basic income

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pages: 235 words: 62,862

Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek by Rutger Bregman

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autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Branko Milanovic, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Graeber, Diane Coyle, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Gilder, George Santayana, happiness index / gross national happiness, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, income inequality, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, precariat, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wage slave, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey

America’s Struggle over Guaranteed Income Policy (2008) p. 123. 40. Quoted in: Allan Sheahan, Basic Income Guarantee. Your Right to Economic Security (2012) p. 8. 41. Steensland, The Failed Welfare Revolution, p. 69. 42. Quoted in: Peter Passell and Leonard Ross, “Daniel Moynihan and President-Elect Nixon: How Charity Didn’t Begin at Home,” The New York Times (January 14, 1973). http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/10/04/specials/moynihan-income.html 43. Quoted in: Leland G. Neuberg, “Emergence and Defeat of Nixon’s Family Assistance Plan,” USBIG Discussion Paper (January 2004). http://www.usbig.net/papers/066-Neuberg-FAP2.doc 44. Bruce Bartlett, “Rethinking the Idea of a Basic Income for All,” New York Times Economix (December 10, 2013). http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/10/rethinking-the-idea-of-a-basic-income-for-all 45. Brian Steensland, The Failed Welfare Revolution, p. 157. 46.

Basic income could change that, providing a guaranteed minimum for all.31 Had the United States, the world’s wealthiest nation, gone this route, there’s little doubt other countries would have followed suit. But history took a different turn. Arguments once used in support of basic income (the old system was inefficient, expensive, demeaning) came to be leveled against the welfare state in its entirety. The shadow of Speenhamland and Nixon’s misguided rhetoric laid the foundation for Reagan’s and Clinton’s cutbacks.32 These days, the idea of a basic income for all Americans is, in Steensland’s words, as “unthinkable” as “women’s suffrage and equal rights for racial minorities” was in the past.33 It’s difficult to imagine that we’ll ever be able to shake off the dogma that if you want money, you have to work for it. That a president as recent and as conservative as Richard Nixon once sought to implement a basic income seems to have evaporated from the collective memory.

I’d convinced myself it couldn’t be relevant.6 I’ll give you another example. In Chapter 3, I laid out the arguments in favor of universal basic income. This is a conviction in which I have invested a lot over the past few years. The first article I wrote on the topic garnered nearly a million views and was picked up by The Washington Post. I gave lectures about universal basic income and made a case for it on Dutch television. Enthusiastic emails poured in. Not long ago, I even heard someone refer to me as “Mr. Basic Income.” Slowly but surely, my opinion has come to define my personal and professional identity. I do earnestly believe that a universal basic income is an idea whose time has come. I’ve researched the issue extensively, and that’s the direction the evidence points. But, if I’m being honest, I sometimes wonder if I’d even let myself notice if the evidence were pointing another way.

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Probably the longest-standing organisation advocating UBI is the Basic Income Earth Network. BIEN was formed as long ago as 1986, and “Earth” replaced “European” in its name in 2004. BIEN defines UBI as “an income unconditionally granted to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement." UBI has also been called unconditional basic income, basic income, basic income guarantee (BIG), guaranteed annual income, and citizen's income. Proponents have argued for various levels of UBI, but in general they choose a level at or around the poverty level in the country of operation. This is partly because they don't think any more would be affordable, or politically acceptable, and partly to ward off criticisms that UBI would make people lazy and unproductive. As mentioned above, this will not be good enough if and when machine intelligence renders most people unable to work for a living.

Technological Singularity will change everything, but its first manifestation will come in the domain of economics, most likely in the shape of technological unemployment. Calum Chace’s “The Economic Singularity” does a great job of introducing readers of all levels to the future we are about to face. Chace explains what might happen and what we can do to mitigate some of the negative consequences of machine takeover. The book covers unconditional basic income, virtual environments, and alternative types of economies among other things. Highly recommended.” Dr. Roman V. Yampolskiy, Professor of Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Director of Cybersecurity lab, Author of Artificial Superintelligence: a Futuristic Approach Unprecedented productivity gains and unlimited leisure—what could possibly go wrong? Everything, says Calum Chace, if we don’t evolve a social system suited to the inevitable world of connected intelligent systems.

utm_content=buffer71a7e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=plus.google.com&utm_campaign=buffer [ccciii] http://www.fastcoexist.com/3052595/how-finlands-exciting-basic-income-experiment-will-work-and-what-we-can-learn-from-it [ccciv] http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-germany-basic-income-20151227-story.html [cccv] http://www.vox.com/2016/1/28/10860830/y-combinator-basic-income [cccvi] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodomy_laws_in_the_United_States#References [cccvii] http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/03/09/support-for-gay-marriage-hits-all-time-high-wsjnbc-news-poll/ [cccviii] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/06/majority-of-americans-wan_n_198196.html [cccix] http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2013/08/washingtons-pot-law-wont-get-federal-challenge/ [cccx] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35525566 [cccxi] https://medium.com/basic-income/wouldnt-unconditional-basic-income-just-cause-massive-inflation-fe71d69f15e7#.3yezsngej [cccxii] http://streamhistory.com/die-rich-die-disgraced-andrew-carnegies-philosophy-of-wealth/ [cccxiii] http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2012/12/05/how-i-know-higher-taxes-would-be-good-for-the-economy/#5b0c080b3ec1 [cccxiv] http://taxfoundation.org/article/what-evidence-taxes-and-growth [cccxv] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve [cccxvi] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26875420 [cccxvii] A minor character in Shakespeare’s Henry VI called Dick the Butcher has the memorable line, “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”


pages: 167 words: 50,652

Alternatives to Capitalism by Robin Hahnel, Erik Olin Wright

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3D printing, affirmative action, basic income, crowdsourcing, inventory management, iterative process, Kickstarter, loose coupling, means of production, Pareto efficiency, profit maximization, race to the bottom, transaction costs

Here are a few additional examples:14 •Peer-to-peer collaborative production: Wikipedia, open-source software •Urban agriculture with community land trusts •Community-owned fab labs for advanced customized small-batch cooperative manufacturing •Open-access intellectual property: creative commons, copy-left, open source pharmaceuticals, free downloadable blueprints for 3-D printing •Free publicly provided goods/services: libraries, public transport •Unconditional basic income •Policy juries and “randomocracy” •Eco-villages and transition towns Such a combination of symbiotic and interstitial strategies does not imply that the process of transformation could ever follow a smooth path of enlightened cooperation between conflicting class forces. What is ultimately at stake here is a transformation of the core power relations of capitalism, and this does ultimately threaten the interests of capitalists.

For my purposes it is useful to distil the consumption planning process, which I take to be as follows: 1.At the beginning of the process the IFB, announces current estimates of indicative prices for everything (consumption items, inputs to production, labor, etc.) based on estimates of opportunity costs and positive and negative externalities in the production of all goods and services. 2.Each household begins the process with a budget constraint determined by: (a) an effort rating based on the contributions of labor effort by all household members during the previous year, (b) a level of consumption allowances for people excused from participation in production (children, elderly, severely disabled, etc.), and (c) a consumption allowance for people who simply don’t want to work (this is, in effect, an unconditional basic income, presumably set at a level to fully meet basic needs). 3.Every year individual households submit to their neighborhood consumer councils their requests for all the things they anticipate consuming in the following year, given the household budget constraints. In effect, they pre-order their annual household consumption. 4.The powers of neighborhood consumption councils with respect to household consumption include: authorizing borrowing and saving of households; approving their consumption requests; discussing and proposing neighborhood public goods.


pages: 279 words: 87,910

How Much Is Enough?: Money and the Good Life by Robert Skidelsky, Edward Skidelsky

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banking crisis, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, lump of labour, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Paul Samuelson, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, union organizing, University of East Anglia, Veblen good, wage slave, wealth creators, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

In its pure form of an unconditional income guarantee for all, basic income has always fallen foul of two objections, the first that it would be a disincentive to work, the second that society was too poor to afford it. As a result of such objections the only basic income schemes in existence are those found in a few regions like Alaska and (partially) the United Arab Emirates, whose wealth consists in natural resources that take little labor to extract, and that therefore offer few employment opportunities to their citizens.* However, these two objections fail when the problem is not one of scarcity but abundance, and the goal of policy is not to maximize growth but secure the basic goods. In this situation the aim is precisely to reduce the incentive to work, by making leisure more attractive; furthermore, a rich society can increasingly afford to pay its citizens a basic income. An unconditional basic income would make part-time work a possibility for many who now have to work full-time; it would also start to give all workers the same choice as to how much to work, and under what conditions, as is possessed now by owners of substantial capital.

The success of the Danish scheme is evidence that many workers, unlike economists, do not equate living standards with per capita income. Income enhances the value of leisure, but it does not comprise it. Despite their attractions, these work-sharing schemes are not affordable to many lower-paid workers, who need their income from full-time work. These workers would have to be put in a position in which they could afford to work less. It is in this context that the idea of a basic income, independent of any obligation to work, becomes appealing. Basic Income “Basic income is an income paid by the state to each full member or accredited resident of a society, regardless of whether he or she wishes to engage in paid employment, or is rich or poor, or, in other words, independently of any other sources of income that person might have, and irrespective of cohabitation arrangements in the domestic sphere.”14 Basic income must be distinguished from “minimum income,” whose purpose is to prevent incomes from falling below what is called the “poverty line.”

Minimum income is means-tested and is linked to the job market, either through its requirement that the recipient must be actively seeking work (in the UK, unemployment benefit has been relabelled “job seeker’s allowance”) or by its being used to top up exceptionally low wages. By contrast, basic income is an unconditional payment to all citizens, ideally at a level high enough to give them a genuine choice of how much to work. Basic income schemes—or citizen income schemes, as they are sometimes called—have a very long history. We can trace them from Hobbes in the seventeenth century, through Tom Paine in the eighteenth, to the nineteenth-century followers of Charles Fourier (favorably mentioned by John Stuart Mill) and American writers in the Jeffersonian tradition. In more recent times, they have been advocated by Quakers and socialists, and by James Meade, Samuel Brittan, André Gorz among others.15 In 1943, the Liberal politician Lady Rhys Williams proposed a “social dividend,” payable to all families, regardless of income, to be financed by income taxes, with the dividend increasing in line with national income.


pages: 151 words: 38,153

With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don't Pay Enough by Peter Barnes

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Alfred Russel Wallace, banks create money, basic income, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, computerized trading, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, profit maximization, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the map is not the territory, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy

Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013). 14. Fund rankings, Sovereign Wealth Institute, http://www.sw-finstitute.org/fund-rankings/. Alistair Doyle, “All Norwegians become crown millionaires in oil saving landmark,” Reuters, January 8, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/08/us-norway-millionaires-idUSBREA0710U20140108. 15. European Citizens’ Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income, http://basicincome2013.eu/. 16. Stephan Faris, “The Swiss Join the Fight Against Inequality,” BloombergBusinessweek, January 16, 2014, http://www.business-week.com/articles/2014-01-16/inequality-fight-swiss-will-vote-on-minimum-income. 17. Philippe van Parijs, “The Euro-Dividend,” Social Europe Journal, July 3, 2013, http://www.social-europe.eu/author/philippe-van-parijs/. 18. Warren Vieth, “A Fund Could Spread Iraq’s Oil Wealth to Its Citizens,” Los Angeles Times, May 1, 2003, http://articles.latimes.com/2003/may/01/news/war-iraqoil1. 19.

Further, any attempt by politicians to reduce the dividends is seen as an encroachment on legitimate property rights. 7 Dividends for All The spectrum is just as much a national resource as our national forests. That means it belongs to every American equally. —Former Senator Bob Dole What Alaska has done with oil, our whole country can do with air, money, and other co-owned assets. But before I show how, it’s worth exploring other ways to spread nonlabor income broadly. A citizen s income. A basic income guarantee, or citizen’s income, is an equal amount paid by government to all, with the money coming from general taxes. There’s no means test and the income is unconditional. Leading advocates have included economists Robert Theobald and Nobel Prize winner James Tobin.1 In 1968, Paul Samuelson, John Kenneth Galbraith, and 1,200 other economists signed a document supporting the idea.2 Four years later, a modest version ($1,000 per person per year) was proposed by presidential candidate George McGovern, whom Tobin advised.


pages: 209 words: 89,619

The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class by Guy Standing

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8-hour work day, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, deskilling, fear of failure, full employment, hiring and firing, Honoré de Balzac, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, mini-job, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, nudge unit, old age dependency ratio, pensions crisis, placebo effect, post-industrial society, precariat, presumed consent, quantitative easing, remote working, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, Tobin tax, transaction costs, universal basic income, unpaid internship, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population, young professional

Originally called BIEN (Basic Income European Network), it changed its name at its Barcelona Congress in 2004 to BIEN (Basic Income Earth Network) to reflect the fact that a growing number of its members were from developing countries and other countries outside Europe. By 2010, it had flourishing national networks in many countries, including Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and the United States as well as in Europe. The main claims made against an unconditional basic income are that it would lower labour supply, could be inflationary, would be unaffordable, would be used by populist politicians and would be a ‘handout’, a reward A POLITICS OF PARADISE 173 for sloth and a tax on those who labour. All of these have been answered in the BIEN literature and by other scholarly work. However, in thinking of the advantages of basic income for the precariat in terms of the key assets (and how to pay for it), we will respond to some of those criticisms here.

In a A POLITICS OF PARADISE 175 market society with conditional welfare schemes, costly private options and little social mobility, those conditions do not exist and must be constructed. The starting point for the precariat is dealing with uncertainty, since they are faced by uninsurable ‘unknown unknowns’. The need for multi-layered ex ante security (as contrasted with the ex post security offered by social insurance, which deals with specific contingency risks) is thus a reason for wishing the good society of the future to include an unconditional basic income. Those affluent politicians lucky enough to have lived off private welfare all their lives should be told that having ‘welfare for life’ is what everybody deserves, not just them. We are all ‘dependent’ on others, or to be precise we are ‘interdependent’. It is part of the normal human condition, not some addiction or disease. And providing fellow human beings with basic security should not be made conditional on some moralistically determined behaviour.

By 1 May 2005, their ranks had swollen to well over 50,000 – over 100,000, according to some estimates – and ‘EuroMayDay’ had become pan-European, with hundreds of thousands of people, mostly young, taking to the streets of cities across continental Europe. The demonstrations marked the first stirrings of the global precariat. The ageing trade unionists who normally orchestrated May Day events could only be bemused by this new parading mass, whose demands for free migration and a universal basic income had little to do with traditional unionism. The unions saw the answer to precarious labour in a return to the ‘labourist’ model they had been so instrumental in cementing in the mid-twentieth century – more stable jobs with long-term employment security and the benefit trappings that went with that. But many of the young demonstrators had seen their parents’ generation conform to the Fordist pattern of drab full-time jobs and subordination to industrial management and the dictates of capital.


pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

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Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wages for housework, women in the workforce

And that leads us to what is probably the biggest structural change required to make postcapitalism happen: a universal basic income guaranteed by the state. PAY EVERYONE A BASIC INCOME The basic income, as a policy, is not that radical. Various pilot projects and designs have been touted, often by the right, sometimes by the centre-left, as a replacement for the dole with cheaper administration costs. But in the postcapitalist project, the purpose of the basic income is radical: it is (a) to formalize the separation of work and wages and (b) to subsidize the transition to a shorter working week, or day, or life. The effect would be to socialize the costs of automation. The idea is simple: everybody of working age gets an unconditional basic income from the state, funded from taxation, and this replaces unemployment benefit.

