in Books Economics ~ read.

Utopia For Realists

I am giving Utopia for Realists ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ because of how Bregman made all of the concepts he presented in this book accessible.

Choice cuts:

  • more than 60% of your income dependent on the country where you just happen to have been born.
  • the ad industry encourages us to spend money we don’t have on junk we don’t need in order to impress people we can’t stand.
  • [On Universal Basic Income] research has correlated unconditional cash disbursements with reductions in crime, child mortality, malnutrition, teenage pregnancy, and truancy, and with improved school performance, economic growth, and gender equality.
  • “Poverty is fundamentally about a lack of cash. It’s not about stupidity,”
  • “You can’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you have no boots.”
  • The welfare state, which should foster people’s sense of security and pride, has degenerated into a system of suspicion and shame.
  • Globalization is eroding the wages of the middle class.
  • precisely because we’re richer than ever that it is now within our means to take the next step in the history of progress: to give each and every person the security of a basic income. It’s what capitalism ought to have been striving for all along.
  • The poor borrow more, save less, smoke more, exercise less, drink more, and eat less healthfully.
  • “Scarcity consumes you,”
  • Compare it to a new computer that’s running ten heavy programs at once. It gets slower and slower, making errors, and eventually it freezes–not because it’s a bad computer, but because it has to do too much at once. Poor people have an analogous problem. They’re not making dumb decisions because they are dumb, but because they’re living in a context in which anyone would make dumb decisions.
  • poverty is not a lack of character. It’s a lack of cash.
  • Anywhere you find poor people, you also find non-poor people theorizing their cultural inferiority and dysfunction
  • The gross national product… measures everything… except that which makes life worthwhile
  • Time is money. Economic growth can yield either more leisure or more consumption
  • we have sacrificed our free time on the altar of consumerism.