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Posts Tagged ‘Downton Abbey’

Inequality and the world economy: True Progressivism

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 15, 2012

A new form of radical centrist politics is needed to tackle inequality without hurting economic growth

BY THE end of the 19th century, the first age of globalisation and a spate of new inventions had transformed the world economy. But the “Gilded Age” was also a famously unequal one, with America’s robber barons and Europe’s “Downton Abbey” classes amassing huge wealth: the concept of “conspicuous consumption” dates back to 1899. The rising gap between rich and poor (and the fear of socialist revolution) spawned a wave of reforms, from Theodore Roosevelt’s trust-busting to Lloyd George’s People’s Budget. Governments promoted competition, introduced progressive taxation and wove the first threads of a social safety net. The aim of this new “Progressive era”, as it was known in America, was to make society fairer without reducing its entrepreneurial vim.

Modern politics needs to undergo a similar reinvention—to come up with ways of mitigating inequality without hurting economic growth. That dilemma is already at the centre of political debate, but it mostly produces heat, not light. Thus, on America’s campaign trail, the left attacks Mitt Romney as a robber baron and the right derides Barack Obama as a class warrior. In some European countries politicians have simply given in to the mob: witness François Hollande’s proposed 75% income-tax rate. In much of the emerging world leaders would rather sweep the issue of inequality under the carpet: witness China’s nervous embarrassment about the excesses of Ferrari-driving princelings, or India’s refusal to tackle corruption. Read the rest of this entry »

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Golden Globes 2012: Kate Winslet, Downton Abbey Lead British Wins

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 16, 2012

Kate Winslet still manages to look surprised at award ceremonies, despite winning more trophies than most in the last few years.

The British actress picked up a Golden Globe award for Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made For Television, for her role in Mildred Pierce.

Winslet, who beat fellow Brits Romola Garai (The Hour) and Emily Watson (Appropriate Adult) as well as Elizabeth McGovern and Diane Lane, expressed her surprise and gratitude for “putting me in a category in with such heavyweight actresses, who I am honoured to stand alongside”.

Winslet was reported to be bringing her new love Ned RocknRoll to the event, but appeared on the red carpet alone.

Meanwhile, Downton Abbey continued its transatlantic sweep, with a Golden Globe for Best TV Drama, Mini-Series or Motion Picture.

The award was collected by writer and executive producer Sir Julian Fellowes, who said in his speech:

“How fabulous this is. The whole Downton adventure has been extraordinary, like having a promising child and waking up to find they’ve won the Olympics.” Read the rest of this entry »

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