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jerryking : life_expectancy   5

From climate change to robots: what politicians aren’t telling us
OCTOBER 26, 2017 | FT| by Simon Kuper.

Most politicians bang on about identity while ignoring automation, climate change and the imminent revolution in medicine. They talk more about the 1950s than the 2020s. This is partly because they want to distract voters from real problems, and partly because today’s politicians tend to be lawyers, entertainers and ex-journalists who know less about tech than the average 14-year-old....Ironically, given the volume of American climate denial, the US looks like becoming the first western country to be hit by climate change. Each new natural disaster will prompt political squabbles over whether Washington should bail out the stricken region. At-risk cities such as Miami and New Orleans will gradually lose appeal as the risks become uninsurable......American climate denial may fade too, as tech companies displace Big Oil as the country’s chief lobbyists. Already in the first half of this year, Amazon outspent Exxon and Walmart on lobbying. Facebook, now taking a kicking over fake news, will lobby its way back. Meanwhile, northern Europe, for some years at least, will benefit from its historical unique selling point: its mild and rainy climate. Its problem will be that millions of Africans will try to move there.

On the upside, many Africans will soon, for the first time ever, have access to energy (thanks to solar panels) and medical care (as apps monitor everything from blood pressure to sugar levels, and instantly prescribe treatment). But as Africa gets hotter, drier and overpopulated, people will struggle to feed themselves, says the United Nations University. So they will head north, in much greater numbers than Syrians have, becoming the new bogeymen for European populists....The most coveted good of all — years of life — will become even more unfairly distributed. The lifespans of poor westerners will continue to stagnate or shorten, following the worldwide surge in obesity since the 1980s. Many poorer people will work into their seventies, then die, skipping the now standard phase of retirement. Meanwhile, from the 2020s the rich will live ever longer as they start buying precision medicine. They will fix their faulty DNA and edit their embryos, predicts Vivek Wadhwa, thinker on technology. ...Troubled regimes will also ratchet up surveillance. Now they merely know what you say. In 10 years, thanks to your devices, they will know your next move even before you do.
2020s  Africa  automation  Big_Tech  climate_change  climate_denial  imperceptible_threats  life_expectancy  mass_migrations  migrants  politicians  precision_medicine  refugees  Simon_Kuper  slowly_moving  surveillance_state  unevenly_distributed  uninsurable  Vivek_Wadhwa 
november 2017 by jerryking
On a milestone of misrule, Mugabe fumes as Zimbabwe falls apart
Apr. 21 2014 | G&M | GEOFFREY YORK.

Mr. Mugabe’s rule is unchallenged these days, after a landslide victory in a 2013 election that was widely seen as tainted and rigged. But while he dominates the country, the Zimbabwean economy is continuing to slide towards disaster – even though Western sanctions on the Mugabe regime have been largely eliminated.

Consumer spending fell by 30 per cent in February (the most recent data available); government revenue dropped by 10 per cent in the same month; civil-service wages have been delayed because the government cannot pay them; and dozens of factories have shut down in recent months, eliminating more than 9,000 jobs at a time when unemployment is already estimated at about 60 per cent...Just 14 years ago, Zimbabwe was one of the wealthiest economies in Africa. Today it has fallen into the bottom half of the continent’s economies. Mr. Mugabe’s misrule has cost Zimbabwe about $96-billion (U.S.) in those 14 years, according to an analyst at the U.S.-based Centre for Global Development. The country’s GDP would be more than twice as big today if it had followed the growth pattern of neighboring Zambia in that period, he noted.

“Mugabe has the ignominious distinction of being the only African head-of-state to preside over an average decline in both economic output and life expectancy since 1980,”
Zimbabwe  Robert_Mugabe  Geoffrey_York  indigenization  tyrants  misrule  misgovernance  mismanagement  poor_governance  decline  GDP  life_expectancy 
april 2014 by jerryking
A Very Inexact Science
JUNE 6, 2008 | The Wall Street Journal | by CARL BIALIK
life_and_death  life_expectancy 
june 2009 by jerryking

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