Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Book 6 of 2019 -- Growing Pains

In a discussion recently about the state of the world and the Donald Trump effect one of the people mentioned this book and offered to lend it to me.

It is a good read, unsettling at times but thought-provoking. While I have never read any of Dyer's books I did generally appreciate his syndicated columns. He is able to take what could be relatively dry material (the book contains analysis of voting patterns and economic data) and present it in an engaging manner.

Dyer offers an alternate interpretation of the populism espoused by Trumpsters and Brexiteers, one I find much more logical than the rhetoric from the populist side. I found myself wondering what he would have to say about the rhetoric from our recent provincial elections in Alberta and Ontario where populism has made a definite impact.

I especially appreciated the case Dyer makes for an Universal Basic Income. I have long believed a Gauranteed Annual Income would be a good idea, though of course the devil is in the details. I really liked Dyer's contention that it should be universal where many proposals have seen it solely as a piece of the social safety net. The idea of universality and therefore removing stigma of receiving it makes sense. And of course if Dyer is right (and I think he largely is) that the future changes to the global economy will bring on massive shifts in employment then UBI becomes a good way to avoid the revolution.  Coincidentally I was reading an article earlier today outlining the link between income inequality and social and physical health. Dyer highlights the dangers of this as well

Another interesting take in the book is Dyer's suggestion that humans are somehow hard-wired to seek a more equitable society, even as humans are also apparently hard-wired to seek dominance. This would be a good book for a discussion group.

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