Is this the Candidate who picks up where Bernie Sanders left off?

I've been following the 2020 Presidential campaign of Andrew Yang fairly closely because he has a political vision that solves so many of America's problems. He delivers on all of Bernie's inspiring promises and puts the country on a constructive path. Like Bernie, he too will be running on the Democratic Party ticket, however, his political philosophy transcends their neoliberal corruption. If you're not familiar with Andrew Yang, this is how the New York Times describes him:

Among the many, many Democrats who will seek the party’s presidential nomination in 2020, most probably agree on a handful of core issues: protecting DACA, rejoining the Paris climate agreement, unraveling President Trump’s tax breaks for the wealthy.

Only one of them will be focused on the robot apocalypse.

That candidate is Andrew Yang, a well-connected New York businessman who is mounting a longer-than-long-shot bid for the White House. Mr. Yang, a former tech executive who started the nonprofit organization Venture for America, believes that automation and advanced artificial intelligence will soon make millions of jobs obsolete — yours, mine, those of our accountants and radiologists and grocery store cashiers. He says America needs to take radical steps to prevent Great Depression-level unemployment and a total societal meltdown, including handing out trillions of dollars in cash.

“All you need is self-driving cars to destabilize society,” Mr. Yang, 43, said over lunch at a Thai restaurant in Manhattan last month, in his first interview about his campaign. In just a few years, he said, “we’re going to have a million truck drivers out of work who are 94 percent male, with an average level of education of high school or one year of college.”

“That one innovation,” he continued, “will be enough to create riots in the street. And we’re about to do the same thing to retail workers, call center workers, fast-food workers, insurance companies, accounting firms.”

To fend off the coming robots, Mr. Yang is pushing what he calls a “Freedom Dividend,” a monthly check for $1,000 that would be sent to every American from age 18 to 64, regardless of income or employment status. These payments, he says, would bring everyone in America up to approximately the poverty line, even if they were directly hit by automation. Medicare and Medicaid would be unaffected under Mr. Yang’s plan, but people receiving government benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could choose to continue receiving those benefits, or take the $1,000 monthly payments instead.

There will be a fairly long earning curve on Wang's proposal, just as there was on all of Bernie's "socialist" ideas, so he's getting started early. But once the People understand what they are hearing (and what they are facing, otherwise) there may be a populist groundswell. Americans are being robbed of their rightful inheritance of this civilization. It was left to all of us by all the people who put their hard work into building it. They did not leave to corporations and politicians to asset strip and privatize its value, and then charge us again for something that was already paid for. Where is our profit sharing? Where are our dividends? Meanwhile, I suspect that the elites may like it even more because it rescues capitalism (and them). “I’m a capitalist,” says Yang, “and I believe that universal basic income is necessary for capitalism to continue.”

Yang, who is also an author, has up-branded Universal Basic Income, a policy that is being vigorously debated, discussed, and defended in academic circles, think-tank, and newspapers. It's an old idea that has finally arrived, gaining great favor among the Silicon Valley technologists. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew Ng, Pierre Omidyar, and Ray Kurzwell are among the many early adopters that are expressing support for the idea of a universal basic income. Y Combinator, the influential start-up incubator, is currently running basic income experiments with 3,000 participants in two states.

Andrew Yang points out that these payments would bring everyone in America up to the poverty line, at least. I see it a little differently. The payments would allow all American to purchase the basic Human Rights that are denied them in the US, such as the right to affordable housing and freedom from hunger. Once they have the necessary Human Rights to secure their day-to-day survival, they can stop scrambling for the next meal and spend time exploring their ambitions and dreams and developing a fulfilling life for themselves.

Because the top question here and elsewhere is invariably "How will we pay for it?" I've added a short interview where Andrew Yang explains it. That part of the puzzle has always been a happy story. See for yourself:

This is something we can do.

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Comments

a Grand a month? 12months times... carry the two... yeah,mThat shit ain't gonna work.
What happens when my job finally goes away and This is what I'm Left With?!? And fuck the riots in the streets, Giggle earth shows locations for Marches on the Manors! This fuckwad is covering his ass cause he knows it's slimjims with the rest of the greedy fucks that got us here.
You want a Real Bernie guy? Look at NY19 for congress in the dim primary. I almost shit myself when I heard This American Life broadcast a Full Show on this guy last night. I know, I know; TAL? Really?
Gaaaa, asphasic right now, I'll be back with the name on edit.

Edit: Okay, the mans name is Jeff Beal and the shows title is 'It's my Party and I'll try if I want to!'
fuck all wars

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17 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Tall Bald and Ugly

...every month boosts the GNP several points. It will grow the economy. It's the only thing that can.

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9 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic ya Still didn't answer the question I posed; HOW is this gonna help when the jobS go? Last I checked, minimum wage was a Might higher than 12k a year and NOwhere in US-istan can one rent a family abode on minimum: the whole famdamily has to work to make. Even little Timmy collecting coal in the street is a big help!
Do I need a snark tag?

fuck the wars

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14 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Tall Bald and Ugly

This is the start not the end. It's a number. By the time it's implemented, it will make economic sense. The object of the game is getting everyone used to the idea quickly. There's no other way to get the money into people's hands. There is no other mechanism. We don't all need to work to make money. We need to spend money to make money. Some need to stay home and take care of the kids and community to make money. Some need to do crafts or volunteer. Some need to invent things or sell things. Some need to go to school, some to teach. Some will collect a lot more money, some will have less. No one will need to sleep in the street or starve. People need to adapt.

With UBI, you'll be living the same life you are living now. Your job will still go away, if it's going away. You'll get the same severance package or settlement either way. You'll have the same opportunities to retrain either way or the same opportunities to buy or start a business of your own. If you can't pay your mortgage, you'll lose your house either way. Those things aren't changing.

With Wang's plan, there's a vision and goal for complete reform under a new paradigm. Everything else is more of the same kabuki. You should look deeper because it goes a lot deeper.

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12 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic getting the money into the hands of the people quickly; I just don't give a shit about gnp, gdp, or any of that bullshit,mumbo-jumbo, fake science(yeah, I went there!). Economics is more an art than a science,imo, and these bastards twist the Empirical info to fit their ideology/world view.
Some commenters below say it better than I can.

don't fuck war,
it breeds when you do

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10 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic In this political context, I don't think good policy is possible, even if you start with a good idea.

In this case, I expect that if Universal Basic passes, we will soon see an argument that wages need not be raised; even, perhaps, an argument that minimum wage is anachronistic and unnecessary, like the appendix, or the Senate.

Then we will be left with a bunch of people living on $12,000/year, which is slightly below the poverty line as established by the federal government, which we all know is considerably lower than what it takes to be poor.

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13 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Pluto's Republic

"The object of the game is getting everyone used to the idea quickly. There's no other way to get the money into people's hands. There is no other mechanism."

No other mechanism to get money into people's hands quickly? What about the Trump tax cuts? They may be regressive but they do some good in putting more money in peoples' pockets. How about some big fat raises? How about some loan forgiveness? How about some reasonable COLAs for soc sec recipients. For that matter, let Mr Yang convince Trump to send a check to everyone, or convince all of the wealthy people to distribute some of their ill-gotten gains back to the population.

There are plenty of good ideas floating around already that already have political support (from the voters). And now we have someone pushing a different idea for everyone to get 'used to' quickly.

Maybe this is just a diversion, just like Obama was just a diversion. Get everyone talking about this so that they ignore all of the other viable solutions that the 1% don't like.

New York Times? Gee, I recall how the media shoved empty-suit Obama down our throats.

And you call this a 'game?'

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5 users have voted.

dfarrah

@dfarrah You are right in that Trump's tax cut put money into people's pockets, too bad almost all
of that tax cut went to the .1% who have no desire share any of it with the 99.9%. Maybe you are enjoying those golden showers, but the people who need the money and will make sure it gets back into the economy are not.

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5 users have voted.

@sandiapeach say that it was the best taxing arrangement, and clearly it isn't.

I merely noted it. It is a just small boost for the regular citizen, but it is better than nothing for now.

And considering how little the dems have done for the workers, and how dem leadership mocked this little improvement (after they've bailed out the moneyed interests), I'm glad that someone actually thought to put a few extra dollars in the workers' pockets.

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4 users have voted.

dfarrah

Big Al's picture

@Pluto's Republic is just a thousand bucks. And try to get more from the bastards when inflation causes bread to cost ten bucks a loaf.
No, there has to be a much deeper solution to how all humans can exist equally on the planet. This one sounds like the road to outright slavery to the wealthy class.

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21 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Big Al I admit that when I see Zuckerberg and Omidyar rallying around something, I tend to walk the other way.

Not that I think Universal Basic Income is a bad idea, in itself, but it's fairly obvious that one cannot expect the current powerholders to deal with any idea honestly or fairly.

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11 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Daenerys's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal if they put their money where their mouths are and start paying their employees I dunno, let's say $30/hr minimum, instead of minimum wage or barely above it in what basically amounts to sweat-shop conditions (I'm looking at you, Bozos!).

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14 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

@Tall Bald and Ugly
connection with reality. He says that automation will cause 70% unemployment, but that $1000 a month will "save capitalism". He's living in a dream world.

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18 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

other billionaire, advocates -- or presumably, even comprehends -- is the necessary confiscation of "excess" wealth (I won't bother to argue with anyone about what that comprises) in order to offset the geometric accumulation that is a fundamental operating principle of capitalism.

Universal Basic Income is meaningless if the 0.0001% continue to demand an always-rising fraction of the total economic output of the planet.

Even encouraging the ultra-wealthy to pour the money into charitable foundations will not solve the problem. That's pretty much how things were working in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, with the result that by the reign of Henry VIII, the church controlled an unsustainable -- and ever-growing -- fraction of England's productive capacity. Inevitably, the managers of that wealth were corrupted by it, and used it to put a stranglehold on English society and on the English state.

Henry was fortunate to have both the audacity and sufficient support amongst the nobility to do the one thing that can be done to address such an accumulation: He took it.

And that's what will need to be done in our current circumstance as well.

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30 users have voted.

Sigh

Big Al's picture

@UntimelyRippd

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12 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@UntimelyRippd

...redistributing the excess wealth clogging the system.

At the very beginning, however, we absolutely must lift all Americans out of poverty. It's killing all of us and destroying society. That's something we can do right now. Suffering is optional.