LET MARKET FORCES DISAPPEAR In a highly networked, consumer-oriented society, where people have an individual-centred model of economic need, markets are not the enemy. This is the major difference between a postcapitalism based on info-tech and one based on command planning. There is no reason to abolish markets by diktat, as long as you abolish the basic power imbalances that the term ‘free market’ disguises. Once firms are forbidden to set monopoly prices, and a universal basic income is available (see below), the market is actually the transmitter of the ‘zero marginal cost’ effect, which manifests as falling labour time across society. But in order to control the transition, we would need to send clear signals to the private sector, one of the most important of which is this: profit derives from entrepreneurship, not rent. The act of innovating and creating – whether it be a new kind of jet engine or a hit dance music track – is rewarded, as now, by the firm’s ability to reap short-term gains, either from higher sales or lower costs.

The advantages of working remain clear, but there are also advantages to be gained through not working: you can look after your kids, write poetry, go back to college, manage your chronic illness or peer-educate others like you. Under this system, there would be no stigma attached to not working. The labour market would be stacked in favour of the high-paying job and the high-paying employer. The universal basic income, then, is an antidote to what the anthropologist David Graeber calls ‘bullshit jobs’: the low-paid service jobs capitalism has managed to create over the past twenty-five years that pay little, demean the worker and probably don’t need to exist.10 But it’s only a transitional measure for the first stage of the postcapitalist project. The ultimate aim is to reduce to a minimum the hours it takes to produce what humanity needs.


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

The objective should be to provide a universal safety net as well as a supplement to low incomes—but without creating a disincentive to work and to be as productive as possible. The income provided should be relatively minimal: enough to get by, but not enough to be especially comfortable. There is also a strong argument for initially setting the income level even lower than this and then gradually increasing it over time after studying the impact of the program on the workforce. There are two general approaches to implementing a guaranteed income. An unconditional basic income is paid to every adult citizen regardless of other income sources. Guaranteed minimum incomes (and other variations, such as a negative income tax) are paid only to people at the bottom of the income distribution and are phased out as other income sources rise. While the second alternative is obviously less expensive, it carries with it the danger of disastrous perverse incentives. If the guaranteed income is means-tested at relatively low income levels, recipients will see an effective tax rate on any further earnings that can reach confiscatory levels.

In practice, however, the two trends are inextricably tied together, and anything short of a massive—and certainly ill-advised—intrusion of government into the private sector seems destined to fail at any attempt to halt the inevitable, market-driven rise of autonomous technology in the workplace. The Case for a Basic Income Guarantee If we accept the idea that ever more investment in education and training is unlikely to solve our problems, while calls to somehow halt the rise of job automation are unrealistic, then we are ultimately forced to look beyond conventional policy prescriptions. In my view, the most effective solution is likely to be some form of basic income guarantee. A basic, or guaranteed minimum, income is far from a new idea. In the context of the contemporary American political landscape, a guaranteed income is likely to be disparaged as “socialism” and a massive expansion of the welfare state.

See also deep learning The Atlantic (magazine), 71, 237, 254, 273 AT&T, 135, 159, 166 Audi, 184 Australian agriculture, x–xi, 24–25 Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR), 24–25 AutoDesk, 234 automated invention machines, 110 automated trading algorithms, 56, 113–115 automation alien invasion parable, 194–196, 240 anti-automation view, 253–257 cars and (see autonomous cars) effect on Chinese manufacturing, 3, 10–11, 225–226 effect on prices, 215–216 health care jobs and, 172–173 information technology and, 52 job-market polarization and, 50–51 low-wage jobs and, 26–27 offshoring as precursor to, 115, 118–119 predictions of effect of, 30–34 reshoring and, 10 retail sector and, 16–20 risk of, 256 service sector and, 12–20 solutions to rise of, 273–278 (see also basic income guarantee) as threat to workers with varying education and skill levels, xiv–xv, 59 of total US employment, 223 Triple Revolution report, 30–31 white-collar, 85–86, 105–106, 126–128 See also robotics; robots automotive industry, 3, 76, 193–194 autonomous cars, xiii, 94, 176, 181–191 as shared resource, 186–190 Autor, David, 50 Average Is Over (Cowen), 123, 126n aviation, 66–67, 179, 256 AVT, Inc., 18 Ayres, Ian, 125 Babbage, Charles, 79 Baker, Stephen, 96n, 102n Barra, Hugo, 121 Barrat, James, 231, 238–239 basic income guarantee, 31n, 257–261 approaches to, 261–262 downsides and risks of, 268–271 economic argument for, 264–267 economic risk taking and, 267–268 incentives and, 261–264 paying for, 271–273 Baxter (robot), 5–6, 7, 10 BD Focal Point GS Imaging System, 153 Beaudry, Paul, 127 Beijing Genomics Institute, 236n Bell Labs, 159 Berg, Andrew G., 214–215 Bernanke, Ben, 37 big data, xv, 25n, 86–96 collection of, 86–87 correlation vs. cause and, 88–89, 102 deep learning and, 92–93 health care and, 159–160 knowledge-based jobs and, 93–96 machine learning and, 89–92 The Big Switch (Carr), 72 Bilger, Burkhard, 186 “BinCam,” 125n “Bitter Pill” (Brill), 160 Blinder, Alan, 117–118, 119 Blockbuster, 16, 19 Bloomberg, 113–114 Bluestone, Barry, 220 Borders, 16 Boston Consulting Group, 9 Boston Globe (newspaper), 149 Boston Red Sox, 83 Boston University, 141 Bowley, Arthur, 38 Bowley’s Law, 38–39, 41 box-moving robot, 1–2, 5–6 brain, reverse engineering of human, 237 breast cancer screening, 152 Brill, Steven, 160, 163 Brin, Sergey, 186, 188, 189, 236 Brint, Steven, 251 Brooks, Rodney, 5 Brown, Jerry, 134 Brynjolfsson, Erik, 60, 122, 254 Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13, 16, 38n, 158, 222–223, 281 Bush, George W., 116 business interest lobbying, economic policy and, 57–58 “Busy child scenario,” (Barrat) 238–239 Calico, 236 California Institute of Technology, 133 Canada, 41, 58, 167n, 251 “Can Nanotechnology Create Utopia?”


pages: 347 words: 97,721

Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby

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AI winter, Andy Kessler, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, carbon-based life, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, commoditize, conceptual framework, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, fixed income, follow your passion, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, game design, general-purpose programming language, Google Glasses, Hans Lippershey, haute cuisine, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, lifelogging, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, precariat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, speech recognition, spinning jenny, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

But issues of governance will arise in every setting where smart machines take over tasks from humans, and we doubt they can all be answered by governments. And in the meantime, of course, Musk’s company continues to program autonomous driving capabilities into Teslas. Albert Wenger is a venture capitalist in New York who likes to do early-stage investing not only in new businesses but also in ideas for social innovation. We came across him as we looked into the “unconditional basic income” movement discussed above; he’s helping to fund some of the experimentation to discover its merits. We bring him up here because of his conviction in general that government need not, and does not, have a monopoly on enacting major social change. An example Wenger cites is crowdfunding, which enables creative people whose ideas do not offer enough value-creation potential to make them exciting to venture capitalists, to raise funds in the form of many small contributions from ordinary folk who would just like to see their ideas realized.

For that, Kaplan says, “[w]e need to train future entrepreneurs and capitalists, not laborers and clerks.”13 Government investment in jobs creation often gets criticized when it effectively puts policy-makers in the position of “picking winners”—but that might not be an issue in this case. As more people become concerned with the “race against the machines,” surely not many will object to a government that picks winners who are human, or at least helps those humans to win. The Idea of Guaranteed Basic Income Misses the Point One key fact of economic life in capitalist societies is that most people who don’t work don’t make any money. Some social and economic policy wonks have argued, then, that as automation improves our productivity we can afford to pay people a living wage, whether they work or not. As we write, a real-world experiment is beginning in Holland to see what happens when people in a community are simply granted a basic income, effectively breaking the bond that has always existed between income and work.

., 108 DreamWorks, 123 Drive (Pink), 169 drones, 40 Dulchinos, John, 50 D’Vorkin, Lewis, 164 Easterbrook, Grant, 87, 88 “Economic Prospects for Our Grandchildren” (Keynes), 69, 238 education achieving mastery of a specialty, 162–66 “adaptive learning” systems, 20, 141 augmentation, five steps for teachers, 84–86 augmentation as focus, 234–37 autodidacts, 165–66 automation and, 16, 86, 141, 230 Buehner’s advice, 120 in cognitive technologies, 230–37 creativity and, 115 emphasis on teamwork, 234–35 by employers, 233–34 entrepreneurial learners, 237 government policies and, 229–37 human role in, 16, 20 Khan Academy, 20 online courses for programming, 178 RULER curriculum, 115, 117–18 school calendar, 230 simulations, 21 soft skills for teaching, 119–20 soft skills training, 115–18, 235–37 STEM, 111, 119, 150, 158, 230–34 Stepping In and, 139, 140–41 Stepping Narrowly in, 158–59, 232 in the UK, 231–32 Weikart’s early childhood studies, 118 emotional intelligence (EQ), 113–14, 116, 119, 120 empathy, 68, 81, 110, 111, 115, 117, 120, 122, 129 Employees First, Customers Second (Nayar), 204 employment. See also specific jobs benefits, beyond paycheck, 7–8, 69–70, 242 “dodo jobs,” 22–23, 30 entry-level jobs, 150, 240 FDR’s federal programs, 238, 239, 240 fewer good jobs, 6 five augmentation options, 76–77, 218 future of human work, 250–51 government policies and, 31, 237–40 guaranteed basic income vs., 241–43 high unemployment levels, 6 how job loss happens, 23–24 humans as problematic workers, 12, 224 income inequality and, 228–29 jobs added by artisanal jobs, 119–21 jobs at risk, 2, 5–6, 30, 78, 86 jobs less likely to be automated, 19 jobs sent offshore, 217 jobs with nonprogrammable skills, 71–73, 109–12 mean income of college graduates, 159 niche market (see Stepping Narrowly) signs of coming automation, 19–22 “silent firing” and, 24 “skill-biased technical change,” 2, 6 social unrest and unemployment, 7 Stepping Forward jobs, 177–91 technology and job loss, 1–6, 8, 29–30, 78, 150–51, 167, 223–24, 226, 227, 238 underwriting as threatened job, 77–84 Weinberg analysis of crime rates and, 7 Engelbart, Doug, 64 Ericsson, K.


pages: 165 words: 45,129

The Economics of Inequality by Thomas Piketty, Arthur Goldhammer

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affirmative action, basic income, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, Gini coefficient, income inequality, low skilled workers, means of production, moral hazard, Pareto efficiency, purchasing power parity, Simon Kuznets, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, very high income, working-age population

In contemporary political conflict, the distinction between pure and efficient redistribution is often conflated with the distinction between redistribution on a modest scale and redistribution on a large scale. The traditional right-left conflict has grown more complicated over time, however. For instance, some on the left advocate a “guaranteed basic income” for all citizens, to be financed by taxes without direct intervention in the market. This guaranteed basic income differs from Friedman’s negative income tax solely by virtue of size. Broadly speaking, therefore, the question of how redistribution is to be achieved is separate from the question of the extent of redistribution. In this book I will try to show that it is best to treat the two questions separately, because they involve different analytical considerations and lead to different answers.

It is not surprising that marginal rates are higher at the top end: high earners are in the top income-tax brackets. Marginal rates are also higher at the low end because a person who goes from zero wage income to some wage income must not only pay taxes on his pay but also lose certain social transfer payments available only to those who have no income from work. Consider, for example, an unemployed person in France who receives €530 per month in guaranteed basic income and housing allotment but who then finds an employer prepared to pay €1,370 a month for his labor, presumably because his contribution to the production process brings in at least that amount. The worker will actually receive just over €760 in net income each month after deducting all social charges. In other words, his gross income goes from 0 to 1,370, but his disposable income goes from 530 to 760.

Redistribution and Demand Index Adoption studies, education outcomes and, 82 Adverse selection: credit markets and, 60–61; pension systems and, 115–116; social insurance and, 115 Affirmative action, 86–88, 114 Africa: income inequality, 15; rates of growth, 58 African Americans, discrimination against, 85–88 Aggregate production function, of Solow, 30 Agriculture, direct redistribution of capital and, 63–64 Allocative role, of price system, 30–33, 37–40, 100 Arrow, Kenneth, 85 Asia: growth rate per capita, 58, 59; income inequality, 15; savings rates, 57 Average and marginal rates of redistribution, 100–102, 102f; absence of redistribution between workers, 102–104; compulsory public systems and, 116; Earned Income Tax Credit in US and, 108–109; negative income tax and basic income, 112–113; social justice and, 105–106; taxes and revenue, 106–108; unemployment and, 109–112; U-shaped curve of marginal rates, 104–105, 109 Basic income, guaranteed, 3, 23, 104, 112–113 Becker, Gary, 67, 78, 81 Behavioral differences, wealth inequality and, 13 Belgium, 14 Bell Curve, The (Herrnstein and Murray), 82 Bernstein, Eduard, 18 Binding wage schedules, 92–93 Busing, school integration and human capital, 84 Cambridge capital controversy, 30, 39 Canada, and income inequality, 10, 14, 23 Capital: flat tax on, 64–65; unequal ownership of, 26.


India's Long Road by Vijay Joshi

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Basel III, basic income, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business climate, capital controls, central bank independence, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Doha Development Round, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, financial intermediation, financial repression, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, full employment, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Induced demand, inflation targeting, invisible hand, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, moral hazard, obamacare, Pareto efficiency, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, school choice, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, universal basic income, urban sprawl, working-age population

One would expect rich people to opt out of receiving a basic income because it would not be worth the trouble (though if an individual or family fell on hard times, they could go and get it).35 This modification would certainly reduce the fiscal cost of the basic income scheme, though by how much is not clear. My guess would be that somewhere between 50 to 67 per cent of the population would use it at any one time. (The estimates in the Appendix indicate the reduction in cost that would follow in consequence.) Whether such a scheme would be desirable and feasible is a matter of judgement. My personal preference would be for a universal basic income scheme that is available as an entitlement unless individuals/​households voluntarily chose to forego the benefit. S a f e t y N e t s a n d S o ci a l P r o t e c t i o n [ 215 ] 216 APPENDIX TO CHAPTER 10 Estimate of the Cost of Providing a ‘Basic Income’ 1.

