utopia for realists
by Rutger Bregman (notes linked here from reading free download a while back – adding much from this link to below)
notes/quotes (adding notes/page#’s as re reading.. schizo ness getting to me more 2nd time around – but key perhaps is p 28 – ie: book written for extreme blinded top 5% – also noticing free download – which i’m doing the re reading with.. is diff than hard copy.. ie: hardcopy switched order of ch’s..
dl ch2 (33-55) to ch 6 – 15 hr workweek; dl ch4 (75-97) to ch 8 – race against the machine):
a map of the world that does not include utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which humanity is always landing. and when humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. progress is the realization of utopias. t – oscar wilde 1854-1900
instigating utopia everyday ness
let’s try that
1 – the return of utopia
84% of world pop still lived in extreme poverty in 1820.. 1981 dropped to 44%, and now, under 10%
i don’t know.. i mean 1\ numbers aren’t right (googling now get 17% but that’s with 1.25.. and who’s to say on the numbers 2\ numbers aren’t right thing.. ie: evicted and divide.. et al.. you can have some money and be living in poorer state than say.. h & g.. and those in ladokh – 50 yrs ago.. before we schooled them.. et al..
marsh ness – people measured and weighed..
not to quibble numbers/words.. but to question from the get go..that this is/can-ever-ongoingly-be about cash.. (ted talk)
in country i live, netherlands, a homeless person receiving public assistance today has more to *spend than the ave dutch person in 1950 and four times more than people in holland’s glorious golden age…
*spend – key issue…success defined by this..? if measuring by this.. we’re missing it/us
it is now 250 times what it was before the industrial revolution – when nearly everyone, everywhere was still poor, hungry, dirty, afraid, stupid, sick and ugly..
oh my.. rich pretty smart?.. that’s the cancer that leads us to believing bi ( any form of m\a\p ) will solve things
6 bn in 2013 have cell phone.. 4.5 bn had toilet
cell phone yet w no internet access? also thinking peepoople ness
between 1994 and 2014 number of people w internet access world wide leaped from .4% to 40.4%..
fewer people going hungry
all the while, we’re only getting smarter.. in 1962 – 41% of kids didn’t go to school, as opposed to under 10% today
?.. oh my.. was questioning stats before this.. but this.. really? getting people in a school is helping us..?
maybe this explains how we’ve become so much more civilized, w the past decade rating as the most peaceful in all of world history.. the incidence of murder, robbery, and other forms of criminality is decreasing too..
whoa.. is this accounting for the mass refugees/incarcerations/suicides..? perhaps ‘civilized’ criminalization gets a bypass on stats?
there’s no new dream to replace it because we can’t imagine a better world than the one we’ve got.. in fact, most people in wealthy countries believe children will actually be worse off than their parents.. but the real crisis of our times, of my generation, is not that we don’t have it good, or even that we might be worse off later on.. no, the real crisis is that we can’t come up w anything better.. t
let’s try this..a nother way. . as the day.
instigating utopia .. everyday.. via 8 bn of us.. free to be.. rather than to be measuring our transactions.. (bi ness et al)
should we simply stop dreaming of a better world altogether? no, of course not. but that’s precisely what is happening. ..radical ideas about a different world have become almost literally unthinkable..t
something legit diff.. and radical/root worthy.. yeah.. for sure
optimism and pessimism have become synonymous w consumer confidence or lack thereof.. we see it in journalism..stakes are not ideals but careers; in academia.. *too busy writing to read, publishing to debate… what counts is achieving targets.. quality replaced by quantity
actually.. ie: most of the too busies.. are.. too busy jumping thru hoops to garner moneys..approvals.. why bi isn’t enough to get us out of this.. begs we design for bi as temp placebo (ie: 6 months to year)
and *language as control/enclosure et al
begs a means to undo our hierarchical listening
all we care about is ‘resolving problems’..t.. as though politics could be outsourced to management consultants
ie: curiosity over decision making et al
the widespread nostalgia.. the yearning for a past that never really was.. suggests that we still have ideals, even if we have buried them alive
true progress begins w something no knowledge econ can produce: wisdom about what it means to live well.. t
we’ll see that we live in a marvelous age.. good old progress is still marching along .. a time of diminishing hunger and war and of surging prosperity and life expectancies.. but we’ll also see just how much there still is left for us.. the richest 10/5/1 % .. to do
2 forms of utopian thought
1\ utopia of the blueprint (karl popper, hannah arendt) – individual ownership prohibited, everybody obligated to love everybody… private life controlled by state.. working toward favorable median..
if the blueprint is a high res photo, the this utopia is a just a vague outline..
2\ utopia of vague outline.. not solutions but guideposts.. perfect is enemy of good – voltaire..
as one american philosopher has remarked, ‘any serious utopian thinker will be made uncomfortable by the very idea of the blueprint’.. george kateb…. ?
thomas more literally wrote the book on utopia.. coined the term.. more understood that utopia is dangerous when taken too seriously..
utopias throw open the windows of the mind.
utopias offer no ready made answers, let alone solutions. but they do ask the right questions..t
this is a book for everyone living in the land of plenty.. for everyone w a roof over their head, a reasonable salary and the opp to make the most of life..because tis’ us, the happy camper in cockaigne who need some fresh perspectives..t the time has come to imagine new utopias..
huge huge huge
this is why it’s so schizo.. it’s written for the extremely blinded 5%.. ie: jackie et al
so.. wondering (& asking him on twitter).. what % of world do you think that is.. and do you think that demographic could/should be focus to model/affect change?
after all.. history is not determined by machines, apps, and algorithms, nor is it predicted by trendwatchers. it is steered by humanity and its ideas.
the public arena should be ‘neutral’ after all yet ever before has it been so paternalistic (limits person’s/groups liberty/autonomy for presumed to be person’s/group’s own good). … values suspiciously close to those touted by .. companies that can pay form prime-time advertising. if a political party or a religious sect had even a fraction of the influence that the advertising industry has on us and our children, we’d be up in arms. but because it’s the market, we remain ‘neutral.’
if you’re not following the blueprint of a docile, content citizen, the powers that be are happy to whip you into shape.. their tools of choice? control, surveillance, and repression.
meanwhile, welfare state has increasingly shifted its focus from the causes of our discontent to the symptoms. we go to a doctor when we’re sick, a therapist when we’re sad, a …. all these services cost vast sums of money, but with little to show for it.. in u.s. where cost of healthcare is highest on planet, life expectancy for may is actually going down…
deep enough – short
not that we don’t have it good. far from it. if anything, kids today are struggling under the burden of too much pampering.
pampering..? or stifling..? suffocating from the day..
sharp rise in self esteem… a generation in which every kid has been told – you can be anything you want. you’re special explains twenge.. brought up on a steady diet of narcissism, but as soon as released into the great big world of unlimited opportunity, more and more of us crash and burn. the world, it turns out, is cold and harsh, rife with competition and unemployment.
i would say this happens sooner than we think.. telling somebody they can be anything.. but making them spend 12+ years doing what they’re told first… not about not being able to make it in world we live in.. more about.. not being us.. (wilde not us law).. by the time we are freed up time to liven in that world..
setting a person free in an uncertain world.. leads to hard work we all crave (antifragility/entropyness).. telling a person they’re free then holding them in ‘civilized’ chains/supposed-to’s .. leads to increase in ie: suicides
twenge: we all have become more fearful over last decades.. avg child living in early 90s north america was more anxious than psychiatric patients in early 50s…
world health org: depression has become biggest health problem among teens .. ad will be number one cause of illness worldwide by 2030
mental illness et al
best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads – former math whiz at facebook recently lamented…
true progress begins with something no knowledge economy can produce: wisdom about what it means to live well..t
the word utopia means both good place and no place..
what we need are alternative horizons that spark the imagination..t
ie: cure ios city
and i do mean horizons in the plural; conflicting utopias are the lifeblood of democracy after all
whatever we mean by democracy (perhaps that’s a horizon that begs an alt) … but yes.. design for non repetitive ness.. et al.. entropy… 8 billion plus daily/changing curiosities..
bertrand russell: it is not a finished utopia that we ought to desire, but a world where imagination and hope are alive and active.
