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Money for everyone?, politicians should watch their words, will conflict between Palestinians and Israelis be resolved?, the direction of Singapore’s economy, how Trump is seen abroad

 A roundup of global commentary for the June 20, 2016 weekly magazine.

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The Sydney Morning Herald / Sydney, Australia

Money for everyone?

“The idea of paying every citizen a universal basic income is in fashion in a range of developed countries...,” writes Peter Hartcher. “[N]o government has ever introduced a universal basic income. It’s impractical. So why is it in vogue? The idea has been revived by the rising panic over the future of work. If robotics and technology wipe out whole employment categories, how will people survive? The answer, however, isn’t a universal payment. The answer is for governments to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, so disappearing jobs are replaced by new ones. And this is exactly what has happened after every other similar jobs panic since the dawn of the industrial revolution.” 

Standard Digital / Nairobi, Kenya

Politicians should watch their words

“A foreigner visiting Kenya for the first time would find our politics quite peculiar,” writes Henry Munene. “A visitor would no doubt be taken aback by our kind of politics. He or she would be at a loss as to why leaders rarely electrify us with moving speeches on what they would do if we elect them, but score more points when they cast invectives at the other side.... [W]hile propaganda is an integral part of political battle, leaders on both sides of the political divide must weigh their words carefully. They must realise that those on the lower rungs of the social ladder may be taking their word too seriously.” 

The National / Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Will conflict between Palestinians and Israelis be resolved?

“[A]ny diplomatic effort to end the status quo in Israel and Palestine will need teeth,” states an editorial. “The French initiative [a meeting involving more than 20 countries that took place in Paris in early June] is widely seen as the start of several diplomatic events that will increase international pressure on Tel Aviv. These efforts could culminate in a binding UN Security Council resolution on Israel’s settlement project. Such resolutions, which could escape an American veto during Barack Obama’s last months in office, would open the flood gates of diplomatic and civil society pressure on Israel. The French meeting was little more than standard hand-wringing, but concrete action is on the horizon.” 

The Straits Times / Singapore

The direction of Singapore’s economy

“Singapore needs to develop an entrepreneurial culture driven by innovation which can be a powerful motive force for growth,” states an editorial. “The seeds of that culture must be planted in diverse ways, as officials have noted – the expectations of parents, the messages that a teacher sends out in a classroom, the tone that a boss sets in a small or medium-sized enterprise, and society’s general appetite for risk. Thankfully, the environment is now fertile for go-getters, like the young Singaporeans stepping up to front start-ups.” 

Kathimerini / Athens

How Trump is seen abroad

“Could Donald Trump win the US election?” writes Alexis Papachelas. “It’s possible. The same anti-systemic wave that has swept through Europe is now rocking the boat of the US political system.... What kind of President would Trump be if elected? It’s hard to tell. Every White House occupant is accountable to a system of checks and balances that does not allow them to do as they please. The only areas in which they make their own decisions is defense and foreign policy, which, of course, could determine the fate of the entire planet. Many believe that similarly to Reagan, Trump would adopt a more realistic policy if elected. Should this happen, it would be a shock to the susceptibilities of the Old Continent.... The Greek-American community and whatever is left of the Greek-American lobby are backing Clinton. The late Archbishop Iakovos of America would have urged the establishment of communication channels with the Republican candidate.” 

 
 
 

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