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  • Sheffrin Lecture Sees Pettit Explore Legal Rights of Corporations — Institute for Social Sciences
    purposes of convenience But it was Sir William Blackstone in his eighteenth century treatise Laws of England who first attributed legal rights to corporate bodies Blackstone declared a corporate body able to act and speak by its common seal echoing Hobbes s belief that such a body can be said to exist when it speaks in a constructed voice a voice through which various partners are represented Sledgehammer ruling By the nineteenth century corporations were thriving in the U S as networks of canals and railways were rolled out across the country It was in this context in 1886 that the case of Santa Clara County vs Southern Pacific Railroad delivered a legal sledgehammer as Pettit described it the repercussions of which can be felt to this day Applying by way of an obiter dictum a remark made in passing a constitutional amendment the 14th originally designed to protect the rights of emancipated slaves the U S Supreme Court implied that corporations were protected in the same way as persons making the U S the only jurisdiction in the world to privilege corporate bodies in this way The Santa Clara judgment not only reads the legal rights of corporations into the constitution it also suggests that it is morally right that they have protection equal to that of individuals This Pettit said raises a complex moral question that demands philosophical discussion Corporations as agents As systems pursuing certain purposes in a reliable fashion corporations should Pettit asserted be regarded as agents Preferring to view them as dense markets economists may resist this definition wrongly in Pettit s view Like individuals corporations are special conversable agents that avow their beliefs rather than simply reporting them In other words they put their money where their mouth is In doing so they earn the privilege of agential rights that enable them to propose and advertise their actions To that particular end Pettit argued corporate bodies should indeed enjoy legal rights in the same role as individuals However he went on they ought not to enjoy rights on the same basis Here Pettit lightheartedly warned audience members to brace themselves for a dose of philosophy s trademark relentless aridity Protecting the rights of the individual requires careful attention to matters of welfare and fairness Just as allowing individuals to associate without restriction can lead to the formation of criminal organizations cartels gangs and so on giving corporate bodies free rein to associate may have detrimental social effects As such they should be granted legal rights only so far as those rights benefit the individual in society Fairness above all Finally Pettit argued that corporations ought not to enjoy legal rights in the same range as individuals Most importantly corporate rights must not compromise internal social or political fairness Is it right for example that corporations can exert extraordinary power over political figures Or declare legal fees as business costs for tax purposes while individuals cannot Pettit claimed not Summing up he asserted that the

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/sheffrin-lecture-sees-pettit-explore-legal-rights-of-corporations (2016-01-26)
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  • Gary King Delivers Inaugural ISS Distinguished Lecture — Institute for Social Sciences
    relatively little bias before 2000 the same cannot be said for projections released since Not only have these been overly optimistic they have also featured statistical errors increasing in magnitude with each passing year Inflated optimism in the Social Security forecasts affects other critical areas of the federal budget Other federal entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid depend on those projections to predict future healthcare spending The Social Security Administration specifically the Office of the Chief Actuary uses these projections to score public policy proposals to reform Social Security Policymakers on both sides of the partisan aisle rely on these scores to determine the future impact of their proposal on federal spending Outmoded models Outmoded statistical analyses not political corruption or a conspiracy of nefarious technocrats account King said for the discrepancy in statistical modeling The Social Security Administration s actuarial forecasting models have changed little since the 1940s While the data science revolution has transformed the ways industry and research institutions make predictions about the future the Social Security Administration still relies on outmoded statistical models that King described as ad hoc jerry rigged and arbitrary In the wake of increased partisan polarization the Social Security Administration has become more insular opting to stick with current practices rather than modernize its forecasting models Moreover life expectancy has increased since 2000 Americans are living longer and will continue to depend on their Social Security benefits longer than previous generations The Social Security Administration has yet to adjust their forecasting models accordingly Simple fixes King outlined three simple fixes that could improve the accuracy of the Social Security forecasts without provoking battles on Capitol Hill First develop models that remove as much human judgment as possible When it comes to big data what can be automated should be automated Second