2 – why we should give free money to everyone
after a couple ie’s..[ie: experiment w 13 homeless men in london 2009 – only thing they’re asked is: what do you think you need (ie: no strings)]
poor people can’t handle money. this seems to be the prevailing sentiment.. if they knew.. how could they be poor..?.. so .. to ‘help’ we rig a myriad of ingenious assistance programs with reams of paperwork.. registration systems and an army of inspectors.. all revolving around the biblical principle that ‘those unwilling to work will not get to eat’ 2 thess 3:10
? – biblical principle? or just out of context verse?
a shift ‘from welfare to workfare’ the underlying message is clear; free money makes people lazy.
except that according to he evidence.. it doesn’t..
and who’s to say what lazy is.. what leisure is.. what we could be gaining from that..
michael faye – founder of givedirectly.. : ‘i don’t think i have a very good sense of what the poor need’.. he doesn’t five people fish, or even teach them to fish. he gives them cash..
imagine we abandon cash altogether.. the time/energy that would save… with this very same trust in people.
studies (and he gives some in previous pages) from all over the world offer proof positive: free money works
charles kenny: ‘the reason poor people are poor is because they don’t have enough money.. and it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that giving them money is a great way to reduce that problem..
lists, citations of positive results of giving free (but not nec no strings) money.. ie: kids suffer less hunger/disease, grow taller, perform better at school.. and are less likely to be forced into child labor
performing better at school.. is child labor.. causing disease.. causing the death of us
plus, free cash greases the wheels of the whole economy: people buy more, and that boosts employment and incomes
whoa. huge mistake. we need to let go of any form of m\a\p
perhaps why we haven’t yet gotten to utopia .. for realists..
the great thing about money is that people can use it to buy things they need instead of things that self-appointed experts think they need..t
great.. but today we can go deeper than this.. ie: perhaps let’s try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence ..w/ubi as temp placebo.. needs met w/o money..until people forget about measuring.. w/o any form of m\a\p
and, as it happens, there is one category of product which poor people do not spend their free money on, and that’s alcohol and tobacco. major study by world bank demo’s that in 82% if all researched cases in africa, latin america, and asia.. alcohol and tobacco consumption actually declined.. .. et al
same thinking – for school. learn what they desire.. rather than what self-appointed experts thinking they need to learn. that degree of letting go.. could get us to utopia.. for realists.. real fast. exponentially/globally.
summed up findings: when poor receive no strings cash they actually tend to work harder..
imagine money as placebo.. so not seen/used.. just have access to whatever.. ie: hari rat park law.. and imagine that it’s all of us at once.. so the dance can dance.. we have no idea..
free money.. a notion already proposed by some of history’s leading thinkers
cool.. but today.. we can go way beyond free money.. to free people.. sans money.. sans any form of measuring transactions.. if we’re still measuring/validating us.. we’re still compromising us.. we have not idea..
ubi.. not merely for a few years, or developing countries alone.. or for poor.. but for everyone.. only condition.. you have a pulse.. no inspectors looking over shoulder.. et al..
again.. cool.. but not deep enough.. one ie: why spend our days on financial math..?
let’s try this mindset: nationality: human
now just take out the money part. and give everyone.. everyone.. the day.
62 – in march 73.. ie we need now but legit sans
bi: an idea whose time has come (in march 73 for 4 yrs.. 19 000 per year)
ie: a nother way
64 – bottom.. wrong 3 questions.. top.. forget.. wrong sings for success
65 – mid more wrong sighs: paid artists, continuing ed
nixon and bi 71
(after pages of stats showing how mincome (74) was successful.. how it was headed toward law.. then in 1978… shelved one and for all)
attention grabber – # of divorces jumped more than 50%.. quickly overshadowed all other stats.. as bi had evidently given women too much independence.. 2 yrs later.. error found.. there had been no change..
albert hierschman: utopias are initially attacked o three grounds: futility (it’s not possible), danger (risks are too great), and perversity (will degenerate into dystopia).. he also wrote that almost as soon as a utopia becomes reality, it often comes to be seen as utterly commonplace..
eradicating poverty in u.s. would cost only 175 bill according to economist matt bruenig’s calcs.. roughly a quarter of u.s. military spending.. a bargain compared to wars i afghanistan and iraq, which a harvard study estimated .. 4-6 trill
a system that helps solely the poor only drives a deeper wedge between them and the rest of society.
in fact, not having a job makes us deeply unhappy.. t
hugely wrong/misleading/loaded.. whalespeak
welfare = shame, humility
the growing rift between those with and those without a college degree makes it essential to give the have-nots a leg up
this is an insane sentence..
don’t get me wrong.. capitalism is a fantastic engine for prosperity.. has accomplishes wonders.. yet.. it’s preciously because we’re richer .. that it is now w/in our means to take the next step in the history of progress: to give each and every person the security of bi
oi.. let go..
these pilots give us the opp to talk differently, think differently, describe the problem differently.. – aid worker
this time around though.. because we have the means (resources.. mech to facil chaos.. et al) .. begs we model/pilot something legit diff.. something that 8 bn can leap to.. because .. because it’s an all of us thing.. the sync begs this timing ness
and that’s how all *progress begins
fuller quote – inspectors of inspectors..t
Bucky– too much
3 – the end of poverty
jane and cherokee tribe
argh to the ongoing: success is how well they do in school..
most significant was how well the money helped parents to parent
perceived silver bullet in fight against poverty: a hs diploma .. or better.. college degree
but is that all there is to it? what if poor aren’t able to help selves.. what if all incentives/info/ed are like water off a duck’s back. what if all those well-meant nudges only make situation worse..
questions.. via eldar shafir.. princeton.. he and sendhil mullainathan.. harvard.. published new theory on poverty: it’s the context..
shafir wants to establish a howl new field of science: science of scarcity…. they psych of scarcity.. on which little research has been done..
people behave differently when they perceive a thing to be scarce.. ‘scarcity mentality’ good at managing short term problems.. ie: poor people do this well
poor people are not making dumb decision because they are dumb, but because they’re living in a context in which anyone would make dumb decisions..
following ie’s of shafir/mullainathan research.. has to do with what people do in situations where money is a given.. ie: mall experiment – the mere thought of a major financial setback impaired their cognitive ability
to me.. not smart.. because.. not us.. so we’re studying us.. by studying not us..
shafir: time to start measuring our gross domestic mental bandwidth – which poverty compromises..
greater mental bandwidth equated to better child-rearing, better health, more productive employees you name it. ‘fighting scarcity could even reduce costs’ projects shafir
basing things on the way we rear children today.. on the way we do/see health today.. on employee ness.. on reducing costs.. oy.. not smart..
back to smoky mountains.. and saying ie: eliminating poverty actually generated more money .. thru reductions in crime, use of care facilities, and repetition of school grades – randall akee
according to researchers, a policy to eliminate poverty ‘could largely pay for itself’
basing us.. on made up money.. not smart
lists numbers (via greg duncan – professor at uni of calif).. for return on investment per child
granted.. would take a big program to tackle such a big problem.. a 2013 study estimate the costs of child poverty in us at as much as 500 bn a year. kids who grow up poor end up w *two years less ed attainment, **work 450 fewer hours per year, and run ***three times the risk of all round bad health that those raised in ****families that are well off
investements in ed won’t really help these kids, teh researchers say.. they have to get above the poverty line first
(on bureaucracies and hoop jumping to get money) – ie: an economist looks at these scholarships and thinks: since applying is the rational thing to do, poor students will apply. but that’s not how it works. the fruits of the scholarship fall well outside the tunnel vision of the scarcity mindset
dang.. so demeaning (tunnel vision..? wondering who has it worse..) .. perhaps it’s that we shouldn’t have to jump hoops for fake money (fruits of scholarship.. lovely).. in order to appear successful (have a degree.. a house w/debt.. a job that takes up all our days..? wtf) .. in the eyes of the beholden..
