Trump’s Growth Charade

WASHINGTON, DC – Officials in President Donald Trump’s administration frequently talk about getting annual economic growth in the United States back above 3%. But they are doing more than just talking about it; their proposed budget actually assumes that they will succeed.

If they do, it would represent a significant improvement over recent performance: the US economy has averaged less than 2% annual growth since 2000. And, while an increase to 3% might sound small, it would make an enormous difference in terms of employment and wages.

Unfortunately, left to its own devices, the economy will most likely continue to sputter. And the policies that Trump’s Republican Party has proposed – for health care, taxes, and deregulation – will not make much difference. The assumption of higher growth is more of an accounting smokescreen for tax cuts than anything else. If administration officials acknowledge that a 3% annual rate is not feasible, they would need to face the reality that their forecasts for tax revenues are too high, and that their proposed tax cuts, if enacted, would dramatically increase the budget deficit and the national debt.

The US economy used to grow at more than 3% per year; in fact, this was the norm in the second half of the twentieth century. Since then, however, the US has been forced to confront three major constraints.

First, the US population is aging. As the baby boom generation (born after the end of World War II) retires, the proportion of retired people in the total population increases. Over time, this demographic shift has reduced US potential annual growth by perhaps as much as half a percentage point.

The details of what will happen to health insurance remain unclear. But making it harder or more expensive for lower-income and older Americans to get health insurance is not likely to encourage people to work. The best independent assessment of these policies, produced by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), does not predict any economic miracles – just that around 20 million fewer Americans will have health insurance.

And lurking in the background are potential policies that would restrict legal immigration. The US currently allows about one million mostly working-age people per year to take up residence and work in the country. Moreover, immigrants’ tendency to have more children than non-immigrants do keeps the US population growing faster than in other developed countries (for example, in Europe or Japan). So any move to reduce annual immigration – some Republicans are proposing 500,000 people or fewer – would make 3% annual economic growth even less likely.

The second economic constraint is the slowing rate of productivity growth. There was a major increase in average output per person in the post-World War II years, as better technology was developed across a wide range of sectors. And there were hopes in the 1990s that the information technology revolution would have a similar effect. But the impact on productivity has been disappointing. Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon’s recent book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, argues that, despite all the hype from the tech sector, we are unlikely to see a dramatic change on this front.

The Trump administration argues that by reducing taxes and “reforming” healthcare, it can boost productivity – for example, by encouraging capital investment. But the tax cuts that will soon be on the table are likely to resemble closely those implemented by President George W. Bush’s administration, which did not lead to any kind of economic boom (a point that James Kwak and I examined in detail in our book White House Burning).

The third constraint stems from the 2008 financial crisis. One danger inherent in pushing for high growth is that it is always possible to juice an economy with short-term measures that encourage a lot of risk-taking and leverage in the financial system. Deregulation in the 1990s and early 2000s did exactly that, leading to slightly higher growth for a while – and then to a massive crash.

The details of the Trump administration’s plans remain to be determined, but officials will most likely push in the direction of relaxing limits on leverage (thereby allowing banks to borrow more relative to equity). Any boom generated in this way is likely to end badly – not just financial ruin for millions of individuals, but also a long and difficult recovery.

The two least political and most influential official forecasts – those issued by the CBO and the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee – both foresee 2% growth, on average, for the coming decade and perhaps beyond. Assuming 3% growth is, to put it generously, wishful thinking.

Worse, it is deeply misleading – and potentially dangerous. If those pushing for tax cuts stick to their guns and refuse to accept reality, their agenda, if enacted, would result in a significantly wider budget deficit, which would increase the national debt to unprecedentedly high levels.

Simon Johnson is a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the co-author of White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters to You.By Simon Johnson

Shooting on Bypass for woman

A gunman suspected to be a police officer is said to have caused panic on the Bypass in Monrovia on Monday afternoon, 31 July when he allegedly discharged a Guinean - made firearm after he allegedly caught his wife in extramarital affairs with another man.

A huge crowd was seen chasing the suspect on foot along with some police officers amidst traffic as he (suspect) threatens to shoot, while holding up the firearm. Sources in the community say the gunman fled from angry crowds following the shooting incident.

