Why We Need More Government, Not Less
We need more government nowadays, not less. Yet the role of government also needs to be modernized, in line with the specific challenges posed by an interconnected world economy.
What's the Latest Development?
President Obama's pending jobs legislation is a step in the right direction despite thirty years of bad policy aimed at downsizing government, says Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs. While globalization has promoted rapid technological development and raised the standard of living across many countries, it has also created problems. Low-skilled workers in rich countries have become the primary losers as their jobs go elsewhere. Globalization has also spread contagion such as corrosive banking practices, terrorism and global warming.
What's the Big Idea?
The call to downsize government is ill-suited to solve the problems that face our era, defined primarily by globalization. "Governments should promote high-quality education, to ensure that young people are prepared to face global competition. They should raise productivity by building modern infrastructure and promoting science and technology. And governments should cooperate globally to regulate those parts of the economy—notably finance and the environment—in which problems in one country can spill over to other parts of the world."
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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