The Global Security News: Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (85 sites): “deutsche bank and trump” – Google News: Trump sues to block US bank subpoenas – The Canberra Times

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Trump sues to block US bank subpoenas  The Canberra Times

US President Donald Trump is suing Deutsche Bank and Capital One in an attempt to block congressional subpoenas for his business records. The lawsuit by …

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Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (85 sites)

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The Global Security News: Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (85 sites): “deutsche bank and trump” – Google News: Trump Family Sues Deutsche Bank, Capital One To Fight Dems’ Subpoenas – Townhall

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Trump Family Sues Deutsche Bank, Capital One To Fight Dems’ Subpoenas  Townhall

The Trump family on Monday filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank and Capital One to prevent the banks from complying with subpoenas from the House …

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Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (85 sites)

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The Global Security News: Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (85 sites): “deutsche bank and trump” – Google News: Trump team sues banks to keep them from turning over financial records to Congress – KCCI Des Moines

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Trump team sues banks to keep them from turning over financial records to Congress  KCCI Des Moines

The Trump family and his business are suing two banks to block them from congressional subpoenas.

“deutsche bank and trump” – Google News

Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (85 sites)

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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): “global security” – Google News: Liberia: Nobel Women’s Initiative 2019 Conference Opens Today in Monrovia – Front Page Africa

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Liberia: Nobel Women’s Initiative 2019 Conference Opens Today in Monrovia  Front Page Africa

MONROVIA – The Nobel Women’s Initiative 2019 Conference would commence today at the Monrovia City Hall for the next three days. Shirin Ebadi, Jody …

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1. New York and Brooklyn from Michael_Novakhov (111 sites): “Madison Brooklyn” – Google News: Baseball: German’s late blast rallies Philo past John Glenn – Zanesville Times Recorder

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Baseball: German’s late blast rallies Philo past John Glenn  Zanesville Times Recorder

The Muskingum Valley League baseball race took another turn on Monday night.

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The Global Security News: Rod Rosenstein: Deputy Attorney General submits his resignation – Vox.com

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April 29, 2019
Rod Rosenstein: Deputy Attorney General submits his resignation – Vox.com
“peter strzok is removed” – Google News: Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein resigns and thanks Trump for ‘courtesy and humor’ – Daily Mail
FBI Says It Thwarted A Planned Terrorist Attack By A Military Vet in Los Angeles Area – WJCT NEWS
FBI says received vague tips ahead of deadly California synagogue shooting – Reuters
“fbi criticism” – Google News: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submits letter of resignation to President Trump – Baltimore Sun

Rod Rosenstein: Deputy Attorney General submits his resignation – Vox.com

Vox.com
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the Justice Department official who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the Russia investigation, is now, finally and officially, stepping down.
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“peter strzok is removed” – Google News: Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein resigns and thanks Trump for ‘courtesy and humor’ – Daily Mail

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein turned in his letter of resignation Monday, thanking President Trump and even complimenting his private ‘courtesy’ despite the president going after him publicly during the Mueller probe.
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FBI Says It Thwarted A Planned Terrorist Attack By A Military Vet in Los Angeles Area – WJCT NEWS

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A U.S. Army veteran with experience fighting in Afghanistan conspired to stage a terrorist attack on a planned white supremacist rally with the intent of inflicting mass casualties in the Los Angeles area, according to federal prosecutors.
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FBI says received vague tips ahead of deadly California synagogue shooting – Reuters

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(Reuters) – The woman who was killed in a deadly shooting at a Southern California synagogue will be buried on Monday after being hailed as a hero, as police continue to investigate the motive of the 19-year-old suspect.
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“fbi criticism” – Google News: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submits letter of resignation to President Trump – Baltimore Sun

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submitted his resignation Monday after a two-year run defined by his appointment of a special counsel to investigate connections between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.
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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Eurasia Review: Electoral Reform Crucial For Malaysian Reform – Analysis

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The key to eradicating “Malay-Nationalist” hegemony and feudalism in Malaysia

There is no doubt that the May 9, 2018 electoral revolution that ended six decades of rule of Malaysia by the Barisan Nasional is in danger. The Pakatan Harapan coalition that won has stumbled from issue to issue, in the process of losing three key by-elections and facing increased voter antipathy.

What the reform coalition must realize is that the key to its transformation agenda is electoral reform. It is the prerequisite to political, economic, market, civil service, and social reforms.

The current electoral system has locked in the New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced in 1971 after disastrous race riots on May 13, 1969 that took hundreds of lives but which has hamstrung the country economically in the succeeding 48 years.

