Tag Archives: unemployment

The Basic Income—An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

With its promise of lifting people out of poverty and ending the need for food banks, the Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) sounds radical, and even subversive, an invitation to create a shiftless, dependent population—but it may be an idea whose time has come.

This is not a new thought—Thomas Moore wrote about it in Utopia, (published in 1516), in which he explored some of the problems of society. Observing the stern measures that were being taken against thieves, and recalling a conversation with John Morton, the Archbishop of Canterbury, he wrote: read more

Our Grandchildren, the Millennials, Usher in an Era of Change

At first glance, the Millennials look like anyone else, distinguishable only by their youth and the proximity of their iphones. But we know they are different—we can feel it from where we sit, just by looking at them, their group behavior, their subtle interactions. While we are watching everything around us, and making idle conversation, this is not what they are doing. Instead, they are looking down, tracking messages on their phones.

We can see it in their clothing too, simple and comfortable—jeans, tights, blazers, untucked shirts, sneakers, uniformly consistent and understated. read more

Driverless cars are coming – Should older people care?

self driving electronic computer car on road, 3d illustration

People of my generation are old enough to have known the automobile in its infancy. We remember a car that had to be cranked with a handle in order to start—and once moving, was temperamental, cramped and offered a bumpy ride.

We took this discomfort in stride. We appreciated the miracle, the absolute wonder of being able to move through the countryside in something other than a horse drawn wagon. And how taking hours to travel a few miles was never considered a hardship.

Some of us recall the coming-of-age experience of buying our first car. Others, living in the newly-built suburbs of the 1950s,  remember the convenience of driving a car (instead of taking a train) to get to work. And families, moving to the city from farming communities, considered the car, not only a necessity, but a symbol of freedom and status. read more

3% Unemployment – I Remember It Well

Gorlovka, Ukraine - February, 26, 2014: Miners mine named after Kalinin work shift

It’s like a fairy tale from long ago – “Once upon a time, in our Western economies, there was 3% unemployment…”

It’s a far cry from today, as the US descends into the ugliest political contest we have ever known. Issues are ignored as the behavior of one of the two candidates dominates center stage. So it’s important not to forget the economic sentiments that underscored this campaign in the first place:

1. Job market displacement of non-college educated white men, fear that Mexican migrants will take more of their jobs, and one man’s uncanny grasp of the depth of their anger. (Trump) read more

Retirement – The Other Side of the Story

retirementLast week I wrote about retirement. It was an upbeat article, with a few remarks about my experience as a long time retiree, and some links to other blogs and articles. It was well received, with many readers offering their positive experiences. But a couple of readers took me in a different direction—to a less comfortable place, which I’ve always known about, but didn’t really want to acknowledge.

What was pointed out to me was the other side of retirement. While I was writing about the people who were having a happy and successful retirement, I was ignoring the thousands who were not enjoying it at all. read more