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/gary-king-delivers-inaugural-iss-distinguished-lecture (2016-01-26)
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  • Olmsted's Noon Lecture Reveals Californian Roots of "New Right" — Institute for Social Sciences
    business backed response to the farmworker unionization movement in the Central Valley Historians of modern conservatism typically locate the origins of the New Right amidst the backlash against the Civil Rights movement and the cultural changes of the 1960s The question of the origins of modern conservatism is one that vexes a lot of historians of twentieth century America Olmsted explained Did it arise in the South in opposition to the Civil Rights movement Or in the suburbs because of hostility to busing and sex education Or in the boardrooms of corporate America Or in congregations of evangelical Christians Olmsted argued that all of these arguments understate the significance of big business opposition to Roosevelt s labor policies Right to strike Agribusiness leaders reaped considerable profits from the New Deal and initially supported Roosevelt s reforms California s biggest growers chortled about how much money they were getting from the federal government Olmsted said But when the New Deal began inspiring workers to form unions these businessmen became very anti government The National Industrial Recovery Act provided protections for unions but as a concession to Southern Democrats specifically excluded farmworkers Despite this the Cannery and Agricultural Workers Industrial Union organized some of the largest agricultural strikes in American history most notably the San Joaquin Valley Cotton Strikes of 1933 The union organizers Pat Chambers and Caroline Decker were affiliated with the Communist Party but were hardly intellectual Marxists Agribusiness leaders resented the Roosevelt Administration for mediating the labor dispute even though Roosevelt never recognized the right of farmworkers to unionize Creeping Socialism Led by former president Herbert Hoover agribusiness leaders responded by trying to undo the New Deal They argued that the farmworker unions were part of a Communist plot to overthrow capitalism and that New Deal reforms represented a

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/olmsteds-noon-lecture-reveals-californian-roots-of-new-right (2016-01-26)
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  • ISS Announces 2015-16 Faculty Funding Awards — Institute for Social Sciences
    The ISS Executive Committee selected grantees from a diverse range of strong proposals Interdisciplinary seed funding worth a total of 50 000 was awarded to three projects involving innovative collaborations between social scientists and scholars from other fields Support for these projects includes the help of the ISS grant writer to help secure ongoing external grant support Twelve individual grants totaling 48 000 were awarded primarily to junior faculty from a variety of departments supporting wide ranging projects with the potential to advance the academic careers of the researchers See below for a full list of 2015 16 awards Interdisciplinary Seed Grants Latino Responses to Stereotype Threat Brad Jones PI Political Science Jeffrey Sherman Psychology Dave Vannette Political Science Child Maltreatment Empathy and Memory A Longitudinal Study Gail Goodman PI Psychology Camelia Hostinar Psychology Center for Poverty Research Donna Shestowsky School of Law Anthony Urquiza School of Medicine Development of an ERP Outcome Measure for Treatment Studies in Autism Spectrum Disorder Susan Rivera PI Psychology Sally Rogers Psychiatry School of Medicine Individual Research Grants The Effect of Self Control on Academic Success in Mexican Origin Youth Wiebke Bleidorn Assistant Professor Psychology The Economics of Universal Service An Analysis of Entry Subsidies for Rural Broadband Andre Boik Assistant Professor Economics Conflict and Consensus Reaching Group Decisions in Primate Societies Margaret Crofoot Assistant Professor Anthropology Bilingual Challenges in Language Acquisition Katharine Graf Estes Assistant Professor Psychology Issue Salience and Priorities in the American Electorate Christopher Hare Assistant Professor Political Science Supporting Children of Immigrants Special Needs in California s New Era of Local Control Jacob Hibel Assistant Professor Sociology We Will Remain Métis Race Family and Citizenship in Twentieth Century Francophone Africa and Europe ca 1914 1962 Rachel Jean Baptiste Associate Professor History The Genealogy of Western Parties Stephanie Mudge Assistant Professor

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/iss-announces-2015-16-faculty-research-funding-awards (2016-01-26)
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  • Olmsted's Book on Conspiracies Adapted for the Stage — Institute for Social Sciences
    been an essential component of American politics since the founding of the Republic Early versions tended to involve outsiders and foreign influences masons Catholics and British kings But the twentieth century saw the nature of such theories undergo a major shift After World War I conspiracists began focusing their attention on the federal government The JFK assassination and Watergate gave credence to their theories undermining public trust in government and animating the antigovernment rhetoric we see in contemporary conservative politics Sensory experience The transformation of Real Enemies from scholarly monograph into performance art began when composer Darcy James Argue saw his girlfriend reading Olmsted s book After reading it himself Argue began to think more deeply about the nature of conspiracies How he wondered might they be presented in a compelling visual and sonic narrative Real Enemies creates a powerful sensory experience through video set pieces and an original score Argue s eighteen piece big band aptly named Secret Society stands around an illuminated clock face as images and sounds from great American conspiracy theories Red Scare the Illuminati Edward Snowden and alien sightings are vividly projected on stage Furious ambition Intrigued to see her scholarship woven into a multimedia performance Olmsted was in the audience at the Harvey Theater on opening night Near the show s end the narrator reads a mash up of Richard Hofstadter s Paranoid Style with some words from my conclusion she says It was surreal to hear my work read in that context Real Enemies has received positive reviews The New York Times called the show a work of furious ambition that feels deeply in tune with our present moment even as it suggests linkages through history true to the subject at hand Elsewhere The Guardian praised the production It doesn t just want

