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The Industrial Revolution Was Not (Entirely) a Success Story

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True, it did give us this thing.

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A Comparison That’s No Comfort to Economic Historians

Worried about automation and the future of work? Could the rise of the robots lead to mass unemployment? Relax, some say. We made it through the Industrial Revolution, didn’t we? To which Tyler Cowen says: Sort of. More automation may be good in the long run, but history shows there’ll be weak wages, social upheaval, and poisoned policy along the way — which is to say, now.

India Needs a Nudge, Not a Shove

When Narendra Modi devalued 86 percent of India’s currency in November, one justification was that it would encourage people to go cashless. But then ... why did digital transactions fall from December to January? Mihir Sharma says bureaucrats got a basic principle of liberalism wrong: The government should aim to change its policies, not its people.

The Dark Spectacle of Trump Acting Presidential

It’s a bad sign when you have to assure people “I’m not ranting and raving.” It’s a bad sign when the talk turns to nuclear holocaust. Alas, Donald Trump’s first solo press conference yesterday was full of bad signs — a stark reminder, Jonathan Bernstein says, of why the America’s first comedian president might be among its most dangerous.

Bail Reform Is Overdue, but It’s Finally Here

Jailing defendants because they’re poor seems like a relic of less-enlightened time — and soon, it may very well be. Stephen L. Carter says this month’s victory for Maryland’s bail-reform movement is the latest example of a welcome criminal-justice trend that’s swept 12 states.

Ritholtz’s Reads

  • How being wrong can help us get it right (Financial Times)
  • You may be part of a global supply chain (Strategy+Business)
  • Trump’s “stew of uncertainties” puts hedge-fund managers on alert (WSJ)

(Read Barry Ritholtz’s full daily news roundup.)

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