Global Economic and Public Policy Framework
A Policy Blueprint for Nation-states, Transnational Corporations, and Multilateral Organizations
By Nazimudeen Saleem
In an ever-changing world of technology-led globalization driven by giant multinationals, we try to move along unconsciously although our economic and social-political systems and institutions have failed to change with it. We have, in fact, failed to improve and develop our existing antiquated systems and institutions but have adopted the emerging trends gradually. We have also failed to see and assess the emerging issues from a global public policy perspective. With this mind, the author examines the global systems based on the past achievements. In doing so, he has managed to examine a handful of key public policy areas that would matter the most.
As the title implies, the overall objectives of the book rested with identifying and addressing the key global public policy issues that were said to challenge the world order before some innovative but unorthodox policy propositions were put forward. However, as we have seen, most of the public policy areas were characterized by having some elements of economic issues, both globally and at national level. Whether the issues of international trade and the growing influence of the transnational corporations or the ineffective global financial system and the adverse impacts of globalization, it all have something to do with the global economic policy making.
The focus of the book is mainly on six major areas of global economic and public policy issues and the accompanying policy propositions. For some readers, however, the innovative and unorthodox policy propositions would sound radical and seem rather like science-fiction at times in characteristics. But they are not mere fantasies or dreams; a few courageous leaders with a vision and determination can make them happen. The key issues of concern which the propositions are aimed at addressing covers the following:
- The growing influence of the transnational corporations and the role that they should play in the process of globalization as well as how they should be run in the future.
- The nature of the global financial system that is in crisis, ballooning sovereign debt crisis, and the swinging foreign exchange rates as well as its role in creating a fair and stabilized world trade and how it should be conducted.
- The problems of the nation-states that are characterized by having ballooning national debt and widening current budget deficit leading to creating unstable economic and social conditions as well as how such problems should be tackled when the national revenue is increasingly becoming little.
- The nature and the type of key public policy issues at national level that require innovative and appropriate public programs and how they can be implemented effectively and efficiently.
- The validity and efficacy of the existing party-political system that is considered obsolete and the institutions of governance at the national level and how we can address these issues.
- The failing status of the international politics and the issues of global affairs and how the multilateral organizations and institutions, including the UN and the Security Council can be reformed and restructured to meet the changing needs.
Sovereign Debt Crisis and Economic Sustainability
Is it the End of American Hegemony? How can the West Retain Economic Dominance?
By Nazimudeen Saleem
The free enterprise capitalism and market economy is said to have created miracles in raising the economic prosperity and the quality of life of people worldwide, particularly in the developed economies of the West and Japan starting from the post-war period. In an age of globalization and commercialization, the author wonders if we could continue to enjoy what we are endowed with, particularly when the debt inflicted nation-states of the West find it difficult to sustain the status quo.
Whether we accept or not, the postwar boom and prosperity in the developed world is said to have attained with an unprecedented level of corporate, consumer and sovereign debt. The commodity called credit, an invention of the capitalist bankers, remained vital in this regard. This valuable resource has been over-exploited and the world is facing the dire consequences of its unsustainable level of consumption.
The management of the national economy and public finances also requires vision and innovation. Nation-states are no longer closed entities and their economies are sub-systems of the global economic and financial system. With the credit crunch and other unforeseeable events unfolding during 2007-2012, the Global Financial System has been in serious trouble ever since.
Moreover, in a market economy, public revenue that is derived mainly from taxation is also becoming less adequate when the economy tends to decline and less effective when companies and individuals can evade and avoid paying taxes relatively easily. Falling national revenue is causing problems in meeting the public expenditure needs especially when the provision of essential services requires more funds, particularly in the developed economies. In the meantime, the overall tax burden on the average wage-earner is also becoming unbearable.
The post credit crunch recession in the USA and UK lasted for years and the leaders and policy makers seemed to have run out of solutions other than printing money under the disguised concept of ‘quantitative easing’. The traditional tools of monetary and fiscal policy regimes do not respond effectively today. Zeroing interest rate and the downgraded national debt instruments are not helping the state borrow money in the market either. You may wonder what else they could do. The author is doubtful whether the extraordinary measures aimed at boosting consumption and the stimulus packages designed to kick start the stumbling economies by the governments can produce any beneficial effects.
In addition to proposing some innovative ideas to generate public revenue using the market principles to sustain the status quo, Saleem strongly believes that the West should adopt the concept of Quasi Regulated Market Economy along with the creation of sovereign equity as well as the new monetary and fiscal policy measures suggested.
MOOCs in Higher Education: DIY Degrees and Diplomas
By Nazimudeen Saleem
The idea of Do It Yourself qualification may not digest well but what matters is getting the job done by yourself for which you have the necessary competency. Learning is one side of the coin, no matter how someone does it, but acquiring those skills and knowledge and attaining recognition is the other side of the coin. Without the recognition of what the learner has achieved, he or she may not find a suitable career.
The concept of DIY degrees and diplomas is based on the author’s idea of accrediting learners’ competencies and previous achievements and building a portfolio of modular units toward gaining a recognized qualification. Gaining a DIY degree or diploma would become a reality with the arrival of the Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCS offering ‘for-fee’ and ‘for-credit’ courses online. With some flexibility in the minimum transferable credits from other awarding bodies, either directly or through the accreditation of prior learning along with competency based testing, building a portfolio of modular units towards a university award is becoming a reality.
In this brief book, the author first examines the historic development of higher education, including the medieval universities and the earlier vocational training programs before analyzing the contemporary developments and emerging trends. Moreover, the book explores briefly the role of technology in the production and delivery of higher education courses along with the application of the Internet and online courses. The role of the MOOCS remains vital in the development of the proposed DIY degree concept and, therefore, the book critically examines the future of MOOCS and the higher education. The author concludes the book with the description and discussion on the proposed DIY degree initiative.