China is laying the groundwork for
a robot revolution
by planning to automate the work currently done by millions
of low-paid workers.
The scale and importance of
China’s robot ambitions were made clear when the vice president of the People’s
Republic of China, Li Yuanchao, appeared at the country’s first major robotics
conference, held recently in Beijing. Standing onstage between two humanoid
entertainment robots with outsized heads, Li delivered a message from China’s
leader, Xi Jinping, congratulating the organizers of the effort. He also made
it clear that robotics would be a major priority for the country’s economic
Vice President Li suggested that
robotics researchers and companies from outside the country would be welcome to
take part in the country’s robot revolution: “China would like to welcome robot
experts and entrepreneurs from all over the world to communicate and coӧperate
with us, in order to push forward the development of robot technology and
By Will Knight on December 7, 2015
The Massachusetts Institute of
Technology found that cash-assistance programs in six low-income countries did
not discourage work. Furthermore, a World Bank review of 19 quantitative
studies found that cash-assistance in Latin America, Asia and Africa was not
wasted on “temptation items,” such as tobacco and alcohol.
“Almost without exception, studies
find either no significant impact or a significant negative impact of transfers
on temptation goods,” the World Bank report said.
Other supposed negative impacts
from welfare, such as birth out of wedlock and encouraging generational
poverty, have been demonstrated to be unfounded by other research.
This trove of research demonstrates
that the commonly accepted myth about welfare’s “corrupting influence” is not
as well-founded as many may believe. However, research has shown clear benefits
from the UBI system, including alleviating poverty, increasing entrepreneurship
and improving impoverished children’s educational outcomes.
In theory, unconditional
assistance may encourage some individuals to frivolously spend their money. In
practice, however, the research shows most individuals utilize cash-assistance
to better themselves and their families.
Rising prosperity for the few
means undue hardship for the many. That is the economy’s underlying problem and
it won’t be solved until policymakers face up to it.
New York Times