So in a few years, the resources required to pay for a universal basic income set at a fixed absolute real level of income would fall to well below 3.5 per cent of GDP (or the universal basic income transfer could be increased at the given share of 3.5 per cent of GDP to eliminate any residual poverty that remains after the implementation of the scheme).33 Needless to say, a basic income scheme would face some challenging difficulties. One difficulty is that winding up subsidies would raise the cost of living since the prices of the previously subsidized items would rise. So any given cash transfer would be worth less in real terms. But many of the subsidies, other than food, are thoroughly regressive, so this point is less important than it appears. And crucially, my estimates (see Appendix) of the cost of providing a basic income explicitly include compensation to offset the increase in the cost of living that the ‘extreme poor’ would face due to subsidy abolition.

That still leaves at least 6 per cent of GDP that would be more than sufficient to finance a basic income scheme. As shown in the Appendix to this chapter, it would take up 3.5 per cent of GDP, leaving a further large excess for extra public investment and enabling social expenditures, as well as further reduction of the fiscal deficit. Note also that with growth of national income over time, the absolute real amounts of resources available for redistribution would rise for any given percentage of GDP earmarked for the purpose (or a given amount S a f e t y N e t s a n d S o ci a l P r o t e c t i o n [ 213 ] 214 of redistribution could be done with a smaller percentage of GDP). So in a few years, the resources required to pay for a universal basic income set at a fixed absolute real level of income would fall to well below 3.5 per cent of GDP (or the universal basic income transfer could be increased at the given share of 3.5 per cent of GDP to eliminate any residual poverty that remains after the implementation of the scheme).33 Needless to say, a basic income scheme would face some challenging difficulties.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar

Given a generation, the platform + peers structure could result in as big a change in the basic construction of our economies as the invention of mass production in factories did. We need to create new social mechanisms to spread out the gains of the new platform economics—perhaps even a Basic Income allotted to every person, in addition to the Flexicurity principles. Without this, the social consequences could be dire, bad enough to upset the entire applecart in time. National basic income schemes are getting serious consideration even in fiscally conservative nations like Switzerland, which has a national referendum scheduled in 2015 on the topic following a successful citizens’ initiative in 2012. Much better for us to get off on the right foot: a maximally fluid and efficient economy that makes full use of our social, material, and technical possibilities, with the necessary safety nets.

• We need to tax heavily at the platform level because most everything will be turned into a platform and we want to keep fluidity within the peers. • Government regulations need to protect autonomous individuals against the power of the platforms and benefits need to be tied to people and not jobs. • Everyone should be an independent contractor to give maximum flexibility and resilience to both companies and workers to match the rate of change. • We must have a minimum basic income so that the enormous productivity gains are spread throughout the economy instead of increasing unemployment. • We should emulate the potential and promise of the free and open-source software movement and the block chain to create and govern platforms by communities themselves. We live on a planet with more than 7 billion people and rapidly diminishing resources. When I think seriously about where we are in the world today, several things bring me to tears: the horrible suffering of millions of blameless people around the world because of extreme climate events; young adults who are actively weighing whether they should have children; the 50 percent of species that will go extinct because of us by 2100; the loss of human potential to press forward with its understanding of the universe and the magnificence of creativity, culture, tradition, and family.

INDEX Agricultural model, 235–237 Airbnb, 38 benefits to peers, 50 cumulative totals, 74, 75 disaster response initiative, 244 empowering individuals, 58–59 excess capacity, 77–78 implementing constraints, 107 power parity, 127 power users, 116–117 predictive platform, 45 and regulation, 154 triumph over established hotel chains, 74–76 types of value created, 185 Airbnb Groups, 128 Ajema, Daniel, 130 Algorithms, transparency, 129–130 Alibaba, 37 Amazon, as Peers Inc configuration, 88–89 Amoruso, Sophia, 55–56 Anderson, Chris, 53–54 Angel investors, 9–10 Apollo 13, deep innovation, 222–223 AppGratis, 122, 124–125 Apple, and app approval, 122 Application programming interface (API), Twitter, 121 Apps approval process, 122 dependence on Facebook, 119–120 proliferation, 61 use of excess capacity, 27, 48–49 Apps for the Army, 169–170 Apps for Democracy, 39–40, 61 Apps Marketplace, 169–170 Aqueduct, 41 Archimedes, 41 Aros, 64 Assets community-built, protecting, 205–207 open vs. closed, 251 @FeministaJones, 83–84 Auto rickshaws, 239–243 Autonomy, 57–59 B corp, 202, 230 Back-office technology, 14 Barcelona Open Challenge, 172–174 Barriers to entry capitalist economy, 126 collaborative economy, 252 Bartolone, John, 227 Basic income policies, 191 Benefits, workers’, 189–190 and employment status, 156 separated from employment, 59–60 taxes to pay, 192 universal, 160 Benevolent dictators, 201, 210 Berners-Lee, Tim, 200 Best practices, sharing with peers, 128–129 Bieler, Dan, 163–164 Bilton, Nick, 120–121 Bitcoin, 211–217 BlaBlaCar beginning, 21 “everybody welcome” phase, 111 passengers transported, 76 social and environmental benefits, 201 use of excess capacity, 76 Black markets, and overregulation, 152 Blank, Steve, 109 Block chain, 213, 215–217 Bloomberg, Michael, 174 Bollier, David, 256–257 Bottom-up process, 168–169 Boyd, Danah, 135–136 Breitbart, Joshua, 246 Brown, John Seely, 178 Business models, most successful, 162–164 Buxton, Peter, 81–82 Buytaert, Dries, 134, 164 Buzzcar, 155 Cambridge, Massachusetts, 7–8 Capitalism historical vs. current, 195 industrial, vs. collaborative economy, 18–19, 249–250 realities, 197–198 valuing corporation over people, 253 Car, cost of owning or renting, 21–22 Car ownership, downsides, 9 Carbon emissions, and new energy models, 93–95.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

The plan had support across the ideological spectrum, but it also faced a large and diverse group of opponents.5 Caseworkers and other administrators of existing welfare programs feared that their jobs would be eliminated under the new regime; some labor leaders thought that it would erode support for minimum wage legislation; and many working Americans didn’t like the idea of their tax dollars going to people who could work, but chose not to. By the time of his 1972 reelection campaign, Nixon had abandoned the Family Assistance Plan, and universal income guarantee programs have not been seriously discussed by federal elected officials and policymakers since then.* Avoiding the Three Great Evils Will we need to revisit the idea of a basic income in the decades to come? Maybe, but it’s not our first choice. Voltaire beautifully summarized why not when he made the observation quoted at the start of this chapter: “Work saves a man from three great evils: boredom, vice, and need.”6 A guaranteed universal income takes care of need, but not the other two. And just about all the research and evidence we’ve looked at has convinced us that Voltaire was right.

Revisiting the Basic Income A number of economists have been concerned about this possible failure mode of capitalism. Many of them have proposed the same simple solution: give people money. The easiest way to do this would have the government distribute an equal amount of money to everyone in the country each year, without doing any means of testing or other evaluation of who needs the money or who should get more or less. This ‘basic income’ scheme, its proponents argue, is comparatively straightforward to administer, and it preserves the elements of capitalism that work well while addressing the problem that some people can’t make a living by offering their labor. The basic income assures that everyone has a minimum standard of living. If people want to improve on it by working, investing, starting a company, or doing any of the other activities of the capitalist engine they certainly can, but even if they don’t they will still be able to act as consumers, since they will still receive money.

The disappearance of work was not the only force driving Belmont and Fishtown apart—Murray himself focuses on other factors13—but we believe it is a very important one. The evidence suggests that communities in which people are working are much healthier than communities where work is scarce, all other things being equal. So we support policies that encourage work, even as the second machine age progresses. And we see two pieces of good news here. The first is that economists have developed interventions that encourage and reward work in ways that a basic income guarantee alone does not. The second is that innovators and entrepreneurs have developed technologies not only to substitute for human labor but also to complement it. In other words, digital tools are not just taking work out of the economy; they’re also providing new opportunities for people to contribute work to it. As technology keeps racing ahead the best approach is to combine these two pieces of good news and try to maintain an economy of workers.


pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, late capitalism, liberation theology, Live Aid, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

Work must be refused and reduced, building our synthetic freedom in the process.136 As we have set out in this chapter, achieving this will require the realisation of four minimal demands: 1.Full automation 2.The reduction of the working week 3.The provision of a basic income 4.The diminishment of the work ethic While each of these proposals can be taken as an individual goal in itself, their real power is expressed when they are advanced as an integrated programme. This is not a simple, marginal reform, but an entirely new hegemonic formation to compete against the neoliberal and social democratic options. The demand for full automation amplifies the possibility of reducing the working week and heightens the need for a universal basic income. A reduction in the working week helps produce a sustainable economy and leverage class power. And a universal basic income amplifies the potential to reduce the working week and expand class power. It would also accelerate the project of full automation: as worker power rose and as the labour market tightened, the marginal cost of labour would increase as companies turned towards machinery in order to expand.137 These goals resonate with each other, magnifying their combined power.

Mainstream media sources remain indispensable for this and will continue to do so in the future. Their ability to influence and alter public opinion through framing what is and is not ‘realistic’ remains surprisingly strong. If a counter-hegemonic project is to be successful, it will require an injection of radical ideas into the mainstream, and not just the building of increasingly fragmented audiences outside it. Indeed, one of the key lessons from the US experience with a basic income policy is that the framing of such issues in the media is central to its prospects of success.44 It is for these reasons that existing media organisations constitute a key battleground in the project set out here. Alongside the media, intellectual organisations are indispensable components of any political ecology. These extend from bodies like think tanks, to captive university departments and other educational institutions, through to more loosely organised training and consciousness-raising bodies.

From Mincome to the Millennium’, Policy Options/Options Politique, February 2001. 96.Chancer, ‘Benefitting from Pragmatic Vision, Part I’, p. 86. 97.Specifically, in the United States these included Nixon’s Family Assistance Plan and Carter’s Better Jobs and Income Program, neither of which was passed. In Australia, a guaranteed income was also recommended by the Poverty Commission in 1973, but support for it evaporated after elections brought in a new government. Ibid., pp. 87–9; Barry Jones, Sleepers Wake! Technology and The Future of Work (London: Oxford University Press, 1982), pp. 204–5. 98.An indispensable resource for the story behind this rise and fall in a basic income policy, along with an essential guide to how cultural framing affects the viability of the policy, is Brian Steensland, The Failed Welfare Revolution: America’s Struggle over Guaranteed Income Policy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007). 99.Daniel Raventós, Basic Income: The Material Conditions of Freedom, transl. Julie Wark (London: Pluto Press, 2007), p. 12. 100.Paul Krugman, ‘Sympathy for the Luddites’, New York Times, 13 June 2013; Martin Wolf, ‘Enslave the Robots and Free the Poor’, Financial Times, 11 February 2014. 101.More specifically, the Green Party of England and Wales has included it in its manifesto; the Liberal Party of Canada has put the idea on their agenda, and its leader pushed for it in 2001; in Canada, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs recommended it as a way to deal with poverty; and the Swiss will be voting in a referendum on the idea.


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Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality in America: A History of Inequality in America by Jamie Bronstein

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, occupational segregation, Occupy movement, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

It is difficult to move in that direction because people have been educated to believe that market efficiency ought to be the ultimate value of the economy, despite the fact that even perfectly efficient markets say nothing about distribution of incomes or about standards of living.83 The last few years have seen an active philosophical debate about the desirability of a basic income guarantee, a variation on the theme of the “negative income tax” attempted by Nixon in his Family Assistance Plan. There are several ways to frame a basic income guarantee, and one of those possible frames is that it enhances freedom.84 Over the course of several generations, an ideally functioning free market will produce winners and losers, sometimes just due to moral bad luck. In those cases, people who are unable to meet their basic needs may end up accepting significant measures of personal coercion because they have no other choice. A universal basic income guarantee is a way to enable those people to opt out of coercive relationships without the stigma produced—or dependency supposedly produced—by other kinds of means-tested welfare.85 A basic income guarantee could also reward activities like volunteering or caregiving that are not now rewarded by the market.

Box 1911 Santa Barbara, California 93116-1911 www.abc-clio.com This book is printed on acid-free paper Manufactured in the United States of America Contents Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1The American Revolution and Equality Chapter 2Workingmen, Land, and the Age of Jackson: 1829–1865 Chapter 3Free Labor and Social Darwinism: 1865–1900 Chapter 4Liberalism in the Age of Monopoly: 1900–1929 Chapter 5Challenge from the Left: 1929–1945 Chapter 6The Great Compression and the War on Poverty: 1945–1979 Chapter 7The Triumph of Neoliberalism: 1979–1999 Chapter 8The New Inequality and the Lessons of the Past: 1999–Present Notes Select Bibliography Index Acknowledgments Academic projects are never completed in a vacuum. My New Mexico State University (NMSU) colleague Mark Walker, who was writing a book on the Basic Income Guarantee as I wrote this one, first encouraged me to consider inequality from a historical perspective. The NMSU conference that Mark organized on the Basic Income Guarantee in 2014 introduced me to scholars who have long worked on the philosophy of contemporary inequality. Simultaneously, participation in an ad hoc reading group facilitated by NMSU student Alan Dicker on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century helped to get my thoughts flowing My NMSU colleagues Lori Keleher, Peter Kopp, and Julie Rice, and my former graduate student Ryan MacLennan, all provided helpful suggestions at crucial moments.

A universal basic income guarantee is a way to enable those people to opt out of coercive relationships without the stigma produced—or dependency supposedly produced—by other kinds of means-tested welfare.85 A basic income guarantee could also reward activities like volunteering or caregiving that are not now rewarded by the market. A basic income guarantee is particularly crucial if the prediction that automation will produce mass unemployment in the future turns out to be correct.86 More modest than a basic income guarantee would be an expansion of the EITC, and equity in the payment of the tax credit to both custodial and noncustodial parents.87 EITC expansion does not reach everyone, but it is politically practical; while the minimum wage has stagnated, the EITC has been expanded six times since 1975. As political scientist Larry Bartels explains, “tying the income subsidy to wages encourages work and sidesteps the association of traditional welfare programs with the ‘undeserving poor’ … this aspect of the program is reinforced by the designation of EITC as a ‘tax credit,’ despite the fact that most recipients have no income tax liability to offset.”88 Calling such transfers “earned income” credits makes them politically acceptable, in contrast to welfare.


