What’s the point of growth if it creates so much misery? | Lynsey Hanley

Forget the ‘high-skill, hi-tech’ obsession: we should invest in everyday services to create a society run for collective good

The late Prof Mick Moran, who taught politics and government at Manchester University for most of his professional life, had, according to his colleagues, once had “a certain residual respect for our governing elites”. That all changed during the 2008 financial crisis, after which he experienced an epiphany “because it convinced him that the officer class in business and in politics did not know what it was doing”.

After his epiphany, Moran formed a collective of academics dedicated to exposing the complacency of finance-worship and to replacing it with an idea of running modern economies focused on maximising social good. They called themselves the Foundational Economy Collective, based on the idea that it’s in the everyday economy where there is most potential for true social regeneration: not top-down cash-splashing, but renewal and replenishment from the ground upwards.

It hurts nobody to bring local services back into local authority control and to divest from outsourcing firms

Related: How to build a fairer city

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Want To Boost Your Salary? Try Moving To Singapore

Are you a diligent US-based worker who’s tired of watching inflation wipe out what little wage gains you’ve managed to scrape together over the past few years? Well, if you’re looking for a pay boost, but don’t want to go through all the trouble of finding another better-paying job, Bloomberg has a suggestion: Try moving to Singapore.

Switzerland

According to HSBC’s annual Expat Explorer, 45% of expats reported earning more money working abroad than they did working in the US. For the average expat, moving abroad boosted their pay by 21%, with the highest-paying jobs found in the US, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Switzerland

Expats living in Switzerland, notorious for its high cost of living, reported an annual income boost totaling $61,000. Salaries averaged $203,000 per year, twice the global level. 

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Meanwhile, Singapore was ranked best place to live and work for a fourth straight year, ahead of New Zealand, Germany and Canada, while Switzerland (probably because of the high cost of living mentioned above) ranked eighth.

“Singapore packs everything a budding expat could want into one of the world’s smallest territories,” said John Goddard, head of HSBC Expat.

Sweden won first place in the ‘family’ category, while New Zealand, Spain and Taiwan led the ‘experience’ category.

If moving abroad has always been a personal dream, then HSBC can name myriad benefits – both financial and familial – that often accompany expat status. However, the report had its blemishes. For example, the survey of 22,318 people showed that women often trailed behind men in terms of the level of benefit they experienced. For example, relocating only boosted a woman’s income by 27%, compared with 47% for men (apparently, HSBC found, the fabled wealth gap exists outside the confines of the US).

But the bank also found several justifications for this that had nothing to do with women being paid less for doing the same exact job. Just half the women surveyed worked full time, and the average level of education was lower for women than for men.