Tag Archives: economy

Podcast #66: Brexit and Economic Blackmail

Theresa May should expect Brexit talks to fail, so says Fergane Azihari, a Young Voices advocate in France. Ferghane joins the podcast to talk about the economic outlook of the UK and EU if Brexit is completed, and why the EU is rooting for them to fail.

 

Fergane wrote about this in Eurasia Review 

Follow Ferghane on Twitter @AzihariF Young Voices @yvadv and Stephen Kent @stephen_kent89

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Silicon Valley is experimenting with a Universal Basic Income — and we should pay attention

“We’re about to experience a change in our economy on the scale of the agricultural or industrial revolution,” announced Sam Altman, the president of Y-Combinator, to a San Francisco audience.

Due to artificial intelligence, 62 percent of American low-skill jobs are at risk. The median probability of automation replacing the lowest-paid jobs is about 0.83, while jobs in higher-wage classes have a 0.31 to 0.04 chance of being automated. According to a 2013 report from Oxford, 50 percent of jobs could be replaced within the next 10 to 20 years — a claim supported by a McKinsey report that suggests the technology we have today could replace 45 percent of jobs right now.

If Altman is right, and this economic shift can be equated to the industrial revolution, this change will be an overwhelmingly positive phenomenon for future generations. In the meantime, we’ll face mass technological unemployment. This is why Altman is exploring the Universal Basic Income as a way of alleviating a problem that he, in part, helped to create.

Continue reading at the San Francisco Examiner 

Nigeria: A missing President and a reeling nation

The most populous black nation in the world, Nigeria is witnessing a tense political and economic situation, along with internal mishaps. On the other hand, the President, Muhammadu Buhari, has been on a month’s long medical leave. In lieu of this, he has remained out of the country, in the United Kingdom since January 19, 2017. He was supposed to return back to work on the 6th February, 2017. However, in a written statement to the National Assembly, he informed the parliament of his desire to extend his leave in order to complete a pending series of tests recommended by his doctors.

The mysterious disappearance after brokering peace talks in the Gambia and a continued stay in the UK have led to deepening suspicions that his health is far worse than the reports claim. The 74-year- old former military dictator has been dogged by speculation about whether he was physically fit for office even before he took power in May 2015.

Continue reading at The Indian Economist.

Can School Choice Save A Stagnating Economy?

In the Huffington Post, Dale Hansen sums up many liberals’ views when he claims, “The recent appointment of Betsy DeVos has proved one thing – conservatives are far more concerned about politics than they are about educating children.” But the competitive education reforms that Devos champions are essential to giving kids the skills to thrive in a global economy.

Median wages in the US have stagnated, but liberals who decry this fact ignore a root cause: a mismatch between the skills that students acquire in school, and the skills that they need to thrive in the workplace. Jobs in many sectors keep commanding higher salaries: IT wages rose 18.4 percent from 2011 to 2015. The problem, as renowned economist Tyler Cowen notes in Average Is Over, is that our economy leaves behind people who lack the skills to compete in these sectors. And traditional public schools are still focused on outdated classes like cursive writing, in lieu of preparing students for the economy of the future.

The U.S. needs an education system that’s as dynamic as the market our kids will enter, where new technologies can spring up overnight and render old ones obsolete. The warehouse model of one teacher lecturing to 20-30 students, which has remained almost unchanged since its importation from Prussia in the 19th century, is no longer working.

Continue reading at Townhall.

Trump should rein in the Export-Import Bank

Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump promised to revolutionize trade policy for the benefit of American workers and industry. He should begin by stopping the Export-Import Bank from purveying corporate welfare.

Ex-Im is a federal agency established to help American exporters by providing taxpayer-backed financing to governments and businesses in developing foreign markets without access to the necessary means to buy American products. In its youth, Ex-Im did just that and bolstered exports in the interwar period to Cuba, Haiti and Burma. Over the last 50 years, though, it has ventured far from its original purpose and has become a vehicle for ruinous market distortion.

According to the Mercatus Center, some of the largest beneficiaries of Ex-Im financing are companies like Boeing, Bechtel Power, General Electric and Caterpillar — all multinational conglomerates that could conceivably get financing directly from private lenders.

Continue reading at Washington Examiner.