Will robots free people from slavery?

Even if automation makes human trafficking economically inefficient, that alone won't end this unethical practice.

  • Robotic automation may one day make slavery economically inefficient, but automation does not spring forth fully formed.
  • An interim period of piecemeal coverage may leave many at-risk, low-skilled workers in danger of exploitation.
  • Nor can automation sate the political and social motives for slavery found in some societies.
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Elizabeth Warren: Boost Social Security by taxing the richest 2%

"We need to get our priorities straight," Warren said.

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  • Warren published a Medium post on Thursday outlining a plan to increase Social Security benefits by $200 per month, if she's elected president.
  • Social Security contributions are capped for Americans who make $132,900 or more per year. Warren wants to scrap that and impose new contribution requirements.
  • Left unchanged, Social Security will run out of its $2.9 trillion reserve fund by 2035, according to recent estimates.
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When the minimum wage is too low it becomes a public health risk

We often discuss what the minimum wage does to the economy, but rarely do we discuss what it does to people.

Photo credit: Comete El Coco on Unsplash
  • Several studies show a low minimum wage is horrible for the health of the people making it.
  • Their children are also likely to endure hardships that will burden them for much of their lives.
  • The effects on their physical and mental health are varied, multi-faceted.
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The top 4 crises facing the world today

If we make the right choices, there's hope for the future.

  • According to historian Jared Diamond, we currently have four global crises to address: the ongoing threat of nuclear attacks, climate change, running out of resources, and socioeconomic inequality.
  • Diamond believes there's hope for the future, though, because these problems are human caused, and must have human solutions — they are not looming doomsdays like an asteroid poised to strike Earth (of which we are currently largely helpless to address).
  • If we don't aim to solve these issues within the next 30 years, then we — and our children — may end up living in a "miserable world not worth living [in]."
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Hashtag politics: 4 key ways digital activism is inegalitarian

Many believe that the internet has made it easier for us to participate in political activism. But is that really true?

  • Protesting in person is costly in terms of money and resources; some people have children to take care of, jobs that can't be away from, or may not have time to attend a planning event.
  • The internet was supposed to be a way to sidestep this barrier to political activism. But this doesn't consider the other barriers preventing poor and working-class folks from participating in digital activism.
  • In particular, these people lack ASETs: access to computers, the skills to use them, the empowerment necessary to feel that using Twitter or other social media is for them, and the time to make use of digital platforms in an effective way.
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