The original intention was to help Malays participate in the economy along with other races and to develop a Malay professional class through education. However, this positive discrimination policy also facilitated the growth of Malay nationalist narratives into society to the point where the ethnic Malay-agenda has become the dominant political rhetoric, not just within the political environment, but is one of the major drivers of Malaysian cultural dynamics. To many, it has become hegemonic.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, during his first administration, with his then-deputy Anwar Ibrahim, went on a massive campaign to produce Malay entrepreneurs, providing them with ‘institutionally created opportunities” to get rich. We saw the privatisation of the state-owned airline MAS, the development of the Genting gaming complex, the creation of private tollways, public transport and telecommunications, in what has become to be known as crony capitalism. This cronyism became synonymous with becoming a politician as an endeavour to make money, particularly within the ranks of the governing United Malays National Organization, which led the Barisan.

As Islam is a major part of the Malay identity, a form of political Islam also developed. Political Islam’s rhetoric has increased the divide between Muslims and Non-Muslims over the last generation. Islam in Malaysia has moved away from the more inclusive forms that were once found in Egypt and Turkey towards a firebrand exclusive Islam more along the lines of teachings preached by fugitive preacher Zakir Naik.

The current Dewan Rakyat (lower house) electoral system with heavy weighting towards the rural Malay regions over more ethnically diverse urban areas perpetuates Malay-nationalist narratives. It is the heartlands where elections are won or lost, even though 76 percent of the population live in urban areas.

In an extreme example of the electoral weighting of rural areas, one vote in the federal constituency of Igan in Sarawak is worth nine votes in the Bangi constituency in Selangor. In addition, the first past the post voting system which elects the candidate with just a simple majority of votes is inadequate. ‘First past the post’ voting doesn’t give minority parties with general support across the country any voice in parliament, if they cannot win a majority in any constituency. This also promotes the polarity of Malay-nationalist narratives within the Malaysian political system today.

In the 2013 election the Barisan Nasional won 59.91 percent of the constituencies with only 47.38 percent of the popular vote. The principle of “one vote one value” more fairly allows the aggregate voting intention of the country to be reflected in which party or coalition governs the country.

A fairer voting system would help free the country of unhealthy exclusionist narratives which pit one race against another. Hopefully this would encourage inclusive politics rather than the current racial based political rhetoric which is costing the country socially, culturally, and economically.

This is a prerequisite to any development agenda.

Electoral reform cannot stop there. The Dewan Negara, the parliament, has been denigrated into a house of convenience for the federal government of the day. It is comprised of 26 members appointed by state legislatures, four representing the federal territories and 40 appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the king. There are no democratically elected members.

The Dewan Negara is a left-over artefact from the 19th Century symbolising feudalism. It doesn’t functionally review government and maintain states’ rights as it is nominally supposed to do. Its functions have been simply thrashed by past and current governments and converted to appoint members who often use this pathway to become unelected ministers of government.

The disrespect the house is given by the government today is indicated by the fact that 17 seats remain unappointed and therefore unoccupied. This makes it a mockery. The Dewan Negara should not be a convenience for the government of the day, but a working piece of the Malaysian democratic system.

A special committee to look into electoral reform chaired by former Election Commission Chairman Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman was set up last August, not under the parliament but under the Prime Minister’s Department. The Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) has held a number of roundtable discussions with stakeholders and international experts and recently signed an agreement with the UNDP to assist in electoral reform.

However with no specific timeframe and an ad hoc style investigation taking place, it remains to be seen whether this committee will just be a talk fest and travel junket or make serious recommendations in regards to how to overhaul the electoral system.

Under Article 46 of the Malaysian Constitution, parliamentary constituencies can only be reviewed in 2023 and 2026. This means there cannot be any reforms implemented until after the next federal and state elections. To hasten the process would require an amendment to the constitution, which requires a two-thirds majority in the parliament. Pakatan doesn’t command a two-thirds majority and judging by its defeat over the Sabah and Sarawak constitutional amendments, it’s highly unlikely any bipartisan approach will be taken on electoral reform.

Any amendments to the Dewan Negara will also require constitutional amendments. Any attempt to make amendments would most probably lead to charges by the opposition that the government is trying to undermine the royalty, as under the current constitution the Agong on the advice of the prime minister appoints the majority of members sitting in the house.

There are a few additional electoral reform matters which can be changed without committees and constitutional changes. De-synchronising the federal and state elections would bring state issues into elections. This could easily be achieved through dissolving respective houses at different times. Local elections are important to participatory democracy. However these reforms, proposed by he Pakatan coalition since 2008, have led to lengthy procrastination.

