Lecture explores Chile’s policies

first_imgFollowing the retrenchment of social policy under a period of turbulent military rule, Chile has endeavored to drastically reform its healthcare and pension systems, aiming to reduce poverty, inequality and provide a model for other nations seeking change. Rossana Castiglioni, head of the political science department at Chile’s Universidad Diego Portales, outlined this social policy journey during her Tuesday lecture, titled “Against All Odds: Social Policy Rollbacks in Democratic Chile.” Castiglioni said the democratically elected presidents of Chile in the 1990s, Patricio Aylwin and Eduardo Frei, inherited a system that split healthcare between public provision under Fonasa, a fund into which workers paid seven percent of their monthly income, and Isapre, a system of private healthcare providers.  For an additional premium, workers could buy into the private Isapre system in order to receive greater benefits and overall superior care. Castiglioni said this system generated enormous amounts of inequality, with private providers charging certain demographic groups discriminatory prices in the hope of driving high-risk individuals to seek Fonasa government insurance. “If you were a woman and you were at an age to have kids, they will charge you a lot,” Castiglioni said. “And if you are old, either pray or pay, because they will charge you a lot of money.” Castiglioni said Aylwin and Frei were content to preside over further expansion of the private sphere of the healthcare system disproportionately favoring the wealthy.  She said it was not until President Ricardo Lagos took office from 2000 to 2006 that efforts were made to address growing inequalities and bolster support for the nation’s vulnerable citizens. By introducing his AUGE plan, granting access to medical attention within a clear timetable to all patients who reach the inclusion criteria for one of 69 pathologies or medical conditions, Lagos implemented the greatest change to Chilean healthcare in 20 years, Castiglioni said. She said despite Lagos’ concerted effort to eliminate discrimination in the private health system, and despite a recent ruling of the Chilean Constitutional Tribunal declaring such discrimination “inadmissible,” the issue has not yet been resolved. “Lagos tried to tackle inequalities and discrimination, particularly in terms of age and sex, but the truth is that even though other parts of his reforms were approved discrimination still exists,” Castiglioni said. Following Lagos’ term, President Michelle Bachelet took up the banner of social policy after Lagos’ departure from office, putting together an advisory council to elaborate a pension reform proposal, Castiglioni said. The March 2008 law drawn up by this team of economists and sociologists stood as a capstone of Chilean social reform, introducing a “basic solidarity pillar” through which 40 percent of the poorest of the population, many of who had never contributed to the system, would be entitled to receive an old age pension or a disability pension of around 100 dollars. Although the recent changes in Chilean social policy have had a significant impact, Castiglioni said she ultimately does not feel they should be classified as structural reform. She blamed the lack of true structural reform on the dispersion of power, weakness of non-state actors and ideological distribution of the political system. These three factors are holding Chile back from taking more aggressive steps in reforming its system of social protection, Castiglioni said.last_img read more

Green Mountain Power adopts innovative energy efficiency measures

first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corp,Using an innovative approach, Green Mountain Power has been able to cut electricity costs by 16.5 percent at its Colchester facility over the past year and a half — saving energy and ultimately saving customers money. GMP worked with Shelburne-based Kilawatt Technologies on the project.According to Rebecca Towne, Administration Manager, most of the savings resulted from fine-tuning and synchronizing the building’s existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. No new capital investment was required.”When we started working with Kilawatt Technologies, we already had extremely efficient heating and cooling equipment in place. However, electricity use — especially in the Information Technology data room — continued to increase,” said Towne. “Kilawatt Technologies helped us make better use of the building automation system that regulates temperature and airflow, and identified other opportunities for significant energy savings.””Reducing power use in our IT room is crucial as we have continually increasing IT needs,” Towne said. “It’s one way we can promote Green IT concepts, and use our equipment as efficiently as possible.”Some examples of the changes implemented included using long term data trending to develop sophisticated control algorithms that take advantage of the building’s energy momentum to simply relocating thermostats in the IT room away from the hot exhaust at the back of the servers. The company also increased use of a fan that pulls in outside air to help keep the equipment cool.Changes have also been made in GMP’s 1,320 square foot control room. “We haven’t run the compressors that operate the heating and cooling system in over two months,” said Pete Sheil, Building Services Worker. “We’re keeping the space at a comfortable temperature just by using fans to mix cold outside air with the heat produced by the computers and the staff. An additional benefit of this new approach is that we’re continually bringing more fresh air into the building, which contributes to employee comfort, alertness and productivity, especially in closed areas such as conference rooms.”Gregory Johnson, VP of Business Development at Kilawatt Technologies, said, “Including their reduction in natural gas use, our data driven energy management program has helped Green Mountain Power reduce overall energy consumption by 20.5 percent at its Colchester headquarters. We applaud Green Mountain Power’s leadership in achieving these significant energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions and saving its customers money. We’re starting to work with Green Mountain Power at its Montpelier facility and expect to see even more significant reductions. We encourage other Vermont companies to undertake similar efforts.”Electricity savings in Colchester to date have exceeded 140,000 kilowatt hours or enough to power 19 average size Vermont homes for a year. “This is part of Green Mountain Power’s on-going commitment to energy conservation,” said Towne. “It’s an approach that saves money for our customers and benefits the environment.”last_img read more

