World
US Senator Urges FTC to Step Up Made in USA Policing
Letter to agency follows TINA.org complaint to FTC regarding USA misrepresentation on Walmart.com
 
On the heels of a TINA.org complaint to the FTC regarding false and deceptive made in the USA representations on Walmart.com, a U.S. senator is calling on the agency to step up its policing of misleading made in America claims. 
 
“I thank you for your past diligence in investigating mislabeled country of origin claims, but more must be done to prevent fraudulent origin labeling practices by retailers and manufacturers alike,” U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) wrote Tuesday to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.
 
“With fraudulent ‘Made in the USA’ labels, manufacturers and retailers are taking advantage of Americans’ willingness to pay more for the quality that is associated with an American-made product while harming manufacturers in my state and elsewhere.”
 
The letter comes exactly two weeks after TINA.org alerted the FTC to a host of misrepresentations on the website of the world’s largest retailer. TINA.org had alerted Walmart to the issue, but the company then missed a self-imposed deadline to rid the site of the USA labeling errors. TINA.org then took the issue to the FTC requesting that the agency compel changes. In May, TINA.org also filed a complaint with the FTC regarding made in the USA representations by the “Almay Simply American” marketing campaign.
 
Murphy’s letter expresses “particular concern” over false made in the USA labels and asks what additional resources Congress can provide to help in the enforcement effort.
 
TINA.org reached out to Murphy’s office for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
 
For more on TINA.org’s investigations of made in the USA claims, click here
 

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Road Hazard: How the ‘Embarrassing’ Gas Tax Impasse Explains Washington
The main federal fund for roads and bridges runs at a deep deficit. If even red states can raise the gas tax, why can’t Congress?
 
This story was co-published with Politico.
 
In 1993, the Dow Jones industrial average was still well under 4,000, the best-selling car in the country was the Ford Taurus, and the average cost of a Major League Baseball ticket was under $10
 
That was also the year that Congress last raised the federal tax on gasoline.
 
The gas tax pays most of the tab for America’s federal highway program; it’s what we rely on for new highways and for the bridge repairs that keep us safe. Those costs go up every year, but the tax remains stuck at 18.4 cents per gallon. In fact, it’s effectively going down: since it was last raised, those 18.4 cents have lost more than a third of their value to inflation, and at the same time drivers with fuel-efficient vehicles have been buying less gasoline, further reducing the federal take. 
 
As a result, the main U.S. spending account for infrastructure has fallen deep in the red, and the gap gets worse every year. The government, through a series of funding tricks, keeps the Highway Trust Fund on life support with short-term emergency patches. The latest infusion expires at the end of the month, and the argument about how to fix it is coming to a head this week.
 
The uncertainty has frozen major projects around the country, from the widening of Route 1 in Delaware to the Kalispell bypass in Montana, while maintenance and repairs are long overdue on thousands of roads and bridges dangerously near the end of their expected life spans.
 
That Congress can’t fulfill such a basic purpose of government stands out as a signal example of Washington dysfunction. Unlike some other stalemates, though, this one can’t be blamed on special interests at loggerheads. Nearly all the lobbies that take an interest are in favor of simply increasing the tax — big business, the road builders, the unions, even the truckers. Lobbies that might oppose an increase, notably the oil industry, have invested relatively little in the debate.
 
Instead, it’s an example of those big decisions that get trapped in a kind of ideological crevasse. Because it’s a tax, raising it has been decreed out of bounds by a combination of anti-tax orthodoxy among conservative Republicans and a fear of political backlash that spans both parties.
 
Still, there may be a way out of the trap. A slew of states around the country — including some led by conservative Republicans — have managed to raise their state gas taxes to address the transportation burden without triggering the fury of taxpayers. The contrast is an unflattering one, says former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, a Democrat and a leading proselytizer for infrastructure spending. 
 
“If the gas tax could be voted up or down on a secret ballot, it would get 285 yes votes in the House and 85 or 90 in the Senate,” says Rendell. “Everyone knows we need new revenue, everyone knows we can’t let the trust fund go broke …
 
Everyone knows this is one of the most embarrassing chapters in the history of the U.S. Congress.”
 
What’s gone so wrong?
 
 
Courtesy: ProPublica

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India population to outnumber China's in 2022: UN

It projects world's population current population of 7.349 billion to grow by over a billion to 8.5 billion over the next 15 years and reach 9.725 billion by 2050

 

There will be more Indians than Chinese by 2022 when both Asian giants will have 1.4 billion people each and India's population will grow at a faster pace, according to the UN.
 
A report from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs on Wednesday said that in seven years, "India's population is projected to continue growing for several decades to 1.5 billion in 2030 and 1.7 billion in 2050, while the population of China is expected to remain fairly constant until the 2030s, after which it is expected to slightly decrease".
 
A similar UN report two years ago had projected that the population of each of the two countries would reach 1.45 billion in 2028 when India's would start to grow at a faster pace than China's.
 
The report issued periodically to update population project and the latest is called "World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision".
 
It projects world's population current population of 7.349 billion to grow by over a billion to 8.5 billion over the next 15 years and reach 9.725 billion by 2050.
 
India's bigger population initially gives it the economic advantage of a demographic dividend or benefit from the increased productivity of the youth, but it will also put a greater stress on the resources of India's area of 3.288 million sq kilometres compared to China's 9.597 million sq kilometres.
 
India will also have to rev up its economy to create jobs for millions more and, therefore, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's has set a target of creating 100 million jobs by 2022 and emphasising the manufacturing.
 
Although India's population will continue to grow, paradoxically the median age of Indians will increase because of the slowing fertility rate, eroding the demographic dividend. The median age now at 26.6 is expected to rise to 31.2 in 2030, to 37.3 in 2050 and 47 in 2100, the report said.
 
The fertility rate or the number of children born to a woman is currently 2.48 and is expected to go down to 2.34 by 2020, to 2.14 by 2030 and to 1.89 by 2050, according to the report.
 
Population experts consider a fertility rate of 2.2 children per woman as the replacement rate, that keeps the population constant over the long range.

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