”The reader of Pope, as of every author, is advised to begin by letting him say what he has to say, in his own manner to an open mind that seeks only to receive the impressions which the writer wishes to convey. First let the mind and spirit of the writer come into free, full contact with the mind and spirit of the reader, whose attitude at the first reading should be simply receptive. Such reading is the condition precedent to all true judgment of a writer’s work. All criticism that is not so grounded spreads as fog over a poet’s page. Read, reader, for yourself, without once pausing to remember what you have been told to think´´.
Another striking quote from my reading, I started at about 6 am it is now 9.07am was this.
´´Authors, like coins, grow dear as they grow old; it is the rust we value, not the gold”
UBI is not just for times of national crisis. I have supported a universal
basic income for years. I was the first MP to bring forward a debate on the
subject in Westminster on 14 September 2016, which is shameful, as it is
an idea that has been around since ancient Greece. This is not some new,
hot, fashionable soundbite that is flavour of the month and will disappear
overnight. From the philosophy of the Charter of the Forest in 1217,
through Thomas More’s “Utopia” in 1516 and Thomas Paine’s “Rights of
Man” in 1791 and even Richard Nixon in 1960s USA, the idea has been
considered. Now, its time has come.
For it to be a true basic income and not just another branch of welfare, it
has to be unconditional or universal. It is not a handout; it is not charity;
it is not a benefit—that way we streamline the administration and remove
any stigma attached to it. Ideally, it would not be temporary either,
because strictly speaking, temporary is not unconditional, but there are
questions that need answered, which is why pilot schemes are so
important. A UK-wide scheme would, even if it were only run for a short
period, mean that we create a database of all recipients and bank details
to pay the income. Currently, we do not have such things and they would
be very valuable going forward.
Pilots have been run around the globe and we have learned from each
one. Some of the lessons are worth repeating. UBI does not make people
indolent; UBI reduces poor mental health; UBI empowers women; UBI
recompenses underpaid carers; and UBI provides a platform for everyone,
including those of a more creative leaning, to follow their dreams.
It is worth telling this true story one more time. A woman worked in an
accounts office and she also did babysitting to make more money.
Because she had two jobs, she never had time to focus on her dream of
writing a book. On Christmas day, the folks she babysat for gave her a
cheque equivalent to a year’s salary—basically, a basic income—with the
understanding that she would dedicate a year to writing, which she did,
and Harper Lee wrote “To Kill a Mockingbird”. How many Harper Lees are
there currently not getting the opportunity to fulfil their dreams?
Individuals are not born as economists; they are molded through formal and
informal training. This training shapes the way they approach problems,
process information and carry out research, which in turn influences the
policies they favor and the role they play in society. The economics profession
changes as cohorts with older-style training are replaced with cohorts with newerstyle training. In many ways, the replicator dynamics of graduate school play a
larger role in determining economists’ methodology and approach than all the
myriad papers written about methodology. Arjo Klamer and I came to that belief in
the early 1980s, and it led us to publish our “Making of an Economist” (Colander
and Klamer, 1987), which in turn led to a much more thorough study by a
Commission on Graduate Education in Economics appointed by the American
Economic Association (Hansen et al., 1991). Over the years, I have received
numerous suggestions to update our earlier study.1 This paper is the update
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