Author: Jose Luis Sabau

What Progressives Can Draw From Argentina’s Pro-Choice Victory

A FEW DAYS before the end of 2020, progressives in Latin America got some of the only good news the year had to offer: after decades of feminist activism, the Argentinian Senate legalized abortion. In a region known for its conservative politics, it was a rare triumph.

Argentina is now part of a small group of countries in the region where abortion is legal nationwide. Meanwhile, in the US, the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has widely been seen as a step toward the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Continue reading “What Progressives Can Draw From Argentina’s Pro-Choice Victory”

Want to End the War on Drugs? Time to Look at the Demand Side

I. The Problem

HUMANKIND has a complex relationship with drug consumption, to say the least. Though the stigma of drug use might suggest otherwise, it is hard to deny that, as long as people have been around, we have sought means of altering our perceptions of reality. The earliest records of alcohol consumption date back as far as 9,000 years, while marijuana consumption can be traced back 2,500 years. In the last few decades, though, the consumption of most narcotics has grown into a significant public health risk.

Continue reading “Want to End the War on Drugs? Time to Look at the Demand Side”

Billionaires: Where Freedom Fails

AS I write this piece, there are 2,604 billionaires in the world. The 26 richest people in the world own more wealth than the bottom 50% of the entire population, and the richest person in the world, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, now holds over 128 billion dollars in wealth. To put this into perspective, Mr. Bezos could buy every team in the NFL and still have $36 billion left to spend, which would only make him the 28th richest man in the world. Meanwhile, the World Bank estimated that 8.6% of the world population lives with $1.90 a day—a salary so low that one would take 185 million years to acquire Mr. Bezos’ wealth. And if that isn’t enough for you, there are also 860 million people without access to electricity and 2.5 billion who lack access to improved sanitation. The difference between the richest and the poorest is, put plainly, shocking.

Some politicians, like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have reacted to this level of inequality by arguing that billionaires should not even exist in the first place. However, if you’re not a progressive, you likely disagree with what they have to say. But looking at the problem by focusing on freedom and power might change your perspective. While many have defended billionaires through economics, now is the time to bring a more political argument into the discussion.

Continue reading “Billionaires: Where Freedom Fails”

A Left Defense of Universal Basic Income

IN A WORLD in which fiscal policy becomes more complex with each passing administration, an alarmingly simple proposal like universal basic income brings all parties into a state of shock. At its core, UBI seeks to give citizens a periodic, no-strings-attached cash grant to do whatever they want. Whether you are rich or poor, from San Francisco or from Bakersfield, every so often you receive a check in the mail for a fixed amount directly from the government. You could spend it all in a one-night extravaganza or save it to buy the car you always wanted—you could even burn the money in a bonfire if you like (though I would not recommend doing so). The fundamental principle behind UBI is for citizens to choose what they want to do with their money, whatever that choice may be.

Continue reading “A Left Defense of Universal Basic Income”