I just read the post by Jason Lewis on Basic Income. This is the first time I encountered the idea. While I applaud Jason’s thoughts for creating a society where there is enough for everyone, the solution proposed is less than optimal. Here is why.
1. The assumption is that as we move forward technologically, there will be less labor opportunities. However if we look at the history of the world we see that where technology has replaced one job it has often created many more. There is no doubt however that the change is tumultuous. What we need, is a system that helps people make this transition more smoothly.
2. Any system that takes away from those creating value i.e earning a salary, and gives that for free to another party, is self destructive. The keyword here is free. Those without a steady income should not be left out of the system but money should not be handed out for free either. There is always a cost, and what this does is move that cost to those who are working. That hardly seems fair does it?
Instead of free money, create jobs where people can contribute in some meaningful way to society. Those looking for jobs can help come up with some of these ways to contribute. But the key is that there is contribution.
That is not a perfect system as there will be much “waste” in the beginning. It is still better than giving away money for free. And over time that system can be optimised as well. That is what we do. We create systems and then we optimise them. We have a long way to go as a species. Lets keep moving forward by discouraging non-productive behaviours.
3. Finally I know a number of people who are by western definitions, poor. Counterintuitively, this is not for the lack of opportunity. I thought about this a lot and can so far only conclude that since we all have different definitions of what it takes to be happy, these individuals are happy by their own definitions. If they were not they would take action. Instead they complain but they stick with what they have.
The idea of Basic Income is funny because I know “poor” people who really think that the rich must be “stupid” to give away free money. Consequently it their social circle it is seen as dumb not to take that money. One is even more “stupid” if one works at a job that pays the same or similar amount.
According to the World Bank, it is easier to do business in the UK versus The Netherlands. Former colonies such as Guyana and Suriname show similar but wider gap.
I’m particularly interested in why this is and what ideas there for these former colonies to create a more business friendly environment. Surely this would be more beneficial for everyone.
There are plenty of resources yet that is probably causing some of the problems rather than helping to alleviate it.
Source: World Bank, using google’s data viewer tool.
Looking at global events brought on by technology and social media, I can’t help but think that similarly, these tools can move such countries forward as well.
The population is definitely keen on progressing. What is needed is the opportunity to do so.
The data for internet adoption is somewhat dated but indicates a rising trend. I think this is an area of growing opportunity that is still young enough for early adopters to benefit from.
In a future post I will also look at this data in the caribbean as a whole. Interestingly this data doe not incorporate stats from Aruba.
Parents more often than not have a negative view of the role of the Internet in learning, and young people almost always have a positive one.
My 15-year-old daughter has been playing the viola since the fourth grade at school and she’s been…
Giant Squid Captured On Film Its Natural Habitat For The First Time!
The hardest part about finding a Kraken in its natural surroundings is sneaking up on it. You can’t sneak up on a Kraken. The Japanese team that captured this footage, of a comparatively tiny 3 meter giant squid (the largest ever caught was 18 meters!), did it by fitting their submersible with lights that were invisible to both squid and human eyes. Those wavelengths were captured by the camera, though … and the results are stunning.
Read about the incredible work that went into capturing this amazing beast of the deep, this real-life sea monster, this ghost of the seas, at Scientific American. Check out the full video footage from ABC News.
(click through if these GIFs aren’t animating on your dashboard … it’s an amazing thing to see)