The tech shift: Push politicians for answers, and develop your digital literacy

Tech is rising and America's middle class is vanishing. Here's what to do.

The tech shift: Push politicians for answers, and develop your digital literacy ...
  • The rise of new technologies is making the United States more economically unequal, says Professor Ramesh Srinivasan. Americans should be pushing the current presidential candidates hard for answers on how they will bring economic security and how they will ensure that technological transitions benefit all of us.
  • "We are at an inflection point when it comes to top-down control over very many different aspects of our lives through privatized corporate power over technology," says Srinivasan. Now is the time to debate solutions like basic income and worker-owned cooperatives.
  • Concurrently, individuals should develop digital literacy and get educated on the potential solutions. Srinivasan recommends taking free online and open courses from universities like Stanford and MIT, and reading books and quality journalism on these issues.
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Edward Snowden warns 'bio-surveillance' may outlast coronavirus

Amid the panic of the COVID-19 pandemic, are we building the surveillance states of tomorrow?

  • Edward Snowden is a former CIA contractor who exposed NSA mass surveillance programs.
  • In a recent interview, Snowden expressed concern over the ways in which governments are using technology to track the spread of the virus.
  • These new tracking measures may someday be repurposed to advance governments' mass surveillance programs, Snowden warned.

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Only a fifth of countries provide sick pay — the big challenges for work in a pandemic

From a personal point of view and from an economic point of view, this is nothing short of potentially disastrous for people's livelihoods.

Just one fifth of countries have sick pay in the time of coronavirus.

Victor J. Blue/Getty Images

Making sure that sick people get the care they need and don't infect others is one of the key planks of containing COVID-19 - but the majority of the world's workers have little choice about putting in a shift, even if they feel unwell.

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'Universal basic income is a brilliant idea'. Here's why.

The welfare state is broken. UBI is the smarter, more effective option.

'Universal basic income is a brilliant idea'. Here's why. | Yanis Varoufakis ...
Videos
  • The welfare state is an ineffective and expensive system that hurts and targets the poor more than it helps. Universal basic income is a better alternative that could work.
  • The question becomes, then, where would the money for UBI come from? There are a myriad of reasons why UBI via taxes would be a bad idea. Instead, we should look to socially produced capital.
  • Companies rely on people to be successful, so a percentage of all shares of all companies should go into a public equity trust and the dividends should be distributed to every member of society equally.

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Is this the twilight of American culture?

The pandemic is exposing long-fractured aspects of our society.

A mask-wearing passenger sits alone on the MBTA Green "B" Line trolley on Commonwealth Avenue on March 24, 2020.

Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The current pandemic is exposing deep-seated flaws in our health care and economic systems.
  • Reinhold Niebuhr's 1952 book, The Irony of American History, claims our cultural arrogance works against us.
  • Morris Berman's 2000 book, The Twilight of American Culture, focuses on America's social and economic collapse.
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The internet’s top 12 coronavirus-related questions, answered

Flattening the curve on panic and disinformation.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • With mixed messages coming from our leaders, Americans have turned to the internet to answer their COVID-19 questions.
  • We explore the top 12 coronavirus questions, according to Google Trends.
  • When seeking answers, it is important to prioritize evidence-based information from credible sources.

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