Some eye witnesses had alleged that the suspect had shot dead the man. Police authorities confirmed the incident, but say the suspect only fired the gun in the air upon catching his wife in extramarital affairs with a man. Police Spokesman Sam Collins told the NewDawn on Monday evening that the suspect has been arrested and is being held in police custody while investigation is being conducted.

Mr. Collins, however, dropped the line during the mobile phone interview upon being asked over the accuracy of claims by sources that the suspect is a police officer.
In addition to escaping further inquiry over the suspect’s alleged connection with the police force, Spokesman Collins also declines to provide the name of the man that he claims has already been arrested and held in custody at the Liberia National Police Headquarters over the shooting incident.
The police spokesman, however, insists that the suspect fired in the air, and adds that the man and woman that were allegedly caught in extramarital affairs have no wounds as a result of the shooting incident.
“I’m giving you my official response, okay. Nobody shot any man and woman; there’s no bullet wound on anybody. The discharge of the weapon was done in the air so nobody got shot anywhere. You can go to the house and ask the people [that are] there now”, Mr. Collins says.
Mr. Collins confirms that police’s initial information is that the suspect met his wife in extramarital affairs with another man, but says he did not shoot anybody.-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

Ellen waives customs, storage fees

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has issued Executive Orders No. 85 and No. 86 respectively, waiving customs duty and storage fees at the Freeport of Monrovia, while also extending executive Order No. 78 that exempts the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation (LWSC) from customs duties and selected items.

An Executive Mansion release issued Monday, 31 July says the Executive Orders came as a pronouncement made by President Sirleaf, during her annual message on 23 January that the Government will provide relief on custom duties and storage fees, and that the Liberia Revenue Authority and the National Port Authority shall establish procedures for the effectuation of such relief.

The Government of Liberia having assessed the increase in storage fees and custom duties accrued to containers at the Freeport of Monrovia, decided to initiate measures that will provide relief to its people, thereby issuing those orders.

Executive Power is vested in the President by the Constitution to issue Executive Order in the public interest to correct a particular situation.

President Sirleaf has ordered waiver on storage charges beyond the first seven days and customs duty on non-commercial containers accrued at the Freeport of Monrovia prior to December 31, 2016, by NGOs, Churches, Mosques, Schools, Hospitals, Clinics, Humanitarian Organizations and individual Liberians for non-commercial
relief and personal goods excluding vehicles.

Meanwhile, Executive Order No. 86 has directed the extension
of Executive Order 78, exempting the Liberia Water &
Sewer Corporation (LWSC) from customs duties and selected items. The Executive Order took effect as of 25 July 2017, up to and including
31 August 2017. --Press release

La sphère publique à l'ère de Trump

BERKELEY – Dans de nombreuses sociétés, les universités sont les principaux bastions de l'indépendance idéologique et intellectuelle. Nous comptons sur elles pour transmettre nos valeurs aux jeunes et pour encourager à court et à long terme les recherches sur la condition humaine. Dans l'Amérique de Donald Trump, elles sont plus importantes que jamais.

Contrairement aux universités, les entreprises à but lucratif n'ont jamais été à la hauteur de la tâche de nourrir une forte « sphère publique. » Inévitablement, leur couverture se traduit par une pression énorme pour faire plaisir à leur base (leurs annonceurs ou investisseurs) ou pour éviter tout au moins de leur causer du tort. C'est pour cette raison que l'auteur et commentateur politique américain Walter Lippmann (qui connaît bien le journalisme), a fini par faire confiance aux intellectuels qui travaillent dans les universités, dans les centres d'études ou dans d'autres niches.

Pendant la plus grande partie de l'après-guerre, les difformités structurelles des médias à but lucratif ont été relativement inoffensives. L'extrême-droite, après avoir déchaîné le nazisme et le fascisme sur le monde, était en exil politique. Et l'extrême-gauche avait son propre fardeau : « le socialisme réel » au sein du bloc soviétique s'était avéré meurtrier et improductif.