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Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, global supply chain, global village, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, smart meter, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

Within six years, three quarters of all Kenyan adults had used the service, including 70% of those in rural areas, and – astonishingly – over 40% of Kenya’s GDP was passing through M-PESA.88 Worldwide, 5.5 billion people are expected to be using mobile phones by 2018, and mobile banking will come as part of the package.89 In essence, it will soon be feasible to create a phone book of the world’s ‘bottom billion’ and to text digital cash directly to them. Contrary to concerns that a guaranteed basic income would make people lazy or even reckless, cross-country studies of cash transfer schemes show no such effect: if anything, people tend to work harder and seize more opportunities when they know they have a secure fallback.90 When it comes to delivering a basic income to the world’s poorest people, the question is no longer ‘how on earth?’ but ‘why on earth not?’91 The biggest and longest experiment in piloting such a scheme is getting under way in Kenya, set up by the US-based charity GiveDirectly.

91 The biggest and longest experiment in piloting such a scheme is getting under way in Kenya, set up by the US-based charity GiveDirectly. For the next 10–15 years, 6,000 of the poorest people in Kenya will regularly receive a guaranteed income that is enough to meet their family’s basic needs, sent via their phone. By running such an extended pilot scheme, the charity hopes to give recipients the security needed to take longer-term life-changing decisions – and to prove that a universal basic income is an idea whose time has come.92 There’s only one caution: that private incomes are no substitute for public services. The market works best in tackling inequality and poverty when it complements, rather than replaces, the state and the commons. Accompanied by free-at-the-point-of-use provision of education and primary healthcare, such a basic income would be a direct investment in the potential of every woman, man and child, significantly advancing the prospects of achieving the Doughnut’s social foundation for all.

.’, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper no. 3994, Washington, DC: World Bank, available at: http://www1.worldbank.org/prem/poverty/ie/dime_papers/1082.pdf 91. Global Basic Income Foundation, What Is a Global Basic Income? http://www.globalincome.org/English/Global-Basic-Income.html 92. Faye, M. and Niehaus, P. (2016) ‘What if we just gave poor people a basic income for life? That’s what we are about to test’, Slate, 14 April 2016, available at: http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/04/14/universal_basic_income_this_nonprofit_is_about_to_test_it_in_a_big_way.html 93. Hurun Global Rich List 2015. http://www.hurun.net/en/articleshow.aspx?nid=9607 94. Seery, E. and Caistor Arendar, A. (2014) Even It Up: Time to End Extreme Inequality. Oxford: Oxfam International, p. 17. 95. ICRICT (2015) Declaration of the Independent Commissions for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation. www.icrict.org 96.


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Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life by Adam Greenfield

3D printing, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cellular automata, centralized clearinghouse, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cloud computing, collective bargaining, combinatorial explosion, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, digital map, distributed ledger, drone strike, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fiat currency, global supply chain, global village, Google Glasses, IBM and the Holocaust, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, license plate recognition, lifelogging, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, megacity, megastructure, minimum viable product, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, natural language processing, Network effects, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Pearl River Delta, performance metric, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, sorting algorithm, special economic zone, speech recognition, stakhanovite, statistical model, stem cell, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, transaction costs, Uber for X, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

Summers, “The Inequality Puzzle,” Democracy, Summer 2014 No. 33. 48.David Graeber, “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs,” STRIKE!, August 17, 2013. 49.Walter Van Trier, “Who Framed ‘Social Dividend’?,” USBIG Discussion Paper No. 26, March 2002. basisinkomen.nl/wp-content/uploads/020223-Walter-VanTrier-8.pdf. See also John Danaher, “Libertarianism and the Basic Income (Part One),” Philosophical Disquisitions, December 17, 2013; Noah Gordon, “The Conservative Case for a Guaranteed Basic Income,” Atlantic, August 2014. 50.Mike Alberti and Kevin C. Brown. “Guaranteed Income’s Moment in the Sun,” Remapping Debate, April 24, 2013, remappingdebate.org; Rutger Bregman, “Nixon’s Basic Income Plan,” Jacobin, May 5, 2016. 51.Will Grice, “Finland Plans to Give Every Citizen 800 Euros a Month and Scrap Benefits,” Independent, December 6, 2015; Tracy Brown Hamilton, “The Netherlands’ Upcoming Money-for-Nothing Experiment,” Atlantic, June 21, 2016. 52.John Danaher, “Will Life Be Worth Living in a World Without Work?

Their argument, broadly, is that going forward, there simply won’t be enough meaningful work to furnish a global labor force of five billion or more with employment capable of sustaining them—and that it is in any event perverse to defend jobs we know full well to be bullshit.48 Instead of squandering energies in the sentimental defense of a proletarian way of life that no longer corresponds to any set of facts on the ground, they propose that there is a far more valuable effort progressive forces could dedicate themselves to at this moment in history: the struggle for a universal basic income, or UBI. As the name suggests, most UBI plans—and the variants are many—propose that the state furnish all of its citizens with some kind of sustaining stipend, regardless of means tests or other qualifications. Most versions propose a grant at least equal to the local poverty line, in theory liberating recipients from the worst of the want and gnawing fear that might otherwise beset them in a time of mass disemployment.

And whichever direction it comes from, arguing for the accelerated disappearance of work is a very high-stakes gamble to make, in a world where the welfare state and its safety net are distant and receding memories and the horizontal and mutualist infrastructures that might replace them have not had time to develop. One could, therefore, be forgiven for concluding that in practical terms, the achievement of a universal basic income will result not in anything like total leisure and unlimited self-actualization, but in the further entrenchment of desperation and precarity. When far more powerful forces are already waiting to exploit its emergence and divert its flows for their own ends, it seems unnecessarily cavalier of people who think of themselves as being on the left to “demand” a generic UBI. To the degree that we buy the Srnicek and Williams line, what we need to insist on is the implementation of income guarantees in a context that protects our ability to spend that windfall as we see fit.


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Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan

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23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, basic income, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, cellular automata, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative editing, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, lifelogging, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, microbiome, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, personalized medicine, post scarcity, prediction markets, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, software as a service, technological singularity, Turing complete, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WikiLeaks

Having many fewer people involved in the governance apparatus could potentially mean smaller, less costly government, less partisanship, and less special-interest lobbyist-directed government. As blockchain technology makes financial systems more efficient, squeezing the marginal cost down to zero, so too could blockchain technology reconfigure the tasks of governance and public administration. The costs savings of smaller government could proceed directly to Guaranteed Basic Income initiatives, promoting equality and political participation in society and easing the transition to the automation economy. The advent of the blockchain and decentralized models calls into question more generally the ongoing validity of population-sized pooled models like government and insurance that have been de facto standards because other models were not yet possible. However, pooled models might no longer make economic or political sense.

Further, another aspect of demurrage currencies (or really all digital network–based asset allocation, tracking, interaction, and transaction structures) is the notion of periodic automatic redistribution of the currency (the resource) across all network nodes at certain prespecified times, or in the case of certain events. Demurrage features could become a powerful and standard currency administration tool. Freicoin and Healthcoin are two examples of uses of a demurrage currency with a built-in mechanism for action taking in the form of spending. Demurrage currencies might be ideal for the implementation of Guaranteed Basic Income initiatives (GBIs), systems whereby all citizens or residents of a country would regularly receive an allowance—a sum of money sufficient to meet basic living expenses. GBIcoin or Freicoin could be a straightforward currency for basic living expenses that runs out or resets on a periodic basis such as weekly, monthly, or annually to keep the system streamlined and efficient without artificial overhangs created by hoarding.

This is the multiplicity and abundance property of blockchain technology. Blockchain technology could enable currency multiplicity in the form of many currencies potentially existing side by side, conceived with more granularity than fiat currencies, each for use in specific situations. The overall effect could be promoting a mindset of abundance as opposed to scarcity in regard to the concept of money, particularly if simultaneously accompanied by Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) initiatives that covered basic survival needs for all individuals and thus enabled a higher-level cognitive focus. Currency could be reconceptualized in the context of what kinds of actions it enables in a community as opposed to exclusively being a means of obtaining and storing value. The Blockchain Is an Information Technology Perhaps most centrally, the blockchain is an information technology.


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The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

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3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population

Acemoglu, Daron ageing populations agency, concept of Airbnb Amazon American Medical Association (AMA) anarchism Andreessen, Marc Anglo-Saxon economies Apple the iPhone the iPod artisanal goods and services Atkinson, Anthony Atlanta, Georgia austerity policies automation in car plants fully autonomous trucks of ‘green jobs’ during industrial revolution installation work as resistant to low-pay as check on of menial/routine work self-driving cars and technological deskilling automobiles assembly-line techniques automated car plants and dematerialization early days of car industry fully autonomous trucks self-driving cars baseball Baumol, William Belgium Bernanke, Ben Bezos, Jeff black plague (late Middle Ages) Boston, Massachusetts Brazil BRIC era Bridgewater Associates Britain deindustrialization education in extensions of franchise in financial crisis (2008) Great Exhibition (London 1851) housing wealth in and industrial revolution Labour Party in liberalization in political fractionalization in real wages in social capital in surpassed by US as leading nation wage subsidies in Brontë, Charlotte Brynjolfsson, Erik bubbles, asset-price Buffalo Bill (William Cody) BuzzFeed Cairncross, Frances, The Death of Distance (1997) capital ‘deepening’ infrastructure investment investment in developing world career, concept of cars see automobiles Catalan nationalism Central African Republic central banks Chait, Jonathan Charlotte chemistry, industrial Chicago meat packers in nineteenth-century expansion of World’s Columbia Exposition (1893) China Deng Xiaoping’s reforms economic slow-down in era of rapid growth foreign-exchange reserves ‘green jobs’ in illiberal institutions in inequality in iPod assembly in technological transformation in wage levels in Chorus (content-management system) Christensen, Clayton Cisco cities artisanal goods and services building-supply restrictions growth of and housing costs and industrial revolution and information membership battles in rich/skilled and social capital clerical work climate change Clinton, Hillary Coase, Ronald Columbia University, School of Mines communications technology communism communities of affinity computing app-based companies capability thresholds cloud services cycles of experimentation desktop market disk-drive industry ‘enterprise software’ products exponential progress narrative as general purpose technology hardware and software infrastructure history of ‘Moore’s Law’ and productivity switches transistors vacuum tubes see also digital revolution; software construction industry regulations on Corbyn, Jeremy Corliss steam engine corporate power Cowen, Tyler craft producers Craigslist creative destruction the Crystal Palace, London Dalio, Ray Dallas, Texas debt deindustrialization demand, chronically weak dematerialization Detroit developing economies and capital investment and digital revolution era of rapid growth and industrialization pockets of wealth in and ‘reshoring’ phenomenon and sharp slowdown and social capital see also emerging economies digital revolution and agency and company cultures and developing economies and distance distribution of benefits of dotcom tech boom emergence of and global imbalances and highly skilled few and industrial institutions and information flows investment in social capital niche markets pace of change and paradox of potential productivity and output and secular stagnation start-ups and technological deskilling techno-optimism techno-pessimism as tectonic economic transformation and trading patterns web journalism see also automation; computing; globalization discrimination and exclusion ‘disruption’, phenomenon of distribution of wealth see inequality; redistribution; wealth and income distribution dotcom boom eBay economics, classical The Economist education in emerging economies during industrial revolution racial segregation in USA and scarcity see also university education electricity Ellison, Glenn Ellison, Sara Fisher emerging economies deindustrialization economic growth in education in foreign-exchange reserves growth in global supply chains highly skilled workers in see also developing economies employment and basic income policy cheap labour as boost to and dot.com boom in Europe and financial crisis (2008) ‘green jobs’ low-pay sector minimum wage impact niche markets in public sector ‘reshoring’ phenomenon as rising globally and social contexts and social membership as source of personal identity and structural change trilemma in USA see also labour; wages Engels, Friedrich environmental issues Etsy euro- zone Europe extreme populist politics liberalized economies political fractionalization in European Union Facebook face-recognition technology factors of production land see also capital; labour ‘Factory Asia’ factory work assembly-line techniques during industrial revolution family fascism Federal Reserve financial crisis (2008) financial markets cross-border capital flows in developing economies Finland firms and companies Coase’s work on core competencies culture of dark matter (intangible capital) and dematerialization and ‘disruption’ ‘firm-specific’ knowledge and information flows internal incentive structures pay of top executives shifting boundaries of social capital of and social wealth start-ups Ford, Martin, Rise of the Robots (2015) Ford Motor Company fracking France franchise, electoral Friedman, Milton Fukuyama, Francis Gates, Bill gender discrimination general purpose technologies enormous benefits from exponential progress and skilled labour supporting infrastructure and time lags see also digital revolution Germany ‘gig economy’ Glaeser, Ed global economy growth in supply chains imbalances lack of international cooperation savings glut and social consensus globalization hyperglobalization and secular stagnation and separatist movements Goldman Sachs Google Gordon, Robert Gothenburg, Sweden Great Depression Great Depression (1930s) Great Exhibition, London (1851) Great Recession Great Stagnation Greece ‘green jobs’ growth, economic battle over spoils of boom (1994-2005) and classical economists as consistent in rich countries decline of ‘labour share’ dotcom boom emerging economies gains not flowing to workers and industrial revolution Kaldor’s ‘stylized facts of’ and Keynes during liberal era pie metaphor in post-war period and quality of institutions and rich/elite cities rich-poor nation gap and skilled labour guilds Hansen, Alvin Hayes, Chris, The Twilight of the Elites healthcare and medicine hedge funds and private equity firms Holmes, Oliver Wendell Hong Kong housing in Bay-Area NIMBY campaigns against soaring prices pre-2008 crisis zoning and regulations Houston, Texas Huffington Post human capital Hungary IBM identity, personal immigration and ethno-nationalist separatism and labour markets in Nordic countries and social capital income distribution see inequality; redistribution; wealth and income distribution India Indonesia industrial revolution automation during and economic growth and growth of cities need for better-educated workers and productivity ‘second revolution’ and social change and wages and World’s Fairs inequality and education levels between firms and housing wealth during industrial revolution during liberal era between nations pay of top executives rise of in emerging economies and secular stagnation in Sweden wild contingency of wealth see also rich people; wealth and income distribution inflation in 1970s hyperinflation information technology see computing Intel interest rates International Space Station (ISS) iRobot ISIS Italy Jacksonville, Florida Jacquard, Joseph Marie Japan journalism Kaldor, Nicholas Keynes, John Maynard Kurzweil.