(this is so unsettling to read.. but it’s huge.. that we’re assuming to much .. and missing so much.. i hear so many voices crying.. i need you to wake up..)
so what can be done? shafir and mullainathan have a few possible solutions up their sleeves: giving needs students a hand w all that financial aid paper work for instance.. or providing pill boxes that light up to remind people to take their meds
is this real? holy crap
the nudge epitomizes an era in which politics is concerned chiefly w combating symptoms.. t
band aid solutions.. part\ial ness is killing us
as long as ineq continues to rise, the gross domestic mental bandwidth will continue to contract
the curse of ineq
money was supposed to be key to happy healthy life.. however..only to certain extent.. up to per capita gdp of roughly 5000 a year..once there’s enough food on table.. and roof that doesn’t leak and clean running water.. econ growth is no longer a guarantor of welfare.. from that point on , equality is a much more accurate predictor
rather.. equity.. everyone getting a go every day..
what should it matter if some people are filthy rich, when even those whoa re the hardest up today are better off than the kinds of a few centuries ago?
a lot. because it’s all about relative poverty
rather.. all about being slave to the day.. ie: evicted and divide. all the B and b that takes our day.. i don’t think relative ness would matter if we were in rat park.. doing the thing we can’t not do.. (if 7 bn of us were doing whatever we wanted.. we’d have no time/desire to compare).. it’s the time we waste on fuller too much ness.. and the souls we waste on supposed to’s.. that are killing/dividing/impoverishing.. us..
even if we could get to and maintain some kind of equality.. that would require we ongoingly maintain/measure it.. and we’re back to inspectors inspecting inspectors.. fuller too much ness
okay – but shouldn’t we be more concerned w equal opportunities that with equal wealth? the *factis they both matter, and these two forms of inequality are ***inextricable.. **just look at the global rankings.. when inq goes up, social mobility goes down..
dang.. this is *fact because.. **charts/rankings..
not ***inextricable (impossible to disentangle/separate/escape-from).. saying this is huge/poisonous.. this assumption.. perpetuates the premise of your ted and your book.. and so many are listening/clinging .. to your every word.. dang..
and, a point of fact, society can’t function w/o some degree of ineq. there still need to be *incentives to work, to endeavor and to excel and **money is a very effective stimulus..t.. nobody would want to live in a society where cobblers earn as much as doctors.. or rather, nobody living in such a place would want to risk getting sick
*not true.. not smart.. **only for supposed to work.. aka: slavery
let’s imagine deeper.. dang.. let’s imagine no money.. very little sickness..
even rich people suffer when ineq becomes too great.. more prone to depression, suspicion, .. ‘income ineq’ say two leading scientists who have studied 24 developed countries, ‘makes us all less happy w our lives, even if we’re relatively well-off
none of us are free ness
samuel johnson 1782: ‘poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult’.. unlike many of his contemporaries, he understood that poetry is not a lack of character. it’s a lack of cash.
oy.. we have to let go of any form of m\a\p
utah’s 2005 – answer to homeless.. free apartments…
no-strings apartments et al
drifter living on street cost govt 16 670 a year (social services, police, courts, etc) and apartment plus professional counseling.. cost 11 000
like poverty, solving the homelessness problem is preferable to merely managing it.
dutch cities in netherlands… action plan: 217 million.. free housing – feb 2006 to feb 2014 – unmitigated success… vagrancy reduced 65%, drug use down by half, beneficiaries mental/physical health improved significantly… by 2008 brought nearly 6500 homeless off streets.. then came financial crisis… budget trimmed… # of evictions rose.. in 2013 – more homeless than before program launched.. so estimated cost of relief for homeless… and found it to be highest return.. solving homelessness.. will actually free up funds
fin crisis = evicted ness
if you’re poor main problem is no money. if you’re homeless, main problem is no roof over head.. speaking of which –
in europe.. number of vacant houses is double number of homeless… in u.s. there are five empty homes for each person w/o one..t
sadly instead of trying to cure ailment, we continually opt to fight the symptoms… w police chasing vagrants around, doctors treating rough sleepers only to turn them back out on the streets…
4 – the bizarre tale of president nixon and his bi bill
the past teaches us a simple but crucial lesson: things could be different…. the past can also galvanize our imaginations..
the same man who was forced to resign after watergate in 74 had been on the verge in 69 of enacting an unconditional income for all poor families…
then martin anderson – advisor to president opposed to plan and admirer of ayn rand.. gives nixon a briefing.. that completely changed nixon’s mind.. in it.. polanyi describes one of world’s first welfare systems.. speenhamland.. early 19th cent. england.. close resemblance to bi.. in it.. polanyi claims.. poor even greater idleness… threatening very foundations of capitalism..
looked at pilots in denver and seattle…. nixon’s leading advisors.. daniel moynihan and milton friedman
nixon saw bi as means to make history.. win war on poverty.. so added work stipulation – welfare to workfare
nixon.. who dreamed of going down in history as a progressive leader forfeited a unique op to overthrow a stereotype rooted back in 19th cent england: the myth of the lazy poor….. so what was the real deal w speenhamland….on on welfare vs workfare to please congress.. didn’t please people
critics of speenhamland had acquired towering authority…far into 20th cent.. eminent thinkers – …. tocqueville… hayek.. polanyi.. would denounce it… speenhamland was textbook ie of a govt program that had,… with best intentions.. paved the road to hell
in 60- 70 experiments groundbreaking and meticulous.. but almost no influence.. whereas royal commission report based on bogus science.. yet still manage to redirect nixon 150 yrs later.. … on chadwick (secretary of commission) getting eyewitnesses to say what he wanted.. another look discovered that much of text had been written before data even collected… questions were leading..answers fixed in advance.. almost none of people interviewed were actual beneficiaries… … evidence came mostly from elite.. clergy… whose view was that poor were growing more wicked/lazy
even said commission’s secretary edwin chadwick .. had the bill in his head before the investigation even started…………… more recent research revealed speenhamland was actually a success
gray research law et al..
and if that’s not even … science of people in schools ness
on seeing that it had actually worked…
many politicians accused of not using past.. nixon opposite.. .. using very same misguided arguments applied back in 1834 (which ended up causing major bad oppressions – slaveries – abuse – oliver twist ness.. depression et al)
these arguments echoed in wealth and poverty .. the 1981 megabestseller by george gilder that would make him reagan’s most cited author and which characterized poverty as a moral problem rooted in laziness and vice..
anywhere you find poor people, you also find non poor people theorizing their cultural inferiority and dysfunction – even former nixon advisor daniel moynihan stopped believing in bi when divorce rates were initially/erroneously thought to have spike during seattle pilot program.. so did carter…
1996 – clinton finally pulled plug on welfare state…. first time since 1935.. assistance for poor seen as a favor instead of right. personal responsibility was the new buzzword
history took a diff turn…shadow of speenhamland and nixon’s misguided rhetoric laid foundation for reagan’s and clinton’s cutbacks..