Cela n'a laissé que le triptyque de l'Atlantique Nord de la démocratie politique, de l'économie de marché et de la couverture sociale. Les débats technocratiques sur la façon de parvenir au plus grand bien pour le plus grand nombre de citoyens a pu se poursuivre sans le bagage des idéologies malmenées. L'Occident a fait alors l'expérience de la « fin des idéologies » ; ou de manière encore plus optimiste, de la « fin de l'histoire. »

Mais à présent, nous sommes confrontés à ce que Lawrence Summers appelle « les défis de l'ère Trump » et les enjeux n'ont jamais été aussi importants. Dans un récent commentaire du Financial Times, Summers déplore que les universités, en particulier, n'aient pas réussi à relever les défis d'aujourd'hui.

Premièrement, Summers demande à juste titre que les universités fassent davantage d'efforts pour « recruter, inscrire et éduquer des étudiants défavorisés sur le plan économique. » Quand les universités n'acceptent que les personnes bien préparées, elles ne se montrent pas simplement paresseuses. Elles causent également du tort à leurs étudiants, à leurs professeurs et aux collectivités qu'elles sont supposées servir. Les étudiants défavorisés, moins préparés que leurs pairs, ne doivent pas avoir à subir le fardeau du milieu dans lequel ils sont nés.

En termes économiques, la tâche d'une université consiste à maximiser sa « valeur ajoutée » éducative, ce qui signifie qu'elle doit rechercher les étudiants qui se distinguent pour bénéficier en priorité de ses services. Une fois admis, ces étudiants doivent recevoir les sommes nécessaires pour accomplir leurs études.

Summers a également raison de trouver « terrifiant le fait que les États-Unis aient leur premier Président post-rationnel, capable de refuser les résultats de la science, de proposer des budgets arithmétiquement infondés et de faire siens des faits alternatifs. » Les universités, comme le remarque Summers, doivent « être les remparts d'un débat honnête et ouvert, sur la voie d'une plus grande vérité. » Les universités sont effectivement des lieux qui servent non seulement à exprimer, mais également à évaluer les idées. Nous devons cultiver la diversité intellectuelle. Mais nous devons également rejeter les idées avortées, peu sûres ou frauduleuses.

Pour cette raison, chaque faculté et chaque étudiant doit pouvoir proférer tout type d'argument ou d'idée pour autant qu'on estime ces derniers dignes de recherche. Et ces institutions doivent être libres d'inviter des orateurs qui partagent leurs points de vue. Summers a raison de dire qu'une université n'est pas le lieu pour « donner le veto d'un chahut à ceux qui veulent l'emporter par la force de leur sentiment plutôt que par la force de leur argument. »

Et pourtant il existe une forme de conflit entre le rejet des idées qui ont avorté et le maintien d'une diversité intellectuelle. Une règle empirique, proposée il y a 70 ans par l'historien Ernst Kantorowicz, et celle selon laquelle ceux qui avancent une idée ont une obligation « devant leur sens moral et devant leur Dieu » d'être sincères à propos de cette idée.

Prenez l'exemple cité par Summers : la visite de Charles Murray à Middlebury College, qui a déclenché de nombreuses manifestations d'étudiants. J'ai vu Murray y discuter de son livre fameux : The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, au milieu des années 1990 et il ne m'a pas impressionné. Et depuis lors, les idées de Murray (surtout ses thèses sur le QI et les races), n'ont pas été bien reçues.

Donc selon moi, si Murray était invité, il devrait pouvoir parler. Mais les étudiants de Middlebury qui l'ont invité sont également redevables devant leur sens moral, devant leur Dieu et le reste d'entre nous, d'expliquer de bonne foi pourquoi ils pensent que ses idées sont toujours dignes de notre considération.

Une idée sur laquelle je ne suis pas d'accord avec Summers concerne sa défense de la méritocratie. Suggérer que la méritocratie est un bien sans mélange ignore la provenance de ce terme, que le sociologue Michael Young a inventé dans sa satire dystopique de 1958 The Rise of the Meritocracy.

Summers déplore que les facultés soient à présent « entraînées à penser qu'il soit erroné et même raciste de dire que « l'Amérique est une terre d'opportunités » ou que « la méritocratie est une bonne chose. » » Mais la question de savoir si de telles déclarations sont répréhensibles dépend du contexte dans lequel elles sont prononcées. Il est bon d'encourager de jeunes gens prometteurs à travailler dur. Mais la méritocratie que nous avons est un arbitre peu digne de confiance sur la valeur individuelle, étant donnée la discrimination dont elle fait preuve à l'égard de ceux qui, bien qu'il n'y ait rien à leur reprocher, ne sont pas préparés à remplir les critères de réussite de cet arbitre.