Gender bias in each political party could be tackled at the party level although there appears little determination to solve this problem. The balance of power between the Federal and state governments needs to be re-balanced towards the states. This could be partly achieved by political parties allowing their local memberships select their own state candidates.

However the bottom line on electoral reform is that it is not in the real interests of Mahahir’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. The current skew in constituencies toward the Malay heartlands favors Bersatu. Any reforms toward ‘one vote one value’ would greatly strengthen the urban parties, the Malay moderate Parti Keadilan Rakyat, and the Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Paety at the cost of Bersatu.

So expect the current government to sit on electoral reform until a leader comes from another party.

A system that reflects ‘one vote one value’ is badly needed if the country is going to continue to develop economically. Landslide election victories under the ‘first past the post’ system have brought arrogant, kleptocratic government in the past. The current system is keeping the NEP in place with the Malay-nationalist and exclusion dialogues propagated by ideologues. This is coming to a tipping point where it is starting to terrorize non-Muslims.

The government needs to send a strong statement against the institutionalised feudalism of the state by democratizing the upper house and giving a stronger states’ voice into the democratic system of a federation. The current electoral system is shackling Malaysia in more ways than one.

Originally published in the Asia Sentinel

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites)

The Global Security News


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The Global Security News: Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: Electoral Reform Crucial For Malaysian Reform – Analysis

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The key to eradicating “Malay-Nationalist” hegemony and feudalism in Malaysia

There is no doubt that the May 9, 2018 electoral revolution that ended six decades of rule of Malaysia by the Barisan Nasional is in danger. The Pakatan Harapan coalition that won has stumbled from issue to issue, in the process of losing three key by-elections and facing increased voter antipathy.

What the reform coalition must realize is that the key to its transformation agenda is electoral reform. It is the prerequisite to political, economic, market, civil service, and social reforms.

The current electoral system has locked in the New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced in 1971 after disastrous race riots on May 13, 1969 that took hundreds of lives but which has hamstrung the country economically in the succeeding 48 years.

The original intention was to help Malays participate in the economy along with other races and to develop a Malay professional class through education. However, this positive discrimination policy also facilitated the growth of Malay nationalist narratives into society to the point where the ethnic Malay-agenda has become the dominant political rhetoric, not just within the political environment, but is one of the major drivers of Malaysian cultural dynamics. To many, it has become hegemonic.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, during his first administration, with his then-deputy Anwar Ibrahim, went on a massive campaign to produce Malay entrepreneurs, providing them with ‘institutionally created opportunities” to get rich. We saw the privatisation of the state-owned airline MAS, the development of the Genting gaming complex, the creation of private tollways, public transport and telecommunications, in what has become to be known as crony capitalism. This cronyism became synonymous with becoming a politician as an endeavour to make money, particularly within the ranks of the governing United Malays National Organization, which led the Barisan.

As Islam is a major part of the Malay identity, a form of political Islam also developed. Political Islam’s rhetoric has increased the divide between Muslims and Non-Muslims over the last generation. Islam in Malaysia has moved away from the more inclusive forms that were once found in Egypt and Turkey towards a firebrand exclusive Islam more along the lines of teachings preached by fugitive preacher Zakir Naik.

The current Dewan Rakyat (lower house) electoral system with heavy weighting towards the rural Malay regions over more ethnically diverse urban areas perpetuates Malay-nationalist narratives. It is the heartlands where elections are won or lost, even though 76 percent of the population live in urban areas.

In an extreme example of the electoral weighting of rural areas, one vote in the federal constituency of Igan in Sarawak is worth nine votes in the Bangi constituency in Selangor. In addition, the first past the post voting system which elects the candidate with just a simple majority of votes is inadequate. ‘First past the post’ voting doesn’t give minority parties with general support across the country any voice in parliament, if they cannot win a majority in any constituency. This also promotes the polarity of Malay-nationalist narratives within the Malaysian political system today.

In the 2013 election the Barisan Nasional won 59.91 percent of the constituencies with only 47.38 percent of the popular vote. The principle of “one vote one value” more fairly allows the aggregate voting intention of the country to be reflected in which party or coalition governs the country.

A fairer voting system would help free the country of unhealthy exclusionist narratives which pit one race against another. Hopefully this would encourage inclusive politics rather than the current racial based political rhetoric which is costing the country socially, culturally, and economically.

This is a prerequisite to any development agenda.

Electoral reform cannot stop there. The Dewan Negara, the parliament, has been denigrated into a house of convenience for the federal government of the day. It is comprised of 26 members appointed by state legislatures, four representing the federal territories and 40 appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the king. There are no democratically elected members.