Yang’s top three policies are all related to improving the human condition. However, the one that he emphasizes as the most important is his “Freedom Dividend”, a form of Universal Basic Income (UBI) of $1000/month for every American adult between 18 and 64, independent of work status or any other factor. This would be paid for by consolidating existing welfare programs as well as by adding a “value-added” tax on goods and services produced by businesses. The Freedom Dividend is a direct response to the onset of automation and the massive job loss that is occurring as a result. By providing UBI of $1000/month to every American adult, Yang hopes to immediately improve every citizen’s quality of living, directly combat poverty, and mitigate the effects of job loss caused by automation.

The second of Yang’s “big three policies” is single-payer healthcare in addition to changing the healthcare landscape as a whole. He sums up the rationale behind his position: “By providing holistic healthcare to all our citizens, we’ll drastically increase the average quality of life, extend life expectancies, and treat issues that often go untreated. We’ll also be able to bring costs under control and outcomes up, as most other industrialized nations have.” In addition to increasing access to preventative care and thereby lowering overall healthcare costs, Yang plans to emphasize “holistic” medicine, which recognizes the importance of mental health in addition to physical health. He also plans to change the doctor compensation model from the pay-per-service to salaried, disincentivizing such practices as ordering redundant tests and “churn[ing] through patient after patient”, and incentivizing innovative treatment methods and methodologies, such as the use of AI-supplemented college or Master’s program graduates as a new class of healthcare provider.

The last of the “big three policies” is a refocusing of our capitalist system in a movement Yang calls “Human Capitalism”, wherein the economy will be directed to work for humans, rather than the other way around. In action, this means that an airline would no longer be able to kick someone off of their flight because a last-minute customer is paying more money, and drug companies would not be able to charge extortionate prices for life-saving drugs because their patients are desperate. To manage Human Capitalism, Yang plans for the government to adopt such measurements as median income, life expectancy, average physical fitness and mental health, environmental quality, informational integrity (“fake news”), public safety, and many more in addition to the GDP and job statistics that we have today.

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10 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

usually at the base of the math on UBI (although the two tries in switzerland was more complex an algorithm, but both failed, dunno in the past five years if one ever succeeded or not, and i'm no longer in contact with my e-friend there.

"This would be paid for by consolidating existing welfare programs..." well, i reckon he might just mean what's left of the 'social safety net', but if he means the welfare payments made to bigAg, bigPharma, bigOil, on down the line, that might be a whole 'nother thing.

i dinnae find his foundations' net worth, contra the promised bingle hits, but: yang’s net worth $2,147,483,647 in 2018. now on the other hand, another 'entrepreneur' (of the non-profit industrial complex h/t wrong kind of green) (this made be giddy as a school girl:

but as for DACA, it was an obomba con, and as for rejoining the weak-sauce voluntary COP protocols...too late, and it has been for years before Boss Tweet pulled out of them.

good-lookin' chap, though, isn't he? the venture's board of directors. lol-ish, esp. the UBS banker, imo. noblesse oblige or something else?

anyhoo, thanks for introducing him to us, pluto's republic.

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12 users have voted.

@wendy davis is just another word for massive layoffs, salary adjustments, and skirting age discrimination laws.

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7 users have voted.

dfarrah

@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic bullshit.

Freedom dividends? Spare me. When people want to sell something that is bad, you can count on some patriotic jingo to accompany it.

Trump is already talking about consolidating the welfare agencies.

Holistic health? That's already been around forever. That does not stop the greed surrounding the health care industry. Adjust doctor's wages? They are already under attack by the oligarchs, just like all wages are under attack.

Cheaper drugs? Capitalism has no place in health care? As it is now with capitalism running things, hospitals are running out of generic drugs and items they need in emergency rooms. Hey, capitalists are not going to produce something that does not make them wealthy.

Human capital?? This sounds like the usual juggling of terms that has taken place over the decades. A clerk is not a clerk, no, they are really an accounting technician.

Ugh. This guy is just using new words to obfuscate what has been going on already. He is straight out of the neo-liberal playbook.

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8 users have voted.

dfarrah

@Pluto's Republic When the UBI payments end and there are no work credits for Social Security? Just lay down and die? Or beg?

$12K a year, just enough to avoid starvation and be homeless. So all the young people can compete to be servants and whores. Great vision indeed!

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5 users have voted.
The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@UntimelyRippd Rich =/= Evil. It's a far, far less linear world than that - but clearly, you can never have very many trillionaires without turning everything into Zimbabwe (pity that Tim Berners-Lee had to "prove" his nobility by not asking even a mille on the pound for his invention, otherwise HE would have been the first).

Here's the key: The cap, just like the minimum wage, should be PEGGED TO A PERCENTAGE OF INFLATION, POPULATION, AND THE GNP (anyone else recall Ralph Nader calling for more than just a static hike to the minimum wage all the way back in 2000?).

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16 users have voted.
GreyWolf's picture

@UntimelyRippd "... in order to offset the geometric accumulation that is a fundamental operating principle of capitalism."

That is relevant, and that it has been going on for so long already is what is really relevant.

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8 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd the necessary confiscation of "excess" wealth (I won't bother to argue with anyone about what that comprises) in order to offset the geometric accumulation that is a fundamental operating principle of capitalism.

Universal Basic Income is meaningless if the 0.0001% continue to demand an always-rising fraction of the total economic output of the planet.

Absolutely right, and you're getting universal basic applause from my whole family.

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8 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

guy if he is similar to musk or zuckerberg.

Can't we find anyone who isn't a snake oil salesman or borderline sociopath?

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16 users have voted.

dfarrah

thanatokephaloides's picture

@dfarrah

Can't we find anyone who isn't a snake oil salesman or borderline sociopath?

We can find them easily enough; it's getting them into uncompromised power that's the heavy lift!

After all, if merely "finding them" was enough, we'd run JtC for President and be done with it....

Wink

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15 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Pluto's Republic's picture

@dfarrah

New ideas have a learning curve, some steeper than others. Then the normalization can begin.

Andrew Yang: 2020 Presidential Candidate with Transhumanist Values

If the Millennials come out to vote, we'll be living in their world. Thank god.

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8 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic Lack of vision and a learning curve that is just too tough for us non-millennials, and Yang is just beyond our tiny capabilities.

How insulting.

I think if people had better bull-shit detectors, the world would be an immensely better place.

But it's the bull-shitters who typically come out on top, and even after they are done scamming everyone, at least 1/2 of people still admire them.

And I no longer have a rosey view of the tech industry. It's not oh-so-kewl to me that the tech industry is a big black hole of endless money-grubbing, forcing the rest of us to be stuck with their products. It's not kewl to me that we now have to pass right-to-repair laws so that consumers don't have to have a battery changed at a huge cost. It's not kewl to me that the techies have the rest of us completely at their mercy across a huge number of products. It's not kewl to me that all of our information is at the mercy of the techies. It's not kewl to me that the tech industry and defense industries are joined at the hip. It's not kewl to me that consumers have no choice because of the consolidation in the industry. And on and on. I guess I have to shut up sometime.

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16 users have voted.

dfarrah

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dfarrah Don't shut up.

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7 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

thanatokephaloides's picture

@dfarrah

And I no longer have a rosey view of the tech industry. It's not oh-so-kewl to me that the tech industry is a big black hole of endless money-grubbing, forcing the rest of us to be stuck with their products. It's not kewl to me that we now have to pass right-to-repair laws so that consumers don't have to have a battery changed at a huge cost. It's not kewl to me that the techies have the rest of us completely at their mercy across a huge number of products. It's not kewl to me that all of our information is at the mercy of the techies. It's not kewl to me that the tech industry and defense industries are joined at the hip. It's not kewl to me that consumers have no choice because of the consolidation in the industry. And on and on. I guess I have to shut up sometime.

You don't have to shut up. Many of us, myself included, would prefer you didn't.

I agree with you regarding this whole above quoted paragraph.

And I am a techie! Wink

I daresay you'd find solid support among the techies in the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community!

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9 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@Pluto's Republic

and machines do everything better, life must be replaced.

From your link:

... Although he has not identified himself as a transhumanist, Yang’s policy positions strongly identify with technoprogressive Transhumanism. As such, I - as a member of the Transhuman Party - am promoting Andrew Yang for consideration as a potential transhumanist candidate for the 2020 Presidential election. ...

We're talking such as going-underground-Monsanto/Bayer, of Google and Ray Kurzweil working toward The Singularity and similar charmers such as billionaire Peter Thiel, over humanity and nature, trying to con Progressives into supporting more of their candidates/representatives running for public office. As though Google wasn't already twinned into the White House and government generally when Obama was in...

Coming from you, this support really surprises me. Or are you perhaps not yet aware that Transhumanists are the direct and fatal opposite of humanists? In with the 'not reality-based, we make our own virtual reality really real' Bush league crowd?

Psychopaths tend to use/despise humans because we have all those 'weak' survival emotions like empathy and tendencies toward ethics and independent thinking and they'd prefer that humans be replaced with machines because both psychopaths and machines are incapable of human ethics and empathy and the latter can be programed and never need to be paid, rest or sleep.

Here they're talking not yet of full machine replacement but of cyborgs where, rather than humans using tools, they can become tools - because humans aren't as good as machines to this lot. They have no concept of intrinsic human worth - and if they can rebuild/control/track/monitor-chip humans to serve their purposes, going by everything we know of these, they will. We're talking psychopathic control-freaks who want to micro-manage the world.

They claimed that globalism was 'inevitable' - how is that working out for the the poors and other fast-diminishing life on the planet sacrificed to the profiteering of The Right People Worth Something In Real Money? They also claimed that Hillary was 'inevitable', something only avoided via Trump - backed by such as Peter Theil and *Robert Mercer, the latter of whom was quoted in an interview I read previously as preferring the company of computers to people.

This 'inevitable' meme of theirs seems to have been taken from the old 'If rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it' canard, ignoring the fact that the victim is being devastated, damaged in likely multiple ways and possibly infected with something nasty and even incurable; seemingly, only the rapist - in any sense of the term - enjoys the 'inevitable' experience.

This is the ultimate repudiation of both humanity and of our relation to nature. Of Life itself.

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/transhumanism-should-we-use-robotic...

Transhumanism: Should we use robotics to enhance humans?

Many worry about superhuman AI. But what about human augmentation? Here's why transhumanism, a philosophy that considers melding humans and machines, has become an increasingly relevant force in AI.

By Hope Reese | January 18, 2017,

...Transhumanism is both a movement and belief that that humans should use technology and science to redesign ourselves beyond the limits of our biological constraints. It is beginning to seem inevitable, though whether that's a good thing remains up for debate. The term transhumanism was first coined by English evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley (brother of the "Brave New World" writer Aldous Huxley) in a 1957 essay, but the ideas behind it didn't begin to gain real traction until the 1970s.

