Thursday, March 4, 2021

California test results for Universal Basic Income

 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/mar/03/california-universal-basic-income-study

 

"After receiving $500 per month for two years without rules on how to spend it, 125 people in California paid off debt, got full-time jobs and had “statistically significant improvements” in emotional health, according to a study released Wednesday.

The program was the nation’s highest-profile experiment in decades of universal basic income (UBI), an idea that gained national attention when it became a major part of Andrew Yang’s 2020 campaign for president."

 

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The fear has always been that a UBI would create lazy people, but that isn't what happens.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

law requires that products be fixable and last 10 years

 https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/eu-right-repair-technology-decade-b1809408.html

 

The change comes as a result of legislation from the European Parliament, which recently voted in favour of establishing stronger “right to repair” rules. These rules should help reduce electrical waste, which has been increasing due to greater manufacturing.

While the UK has left the European Union, the UK’s manufacturing standards will necessarily have to match those of the 27 nation bloc, in order for any trade to continue. The rule comes into effect today.

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I've been hoping for this for years.  Some products, for example, have batteries built-in in such a way that it would be difficult for a DIY person to replace.  This is a win-win for consumers, the environment, and everybody.

 

Monday, March 1, 2021

How's about we just ban cars from cities?

 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/28/business/heidelberg-cars-environment.html?utm_source=digg

 

Mr. Würzner, who drives an experimental hydrogen-powered Mercedes, acknowledged that not every city could afford to do all the things that had made Heidelberg a showcase for environmentally friendly planning. The University of Heidelberg, one of Germany’s most prestigious universities, has spawned numerous research institutes that provide a solid tax base. The residents tend to be well educated and affluent.

“It’s true the city is in a quite good financial situation,” Mr. Würzner said.

But he said he often heard from mayors in Europe, the United States and Asia who wanted to emulate Heidelberg’s strategy.

“We all know we have to go in this direction,” he said. “It’s just a question of how fast.”

 

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The problem in the US is cities, like say Phoenix, were designed around the automobile.  You pretty much have to drive to work, to the grocery store, etc.  It will take quite a bit to re-arrange everything so pedestrians and bikes reign.  But Phoenix has also built a rail system and is expanding it.  So there is effort in the right direction.

 

trickle down economics does not work, says 50 years of data

 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tax-cuts-rich-50-years-no-trickle-down/

 

But the analysis discovered one major change: The incomes of the rich grew much faster in countries where tax rates were lowered. Instead of trickling down to the middle class, tax cuts for the rich may not accomplish much more than help the rich keep more of their riches and exacerbate income inequality, the research indicates.

"Based on our research, we would argue that the economic rationale for keeping taxes on the rich low is weak," Julian Limberg, a co-author of the study and a lecturer in public policy at King's College London, said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch. "In fact, if we look back into history, the period with the highest taxes on the rich — the postwar period — was also a period with high economic growth and low unemployment."

 

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"The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands."

 Will Rogers

 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

you've worked so hard to save electricity, then...

 https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/feb/27/bitcoin-mining-electricity-use-environmental-impact

 

"The cryptocurrency’s value has dipped recently after passing a high of $50,000 but the energy used to create it has continued to soar during its epic rise, climbing to the equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of Argentina, according to Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, a tool from researchers at Cambridge University that measures the currency’s energy use."

 

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This pisses me off because of all the ways people try to save electricity to avoid global warming, then these dudes set up a system that essentially adds another country to the electric grid.  SMH

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

changing police forces around the U.S.; an example from Ithaca, NY

 https://www.gq.com/story/ithaca-mayor-svante-myrick-police-reform?utm_source=pocket-newtab

 

In a nearly 100-page report obtained by GQ, Mayor Svante Myrick will propose replacing the city’s current 63-officer, $12.5 million a year department with a “Department of Community Solutions and Public Safety” which would include armed “public safety workers” and unarmed “community solution workers,” all of whom will report to a civilian director of public safety instead of a police chief. Under the proposal, all current officers would have to re-apply for a position with the new department.

 

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This will be important to watch,  I would think the police today would be happy to let social workers handle drunks anyway, so they could concentrate on crimes. 


Orlando, Florida, is doing something similar;

https://www.wftv.com/news/local/orange-county/orlando-launching-pilot-program-send-mental-health-professionals-non-violent-calls-service/CRYCELRESFHIZCFG3MT52YCRZY/