Ray labour abundance as good problem bargaining power cognitive but repetitive collective bargaining and demographic issues discrimination and exclusion global growth of workforce and immigration liberalization in 1970s/80s ‘lump of labour’ fallacy occupational licences organized and proximity reallocation to growing industries retraining and skill acquisition and scarcity and social value work as a positive good see also employment Labour Party, British land scarcity Latvia Le Pen, Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine legal profession Lehman Brothers collapse (2008) Lepore, Jill liberalization, economic (from 1970s) Linkner, Josh, The Road to Reinvention London Lucas, Robert Lyft maker-taker distinction Malthus, Reverend Thomas Manchester Mandel, Michael Mankiw, Gregory marketing and public relations Marshall, Alfred Marx, Karl Mason, Paul, Postcapitalism (2015) McAfee, Andrew medicine and healthcare ‘mercantilist’ world Mercedes Benz Mexico Microsoft mineral industries minimum wage Mokyr, Joel Monroe, President James MOOCs (‘massive open online courses’) Moore, Gordon mortality rates Mosaic (web browser) music, digital nation states big communities of affinity inequality between as loci of redistribution and social capital nationalist and separatist movements Netherlands Netscape New York City Newsweek NIMBYism Nordic and Scandinavian economies North Carolina North Dakota Obama, Barack oil markets O’Neill, Jim Oracle Orbán, Viktor outsourcing Peretti, Jonah Peterson Institute for International Economics pets.com Philadelphia Centennial Fair (1876) Philippines Phoenix, Arizona Piketty, Thomas, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2013) Poland political institutions politics fractionalization in Europe future/emerging narratives geopolitical forces human wealth narrative left-wing looming upheaval/conflict Marxism nationalist and separatist movements past unrest and conflict polarization in USA radicalism and extremism realignment revolutionary right-wing rise of populist outsiders and scarcity social membership battles Poor Laws, British print media advertising revenue productivity agricultural artisanal goods and services Baumol’s Cost Disease and cities and dematerialization and digital revolution and employment trilemma and financial crisis (2008) and Henry Ford growth data in higher education of highly skilled few and industrial revolution minimum wage impact paradox of in service sector and specialization and wage rates see also factors of production professional, technical or managerial work and education levels and emerging economies the highly skilled few and industrial revolution and ‘offshoring’ professional associations skilled cities professional associations profits Progressive Policy Institute property values proximity public spending Putnam, Robert Quakebot quantitative easing Race Against the Machine, Brynjolfsson and McAfee (2011) railways Raleigh, North Carolina Reagan, Ronald redistribution and geopolitical forces during liberal era methods of nation state as locus of as a necessity as politically hard and societal openness wealth as human rent, economic Republican Party, US ‘reshoring’ phenomenon Resseger, Matthew retail sector retirement age Ricardo, David rich people and maker-taker distinction wild contingency of wealth Robinson, James robots Rodrik, Dani Romney, Mitt rule of law Russia San Francisco San Jose Sanders, Bernie sanitation SAP Saudi Arabia savings glut, global ‘Say’s Law’ Scalia, Antonin Scandinavian and Nordic economies scarcity and labour political effects of Schleicher, David Schwartz, Anna scientists Scotland Sears Second World War secular stagnation global spread of possible solutions shale deposits sharing economies Silicon Valley Singapore skilled workers and education levels and falling wages the highly skilled few and industrial revolution ‘knowledge-intensive’ goods and services reshoring phenomenon technological deskilling see also professional, technical or managerial work Slack (chat service) Slate (web publication) smartphone culture Smith, Adam social capital and American Constitution baseball metaphor and cities ‘deepening’ definition/nature of and dematerialization and developing economies and erosion of institutions of firms and companies and good government and housing wealth and immigration and income distribution during industrial revolution and liberalization and nation-states productive application of and rich-poor nation gap and Adam Smith and start-ups social class conflict middle classes and NIMBYism social conditioning of labour force working classes social democratic model social reform social wealth and social membership software ‘enterprise software’ products supply-chain management Solow, Robert Somalia South Korea Soviet Union, dissolution of (1991) specialization Star Trek state, role of steam power Subramanian, Arvind suburbanization Sweden Syriza party Taiwan TaskRabbit taxation telegraphy Tesla, Nikola Thatcher, Margaret ‘tiger’ economies of South-East Asia Time Warner Toyota trade China as ‘mega-trader’ ‘comparative advantage’ theory and dematerialization global supply chains liberalization shaping of by digital revolution Adam Smith on trade unions transhumanism transport technology self-driving cars Trump, Donald Twitter Uber UK Independence Party United States of America (USA) 2016 Presidential election campaign average income Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) Constitution deindustrialization education in employment in ethno-nationalist diversity of financial crisis (2008) housing costs in housing wealth in individualism in industrialization in inequality in Jim Crow segregation labour scarcity in Young America liberalization in minimum wage in political polarization in post-crisis profit rates productivity boom of 1990s real wage data rising debt levels secular stagnation in shale revolution in social capital in and social wealth surpasses Britain as leading nation wage subsidies in university education advanced degrees downward mobility of graduates MOOCs (‘massive open online courses’) and productivity see also education urbanization utopias, post-work Victoria, Queen video-gamers Virginia, US state Volvo Vox wages basic income policy Baumol’s Cost Disease cheap labour and employment growth and dot.com boom and financial crisis (2008) and flexibility and Henry Ford government subsidies and housing costs and immigration and industrial revolution low-pay as check on automation minimum wage and productivity the ‘reservation wage’ as rising in China rising in emerging economies and scarcity in service sector and skill-upgrading approach stagnation of and supply of graduates Wandsworth Washington D.C.

Washington Nationals Watt, James wealth and income distribution absurdity of inequities and capital investment challenge of labour abundance decline of ‘labour share’ economic insecurity increasing and education levels and employment trilemma global changes in 21st-century and housing wealth impact of falling wages impact of scarcity and industrial revolution during liberal era maker-taker distinction in post-war period and post-work utopias and rich/elite cities rich-poor nation gap and secular stagnation and social capital and social wealth wealth as human wild contingency of wealth see also inequality; redistribution; rich people Weil, David welfare and social-safety institutions basic income policy and big states and ethno-nationalist separatism in Nordic countries Werth, Jayson Wikipedia World Trade Organization world wars World’s Fairs, nineteenth-century Yelp YouTube About the Author RYAN AVENT is an economics correspondent for the Economist. He’s also the primary contributor to its Free Exchange blog and a contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Atlantic, and The Guardian, among other publications.


pages: 128 words: 38,187

The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff

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3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, basic income, Bretton Woods, clean water, collective bargaining, commoditize, crony capitalism, feminist movement, follow your passion, Food sovereignty, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, Khan Academy, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, means of production, performance metric, profit motive, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

In contrast, Social Security is a benefit enjoyed by nearly everyone: only 4 percent of the population is excluded from receiving Social Security benefits, and 87 percent of Americans want to preserve Social Security for future generations. Creating the space to radically de-commodify our lives will require that social gains such as free higher education, single-payer universal health care, and a minimum basic income be made available to everyone regardless of their income. The immediate goals of projects and ideas that embrace the principles of democratization and de-commodification may vary, but their long-term goal is always to make people’s everyday lives better. To achieve these goals, groups and projects must emphasize a final principle: redistribution. The top 20 percent of households control nearly 90 percent of all wealth in the United States, while the super-elite (the top 0.1 percent) control more than 20 percent of all wealth.


pages: 406 words: 113,841

The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives by Sasha Abramsky

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, bank run, basic income, big-box store, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, job automation, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, microcredit, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

Today, with modern-day technological advances, such a system would be easy to implement: anyone without work and without income could qualify for, say, a guaranteed subsidy that would take them somewhere between a quarter or halfway toward the poverty line—on the assumption that food stamps and other assistance would bring them up closer to the poverty line itself. It would provide enough income to avoid complete destitution, but not enough to be an attractive long-term alternative to work. The country could, argued Almaz Zelleke—a Harvard-educated political scientist who worked as associate dean for academic affairs at New York’s New School until 2011, when she left to devote more time to campaigning on behalf of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network—set a minimum of $10,000 per adult per year. Come tax time, anyone who had earned less than that amount the previous year would have the difference made up to them in the form of a government check. Or, if policy makers wanted to go down a more ambitious route, she explained, they could establish an annual income floor of between $6,000 and $7,000 per year to every man, woman, and child in the country—an idea embraced in the past by Milton Friedman and Martin Luther King Jr.

Friedman suggested that it was a way to break the infamous poverty trap created by the then-current welfare system—which penalized people when they began work by immediately cutting their benefits—by encouraging people to find employment rather than to stay at home in exchange for government aid.2 Ultimately, he hoped, this income-tax-in-reverse would come to replace the entire cash-based welfare system.3 Despite President Richard Nixon’s sympathy for the idea—at about the same time that the country’s thirty-seventh president came out in support of mandatory health insurance, provided by employers or through public subsidies, he also proposed a Family Assistance Plan that, if it had passed, would have essentially created a guaranteed baseline income for all Americans—ultimately Friedman’s more ambitious ideas around the negative income tax didn’t materialize.4 It was as politically difficult a sell in the 1960s as Zelleke’s updated version of the basic income guarantee would be nearly a half-century later. It smacked of “the dole,” of government control, of bureaucracy run amok. Instead, what emerged a few years after Friedman began floating his concept was a de facto income subsidy for low-wage workers, in the form of the EITC. In a polarized age, the tax credit was one of the few big institutional developments that could command, if not total, then at least widespread bipartisan support.

Because workers are given a baseline income in this model regardless of whether they have jobs or not, they have less incentive to accept lower-paid employment, and thus higher wage levels are preserved. You want me to work? Sure. But you’re going to have to pay a wage that I can reasonably be expected to live on. In theory, there’s no reason that the federal government couldn’t create a framework, similar to the ones discussed earlier, for a basic income guarantee nationally. Nor is there a reason that other states shouldn’t take Alaska’s lead and themselves introduce dividend funds to be distributed from revenues gained by more effectively taxing the use of scarce natural resources and the pollution generated by industries within the states. Politically, given current rhetoric around taxes and government spending, this would be an extraordinarily hard sell.


pages: 164 words: 57,068

The Second Curve: Thoughts on Reinventing Society by Charles Handy

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Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, bonus culture, British Empire, call centre, Clayton Christensen, corporate governance, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, Edward Snowden, falling living standards, future of work, G4S, greed is good, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, late capitalism, mass immigration, megacity, mittelstand, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, sharing economy, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Veblen good, Walter Mischel

As it is, with such an abundance of cheap subsidised labour on offer, there is no incentive to invest in new equipment or in training to improve productivity. Make labour expensive and employers will have to respond. It would be a Second Curve that might be nasty but nice in the end. It would be nasty because it would put many out of work. Nevertheless it would cost less overall to support those out of work in community work, training and education than keeping many more of them in subsidised and unproductive jobs. Some argue for a ‘basic income’ scheme, an income given to all citizens above and between certain ages, enough for a basic standard of living, but not big enough to deter anyone from taking on paid work. The Swiss will shortly have a referendum on such a scheme set at 30,000 Swiss francs (around £20,000). Such schemes, although superficially attractive, have always proved economically unrealistic. The proposed reform to the British benefit system, if it works, will be, in effect, a guarantee of income support to the worst off, a partial basic income.


pages: 95 words: 6,448

Mending the Net: Toward Universal Basic Incomes by Chris Oestereich

basic income, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, profit motive, rent-seeking, The Future of Employment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, universal basic income

Mending the Net Toward Universal Basic Incomes Chris Oestereich Mending the Net: Toward Universal Basic Incomes by Chris Oestereich Copyright © 2016 by The Wicked Problems Collaborative LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and pages where permission is specifically granted by the publisher or author(s). The authors and publisher assume no responsibility for any errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for damages that may result from the use of information contained within. First Edition Publisher: The Wicked Problems Collaborative LLC 1) Economics 2) Sociology 3) Politics 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 The Wicked Problems Collaborative connect@wickedproblemscollaborative.com @WPCollaborative http://wickedproblemscollaborative.com Cover photo: Nikodem Nijaki (under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license) Contents Opening Volley Introduction 1.

If I want to spend all my time helping others, but no one is willing to pay me enough to cover my needs, I’d better have deep enough pockets to live off of. But what if we had a different system, one in which our primary needs were taken care of? What might that system look like? A universal basic income program, that would help everyone take care of their needs, is one possible answer to that question. Can it help? Given a monthly payment that set a moderate income floor, but didn’t remove the support provided by other safety net programs (things like Medicare, SNAP, and WIC), the question about universal basic incomes is not whether they would help those who are struggling to make ends meet (they would), but whether they might create any undesirable macroeconomic effects like runaway inflation, so that’s something I think we should take great care in thinking through.

Many will seek to demonize such a program, but given a fair shake, solidarity can—and likely will—triumph. Is it a perfect cure-all? Universal basic incomes appear to have a lot to offer in improving the way that society functions, but we shouldn't expect them to fix our every economic woe. It may seem obvious, or even ridiculous, to state that, but in proposing an idea that would be a significant departure from the way our economy currently functions, it’s incumbent on agitators to be honest about what they believe the changes could and could not achieve, as well as about any potential downsides those changes might foster. With that in mind, I believe that universal basic incomes would help deliver more broadly just economic outcomes, in which suffering due to financial shortcomings could be greatly reduced.


pages: 424 words: 115,035

How Will Capitalism End? by Wolfgang Streeck

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, market bubble, means of production, moral hazard, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, open borders, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, post-industrial society, private sector deleveraging, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber for X, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

What precisely it will look like, and what will come after socialism or with it, Collins leaves open, and he is equally agnostic on the exact mode of the transition. Revolutionary the change will be – but whether it will be a violent social revolution that will end capitalism or a peaceful institutional revolution accomplished under political leadership cannot be known beforehand. Heavy taxation of the super-rich for extended public employment or a guaranteed basic income for everyone, with equal distribution and strict rationing of very limited working hours by more or less dictatorial means à la Keynes14 – we are free to speculate on this as Collins’s ‘stripped-down Marxism’ does not generate predictions as to what kind of society will emerge once capitalism will have run its course. Only one thing is certain: that capitalism will end, and much sooner than one may have thought.


pages: 121 words: 36,908

Four Futures: Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase

3D printing, Airbnb, basic income, bitcoin, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, fixed income, full employment, future of work, high net worth, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), iterative process, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, litecoin, mass incarceration, means of production, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, postindustrial economy, price mechanism, private military company, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart meter, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck

So in theory, this is one possible long-term trajectory of a world based on intellectual property rents rather than on physical commodity production using human labor. What Gorz is talking about is something like the universal basic income, which was discussed in the last chapter. Which means that one long-run trajectory of rentism is to turn into communism. But here the class of rentier-capitalists will confront a collective action problem. In principle, it would be possible to sustain the system by taxing the profits of profitable firms and redistributing the money back to consumers—possibly as the universal basic income, but possibly in return for performing some kind of meaningless make-work. But even if redistribution is desirable from the standpoint of the class as a whole, any individual company or rich person will be tempted to free-ride on the payments of others and will therefore resist efforts to impose a redistributive tax.

