What we've been reading: Capitalism, gluten and immigration control

What we've been reading
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We’re one person short for this week’s round-up, so we’ve made sure to pick three absolute doozies to share with you.

In this triptych of articles, we hope you’ll find an array of challenging thinking. Read (and listen) to our suggestions and let us know what you think.

And if you’ve got anything to share with us, then let us know in the comments below!

Francois: No wonder millennials hate capitalism

I’ve had my share of delicate conversations with non-millennials about what’s is or isn’t going wrong with my generation.

Of course, being a millennial, I have a hard time swallowing all jibes that come our way. It’s amusing how millennials are simultaneously blamed for a footloose hedonism and destroying industries and social convention through our collective parsimony.

And yet, I do get it, why what’s happening to millennials would be confusing to older generations. I get it because it’s confusing to us, too. The best way I can describe it is a feeling of displacement and loss in an economy that no longer seems fit to serve the vast majority of young people.

When Jeremy Corbyn made unexpected progress in the last election, it was on the back of his overwhelming support from young voters. Corbyn, an avuncular and slightly crusty socialist, has become an avatar for young people’s disillusionment with capitalism.

This article by Michelle Goldberg studies this trend more closely. As she writes, “You don’t have to want to abolish capitalism to understand why the prospect is tempting to a generation that’s being robbed.”

Tom: Freakonomics podcast - The demonization [sic] of gluten

I’m cheating a little bit here, but this week I’m going for the always thought-provoking Freakonomics podcast. The editing is a little choppy for my taste, but the quality of the product and conversation generally shines through.

The latest issue I’ve caught up with is on gluten intolerance and celiac disease. As one of the older employees in a hip, young media company, I’ve listened with more than a little scepticism as beard-twirling colleagues adopted gluten-free diets, so it was genuinely interesting to hear from research scientists and celiac disease sufferers about its causes and effects.

What is equally fascinating is the millions of people without the disease who have gone gluten-free, which according to the scientists interviewed could be a big mistake.

Valme: End all immigration controls – they’re a sign we value money more than people

“[Borders] do not simply set boundaries for countries, but are metaphors for the boundaries of how we might think about other human beings.”

Brexit will likely bring profound changes in many areas, including some as relevant to us as accountancy and taxation. Ultimately, all the possible changes and their influence on the life of those who live not only in the UK but also in other European countries, depend on a single, often neglected fact: the existence of borders.

The world has seen infamous borders throughout history. Some will think of the wall of Berlin, which kept thousands of families separated for years in two completely different worlds. Others might think about contemporaneous cases, such as the wall between North and South Korea or the border between Mexico and the US.  

However, without the need to refer to extreme cases, borders and the decisions governments make about them change and often determine the life and future of millions of people every year. And most of them are not even aware of it.

About Francois Badenhorst

Francois

I'm AccountingWEB's business editor. Feel free to get in touch with comments, tips, scoops or irreverent banter. 

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