Rich-Get-Richer Effect Observed in BitCoin Digital Currency Network In January 2009, a small group of Internet enthusiasts began an unusual economic experiment when they began to trade a new type of digital cash known as BitCoin. After a shaky start, the idea caught on and grew rapidly after 2011. Today, bitcoins can buy a wider range of goods and services. In total, the BitCoin marketplace has hosted over 17 million transactions and the value of all the bitcoins in circulation is over $1 billion.
Oligarchy, American Style Anyone who has tracked this issue over time knows what I mean. Whenever growing income disparities threaten to come into focus, a reliable set of defenders tries to bring back the blur. Think tanks put out reports claiming that inequality isn’t really rising, or that it doesn’t matter. Pundits try to put a more benign face on the phenomenon, claiming that it’s not really the wealthy few versus the rest, it’s the educated versus the less educated. So what you need to know is that all of these claims are basically attempts to obscure the stark reality: We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only.
EU migrant crisis: What we know about Syrian refugee boys Aylan and Galip Kurdi The Turkish smuggler who owned the boat is believed to have abandoned it when the sea became rough, leaving the passengers struggling to control it for an hour before it overturned. The boys’ father, Abdullah, was one of the few survivors. He was in the sea for three hours before he was rescued by the Greek coastguard. He tried to hold onto his family but one by one they were washed from his grasp. Where had they come from? The Kurdi family, who are ethnic Kurds, had fled the conflict in Syria, where they lived in the war-torn town of Kobane.
Stephen Hawking: You Should Support Wealth Redistribution In July, Professor Stephen Hawking took the time to answer questions posed by Reddit users in an AMA (Ask Me Antyhing), addressing one of the less discussed aspect of increasing technology and robotization: the distribution of wealth. Here’s the question, which is really interesting, and Hawking’s answer: Q: “Have you thought about the possibility of technological unemployment, where we develop automated processes that ultimately cause large unemployment by performing jobs faster and/or cheaper than people can perform them? Some compare this thought to the thoughts of the Luddites, whose revolt was caused in part by perceived technological unemployment over 100 years ago. In particular, do you foresee a world where people work less because so much work is automated?
Would You Rather Be Born Smart or Rich? I know, I know, you'd rather be born smart and rich (and charming, and with a lustrous head of hair, and a voice like Michael Bolton's). But if you had to choose? Chances are, your answer depends on whether you think the U.S. economy is a meritocracy—that intelligence and ambition are more important to lifelong success than the circumstances of your birth. A recent Brookings paper gives reasons for optimism.
CEO-to-worker pay gap is obscene; want to know how obscene? Nothing seems to get U.S. corporations' dander up like a threat to the pay and perks of their chief executives. That's one explanation for corporate America's superheated, turbocharged, over-the-top reaction to the CEO pay ratio rule recently proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The rule requires most large public companies to calculate the ratio of the pay of their chief executive officer to the median pay of all their employees. Capitalism vs. Democracy Thomas Piketty’s new book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” described by one French newspaper as a “a political and theoretical bulldozer,” defies left and right orthodoxy by arguing that worsening inequality is an inevitable outcome of free market capitalism. Piketty, a professor at the Paris School of Economics, does not stop there. He contends that capitalism’s inherent dynamic propels powerful forces that threaten democratic societies. Capitalism, according to Piketty, confronts both modern and modernizing countries with a dilemma: entrepreneurs become increasingly dominant over those who own only their own labor. In Piketty’s view, while emerging economies can defeat this logic in the near term, in the long run, “when pay setters set their own pay, there’s no limit,” unless “confiscatory tax rates” are imposed.
In graphics: Iran, sanctions and the nuclear deal: Iran’s nuclear deal becomes a reality SOMETIME in the next few days Iran’s “Implementation Day” is almost certain to be declared. That is the moment when Iran is deemed to have complied with all its obligations in dismantling those parts of its nuclear programme that would soon have put it weeks away from being able to build a bomb. All nuclear-related sanctions, including the freezing of $100bn of Iranian assets, will be lifted. Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think In a candid conversation with Frank Rich last fall, Chris Rock said, "Oh, people don’t even know. If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets." The findings of three studies, published over the last several years in Perspectives on Psychological Science, suggest that Rock is right. We have no idea how unequal our society has become.
How Trump's three years of job gains compares with Obama's "We're producing jobs like you have never seen before in this country," he said during a recent speech in Michigan. But you don't have to go back far to find three years of better job growth. Just to back to the previous three years under Barack Obama. During Trump's first 36 months in office, the US economy has gained 6.6 million jobs. But during a comparable 36-month period at the end of Obama's tenure, employers added 8.1 million jobs, or 23% more than what has been added since Trump took office. Rich Man Calls Rising Income Inequality 'Fantastic' One Canadian entrepreneur couldn't have been more excited to learn that the 85 richest people on Earth are now worth as much half the world's population. "It’s fantastic," said Canadian millionaire Kevin O’Leary on his own Canadian news show the “The Lang & O’Leary Exchange.” “This is a great thing because it inspires everybody, gets them motivation to look up to the one percent and say, ‘I want to become one of those people, I’m going to fight hard to get up to the top,’ " said O'Leary, who's been dubbed Canada's Donald Trump and is also an investor in the reality show Shark Tank. “This is fantastic news and of course I’m going to applaud it,” O’Leary went on to say Monday, on the record, in front of television cameras that were recording him. “What can be wrong with this?” “Really?”
The Davos oligarchs are right to fear the world they’ve made The billionaires and corporate oligarchs meeting in Davos this week are getting worried about inequality. It might be hard to stomach that the overlords of a system that has delivered the widest global economic gulf in human history should be handwringing about the consequences of their own actions. But even the architects of the crisis-ridden international economic order are starting to see the dangers. It’s not just the maverick hedge-funder George Soros, who likes to describe himself as a class traitor. First Persian Gulf War 1980 Iran and Iraq had a long history of territorial and ethnic conflicts. A disputed waterway along their common border had been the focus of a number of conflicts since the 16th century, and in the 20th century, tensions between the two countries built as treaties and pacts were repeatedly made and broken. Tensions increased further in the 1970s as Iran gave shelter and arms to Kurdish rebels fighting against Saddam Hussein’s regime. In 1975, the two countries brokered a deal in the Algiers Agreement in which Iraq made some territorial concessions in exchange for Iran ceasing its support of the Kurdish rebels. Peace was short-lived, however, as the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution espoused a pan-Islamic religious nationalism, which Hussein perceived as a threat to his notion of a pan-Arab nationalism which was more secular in nature and did not include the ethnic Persians of Iran.