Survey: Half of U.S. job seekers on the hunt because of coronavirus

The survey, performed by Morning Consult and commissioned by Amazon, found a majority of those job seekers want to move into new industries to stay relevant.

  • As of August 2020, United States' unemployment rate remains at 8.4 percent, more than double February 2020's numbers.
  • A new survey, commissioned by Amazon, found that roughly half of today's job seekers are looking as a result of coronavirus.
  • Amazon released survey highlights in advance of its Career Day event, where it will seek to fill some of its 33,000 open corporate and tech positions.
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    Is a capitalist-socialist economy inevitable?

    The American economy may be locked into an unhealthy cycle that only benefits a select few. Is it too late to fix it?

    • What will the economy of the future look like? To answer that we must first consider the current trajectory and the ways in which modern capitalism operates, who it benefits, and if it is sustainable.
    • In this video, historians, economists, and authors discuss income and wealth inequality, how the American economy grew into the machine that it is today, the pillars of capitalism and how the concept has changed over time, and ways in which the status quo can, and maybe even should, change.
    • "It's not that hierarchy is bad," says John Fullerton, founder of Capital Institute, "it's that hierarchy where the top extracts from below is definitely bad and unsustainable." He says that the modern capitalist system works this way, and that it perpetuates the cycle of growing inequality.

    Can universal basic income fix a crisis that's already begun?

    COVID-19 may strengthen the case for universal basic income, or an idea like it.

    • The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown millions of Americans into unemployment, highlighting the impracticality of living paycheck to paycheck, which a shocking number of Americans must do. Yet pandemic unemployment is just a glimpse of the fallout the US can expect in a future where more and more jobs are automated.
    • Is universal basic income the answer? In this video, a range of experts from economists to entrepreneurs and historians explore different facets of basic income, like why we need it, how it's different to welfare, and how we'll pay for it.
    • Yanis Varoufakis, Greece's former Minister of Finance, explains why he's not in favor of a UBI tax, but rather the creation of a public equity fund: "[T]hese days capital is socially produced ... Take for instance ... the capital stock of Google. To a large extent it is produced by all of us. Every time we search something on the Google search engine, we are adding to the capital stock of Google. This is not just a consumer transaction. So, if capital is socially produced why are the returns to capital privatized? On what basis?"

    What's your favorite argument for (or against) UBI? Let us know in the comments!

    COVID-19 is accelerating the pace of automation and the need for UBI

    The pandemic has given us an early glimpse at how truly disruptive the fourth industrial revolution may be, and the measures we'll need to support human dignity.

    Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
    • The coronavirus crisis has acted as a catalyst for two powerful transformative forces: automation and universal basic income.
    • These two intertwined forces will undoubtedly gain steam, writes Frederick Kuo, and the pandemic will hasten the acceptance of them from a scale of decades to years or mere months.
    • This crisis has ushered in a glimpse of what a dystopian future could look like as a rapidly advancing fourth industrial revolution inevitably causes severe disruption in our economy and labor structure.
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    #7: The colossal problem with universal basic income | Top 10 2019

    Continuing the countdown, Big Think's seventh most popular video of 2019 explains why universal basic income will hurt the 99%, and make the 1% even richer.

    • Big Think's #7 most popular video of 2019 features Douglas Rushkoff, who says universal basic income is a band-aid solution that will not solve wealth inequality.
    • Funneling money to the 99% perpetuates their roles as consumers, pumping money straight back up to the 1% at the top of the pyramid.
    • Rushkoff suggests universal basic assets instead, so that the people at the bottom of the pyramid can own some means of production and participate in the profits of mega-rich companies.
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