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    Going bump in the right: Europe’s worrisome politics

    enSeptember 25, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Bank of America's Value Proposition for Businesses vs. Far-Right Group's Influence in EuropeBank of America offers valuable digital tools, insights, and business solutions for entrepreneurs, while the far-right group Freiher Sachsen's weekly demonstrations and anti-democratic ideologies raise concerns for security services in Europe.

      Bank of America offers valuable digital tools, insights, and business solutions for businesses of all sizes, making it a smart choice for entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on opportunities quickly. Meanwhile, in Europe, the far-right group Freiher Sachsen, or Free Saxony, continues to gain attention and mobilize supporters, despite being considered an anti-democratic group with ties to Neo-Nazis. Rupert Murdoch's retirement as chairman of Fox and News Corp raises questions about the future of media in the industry. In Germany, Freiher Sachsen's weekly demonstrations, which have shifted from anti-corona to anti-refugee sentiments, are a concern for security services and have contributed to the rise of the political hard right. While Freiher Sachsen's influence remains limited, their ability to mobilize people and get themselves on the agenda is a cause for concern. In the world of business, partnering with Bank of America can provide the tools and insights needed to succeed, while in Europe, the rise of far-right groups underscores the importance of democratic values and unity.

    • Rise of Hard Right Populist Parties in EuropeHard right populist parties, driven by concerns over immigration, economic uncertainty, and dissatisfaction with institutions, are gaining popularity and power in Europe. Leaders like Viktor Orban of Hungary have been successful in altering political landscapes through court stacking, constitutional changes, and propaganda.

      Hard right populist parties are experiencing a significant rise in popularity and power across Europe. This trend is evident in countries like Hungary, Poland, Italy, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland, where these parties already hold power or have a significant presence. The reasons for this rise include concerns over illegal immigration, economic uncertainty, and a general sense of dissatisfaction with institutions and governments. Some of these parties advocate for welfare chauvinism and have varying stances on foreign policy. Despite some reversals, the increase in far-right sympathy is a major concern for many Europeans. Effective use of social media and the culture wars have also contributed to the success of far-right politicians. The most effective far-right populist leader to date is Viktor Orban of Hungary, who has significantly altered the political landscape in his country by stacking the courts, changing the constitution, and turning state media into a propaganda outlet. Other countries have attempted to follow Orban's model.

    • European elections in 2024: Hard right parties set to make gainsEuropean elections in 2024 may result in significant right-wing shifts, requiring centrist parties to adapt strategies for engagement

      The European elections in 2024 are expected to see a strong performance from hard right parties. This could have significant consequences for the political landscape of Europe, as these parties, led by figures like Georgia Maloney of Italy's Fratelli D'Italia, could form alliances and shift the European Parliament significantly to the right. The traditional strategy of isolating these parties, known as the cordon sanitaire, may no longer be effective as voters continue to support them. Centrist parties and governments will need to carefully consider how to engage with these parties to prevent a major shift to the right, while also being mindful of the potential backlash from those who may feel uncomfortable with their presence in power. It's important to note that this does not mean Europe is on the brink of being overwhelmed by fascist governments, but the current approach to dealing with hard right parties may need to evolve.

    • Murdoch's New Role: Chairman EmeritusDespite stepping down as chairman, Murdoch's influence won't wane as he takes on the title of Chairman Emeritus and hands over the role to his son Lachlan, who is seen as a 'mini me' and long-term successor.

      Rupert Murdoch's stepping down as chairman of Fox and News Corp should not be seen as a full retirement. Instead, he's taking on a new title of chairman emeritus, indicating he'll still exert significant influence behind the scenes. Murdoch, who has spent over 70 years building his media empire, has expressed disdain for retirement in the past. Recent concerns about his health and the companies' strategic missteps may have prompted this change, but Murdoch's eldest son, Lachlan, is set to succeed him. Known as a "mini me" of his father, Lachlan has been vying for influence within the Murdoch Companies for years and has a strong relationship with his father.

    • Murdoch's influence on Fox Corporation to continue post-death through family trustRupert Murdoch's children, including James who sold 21st Century Fox, will control the family trust that governs Fox Corp. Their views and actions could significantly impact Fox News, particularly in navigating political relationships and maintaining viewership.

      Rupert Murdoch's influence on the Fox Corporation will continue to be felt even after his death, as control of the family trust that ultimately controls the company will be shared among his four eldest children. While James Murdoch, who orchestrated the sale of 21st Century Fox to Disney for $70 billion, is not currently in control, his and his siblings' views and potential actions could significantly impact the future of the company, particularly Fox News. The network, which has been closely associated with conservative politics and Donald Trump, faces the challenge of navigating its relationship with the Trump base and maintaining viewership while also appealing to a wider audience. Despite these challenges, Fox News continues to be profitable, with margins exceeding 20% in recent years. The upcoming 2024 election, known for its advertising blitz, could provide another bonanza for the news channel. However, the future direction of the company remains uncertain, as the intentions of Rupert Murdoch's children are not yet clear.

    • News Corp and Fox News Adapt to Digital ShiftRupert Murdoch's influence in politics may decrease, but Fox News' power remains significant. Lachlan Murdoch inherits a formidable empire with new digital offerings, while research shows that teenagers need later school start times for optimal health.

      The media landscape is undergoing a significant shift towards digital methods of distribution, particularly in the realm of news and sports. This transition poses a major challenge for News Corp and Fox News as they adapt to this new reality. Rupert Murdoch's influence in politics may have waned in recent years, but the power of Fox News remains significant. Looking ahead, the empire that Lachlan Murdoch inherits will still be a formidable one, with new offerings like "Boss Class" and a longer intelligence weekend show available exclusively through Economist Podcast Plus. Meanwhile, research shows that early school start times can be detrimental to teenagers, whose biological clocks shift during puberty, making it difficult for them to fall asleep before 11 PM or wake up early before 8 AM. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC have both recommended that middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 AM to ensure that teens get the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep. Despite this, many schools in the southern United States still start as early as 7:45 AM.

    • Starting school later for teens leads to more sleep and benefitsCalifornia and Florida have passed laws requiring later school start times, benefiting sleep-deprived teens with more sleep, improved attendance, fewer disciplinary issues, and higher test scores

      Allowing teens to start school later in the day can lead to significant benefits, including more sleep, improved attendance, fewer disciplinary issues, and higher test scores. Contrary to popular belief, teens do not just stay up later when given the opportunity to sleep in. Instead, they log an average of 33 more minutes of sleep per day. Despite this evidence, schools have historically resisted starting later due to transportation costs, conflicts with after-school activities, and general resistance to change. However, this trend is starting to shift. In 2019, California passed a law requiring public middle schools to start no earlier than 8 a.m. and high schools to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. Florida passed a similar law earlier this year, and other states are considering following suit. These changes may bring much-needed relief to sleep-deprived American teens.

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