A destructive wave of anarchy and anti-establishment vibes seems to be challenging the current political order these days. This feeling was built from the idea that by keeping the borders open and the trading laws lax, there was more scope for prosperity. Of course, the past year has shown mixed feelings for the approach.
Britain decided to leave the European Union. Voters who vote for Brexit to go through amidst dire warnings of economic and political collapse were suddenly thrown into the dark when the motion was officially passed. The United States presidential election saw the rise and rather unexpected success of the billionaire politician turned businessman Donald Trump who as president has pledged to build a wall to keep Mexicans out, ban Muslims from the US and scrap free trade deals.
Political analysts are still struggling to put a name to the phenomenon seems to be sweeping over the world. This rise of populism, right-wing extremism and anti-establishment sympathies seems to evade all the usual labels. It is sufficient to say that it has certainly been a surprise for most mainstream parties who thought it would be short-lived. But the wave is gaining tempo and strength and is well on the way to drastically reshaping the socio-economic environment of the West.
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It’s not easy to start a business on a whim. It takes time, patience, learning about your wares and deciding on the right market for them. What if your ideal market lies over the ocean? There are several approaches to setting up a business in a foreign country, but the crux of the problem is getting it approved. Unlike street traders, setting up a certified business takes a lot of convincing and paperwork, depending on the country you have your sights on. Interestingly, not all countries approach setting up the same business the same way.
In fact, it takes only one day to finish your paper work and have a certified business up and running in New Zealand takes less than one day while it takes 230 days to get all the paperwork approved in Venezuela. The startling difference between the approach of the two countries to business explains why the World Bank itself has credited New Zealand as the easiest place in the world to set up a business and why Venezuela is 187th out of 190 on the list. New Zealand has managed to steal first place from Singapore, which held the title for the past ten years.
It isn’t just because Venenzuela has a bad economy that it ranks so low. The World Bank also took into account other aspects of starting a business such as property registration, credit approval and construction permits. It isn’t just about the size of the country either. The United States ranks a rather surprising 8 on the scale while Kazakhstan, Kenya and Brunei have seen the most improvement in their business environments after several recent reforms. Denmark, Norway and Sweden represented the EU in the top ten while Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea representing Asia. The worst rated of the 190 economies was Somalia, with the war-riddled country’s natives barely making enough to survive let alone to pay taxes.
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Feminism and ‘Girl power’ seem to be written on everything now. If a person is not a feminist they are automatically labeled as chauvinistic or, even worse, unprogressive. Women o have a lot to celebrate these days, with more and more of them entering every walk of life. Women entering into politics seem to be making up for all the time they lost. However, it bears keeping in mind that less than a quarter of all legislators around the world are women. Having women enter politics will mean drawing more attention to women-related issues, such as maternity leave and access to childcare and domestic violence.
Change takes far too long but the world needs woman in positions of power now more than ever. People are suggesting time-limited quotas to speed up progress and get the ball rolling. This is not limited to politics and could apply to corporate boards as well. To really make sure there is an equal ratio of gender representation, certain posts can be shortlisted to be female-only. Instead of thinking parliamentary, local government also need female reinforcers to combat problems closer to home or specific to a locality. By publishing the quotient of seats held by both men and women, candidate diversity would be easier to recognise, rectify and organise.