Whereas if we assume the replicator, as in previous chapters, this is not really the problem. For consumer goods at least, people can produce whatever they want, for themselves. However, the resource-constrained future still faces the problem of managing consumption. That is, we need some way of allocating the scarce inputs that feed the replicator. Here the universal basic income, introduced in Chapter 1, could be useful once again. In the context we are describing in this chapter, universal basic income plays a quite different function than wages in capitalism. And it will work to ration and plan out consumption through the mechanism of the market. This might seem an odd thing to say, in a chapter titled “Socialism.” And there are some socialists who see the market as inherently incompatible with a desirable post-capitalism.

Brynjolfsson and McAfee are perhaps the best-known prophets of rapid automation, but their work fits into an exploding genre. Software entrepreneur Martin Ford, for example, explores similar terrain in his 2015 work Rise of the Robots.8 He relies on much of the same literature and reaches many of the same conclusions about the pace of automation. His conclusions are somewhat more radical—a guaranteed universal basic income, which will be discussed later in this book, occupies a place of prominence; much of the rival literature, by contrast, offers little more than bromides about education. That many people are writing about rapid and socially dislocating automation doesn’t mean that it’s an imminent reality. As I noted above, anxiety about labor-saving technology is actually a constant through the whole history of capitalism.


The Blockchain Alternative: Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Theory by Kariappa Bheemaiah

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, bank run, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, cellular automata, central bank independence, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, constrained optimization, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, deskilling, Diane Coyle, discrete time, distributed ledger, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, inventory management, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, large denomination, liquidity trap, London Whale, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nikolai Kondratiev, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, precariat, pre–internet, price mechanism, price stability, private sector deleveraging, profit maximization, QR code, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Real Time Gross Settlement, rent control, rent-seeking, Satoshi Nakamoto, Satyajit Das, savings glut, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, supply-chain management, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Von Neumann architecture, Washington Consensus

Short-term GDP21 growth can no longer be the primary objective of governments. Thus, as the definition of capitalism begins to involve the democratic state to a greater degree, we should also use this opportunity to see how we can address the problems of technological unemployment, education, productivity changes, inequality, and ageism. One solution pathway could lie with helicopter money and universal basic income. Helicopter Drops and Universal Basic Income Refresh your memory and think about the last time you heard these “keywords”: technological unemployment, income inequality, stagnant wages, poverty, regulatory gridlock. If you are a regular follower of the news, then the chances are that you may have heard these terms almost on a weekly basis. But these terms are large-scaling in nature and talk about multiple socioeconomic or political issues.

It is this dividend that I refer to as the Universal Basic Income (UBI). A UBI is an income that is granted unconditionally to every member of a political community. As per the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) there are criteria to be adhered to when talking about UBI: 1. It is an income that is given to secure existence and allow social participation. 2. It is an individual right’s claim and is paid to individuals rather than households. 143 Chapter 3 ■ Innovating Capitalism 3. It is payable without means-tested verification. 4. There is no obligation to work. It is paid irrespective of any income from other sources. 5. It is paid without requiring the performance of any work or the willingness to accept a job if offered. While the concept of Universal Basic Income was not devised with technological unemployment in mind, it is increasingly bearing relevance to the current economic diaspora.

The book is a general read but offers readers a look into how key persons are thinking about the Blockchain, while offering a dictionary of whom to follow in this space. Chapter 3 Following is a list of literature resources for learning about Universal Basic Income (UBI): • “The Simple Analytics of Helicopter Money: Why It Works – Always” (2014), Willem H. Buiter • The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (2011), Guy Standing • Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (2015), Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams • Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream (2016), Andy Stern 239 Index „„         A Aadhaar program, 80 Agent Based Computational Economics (ABCE) models complexity economists, 196 developments, 211–213 El Farol problem and minority games, 207–210 Kim-Markowitz Portfolio Insurers Model, 204 Santa Fe artificial stock market model, 205–207 Agent based modelling (ABM), 180–181 aggregate behavioural trends, 197 axiomatisation, linearization and generalization, 184 black-boxing, 199 bottom-up approach, 197 challenge, 198 computational modelling paradigm, 196 conceptualizing, individual agents, 198 EBM, 197 enacting agent interaction, 202–204 environmental factors, 198 environment creation, 201–202 individual agent, 199 parameters and modelling decisions, 199 simulation designing, 199–200 specifying agent behaviour, 200–201 Alaska, 147 Anti-Money Laundering (AML), 67 ARPANet, 54 Artificial Neural Networks (ANN), 222–224 Atlantic model, 75 Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), 140 Autor-Levy-Murnane (ALM), 85 „„         B Bandits’ Club, 32 BankID system, 79 Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), 143 Bitnation, 69 Blockchain, 45, 151 ARPANet, 54 break down points, 56–57 decentralized communication, 54 emails, 54 fiat currency, 123 functions, 55 Jiggery Pokery accounts, 107 malware, 54 protocols, 57 Satoshi, 55 skeleton keys, 54, 63–64 smart contract, 58 TCP/IP protocol, 54 technological and financial innovation, 54 trade finance, 101–102 Blockchain-based regulatory framework (BRF), 108 BlockVerify, 68 „„         C Capitalism, 83 ALM hypotheses and SBTC, 90 Blockchain and CoCo, 151 canonical model, 87 © Kariappa Bheemaiah 2017 K.


pages: 443 words: 98,113

The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay by Guy Standing

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, first-past-the-post, future of work, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, information retrieval, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mini-job, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, openstreetmap, patent troll, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, remote working, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, structural adjustment programs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the payments system, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Similarly, had the UK’s £375 billion of QE been diverted to pay a basic income, everyone legally resident in Britain could have received about £50 a week for two years.20 Inequality would have been reduced, economic security improved, growth boosted. Instead, asset bubbles, debt, homelessness and food banks have grown. As spending cuts mount, politicians and financial elites should not be surprised when the anger turns on them. An alternative approach is needed. A pilot basic income scheme would give policymakers a good opportunity to see if and how it would work. In 2016, pilots were being planned in nineteen Dutch municipalities, led by the city of Utrecht, and in Finland, where the government put aside funds (initially €20 million) for a pilot to last two years. On the other side of the Atlantic, the provincial government in Ontario, Canada, is planning a basic income experiment, and the provinces of Quebec and Alberta have indicated interest.


pages: 370 words: 102,823

Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth by Michael Jacobs, Mariana Mazzucato

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3D printing, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business climate, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collaborative economy, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Detroit bankruptcy, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, facts on the ground, fiat currency, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, non-tariff barriers, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the built environment, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, very high income

The proliferation of free internet-based services has inspired many to innovate in networks of sharing access to possessions, exchanging time and collaborating in creative projects. This is one of the routes along which ICT enables a green economy grounded in sustainability and focused on services and personal care. Move towards some form of basic income. Providing a minimum income in the advanced countries—such as the universal basic income currently being trialled in Finland, a negative income tax and/or workfare for community projects and services—is the necessary platform for encouraging the sharing and collaborative economies, the growth of voluntary organisations and of creative endeavours that could contribute to the quality of life both at the community level and through participation in global networks. In the ‘green good life’, well-being would increasingly be measured not by possessions, but by positive experiences of healthy living, community sharing and creative involvement in networking and group activities.

China Development Bank (CDB) circular economy citizenship goods climate change and capitalism and economics and politics Paris Accord policy Club of Rome Cold War collective goods Compaq compensation contracts competition Japanese law limits perfect competition protected firms and sectors consumerism consumers behaviour benefits choice debt demand protection welfare corporate sector accountability debt financialisation Fortune 500 companies Fortune 1000 companies governance new public management (NPM) organisational models resource allocation D DARPA debt consumer corporate household hysteria private public short-term sovereign debt-to-GDP ratios decarbonisation and structural change democracy and capitalism election campaigns post-democratic politics Department of Defense Department of Energy Department of health developing countries devolution discrimination anti-discrimination laws displacement of peoples Dosi, Giovanni Draghi, Mario E economic and monetary union (EMU) economic growth and inequality and innovation and technology environmental concerns green growth zero growth economic policy and capitalism consensus-building macroeconomic policy monetary expansion reshaping economic theory economic models model of the firm neoclassical orthodox post-Keynesian education access to and skills efficiency employment growth ‘non-standard’ work energy sector storage technologies environmental impacts environmental risk damage degradation sustainability technologies euro zone debt-to-GDP ratio economic policy fiscal policy GDP growth government lending investment macroeconomic conditions private investment productivity growth recession southern countries sovereign debt unemployment European Central Bank (ECB) role European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) European Investment Bank (EIB) proposed new European Fund for Investment European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) European Stability Mechanism European Union (EU) competition law debt-to-GDP ratio de-industrialisation GDP growth government lending Growth Compact investment-led recovery macroeconomic conditions monetary expansion policy framework private investment productivity growth Stability and Growth Pact unemployment executive pay F Federal Reserve financial crash of 1929 financial crash of 2008 financial markets borrowing discrimination efficient markets hypothesis mispricing short-termism systemic risks financial regulation Finland public innovation research and development universal basic income firms business models in perfect competition productive firm First World War fiscal austerity fiscal compact fiscal consolidation fiscal deficits fiscal policy fiscal tightening food insecurity Forstater, Matthew Fortune 500 companies Fortune 1000 firms fossil fuels fracking France average real wage index labour productivity growth private debt public deficit unemployment Freeman, Chris Friedman, Milton G G4S Gates, Bill Germany average real wage index GDP green technology investment state investment bank unemployment wages global financial system globalisation and welfare state asymmetric first golden age Godley, Wynne Goldman Sachs Goodfriend, Marvin Google governments and innovation deficits failures intervention by modernisation of risk-taking Graham, Benjamin Great Depression Greece austerity bailouts debt problems GDP investment activity public deficit unemployment green technology green direction for innovation greenhouse gas emissions Greenspan, Alan Grubb, Michael H Hatzius, Jan health and climate change older people Hirschman, Albert history Integration with theory home mortgage specialists household income housing purchases value I IBM income distribution industrial revolution inequality adverse effects and economic performance China ethnicity explanation for income international trend OECD countries opportunities redistributive policies reinforcement reversing rise taxation UK wealth inflation information and communications technologies (ICT) consumer demand green direction internet of things online education planned obsolescence innovation and climate change and companies and government and growth innovative enterprise path-dependence public sector institutions European financial role Intel interest rates and quantitative easing Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) International Energy Agency (IEA) International Labour Organization (ILO) International Monetary Fund (IMF) Studies investment and theory of the firm crowding out decline in investment in innovation private private vs publicly owned firms public public–private investment partnerships investment-led growth Ireland debt problems investment activity Public deficit Israel public venture capital fund research and development Italy average real wage index debt problems GDP Income inequality unemployment J Japan average real wage index competitive advantage over US GDP wages Jobs, Steve Juncker, Jean-Claude K Kay Review Keynes, John Maynard KfW Knight, Frank Koo, Richard Krueger, Alan Krugman, Paul L labour markets insecurity of regulation structures United States labour productivity and wages declining growth public deficit unemployment Lehman Brothers Lerner, Abba liquidity crisis Lloyd George, David lobbying corporate M Maastricht Treaty Malthus, Thomas market economy theory markets behaviour failure uncertainty Marshall, Alfred Marx, Karl McCulley, Paul Merrill Lynch Mill, John Stuart Minsky, Hyman mission oriented investment monetary policy money and fiscal policy and macroeconomic policy bank money electronic transactions endogenous exogenous fiat money government bonds IOUs modern money theory quantity theory theories monopolies monopoly rents natural Moore, Gordon N NASA nanotechnology National Health Service (NHS) National Institutes of Health (NIH) national savings neoliberalism corporate Newman, Frank Newton, Isaac O Obama, Barack P patents patient capital patient finance see patient capital Penrose, Edith Piketty, Thomas PIMCO Pisano, Gary Polanyi, Karl Portugal austerity bailout debt problems GDP investment activity unemployment privatisation productivity marginal productivity theory productive firm unproductive firm – see also labour productivity public deficits public goods public organisations and change public policy and change evaluation role public service outsourcing public spending public–private investment partnerships Q quantitative easing quarterly capitalism R Reagan, Ronald recessions Reinhart, Carmen renewable energy policy rents and banks increase rent-seeking research and development (R&D) state organisations Ricardo, David risk-taking – mitigation of risk role of the state Rogoff, Kenneth Roosevelt, Franklin D.

Schumpeter, Joseph Second World War Senior, Nassau Serco share prices shareholder value short-termism and investments empirical evidence of investors’ discount rates policy implications value of future cash-flows single European market smart phones social care Solyndra Spain austerity debt problems GDP investment activity private debt unemployment stagnation economic secular state investment banks funding for green projects renewable energy investments Stirling, Andy stock market values Szczurek, Mateusz T taxation avoidance and evasion energy and materials favourable rates income tax rates inequality policy preferential treatment reform revenues short-term gains tax breaks technological revolutions consumer demand diffusion green direction green growth history recessions telecommunications Tesla Motors Thatcher, Margaret top earners Australia Canada United Kingdom United States trade unions Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) transparency Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance Turkey income inequality U unemployment Europe global southern Europe United Kingdom United States young people universal basic income United Kingdom GDP income inequality inequality investment labour productivity growth private debt public deficit Public Finance Initiative (PFI) recessions and recovery research and development sectoral financial balances support for banks top earners unemployment wages United States average real wage index business models emergency loans to banks energy policies GDP income inequality investment Japanese competition labour productivity growth National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform poverty private debt public deficit research and development sectoral financial balances Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programme top earners trickle-down strategy unemployment wages wealth US legislation Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Taxpayer Relief Act 2012 V Veblen, Thorstein venture capital venture capitalism Volcker, Paul Von Hayek, Friedrich W wages and labour productivity average real wage index higher-skilled workers legal minimum lower-skilled workers United Kingdom wealth creation welfare payments welfare state western capitalism collapse failures Wolf, Martin Woodford, Michael world economy Cambridge Alphametrics Model (CAM) Y Yellen, Janet youth unemployment


pages: 223 words: 58,732

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, call centre, carried interest, centre right, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, computer age, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, George Santayana, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precariat, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, TaskRabbit, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

In practice, he wasted little time in laying out a tax-cutting and deregulatory banquet for their delectation. In marketing they call this bait and switch. The net effect of Trump’s actual – as opposed to his rhetorical – economic agenda will be to deepen the economic conditions that gave rise to his candidacy. It is not my aim to set out a detailed policy manifesto. Every grand remedy has its downsides. Setting up a Universal Basic Income – one solution that has attracted growing support – has broad meretricious appeal. Every citizen would receive a basic income of say £15,000 a year. All other welfare benefits would be scrapped, which would fund the whole thing. A UBI would cushion the losers in bad times and give them a springboard during the good. At a stroke it would also get rid of the vast bureaucratic apparatus that decides who qualifies for benefits and who doesn’t.

