Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Inequality’

A Better Approach to Globalization

Posted by hkarner - 6. Oktober 2018

Date: 05-10-2018
Source: YaleGlobal by Koichi Hamada

Research repeatedly demonstrates that globalization delivers prosperity through trade and jobs, new technologies and ideas, cooperation and peace. But many individuals fear open societies, change and competition. Innovative technologies, especially robotics and artificial intelligence, compound the worries and some politicians heighten the anxieties even though resisting globalization actually hampers the competitiveness of their constituents. Koichi Hamada, professor emeritus of economics at Yale University, explains the dilemma: “If political leaders advance globalization, it may worsen the income-distribution problem that in turn triggers public dissatisfaction. The government may react to the dissatisfaction by restricting trade, not only impairing growth but endangering democracy as a result. On the other hand, political leaders that slow globalization in order to avoid political consequences may sacrifice long-term objectives such as human rights and worldwide liberty.” He urges world leaders to address inequality and failure to enforce laws ranging from immigration to taxation as well as encourage foreign investments that expose communities to diversity, innovation and new comforts. – YaleGlobal

Idealism and political realism must reach compromise on globalization, or the world can expect less wealth and more war

Koichi Hamada is professor emeritus of economics at Yale University and a special adviser to the prime minister of Japan. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Profit Sharing Now

Posted by hkarner - 1. Oktober 2018

Kaushik Basu, former Chief Economist of the World Bank, is Professor of Economics at Cornell University and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Recent proposals to grant workers equity in the economy have been met with skepticism by those who fear that radical intervention in the market inevitably paves the road to serfdom. But profit-sharing schemes, if designed properly, could be an ideal response to today’s dangerously high levels of inequality.

NEW YORK – At the British Labour Party’s annual conference in Liverpool this month, the shadow chancellor of the exchequer, John McDonnell, proposed a profit-sharing scheme that would grant workers equity in the firms where they are employed. McDonnell raised this idea in what was decidedly a political speech; and policy experts and economists have reacted skeptically. While a poorly executed profit-sharing program could do serious damage, that is no reason to reject the idea altogether. It is in fact a good sign that the idea is being publicly defended by a political leader.

Many mainstream economists, from Martin Weitzman and Richard B. Freeman to Joseph E. Stiglitz, Debraj Ray, and Kalle Moene have proposed variants of the concept. And with many advanced economies at a critical juncture, with unconscionable levels of inequality threatening to shred the very fabric of democratic politics, “equity for the poor” is an economic principle whose time has come. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Historian Yuval Noah Harari on the Robot Revolution

Posted by hkarner - 28. September 2018

Date: 27-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The author of ‘Sapiens’ sees a future in which machines make better doctors, AI aids dictatorships and surveillance has a silver lining

Historian Yuval Noah Harari on the Robot Revolution

Science fiction is full of artificial intelligence that gains consciousness and wreaks destruction on humankind. In reality, the threat is less dramatic but just as scary, according to historian Yuval Noah Harari, who predicts upheaval in the workforce, global governments and our emotional lives.

Harari gained a global fan base after the 2011 release of “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” a bestseller that questioned conventional wisdom on the evolution of the species. He followed that up in 2017 with “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.” In “21 Lessons for the 21st Century,” published in September, the Israeli scholar offers advice on tackling the most pressing issues of tomorrow, from information technology to terrorism.

Harari, age 43, recently spoke to The Future of Everything about potential winners and losers in the automation revolution, how AI could help dictatorships outpace democracies, and the rise of machines more sympathetic than humans.

Most Jobs Will Not Be Worth Saving Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A radical idea for reducing inequality deserves more attention

Posted by hkarner - 22. September 2018

Date: 20-09-2018
Source: The Economist: Free exchange

A social wealth fund could narrow the gap between the rich and the poor

RECENT decades have not been particularly good ones for those who toil on, rather than own, the means of production. Labour markets have made a slow and incomplete recovery from the trauma of the Great Recession. The crisis only briefly dislodged corporate profits as a share of GDP from historically high levels. Across much of the world, the share of national income flowing to labour has fallen over the past 40 years.