While the number of transhumanists today is still relatively small (and the movement is broken into several factions), many top researchers and tech moguls are investing significant resources into the potential for human "augmentation." These champions include billionaires like Peter Thiel, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and futurist Ray Kurzweil (who is famous for bringing the idea of "the Singularity" to light). Even Google established a biotech subsidiary to address aging. And transhumanism has even become a political force, with transhumanist advocate Zoltan Istvan running for US president in 2016. ...

...Yet, according to Hughes, in 2015, many futurists interested in politics began to build parties of their own. Some of these projects, Hughes said, engaged with previously nonpolitical futurists by debating and endorsing a technoprogressive policy agenda, which he called a "step toward serious political engagement." However, others, he said, "wasted efforts in promoting cults of personality and dead-end projects that soon stuttered to a halt. These projects have justified our suspicion that 'transhumanism' is far too limited to build a political project around, without grounding itself in the pre-existing and inescapable history of political thought."

Finally, Hughes said progressive transhumanists have to take a stance in the post-Donald Trump world. "That the transhumanist billionaire Peter Thiel, whose philanthropy has dominated futurist organizations, threw himself behind Trump has justified the IEET's insistence that the techno-political space is three-dimensional," He said. "Libertarian transhumanism and fascist transhumanism need a visible technoprogressive response. Technoprogressives know who belongs at the table, and it's not white nationalists and the alt-right," he said.

How transhumanism will progress in our current political climate remains to be seen. Still, as enthusiasm and support for AI research continue to grow, it is clear that the quest to enhance human potential through machines will remain a strong and expanding force in the AI community.

Thanks, I'll live and die a humanist myself.

Progressives want humanity in public policies, respect for human lives and individuality, and better lives for humans, not to make humans 'better' by making them more machinelike to suit The Psychopaths That Be who want to control and more freely use them.

* http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5514535/The-secretive-billionair...

REVEALED: The secretive billionaire Trump donor behind Facebook data mining firm who detests the GOP establishment, loves Clinton conspiracy theories and vehemently denies being a white supremacist

New reports raise questions about Cambridge Analytica's role in 2016 election
Firm used data harvested on 50M voters without consent, says whistleblower
Data analytics venture worked for Ted Cruz in the primary and Trump in general
Hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer backed the venture with $15million
He was also a major investor in Breitbart News, but has since sold his stake

By Keith Griffith For Dailymail.com

Published: 23:26 EDT, 17 March 2018 | Updated: 01:42 EDT, 18 March 2018

New reports about the data harvesting practices of Cambridge Analytica have drawn fresh attention to the firm's financial backer, secretive billionaire Robert Mercer.

Mercer, 71, made his fortune running the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies on Long Island, and is a staunch conservative who poured millions into President Donald Trump's campaign.

A sizable chunk of that support came in a $15 million investment Mercer made in Cambridge Analytica, the New York Times reported.

Facebook suspended the company from their platform on Friday, following reports it had harvested the profile information of more than 50 million users without their permission.

In the drama that was the 2016 election, perhaps no key figure is as little known as Mercer, who also played a critical role in Brexit by donating data analytics services to Nigel Farage.

Along with his daughter Rebekah, Mercer has backed a number of conservative causes, including as a major investor in right-wing site Breitbart News. ...

...Brilliant in his own right, Mercer has a PhD in computer science, and was an early pioneer in artificial intelligence, using his knowledge to build trading algorithms that minted millions for his fund and its clients.

Mercer has plowed much of that cash into libertarian causes, backing maverick Republican candidates in an attempt to re-shape the party.

'He despises the Republican establishment,' former Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell, who worked as a contractor for Mercer, told the New Yorker last year.

Mercer is said to favor the gold standard as monetary policy and is an avid gun collector, with what is said to be a massive collection of machine guns and historical weapons.

His strong politics have also drawn detractors. Last February, David Magerman, a senior employee at Renaissance who is a strong supporter of Jewish and Democrat causes, spoke out about what he regarded as Mercer's worrisome influence and support for the so-called 'alt-right'. ...

...In early 2014, Mercer agreed to invest $15million in a joint venture with UK-based SCL's elections division, to create a US-based entity that could legally advise on election campaigns without running afoul of foreign influence laws.

Steve Bannon, who became a board member and investor in the new US venture, chose the name: Cambridge Analytica.

In November of last year, Mercer announced that he would leave Renaissance as co-CEO and sold off his stake in Breitbart to his daughters.

In a letter to his employees, he said he was a believer in limited government, and lamented how he had been portrayed in the press since Trump's election. ...

This following article is ginormous and very comprehensive, including much I'd read elsewhere back in the day and much more, often in better detail and I'd term it a must-read in full at source if at all possible.

This is where Trump got a lot of his programming and much of his horrendous staff - ultimately including Bolton, if not at the time of this article's writing. The author is, unfortunately, a Clinton apologist, but a damn good investigative reporter; not sure if her bias has affected anything, but much of this may be familiar, which may be all we can hope for in this propaganda blitz, which is an issue which must always be kept in mind.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/the-reclusive-hedge-fund-t...

A Reporter at Large
March 27, 2017 Issue
The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency
How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency.

By Jane Mayer

...The White House declined to divulge what Trump and Caddell discussed in North Charleston, as did Caddell. But that afternoon Trump issued perhaps the most incendiary statement of his Presidency: a tweet calling the news media “the enemy of the American people.” The proclamation alarmed liberals and conservatives alike. William McRaven, the retired Navy admiral who commanded the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, called Trump’s statement a “threat to democracy.” The President is known for tweeting impulsively, but in this case his words weren’t spontaneous: they clearly echoed the thinking of Caddell, Bannon, and Mercer. In 2012, Caddell gave a speech at a conference sponsored by Accuracy in Media, a conservative watchdog group, in which he called the media “the enemy of the American people.” That declaration was promoted by Breitbart News, a platform for the pro-Trump alt-right, of which Bannon was the executive chairman, before joining the Trump Administration. One of the main stakeholders in Breitbart News is Mercer.

Mercer is the co-C.E.O. of Renaissance Technologies, which is among the most profitable hedge funds in the country. A brilliant computer scientist, he helped transform the financial industry through the innovative use of trading algorithms. But he has never given an interview explaining his political views. Although Mercer has recently become an object of media speculation, Trevor Potter, the president of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan watchdog group, who formerly served as the chairman of the Federal Election Commission, said, “I have no idea what his political views are—they’re unknown, not just to the public but also to most people who’ve been active in politics for the past thirty years.” Potter, a Republican, sees Mercer as emblematic of a major shift in American politics that has occurred since 2010, when the Supreme Court made a controversial ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. That ruling, and several subsequent ones, removed virtually all limits on how much money corporations and nonprofit groups can spend on federal elections, and how much individuals can give to political-action committees. Since then, power has tilted away from the two main political parties and toward a tiny group of rich mega-donors.

Private money has long played a big role in American elections. When there were limits on how much a single donor could give, however, it was much harder for an individual to have a decisive impact. Now, Potter said, “a single billionaire can write an eight-figure check and put not just their thumb but their whole hand on the scale—and we often have no idea who they are.” He continued, “Suddenly, a random billionaire can change politics and public policy—to sweep everything else off the table—even if they don’t speak publicly, and even if there’s almost no public awareness of his or her views.” ...

...In February, David Magerman, a senior employee at Renaissance, spoke out about what he regards as Mercer’s worrisome influence. Magerman, a Democrat who is a strong supporter of Jewish causes, took particular issue with Mercer’s empowerment of the alt-right, which has included anti-Semitic and white-supremacist voices. Magerman shared his concerns with Mercer, and the conversation escalated into an argument. Magerman told colleagues about it, and, according to an account in the Wall Street Journal, Mercer called Magerman and said, “I hear you’re going around saying I’m a white supremacist. That’s ridiculous.” Magerman insisted to Mercer that he hadn’t used those words, but added, “If what you’re doing is harming the country, then you have to stop.” After the Journal story appeared, Magerman, who has worked at Renaissance for twenty years, was suspended for thirty days. Undaunted, he published an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, accusing Mercer of “effectively buying shares in the candidate.” He warned, “Robert Mercer now owns a sizeable share of the United States Presidency.” ...

...Patterson also recalled Mercer arguing that, during the Gulf War, the U.S. should simply have taken Iraq’s oil, “since it was there.” Trump, too, has said that the U.S. should have “kept the oil.” Expropriating another country’s natural resources is a violation of international law. Another onetime senior employee at Renaissance recalls hearing Mercer downplay the dangers posed by nuclear war. Mercer, speaking of the atomic bombs that the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, argued that, outside of the immediate blast zones, the radiation actually made Japanese citizens healthier. The National Academy of Sciences has found no evidence to support this notion. Nevertheless, according to the onetime employee, Mercer, who is a proponent of nuclear power, “was very excited about the idea, and felt that it meant nuclear accidents weren’t such a big deal.”

Mercer strongly supported the nomination of Jeff Sessions to be Trump’s Attorney General. Many civil-rights groups opposed the nomination, pointing out that Sessions has in the past expressed racist views. Mercer, for his part, has argued that the Civil Rights Act, in 1964, was a major mistake. According to the onetime Renaissance employee, Mercer has asserted repeatedly that African-Americans were better off economically before the civil-rights movement. (Few scholars agree.) ...

...But Patterson clashed with him over climate change; Mercer said that concerns about it were overblown. After Patterson shared with him a scientific paper on the subject, Mercer and his brother, Randall, who also worked at the hedge fund, sent him a paper by a scientist named Arthur Robinson, who is a biochemist, not a climate expert. “It looked like a scientific paper, but it was completely loaded with selective and biased information,” Patterson recalled. The paper argued that, if climate change were real, future generations would “enjoy an Earth with far more plant and animal life.” Robinson owns a sheep ranch in Cave Junction, Oregon, and on the property he runs a laboratory that he calls the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Mercer helps subsidize Robinson’s various projects, which include an effort to forestall aging.

Patterson sent Mercer a note calling Robinson’s arguments “completely false.” He never heard back. “I think if you studied Bob’s views of what the ideal state would look like, you’d find that, basically, he wants a system where the state just gets out of the way,” Patterson said. “Climate change poses a problem for that world view, because markets can’t solve it on their own.”