., 201 Thoreau, Henry David, 127–8 Thrower, Randolph, 132 Tillerson, Rex, 147–8, 161 Toil Index, 35–6 Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, 73, 167 transport, 54, 55, 56–7, 58, 61; self-driving vehicles, 54, 57, 60, 68 Trump, Donald: admiration for Putin, 7, 129, 135; and America First movement, 117; autocratic/authoritarian nature of, 133, 169, 171, 178–9; Bannon as Surkov of, 173; Chinese view of, 85–6, 140; confusion as strategic goal, 79, 86, 127, 128, 130, 131, 173, 178–9, 195–6; foreign policy, 167–70, 178–80, 181–4; ignorance of how other countries think, 161, 167–9; inaugural address, 135, 146; Andrew Jackson comparisons, 113–14; and male voters, 57; as mortal threat to democracy, 97, 104, 111, 126, 133–6, 138, 139, 161, 169–70, 178–84, 203–4; and Muslim ban, 135, 181, 182; narcissism of, 170; need for new Mark Felt/Deep Throat, 136; and nuclear weapons, 175, 176; offers cure worse than the disease, 14, 181; plan to deport Mexican immigrants, 114, 135; poorly educated as base, 103, 123; promised border wall, 94–5; protectionism of, 19–20, 73, 149; and pro wrestling, 124; stealing of the left’s clothes, 101, 103; stoking of racism by, 97; support for plutocracy, 193, 195, 196, 199–200; and Taiwan, 145, 166–7, 168; targeting of Muslims, 135, 181–3, 195–6; and Twitter, 70, 146; and UFC, 126; urban–hinterland split in 2016 vote, 47–8, 119, 120, 130, 135; and US political system, 131, 133–5; US–China war scenario, 145–53, 161; victory in US presidential election, 5, 6–7, 11–12, 15, 28, 47–8, 79, 87, 96–8, 111, 120, 194–5 Trump: The Game (board game), 7 Tsai Ing-Wen, 151 Tunisia, 12, 82 Turkey, 12, 82, 137, 140, 175 Twitter, 34, 53, 70, 146 Uber, 63 UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), 125–6, 127 UK Independence Party (UKIP), 90, 98, 100, 101–2, 190; xenophobia during Brexit campaign, 100–1 Ukraine: Orange Revolution (2004), 79; Putin’s annexation of Crimea (2014), 8, 173 United States of America (USA): 1968 Democratic Convention, 188–9; 2016 presidential election, 5, 6–7, 11–12, 15, 28, 47–8, 79, 87–8, 91–8, 119, 130, 133, 135; 9/11 terrorist attacks, 79–80, 81, 182; America First movement, 117; civil rights victories (1960s), 190; ‘complacent classes’ in, 40; Constitution, 112–13, 163; and containment of China, 25–6, 145–6, 157–61, 165; decline of established parties, 89; declining hegemony of, 14, 21–2, 26–8, 140–1, 200–1; domestic terrorist attacks, 182, 183; elite–heartland divide, 47–8, 119, 130, 135; foreign policy since WW2, 183–4; gig economy, 63–5; gilded age, 42–3; growth after 2008 crisis, 30–1; growth of inequality in modern era, 43, 44–8, 49, 50–1; history in popular imagination, 163; Lend-Lease aid to Britain, 169; middle-income problem in, 35–41; Monroe Doctrine (1823), 164–5; murder rate in suburbs, 47; nineteenth-century migration to, 41; Operation Iraqi Freedom, 8, 81, 85, 156; opioid-heroin epidemic, 37–8; Patriot Act, 80; political system, 112–13, 131–6, 163; post-Cold War triumphalism, 6, 71; primacy in Asia Pacific, 26, 157, 160–1; racial/ethnic make-up of, 94–6; relations with Soviet Union see Cold War; relative decline of, 170; ‘reverse white flight’ in, 46; technological leap forward (from 1870), 58–9; vanishing class mobility in, 43–6; ‘war on terror’, 80–1, 140, 183; Washington’s ‘deep state’, 133–4 Universal Basic Income (UBI) proposals, 196–7 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 8–9, 10 Vance, J.D., 108 Venezuela, 82 Versailles Conference (1919), 154 Vienna, Congress of (1814–15), 7 Vietnam, 166 Wallace, George, 113 Walters, Johnnie M., 132 ‘war on terror’, US, 80–1, 140, 183 Warsh, Kevin, 150 Washington Consensus, 29–30, 71, 77, 78–9, 158–9 Washington Post, 132 Weber, Max, 162 welfare systems, 42, 101–3, 191, 198 Western thought: on China, 158–9, 161–2; conceit of primacy of, 4–5, 8–9, 85, 158–9, 162; declining influence of, 200–1; idea of progress, 4, 8, 11–12, 37; modernity concept, 24, 162; non-Western influences on, 24–5; see also democracy, liberal; liberalism, Western WhatsApp, 54 White, Hugh, 25, 158 Wilders, Geert, 102 Wilentz, Sean, 114 Williamson, John, 29 Wilson, Woodrow, 115 Woodward, Bob, 132 Wordsworth, William, 3 World Bank, 84 World Trade Organization (WTO), 26, 72, 149, 150 Wright, Thomas, 180 WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), 124–5 Xi Jinping, 19–20, 26, 27, 146, 149, 168, 170; and US–China war scenario, 150, 152 Yellen, Janet, 150 Yeltsin, Boris, 78, 79 Young, Michael, 45–6 YouTube, 54 Zakaria, Fareed, 13, 119


pages: 236 words: 67,953

Brave New World of Work by Ulrich Beck

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, full employment, future of work, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, job automation, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, McJob, means of production, mini-job, postnationalism / post nation state, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

With the basic funding of civil labour, however, it creates a direct source of legitimacy for itself. Three advantages are commonly mentioned by writers making the case for civic money: Facilitation of a low-wage sector, thereby combating long-term unemployment among the low-skilled losers of globalization. Prevention of income-poverty in general, encouragement of time out for further education, civil labour, etc. Reduction of the poverty bureaucracy.104 Often the plea for a guaranteed basic income or civic money is linked to the aim of freeing the poor from their poverty. This is doubtless an important and honourable aim, but on closer scrutiny it has more to do with ‘crisis management’, with pushing the poverty rate, like the crime rate, below a certain critical threshold, so that ‘order’ is maintained in society and politicians can present themselves at elections as effective operators.


pages: 353 words: 81,436

Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism by Wolfgang Streeck

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, banking crisis, basic income, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, David Graeber, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial repression, fixed income, full employment, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, means of production, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Occupy movement, open borders, open economy, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, profit maximization, risk tolerance, shareholder value, too big to fail, union organizing, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

Schäfer, ‘Krisentheorien der Demokratie: Unregierbarkeit, Spätkapitalismus und Postdemokratie’, Der modern Staat, vol. 2/1, 2009, pp. 159–83. 26 In his dissertation of 1967, Claus Offe wrote: ‘The concept of a social order based on performance is actually becoming senseless…in view of the fact that advanced forms of industrial work make irrelevant the category of individual capacities manifested in competition’ (C. Offe, Leistungsprinzip und industrielle Arbeit: Mechanismen der Statusverteilung in Arbeitsorganisationen der industriellen ‘Leistungsgesellschaft’, Frankfurt/ Main: Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 1970, p. 166; emphasis in the original). The book prefigures later arguments for a student wage and a guaranteed basic income. 27 A. Gorz, Strategy for Labor, Boston: Beacon Press, 2000 [1967]; A. Gorz, Critique de la division du travail, Paris: Galilée, 1973. 28 Streeck, ‘Citizens as Customers’. 29 Overwhelmed by the force with which reality sped away from the ascetic imagery of Critical Theory, sociologists generally stopped referring to ‘false needs’ or ‘false consciousness’ – concepts that had been highly popular a short time before. 30 In this respect, the role of immigrants – whose numbers steadily increased in the 1970s – was similar to that of women. 31 W.


pages: 309 words: 86,909

The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Richard Wilkinson; Kate Pickett

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basic income, Berlin Wall, clean water, Diane Coyle, epigenetics, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, God and Mammon, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, moral panic, offshore financial centre, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Tax and benefit policies are the most obvious way. Other influential areas of policy include minimum wage legislation, education policies, the management of the national economy, whether unemployment is kept to low levels, whether different rates of VAT and sales taxes are applied to necessities and luxuries, provision of public services, pension policies, inheritance taxes, negative income tax, basic income policies, child support, progressive consumption taxes,351 industrial policy, retraining schemes, and many more. But in this chapter we have also suggested more fundamental changes to ensure that income differences are subject to democratic control and greater equality becomes more deeply rooted in the social fabric. At this stage, creating the political will to make society more equal is more important than pinning our colours to a particular set of policies to reduce inequality.


pages: 283 words: 73,093

Social Democratic America by Lane Kenworthy

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, basic income, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, David Brooks, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, Kenneth Arrow, labor-force participation, manufacturing employment, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, school choice, shareholder value, sharing economy, Skype, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, universal basic income, War on Poverty, working poor, zero day

The idea originated with Milton Friedman, and Congress gave a version of it serious consideration in the early 1970s.147 Today, it is supported by some on the left, most prominently Philippe Van Parijs, and some on the right, such as Charles Murray.148 On the left, the argument in favor focuses on the potential enhancement of freedom—specifically, freedom from work. In the words of Van Parijs: A basic income would serve as a powerful instrument of social justice: it would promote freedom for all by providing the material resources that people need to pursue their aims.…A UBI [universal basic income] makes it easier to take a break between two jobs, reduce working time, make room for more training, take up self-employment, or join a cooperative. And with a UBI, workers will only take a job if they find it suitably attractive.… If the motive in combating unemployment is not some sort of work fetishism—an obsession with keeping everyone busy—but rather a concern to give every person the possibility of taking up gainful employment in which she can find recognition and accomplishment, then the UBI is to be preferred.149 For proponents on the right, the chief advantage is reduction in the deadweight costs of public social programs.

The Role of Cash Transfers and Household Taxes.” Chapter 4 in Growing Unequal? Paris: OECD. Whiteford, Peter. 2009. “Transfer Issues and Directions for Reform: Australian Transfer Policy in Comparative Perspective.” Kensington, Australia: Social Policy Research Center. Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW). 2011. “Living Below the Line: Economic Insecurity and America’s Families.” Washington, DC. Widerquist, Karl. 2013. “Is Universal Basic Income Still Worth Talking About?” Pp. 568–584 in The Economics of Inequality, Poverty, and Discrimination in the 21st Century. Edited by Robert Rycroft. New York: Praeger. Wilensky, Harold L. 1975. The Welfare State and Equality. Berkeley: University of California Press. Wilensky, Harold L. 2002. Rich Democracies. Berkeley: University of California Press. Wilentz, Sean. 2008. The Age of Reagan.


pages: 279 words: 76,796

The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives by Lisa Servon

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, basic income, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, employer provided health coverage, financial exclusion, financial independence, financial innovation, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, gig economy, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, Lyft, M-Pesa, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, precariat, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, too big to fail, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

Planning for the future shouldn’t involve the kind of tradeoffs today’s young people are facing—whether to invest in themselves by pursuing an advanced degree or forgo it and take care of their parents, whether to go to college when that decision might mean decades of indebtedness and the inability to own a home or have a child. When people invest in their own education—their human capital—it’s good for all of us because human capital increases productivity, which helps fuel the economy. We have good reason to care about one another’s financial health. There is more than one way to tackle this much larger set of problems, and many ideas exist: creating a universal basic income, implementing a federal jobs-creation program, providing greater subsidies for childcare, housing, education, and health care. We have the resources and the ideas. What we need now is political will. In addition, we need to rethink our assumptions about the way people make decisions. Most people have very good reasons for doing what they do with their money. The job of policymakers and financial-services providers is, first, to understand these choices and the needs that drive them without prejudgment, and second, to make financial systems work better and enable people to make sound choices.

See Truth in Lending Act TransUnion, 70, 151 trust in banks, xix, 44–45, 111–12, 118, 146 business practice tricks and, 34, 36 in check cashing, xix in informal savings and loans, xv, 124–27, 131–34 in innovation, 146 of millennials, 111–12, 118 Truth in Lending Act (TILA, 1968), 200n43, 209n68 U un- and underbanked, xvi–xvii, 44, 147, 165. See also financial exclusion underground economy. See informal savings and loans unemployment, 50, 64, 73–74, 107–8 Uniform Small Loan Laws, 65, 224n163 universal basic income, 168 universal financial health, 166–67 Urban Institute, 175 US Financial Diaries, 203n52 V Vazquez, Raul, 162–64 Venkatesh, Sudhir, 127–28 Venmo app, 112–13 Virginia Poverty Law Center, 96–97, 184 Visa, 55, 71–72 W wages. See income Warren, Elizabeth, 39–40, 69–70 Washington Mutual, 36 Watson Grote, Mae, 31 wealthy people, xii, 6, 26, 29, 85 Weinstein, John, 84–86, 90–91, 184 welfare, 3, 11–12, 18, 21–22, 85, 94 Wells Fargo, 31, 37, 87 white people, 3, 7–8, 41–42, 86–87 Wiggins, Dana, 96–97, 101 Y young adults.


pages: 222 words: 70,132

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

This is not a world any of us wants to live in, let alone work in. Already in the United States we know that the labor-force participation rate for men between the ages of twenty-five and fifty-four who have only a high school diploma is at historic lows as this chart demonstrates. The only way out of this crisis—to realize Andreessen’s vision of six billion people dabbling in art, science, and culture—is to have some version of a universal basic income (UBI), free health care, and a deep reduction in the length of the workday. Already some employers in Sweden are cutting their workday to six hours, and Finland is experimenting with a guaranteed income. These are not impossible goals, yet Andreessen can still posit a future in which a deep social safety net exists without the most modest proposed changes to the status quo, such as free college tuition and universal health care.

If the Internet started out both decentralized and democratic, why can’t we return to that state? I am under no illusion that this would be an easy process or that I have the correct strategy. I am not going to try to address the larger issue of whether robots and artificial intelligence are going to lead to a world without jobs, for that would take a book in itself. I have suggested that policy makers begin exploring a universal basic income, or UBI, a concept that has support on both the left and right. It does seem to me that to ignore the dystopian possibility that software will “eat the world” would be foolhardy. Just because some techno-optimists continue to insist that old jobs will be replaced by new jobs we can’t imagine yet does not mean it is true. Google’s AlphaGo artificial intelligence system may have bested the world’s greatest Go player, but I’m not worried that it’s going to replace our greatest musicians, filmmakers, and authors, even though an NYU artificial intelligence laboratory has programmed a robot named Benjamin to be a screenwriter.


pages: 357 words: 94,852

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein

Airbnb, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collective bargaining, Corrections Corporation of America, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy transition, financial deregulation, greed is good, high net worth, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, income inequality, Internet Archive, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, women in the workforce, working poor

Security comes from community, from solidarity. Security is based on how solid my ties are, not how much I own. • How do we build the public sector so we, the public, feel part of it? We should all feel ownership over public housing, public resources. • How can we ensure that informal and unpaid work around caregiving, domestic work, and land care is recognized and valued in a just transition? • What should a guaranteed basic income look like? • Climate justice is indivisible from decolonization. How do we imagine reparations to the people most impacted by extractive industries and climate change? And on all our minds as so many thousands of refugees continued to flee their homes in search of safety: • Migrants are not looking at the climate crisis. They are in the climate crisis. Lead with Values, Not Policies My role in all this was to listen closely to the two days of conversations, notice common themes, and come up with a rough first draft, which everyone would have an opportunity to revise.


pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, peer-to-peer rental, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, Zipcar

In this chapter, I highlight the labor issues central to shaping this future of work. First, I examine the current debate on the employment status of sharing economy workers and proposed expansions to the US worker categorization model. Next, I ask, how do we ensure that a social safety net is available to people whose chosen form of work is something other than full-time employment? In the long run, a universal basic income may be socially desirable, although crafting policy that shares the funding of a portable safety net among the individual, the marketplace, and the government may be more politically feasible. Third, I conjecture that platforms facilitating genuine entrepreneurship at a small scale will lead to more inclusive growth than those whose platform-provider relationship is more hierarchical, and outline over 20 metrics that might help identify the right kind of platform-based entrepreneurship.

