New Zealand may tighten law that allows mega wealthy to buy citizenship
The Affluent Society is a 1958 (4th edition revised 1984) book by Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith. The book sought to clearly outline the manner in which the post-World War II United States was becoming wealthy in the private sector but remained poor in the public sector, lacking social and physical infrastructure, and perpetuating income disparities. The book sparked much public discussion at the time. It is also credited with popularizing the term "conventional wisdom." Many of the ideas presented were later expanded and refined in Galbraith's 1967 book, The New Industrial State
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In a book with almost 400 pages of text, it is striking that government fraud is not seriously discussed, with the exception of the critical take on the Comstock movement, under which the Post Office took up a moral crusade against mail fraud, directed by the evangelical Anthony Comstock. Yet if consumers are so impetuous and ill-informed as to be frequent victims of business fraud, might not voters and even activist citizens be prone to similar manipulations? Balleisen mentions that such a view was held by the nineteenth-century Spencerian Edward Youmans, but he doesn’t do much more than mock it and then move on. Yet arguably the biggest fraud of the early part of the twentieth century was the selling of the First World War to the American public on mostly false pretences. Progressives led this sales pitch, through spokesmen such as Herbert Croly, and of course the President Woodrow Wilson, telling the American people that war was a noble cause that would revitalize the nation and save the world.In Balleisen’s narrative, however, the Progressives show up only as critics of fraud.
1. Arnold Kling on Kurzweil’s predictionsTake lives lost in the workplace. An employer more or less promises that a job is relatively safe, and if it turns out to be dangerous that may reflect a kind of fraud or at the very least a major disappointment. Yet jobs in America have never been as safe as today, and furthermore the rate at which job safety increases does not seem to have been affected by the creation of the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA). Or what about food poisoning, which you also might take as a sign of a fraudulent transaction? Again, overall, the opportunity to buy truly transparently safe food supplies seems greater than ever before, notwithstanding the fact that more consumers are voluntarily taking chances with sushi, non-pasteurized cheeses and home-made raw milk. The nice thing about mortality statistics is that a death pretty much always reflects a disappointment with the transaction, but for most metrics (opioid markets being one significant exception) mortality is down over the past few decades.
1. Eleven recommended documentaries from 2017.