Taxing the rich in order to fund spending on the poor is a straightforward solution to inequality. But the well-heeled are adept at squeezing through tax loopholes, and at marshalling the political clout needed to chip away at high tax rates. Those frustrated by enduring levels of inequality are contemplating ever bolder ways to redress the lopsided balance between owners and workers.

In an ideal world, untrammelled markets would ensure that every firm and every worker earned precisely what they deserved. But as economists since Adam Smith have recognised, markets are inevitably distorted by the unequal distribution of power. As Smith wrote: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The African youth boom: what’s worrying Bill Gates

Posted by hkarner - 19. September 2018

Date: 18-09-2018
Source: The Guardian

The philanthropist warns that stability in Africa makes a huge difference to the world, and that investing in the health and education of its young people is vital

What worries Bill Gates most? The booming population of Africa looms over his foundation’s latest global survey. By the end of this century there will be 4 billion more people on Earth – and 3 billion of these extra souls will be born in Africa. The challenge, he says, is that “Africa must almost quadruple its agricultural productivity to feed itself. That’s very daunting.”

The philanthropist is torn between sending out a message of hope and a message of fear when I meet him at his foundation’s spacious campus in the heart of his hometown, Seattle.

He is reaching for what works best to revive the west’s faltering conscience in the face of “America first” nationalism and rising pull-up-the-drawbridge populism in Europe. The spirit of generosity is under assault as government aid budgets come under constant sniper fire from right-wing politicians and their media.

Half of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation spending goes to Africa. The funds put into the foundation by themselves and fellow philanthropist Warren Buffett now amount to more than than $50bn (£38bn). Until last year Gates, the Microsoft founder, was the world’s richest man. He has now been overtaken by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Gates’ first instinct is optimism. Just consider the astonishing story of how far and how fast people have been brought out of abject poverty in a very short time. Since 2000, a billion people have been taken well over the line of $1.90-a-day wretchedness (£1.45), with the same uplift among those previously living on $3.20 a day.

The foundation’s report bursts with remarkable data – too few people know about the galloping progress of humankind. Take India, where only 18 years ago almost one in five children were not enrolled in primary school – now, 97% attend classes. Look at the indicators on the report’s global scorecard for the UN’s sustainable development goals for 2030, and most things are improving almost everywhere. But there is a marked variation in the future trajectory: progress depends on the level of future investment. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Human Promise of the AI Revolution

Posted by hkarner - 16. September 2018

Date: 15-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Kai-Fu Lee

Artificial intelligence will radically disrupt the world of work, but the right policy choices can make it a force for a more compassionate social contract.

Artificial intelligence is a technology that sparks the human imagination. What will our future look like as we come to share the earth with intelligent machines? Our minds gravitate to extremes, to the sharply contrasting visions that have captured public attention and divided much of the technological community. As a longtime AI researcher and venture capitalist in China and the U.S., I’ve observed these two camps across continents and over many decades.

Utopians believe that once AI far surpasses human intelligence, it will provide us with near-magical tools for alleviating suffering and realizing human potential. In this vision, super-intelligent AI systems will so deeply understand the universe that they will act as omnipotent oracles, answering humanity’s most vexing questions and conjuring brilliant solutions to problems such as disease and climate change.

But not everyone is so optimistic. The best-known member of the dystopian camp is the technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, who has called super-intelligent AI systems “the biggest risk we face as a civilization,” comparing their creation to “summoning the demon.” This group warns that when humans create self-improving AI programs whose intellect dwarfs our own, we will lose the ability to understand or control them. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The New Tribalism and the Crisis of Democracy

Posted by hkarner - 19. August 2018

Date: 17-08-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Francis Fukuyama
Subject: Against Identity Politics

Beginning a few decades ago, world politics started to experience a dramatic transformation. From the early 1970s to the first decade of this century, the number of electoral democracies increased from about 35 to more than 110.