Magerman told the Wall Street Journal that Mercer’s political opinions “show contempt for the social safety net that he doesn’t need, but many Americans do.” He also said that Mercer wants the U.S. government to be “shrunk down to the size of a pinhead.” Several former colleagues of Mercer’s said that his views are akin to Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Magerman told me, “Bob believes that human beings have no inherent value other than how much money they make. A cat has value, he’s said, because it provides pleasure to humans. But if someone is on welfare they have negative value. If he earns a thousand times more than a schoolteacher, then he’s a thousand times more valuable.” Magerman added, “He thinks society is upside down—that government helps the weak people get strong, and makes the strong people weak by taking their money away, through taxes.” He said that this mind-set was typical of “instant billionaires” in finance, who “have no stake in society,” unlike the industrialists of the past, who “built real things.” ...

... Mercer also invested some five million dollars in Cambridge Analytica, a firm that mines online data to reach and influence potential voters. The company has said that it uses secret psychological methods to pinpoint which messages are the most persuasive to individual online viewers. The firm, which is the American affiliate of Strategic Communication Laboratories, in London, has worked for candidates whom Mercer has backed, including Trump. It also reportedly worked on the Brexit campaign, in the United Kingdom.

Alexander Nix, the C.E.O. of the firm, says that it has created “profiles”—consisting of several thousand data points—for two hundred and twenty million Americans. In promotional materials, S.C.L. has claimed to know how to use such data to wage both psychological and political warfare. “Persuading somebody to vote a certain way,” Nix has said publicly, “is really very similar to persuading 14- to 25-year-old boys in Indonesia to not join Al Qaeda.” Some critics suggest that, at this point, Cambridge Analytica’s self-promotion exceeds its effectiveness. But Jonathan Albright, an assistant professor of communications at Elon University, in North Carolina, recently published a paper, on Medium, calling Cambridge Analytica a “propaganda machine.”

As important as Mercer’s business investments is his hiring of advisers. Years before he started supporting Trump, he began funding several conservative activists, including Steve Bannon; as far back as 2012, Bannon was the Mercers’ de-facto political adviser. Some people who have observed the Mercers’ political evolution worry that Bannon has become a Svengali to the whole family, exploiting its political inexperience and tapping its fortune to further his own ambitions. It was Bannon who urged the Mercers to invest in a data-analytics firm. He also encouraged the investment in Breitbart News, which was made through Gravitas Maximus, L.L.C., a front group that once had the same Long Island address as Renaissance Technologies. In an interview, Bannon praised the Mercers’ strategic approach: “The Mercers laid the groundwork for the Trump revolution. Irrefutably, when you look at donors during the past four years, they have had the single biggest impact of anybody, including the Kochs.”

Last summer, Bannon and some other activists whom the Mercers have supported—including David Bossie, who initiated the Citizens United lawsuit—came together to rescue Trump’s wobbly campaign. Sam Nunberg, an early Trump adviser who watched Mercer’s group take over, said, “Mercer was smart. He invested in the right people.” ...

...In 1993, when Nick Patterson mailed Robert Mercer a job offer from Renaissance, Mercer threw it in the trash: he’d never heard of the hedge fund. At the time, Mercer was part of a team pioneering the use of computers to translate languages. I.B.M. considered the project a bit of a luxury, and didn’t see its potential, though the work laid the foundation for Google Translate and Apple’s Siri. But Mercer and his main partner, Peter Brown, found the project exciting, and had the satisfaction of showing up experts in the field, who had dismissed their statistical approach to translating languages as impractical. Instead of trying to teach a computer linguistic rules, Mercer and Brown downloaded enormous quantities of dual-language documents—including Canadian parliamentary records—and created code that analyzed the data and detected patterns, enabling predictions of probable translations. According to a former I.B.M. colleague, Mercer was obsessive, and at one point took six months off to type into a computer every entry in a Spanish-English dictionary. Sebastian Mallaby, in his 2010 book on the hedge-fund industry, “More Money Than God,” reports that Mercer’s boss at I.B.M. once jokingly called him an “automaton.” ...

... Mercer’s colleagues say that he views the government as arrogant and inefficient, and believes that individuals need to be self-sufficient, and should not receive aid from the state. Yet, when I.B.M. failed to offer adequate support for Mercer and Brown’s translation project, they secured additional funding from DARPA, the secretive Pentagon program. Despite Mercer’s disdain for “big government,” this funding was essential to his early success.

Meanwhile, Patterson kept asking Mercer and Brown to join Renaissance. He thought that their technique of extracting patterns from huge amounts of data could be applied to the pile of numbers generated daily by the global trade in stocks, bonds, commodities, and currencies. The patterns could generate predictive financial models that would give traders a decisive edge. ...

... Renaissance was founded by James Simons, a legendary mathematician, in 1982. Simons had run the math department at Stony Brook University, on Long Island, and the hedge fund took a uniquely academic approach to high finance. Andrew Lo, a finance professor at M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management, has described it as “the commercial version of the Manhattan Project.” Intensely secretive and filled with people with Ph.D.s, it has been sensationally profitable. Its Medallion Fund, which is open only to the firm’s three hundred or so employees, has averaged returns of almost eighty per cent a year, before fees. Bloomberg News has called the Medallion Fund “perhaps the world’s greatest moneymaking machine.”

In “More Money Than God,” Mallaby, who interviewed Mercer, describes his temperament as that of an “icy cold poker player”; Mercer told him that he could not recall ever having had a nightmare. But Mercer warms up when talking about computers. In the 2014 speech, he recalled the first time he used one, at a science camp, and likened the experience to falling in love. He also spoke of the government lab in New Mexico. “I loved the solitude of the computer lab late at night,” he said. “I loved the air-conditioned smell of the place. I loved the sound of the disks whirring and the printers clacking.” The speech lasted forty minutes—“more than I typically talk in a month,” he noted. ...

...Renaissance’s profits were further enhanced by a controversial tax maneuver, which became the subject of a 2014 Senate inquiry. According to Senate investigators, Renaissance had presented countless short-term trades as long-term ones, improperly avoiding some $6.8 billion in taxes. The Senate didn’t allege criminality, but it concluded that Renaissance had committed “abuses.” The I.R.S. demanded payment. (Renaissance defended its practices, and the matter remains contested, leaving a very sensitive material issue pending before the Trump Administration.)

The Medallion Fund made Renaissance employees among the wealthiest people in the country. Forbes estimates that Simons, who has the biggest share, is worth eighteen billion dollars. In 2009, Simons stepped aside, to focus on philanthropy, and named Mercer and Brown co-C.E.O.s. Institutional Investor’s Alpha estimates that, in 2015, Mercer earned a hundred and thirty-five million dollars at Renaissance. ...

... Mercer retains a domestic staff that includes a butler and a physician; both accompany him whenever he travels. But this, too, has sparked bad publicity. In 2013, three members of the household staff sued to recover back wages, claiming that Mercer had failed to pay overtime, as promised, and that he had deducted pay as punishment for poor work. One infraction that Mercer cited as a “demerit” was a failure to replace shampoo bottles that were two-thirds empty. This suit, too, was settled. ...

...After the Citizens United decision, in 2010, the Mercers were among the first people to take advantage of the opportunity to spend more money on politics. In Oregon, they quietly gave money to a super PAC—an independent campaign-related group that could now take unlimited donations. In New York, reporters discovered that Robert Mercer was the sole donor behind a million-dollar advertising campaign attacking what it described as a plan to build a “Ground Zero Mosque” in Manhattan. The proposed building was neither a mosque nor at Ground Zero. The ads, which were meant to boost a Conservative Party candidate for governor, were condemned as Islamophobic. ...

... Press accounts speculated that Robert Mercer may have targeted DeFazio because DeFazio had proposed a tax on a type of high-volume stock trade that Renaissance frequently made. But several associates of Mercer’s say that the truth is stranger. DeFazio’s Republican opponent was Arthur Robinson—the biochemist, sheep rancher, and climate-change denialist. The Mercers became his devoted supporters after reading Access to Energy, an offbeat scientific newsletter that he writes. The family has given at least $1.6 million in donations to Robinson’s Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Some of the money was used to buy freezers in which Robinson is storing some fourteen thousand samples of human urine. Robinson has said that, by studying the urine, he will find new ways of extending the human life span.

Robinson holds a degree in chemistry from Caltech, but his work is not respected in most scientific circles. (The Oregon senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, has called Robinson an “extremist kook.”) Robinson appears to be the source of Robert Mercer’s sanguine view of nuclear radiation: in 1986, Robinson co-authored a book suggesting that the vast majority of Americans would survive “an all-out atomic attack on the United States.” Robinson’s institute dismisses climate change as a “false religion.” A petition that he organized in 1998 to oppose the Kyoto Protocol, claiming to represent thirty thousand scientists skeptical of global warming, has been criticized as deceptive. The National Academy of Sciences has warned that the petition never appeared in a peer-reviewed journal, though it is printed in “a format that is nearly identical to that of scientific articles.” The petition, however, still circulates online: in the past year, it was the most shared item about climate change on Facebook.

Robinson, who calls himself a “Jesus-plus-nothing-else” Christian, has become a hero to the religious right for homeschooling his six children. Robert and Rebekah Mercer have praised a curriculum that Robinson sells. (An advertisement for it casts doubt on evolution: “No demonstration has ever been made of the process of ‘spontaneous origin of life.’ ”) Robinson has said that the “socialist” agenda of public schools is “evil” and represents “a form of child abuse.” ...

...By 2011, the Mercers had joined forces with Charles and David Koch, who own Koch Industries, and who have run a powerful political machine for decades. The Mercers attended the Kochs’ semiannual seminars, which provide a structure for right-wing millionaires looking for effective ways to channel their cash. The Mercers admired the savviness of the Kochs’ plan, which called for attendees to pool their contributions in a fund run by Koch operatives. The fund would strategically deploy the money in races across the country, although, at the time, the Kochs’ chief aim was to defeat Barack Obama in 2012. The Kochs will not reveal the identities of their donors, or the size of contributions, but the Mercers reportedly began giving at least a million dollars a year to the Kochs’ fund. Eventually, they contributed more than twenty-five million.

The Mercers also joined the Council for National Policy, which the Times has described as a “little-known club of a few hundred of the most powerful conservatives in the country.” The Mercers have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars. The group swears participants to secrecy. But a leaked 2014 roster revealed that it included many people who promoted anti-Clinton conspiracy stories, including Joseph Farah, the editor of WorldNetDaily. The group also brought the Mercers into the orbit of two people who have become key figures in the Trump White House: Kellyanne Conway, who was on the group’s executive committee, and Steve Bannon.