The Dewan Negara is a left-over artefact from the 19th Century symbolising feudalism. It doesn’t functionally review government and maintain states’ rights as it is nominally supposed to do. Its functions have been simply thrashed by past and current governments and converted to appoint members who often use this pathway to become unelected ministers of government.

The disrespect the house is given by the government today is indicated by the fact that 17 seats remain unappointed and therefore unoccupied. This makes it a mockery. The Dewan Negara should not be a convenience for the government of the day, but a working piece of the Malaysian democratic system.

A special committee to look into electoral reform chaired by former Election Commission Chairman Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman was set up last August, not under the parliament but under the Prime Minister’s Department. The Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) has held a number of roundtable discussions with stakeholders and international experts and recently signed an agreement with the UNDP to assist in electoral reform.

However with no specific timeframe and an ad hoc style investigation taking place, it remains to be seen whether this committee will just be a talk fest and travel junket or make serious recommendations in regards to how to overhaul the electoral system.

Under Article 46 of the Malaysian Constitution, parliamentary constituencies can only be reviewed in 2023 and 2026. This means there cannot be any reforms implemented until after the next federal and state elections. To hasten the process would require an amendment to the constitution, which requires a two-thirds majority in the parliament. Pakatan doesn’t command a two-thirds majority and judging by its defeat over the Sabah and Sarawak constitutional amendments, it’s highly unlikely any bipartisan approach will be taken on electoral reform.

Any amendments to the Dewan Negara will also require constitutional amendments. Any attempt to make amendments would most probably lead to charges by the opposition that the government is trying to undermine the royalty, as under the current constitution the Agong on the advice of the prime minister appoints the majority of members sitting in the house.

There are a few additional electoral reform matters which can be changed without committees and constitutional changes. De-synchronising the federal and state elections would bring state issues into elections. This could easily be achieved through dissolving respective houses at different times. Local elections are important to participatory democracy. However these reforms, proposed by he Pakatan coalition since 2008, have led to lengthy procrastination.

Gender bias in each political party could be tackled at the party level although there appears little determination to solve this problem. The balance of power between the Federal and state governments needs to be re-balanced towards the states. This could be partly achieved by political parties allowing their local memberships select their own state candidates.

However the bottom line on electoral reform is that it is not in the real interests of Mahahir’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. The current skew in constituencies toward the Malay heartlands favors Bersatu. Any reforms toward ‘one vote one value’ would greatly strengthen the urban parties, the Malay moderate Parti Keadilan Rakyat, and the Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Paety at the cost of Bersatu.

So expect the current government to sit on electoral reform until a leader comes from another party.

A system that reflects ‘one vote one value’ is badly needed if the country is going to continue to develop economically. Landslide election victories under the ‘first past the post’ system have brought arrogant, kleptocratic government in the past. The current system is keeping the NEP in place with the Malay-nationalist and exclusion dialogues propagated by ideologues. This is coming to a tipping point where it is starting to terrorize non-Muslims.

The government needs to send a strong statement against the institutionalised feudalism of the state by democratizing the upper house and giving a stronger states’ voice into the democratic system of a federation. The current electoral system is shackling Malaysia in more ways than one.

Originally published in the Asia Sentinel

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites)

The Global Security News


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The Global Security News: Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: The Scaremongers Are Wrong About Robots And AI – OpEd

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By George Pickering*

Thanks to the recent efforts of
such figures as Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang and
British Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, the issue of Universal Basic
Income (UBI) has been back at the forefront of the public discussion on
economic issues, along with the various arguments and justifications for
introducing such a policy. While many of these justifications have
become quite familiar over the years of waxing and waning interest in
UBI, it is interesting to note the recent surge of interest in one particular argument which sounds more like something from a science fiction novel than an economics textbook.

This argument runs roughly as follows: In the not too distant future,
rapidly advancing technology will allow robots and artificial
intelligence (AI) to perform many of the jobs now being done by humans,
and to do so more cheaply and efficiently than humans ever could. This
will result in robots/AI replacing humans in almost all jobs, making the
vast majority of people permanently unemployed, and without Universal
Basic Income how will they (the people) be able to keep food on their
tables?

Of course, the idea that advances in labor saving technology will
lead to catastrophic unemployment and declining living standards is
hardly new, arguably dating back to ancient Greece
or earlier, and economists (not to mention the facts of history) have
been refuting the idea for nearly as long as economics has existed as a
self-conscious science.

