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© James Ferguson

In 1984, the social theorist André Gorz imagined a future in which paid work “may cease to be a central preoccupation”. Gorz’s prediction was that this could happen by the beginning of the 21st century. His timing was wrong, but, argues Martin Wolf in his column, his grasp of the direction of history was not.

A world of intelligent machines will be one in which the jobs of many workers will have been displaced. How, asks Martin, should policymakers prepare for such a future? In the medium term, they should concentrate on funding high-quality public services and subsidising jobs for people who want them. In the longer term, they may be forced to reconsider entirely the notion that work is a human being’s highest calling.

Daniel Davies argues that lending to private businesses is the finance industry’s Achilles heel.

Ben Bland finds that, after a tumultuous election, Malaysians are desperate for real and lasting change.

Sarah O’Connor writes that, while moves across the developed world to raise the minimum wage are welcome, low pay is not the only problem facing people at the bottom of the economic scale.

What you’ve been saying

Stop rewarding companies that trash our environment— Letter from Sam Bright
If Luxembourg intends to continue using arcane tax rulings to attract companies such as Engie, that is its choice, and the commission has shown that it will crack down where this is illegal. But no country has the right to provide unethical and short-sighted financial support to fossil fuel players — violating all of our rights, and those of our children, to a habitable planet and healthy environment.

Comment by plw on Honda faces the real cost of Brexit in a former Spitfire plant
One of the most persistent misconceptions that will play out here again is the concept of the leaving negotiations being equally shared. The EU is not forcing any change; the UK is. As such, the UK must propose the solutions for what they want a future relationship to look like, and the EU must respond. The EU will not put forward solutions here. Yet consistently in comments sections and opinion pieces, we see thoughts to the effect that ‘Brussels’ should come up with ideas if they don’t like what is currently offered. These commentators either willingly or otherwise ignore that the EU already has: a hard Brexit. If the UK wants something different, they need to offer credible options that do not contradict longstanding EU policy.

Trump’s actions are just what we voted for— Letter from Phillip Hawley
In his 2016 campaign. Trump said that many existing multilateral agreements — such as for trade, Iran, climate, defence spending and North Korea — were working to the disadvantage of Americans. He pledged to change these agreements, acting unilaterally if necessary. In spite of a huge personality liability, he was elected with a large majority in the electoral college. Now, unlike many winning politicians, he is doing what he promised Americans he would do.

Today’s opinion

Work in the age of intelligent machines
How do you organise a society in which few people do anything economically productive?

How the debtor/creditor relationship opens itself up to abuse
Sweep unpleasant realities into corners and the banking system looks clean and efficient

Turnabout in Kuala Lumpur after a topsy-turvy election
Malaysians are desperate for real change after decades of misrule

Free Lunch: The Bank of England future-proofs itself
Central bank however hardens self-imposed constraints in the process

Gulf’s role grows in world’s flagship EM equity index
While many welcome such diversification, others warn of obstacles such as state control

Give refugees a voice and let us shape our own futures
Too often we are treated as helpless victims and the passive recipients of aid

Instant Insight: Body and soul, Harley leaves its mark on America
But being an exporter of Americana heritage might be why the EU has used it for retaliatory tariffs

FT View

FT View: Achieving EU unity over migration and the euro
France and Germany should not railroad other European states

FT View: A bigger Heathrow will help keep Britain global
The MPs vote for a third runway is welcome news for business

The Big Read

The Big Read: Honda faces the real cost of Brexit in a former Spitfire plant
Carmaker’s ‘just-in-time’ production would be hit if UK leaves the EU customs union

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