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

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

  • 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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How far does individual freedom reach?

The costs of prohibition are great, but can people be trusted to make the best decisions for themselves?

  • Classical liberals favor democracy because it operates as a ruling of the people by the people, rather than rule by someone else.
  • This lends itself to the concept of negative freedom, or freedom from being compelled by the state or other authority to do something. So Daniel Jacobson, professor of philosophy at University of Michigan, raises the question: Do we have absolute sovereignty over our bodies?
  • The crucial point for liberalism is that liberty ought to be the default. It shouldn't be easy to justify compulsion.
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Predicting the president: Two ways election forecasts are misunderstood

Everyone wants to predict who will win the 2020 presidential election. Here are 2 misconceptions to bust so people don't proclaim the death of data like they did in 2016.

  • There are two common misconceptions that muddy people's understanding of election forecasting, says Eric Siegel: Blaming the prognosticator and predicting candidates versus predicting voters.
  • In 2016, Nate Silver's forecast put about 70% odds on Clinton winning. Despite people's shock at the election results, that forecast was not wrong.
  • As predictions for the 2020 presidential election ramp up, it's important to understand what election forecasting means and to bust the misconceptions that warp our expectations.
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10 quotes from great minds on why you should vote

Don't feel like going out to vote? These ten thinkers have something to tell you.

Photo by Michael on Unsplash
  • Everybody occasionally wonders if they should bother to vote.
  • To help out, we have quotes from 10 great minds explaining why voting, and participation in politics in general, is the right thing to do.
  • Some of them will inspire you, some will scare you, and some are pretty funny.
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