Thanks to the short-term thinking and heartless tactics of wealthy and bottom-line CEOs, the United States is facing a future where 13 million workers will lose their jobs over the next seven years. Robots and other forms of artificial intelligence are already eliminating the demand for factory workers, call center operators, and clerical staff. The list of those threatened by the specter of unemployment now includes truck drivers, pharmacists, accountants, translators, and financial advisors. (See the excerpt for how self-driving vehicles will affect the trucking industry.)
Andrew Yang is an American 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, an entrepreneur, and a lawyer. He is founder of Venture for America, which helps place top college graduates in start-ups in emerging American cities. He is concerned about the situations of all workers, young and old, who face zero job security, declining wages, and shrinking job benefits. Since the ordinary worker is only earning $44,500 a year (around the same earned by her counterpart in 1979), many are only a step or two away from financial catastrophe. At the same time, the wages and profits of CEOs, financiers, investors, and employers are skyrocketing beyond belief.
Yang makes a good case for a Universal Basic Income which would enable recipients to receive $12,000 a year to find part-time work, start their own small business, or spend their time in socially beneficial projects. The author also comes up with some creative ways to raise this money. Although Yang does not mention the high cost of American war-making overseas, he does ask us to take a hard and compassionate look at the war on normal people which has already begun and is sure to bring immense suffering, fear, and loss to many men, women, and children.