In 2011, the Mercers met Andrew Breitbart, the founder of the fiery news outlet that bears his name, at a conference organized by the Club for Growth, a conservative group. ...

...After the election, Rebekah Mercer was rewarded with a seat on Trump’s transition team. “She basically bought herself a seat,” Fischer said. She had strong feelings about who should be nominated to Cabinet positions and other top government jobs. Not all her ideas were embraced. She unsuccessfully pushed for John Bolton, the hawkish former Ambassador to the United Nations, to be named Secretary of State. So far, her suggestion that Arthur Robinson, the Oregon biochemist, be named the national science adviser has gone nowhere. Like her father, she advocates a return to the gold standard, but as of yet she has failed to get Trump to appoint officials who share this view.

Still, Mercer made her influence felt. Her pick for national-security adviser was Michael Flynn, and Trump chose him for the job. (Flynn lasted only a month, after he lied about having spoken with the Russian Ambassador before taking office.) More important, several people to whom Mercer is very close—including Bannon and Conway—have become some of the most powerful figures in the world.

Rebekah’s father, meanwhile, can no longer be considered a political outsider. David Magerman, in his essay for the Inquirer, notes that Mercer “has surrounded our President with his people, and his people have an outsized influence over the running of our country, simply because Robert Mercer paid for their seats.” He writes, “Everyone has a right to express their views.” But, he adds, “when the government becomes more like a corporation, with the richest 0.001% buying shares and demanding board seats, then we cease to be a representative democracy.” Instead, he warns, “we become an oligarchy.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/donald-trump-rebekah-mercer-227799

The most powerful woman in GOP politics

How Rebekah Mercer, at the center of the Trump campaign, is reshaping the right.

By KENNETH P. VOGEL and BEN SCHRECKINGER

09/07/2016 05:03 AM EDT

Updated 09/07/2016 12:14 PM EDT

... But the family’s rise, facilitated by an increasingly aggressive network of Mercer-backed institutions and operatives, has prompted worry within the GOP about an attempted takeover, and questions from across the political spectrum about what the Mercers intend to do with the influence they’ve purchased.

Efforts to deduce the family’s intentions have focused largely on the family patriarch, Robert Mercer, 70, a pioneer in quantitative trading. But Bob Mercer, as he’s known, is mostly only writing multimillion-dollar checks that fund the family’s political operation; it is his daughter, Rebekah Mercer, 42, who is running the operation, according to more than 15 personal and political associates of the family.

It is Rebekah Mercer, according to these sources, whose frustration with what she saw as the political ineffectiveness of the Koch brothers’ network led her to redirect Mercer money to build a rival operation. ...

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4 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Ellen North

Seriously, whew!

Coming from you, this support really surprises me. Or are you perhaps not yet aware that Transhumanists are the direct and fatal opposite of humanists?

My bad, those words you refer to did not come from me. I was quoting a description of Yang's policy positions printed in a document from the Transhuman Party. Andrew Wang is not a transhumanist candidate any more than Hillary was a Teamster — although they both were endorsed by these various entities.

I didn't want to pull the transhumanists into this discussion, but since you have done so, let's get it right:

First of all, the endorsement came from the Transhuman Party. But you are going on about folks once associated with the Transhumanist Party, which is a Completely.Different.Organization. Anyway, I'm not sure what that pisher Mercer has to do with any of this. His connection to what UBI is about is like Rachel Maddow connecting the dots.

It is not your fault though and it is completely understandable. In 2016, the transhumanist movement blew up like a new universe and coalesced into two very different ideologies. I had a ringside seat on this because I was following the presidential campaign of Zoltan Istvan, leader of the Transhumanist Party. (This is relevant to c99p only because it is relevant to the disappearance of hecate.) The mere mention of Zoltan Istvan's ideology, here, in 2016, almost tore a hole in the fabric of the universe. So, we’re dealing with the laws of physics, which is why I didn't mention the Transhumanists in connection with Andrew Yang (or his "virtual" political "affiliation") but I needn't have bothered. Cats and dogs started sleeping together all over this thread the moment I clicked "Publish." Lord have mercy. You have to get up pretty early in the morning to put something over on C99p. They can smell that sulfur in the air.

Interesting how an intuitive like The Liberal Moonbat picked right up on the source of the disturbance down below. Coincidently, I happen to have an essay ready to go on Silicon Valley's longevity drugs and immortality program. It was up next. A veritable WMD festooned with Orwell quotes. O the humanity! Heh.

Anyway, suffice to say, the "Transhumanists" allegedly turned Libertarian. And the "Transhuman" movement now identify as Progressive. They’re still dividing up the community property. It's a very messy divorce. Nonetheless, both sides along with myself, all three entities, have something important and disturbing in common: We can see into the future with reliable accuracy. It's a curse, I tell you. It's all we really want to talk about because it already happened in the spooky space we occupy, and there's never anyone to talk to. The soulful folks that I like are all caught in the web of time. Story of my life.

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4 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic

although I also have little trust for any of the hyperwealthy or for the tech-better-than-human crowd. But you were one of the last people I'd have expected to have supported Transhumanism and it startled hell out of me to think that you were. (That's actually the wish for Immortality for Billionaires turned into a 'political' movement where they pretend that everyone will be 'technologically enhanced' in a good way.)

Actually, the link there is through Trump who's been supported by some of the most secretive billionaires in a group which exerts great influence over not only Trump but public policy, apparently including the Supreme Court.

From that humongous article, emphasis mine.

...Last summer, Bannon and some other activists whom the Mercers have supported—including David Bossie, who initiated the Citizens United lawsuit—came together to rescue Trump’s wobbly campaign. Sam Nunberg, an early Trump adviser who watched Mercer’s group take over, said, “Mercer was smart. He invested in the right people.” ...

However, according to what I've read, they'd still be proceeding on the theory that more votes would be generated in 2020 by somebody else in the upper 1% saying that he's anti-establishment and running on progressive issues, as Trump to some limited extent claimed to, which is why they backed him and got him elected, (probably mostly due to Hillary).

But Trump having since given himself away, it would not be surprising if they fielded another fake quasi-progressive/anti-establishment hyper-wealthy candidate, as they did Trump, knowing that those 'optics', in any guise, was what would win the Presidency over the regular type of selected corporate candidate, to ultimately do specifically their bidding over that of other billionaires. And of course, the Transhumanists seem to be pretending that neither Bernie nor any actual grassroots Progressive would run - and know that this would in any event split the vote, so worst-case scenario, they get another corporate President as their representative anyway.

This group of billionaires, despite their secrecy, appear to be everywhere - while a number of billionaires are promoting UI at pathetic levels as low as $500 a month, allowing nobody to actually live under a roof or eat decent food. Certainly never both at once.

Perhaps the most horrifying thing is that the more public of these billionaires are being treated - and presented to the public - as though qualified to make public policy recommendations, merely because of being ridiculously wealthy, too-often through predatory practices...

It's been pointed out that UI (which is a great and, I think, necessary solution, if done as a guarantee of a basic living income level as a basic human right) can be introduced as an excuse to dispose of what remains of the social safety net and then abandoned as 'not working' - and I notice that getting rid of what the US still terms 'welfare' often seems to be one of the first things mentioned...

https://www.fastcompany.com/40549433/andrew-yang-wants-you-to-vote-for-a...

3.30.18world changing ideas

Andrew Yang Wants You To Vote For A $1,000-A-Month Basic Income In 2020
The entrepreneur presidential candidate sees a wave of automation coming that’s going to take enough jobs to require a major national response–and he wants to be in the White House to implement it. ...

... Yang argues that a VAT is a better way of raising revenue in the extreme-automation age than income taxes–because well, you need people working jobs and generating incomes before you can have income taxes. “Income taxes are very poor at generating income from automation because the gains are realized by technology companies that are experts at not paying taxes,” he says.

Yang is promoting his candidacy with a new book called The War on Normal People. Another idea is a “social credit” scheme that rewards people for unpaid work, like looking after children or elderly parents, or doing community work. “The monetary market is going to value people’s time less and less as time goes on, so you need another way to structure their day that rewards them,” he tells Fast Company.

The credit system would be an alternative form of currency–“Amex points for good”–where good works have their own internal economy. For example, if you do something good for society–like coaching a Little League team–the local baseball club might reward you with tickets to one of their games. ...

(Note that in this view, the 'monetary market' controls the people, and deigns to 'structure their days' - meaning those who control the monetary market by having nearly all of the money. Give us Democratic Socialism, or us Poors'll get nothing but death in this jobless, redundant-human machine-populated future.)

But how is adding in a new consumption tax most affecting the people requiring this money - and already having not enough to survive on even without extra taxes - going to cover the cost of everyone getting it?

The US trickles out tiddley winks for what's still termed a 'public safety-net', so while that might make something of a difference for a relative few billionaires, what's the funding for that going to do spread among the entire population of several hundreds of millions of people?

As President, Andrew Yang evidently doesn't plan on collecting tax from the wealthy (who will also get the same stipend as the most desperate and still-struggling - an actual guarantee of a living-level income for all is essential) because:

...“Income taxes are very poor at generating income from automation because the gains are realized by technology companies that are experts at not paying taxes,” he says. ...

and Yang evidently feels that nothing can be done, if he were President, to have those already typically sucking up a good chunk of what ought to be the people's wages pay even their own share of taxes - while at the same time, low/no wages ensure that the population cannot cover the taxes on what should have been their share of the money which the companies/billionaires (sucking up both the workers and the nations share of wealth) will also not pay and are permitted not to pay by complicit politicians who they fund into public office, where not now taking public office themselves.

So, Yang's shown right there that he's thinking in terms not of helping the American people but of enabling hyper-wealthy people like himself to continue evading their civic responsibilities and to throw even more of the weight on the public, whether he consciously thinks of it that way or not. Because that's been found to be all-too-typical of the mindset of the hyper-wealthy.

And under this plan, whether intended or not, it won't take long after the final shreds of the US safety-net are dismantled for the UI to be declared unsustainable, leaving The Poors in the lurch with no means of earning anything, no old age/disability pensions and not even food-stamps, inadequate as they are. All remains of even the concept of the public good dissolved to be recycled and retained by the relative few.

And whether intended or not, that happens to be what a number of these billionaires have been working toward for a very long time. So, they tend to leap to mind.

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

hecate's picture

@Pluto's Republic "disappearance of hecate" has nothing to do with Zoltan, Zetar, Zardoz, or any other zoo animal rattling the cage to get its body hacked up.

