Looking at America today, we have repubs going nuts over porn; the active dismantling of ethics and ethical oversight in favour of open corruption; and Donny “Pendejo” Trump waging twitter war with Kim Jong Un, because nothing screams “Greatness!” like two sociopaths with all the maturity of a toddler in full meltdown. And nukes, can’t forget the nukes.
Meanwhile, in Sweden, there’s a move to break the consumer cycle of “buy, it breaks, toss it out, buy another.”
Sweden’s Minister of Financial Markets and Consumer Affairs Per Bolund says we need to change that mindset.
“Part of that is making it more affordable and economically rational to stop the buying and throwing away, instead repairing your goods and using them for a longer time,” says Bolund.
He’s trying to push people in that direction through tax breaks; he’s spearheading a 50-percent tax cut for Swedes to repair items like clothes, shoes and bicycles. The new rule takes effect on Jan. 1, 2017, with a goal of decreasing waste in the world’s landfills, which are filling up at an alarming rate.
This idea — not just discarding stuff — it’s not exactly revolutionary.
A 50% tax break. I just bet that wouldn’t get the attention of Americans, nooooo. [Serious, deadly sarcasm there.]
And in Finland, they are breaking out a guaranteed universal income pilot program.
Giving people money regardless of whether or not they’re working seems to defy common sense about personal responsibility and how to boost productivity. But supporters of UBI have argued that it just makes sense as public policy, for several reasons. First, in the long run, it might be simpler and cheaper for the state to give people money than to oversee a complicated welfare bureaucracy. And it looks as if technological advances might level industries that may have seemed impervious to automation, such as truck driving: driverless vehicles will soon be out of the experimental stage, journalist Gwynne Dyer has noted.
So, America: bowl full of rotten apples.