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  • OPINION

    Is there a case for universal basic income?

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 11/02/2019

    » The first results of Finland's two-year experiment with a universal basic income are in, and if they're confirmed by further research, they will probably hurt the unconditional income cause. The trial run showed that "money for nothing" makes people happier but doesn't inspire them to find work any more than traditional unemployment benefits would.

  • OPINION

    Give people a chance to sell their data to FB

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 01/02/2019

    » It's easy to be outraged by the revelation that Facebook has been paying users between the ages of 13 and 35 up to US$20 (624 baht) a month to allow practically unlimited access to their smartphone usage data. But outrage about the social media giant is so 2017. The latest dubious practice could be an opportunity to consider a more finely tuned business model.

  • OPINION

    Putin lacks the clout to cut isles deal with Abe

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 24/01/2019

    » The window of opportunity for Russia and Japan to officially end World War II with a peace treaty narrowed again after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Moscow on Tuesday failed to end in a breakthrough. There's still time for Mr Abe to secure his legacy, but a lot depends on President Vladimir Putin's increasingly shaky domestic standing.

  • OPINION

    A Brexit lesson from the cradle of democracy

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 16/01/2019

    » The Macedonian parliament's vote to rename the country and thus remove the biggest obstacle to its integration into Western institutions is evidence that intractable political issues are best resolved through the traditional backroom dealings of representative democracy rather than through the direct expression of popular will.

  • OPINION

    The year of the woeful world leaders

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 28/12/2018

    » The dictionaries have decided on their 2018 words of the year. Oxford picked "toxic". Merriam-Webster went for "justice". Collins chose "single-use". However, I'd zero in on "misgovernment". Surely, 2018 saw a number of countries misruled by the worst crop of world leaders in recent memory.

  • OPINION

    Yes, Russia abused Facebook. But did it actually work?

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 20/12/2018

    » Russia's propaganda operations during the 2016 US presidential election were broader than previously thought, according to two recently published studies. But they don't provide proof the influence campaign was as effective as the Kremlin may have hoped. Both reports, based on data provided by social networks, combine a distrust of the companies' disclosures and a naive trust in the metrics they tout.

  • OPINION

    How to stick it to Europe: scrap Brexit

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 06/12/2018

    » The top European court now is highly likely to rule that the UK can cancel Brexit unilaterally. For all the domestic political hurdles such a move would face, it's intriguing to ponder how Europe would take it if the UK did cancel Brexit, and what the consequences would be for the European Union.

  • OPINION

    Merkel tries not to go out with a bang

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 16/11/2018

    » It could have been a call for decisive action by a leader no longer tethered by domestic politics. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel's appearance at the European Parliament on Tuesday was nothing of the sort: Ms Merkel unbound is the same cautious, gradualist Merkel.

  • OPINION

    Don't write off Merkel prematurely

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 31/10/2018

    » I have warned repeatedly against writing off German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she faced challenge after challenge in recent years. I'm going to issue another such warning now, even though it might seem counter-intuitive given her announcement on Monday that she will give up the leadership of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in December and not run for a parliamentary seat in 2021.

  • OPINION

    Europe is helping Uber to improve

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 03/10/2018

    » On Monday, Uber returned to Dusseldorf, Germany, a city it was forced to abandon in 2015. This is a victory both for German regulators and for Uber, or rather, for its new version under Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi. It shows that the San Francisco-based company can actually function as a tech platform, rather than as a taxi business that pretends to be a tech platform.

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