Economy

Discover the Best!

Alltopics lets your discover the most popular news, images, videos and gifs from around the web, on all your favorite topics.

Our content-analysis-technology and veteran editors surface the latest trending content so you never miss out on your next favorite thing.

Sign up now to follow your favorite topics and discover the best of the Internet!

Sign Up  Get the App
Universal basic income — a system of wealth distribution that involves giving people a monthly wage just for being alive — just got a standing ovation at this year's TED conference.

Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian and basic income advocate, gave a talk on the subject in which he explored a crucial question: Why do the poor make such poor decisions?

Poverty isn't a character flaw, Bregman explained. People in poverty tend to eat less healthfully, save less money, and do drugs more often because they don't have their basic needs met.

Bregman suggested that creating a system of basic income would be the quickest and easiest way to meet those needs.

"Poverty is not a lack of character. Poverty is a lack of cash," he said, before the TED crowd of 1,000-plus rose to its feet.

Bregman's standing ovation reflects the particular appeal that basic income is gaining among America's technologists. businessinsider.com
Google's servers in Cuba went live on Wednesday, making the internet giant the first foreign internet company to host content within the long cut-off country.

The servers are part of Google's global network of caching servers, called GGC nodes, the servers work by storing popular content — like a viral YouTube video — on a local server. Instead of having to travel the long distance through a submarine cable, which currently connects Cuba to the internet through Venezuela, Cubans will now be able to access content through the nearest Google server in their country.

Despite hopes that Cuba would begin opening up its internet access following the re-establishment of diplomatic between the US and Cuba in 2015, Cuba still has the lowest level of internet connectivity in the western hemisphere. For most Cubans, the internet can only be accessed through 240 public access wi-fi spots dotted around the country. An hour of internet access costs roughly $1.50, which for Cubans earning the country's average wage of $25 a month, can be prohibitively expensive. cnbc.com
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at a hearing on Wednesday called for expanding commercial investment in the space industry.

“With our sight set on the heavens, which President Kennedy referred to as ‘the new frontier,’ it is only fitting that the nation born on the last frontier should continue to lead the way in the new frontier," Cruz said at a hearing of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, which he chairs.

"America must expand commerce and ultimately settlement into space. And we must do it first.”

The panel heard from CEOs from space industry companies, including the chief of Blue Origin, a NASA contractor dealing with payload and flight services.

Cruz questioned the witnesses about regulations that are hampering the commercial space industry.

“The world is much safer with America as the global leader of this planet,” Cruz said. thehill.com
Even as the Trump administration jousts with Canada over its latest trade dispute, it might want to keep a closer eye on Mexico, America’s No. 1 one dairy importer. Its southern neighbor, which figures prominently in the U.S. government’s crime and immigration rhetoric, spent almost twice as much money as Canada did on U.S. dairy in 2016. That’s $1.2 billion.

Now it appears Mexico is looking for new trading partners.

In the first two months of 2017, Mexico increased its imports of skim milk powder from the European Union by 122 percent over last year, according to the EU Milk Market Observatory (as first reported by the Irish Farm Journal). Mexico has also been exploring talks with dairy powerhouse New Zealand. That country’s trade minister visited Mexico City in February to discuss a potential trade deal. 

Why the moves by Mexico? In a word: Trump.

“Mexico is looking to make sure they have market alternatives because of the rhetoric from the U.S. on renegotiating Nafta,” said D. Scott Brown, who teaches agricultural and applied economics at the University of Missouri, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement. “This may be an opportunity to find other places for skim milk powder.” Rabobank also reported that tensions between the U.S. and Mexico are the reason for Mexico’s changing dairy purchasing strategy. bloomberg.com
Donald Trump's team is readying an executive order to take the US out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), it has been reported.

Withdrawing from the trade agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the US was one of Mr Trump's key promises on the campaign trail in 2016. He claimed it is a "job killer" and was antithetical to his "America First" approach to governing. 

The order has been submitted for final review to the appropriate teams within the White House and may be signed as early as the next few days. 

The deal, one of the largest trade agreement in the world, was originally signed in 1994 by President Bill Clinton and allows free trade between the three countries in North America. 

Mr Trump speaking in Wisconsin recently said that the agreement has been “very, very bad for our companies and for our workers, and we’re going to make some very big changes or we are going to get rid of Nafta once and for all.” independent.co.uk
An Eastern Kentucky coal mining company plans to build what could become the state's largest solar farm on a reclaimed mountaintop strip mine, promising jobs for displaced coal miners.

