From the Los Angeles Times:
Trump’s Immigration Plan Doesn’t Have to Be Dead on Arrival
The current proposal is intended to reassure businesses and moderate voters that, despite these radical actions, the president understands the importance of immigration to the country’s economy and wants to modernize how applicants are selected. And when the initiative fails, he can argue that Democrats refused to update a flawed, uncompetitive system because of a commitment to “open borders.”
Rather than scoff at this cynical tactic, Democrats should seek a compromise that puts pressure on the administration. The provision of more labor visas is popular and bipartisan. Democrats could propose admissions criteria that ensure high-skilled-labor migrants also have U.S. family ties. This way, family and labor visas are not zero-sum.
—Assistant Professor Justin Gest
From the Washington Post:
As Tensions Rise with Iran, Here Are Three Lessons from Iraq and My 33 Years at the CIA
We played a part in the march to war [with Iraq]; we let the country down. Intelligence matters, and it matters most when war hangs in the balance. So, when tensions between the United States and Iran are rising to dangerous levels, what are the responsibilities of the intelligence community (IC) at this moment in history? My 33-year career at the CIA, in particular those handful of months in the run-up to President George W. Bush’s decision to go to war with Iraq, taught me many lessons.
—Distinguished Visiting Fellow Michael Morell
From the National Interest:
Wanted: Harsh Realism at the World Bank
Here is the problem with country lending (which economists refer to as “fungibility”)—one dollar is basically indistinguishable from another. That means you are actually funding a government’s next spending priority, and not necessarily the one stated as the reason for the loan. For instance, if the project the loan is meant for merits support, why is it not already in the recipient country’s national budget?
—Public Policy Professor Hilton Root
From Harvard Business Review:
The Ups and Downs of India’s Digital Transformation
Despite a significant rise in digital payments since demonetization and Indian banks having issued a billion debit cards, many Indian consumers still rely on cash transactions. While no single move can make a country the size of India cashless, demonetization succeeded in significantly reducing the anonymity and lack of traceability of money in the Indian economy by routing all currency through a formal banking channel.
—Associate Professor Philip Auerswald and Arvind Gupta
From the Atlantic Council:
U.S. Oil Embargo Stalls Iran-India Energy Relations
The Modi government is interested in expanding energy relations with Iran, but without solving the money transfer problem, it will be difficult for Iran to export more oil to the Indian market. Another key issue is how much the Modi government will be able to resist the Trump administration’s pressure to cut off Iranian oil imports.
—Visiting Research Scholar Omid Shokri Kalehsar