However, as familiar as the generally luddite tone of this new
argument for UBI may seem on its surface, it nevertheless does have one
key difference from the more traditional arguments against labor saving
technology. This difference not only sets the new AI scaremongering
argument apart as meaningfully different than the arguments which have
gone before, but also highlights a fundamental misunderstanding its
proponents suffer from, concerning the very nature of what a market
economy is, and what drives it.

What marks the AI scaremongering argument as new and meaningfully
different is its altered assumptions about the breadth of different jobs
which the new technology would be capable of usurping from human
workers. In previous eras, even the most hysterical denouncers of labor
saving technology shared an unspoken understanding of the limited
capabilities of the technologies they opposed. When the spinning jenny
was introduced in the 1760s, they may have argued that it would cause
unemployment in the textiles industry, but none of them would have
claimed that the same machine would cause mass unemployment among
butchers, lawyers, or pub landlords. When automobiles became widely
available, they may have argued that buggy whip manufacturers were at
risk of permanent impoverishment, but few would have argued that the
existence of cars posed an equal threat to the jobs of teachers,
waitresses, or doctors.

However, given the near-total lack of public understanding of what AI
actually is and what it’s capable of, not to mention the irresistible
temptation to sensationalize modest scientific advances into
eye-grabbing and alarmist headlines, the new AI scaremongers have
allowed their imaginations to run wild when speculating as to which jobs
are under threat from this mysterious new technology. The result is
that they, and much of the public, seem to believe AI is (or soon will
be) capable of almost anything they can imagine, in the same way that so
many charmingly naive 80s movies portrayed home computers as essentially “omnipotent science magic.”

It is this assumption that AI and robots will soon be able to accomplish almost all jobs
more cheaply and efficiently than humans, which marks the new AI
scaremongering argument as fundamentally different from the previous
arguments against labor saving technology. Economists had previously
been able to argue that labor saving technology frees up resources and
lowers prices in a way which results in net quality of life improvements
for society as a whole, creating new jobs and opening up new types of
industry, even if it results in short term unemployment for a small
minority. But would that really still be the case if the new technology
is capable of making human labor obsolete in all types of job?

There are several objections one could make against this argument,
not least of which being its dubious assumptions about the capabilities
of AI technology. However, the sign of a truly weak argument is not only
a reliance on unrealistic assumptions, but a failure to stand up to
scrutiny even when its assumptions are taken as given.

Even if it were true that robots and AI could perform absolutely all
jobs currently being done by humans, and could do so more cheaply and
efficiently than humans, the AI scaremongers would still be incorrect to
conclude that robots and AI will replace humans in all, or
even most, jobs. The source of their incorrect conclusion is a
fundamental misunderstanding of what drives business activity in a
market economy. Entrepreneurs are not driven by an arbitrary desire to
pursue the most technologically advanced, the most efficient, or even
the cheapest production process, purely for the sake of it, as seems to
be the assumption of the AI scaremongers and many other
anti-capitalists. Rather, the fundamental driving force in a market
economy is to direct and organize production in the way that best
satisfies consumers’ preferences.

For evidence that this true driving force of the economy does not
necessarily lead to increasing reliance on technology, even if that
technology would be more cheap or efficient in some objective sense, one
need look no further than the sectors in which human workers already
are being replaced by ‘robots’ of a sort. Readers who have visited a
fast food chain such as McDonalds in the past few years may have noticed
an increasing number of self-service touch screens, reducing the need
for human staff to take orders. But if this technology exists and is
already in profitable use at these fast food chains, why hasn’t it been
adopted by all other restaurants? If the AI scaremongers believe robots
and AI will necessarily replace all human workers when the former can
perform the same job more cheaply and efficiently, how do they account
for the fact that human waiters haven’t already been replaced by
self-service touch screens at the Savoy Grill or The Ritz? The absurdity
of the question illuminates the fact that a desire to satisfy consumer
preferences, not bare efficiency and cost-cutting, is the key motivator
of entrepreneurial decision making in a market economy.

With a little thought, it is easy to imagine many services which
consumers might prefer to have provided to them by human staff, even if a
machine were technically capable of providing the same service more
cheaply: nurses and care providers, entertainers, chefs, and teachers
would likely fall into this category, as would many other jobs.

Given the persistent popularity of UBI across the political spectrum,
its advocates are unlikely to abandon any of their
increasingly-familiar arguments any time soon. However, it seems
unlikely that their new argument about AI-induced mass unemployment will
turn out to be the silver bullet they were hoping for.

*About the author: George Pickering is a 2018 Mises Institute Research Fellow and a student of economic history at the London School of Economics.

Source: This article was published by the MISES Institute

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites)

The Global Security News


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