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
mitchener et al.. earn a living ness
orwell – the crux of poverty.. it annihilates the future.. all that remains is surviving the here and now.. he also marvels at ‘how people take it for granted that they have a right to preach at you and pray over you as soon as your income falls below a certain level..
whole page… again and again….on war on poor… red degrading tape making us dependent on red degrading tape.. from loaded measures of success – to shaming the poor
5 – new figures for a new era
2011 – japan – 20 000 die. great depression.. netherlands flood 53 2000 die.
whoa. sounds like shock doctrine talking… doing better after disasters..
on counting gdp – child care – only if hire a nanny.. and this unpaid work.. is half of our work…… while on subject, only denmark has ever attempted to quantify the value of breastfeeding in its gdp. …. in u.s. the potential contribution of breast milk has been estimated at an incredible 110 bill a year – about the size of china’s military budget… and how lower costs of tech scarcely figure in gdp..
today the ave african with a cell phone has access to more info than pres clinton did in 90s, yet the info sector’s share of the econ hasn’t budged from 25 yrs ago, before we had the internet..
besides being blind to lots of good things, the gdp also benefits from all manner of human suffering… gridlock (goldmine for gas stations), drug abuse (rehab centers), adultery (divorce attorneys).. pollution does double duty.. one co cutting corners.. another cleaning up.. yet tree counts for nothing till you chop it down and sell it as lumber….. mental illness, obesity, pollution, crime… in terms of gdp the more the better… that’s also why the country w the planet’s highest per capita gdp the u.s. also leads in social problems...
the ceo who recklessly hawks mortgages and derivatives to lap up millions in bonuses currently contributes more to the gdp than a school packed w teachers or a factory full of car mechanics..
we in land of plenty have come to end of long and historic voyage. for more than 30 yrs now, growth has hardly made us better off, and in some cases quite the reverse. if we want a higher quality of life, we will have to take the first step in search of other means, and alt metrics.
rather.. sans metrics.. sans any form of m\a\p
the idea that the gdp still serves as an accurate gauge of social welfare is one of the most widespread myths of our times…… given our obsession with it, it’s hard to believe that just 80 yrs ago the gdp didn’t even exist.
adam smith father of modern econ.. believed that the wealth of nation was founded not only on agri but also manufacturing.. the entire service econ, by contrast – lawyers to entertainers.. roughly 2/3 of modern econ – smith argued ‘adds to the value of nothing’
it turned out, the gdp was an excellent yardstick for the power of nation in times of war… solid figures can even tip the balance between life and death… keynes 1940 essay – how to pay for the war
start of 20 th cent… u.s. govt employed 1 economist – to study birds… less than 40 yrs later… 5000
these included (5000 paid economists in 30s).. simon kuznets and milton friedman, ultimately two of the century’s most important thinkers..
really? most important thinkers..? of the century..? just saying that disses 7 bn.. not to mention the damage done
[ie: n her book The Shock Doctrine, author and social activist Naomi Klein criticized Friedman’s economic liberalism, identifying it with the principles that guided the economic restructuring that followed the military coups in countries such as Chile and Argentina. Based on their assessments of the extent to which what she describes as neoliberal policies contributed to income disparities and inequality, both Klein and Noam Chomsky have suggested that the primary role of what they describe as neoliberalism was as an ideological cover for capital accumulation by multinational corporations]
when people around 1900 talked about ‘the economy’ they usually just mean ‘society.’ but the 1950s intro’d a new generation of technocrats who invented a whole new objective: getting the ‘economy’ to ‘grow.’
they (economists) .. became a fixture in the papers.. (after ww2).. they had mastered a trick no on else could do: managing reality and predicting the future.
1953 – guideline for figuring gdp – 50 pgs.. 2008 – 722 pgs.. gdp never presented as anything less than hard science… yet this apparent precision is an illusion..
there’s no denying that gdp came in very handy during wartime.. when the enemy was at the gates and a country’s very existence hinged on production.. of tanks, planes, bombs.. et al.. during wartime it’s perfectly reasonable to borrow from the future
sounds like drug injection sites
during wartime, it makes sense to pollute the environment and go into debt. it can even be preferable to neglect your family…. and forget everything that makes life worth living.. indeed, during wartime, there’s no metric quite as useful as the gdp
alternatives.. the point of course is that the war is over..
we need a good dose of irritation, frustration and discontent to propel us forward
why ‘propel’ and why ‘forward’.. i’m not sure we need those.. and am thinking more along lines of the itch-in-8b-souls.. than irritation, frustration, discontent..
every era needs its own figures.. robert kennedy: ‘gdp measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile’ .. it’s time for a new set of figures..
1972 – bhutan proposed a switch to measuring gross national happiness… but happiness seems .. arbitrary .. as gdp.. need a good dose of irritation, frustration and discontent to propel us forward
oscar wilde: discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation
2 other options: gpi (genuine progress indicator) and isew (index of sustainable economic welfare) .. or how about the happy planet index…. e germany – gross social product..
rankings consistently conceal more than they reveal… paradoxically.. we’re living in an info age where we spend increasing amounts of money on activities about which we have little solid info
it all goes back to mozart… some things in life, like music, resist all attempts at greater efficiency..
after all, the more efficient our factories and computers, the less efficient our healthcare and ed need to be; that is, the more time we have left to attend to the old and infirm and to org ed on a more personal scale..
still poison.. let go
the richer a country becomes the more it should be spending on teachers and doctors..
? – the healthier.. the less we need doctors/teachers..
william baumol (60s): ‘we can afford to pay more for the services we need – chiefly healthcare and education .. what we may not be able to afford are the consequences of falling costs…’ ie: cars cheap.. but damage to people/earth
what are we defining healthcare and education as..? we’re not practicing them in a way that makes them basic essentials.. the way we practice them… is a bad consequence.. no?
as kevin kelly says – ‘productivity is for robots. humans excel at wasting time, experimenting playing, creating, and exploring.’ governing by numbers is the last resort of a country that no longer knows what it wants, a country w no vision of utopia..
perhaps because we need to back of the deciding all together.. the consensus ness.. of a vision. perhaps we practice.. rev of everyday life.. norton productivity law.. et al.. we need to let go of any form of m\a\p
what we need is a ‘dashboard’ complete w an array of indicators to track the things that make life worthwhile – money and growth, obviously.
things that make life worth while.. money and growth.. obviously..?
but also community service, jobs, knowledge, social cohesion. and, of course, the scarcest good of all: time.
let’s just focus on that.. perhaps all the others are irrelevants…
not money. not growth. sans any form of m\a\p
it’s precisely because we need to change our actions that we need figures to guide us.
whoa. huge red flag
inventor of gdp cautioned against including in its calculation expenditure for military, advertising and financial sector.. but his advice fell on deaf ears..
now it’s up to us to reconsider … what is growth.. what is progress… how do we as a country stack up… every era needs its own figures. in our land of plenty, we have to come up with something new.
