The New (Brainy) Aristocracy
In the information age, brainy people are rewarded with wealth and influence, says The Economist. But what does this mean for everyone else?
Societies have always had elites. For most of history and in most countries, power was seized by force of arms and passed down from father to son. Fear and heredity still play a role. China's ruling party remains in charge because it jails and occasionally kills those who threaten it. America elected two presidents named George Bush and came close to electing two Clintons. The big change over the past century is that elites are increasingly meritocratic and global. The richest people in advanced countries are not aristocrats but entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates. The most influential are those whose inventions change lives in many countries (think of Facebook) or whose ideas are persuasive (think of Amnesty International).
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Climate change is no longer a financial problem, just a political one.
- Mitigating climate change by decarbonizing our economy would add trillions of dollars in new investments.
- Public attitudes toward climate change have shifted steadily in favor of action. Now it's up to elected leaders.
- The research raises many ethical questions and puts to the test our current understanding of death.
What's dead may never die, it seems
An ethical gray matter
The dilemma is unprecedented.
Setting new boundaries
- The plan would forgive the debt held by more than 30 million Americans.
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