The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “economy

50 Years Ago, Martin Luther King Jr. Said We Had the Resources to End Poverty. What Happened?

Posted on January 20, 2016

ALL THIS WEEK WE’LL BE LOOKING at the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and if it still has a prevailing effect on the modern era. He had certain core principles he stuck to, elaborated upon, and ultimately died for. We respect him. We quote him. Some even venerate him. But in so many ways we have refused to walk the path he led. The day following his receiving of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, King delivered his famous Nobel Lecture titled, “The Quest for Peace.” His reasonings didn’t go in the direction people anticipated. He wondered how we can really have peace, or even maintain it, if we continue to leave large swaths of our populations in poverty. Then he delivered a stark…

Basic Income: An Idea With a History

Posted on November 4, 2015

ARTIST ANDY WARHOL OFTEN EXHIBITED FASCINATING INSIGHTS into the human condition that, at times, became colloquialisms. At one point he noted, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” And that is true. Yet there are those occasions when time itself can be of assistance. Take the concept of a basic income as a measure of that truth. Yesterday we noted how the idea of some kind of baseline income could be of great help to the marginalized. Many progressives are shocked when they discover that libertarian economist Milton Friedman threw his support behind early efforts of what was then called a “Guaranteed Annual Income,” but which he preferred to label a “negative income tax.” From across the…

If You Want to Fix Poverty, Fix the Economy

Posted on October 27, 2015

HE AWOKE FROM A DEEP SLUMBER A couple of weeks ago to the sound of phone ringing incessantly, but when he answered he didn’t mind. Angus Deaton was being informed by someone on the other end of the phone that he was being awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Science. Interestingly, it was how he shed new light on persistent poverty that earned him the credit. Or as the Nobel committee put it: “To design economic policy that promotes welfare and reduces poverty, we must first understand individual consumption choices. Angus Deaton has enhanced this understanding.” Deaton wasn’t so much focused on large market trends as on the average household and how choices are made within it. The Nobel committee has recently honoured a…

It’s All Greek to Us

Posted on July 14, 2015

AVERAGE CITIZENS CAN BE FORGIVEN for a general confusion and alarm emerging from the Greek debt crisis. The sheer financial numbers, opinions, and economic layers are dizzying. For every economic theory coming from established experts comes another established opinion stating exactly the opposite coming from others. Let’s put the various viewpoints aside for a brief moment, if indeed we can, and consider the trends emerging from the crisis. First, it’s not really the Greek currency that’s back of all these difficulties but the euro itself. Across the vast networks of the EU the rips appearing because of the competing policies from individual member nations are increasing and troubling. Britain particularly appears on a collision course with the EU framework, especially now that British PM David…

Working Without Meaning

Posted on May 26, 2015

INCREASINGLY AT THE LONDON FOOD BANK WE ARE encountering those recently without work or holding down one or two minimum wage jobs as they seek to make ends meet for their families. It’s an endlessly disillusioning process – one showing no sign of abatement. But this is the new world, the new economy, the new reality of employment. Millions are facing it, and despite training and education they are witnessing that link between work and wealth disappear in real-time and with real fallout. We see what happens when democracy stumbles along through cycles of low voter turnout and the dysfunction that inevitably follows. Suddenly power migrates upward, with citizens cut off from it in ever-increasing ways. Well, it’s now like that with employment. Wealthy…

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