how about – no numbers/figures. let’s disengage from measuring transactions and from validating people..
to be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization – bertrand russell
note.. already re read this ch.. was ch 2
6 – a fifteen hour workweek
if would have asked greatest economist of 20th cent what biggest challenge for 21st cent would be.. he wouldn’t have had to think twice. leisure
keynes – predicting greatest challenge in 2030 – what to do with a sea of spare time.. in 2030 will be working just 15 hours a week
yet industrial revolution.. brought about exact opposite of leisure.. explosive economic growth..
and.. too much free time an invitation to wickedness.. – english duchess
george bernard shaw – predicted in 1900 that .. workers in year 2000 would be clocking just two hours a day..
employers resisted naturally.. thought.. more free time would only result in higher crime rates, debts, and degeneration.. yet..henry ford.. in that same year.. became the first to implement a five day workweek.. people called him crazy.. then they followed in his footsteps
he found.. shorter workweek actually increased productivity.. leisure time, he observed, was a ‘cold business fact’.. a well-rested worker more effective.. besides.. no free time .. wouldn’t buy one of his cars..
took decade to catch on..
rand corp – foresaw a future in which just 2% of population would be able to produce everything society needed… working would soon be reserved for the elite
summer of 64 – asimov forecasting future.. ‘robots of 2014 would ‘neither be common nor very good’ .. cars would be cruising thru air and entire cities would be built underwater.. only one thing worried him: the spread of boredom.. mankind.. would become ‘largely a race of machine tenders..
there would be serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences’ .. psychiatry would be largest medial speciality in 2014 due to millions of people who found themselves adrift in a sea of ‘*enforced leisure.’ ‘work’ he said would become ‘the most glorious single work in the vocabulary..
key on *enforced ness..
what we need is legit freedom.. ie: a nother way
grazia.. reason to fear that *forced free time.. will bring restless tick of boredom, idleness, immorality, and increased personal violence..
74, u.s. interior dept: leisure.. may become most perplexing problem of future
mankind on brink of veritable leisure revolution
jetsons (62 – set in 2062) – george working 2 full hours.. lots have come to pass.. but no flying cars.. and most disappointing fail.. rise of leisure..
80s – workweek reduction came to a grinding halt. economic growth was translating not into more leisure, but more stuff.
70 yrs after country (us) passed 40 hr workweek in to law.. 3/4 of the labor force was putting in more than 40 hrs/week
but that’s not all.. even in countries that have seen a reduction in the individual workweek, families have nevertheless become more pressed for time.. why? it all has to do w the most important development of last decades: the feminist revolution.
futurists never saw it coming.. by jan 2010 bulk of us labor would be made up of women..where they only contributed 2-6% of family income in 70.. now .. topped 40%…… ‘my grandma didn’t have the vote, my mom didn’t have the pill, and i don’t have any time’ – dutch comedienne
at same time.. parenting much more intensive.. in u.s. working mothers actually spend more time w kids today that stay at home moms did in 70s..
work and leisure becoming increasingly difficult to disentangle.. hbs study.. 80-90 hrs week working/monitoring work. british research: smartphone has the ave employee working 11 more hrs/wk.. 460 more hrs per yr – nearly 3 wks….
asimov right that by 2014 ‘work’ would be most glorified word.. but for diff reason..we aren’t bored to death; we’re working ourselves to death… epidemic of stress…. as we hurdle 21st cent… biggest challenges aren’t leisure and boredom, but stress and uncertainty..
the death of us ness.. schooling/working ourselves to death..
precisely the main argument that has been brought to bear against the shorter workweek: we can’t afford it.. more leisure is a wonderful ideal, but it’s simply too expensive..
the solution to (almost) anything… is there anything that working less does not solve..?
psychologists have demo’d that protracted unemployment has a greater impact on well-being than divorce or the loss of a loved one. time heals all wounds, except unemployment. … but no matter how important work is in our lives, folks all over the world, … yearn for a shorter workweek..
perhaps they aren’t really yearning for employment..
we can’t all just go ahead and switch to a 20-30 hr workweek. reduction of work first has to be reinstated as a political ideal. then, we can curb the workweek step by step, trading in money for time, investing more money in education, and developing a more flexible retirement system and good provisions for paternity leave and childcare.
perhaps.. we just leap to a nother wayto live..
it all starts with reversing incentives.
or perhaps it all starts w reversing the revolution.. (have you read this..?)
we now have the means to facil that chaos..
breaking the vicous circle (tabs on each others’ hours et al) will require collective action – by companies or, better yet, by countries..
how about by each individual.. as the day. at once. for (blank)’s sake…
when people say – wouldn’t everybody just be glued to tv..?… the irony is that it was precisely in overworked, industrialized cities that more and more people sought refuge in the bottle.
american children spend half again as much time in front of tv as they do at school spending more time watching tv than at school..
a 21st cent ed should prep people not only for joining the workforce, but also (and more importantly) for life.
perhaps ed should just be life. everyday life.
ie: anything schooling less does not solve – stress, climate, aging, ineq, …
imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for.. what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people
work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do – oscar wilde
note: already re read this ch
7 – why it doesn’t pay to be a banker
when it comes to garbage collectors.. it’s different. any way you look at it, they do a job we can’t do w/o. and the harsh truth is that an increasing number of people do jobs that we can do just fine without..
that’s actually debatable.. we could live differently in regard to our waste.. true for our current living styles.. but not a given for humanity..
on missing garbagemen if they go on strike.. but not so much wall street traders or tax accountants.. or lobbyists.. or soc media consultants, telemarketers, .. lawyers.. instead of creating wealth, these jobs mostly just shift it around..t
isn’t that what ubi would do.. not root enough..let’s try this: ubi as temp placebo
take the legal profession.. it goes w/o saying that the rule of law is necessary for a country to prosper
i don’t buy that.. depends on your defn of prosper.. ie: affluence w/o abundance ness
the more productive agriculture /manufacturing became, the fewer people they employed.. at same time.. shift generated more work in service sector. yet before we could get ourselves a job in this new world of consultants, chefs, accountants, programmers, advisors, brokers, doctors, and lawyers, we first had to earn the proper credentials.
this development has generated immense wealth. ironically,.. it has also created a system in which an increasing number of people can earn money w/o contributing anything of tangible value to society... paradox of progress: here in land of plenty, richer and smarter we get, the more expendable we become..
bank strike in ireland where econ functioned w/o banks for 6 months.. 20 times as long as nyc sanitation workers’ strike.. which had been declared state of emergency after just 6 days..
irish pub bartenders as cohesive structure.. know people
the fact that people began do it yourself banking makes it patently clear that they couldn’t do w/o some kind of financial sector..
i don’t know about that.. i think that is myth
graeber… on the phenom of bullshit jobs – blame not on the stuff we buy but on the work we do..
is it any coincidence that the proliferation of well-paid bullshit jobs has coincided w a huge boom in higher ed and an econ that revolves around knowledge? ..making money w/o creating anything of value isn’t easy. for starters you have to memorize some very important-sounding but meaningless jargon…. almost anybody can collect trash, but a career in banking is reserved for a select few…t
as long as we continue to be obsessed w work, work, and more work,.. the number of superfluous jobs will only continue to grow..
there is another way….. we can take a step toward a diff world, and we can start, *as such steps so often do, with taxes. even utopias need a tax clause..
so 1\ of a nother way is taxes
*as such steps so often do.. ? have we ever taken a step toward (successful) finding of equity..? betterness..?
imagine that all this talent were to be invested not in shifting wealth around, but in creating it. who knows, we might already have had jetpacks, built submarine cities, or cured cancer..
no doubt on the cured cancer.. either by actual cure.. or by healthy living as prevention.. – zinn energy law.. huge
19th cent factory worker didn’t rise up.. view clouded by religion/nationalism.. maybe society is stuck in a comparable rut today, except this time at the very top of they pyramid. maybe some of those people have had their vision clouded by all the zeros on their paychecks, the hefty bonuses, and the cushy retirement plans.. maybe a fat billfold triggers a similar false consciousness: the conviction that you’re producing something of great value because you earn so much..t
joseph reward law.. on why other really smart people are missing.. a nother way to live.. hard to see when current system rewards you..
whatever the case, the way things are is not the way they have to be. our economy, our taxes, and our universities can all be *reinvented to make real innovation and creativity pay off.. **even utopias need a tax clause..
