Friday, September 15, 2017

A much more global view

My previous post was deliberately (self consciously?) Australian in scope. Of course there is a bigger, global, picture. This post is about that.

  1. A global "speculation tax"

    A substantial component of the inequality that besets the world, not to mention the financial craziness that gave us the Great Depression and the Global Financial Crisis, is driven by speculative trading in the stock market. These days much of that is done by computer.

    The idea of a small, fraction of a percent, tax on those trades is quite actively considered and this Wikipedia page discusses it. Within the page look for Securities transaction tax.
  2. Universal Basic Income

    A reasonable living wage, regardless of employment is called the Universal Basic Wage

    Again this is a ripe chestnut of an idea as this YouTube about doing it in the USA shows.

    I have seen, but cannot track down, a post that relates these two. The rate of global tax to pay the basic income to 8 billion people was tiny.

    The beauty of this is that robots and artificial intelligence can end as much work as they need to - yet there will still be people paid wages to consume what the robots make. Without this the factory owners are on a hiding to nowhere. Karl Marx called that the fundamental contradiction of capitalism

    What's more, as has been seen in many developed European countries economic security leads to smaller families and hence a stabilisation of world population.

    Something that I would throw in here is the idea that a condition of receiving the basic income be a maximum of two children. More children, as many religions might dictate, and you would simply have to work.

    My personal wish is that this would lower religiosity - the underlying cause of most conflict and terror. Peace in the Middle East?

    Also throw in the cheapness, technology driven, of things The $10 Android Smartphone and Elon Musk's, soon to come, global WiFi make life, growing up in Africa on the Basic Income, very different.
  3. An end to Majority Governments

    The fine balance, in the English speaking world, between the left and right leads to political absurdities. In Australia the bizarre deals with the independent senators thrown up by preferential voting. In the UK the Ulster weirdos that keep Theresa May in power. The US government shutdowns from a power block in the Houses.

    Underneath all of these lie the lack of a convincing middle ground in politics. In many European countries coalition governments, amongst middle size parties, results in negotiation that is about policy - how precisely to reach a generally agreed endpoint - rather than dogma.
  4. An end to Home Ownership

    Again referencing what is more normal in Europe. The approach to a secure home where you might install solar panels or upgrade the kitchen. Rents are controlled. Lifetime tenancies are the norm. Inheriting property, or bequeathing property, is not "a thing"

    The speculative craziness that underlaid the GFC, that besets Australian property values, is not necessary. It is what banks and investors want.
  5. Universal Renewable Energy

    If energy were cheap, and harmless, a lot would be different.

    The one I light upon is desalination which could, potentially, turn the Sahara (back), not to mention Australia into fertile, arable land along with lowering global sea levels which have, sad to say, "got away from us"

    The state of Climate Modelling is probably such that this last idea could be checked out
  6. Electric, Autonomous, Non-owned vehicles

    Summoning up the transport that you need, regardless of age (kids going to school, those who are too aged or infirm to still have a driver's permit) without needing to afford ownership would be world-changing.

    Not to mention that these vehicles already last a million kilometers and have so few moving parts.    

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