Over the same period, the world’s output of goods and services quadrupled, and growth extended to virtually every region of the world. The proportion of people living in extreme poverty plummeted, dropping from 42 percent of the global population in 1993 to 18 percent in 2008.

But not everyone benefited from these changes. In many countries, and particularly in developed democracies, economic inequality increased dramatically, as the benefits of growth flowed primarily to the wealthy and well-educated. The increasing volume of goods, money, and people moving from one place to another brought disruptive changes. In developing countries, villagers who previously had no electricity suddenly found themselves living in large cities, watching TV, and connecting to the Internet on their mobile phones. Huge new middle classes arose in China and India—but the work they did replaced the work that had been done by older middle classes in the developed world. Manufacturing moved steadily from the United States and Europe to East Asia and other regions with low labor costs. At the same time, men were being displaced by women in a labor market increasingly dominated by service industries, and low-skilled workers found themselves replaced by smart machines. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Better World Is Here

Posted by hkarner - 17. August 2018

Bjørn Lomborg, a visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School, is Director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which seeks to study environmental problems and solutions using the best available analytical methods. He is the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, Cool It, How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the World a Better Place and The Nobel Laureates‘ Guide to the Smartest Targets for the World, and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2004.

The belief that everything is getting worse paints a distorted picture of what we can do, and makes us more fearful. But while getting the facts wrong – or willfully misrepresenting them – often results in misguided policies, fact-based recognition of what humanity has achieved encourages policies that can achieve the most good.

SKANDERBORG, DENMARK – It’s very easy to form the view that the modern world is coming apart. We are constantly confronted with an onslaught of negativity: frightening headlines, alarming research findings, and miserable statistics.

There are indeed many things on the planet that we should be greatly concerned about. But fixating on horror stories means that we miss the bigger picture.

The United Nations focuses on three categories of development: social, economic, and environmental. In each category, looking back over the last quarter-century, we have far more reason for cheer than fear. Indeed, this period has been one of extraordinary progress. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Marxist World: What Did You Expect From Capitalism?

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juli 2018

Date: 18-07-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Robin Varghese

After nearly every economic downturn, voices appear suggesting that Marx was right to predict that the system would eventually destroy itself. Today, however, the problem is not a sudden crisis of capitalism but its normal workings, which in recent decades have revived pathologies that the developed world seemed to have left behind.

Since 1967, median household income in the United States, adjusted for inflation, has stagnated for the bottom 60 percent of the population, even as wealth and income for the richest Americans have soared. Changes in Europe, although less stark, point in the same direction. Corporate profits are at their highest levels since the 1960s, yet corporations are increasingly choosing to save those profits rather than invest them, further hurting productivity and wages. And recently, these changes have been accompanied by a hollowing out of democracy and its replacement with technocratic rule by globalized elites. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Getting the Inequality We Want

Posted by hkarner - 7. Mai 2018

Roland Kupers

Roland Kupers is an adviser on complexity, resilience, and energy transition, and is associated with the Institute of Advanced Studies in Amsterdam.

Far from establishing – or even debating – a specific level to which to reduce inequality, politicians continue to allow it to rise. This will change only when policymakers treat inequality more like GDP growth, health care, or climate-change mitigation: as the subject of serious debate and concrete action.

AMSTERDAM – Everyone, it seems, is talking about inequality. Media outlets publish article after article on the topic. Politicians include it in their speeches and platforms. Yet, even though economists like Thomas Piketty and Joseph E. Stiglitz have proved, through meticulous research, the causal link between inequality and policy choices, politicians have yet to establish what level of inequality they consider ideal.

Eliminating inequality, after all, is not the point. Too much inequality impedes social mobility, thereby potentially stoking political instability; as Stiglitz has often pointed out, it also tends to lead to weaker economic performance. Yet some amount of inequality is vital to create appropriate incentives, support competition, and provide reasonable rewards. That is why it is important to define what level of inequality is fair, and work actively to achieve it. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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