*reinvented..? or irrelevant..? **really? not if there’s no money/measuring
for ie.. we could start w a transactions tax to rein in the fin industry…
this is all inspectors inspecting inspectors.. why spend our time doing that..?
in plain english: higher taxes would get more people to do work that’s useful..
? what..? holy cow.. perpetuating a broken feedback loop.. [dear peter and david, i think i found your flying cars..]
can’t externally incentivize.. if you want alive people..
there’s a nother way..
if there were ever a place where the quest for a better wold ought to start, it’s in the classroom
so 2\ of a nother way is school.. on influence of teacher over kids .. when that’s part of the cancer.. socrates supposed to law et al
teaching shapes something much bigger – course of human history… ie: ordinary elementary teacher.. 40 yrs at head of a class of 25 amounts to influencing the lives of 1000 childrens… moreover, that teacher is molding pupils at an age when they’re at their most malleable…
so missing it. ie: teachers can’t even be themselves.. which is what the world needs..
let’s try this: a nother way
if there’s one place, then , where we can intervene in a way that will pay dividends for society down the road, it’s in the classroom
well that sounds kind of true.. but only by disengaging from – classrooms.. and schools.. and teachers and students.. ie: in the city. as the day. all of us. assuming ‘paying dividends’ has nothing to do with money..
invariably, it all revolves around the question: which knowledge and skills to today’s students need to get hired in tomorrow’s job market – the market of 2030?… which is precisely the wrong question.
in 2030 there will likely be a high demand for savvy accountants untroubled by a conscience..
god i hope not.. i hope we’re past money/measuring by then..for (blank)’s sake…
should be posing diff question: which knowledge and skills do we want our children to have in 2030? then, instead of anticipating and adapting, we’d be focusing on steering and creating… instead of wondering what we need to do to make a living in this or that bullshit job, we could ponder how we want to make a living.
to answer this.. need to examine ourselves and our personal ideals.
yes.. but everyday. as the day. with the bravery to change our minds..
do we want more solidarity across race, sex, and socioeconomic groups? start in social studies class..
if we restructure ed around our new ideals, the job market will happily tag along. let’s imagine we were to incorporate more art, history and philosophy into the school curriculum..
isn’t that how we got to where we are… some deciding on ideals for the structure.. for all?
we have the means today to disengage from curriculum.. ie: cure ios city
the goal of the future is full unemployment, so we can play – arthur c clarke 1917-2008
this is so doable.. now.. this day .. to day..
8 – race against the machine
note.. already re read this ch.. was ch 4
on horses losing their labor job to cars.. and people .. on other hand, can learn and grow.. so we pump more money into ed.. .. even people w framed piece of paper on wall have cause for concern.. 1830 william leadbeater well trained for job.. not that he wasn’t educated, but suddenly his skills were superfluous.. welcome to race against the machine
good story on moore – moore’s law.. 2013 – x box has 5 bill transistors…… in same way transistors standard unit of info in late 50s… shipping containers once upon a time became standard unit of transport
the advent of the chip and the box made the world shrink as goods, services, and capital circled the globe ever more rapidly.. then something happened..
something that according to text books could not happen.. economists had drilled into heads: ‘the ratio of capital to labor is constant’.. period.. but it’s not..
we may be living in the age of individualism, but our societies have never been more dependent on one another.. ie: iphone,, nutella.. made from all over..
the big question: who’s profiting..
alfred marshall: the smaller the world gets, the fewer the number of winners
inequality … in u.s… already wider than in ancient rome.. an econ founded on slave labor….
even wef, clique of entrepreneurs politicos and pop stars.. described this escalating ineq as biggest threat facing global econ
in 64 – each large company had 430 000 people by 2011.. only 1/4 that much despite being worth twice as much… ie: kodak.. 80s 145 000… 2012 – bankrupt.. while instagram. staffed by 13 people.. sold to facebook for 1 bill……takes fewer and fewer people to create a successful business.. meaning that when a business succeeds.. and fewer and fewer benefit
in 1800 74% of american’s were farmers… 1900 31% .. 2000 3%.. yet his hasn’t led to mass unemployment.. and when keynes writing in 30s about.. new disease of tech unemployment.. when he died in 46 – everything still peachy..
what about increase in illness… suicide.. less physical work… more processed food.. ie : the apple (what % of it is healthy by the time you get it..) – appleness feeding/perpetuating broken feed back loops
first machine wave: 1765 james watt – efficiency of steam engine.. able to pump 60 ft of water out of a mine in just 60 min… second machine wave: chips algo’s… now
1800 water power supplied england w 3x energy as steam, 70 yrs later.. steam engines generating power of 40 mill grown men..
now 2 cent later.. our brains are next… on needing time ie: electricity 1870 innovations.. but not till 1920 most factories switched to electric… kurzweil and by 2045 – machines smarter than all of us.. have mad.. but ignore at our own peril.. wouldn’t be first time we underestimated power of expo growth
exactly… esp exponential potential in – a nother way
it’s worth bearing in mind tha computing power is not the same thing as intelligence..
million dollar question: what should we do? what new jobs will future bring? and, more importantly, will we want to do those new jobs..?
rev of everyday life.. live by whimsy… quit asking questions about jobs.. any form of m\a\p
guy standing.. predicted emergence of new dangerous precariat… low wage/temp jobs w no political voice.. sound eerily like william leadbeater..
luddite rebellion at height in 1811.. more than 100 men hanged.. they declared war on machines.. but machines won..
robot comes from czech robota meaning – toil… humans created robots to do precisely things they’d rather not do themselves.. according to wilde (1890): the ancient greeks had known an uncomfortable truth: slavery is a prereq for civilization. ‘on mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.’
people used to judge by parentage.. now it’s diplomas on wall.. as long as machines can’t go to college – degree offers higher *returns than ever.. so .. standard response.. more money for ed.
*returns – so .. what if.. returns isn’t what our souls are seeking..?
anyone who wants to continue plucking the fruits of progress will have to come up w a more radical solutions… measures like a shorter workweek and uni basic income…
or.. disengaging from work for money.. from money altogether… from any form of m\a\p
ie: art for life; a nother way
for us today.. still difficult to imagine future in which paid labor is not the be all and end all of our existence.
earn a living ness
but the inability to imagine a world in which things are diff is only evidence of a poor imagination, not of the impossibility of change..t
in 50s couldn’t imagine advent of fridges, vacuum cleaners.. washing machines.. would help prompt women to enter workplace in record numbers, and yet they did..
to our demise
not tech that determines course of history… in the end it is we humans who decide how we want to shape our destiny…scenario of radical inequality taking shape in u.s. is not our only option. *alt is that at some point during this century, we reject the dogma that you have to work for a living. …t
**one choice left.. ***massive redistribution… of money (bi) time (short work week) taxation (on capital instead of labor) and of course of robots..