"With some of the new robotic-arm prototypes, you get all kinds of cool functionality. I could be warming up this cup right now, just with my fingers. Or you could add weapons, flashlights—like a Swiss Army knife. I can't wait to cut off my arm and get a prosthetic. My wife said she'd only be okay with it if it looks and feels like a human arm, which is understandable, I guess."

"I wrote a sci-fi book once," he said. It was an Ayn Rand-esque manifesto called The Transhumanist Wager. He added, "I don't talk about it much these days, because there's so much authoritarianism in it."

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2 users have voted.

@Ellen North
Facebook suspended the company from their platform on Friday, following reports it had harvested the profile information of more than 50 million users without their permission. Facebook is the gate-keeper.

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1 user has voted.

@dfarrah

have no place in public policy; they at best necessarily lack the required perceptions and personal experience to have any understanding of what life is like or could be like for the general population.

The mind-set and priorities are all wrong for any such position.

What's needed are people with skin - and family, or at least concern for the future - in the game, where it's no longer 'I have a ginormous luxury bunker; my kids can emigrate to Mars by the time all this falls apart; I eventually had to pay back that million bucks my father lent me/we had to live off our investment income going through college, so I understand hard times.'

What's needed is a government of, by and for the people, the ones who care about people and the country overall, not about making personally making even more billions of dollars and gaining political power over a country, quite possibly to personally gain even more money to achieve trillionaire status that much faster.

There's a whole different mind-set involved between personal money-makers and real public-interest policy-makers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72S6hkpmug4&index=99&list=PLXctIVhQimRKz...

Bernie: 'The Most Important Issue Is Campaign Finance Reform'
The Rational National

Published on 8 Jun 2018

Talking with The Washington Post, Bernie Sanders discussed the most important policy issue.

Because Big Money must be removed from politics.

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7 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Big Al's picture

about the "robot apocalypse", I agree with the other commenters. The UBI is not enough and we have to put an end to the insane wealth accumulation at the top.
Plus, if all those rich fuckers are for it, doesn't that kind of make you suspicious?

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26 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@Big Al

The UBI is not enough and we have to put an end to the insane wealth accumulation at the top.
Plus, if all those rich fuckers are for it, doesn't that kind of make you suspicious?

So far, we've only got one rich fucker advocating for it. (I may be wrong about that, though...)

But in order for UBI to work as advertised, the insane wealth accumulations at the top will indeed have to go. As will the insane wealth waste on being the world's unpaid policeman.

And to answer your question: anything 0.1%ers like Yang advocate so hard for makes me suspicious as hell! Diablo

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17 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides
So he assumes that people will pay for their $1000 a month with a consumption tax. The uber rich don't pay consumption taxes. It's a con - a transfer of wealth to the uber rich disguised as a universal subsidy - and it won't work, for the obvious reason that no one will be able to buy anything with only $1000 a month.

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14 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

Pluto's Republic's picture

@doh1304

Learn.

The VAT is not on people. It's on robots.

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5 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Watch the video Learn.

The VAT is not on people. It's on robots.

All taxes are levied on people. Robots do not transact money in their own right. And a VAT is a VAT is a VAT. At the working-class person's end, the effect is identical, which is one reason why the USA and its subordinate bodies politic have been reticent to impose such regressive taxes. The effect is to discourage consumption, even of necessities; and a VAT is a regressive tax because the poorer one is, the more burdensome a VAT tax is on one.

And if you think a mere tax will dissuade the 0.1% from moving all labor to robots, which have no personal lives or personal rights to consider, you are seriously mistaken. And we have lots and lots of past track record to prove that, too.

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8 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@Pluto's Republic
and I still say it's snake oil. Well meaning snake oil perhaps, but snake oil.
He says that his "Freedom dividend" will be optional, but $1000 is so inadequate (even to the pathetic American social supports) that the only people who will accept the option are those who don't need it. Then he (actually the t-ball serving interviewer)goes into the Canadian example.
The Canadian study: in the first place the Canadian study used only what Americans would call welfare recipients. The benefit level was much larger than their normal beenefit (I ran it through a US Labor Dept inflation calsulator - it came out to $48,000 a year) And it was temporary - the participants knew that the program would end, and they knew when. They were not idiots, they prepared. They saved and invested it in long term advantages, they went to school, they started a business, they bought a car to get to the job they would get with the training that they were able to afford to get. All things that would not be possible with this plan.

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9 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

thanatokephaloides's picture

@doh1304

The uber rich don't pay consumption taxes. It's a con - a transfer of wealth to the uber rich disguised as a universal subsidy - and it won't work, for the obvious reason that no one will be able to buy anything with only $1000 a month.

Another anal fuck, as usual, I see.

Grump. (Rhymes with "Trump".)

Bad

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4 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@thanatokephaloides Nope, apparently Zuck and Musk and Omidyar think this is a peachy idea.

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5 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Nope, apparently Zuck and Musk and Omidyar think this is a peachy idea.

Then Big Al is right: that's reason aplenty to oppose it!

Wink

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4 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides @thanatokephaloides

but they seem to be typically suggesting $500 a month...

Edit: hey, cool, a letter-typo and a missed space in one short sentence - how's that for variety!

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@Big Al Winner, Winner! Chicken Dinner!

fuck the wars

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8 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

I grew up in Silicon Valley (yes, I caught that he's from New York), and while I can't be sure what's changed or what I would have learned if my family hadn't moved in 2002, it's been more than a little disturbing to hear everyone very suddenly turn on it (to read The Guardian, which is normally good about most things, you'd think everyone there was in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon frat), and I frankly don't know what to believe. The new conventional wisdom not only contradicts what I lived, it permits no room for it even as a possibility.

I mention this because what I DID experience is a certain spirit that nobody talks about anymore, and I actually felt a little of it with this guy. It's been years since I've felt that. We need it.

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7 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

I know what you mean. Things were possible, ideas were entertained, we could create the future.

It's a low-info cranky night, is all. In six months, folks'll think they thought of it first. That's cool. Just got to get the word out.

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7 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

They haven't lost their natural attraction for a utopian society — something the US could afford many times over. Their ideas are spontaneous and honest, if a bit rash here and there. I hope they win in 2020. This commenter based his scenario on a $2000 per month dividend, which he felt was the right amount.

I believe in GBI. I also believe we should do away with any type of welfare programs.... It might suck for those who rely on welfare, but only for the first few months until they realize just how awesome the world would be when people stop worrying so much about money. Depression just might see a significant drop in numbers, crime might drop as well. There would be people attending school, and not working at a job just to get by. It all starts with us, because we the people make the policies.

GBI [UBI] would start at birth, however, the money is not to be touched until you turn 18. When you turn 18 there will be a mandatory education session whether it be a class, or one on one training (NOT ONLINE) explaining why the GBI is being given to you, and also recommendations on what the money SHOULD be spent on when you turn 18. For example, if a person received 2000 a month from birth to 18, they would have 432,000 dollars to spend.

I do see the GBI being based off block chain crypto currencies.... Now this money should probably be used on either paying for: education, or outright buying a house instead of a mortgage, a reliable new vehicle. and things such as solar arrays to live completely off the grid. Think about it, if the next generations all bought homes when they turn 18, they could pursue life goals and choose where they would want to live. There would be no debt, there would only be a huge benefit because that money would be surged into the economy, every time someone turned 18 years old.

With GBI however there should be a child limit for children under 18. Not saying it has to be two, but there should be a limit or else you will have people giving birth to 9-10 children and that just would not be beneficial for anyone. If you want more than say, 4 children. You should raise the first four and then have more when they come of age. There’s so much to talk about here, and I wish I could share my ideas with Mr. Wang. He actually makes me want to vote.

UBI might let people dream again about how to make things fair and good.

@Pluto's Republic

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8 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@Pluto's Republic

With GBI however there should be a child limit for children under 18. Not saying it has to be two, but there should be a limit or else you will have people giving birth to 9-10 children and that just would not be beneficial for anyone. If you want more than say, 4 children. You should raise the first four and then have more when they come of age.

It's blatantly obvious that this idea was originated by a MAN. It doesn't work like that for women - we can't just turn our fertility back on at age fifty or whenever the kids are grown and gone. The fertility is gone, too. Ever hear of MENOPAUSE, man?

What this sounds like, is a stealth recipe for serial monogamy or polygamy - if you want more children, turn your old wife in for a newer, fertile model. Fuck that noise.

Also, what woman in this day and age really wants to have more than two or three children? Ever notice that wherever the status of women rises enough that they can control their fertility, they DO control it and the birth rate drops?

All this noise about "raising 9-10 children" comes right out of Reagan's "welfare queens" whingeing and is just as irrational. NO woman puts herself through that for any amount of mere money.

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19 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@TheOtherMaven So glad to see you, Maven.

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5 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

thanatokephaloides's picture

@TheOtherMaven

It's blatantly obvious that this idea was originated by a MAN. It doesn't work like that for women - we can't just turn our fertility back on at age fifty or whenever the kids are grown and gone. The fertility is gone, too. Ever hear of MENOPAUSE, man?

What this sounds like, is a stealth recipe for serial monogamy or polygamy - if you want more children, turn your old wife in for a newer, fertile model. Fuck that noise.

Also, what woman in this day and age really wants to have more than two or three children? Ever notice that wherever the status of women rises enough that they can control their fertility, they DO control it and the birth rate drops?

All this noise about "raising 9-10 children" comes right out of Reagan's "welfare queens" whingeing and is just as irrational. NO woman puts herself through that for any amount of mere money.

I thought your contention so nice, I reposted it twice! Smile

Like all Utopian ideas, this one will only work in Utopia -- i.e., no (U) where (topia).

Not only did the idea come from a MAN, but from a far and away too rich man into the bargain. Wile reason enough to resist the idea, I respectfully submit yours is better still! Smile

Give rose

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4 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@Pluto's Republic what exactly came of all the wonderfulness you describe, with all your ideas and such?

We aren't low information. We've seen this all before, over and over.

But I will admit to being cranky about the zeal over yet another charismatic stuffed shirt.

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9 users have voted.

dfarrah

thanatokephaloides's picture

@dfarrah

We aren't low information. We've seen this all before, over and over.

With the same results every time: the uber-rich get richer while all the rest of us lose what little we've got with no way to get it back.

But I will admit to being cranky about the zeal over yet another charismatic stuffed shirt.

Count me in on that one, too.

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3 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

dkmich's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

We can all thank Gates, Zuckerberg, Jobs and the other tech giants for the low opinion people now have of the tech industry. Exploitation, greed, incompetence doesn't get any better just because the human uses a computer.