À ce point de la discussion au sujet des universités actuelles, le terme « espace sécurisé » refait souvent surface. Bien évidemment, les universités doivent être des espaces sécurisés pour échanger et pour juger des idées, ainsi que pour faire changer d'avis une personne confrontée à de nouveaux arguments et à de nouvelles preuves. Summers, quant à lui, à raison de dire qu'« une éducation progressiste qui ne provoque pas un profond malaise est un échec. » Mais il se trompe en ne reconnaissant pas que certains étudiants éprouvent un malaise profond lorsqu'on leur fait sentir qu'ils sont exclus du système.

En tant que communautés de discours et de débats, les universités sont vulnérables aux perturbations, c'est pourquoi la courtoisie, sur laquelle Summers insiste à juste titre, mérite d'être respectée. En outre, l'agitation sur les campus est souvent perçue comme le symptôme de problèmes de société. Summers cite l'historien Rick Perlstein pour nous rappeler que la montée politique de Ronald Reagan dans les années 1960 reflétait en partie ses « vitupérations » contre les manifestations étudiantes à l'Université de Californie de Berkeley à l'époque. Summers suspecte que le radicalisme des campus ne va cesser de croître et que « les effets politiques seront à peu près les mêmes qu'à cette époque. » On soupçonne dans certains milieux que Trump compte là-dessus.

J. Bradford DeLong, ancien sous-sous-secrétaire au Trésor, professeur d'économie à l'Université de Californie de Berkeley et chercheur associé au National Bureau of Economic Research.

Par J. Bradford DeLong

Police re-echoe elections commitment

Liberia’s Police Inspector General Col. Gregory O. W. Coleman, has recommitted the Liberia National Police’s willingness to work with all political parties and candidates during the course of the 2017 Presidential and Representatives Elections.

The police chief’s reaffirmation of the institution’s commitment is aimed at dismissing any fear of police prejudice. The Liberia National Police says in a statement issued on Tuesday, 4 July that Col. Coleman says the LNP sees the forthcoming elections as pivotal to the country’s emerging democracy.

Col. Coleman says his primary focus is to provide a more professional policing service to the public during and after the elections, but stressed that the commitment of all actors in the political sphere of the country is needed.

He says the LNP is holding regular discussions with major actors in the electoral process to include civil society organizations and the media for the sole purpose of confidence building leading to the elections.

The LNP Inspector General adds that as part of the police’s commitment to the process, the LNP will assign three police officers to all political parties during the campaign period to serve as liaisons between the parties and the police for smooth interaction.

IGP Coleman notes that the provision of a conducive security environment is a matter of concern to the elections security management board, adding that “we are all concerned about the pending elections and are working collectively in making sure that the electoral process is handled without any major incident that will question the credibility of the country’s security apparatus”.

Commenting on logistics for the police ahead of the elections, the LNP boss says that it is a matter of concern to the police, but quickly adds that the government is showing strong commitment in providing the needed logistics for the police.

He says his administration is also lobbying with some international partners to assist the police with logistics for the elections.

At the sametime, the LNP has expressed regret over the dysfunctional nature of some traffic lights in the city and its environs. The police have attributed the problem to the heavy downpour of rains in recent weeks, but say officers are being assigned to these troubled lights to provide assistance to road users.

The Police say they working with the Ministry of Public Works to have the lights functional in the soonest of time. -- Press release


Muslims divided over Boakai support

A scheduled endorsement of ruling Unity Party (UP) standard bearer Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai this Sunday, 2 July by a group of Liberian Muslims has generated division among Muslims here, with some calling the gesture an insult to the religion.

“You don’t form Islamic organization ...; I mean religious organization should be about religious affairs. That is the responsibility you attached to religion. You will not find other religious groups doing this kind of thing. It is an insult, the guys there need to stop it”, Idris Bility told a pro - Boakai Muslim group Wednesday, 28 June via Mobile phone at Prime 105.5 Fm.

The National Muslim Heritage Foundation represented by Mr. Jusufu Keita and Amara Kwadu Mohammed on Wednesday, 28 June announced a planned endorsement of Mr. Boakai this Sunday, with a targeted population of 4,000 persons to assemble at the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC) in Paynesville.