**there’s a nother way/choice.. – beyond bi – massive redistribution is just the shifting ness you mentioned earlier.. we have the means.. and our souls beg for something beyond measuring ness.. we can’t not give that a go..
w/ubi as temp placebo.. needs met w/o money.. till people forget about measuring
piketty: ‘we have to save capitalism from capitalists’
rather .. we have to let go of any form of m\a\p
174 – last 2 paras.. then anser: mmore research.. oi.. keep blah blah ing about sea world 176 – first/second control group test.. on textbooks and grades.. oi 178 – first full para 4th line down pontificate or go do research.. diff resulsmatter little if still gawking at sea world 179 – top.. last 2 sentences.. not.. bottom ie of increasin school attendance.. oi 180 – 3rd line up.. wrong questions 186 – on border being worse than local/racism.. esp bottom left off 187
9 – beyond the gates of the land of plenty
and then there’s that nagging sense of guilt.. here we are in the land of plenty, philosophizing about decadent utopias w free cash and 15 hr workweeks, while hundreds of millions of people still have to survive on a dollar a day… shouldn’t we instead be tackling the single biggest challenge of our times: to afford every person on earth the joys of the land of plenty?
well, we’ve tried. the western world spends 134.8 bill a year, 11.2 bill a month, 4374 a second on foreign development aid..over the past 50 yrs… total: 5 trill
that’s trying? that should make us feel ridiculous…
sound like a lot…? actually the wars in iraq and afghanistan cost about the same. .. but sure.. it’s a lot… the question is.. has it helped? here’s where it gets tricky/ there’s really only one way to answer this: nobody knows…..
who knows… w/o band aid and bono, it might have all been a hundred times worse. or not.. according to a study done by the world bank, 85% of all western aid in the 20th cent was used differently than intended.
what we do have, of course.. are economic models that tell us how people will act based on the assumption that humans are purely rational beings..
whatever that means.. who’s deciding what rational is.. and are we that.. ever..?
we have retrospective surveys that show how a school, village, or country changed after it got a pile of money..
science of people.. let go
on bloodletting (med practice of placing leeches on patients’ veins in order to rebalance their bodily humors…).. a case where the remedy is worse than the disease… does same apply to development aid…in 2003 – duflo helped found mit’s poverty action lab.. employs 150 researchers who have conducted over 500 studies in 56 countries.. their work has turned the world of development aid on its head.
answer: more research on sea world.. oi
on control groups w placebos… on bloodletting and on free textbooks in africa… finding ie: free books had made no difference… test scores showed no improvement
good on them seeing variables that were being ignored… bad on all of us.. assuming test score improvement.. or ie: enough money… is success… is what we need.. let go
william easterly – the best plan is to have no plan at all… esther duflo… take the guesswork out of policy making..
perhaps.. the plan is whimsy (no one plan – 8 bill plus plans.. new everyday).. and perhaps we take the guesswork out of policy making.. by disengaging from policy making..
duflo – if you want to know … you can armchair philosophize till you’re blue in the face.. or you can go out and do the research.
or perhaps.. esp with the land of plenty ness we have today… we can just set people free.. all of us… all at once.. and trust us each to experiment/research/listen.. as the day.
[diff results matter little if all about sea world]
a miraculous method (randomistas)…? they don’t believe humans are rational actors..
rather sometimes foolish and sometimes astute.. and by turns afraid, altruistic, and self-centered. and this approach appears to yield considerably better results. so why did it take so long to figure this out.
well – several reasons. doing randomized controlled trials in poverty-stricken countries is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. often, local orgs are less than eager to cooperate , not least because they’re worried the finding will prove them ineffective. take the case of microcredit. development aid trends come and go, from ‘good governance’ to ‘education’ to the ill-fated ‘microcredit’ at the start of this century….. via esther duflo… all the heartwarming anecdotes notwithstanding, there is no hard evidence that microcredit is effective at combating poverty and illness.. handing out cash works way better… as it happens, *cash handouts may be the most extensively studied anti poverty method around.
*whoa. science of people ness… we have no idea what legit free humans are like…
and.. if it’s most extensively studied.. yet not working/catching on.. maybe we’re missing.. a nother way.. one sans cash/money/measuring of transactions..
w/ubi as temp placebo.. needs met w/o money.. till people forget about measuring
and yet – rcts aren’t a silver bullet… not everything is measurable. and findings can’t always be generalized.
and then… since we have the means today to facilitate everyone’s findings/curiosities… why would we not..
we need to let go.
on research into what increases school attendance – rct results free meals works better than free uniforms…
major dilemmas such as how to structure a democracy or what a country needs to prosper.. can’t be answered by an rct, let alone solved by throwing some cash at the problem
we could even think on a bigger scale than that (after para on measures against tax havens).. imagine there was a single measure that could wipe out all poverty everywhere, … and in the process put a few extra months’ salary in our pockets too… would we take that measure?… no of course not. after all, this measure has been around for years. it’s the best plan that never happened. i’m talking about open borders.not just for bananas, derivatives, and iphones, but for one and all – for knowledge workers, for refugees, and for ordinary people in search of greener pastures.
siddiqi border law et al
of course, we’ve all learned the hard way… that economists are no fortune tellers….
effectively, open borders would make the whole world twice as rich… this has led on ny uni researcher to conclude that we’re currently leaving ‘trillion dollar bills on the sidewalk…….
wrong focus.. let go of any form of m\a\p
so why bother quibbling over the crumbs of development aid… duflo’w 100 bills – when instead we could simply throw open the gates of the land of plenty..
why bother quibbling over trillion dollar bills on the sidewalk.. and 65 000 000 000 000… ness.. when we could disengage from money and all it’s counting/measuring..
like the idea of no borders though.. right direction.. just not with money..
on the eve of ww1, borders existed mostly as lines on paper. passports were rare and the countries that did issue them.. were seen as uncivilized… besides, that wonder of 19th cent tech, the train, was posed to erase borders for good…
and then war broke out… suddenly borders were sealed to keep spies out and everybody needed for the war effort in.
1920 – first agreement on use of passports… these days, anyone… have to apply for dozens of visas, pass through hundreds of security checkpoints, and get frisked more times than you could count… in this era of ‘globalization’ – only 3% of world’s pop lives outside their country of birth..
oddly though.. the world is wide open for everything but people…
mufleh humanity law et al
billions of people are forced to sell their labor at a fraction of the price that they would get for it in the land of plenty, all because of borders. borders are the single biggest cause of discrimination in all of world history.inequality gaps between people living in the same country are nothing in comparison to those between separated global citizenries.
today the richest 8% earn half of all the world’s incomes, and the richest 1% own more than half of all wealth. the poorest billion people account for just 1% of consumption; the richest billion, 72%
62 people richer than 3.5 bn put together
those seeking asylum are only allowed to stay if they have reason to fear persecution at home based on their religion or birth.. that’s downright bizarre..
take a somalian toddler. she has a 20% probability of dying before reaching the age of five. now compare: american frontline soldiers had a mortality rate of 6.7% in the civil war, 1.8% in ww2, and .5% in the vietnam war. yet we won’t hesitate to send that somalian toddler back if it turns out her mother isn’t a ‘real’ refugee.
whoa is us. refugee ness
in the 19th cent.. ineq was still a matter of class; nowadays, it’s a matter of location..