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16 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

@dkmich deliberate malice to employees and consumers to your list.

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11 users have voted.

dfarrah

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat I suspect many people, like me, were absolutely idealistic about the digital revolution in the 90s and early oughts. We've now had at least ten years of seeing that the info tech upper class are not only happily in bed with the rest of the upper class but are to some extent helping them engineer the rotten state of affairs in which we live, particularly in the areas of surveillance and censorship.

That doesn't mean I hate every dev and coder; far from it. It doesn't mean I hate digital technology or cyberspace. But people have every reason to be suspicious of billionaires who approach us with this "I'm on YOUR side, really! And you can tell because I'm a smart, intellectual, geek! You can trust me because I have so many innovative, cutting-edge ideas!"

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15 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

you don't mean to say that Davos Man and Capitalist man (and women)...don't have our best interests at heart, do you? why...this january at Davos the oligarchs of the world had any number of panels on

“The focus of this year’s edition of the annual Davos meeting is on Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World, according to the Geneva-based foundation’s website."

Cafe Babylon coverage. hindu thug narenda modi opened the festivities. me, i love davos, guess i've satirized almost every year since...ah, hell, i live in a time warp, so i dunno. hella long time close enuff?

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10 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

That doesn't mean I hate every dev and coder; far from it. It doesn't mean I hate digital technology or cyberspace.

I notice that independent developers and coders -- those who code Free and Open Source Software
(FOSS) -- tend to resemble this remark:

But people have every reason to be suspicious of billionaires who approach us with this "I'm on YOUR side, really! And you can tell because I'm a smart, intellectual, geek! You can trust me because I have so many innovative, cutting-edge ideas!"

In many cases, FOSS developers have just spent years freeing themselves from the thrall of just this sort of person.......

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6 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

dkmich's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal was led by the bloggers, remember Lamont? Then Bubba took them to lunch, and they joined the veal pen.

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6 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dkmich Thank you for bringing up this bit of history. I'd almost forgotten it.

I should have known then that there was no point in trying to reform the Democratic party, as they protected Lieberman, who had stabbed the party in the back repeatedly, and betrayed not only their constituents but also those politicians who were trying to take another path.

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3 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

CS in AZ's picture

I agree with the concept that trying to hold on to the past, to somehow bring back jobs that are lost to automation, is probably a lost cause. And really, do humans want to toil away in jobs on assembly lines or other drudgery? No, we don’t. We are grateful to have a job, if we do, but the vast majority do not like whatever they do for a living, it’s a grind at best, activity unhealthy for far too many. Depending on corporations to provide jobs is what keeps us stuck.

His framing of all of us as shareholders, who should receive dividends from the weath being generated in this country, is a good frame that can move us away from the idea that getting benefits from the government is a bad thing... “being on the dole” — he’s reframing that as getting a dividend check. I think it’s beneficial to change how people think about it, and understand that we are *entitled* to share some of the wealth, and stop being afraid of claiming that.

I think our universal dividend should be a lot more than $1k/month. And we still need healthcare, which he didn’t mention. Then there’s the MIC and the wars... where is he on that? I’m not going to support any candidate who doesn’t take a clear stand against US imperialism and waging endless global war. (Yes, I know that no “serious” candidate will meet that criteria, how sad is that. But that’s the price for my vote.)

Yang is interesting, but he seems very far from a contender in the current political environment. Still, it is good to hear someone talking about the future and economic decisions we face in a different way. Thanks Pluto, I’m glad to know about him.

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17 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@CS in AZ

I think our universal dividend should be a lot more than $1k/month.

Most of the battle is getting people to respect and value their own humanity. Americans are heading into a disaster and this helps normalize an immediate solution. Young voters will get it right away, I think, and the election is theirs for the taking.

Another fine icon you got there.

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14 users have voted.

@CS in AZ
but apparently he doesn't spend many words on price controls, except that part about turning doctors into salaried employees - of who? and how about price controls on medical equipment? He says that he would (outlaw?) price gouging of drugs, but he doesn't say how.
He wants Santa to give him a unicorn that shits gold bricks for Christmas because he's "special" but nobody gets hurt, because that would make him sad.

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13 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

Pluto's Republic's picture

@CS in AZ
@doh1304

There's a picture of the cover in the essay. Click it and it will take you to Amazon. This is a deep topic that is well thought out. That's what he does as an entrepreneur. Thinks things out.

I just skimmed the high points for this essay, focusing on UBI, which I have been studying. I confess I don't have an answer about the wars. And I'm the same kind of voter you are. I don't vote for people who are not anti-war. People are going to need immediate relief sometime soon. That's why I'm passing this on.

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10 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic
he said $2000 a month and paid for it with a steeply progressive tax system, but $1000 and a VAT that can be passed on to the consumer? Again I would believe him if he included strict price controls, but all he's talking about is a subsidy that will be funneled through the population to the rich.
I strongly believe in a UBI, except I call it UMI - minimum - because giving it in addition to work rather than instead of work (this is an oversimplification) would only be inflationary and increase wealth inequality rather than assuage it.

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9 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

@CS in AZ does exactly what you describe - it distributes oil revenues to its citizens.

There is nothing new under the sun....

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8 users have voted.

dfarrah

CS in AZ's picture

@dfarrah

My husband lived in Alaska for a couple of years in his younger days, and he had mentioned that to me, that they got money from the state instead of paying state taxes, so the citizens of Alaska all benefit from the state’s oil revenue.

They don’t get very much however, not enough to live on or even close to it. But it helps, and he remembers thinking it was pretty cool, getting free money from the state. He was about 19 at the time, and a couple thousand dollars of free money was a very welcome bonus.

So yeah, I agree, Alaska has already done this to a point, maybe some other states do as well. And why not expand on that idea, to all of us getting a dividend that we can live on, as shareholders in “the richest country on earth.”

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8 users have voted.
Daenerys's picture

@CS in AZ

And why not expand on that idea, to all of us getting a dividend that we can live on, as shareholders in “the richest country on earth.”

We should ALL be getting oil dividends, since the US produces so much oil, instead of giving $50+B subsidies to Exxon and Haliburton. (I know, that doesn't address the issue that we still need to get off of fossil fuels.)

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10 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@dfarrah

And yet Alaska does exactly what you describe - it distributes oil revenues to its citizens.

When, not "if", the Alaskan oil runs out, there's going to be real trouble up there.

The "offgridder" lifestyle, already an expensive toy for those rich enough to invest roughly 3 million dollars to start up, will disappear outright when (again, not "if") those properties need to start paying property taxes like similar holdings do in all 49 of the other States.

We're already seeing these effects in the other extractive industries in Alaska. Limits now exist on how much profit a fishing or crabbing vessel can make in a season; it's harder and harder to get a new mining claim established; etc.

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3 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

"Click it and it will take you to Amazon." LOL no.

That's it in a nutshell though, thanks for the latest UBI tale. I may or may not look for his book at my local library, but I am certainly not going to give Bezos more profits.

The payments would allow all American to purchase the basic Human Rights that are denied them in the US, such as the right to affordable housing and freedom from hunger. Once they have the necessary Human Rights to secure their day-to-day survival, they can stop scrambling for the next meal and spend time exploring their ambitions and dreams and developing a fulfilling life for themselves.

Seriously? Buy our human rights back, then everything becomes un-broken somehow. Food and shelter will appear in Seattle because UBI says __________. [Log In to Prime] lol

good luck brother

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11 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@eyo Purchase human rights?

I'm caught between being stunned and being reluctantly grateful that he even cited the concept of "human rights," which I thought had been retired. Certainly none of the current social justice warriors refer to human rights, nor even to Civil Rights, Black people's rights, trans rights, gay rights, women's right's...that's never the rhetoric anymore, because the idea of rights is being retired. At least I thought it was. Now it seems like there's a counter-narrative in which rights exist but you have to buy them. That is a reasonable extrapolation of the Citizens United decision that money is speech.

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13 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Lookout's picture

Imagine more teachers, park staff, public works and workers to do it. Fund the growth of green energy and so on. Doing something for your money gives people pride, identity, and a sense of accomplishment. Handouts not so much. My take anyway.

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10 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Strife Delivery's picture

@Lookout

Doing something for your money gives people pride, identity, and a sense of accomplishment.

And that's what got us to be slaves in the first place.

Every century is going to see more and more work being done by fewer human hands.

I mean, if we need people to work, ditch the forklift and now you have 6 guys lifting things. Mundane work for the sake of work is destructive. We should be moving towards the elimination of work, not keeping it alive.

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14 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@Strife Delivery

I was a teacher. Many years ago Newt suggested we teach via computer. I asked him how a computer can hug a child. We need teachers.

I built my own house with my own hands and feel a sense of accomplishment. Work doesn't have to be slavery. Nor does it have to be 40 hours a week. I think universal income is a capitalist ploy to keep capitalism alive....so does Chris -
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-oligarchs-guaranteed-basic-income-...

A jobs program with a guaranteed annual income is a more productive route. We have much to do, and I don't think robots can do the really important work. You of course may see it differently...that's ok.

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11 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout thanks and why not? Why not keep the six guys if the corporation is more profitable with a forklift doing the heaviest lifting. Give those six guys short days and full wages, however the math works out to be net positive for all.

"I'm not a math surgeon", but I was a member in a worker owned co-op where we had to learn about balance sheets, and vote where the profits would go... buy more machinery or maybe hire another worker/member, providing more steady incomes to the local community. But then the losses too, nothing like voting yourself a pay cut so the business can survive a cash flow problem. Sucks to be a capitalist owner, lol 'cause the bank always wins.

peace

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9 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@eyo

Maximize meaningful employment AND use labor saving machines...and even AI to do things like minimize energy consumption, stream line transportation, and generally provide for the public good.

I would love to hear more about your coop experience. Did it provide you a pension?

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8 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout thanks, it's been so long I had to look up their benefits. This article from 2015 says 401(k) for pension:

The sun rises over Petaluma’s hills as Calderon joins the team mixing dough and sending fluffy golden rings down the line to be packaged. He’s been working on the production floor for seven years. At most bakeries in the country it’s likely he would be making around $12 an hour. But his salary hovers around $60,000 per year, on top of stellar health insurance, a 401(k) and a share of the bakery’s profits.

https://www.alvaradostreetbakery.com/bread/coop
I remember cashing in my profit share when I left, that was pretty good. Much much better than nothing.

