Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Tavia Grant is the latest to note that the potential for driverless vehicles necessitates some consideration as to how to account for people who currently rely on driving jobs. And Vivek Wadhwa makes the case for a new form of capitalism which isn't designed to leave people behind:
Countries such as India and Peru and all of Africa will see the same benefits — for at least two or three decades, until the infrastructure has been built and necessities of the populations have been met.

Then there will not be enough work even there to employ the masses.

Slim’s solution to this is to institute a three-day workweek so that everyone can find employment and earn the money necessary for leisure and entertainment. This is not a bad idea. In the future we are heading into, the cost of basic necessities, energy, and even luxury goods such as electronics will fall low enough to seem almost free — just as cell-phone minutes and information cost practically nothing now. It is a matter of sharing the few jobs that will exist in an equitable way.

The concept of a universal basic income is also gaining popularity worldwide as it becomes increasingly apparent that declining costs and the elimination of bureaucracies, make it possible for governments to provide citizens with income enough for the basic necessities. The idea is to give everyone a stipend covering living costs and to get government out of the business of selecting what social benefits people should have. The advantage of this approach is that workers gain the freedom to decide how much to work and under what conditions. Enabling individual initiative in the work that people pursue, in fields ranging from philosophy and the arts to pure science and invention, will result in their enrichment of their cultures in ways we can’t foresee.
- Meanwhile, Jordan Weismann slams the right's attempt to invent a "success sequence" which conveniently leaves out the economic security necessary for people to be able to plan out their lives.

- Paul Krugman discusses how the past cost-based justification for slashing social programs has been thoroughly undermined in the U.S. - though of course the memo has been conspicuously shredded by Republican presidential candidates. And Arkadi Gerney, Anna Chu and Brendan Duke highlight how the U.S.' middle class is increasingly getting squeezed out.

- Laurent Bastien Corbeil reports on the RCMP's use of deceptive social media accounts to infiltrate and monitor activists, while Clare Wahlen reports on revelations that CSIS operates dozens more foreign stations that previous acknowledged. And Stephen Castle discusses how the UK's absurd secrecy surrounding security issues has resulted in the media being unable to report anything about the trial of an individual who's since been acquitted.

- Finally, Gerald Caplan writes that the ballot question this fall should centre on Stephen Harper's abuse of the trust of Canadian voters.

No comments:

Post a Comment