even food stamp recipients in the u.s. live like royalty compared to the poorest people in the world…
we mostly reserve our outrage for the injustices that happen inside our own national borders. we’re indignant that men get paid more than women for doing the same work, and that white americans earn more than black americans. but even the 150% racial income gap of the 1930s pales in comparison to the injustices inflicted by our borders.
the u.s. border effect on the wages of equal intrinsic productivity workers is greater than any form of wage discrimination (gender, race, or ethnicity) that has ever been measure… observe 3 economists. it’s apartheid on a global scale.. in the 21st cent, the real elite are those born not in the right family or the right class but in the right country…yet modern elite scarcely aware of how lucky it is
opening borders, even just a crack, is by far most powerful weapon we have in global fight against poverty.. but sadly .. idea that keeps getting beaten back by same old faulty arguments.. (ie: all terrorists.. all criminals.. will undermine social cohesion.. will take jobs.. lower wages.. too lazy to work.. they’ll never go back)
opening our borders is not something we can do overnight of course – nor should it be… unchecked migration would certainly corrode social cohesion in the land of plenty.
but we do need to remember….. migration is the most powerful tool for fighting poverty. how do we know.. experience. … the riches country in the world, the u.s. is a nation built on immigration..
but immigration controlled by elites.. no?
we could open borders overnight.. if we disengaged from money.. and labels.. very doable today. we have tech to facilitate chaos/whimsy… but do we have the guts.. to let go..
now a century and a half later.. hundreds of millions of people around the world are living in veritable open0air prisons. three quarters of all border walls and fences were erected after the year 2000
here we are, 25 yrs after the fall of the berlin wall, and from uzbekistan to thailand, from israel to botswana, the world has more barriers than ever..
humans didn’t evolve by staying in one place. wanderlust is in our blood. .t
these days if you want to get to cockaigne… you have to work your way…. through a mountain of paperwork
the difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones… john maynard keynes .. t 1883 – 1946
let’s go money less
10 – how ideas change the world
‘a man w a conviction is a hard man to change.. cognitive dissonance he (festinger) coined it. when reality clashes with our deepest convictions, we’d rather recalibrate reality than amend our worldview. and.. become even more rigid in beliefs..
most willing to change in practical matters.. ie: how to remove grease stain or chop a cucumbers.. but not when political, ideological or religious ideas at stake..
one factor certainly not involved is stupidity… research at yale… shown that educated people are more unshakable in convictions than anybody..t
so… perhaps we question ed ness..?.. perhaps intellect ness is our stupidity
that’s pretty huge – to say that.. and then still advocate for public ed.. no?
locked in sea world
smart people, concludes … ezra klein.. don’t use their intellect to obtain the correct answer; they use it to obtain what they want to be the answer..t
on ch 2 & 3 – setting aside research… 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 and idea whole 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 a nother way.. would i be observant enough.. or brave enough .. to have a change of heart?
nice.. and i hope the same is true of me.. because i’m believing… bi is not enough.. perhaps a placebo/temp jumpstart… but we have to let go.. of these measuring
perhaps what we’re seeking has no evidence.. because it’s new/not yet been tried.. ie: a nother way
the question is not can new ideas defeat old ones; the question is how..t
how: if we org around an idea (essence of human being) that 8b people already grok
if it is true.. that ideas don’t change things gradually but in fits and starts – in shocks – then the basic premise of our democracy, our journalism, and our education is all wrong.it would mean… the enlightenment model of how people change their opinions. through info gathering and reasoned deliberation – is really a buttress for the status quo..
it’s no diff in politics.. political scientists have established that how people vote is determined less by their perceptions about their own lives than by their conceptions of society. we’re not particularly interested in what govt can do for us personally; we want to know what it can do for us all.. when we cast our vote.. we do so not just for ourselves. but for the group we want to belong to.
a single opposing voice can make all the difference.. keep on building castles in the sky.. your time will come
everyone thinking greenspan would be immortalized in history’s financial hall of fame.
in a house committee hearing two years later, the broken banker admitted that he was ‘in a state of shocked’ disbelief’ his faith in capitalism had taken a sever beating. ‘i have found a flaw. i don’t know how significant or permanent it is . but i have been very distressed by that fact.’ ‘i’d been going for 40 yrs or so w considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well’
after 2008 as greenspan if there had ben any error in his ideas.. ‘not at all. i think that there is no alternative’
joris luyendijk.. of the guardian… it’s like standing at chernobyl and seeing they’ve restarted the reactor but still have the same old management.
the world ‘crisis‘ comes from ancient greek and literally means to ‘separate’ or ‘sieve’ a crisis, then, should be a moment of truth , the juncture at which a fundamental choice is made. but seems in 2008.. we were unable to make that choice.. there were no real alternative available..
perhaps then crisis isn’t really the right word for our current condition. it’s more like we’re in a coma. that’s ancient greek too. it means ‘deep, dreamless sleep.’
but if we’re going to wake people up (and i think we can/should).. we need to have a mech in place (and i think we can/should – before we diagnose/label/wake) beyond basic income. otherwise.. our grandchildren will be dealing with this same issue.
on hayek and friedman and their archival keynes… the mont pelerin society.. in 70s hayek handed presidency over to friedman…. essentially, there wasn’t a problem that friedman didn’t blame on govt.. and solution in every case was free market… privatize it all..
progress is the realisation of utopias – oscar wilde..
we need thinkers who not only are patient, but also have ‘the courage to be ‘utopian” – hayek
epilogue (not in free download)
joseph overton: why is it that so many good ideas don’t get taken seriously.. ie: want to get re elected..
what we need is a narrative that speaks to millions of ordinary people
how about .. to 8 bn.. everyday.. a nother way book
how about rather.. we draw our the narrative (aka: itch-in-the-soul) already in 8b people..
stop for a moment to ponder the billions of tax dollars being pumped into training society’s best brains all so they can learn how to exploit other people as efficiently as possible..
have to be thinking.. all are best brains.. we need them all..
need a means to undo our hierarchical listening
apparently in modern capitalism we finance the things we find genuinely fulfilling with.. bullshit
time has come to redefine our concept of ‘work’.. spend more time on things that really matter to us..
bronnie ware – top regret of dying – true to self .. #2 – wish didn’t work so hard..t
also the myth of takes a lot of work ness
time for a ne labor movement.. one that fights not only for *more jobs and **higher wages.. but more importantly for work that has ***intrinsic value
*? more jobs..? when regret is work less..?
**higher wages..? but most importantly want ***intrinsic value..?
the most vital ingredient for political change: the conviction that there truly is a better way..
calling my ideas ‘unrealistic’ was simply a shorthand way of saying they didn’t fit the status quo.. and the best way to shut people up is to make them feel silly.. t
#FightInequality (@FightInequalit1) tweeted at 4:45 AM – 22 Mar 2018 :
“We need to be unrealistic, unreasonable and impossible.” – Rutger Breman, Utopia for Realists https://t.co/FnCgWz28wM (http://twitter.com/FightInequalit1/status/976771870904258560?s=17)
as frustrat\ing books: Utopia for Realists, Rutger Bregman so close.. yet to me.. so many remaining/assumptions.. (ie: ubi.. it’s the measuring of transactions that’s killing us.. we have to disengage from money.. any form of m\a\p perhaps.. ubi as temp placebo..).. not to mention all his facts ness.. that seem pinker/mapfinder-ized whalespeak
attempting a re read.. but his time around hard making it past ch 1