, and El Salvador, he highlighted the benefits of so-called "free trade" to U.S. and Latin American businesses.

While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many conservatives in Congress will cheer him on, the truth is that free trade has been a curse for farmers and the poor throughout Latin America for years. It's time for a better approach.

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