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Bregman is Dutch, which will be a strike against him on these shores, and then there is the matter of his politics, which seem designed to infuriate the entire spectrum of current American thought silver chart 100 years. He is for open borders, which will make him an Antichrist to the Trump right, and he speaks warmly of neoliberalism, which will make Sanders liberals cringe.

At the same time, the entire thesis of his book seems aimed at the tepid incrementalism of mainstream Democrats, who reflexively dismiss all big ideas as "politically unrealistic" and the work of "purity testers." He will have few natural allies on this side of the Atlantic, which may be one of the reasons his international bestseller hasn’t been reviewed in very many of our major newspapers yet.

But Bregman’s book is both a fun read and a breath of fresh air to anyone who lived through the ghastly experience of last year’s presidential election season, which turned into an angry referendum on the relentless narrowness of American politics.

Utopia for Realists is a book that argues, with humor and sympathy, that we’ve all suffered from forgetting how to dream of a better world. "We inhabit a world of managers and technocrats," he writes. "Political decisions are presented as a matter of exigency – as neutral and objective events, as though there were no other choice."

American writers continually made the mistake of trying to understand the upheavals of last year in terms of the usual left-right explanations of the world, instead of looking at more basic criteria usd jpy news. People everywhere were depressed and bored out of their minds pound euro exchange rate today. They craved something new stock market cnn futures. Polls consistently showed that people in both parties were unhappy with their choices and wanted a new direction, almost irrespective of what that direction was.

People wanted big ideas and big dreams, but Democrats and Republicans both have been trained to imagine the future not as a better place, but one filled with horror and destruction dow futures market hours. On the right, the fantasy future is overrun by benefit-devouring immigrants with scabies, while for the left the next decades are a hellscape filled with toxic greenhouse gases and overfished oceans.

But of course aides who hated the idea (including one who was an Ayn Rand fan) pushed him away from the plan, and it morphed into yet another plan to castigate the lazy poor by forcing them to work oil futures market history. Later in the Seventies, the idea vanished altogether thanks to another classic political reason – a typo, which mistakenly showed that experiments in this area revealed a 50 percent higher divorce rate, which naturally led men to worry that guaranteeing women a basic income would leave them with no reason to stay home us dollar euro exchange rate history. Years later it turned out that basic income experiments had shown no impact on the divorce rate.

One of the reasons the welfare state is so unpopular in America is because every aid program ends up being income-dependent eur usd bloomberg. You can’t qualify for aid here until you’re poor enough, but we treat the poor as work-averse parasites with bad judgment who have to be monitored round-the-clock pound sterling to us dollar exchange rate. But studies abroad show that the countries with the most universal programs are the most successful and engender the least hostility. "Basically," Bregman writes, "people are more open to solidarity if it benefits them personally."

Bregman’s basic ideas are pretty simple 1 hkd to usd. He thinks (and many scientists agree with him) that if you give people a basic income with no strings attached, they will make better decisions, work more, cost the state less in the areas of things like health care and incarceration, and be happier and feel less humiliated, scared, and insecure. He quotes Woody Allen, who pointed out that "money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons."

He also argues pretty forcefully that working longer hours makes us less productive and also more unhappy. At some point in the arc of industrialized countries, we end up working more and more hours just so we can acquire more and more stuff we don’t need. More relaxing, less working and consuming – that’s where we should be looking. So he proposes a 15-hour work week. I’m sure people here will hate the idea.

And who knows, maybe none of it works in practice. But what’s so interesting about modern America is our hostility to the mere idea of trying to create an easier and happier life. We’re a country that was once rich with social experimentation, from the Shaker colonies to Brook Farm to Oneida to New Harmony to the Fourierist experiments to the Octagon community of vegetarians to a long list of others, many of them amusingly crazy, who tried to use the accident of plenty as an excuse to build a better way to live.

Now we don’t really even try, and mostly just scream at each other on the Internet. That doesn’t seem like it will get us there. Maybe free money and a three-hour work day won’t, either, but it sure seems like it would be more fun to try.