We asked “Do you believe in a universal Basic Income Guarantee? What amount would be satisfactory?” More than half of respondents approved of a universal stipend of something between the poverty level and the median income, and another 9% approved of a universal stipend of something less than the poverty level.
Depending on how you want to think about it, it was funny or inevitable or symbolic that the robotic takeover did not start at MIT, NASA, Microsoft or Ford. It started at a Burger-G restaurant in Cary, NC on May 17, 2010. It seemed like such a simple thing at the time, but May 17 marked a pivotal moment in human history.
These words are being written from the veranda of a small house in an African valley, in the hour just before dawn. In the past week I’ve met people from Pakistan, Great Britain, Iraq, Australia, New Zealand and several other countries, as well as South Africans from all backgrounds. And they’ve all asked me the same thing: What’s going to happen with the Occupy movement?
(CNN) —A whole lot of us are stuck with credit-card debt that goes up each month, mortgages worth more than our homes and student loans that extend into infinity. So it’s only natural that we look at the debt crisis from the bottom up: from the perspective of the 99% who are getting screwed.
In view of current and recent turmoil throughout the Middle East, a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem seems ever more distant. Basically, a solution can only come from direct talks between Israel and a unified Palestinian Authority, but stable Arab regimes are essential and a prerequisite, as, realistically speaking, a solution is unthinkable without the granting of citizenship to all refugees, in Jordan, in Syria, in Lebanon, and elsewhere.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon recently said that he felt safer in Lebanon than he did when Occupy marched past his house. If nothing else, it proves that Wall Street bankers haven’t gotten any better at risk management—the art of knowing where danger lies and avoiding it—than they were when their bad bets crashed the economy and caused the Great Recession.
Future Flesh is squatting on your plate. Are you nervous? Stab it with a fork. Sniff it. Bite! Chew, swallow. Congratulations! Relax and ruminate now because you’re digesting a muscular invention that will massively impact the planet.
For the past few months, the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies has been working on identifying some of the most significant trends in technology innovation. Published in early February, 2012 by WEF, these represent ten areas that we as a council felt are likely to shake things up over the next few years in terms of their economic and social impact.
I hate what I’ve learned about Apple’s outsourcing to China. I hate hearing Professor William Black explain why he believes that Steve Jobs, who I admired very much in some ways, must have ignored repeated reports that employees were being cheated and endangered.
In an earlier political posting I pointed out that the top federal income tax rate - for earned income - has seldom been lower than it is right now.. and the rate that Mitt Romney pays on dividends is half of that. Federal taxes, in general, are at one of the lowest points since 1912… suggesting that our current national argument about taxes ought to at least feature commensurately lower rates of anger.
The Syrian regime of Bashir Assad is the last remaining of the secular despots of the Arab world after the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. The rest of the Arab world is in the hands of “enlightened” kings/sheiks/sultans that somehow have better weathered the “Arab Spring” or is in the process of becoming democratic (Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria).
One of the most common – and most serious – weaknesses of codes of ethics, and indeed, most ethical theories, is that they don’t prioritize values. They’re fine for many of the simpler ethical questions, but when goods and interests conflict, when virtues and rights collide, they don’t provide a way to determine which interest, which right, is stronger. For example, it’s all very nice to say that both customers and shareholders are valued, but which is valued more?
Why should Mitt Romney and the fabled “one-percent” pay only a 15% marginal tax on investment income ... half the rate charged to a dentist or auto mechanic on wages earned from work? This was not the case until recent Republican Congresses slashed taxes on passive, unearned dividends and capital gains.
Some folks have heard me beat this drum. But it’s a fresh-enough thought - going to fundamentals that run deep beneath normal politics - so that I am moved to raise it yet again. In part because someone recently asked me, as author of The Transparent Society:“Can transparency and libertarianism complement each other?”
When the Soviet Union divided Berlin in two, US president John Kennedy went to Berlin and shouted “We are all Berliners.” Now that another evil empire has divided the World Wide Web into good and bad websites by shutting down Megaupload, the motto should be “We are all Megaupload users!” even the ones who never used it and don’t even know what exactly it is (was).
As anyone familiar with classical political economy knows, true property rights are rooted in self-ownership. You own yourself, and by extension you own what you make through labor or voluntary transactions thereof. Land, however, is not a fruit of labor.
I’ve spent some time thinking about what the #Occupy movement is really representing. I’ve attended the camps as I’ve traveled, and I’ve interviewed people in the camps, as well as their formidable opponents - the 1% - in the ownership positions of society.
Despite its many failures, “austerity economics” keeps remaking—and unmaking—the global economy. The only disagreement at this weekend’s Republican debate was over which candidate would push austerity more aggressively. And austerity dominated the political agenda last year—“Deficit Commission,” anyone?—until Occupy came along.
Human beings like being part of a tribe. For example, my younger sister refused to go to a school that required school uniforms. Why? Already, she was consistently wearing the same clothes to school everday… the same clothes as every other member of her particular “tribe.” The problem with the school uniform was not the requirement to wear it, but that it belonged to the wrong tribal group.
The name of the deceased was “Austerity Economics,” and it was first glimpsed in a 1921 paper by conservative economist Frank Wright. Austerity died of natural causes brought on by prolonged exposure to reality. But in the nation’s capital, dead things still rule the night.