New CARICOM secretary general to be named later this week

first_img Tweet Share Sharing is caring! Share NewsRegional New CARICOM secretary general to be named later this week by: – July 20, 2011center_img Share 12 Views   no discussions Caribbean Community chairman and St Kitts and Nevis prime minister, Dr Denzil Douglas, says the new CARICOM secretary general will be named this week BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CUOPM) — The people of the Caribbean from Suriname and Guyana in the south to Jamaica, Haiti and The Bahamas in the north will know by the end of the week the name of the new secretary general of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).CARICOM chairman and St Kitts and Nevis prime minister, Dr Denzil Douglas, who was visiting Grenada on Sunday to address the annual Convention of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), said the CARICOM Bureau met in Barbados on Saturday to interview the five candidates for the position that became vacant following Sir Edwin Carrington’s decision to step down at the start of the year after 18 years on the job.The three members of the Bureau – Douglas, Suriname President Desi Bouterse and Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas – were joined by host prime minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart, to interview the candidates that included the present assistant secretary general, trade and economic integration, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and the St Vincent and the Grenadines diplomat Ellsworth John.“The three leaders of the Bureau of the Conference of Heads, together with the prime minister of Barbados, completed the exercise of interviewing five Caribbean people for the distinguished post of secretary general of CARICOM,” Douglas told reporters just before the rally in Grenada.Douglas said he will inform his other regional colleagues during this week, with the intent of completing the screening exercise and announcing the new CARICOM secretary general by the middle of this week.“Over the next few days as I make contact with our Caribbean leaders, we would be able to complete the exercise and by midweek hopefully of this week, we would have identified the new secretary general of our CARICOM Community,” he said.The new secretary general is expected to lead the reform of the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat that the regional leaders at their annual summit in St Kitts earlier this month noted “is the first in a series of initiatives mandated by the Heads of Government towards improving governance arrangements within the Community.”“The review of the CARICOM Secretariat will be followed by a review of all organizations and Institutions established within the Community,” the leaders said in their communiqué.Caribbean News Nowlast_img read more

Meulensteen wants Dempsey link-up

first_img Press Association Dempsey is currently undergoing medical tests with a view to rejoining Fulham on loan in January, while Meulensteen believes he has persuaded Berbatov to stay at Craven Cottage. It would be a major double coup for the Dutch manager who has been in charge for just three matches and used to ply his trade at Manchester United as a first-team coach under Sir Alex Ferguson. While the arrival of Dempsey could be crucial to Fulham’s progress in the new year it is the news that Berbatov, 32, could also stick around which is exciting for Fulham fans. Berbatov’s agent had insisted he was unhappy and wanted to leave in the last weeks of the Martin Jol era. Meulensteen said: “That was before I took over. I had a chat with him. “I know he is very committed to this football club and the games we have in front of us. “That’s what we both said, concentrate on the games we have up to January and then review the situation as it comes.” Asked whether he believed he had persuaded Berbatov to stay, Meulensteen said: “I could well have done because look at the performances he has put in. He has been excellent, absolutely fantastic for us.” Dempsey, 30, currently plays for Seattle Sounders in America’s Major League Soccer following a disappointing season with Tottenham last year, but is available for January and February in the MLS close season. Meulensteen, whose side lie second from bottom in the Premier League and face the daunting visit of Manchester City to Craven Cottage on Saturday, said: “He’s (Dempsey)having a medical over the last couple of days and the next couple of days, so hopefully that will all work out. “Clint has spent so many years playing in the Premier League. “We know where his strengths lie whether it is coming in from the left or playing as a deeper striker or a number nine depending on who you are playing against. “The most important thing is that he will be a good boost for us.” Dempsey, who is captain of the United States national team, played 184 league matches for Fulham between 2007-2012, scoring 50 goals, and while he was often looked upon as the club’s talisman there were some fans who were not impressed when he decided to leave for Tottenham. Meulensteen, however, believes the fans will give him a warm welcome. “I’m sure they will,” he said. “It speaks volumes for him that in his loan opportunity he wants to come back here.” Rene Meulensteen is planning to team up former Fulham striker Clint Dempsey with current star Dimitar Berbatov to kick-start the club’s fight for Premier League survival.last_img read more

Top ref Fergal Horgan says he is raring to go

first_imgFergal – who officiated at last years All Ireland Senior hurling final – told Tipp FM Sport that he’s looking forward to the 2018 campaign. Top inter county referee Fergal Horgan is raring to go for the new season. The Knockavilla native has fast become one of the top rated officials in the country. The national leagues get underway next weekend – with the Tipp footballers in Cork on Saturday evening and the hurlers in Ennis on Sunday. last_img

What Is Antifa And Why Are They Trying To Divide Us?

first_imgUsually when a news story involving the extreme leftist organization antifa comes up during the morning show we don’t give it much attention. Most peole hadn’t even heard of what they are or what they aim to do – until now. President Trump has announced that the organization will be designated as domestic terror group. How did they turn an opportunity for unity into riots? I’ll try to explain here. ~ Bill Adamslast_img