The Berkeley Energy Group and EDF Renewable Energy are exploring what they're billing as the first large-scale solar project in Appalachia. They're focused on two mountaintop-removal mining sites outside Pikeville, where engineering and feasibility studies are underway for a 50- to 100-megawatt project.

By comparison, that could be five to 10 times are big as LG&E and KU Energy's 10-megawatt solar farm at its Brown station in Mercer County. That Central Kentucky array has 45,000 solar panels on 50 acres that company officials have said can provide energy for about 1,500 homes. The Kentucky Public Service Commission last yearalso approved an 8.5-megawatt solar farm for East Kentucky Power in Winchester.

"I grew up with coal," said Ryan Johns, an executive with Berkeley, an Eastern Kentucky coal company. "Our company has been in the coal business for 30 years. We are not looking at this as trying to replace coal, but we have already extracted the coal from this area." He said it's just an extension of using that land to produce energy for the nation while putting out of work coal miners back to work. courier-journal.com
Greece has posted an overall government surplus of 1.288 billion euros ($A1.8 billion), or 0.7 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, the EU statistical agency Eurostat says, adding they're "confident" Greece can reach the agreed primary surplus target of 1.7 per cent of GDP in 2017.

The figure, which includes debt service, marks the first time that Greece has reported a government surplus since Eurostat began recording the indicator in 1995 and comes as the heavily-indebted country and its European creditors are aiming to finalise the terms of its next bailout payment.

However, despite the progress, Greece's government debt was still the highest in the EU, amounting to 314.9 billion euros, or 179 per cent of GDP in 2016. The European Commission said the Eurostat data indicated a budget surplus excluding debt service - known as a primary surplus - of 4.2 per cent of GDP in 2016.

"This is significantly above the 0.5 per cent of GDP program target set for 2016 and even above the target of 3.5 per cent set for 2018," said Margaritis Schinas, spokesman for the European Commission. "This confirms the trends which we, at the Commission, have been reporting for a while." news.com.au
At an April 3 mayoral candidate forum, Mayor Ivy Taylor shared her surprising views on systemic poverty in San Antonio. To her, the "broken people" facing poverty just have a bad relationship with God. 

Now, weeks after the forum, a video of her answer has gone viral. The video shows Taylor and fellow candidate Councilman Ron Nirenberg answering a question from Megan Legacy, the director of SA Christian Resource Center. She asks: "What do you see as the deepest, systemic causes of generational poverty in San Antonio?"

In San Antonio, a city where nearly 15 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, this strategy may not go over too well (especially since many of those living in poverty are, in fact, religious). She made no mention of how the city's  job creation rate, minimum wage, or social service programs could play a role in the city's ongoing poverty issues.

This comes from a mayor who's already on thin ice for using her religious beliefs to discriminate against the city's LGBT community. In 2013, when Taylor was still a councilwoman, she voted against a nondiscrimination ordinance that would protect LGBT San Antonians from being discriminated against by public and private business owners. sacurrent.com
Established in August 2016 InterManagement company received the contracts of Gazprom for 7.85 billion rubles ($139.6m). All of them concern the construction of The Power of Siberia export trunk gas pipeline to China. The company, which employs no more than 5 people, should provide for the arrangement of temporary technological driveways, technological sites, software sites, overhead power lines for the helicopter landing site, and also build a linear liner house.

According to the data of SPARK-Interfax, the whole company won 34 contracts, the amount of each of which is not more than 400 million rubles ($7.1m). It is interesting that in competitions, where InterManagement was not the only bidder, the competitor was only one company, TEKSvyazinzhiniring LLC.

At the moment, the only owner and CEO of the company is Sergey Samarin. Previously, he was a co-owner of Severstroy Engineering LLC from Nizhnevartovsk (now liquidated), as well as a former director of the Nizhnevartovsk municipal institution Pensions Delivery. crimerussia.com
The Trump administration is taking retaliatory action against Canada over a trade dispute, moving to impose a 20% tariff on softwood lumber that is typically used to build single-family homes.

In an interview Monday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariff will be applied retroactively and imposed on Canadian exports to the U.S. of about $5 billion a year. He said the dispute centers on Canadian provinces that have been allegedly allowing loggers to cut down trees at reduced rates and sell them at low prices.

The determination that Canada improperly subsidizes its exports is preliminary, and the Commerce Department will need to make a final decision. In addition, the U.S. International Trade Commission will need to find that the U.S. industry has suffered injury.

But even a preliminary decision has immediate real-world consequences, by discouraging importers from buying lumber from Canada.

“We tried to negotiate a settlement but we were unable,” Ross said, adding that previous administrations have also been unsuccessful in resolving the dispute. wsj.com