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March 18, 2020



Robert Holzmann might be right, but not for the reason he thinks. One consequence of coronavirus is that people who can do so are working from home, which reduces the environmental costs of commuting and may well continue after the pandemic is over. Also, it is quite likely that some airlines will go out of business due to the pandemic and the demand for flights may not return to levels before the pandemic as people realise that air travel was a major factor in spreading the disease.


It is important to be effective rather than efficient.

All people can not manage without an income!
i.e a basic income is comprehensive, and any wastage is a windfall for the recipients.

Better waste than destitution. Also KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) the existing welfare system is too complex, to cope with a massive increase in demand.

People are the priority. I get it.


Adam Akhtar

Great article

Robert Mitchell

"One reason for this is suggested by the fact that the unemployed are much unhappier (pdf) than a lack of income alone would predict: work is a source of meaning and identity."

Doesn't this assume ergodicity: an ensemble average is assumed to be the same as an individual's time-series average? The ensemble is made into a single representative agent that allows you to make policy prescriptions but ignores individual time series?

Work for me is even more depressing. I wonder if the authors find ways of throwing out data from others like me. I may be unhappy and unemployed but I was much more unhappy when employed.

My brother was employed and committed suicide. Is his experience completely discounted? Work was meaningless and a source of a fraudulent identity. But you find ways of simply throwing his individual time series out of the story you want to tell about work? Math says he's unlikely to exist, so his life can safely be sacrificed for the sake of ergodicity assumptions?


Agree with Robert. I'm not sure who did it but I believe there is research in India comparing physiological effects of low paid, insecure work against self-reported wellbeing. Lots of people reporting being happier in this work than unemployment, but their bodies were showing something else, massive stress hormones, higher blood pressure etc.

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