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/olmsteds-book-adapted-for-the-stage (2016-01-26)
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  • Ritter Reveals Power of Peruvian Music — Institute for Social Sciences
    the 1980s Peru s Ayacucho Region was the epicenter of a guerilla war notable for its atrocities against non combatants Ayacucho was a stronghold for the Shining Path communist militants whom the United States and Peru still collectively categorize as a terrorist organization The region s indigenous Quechua speaking population bore the brunt of this violence as both government forces and Shining Path fighters brutalized murdered or disappeared at least 69 280 people Tracing the social history of musical responses to violence Ritter currently an associate professor of music and director of Latin American studies at UC Riverside has been conducting fieldwork in Peru for the last fifteen years He explained that music is a sonic portal into past experience that triggers memory in specific ways Technologies of memory Harawi for example is an Andean mode of singing that predates European contact During the violence of the 1980s these songs which women typically sang while working in the fields became a means of warning villagers of an impending attack Following the capture and incarceration in 1991 of Shining Path leader Abimael Guzmán Quechua villagers in testament to the violence they had endured repurposed harawis as indigenous technologies of memory Ritter dedicated his talk to the memory of his friend Alejandro Mendoza Alca an informant and survivor of the Shining Path s violence As part of his presentation he performed a rendition of Alca s song Desparido originally composed as an act of defiance when the Shining Path as part of a failed cultural revolution outlawed indigenous festivals and songs Ritter was accompanied by his former student Renzo Aroni who is currently completing a Ph D in History at UC Davis Learn more about Jonathan Ritter at his UC Riverside faculty webpage Since the mid 1980s but particularly in the 1990s

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/ritter-reveals-power-of-peruvian-music (2016-01-26)
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  • Weighing the Costs of Welfare Removal — Institute for Social Sciences
    people with behavioral and mental conditions such as ADHD and autism The income stability it purports to provide is especially relevant for low income families with highly volatile earnings Deshpande explained that parents of children in the SSI program are earning an average of 9000 per year when those children reach 18 years of age She also noted that low income families typically have limited access to credit which compounds that volatility Deshpande s research addresses two specific questions First how much does SSI inhibit success and self sufficiency in youth Second how much insurance against volatile earnings does SSI actually provide Lost income Using administrative data from the Social Security Administration Deshpande implemented a regression discontinuity design RDD based on a change in the probability of SSI removal at age 18 created by the welfare reform law of 1996 Those reforms dictated that upon turning 18 youth receiving SSI must requalify based on adult criteria for employability or face removal from the program She found that removed SSI youth enjoyed an increase in earnings that covered only one third of the 7 700 they lost in annual SSI income Overall over the 16 years following removal removed SSI youth made up only 20 percent of their lost SSI income Deshpande further found that individual income volatility increased fourfold as a result of removal from SSI Also that one quarter of recipient welfare loss was caused by an increase in income volatility rather than in actual earnings This led her to conclude that around one quarter of SSI s value resides in income stabilization not supplementation Costly mistakes The policy implications of Deshpande s research can be interpreted in two distinct ways On one hand if we accept that SSI is beneficial for children who will later struggle to secure

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/weighing-the-costs-of-welfare-removal (2016-01-26)
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  • Kaiser Bears Vicarious Witness for HIA — Institute for Social Sciences
    November 10 2015 as part of the UC Davis Hemispheric Institute on the Americas HIA Memory Lecture series Professor Susana Kaiser addressed this subject in a talk entitled Vicarious Witness The Case of ESMA s Visitors and their Interactions with Memory and Human Rights Kaiser associate professor of media studies and Latin American studies at the University of San Francisco has studied the experiences of ESMA vistors since 2007 Her talk examined how a population reconciles and heals in the wake of a national trauma through the experience of visiting a site of infamous human rights abuses She wondered what happens to people when they visit ESMA What goes on during the tour How do visitors interact with the site the guides and one another What is the overall experience She sought answers to these questions by observing visitors as they proceeded through the facility interviewing staff and visitors and reviewing the comments left in the visitors books Culpability and responsibility Kaiser discovered a range of public experiences from ambivalent school children to painful private moments in which victims families tried to reconnect with disappeared loved ones by visiting the last place they were seen alive from public truth telling to parents dispensing poignant historical lessons to their children Kaiser concluded that the site has now become a forum for both debating and performing public memory Though ESMA remains a haunting site of national trauma it has become a place where individuals and Argentine society writ large can consider their culpability in human rights abuses and their responsibility for preventing such crimes in the future Learn more about Professor Kaiser at her USF faculty webpage Since the mid 1980s but particularly in the 1990s and 2000s Latin American societies that lived through brutal dictatorships and civil conflicts have been dealing

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/kaiser-bears-vicarious-witness-for-hia (2016-01-26)
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