“For the Muslim Community we believe that our cultural values are similar. Islam advocates honesty, Islam advocates integrity, Islam advocates sincerity, humility, and these are values that are coincidentally this man possesses”, Mr. Jusufu Keita says.

Adding to the pronouncement, Amara Kwadu Mohammed claims that it is the responsibility of the group “to provide a workable political direction for the Islamic population in Liberia”.

“Then we expect an endorsement statement to be read, an acceptance statement also will be … read by His Excellency Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and then we will also officially be launching the institution”, Mohammed says.

He claims that the Islamic group also has a post electoral agenda to venture into the areas of education, medicine and other professional services to give back to the community.

But their presentation did not go down well with other Liberian Muslims, demonstrated by a split in reaction particularly to their plan to endorse Mr. Boakai in the name of National Muslim Heritage Foundation.

Caller Idris Bility claims that it is “a deception to Islam”, arguing that “we are Muslims and people should not be forming Islamic organization to push their political agenda”.

“That is an abuse to Islam”, he says, and accuses the organization of having no article of incorporation.

Mr. Bility’s argument was supported by caller Asumana, who argues that endorsing a political candidate under the banner of religion is absolutely wrong, and urges them to desist from it.

Another supporter to Bility’s argument Mr. Jura Sannoh claims that the group is reducing “us” to public ridicule. “Why should you reduce Islam into a political entity to endorse someone who has not stood for Islam. When they burnt the Mosque in Lofa what did Joseph Nyumah Boakai say as a sitting Vice President when Muslims were attacked in Lofa under his administration?” Sannoh wonders.

But some callers insisted that the pro - Boakai group did nothing wrong for choosing the “right leader” for Liberia. A caller from Bushrod Island just after Mr. Bility had dropped the line, claims that in 2011, the National Mandingo Caucus pledged their support to President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf, and wonders why others were here but didn’t have problem with it.

Also pledging his support on the show, Sheakh Jalloh called the program a laudable gesture, claiming that “all the Muslims are very cognizant of what is going on, so we want to pledge our support to this movement”.

“And we’re urging every Muslim, this is a means of unifying us Muslims in this country so let us assemble to MVTC in order to propagate the message …” he adds. Another caller introducing himself as King Mohammed expressed congratulation to the pro - Boakai Muslim group, suggesting that they are doing the right thing.

He claims that Amara Kwadu Mohammed had even understated the number of Muslim supporters they intend to assemble at MVTC on Sunday, alleging that they target about 25,000 Muslims to show their support and launch the group.

By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

Europe’s Gradualist Fallacy

ATHENS – Europe is at the mercy of a common currency that not only was unnecessary for European integration, but that is actually undermining the European Union itself. So what should be done about a currency without a state to back it – or about the 19 European states without a currency that they control?

The logical answer is either to dismantle the euro or to provide it with the federal state it needs. The problem is that the first solution would be hugely costly, while the second is not feasible in a political climate favoring the re-nationalization of sovereignty.

Those who agree that the cost of dismantling the euro is too high to contemplate are being forced into a species of wishful thinking that is now very much in vogue, especially after the election of Emmanuel Macron to the French presidency. Their idea is that, somehow, by some unspecified means, Europe will find a way to move toward federation. “Just hang in there,” seems to be their motto.

Macron’s idea is to move beyond idle optimism by gaining German consent to turn the eurozone into a state-like entity – a federation-lite. In exchange for making French labor markets more Germanic, as well as reining in France’s budget deficit, Germany is being asked to agree in principle to a common budget, a common finance ministry, and a eurozone parliament to provide democratic legitimacy.

To make this proposal palatable to Germany’s government, the suggested common budget is tiny (around 1% of aggregate eurozone income) and will fund only the basic structures that a federation-lite entails, like common deposit insurance to give substance to Europe’s (so-called) banking union and a portion of unemployment benefits. The plan also envisages common bonds, or Eurobonds, which will cover but a fraction of new debt and explicitly prohibit mutualization of member states’ mountainous legacy debt.

Macron knows that such a federation would be macroeconomically insignificant, given the depth of the debt, banking, investment, and poverty crisis unfolding across the eurozone. But, in the spirit of the EU’s traditional gradualism, he thinks that such a move would be politically momentous and a decisive step toward a meaningful federation.