A simple extension might instead lower income volatility between weeks or months, based on a historical average earnings stream. A bolder possibility along these lines is embodied in the idea of a fixed monthly income guaranteed by the government. While this idea may seem quite extreme, it is a vision whose advocates range from the social entrepreneur Peter Barnes, whose book With Liberty and Dividends for All discusses the desirability of a universal basic income,21 to the venture capitalist Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures, who spoke about basic income at his TEDxNewYork talk in November 2014. In her entertaining Medium post “Silicon Valley’s Basic Income Bromance,” Lauren Smiley discusses the diverse base of support for basic income across a variety stakeholders in the technology industry. The underlying idea of a basic income is really simple.


pages: 215 words: 56,215

The Second Intelligent Species: How Humans Will Become as Irrelevant as Cockroaches by Marshall Brain

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Amazon Web Services, basic income, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, digital map, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, income inequality, job automation, knowledge worker, mutually assured destruction, Occupy movement, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Stephen Hawking, working poor

In addition to these new virtual positions, here is another option: As human jobs are eliminated in the near future by automation – for example truck drivers, teachers, waitresses, factory workers, etc. - all of the jobs remain on the books and convert to virtual jobs, creating new revenue streams for the Basic Income. Prices do not change much, if at all, under this system. Over time we grow the Basic Income revenue streams and increase the Basic Income payments so that it provides a living wage for every citizen. The key point here is simple. It is easy to get a Basic Income for everyone started, and to provide increasing amounts of money to recipients of the Basic Income over time. By doing it we welcome instead of dread the robotic takeover of the workplace. Eventually, everyone in society is on a permanent vacation made possible by their Basic Income checks. The new design of our society provided by the Basic Income would recognize these four simple facts, as discussed in Section 1: Everyone in the society needs a source of income in order to live their lives.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

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23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, basic income, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Through ubiquitous surveillance and data collection, now stretching from computers to cell phones to thermostats to cars to public spaces, a handful of large companies have successfully socialized our data production on their behalves. We need some redistribution of resources, which ultimately means a redistribution of power and authority. A universal basic income, paid for in part by taxes and fees levied on the companies making fabulous profits out of the quotidian materials of our lives, would help to reintroduce some fairness into our technologized economy. It’s an idea that’s had support from diverse corners—liberals and leftists often cite it as a pragmatic response to widespread inequality, while some conservatives and libertarians see it as an improvement over an imperfect welfare system. As the number of long-term unemployed, contingent, and gig workers increases, a universal basic income would restore some equity to the system. It would also make the supposed freedom of those TaskRabbit jobs actually mean something, for the laborer would know that even if the company cares little for his welfare or ability to make a living, someone else does and is providing the resources to make sure that economic precarity doesn’t turn into something more dire.


pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E, zero-sum game

Social provision for the unemployed has improved greatly since then, and countries (for instance in southern Europe) with similar levels of unemployment today don’t seem so desperate. But if the day dawns when everyone acknowledges that more than half the population will never work again, the result will surely be a political and social crisis sufficient to oblige governments everywhere to do something about it. UBI and VR If and when the economic singularity arrives, we may need to institute what is now called the Universal Basic Income (UBI). This is a payment available to all citizens as of right, providing everyone with the living standard of today’s middle-class American. The optimistic scenario is that AI-powered robots do all the work, creating an economy of what Peter Diamandis calls radical abundance, leaving humans to pursue self-fulfilment by reading, writing, talking, playing sports and undertaking adventures.


pages: 481 words: 125,946

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, functional fixedness, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Satyajit Das, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

With machines that do some of our thinking and some of our work, we may yet approach the Marxian utopia that frees us from boring and dehumanizing labor. But this liberation comes with potential costs. Human welfare is more than the replacement of workers with machines. It also requires attention to how those who lose their jobs will support themselves and their children, how they will spend the time they once spent at work. The first issue is potentially resolved by a guaranteed basic income—an answer that begs the question of how we, as societies, distribute and redistribute our wealth and how we govern ourselves. The second issue is even more complicated. It’s certainly not Marx’s simplistic notion of fishing in the afternoon and philosophizing over dinner. Humans, not machines, must think hard here about education, leisure, and the kinds of work that machines cannot do well or perhaps at all.


pages: 293 words: 81,183

Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference by William MacAskill

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barriers to entry, basic income, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, effective altruism, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, experimental subject, follow your passion, food miles, immigration reform, income inequality, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, job automation, job satisfaction, labour mobility, Lean Startup, M-Pesa, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Nate Silver, Peter Singer: altruism, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, self-driving car, Skype, Stanislav Petrov, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, universal basic income, women in the workforce

He studied moral and political philosophy at Harvard. He considered continuing his studies at graduate school but instead pursued journalism in part because doing so gave him a platform from which to champion particularly important causes. He worked for The Washington Post and now works for Vox.com. In this position, he’s been able to promote and discuss ideas he thinks are important, such as more liberal immigration policies, a universal basic income, and the idea of earning to give. In advocacy, we would expect the distribution of impact to be highly fat-tailed: it’s a winner-takes-all environment, where a small number of thought leaders command most of the attention. We don’t have data on impact through advocacy in general, though the distribution of book sales, which one could use as a proxy, is highly fat-tailed, as is the distribution of Twitter follower counts.


pages: 346 words: 90,371

Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing by Josh Ryan-Collins, Toby Lloyd, Laurie Macfarlane, John Muellbauer

agricultural Revolution, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Bretton Woods, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, debt deflation, deindustrialization, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, garden city movement, George Akerlof, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, land tenure, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, low skilled workers, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, mortgage debt, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, place-making, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, the built environment, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, working poor, working-age population

Poorer owners of valuable land could be allowed to delay payment until they die or at the point of sale. Or they could give up a percentage of their equity in the property each year that wasn’t paid to the state or local authority, enabling the community to gain from any capital appreciation (Mayhew and Smith, 2016). Another option would be to hypothecate the proceeds of any large-scale land tax evenly across the population as some kind of universal basic income, as envisaged by Henry George ([1879] 1979), or perhaps hypothecate it to support a widely popular public service such as the National Health Service. The salience issue – that property taxes are unpopular because of their visibility – is a challenging problem. Visibility is clearly desirable from a decision-making perspective because it makes taxpayers aware of the costs of local public services, which enhances accountability.


pages: 356 words: 91,157

The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class?and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida

affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, Columbine, congestion charging, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, Gini coefficient, Google bus, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land value tax, low skilled workers, Lyft, megacity, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, occupational segregation, Paul Graham, Plutocrats, plutocrats, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, superstar cities, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, young professional

The development of mass public education in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the dramatic expansion of college and university training after World War II, promoted economic growth and helped to spur the development of a stable middle class.26 Investing more in early childhood development, especially in chronically poor neighborhoods, will increase overall human capital and add to the economy again today. Fundamentally, poverty is the absence of money. Providing every person with a guaranteed minimum income or universal basic income is the most straightforward way to combat it; and the most efficacious way to do that is through a negative income tax, which essentially returns money to the poor so that they can cover their basic needs. Such an approach is a more cost-effective and less bureaucratically cumbersome way of mitigating poverty than providing myriad direct-assistance programs for housing, food, child support, and the like.


pages: 396 words: 117,149

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos

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3D printing, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Arthur Eddington, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, Black Swan, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, constrained optimization, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, future of work, global village, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information retrieval, job automation, John Markoff, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, NP-complete, off grid, P = NP, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, planetary scale, pre–internet, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, zero-sum game

The newly unemployed majority will vote for generous lifetime unemployment benefits and the sky-high taxes needed to fund them. These won’t break the bank because machines will do the necessary production. Eventually, we’ll start talking about the employment rate instead of the unemployment one and reducing it will be seen as a sign of progress. (“The US is falling behind. Our employment rate is still 23 percent.”) Unemployment benefits will be replaced by a basic income for everyone. Those of us who aren’t satisfied with it will be able to earn more, stupendously more, in the few remaining human occupations. Liberals and conservatives will still fight about the tax rate, but the goalposts will have permanently moved. With the total value of labor greatly reduced, the wealthiest nations will be those with the highest ratio of natural resources to population. (Move to Canada now.)


pages: 320 words: 87,853

The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bonus culture, Brian Krebs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized markets, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, hiring and firing, housing crisis, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, kremlinology, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Philip Mirowski, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, Satyajit Das, search engine result page, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steven Levy, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, two-sided market, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Perhaps the health policy experts will do more to advance creativity than all the copyright policymakers combined, simply by assuring some breathing room for the inevitable throng of failures in creative industries. I know, the tired rhetorical dichotomy between good old-fashioned American capitalism and the evils of socialism will be wheeled out against this approach. But what’s more statist— a) DHS contractors busting down the doors of copyright infringers, b) an allseeing Google/YouTube/Facebook check-in system to report on what you’re watching, or c) a universal basic income that greatly reduces the need to deploy a or b? The specter of socialism becomes 206 THE BLACK BOX SOCIETY an ever more laughable distraction as the interpenetration of state and business in finance and law enforcement serves an ever narrower set of interests. On the Narrowing Divide between Government and Business The “free markets vs. state” battles that devour American political discourse refer to a duality that is increasingly more apparent than real.


pages: 504 words: 143,303

Why We Can't Afford the Rich by Andrew Sayer

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, income inequality, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, job automation, Julian Assange, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, land value tax, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, payday loans, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, popular capitalism, predatory finance, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

The areas of decline – the Detroits, Liverpools and Middlesbroughs – are also the areas in which there are huge expanses of abandoned and often poisoned land that need to be cleaned up and developed. It is ridiculous to encroach on precious rural land to build houses and shops while this is the case. Most of all, there is much work to be done to build a green economy. The restoration and improvement of the welfare state for everyone would be a big step towards a humane economy and society. As equality increased it might be possible to build support for a universal basic income to replace most specialised benefits, providing both security and a simplified welfare system. It will no doubt take a long time to reduce the unequal division of labour, given how deeply embedded it has come to be in our societies. But two things should help. First, democratising ownership and control of enterprises is likely to make it more probable that they would share out good and bad tasks more equally.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

The results of these experiments were striking because they ran counter to the popular idea that economic security undercuts the will to work. An experiment in an impoverished village in India in 2013 guaranteeing basic needs had just the opposite effect. The poor did not rest easy on their government subsidies; instead, they became more responsible and productive. It is quite likely that we will soon have the opportunity to conduct a parallel experiment in the First World. The idea of a basic income is already on the political agenda in Europe. Raised by the Nixon administration in the form of a negative income tax in 1969, the idea is currently not politically acceptable in the United States. However, that will change quickly if technological unemployment becomes widespread. What will happen if our labor is no longer needed? If jobs for warehouse workers, garbage collectors, doctors, lawyers, and journalists are displaced by technology?


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

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1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

Friedland, “Money, Sex and God: The Erotic Logics of Religious Nationalism,” Sociological Theory 20 (2002): 381–425. 48.  Robert MacBride, The Automated State: Computer Systems as a New Force in Society (Philadelphia: Chilton Book, 1967); Stanislaw Lem, Summa Technologica (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013; originally published 1964); and Thomas Wells, “The Robot Economy and the Crisis of Capitalism: Why We Need Universal Basic Income,” ABC Religion and Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), July 17, 2014, http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2014/07/17/4048180.htm. 49.  Srnicek and Williams’ book Inventing the Future would hold one end of this spectrum, while Evgeny Morozov's “The Planning Machine” would fix the other. See http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/13/planning-machine. 50.  McKenzie Wark, Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene (London: Verso, 2015); Benedict Singleton, “Maximum Jailbreak,” e-flux, July 27, 2013, http://www.e-flux.com/journal/maximum-jailbreak/. 51. 


pages: 775 words: 208,604

The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality From the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century by Walter Scheidel

agricultural Revolution, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, corporate governance, cosmological principle, crony capitalism, dark matter, declining real wages, demographic transition, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, John Markoff, knowledge worker, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, means of production, mega-rich, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, rent control, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, universal basic income, very high income, working-age population, zero-sum game

Numerous and often ambitious measures add up to a comprehensive reform package: the public sector should seek to influence technological change by “encouraging innovation that increases the employability of workers”; legislators should strive to “reduce market power in consumer markets” and revive the bargaining power of organized labor; firms should share profits with workers in ways that “reflect ethical principles” or be barred from supplying public bodies; the top income tax rate should rise to 65 percent, income from capital should be taxed more aggressively than earnings from labor, taxes on estates and gifts should inter vivos be tightened, and property taxes should be set based on up-to-date assessments; national savings bonds should guarantee a “positive (and possibly subsidized) real rate of interest on savings” up to a personal cap; a statutory minimum wage should be “set at a living wage”; every citizen should receive a capital endowment upon reaching maturity or a later date; and “the government should offer guaranteed employment at the living wage to everyone who seeks it” (which Atkinson himself concedes “may seem outlandish”). Possible add-ons include an annual wealth tax and a “global tax regime for personal taxpayers, based on total wealth.” In addition, the European Union should be persuaded to introduce “universal basic income for children” as a taxable benefit indexed to median national income. In his extended discussion of whether this could actually be accomplished, Atkinson focuses on the costs to the economy (which remain unclear); the countervailing pressures of globalization, which he hopes to counter through European or global policy coordination; and fiscal affordability. Unlike other proponents of equalizing reform measures, Atkinson also ventures an estimate of the likely effect of this package: if four major policies were implemented—higher and more progressive income taxes, an earned income discount at low income levels, substantial taxable benefits paid out for each child, and a minimum income for all citizens—the Gini coefficient of equivalized disposable income would fall by 5.5 percentage points, thereby narrowing the current inequality gap between Britain and Sweden by a little more than half.