[Reading] ➻ Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There ➱ Rutger Bregman – Tactical-player.co.uk

Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There This relentlessly optimistic book offers positive options to counter the current gloomy economic and social outlook It has already created waves on its initial publication in Dutch The author, Rutger Bregman, is a young Dutch journalist He presents a fresh vision of a successful society His ideas include establishing a guaranteed basic income for all, open borders and no longer using GDP as a measure of prosperity Many people will read this book with enthusiasm These will be followed by many with a sober and depressing critique This is the whole purpose of the book to open up a discussion and to lodge these ideas into the global consciousness This is a book that ought to be read.The writing style is simple and clear, avoiding complex sentence structures I was surprised by how many of the book s examples were taken from the Anglosphere Some examples were from Holland and Denmark but most were from the US or UK If I had not known, I would have assumed that the writer was a US journalist.The main ideas are the introduction of a Universal Unconditional Basic Income, the reduction of the working week, finding a better metric than GDP and the opening of borders The challenges are globalisation and automation of the workplace for both blue collar and white collar employees Soon there will much less work, no matter how many non jobs are created Do we want to create a society with a small wealthy global elite surrounded by permanent mass unemployment, under employment or pointless employment Currently jobs are off shored because the labour in the less developed world is cheaper than automation What happens when automation becomes cheaper When technological change happened in the past new, previously un imaged jobs replaced them However, this time may be different Slowly but surely, the bedrock of modern democracy the middle class is crumbling And while the U.S is leading the process, other developed nations aren t far behind page 191 In the end, it s not the market or technology that decides what has real value, but society If we want this century to be one in which all of us get richer, then we ll need to free ourselves of the dogma that all work is meaningful And, while we re at it, let s also get rid of the fallacy that a higher salary is automatically a reflection of societal value page 172 THE BOOK has 10 chapters and an Epilogue over 264 pages, plus 52 pages of Notes, Index and Acknowledgements The chapters are 1 The Return of UtopiaWhere the medieval European dream of the Land of Plenty, Cockaigne, is fulfilled by the modern western world s development, but it is a bleak Paradise2 Why We Should Give Free Money to EveryoneWhere examples of giving away free money to the street sleeping homeless are reviewed3 The End of PovertyHow money from a casino lifted Cherokee families out of the cycle of poverty and social problems How Utah s unconditional gifts of money and homes solved their homeless problem4 The Bizarre Tale of President Nixon and His Basic Income Tax BillPresident Nixon tried to introduce a universal basic income The successful results of a similar scheme in early 19th century in Speenhamland, England were deliberately misrepresented for political reasons in the 1830s The idea of a universal basic income was supported by economists Frederick Hayek and Milton Friedman The State of Alaska gives a universal basic income to its residents from oil revenues5 New Figures for a new EraThe invention of GDP and its modern limitations6 A Fifteen Hour Work Week7 Why It Doesn t Pay to be a BankerOn real jobs, well paid jobs that negatively contribute to the common wealth and jobs that are meaningless8 Race Against the MachineThe onslaught of automation and intelligent machines9 Beyond the Gates of the Land of PlentyOpen the borders10 Ideas Change the WorldHow some apparently crazy ideas eventually become mainstream e.g abolishing slaverySOUCES The author s sources include The Failed Welfare Revolution Utopianism A Very Short Introduction Picture Imperfect Utopian Thought Just Give Money to the Poor Basic Income Guarantee GDP A Brief but Affectionate History The Overworked American Time on Our Side Why We All Need a Shorter Working Week The Second Machine Age. A real show stopper as far as I m concerned.Bregman sets out the case for a shorter working week, universal basic pay and other radical ways of viewing and operating the world we live in If you are looking for a positive radical way of changing the world and not just tinkering around the edges, you must read this It is well researched, well referenced, very well written, and full of information that may keep you from getting off to sleep It also has what has to be the most weird piece of hidden history in that Nixon almost implemented some of this stuff Incredible I stopped reading two other books until I had finished this one I just couldn t put it down, but beware, it is crammed full of great examples that you immediately want to tell someone else about. Many people find themselves working for longer hours, for static wages, with less job security than ever The spectre of Artificial Intelligence looms on the horizon whilst offering many benefits it may lead to the elimination of half our jobs Is this our future and work for less and less money except for the one per cent This book offers a beautiful and practical alternative This author provides powerful evidence that ideas such as Universal Basic Income could have immense benefits It provides a compelling, exciting and powerful vision It is less strong on the transition, on the how to get to implementing the vision, though the author argues a radical vision may have to be articulated for decades before it is implemented I found some ideas compelling than others e.g I was totally convinced by the case for Universal Basic Income and a much shorter working week, far less so on the case for any movement towards open borders Still, overall, this book is a brilliant read and inspires to me to believe that our economic and social future can be much better than our present. THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER FROM THE VIRAL SENSATION TAKING ON THE BILLIONAIRES Listen Out For Rutger Bregman He Has A Big Future Shaping The Future Observer A Politically Radical Malcolm Gladwell New York Times The Dutch Wunderkind Of New Ideas GuardianIn Utopia For Realists, Rutger Bregman Shows That We Can Construct A Society With Visionary Ideas That Are, In Fact, Wholly Implementable Every Milestone Of Civilisation From The End Of Slavery To The Beginning Of Democracy Was Once Considered A Utopian Fantasy New Utopian Ideas Such As Universal Basic Income And A Fifteen Hour Work Week Can Become Reality In Our LifetimeFrom A Canadian City That Once Completely Eradicated Poverty, To Richard Nixon S Near Implementation Of A Basic Income For Millions Of Americans, Bregman Takes Us On A Journey Through History, Beyond The Traditional Left Right Divides, As He Introduces Ideas Whose Time Has Come This Book Has Been Updated With A Sticker On The Front Cover We Cannot Guarantee That Orders Placed Will Include The Sticker

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