“Once the Germans accept the principle, the economics will force them to accept the necessary magnitudes,” is how a French official put it to me recently. Such optimism may seem justified in light of proposals along those lines made in the past by none other than Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister. But there are two powerful reasons to be skeptical.

First, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Schäuble were not born yesterday. If Macron’s people imagine a federation-lite as an entering wedge for full-blown political integration, so will Merkel, Schäuble, and the reinvigorated Free Democrats (who will most likely join a coalition government with Merkel’s Christian Democrats after the September federal election). And they will politely but firmly reject the French overtures.

Second, in the unlikely event that Germany gives federation-lite the go-ahead, any change to the functioning of the eurozone would, undoubtedly, devour large portions of the reformers’ political capital. If it does not produce economic and social results that improve, rather than annul, the chances of a proper federation, as I suspect it will not, a political backlash could ensue, ending any prospect of a more substantial federation in the future. In that case, the euro’s dismantling will become inevitable, will cost more, and will leave Europe in even greater shambles.

If I am right that Macron’s gradualism and his federation-lite will prove to be a failure foretold, what is the alternative? My answer is straightforward: Re-deploy existing European institutions to simulate a functioning federation in the four realms where the euro crisis is evolving: public debt, banking, investment, and social deprivation.

Once these four sub-crises have been stabilized, hope will be restored, and the idea of Europe rehabilitated. Then – and only then – should we embark on the constitutional assembly process underpinning any agenda for constructing a full-fledged democratic federation.

But how can we simulate a macroeconomically – and macro-sociologically – significant federation now, under the existing treaties and institutions?

Imagine a press conference featuring the presidents of the European Council, the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the European Investment Bank (EIB). They issue a joint declaration launching – as of tomorrow morning – four new initiatives requiring no treaty change or new institution.

First, the EIB will embark on a large-scale green investment-led recovery program to the tune of 5% of eurozone income, funded entirely through issues of EIB bonds, which the ECB will purchase in secondary markets, if necessary, to keep their yields ultra-low.

Second, the ECB will service (without buying) the Maastricht-compliant part (60% of GDP) of maturing eurozone sovereign bonds, by issuing its own ECB bonds. These bonds are to be redeemed by the member state whose debt has been partly serviced by the ECB at the very low yields that the ECB can secure.

Third, failing banks will be de-nationalized. Based on an informal intergovernmental agreement, the ECB’s banking supervisor will appoint a new board of directors, and any recapitalization will be funded directly by the European Stability Mechanism. In exchange, the ESM will keep banks’ shares, in order to sell them back to the private sector at some future date.

Fourth, all profits from the ECB’s bond purchases, along with any profits from its internal Target2 accounting system, will fund a eurozone-wide, US-style food-stamp program that provides for the basic nutritional needs of European families falling below some poverty threshold.

Notice how one press conference suffices to announce to the world that the eurozone is about to simulate a political federation that uses existing institutions to restructure all public debt (without any haircuts), create a proper banking union, boost aggregate investment, and alleviate poverty on a continental scale. Notice also that this simulated federation can indeed be brought about tomorrow morning, without falling afoul of the existing EU treaties.

The euro crisis resulted from the fallacy that a monetary union would evolve into a political union. Today, a new gradualist fallacy threatens Europe: the belief that a federation-lite will evolve into a viable democratic federation. As paradoxical as it may sound, announcing a simulated federation today may be the last chance to rescue the dream of a proper European Union.

Yanis Varoufakis, a former finance minister of Greece, is Professor of Economics at the University of Athens.

Invest more in primary education

The Administrative Assistant to the President of the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) Mr. Johnson F. Togba, is urging the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led government to invest more in the development of primary education in Liberia.

He made the call in a speech delivered during the 24th closing and thanksgiving program of the Liberia Marketing Association School System outside Monrovia. He says the education of young minds is an important step in preparing a child for future learning experiences, which have transformed how adults and parents view their importance.

Twenty-five (25) primary students received certificates from the institution during the program for their academic excellence. He notes that childhood education also offers learning experiences that benefit children throughout their educational career, which is very essential to historical synopsis of children education.

The LMA Administrative Assistant cautious parents not to downplay childhood education because it is in that stage a young mind is prepared to meet future challenges, adding that they must also put the children on the right trajectory and guide them in the process of acquiring education.

