Will Robots Do Our Work?

For millennia, everything was done by human hand and so a good work ethic was an important value to ingrain into society. The field was not going to sow itself, nor would the house be self-built. Each had to pull their own weight to ensure their basic needs were met.
Since the first stone tools were used, technology has been augmenting work. It typically creeps in at a pace that is not broadly disruptive, but it occasionally lurches forward in periods we call “industrial revolutions”.

Are the productivity gains from tech fading?

I’ve struggled with an idea for a while, the idea that economic productivity gains from technology are stalling out. Productivity in general had a good run leading up to the Great Recession, but the long run average has faded ever since (as shown in this graph from the FT). Productivity was long a key metric […]

Degrowth is Necessary

Branko Milanovic recently published a post that tackles the idea of degrowth (an idea I favor) head on. He’s one of my favorite economic thinkers, who has spent years focusing on the topic of inequality, long before it became a topic of broad interest. That, and the fact that I find him to be incredibly forthright, […]

Thailand is Drowning in Waste! – Part 1: The Challenge

I participated in an interesting summit of academics and government officials towards the end of the summer. The event, “Revitalizing Rural Development for Poverty Eradication in Asia,” featured three tracks of discussions about (1) natural resources and the environment, (2) rights and democratization, & (3) livelihood and wellbeing. I joined the track around natural resources and […]

Tory Cuts Questioned as the NHS Gets Hit by Ransomware

The UK’s NHS got caught up in the major ransomware attack that hit computers around the world yesterday. In the wake of the attack, the Mirror is reporting that the Tories cut computer security funding from the NHS a year ago, despite being warned that doing so would leave thousands of government computers (and thus hospitals) vulnerable to […]

The EU is Not Gonna Fall for that Banana in the Tailpipe

When we last left the train wreck known as Brexit, I mentioned that the UK was pulling the EU ripcord, while pretending regulatory agencies were negotiating pawns, and that things don’t work like that. The EU has since made it clear that it is not having any of that nonsense. (check out the video at […]

The Brexit Signal is Lit

Theresa May became Prime Minister in the wake of the EU referendum that was held on June 23, 2016. The results of that election sent former PM David Cameron out of office in disgrace. A week later, May made her first public statement in which she claimed there would be no early election, a claim that has […]

Stumbling and Mumbling: When to distrust elites

Whom should we trust: elites or the people? I’m in two minds here. On the one hand, on the issues of immigration and Brexit, I’m with the elites. But in other respects, I’m on the side of the people. I’ve repeatedly argued for worker democracy against managerialism, and have consistently pointed out the shortcomings of professional […]