Europe’s robots to become ‘electronic persons’ under draft plan

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An industrial robotic arm pours a glass of beer at the Automatica trade fair in Munich on Tuesday. Photo: Bloomberg

 

Munich:   Europe’s growing army of robot workers could be classed as “electronic persons” and their owners liable to paying social security for them if the European Union adopts a draft plan to address the realities of a new industrial revolution.Robots are being deployed in ever-greater numbers in factories and also taking on tasks such as personal care or surgery, raising fears over unemployment, wealth inequality and alienation.

Their growing intelligence, pervasiveness and autonomy requires rethinking everything from taxation to legal liability, a draft European Parliament motion, dated May 31, suggests. Continue reading

The United States Is Already At Least As Socialist As Denmark

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To be, or not to be Denmark? That, apparently, is the question for Democratic presidential candidates.

Perhaps unexpectedly, the beautiful northern European country of Denmark emerged as a topic of conversation during this week’s Democratic Party presidential debate. The small Scandinavian monarchy plays an important role in progressive mythology. It is a place many liberals want America to become, and both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton sung its praises during the debate. A closer look at Denmark’s public policies is, therefore, warranted. It yields some surprising results. Continue reading

The Link Between Inflation & Interest Rates

QUESTION:

The reason central banks like to have inflation, is because they get to reduce the effective value of their respective national debts over time. I do not know why there is a link between inflation and interest rates, which is assumed in BB’s remarks. Is there any basis for that?

ANSWER: The link between interest rates and inflation is fundamental. If the inflation rate is 20%, you would never lend money at 10% for that would effectively be the same as a negative interest rate. The level of interest rates must be ABOVE the inflation rate to make it profitable to lend. Continue reading

FEDEWA: Savage versus the pope

Conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage is quoted by Newsmax (May 12) as calling on Pope Francis to begin the “legitimate” redistribution of wealth by monetizing the wealth of the Vatican and distributing the proceeds to the poor.

This rant was in response to the pope’s recent speech to the U.N. secretary-general and officials urging them to promote a “worldwide ethical mobilization” of solidarity with the world’s poor. The pope said that the U.N. should seek the “legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society” in order to achieve a more equitable distribution of wealth.

Savage then went on to describe U.S. taxation in relation to the poor as more than adequate, and called the pope “Karl Marx in a papal outfit.” Continue reading

American Economic Calamity Predicted in 1857

The Great British historian, Lord Macaulay, predicted the future unraveling of the United States economy in a letter written in May 1857. Macaulay’s prediction was based on his analysis of American institutions. Discussing the life of Thomas Jefferson with an American author, Macaulay wrote, “You are surprised to learn that I have not a high opinion of Mr. Jefferson, and I am surprised at your surprise. I am certain that I never wrote a line, and … uttered a word indicating an opinion that the supreme authority in a state ought to be entrusted to the majority of citizens [counted] by the head; in other words, to the poorest and most ignorant part of society.”

According to Macaulay the United States was becoming increasingly democratic throughout the nineteenth century. And this tendency, he argued, was dangerous to liberty and to the country’s economic well-being. As Macaulay explained, “I have long been convinced that institutions purely democratic must, sooner or later, destroy liberty or civilization, or both.” Continue reading