 He says while it is true that progress has been made, government still does not prioritize childhood education in the national plans, noting that when such policy is prioritized, it must be keenly monitored, evaluated and implemented.

For his part, the Chairman of the Liberia Marketing Association School System Mr. Boakai S. Balo, assures parents of the school that the President of the LMA is planning to tour and assess facilities of the School System to give a facelift of all schools under the LMA.

By Emmanuel Mondaye-Editing by Jonathan Browne

UNAIDS, partners conclude HIV social protection training

The United Nations Joint Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS ) in collaboration with the Government of Liberia and partners has concluded a two - day training workshop with focus on Liberia’s HIV and Social Protection Assessment Agenda.

The two - day training was held at the Corina Hotel in Monrovia, between 21st and 22nd June, 2017. The HIV sensitive social protection initiative brought together over 40 representatives of the UN system, government of Liberia, civil society, INGOs, NGOs including, policy makers, persons living with HIV and young people including in and out of school youth.

The training also included persons with disabilities, migrants, and caregivers of orphans to review the HIV and social protection situation of Liberia. Liberia has a generalized HIV epidemic with an HIV prevalence of 2.1% (2013 LDHS) with an estimated adult HIV population of over 30,000 (2015).

Speaking during the opening of the workshop, UNAIDS Country Director Dr. Miriam Chipimo said the integration of HIV and social protection interventions will help Liberia in achieving its targets toward global response to end AIDS by 2030.

According to her, the UNAIDS’ 35th Program Co-ordinating Board (PCB) urged UNAIDS and its partners to conduct HIV and social protection assessments in countries that wish to develop country consultations on HIV and social protection considering the integrated program
contributions to global AIDS response.

To this effect, Dr. Chipimo intoned that UNAIDS and partners have developed over the past months an HIV and social protection assessment tool.  The UNAIDS boss then called on stakeholders to critically review the HIV and social protection situation of Liberia because, according to her, the assessment is intended to support decision making in strengthening the HIV sensitivity of social protection programs and
the national AIDS response.

Also speaking, Dr. Ivan F. Camanor, Chairman of the National AIDS Commission (NAC) of Liberia said HIV and social protection integration cannot be ignored because it is the responsibility of the government to improve the condition of all persons regardless of their health

For his part, Mr. Gabriel Fernandez, Social Protection Coordinator at the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection said he strongly believe the HIV sensitive social protection tool will help Liberia to monitor advancements and challenges toward meeting the social protection targets of the country’s population holistically. --Press release

“Liberia needs A President with the Father’s Heart”

The Resident Judge of the Debt Court at the Temple of Justice and Pastor of the Total Gospel Community Church located in Topoe Village Gardnersville on the outskirt of Monrovia, Rev. Cllr. James E. Jones says Liberia needs a President that has the father’s heart whose speech are reconciliatory, peaceful and with deep concern about prosperity of the nation.

He made the statment on 18 June in the Municipal Borough of New Kru Town where he served as Guest Preacher at the Trinity United Methodist Church Fathers’ Day Celebration which witnessed the Crowing and Sashing of his professional colleague, His Honor A. Blamo Dixon, Circuit Judge of Bomi County as Father of the Year 2017/2018.
Elaborating on the theme: “The Father’s Heart” with text taken from the Book of Luke 15:11-32, he gives an example of the practical son who wasted his shares of his father properties and after many years in exile returned home and reaccepted by his father.

The Liberian cleric said a leader must be one with a compassionate heart, have patience and be hopeful adding that his decisions could either take the nation forward or backward.

He adds that the father heart does not beat and rein insults on his wife in the presence of his children and others; leaves LRD 300 home for the families meal while he go to the restaurant and spend US$25.00 every day. That father, he continues, should not be wearing tailor made suit while his wife cannot afford used clothes; and does not have a second home with a second wife supporting her families thereby dividing with them what is intended for his home.

He continued that the father’s heart does not paid the tuition of a girlfriend, encourage his wife and children to live a loose lives as well as giving monies, gifts to another woman which sets bad examples and completely contradict the true meaning of a father.
He then warned that the father’s heart is not selfish and greedy.

We use cookies to improve our website. By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. More details…