Calderon works at Petaluma’s Alvarado Street Bakery, the largest worker-owned bakery cooperative in the United States. The business began in the 1970s when a small wave of consumer and worker cooperatives swept the Bay Area, only some of which continue today.

The Red Clover Worker’s Brigade was a nonprofit commune with produce stand, store, one truck and an oven. In 1980, five of the brigade members formed a workers’ cooperative, pulled together $5,000 and acquired the bakery as a separate business.

...

It's good to see they stayed small, I think small is better.

Here's one in CA, not a little bread factory, a huge natural foods thingy:
Sacramento co-op members vote not to overhaul constitution after heated campaign

Two-thirds of participating members needed to vote in favor of the overhaul for the changes to be made, and only 56.4 percent did so. A record number of Co-op members voted in the election, the board said in its email.

People don't show up to vote, that's a problem, same as it ever was. Just 'cause it says co-op doesn't mean it is fair and equitable. At least they didn't make it worse. Yet. heh

peace

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8 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@eyo

for the story. Glad you got a little something for your labor.

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7 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Strife Delivery's picture

@Lookout

I was a teacher. Many years ago Newt suggested we teach via computer. I asked him how a computer can hug a child. We need teachers.

Of course we need teachers. Humans teaching one another is a staple of human life. If a student has a question, unless the computer AI is so sophisticated to be able to grasp any question the student might has, it is a necessity for a human teacher to be able to explain the current concept.

I built my own house with my own hands and feel a sense of accomplishment. Work doesn't have to be slavery. Nor does it have to be 40 hours a week. I think universal income is a capitalist ploy to keep capitalism alive....so does Chris -

Many in my family built their own homes, including my dad whom I helped build his. Seeing many billionaire capitalists latching onto UBI is concerning, but ultimately I feel that it is going to be a necessity.

A jobs program with a guaranteed annual income is a more productive route. We have much to do, and I don't think robots can do the really important work. You of course may see it differently...that's ok.

That sounds pretty good. Here is my logic regarding the situation:

We as a species have always come up with intuitive ways to lessen our work load. I can't quite remember the term someone used but it was like 'efficient laziness'. We invented pulleys, levers, wheelbarrows, and more. We utilized animal labor because they could do more than we could.

Imagine retail stores 50 years ago compared to now. We have self check-out lanes popping up everywhere. In a different economy, the gains of that automation would go to the people whereas now it just goes to the top. But keeping those jobs alive isn't the answer. In a different economy, automating more and more jobs would be seen as a good thing. Instead of having a human being stand behind a till for 40 hrs a week, we can eliminate it and focus on to another matter.

We still, especially in America, live in this Protestant hyper-fixation of work. We love work, because work gives us value as a person.

Currently, yes, there are too many things right now that require human hands. So be it. Jobs program abound while shifting the gains towards the people. Fix and improve various aspects of societies.

I'm just seeing that every decade, less and less work will be required by human hands. Self-driving vehicles will be a humongous shift in that regard.

I've always been a fan of this quote by Fuller:

We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living

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14 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@Strife Delivery

If humans are not required to earn a living to be provided survival needs, many are going to want very much to be productive, but not at those tasks they did not choose to do but were forced to accept in order to earn money. Instead, humans will spontaneously take upon themselves those tasks that world society really needs to have done.

...and I agree there is no need for drudgery or even something called a "job". My point is that when we are productive...building something, creating art, cooking a great meal, growing a garden...we get a sense of accomplishment that is fulfilling...helping to create peace of mind.

As we move to the future (if we don't destroy ourselves?) the type of work we must do will evolve. Capitalism is the creator of slavery using debt as its chains.

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11 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Strife Delivery's picture

@Lookout

My point is that when we are productive...building something, creating art, cooking a great meal, growing a garden...we get a sense of accomplishment that is fulfilling...helping to create peace of mind.

Yeah, this I can get behind.

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8 users have voted.
CS in AZ's picture

@Strife Delivery

I would love to spend my days being productive at something that felt creative and meaningful. But I’m instead spending most of my days sitting, chained (by the rules for keeping my job) to a desk and a computer, in an office with fluorescent lighting. Which make me feel tired and unwell. I go home feeling sluggish and drained every workday. My job keeps me alive day to day, but it’s also slowly killing me.

Meaningful work? Sometimes I like certain projects I get assigned to, I make the best of it, because it helps pay the bills, and provides our health and dental insurance. Not because the work I do is meaningful to me though. It’s not how I would spend my days if I had a choice. I’d much rather be creative, have time to write, cook good food for myself and my family.

I can’t do those things because we have to “earn a living” instead. I would be happy to receive a dividend check each month, enough to live, to have adequate food and shelter, so I could be freed to be productive doing something meaningful.

when I hear “jobs program” I think of a lot of not-meaningful makework and fake work. Not jobs writing a short story or baking healthy bread to feed ourselves. I just don’t see that happening.

Keeping people stuck in that Protestant work ethic belief system — that you lack value and worth as a person unless you spend your time making money — is very destructive. The concept we need to move toward is that human beings deserve a “living” in this world, regardless of what each person’s particular skills and abilities and interests happen to be. We don’t need jobs to be happy. We need the freedom to be productive in ways that are meaningful to the individual. Jobs picking up trash in the park might be something that some people enjoy, but I’m guessing not many. Most would prefer to let a robot do it, and spend that day with his family or doing something fun, working on his own life projects whatever they are.

I’ve always loved that quote from Bucky Fuller, ever since I first read it decades ago, I immediately thought, yes, this is exactly right.

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15 users have voted.
Daenerys's picture

@CS in AZ

The concept we need to move toward is that human beings deserve a “living” in this world, regardless of what each person’s particular skills and abilities and interests happen to be.

Exactly; we need to get rid of the whole "the world doesn't owe you anything!" attitude. Bullshit! None of us asked to be born! Everywhere there are people who work hard who still can't make enough money to live on. If hard work was all it took to make you rich my mom would be a billionaire. But it doesn't work that way.

(I can't speak for everyone, but I wouldn't mind being a park groundskeeper; I love mowing lawn and I care about keeping parks beautiful and trash-free so they can be enjoyed by all, people and wildlife alike.)

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9 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

mhagle's picture

@Lookout

Home-making, child-rearing, care-giving. Those are the jobs we need and UBI can give us. Taking care of our homes, family, neighbors, etc. You mentioned creative activities too.

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11 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Lookout's picture

@mhagle

in part because I'm a homesteader.

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7 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Strife Delivery Doing away with paid employment would be fine, but clearly not if the same people who are currently in control remain in control. That's the elephant in the room.

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11 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout Work predates capitalism.

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6 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Shoot that was meant to respond to Strife Delivery.

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4 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Strife Delivery's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Work predates capitalism.

Correct? Sorry, I'm tired so help me out here ha.

Doing away with paid employment would be fine, but clearly not if the same people who are currently in control remain in control. That's the elephant in the room.

Definitely this. Again my examples I used was if we had a different society, not our current one.

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4 users have voted.

@Strife Delivery
John Henry got lapped years ago. All that talk about "rewarding work" is good, but in this case a self serving pipe dream.

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3 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

@Strife Delivery
Maybe ultimately down to ten hours a week for ten years. There is some minimum below which the work is unproductive.

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2 users have voted.
Strife Delivery's picture

Yeah, I'm already skeptical of this guy.

1) A Democrat
2) A capitalist

The capitalist part is the most frightening, considering that he coined yet another term to describe all of capitalism - Human Capitalism (what the hell is that?)

Capitalism is capitalism. It seems that individuals continue to invent modifiers to put in front of capitalism to distinguish it from each other. We have predatory capitalism, crony capitalism, now human capitalism. Please, capitalism is capitalism, it all depends on what gets the smiley-face sticker on it or not.

While the eventual automation and destruction of jobs is actually something that needs to not only be discussed, but faced head on, I'm just not feeling this guy. It feels like he's trying to save his own ass once everything hits the fan.

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12 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

@Strife Delivery

A Democrat and a capitalist are enough to make me not trust him. Besides, a good idea soon gets bought and amended into just one more power grab. Without wresting power from the greedy ruling class first, nothing good can or will happen. Physics requires a catastrophe and ashes from which the future of humanity, if any, will rise. We could all return to swinging on trees.

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9 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

@Strife Delivery bull-shit.

Kind of like 'new democrat' and 'hope and change.'

Another purty suit with purty words to distract everyone and serve the top 9% just like Obama did.

Anyone who suggests that $1,000 per month would be workable is simply crazy.

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12 users have voted.

dfarrah

QMS's picture

@dfarrah seemed to work pretty good once way back.

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1 user has voted.

Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Strife Delivery Why are we trying to save capitalism?

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9 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal are predicated on some assumptions that I simply don't agree with.

As long as those assumptions aren't challenged, I don't see improvement.

For example, why allow private drug companies to exist at all? The government should nationalize drug research and production. Why do we have to pay for the internet? Didn't the government invent the internet? Didn't we already pay for it?

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9 users have voted.

dfarrah

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dfarrah That was Aaron Swartz's point about scientific research. Apparently, that point is radical enough to cost one's life.

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7 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Strife Delivery's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Why are we trying to save capitalism?

Is that directed to me? I don't want to save capitalism.

Sadly though, our best chance to kill capitalism was during the early 20th century.

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4 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Strife Delivery Actually, SD, I was asking a question about the article; apparently this guy thinks his ideas will save capitalism.

All this seems so outdated that it's almost hilarious that he is proposing himself as cutting-edge. I guess he's cutting edge because he talks about robots; it sure ain't his political thinking that's cutting-edge. If people can't get out of the mid-century American and European Communism vs Capitalism frame, there ain't nothing much new going on.

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1 user has voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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2 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness That seems a peculiarly mid-twentieth-century response. Communism vs Capitalism, like Republicans vs Democrats--these binaries seem to exist in order to eradicate any thinking outside those boxes.

It's particularly unhelpful because "Communism," I'm assuming, refers to what started with Lenin reached a triumphant crescendo with Stalin, and died in the 80s. The idea that that "Communism" is the totality of what socialism can be is just wrong; it's an argument that depends on ignoring every other instance of socialism in the world ever, or reinterpreting all of them as a piece of a united Soviet imperialism.

And that begs the question of: What if there are other alternatives to capitalism than socialism? Why should we be limited to the thinking of Ike Eisenhower and Harry Truman?

Beyond all that, I am at a loss to understand how anything could work worse than capitalism, seeing as how it's going to end in around an 80% extinction rate for all life on this planet.

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1 user has voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

it seems to me this is a substantial step down even from a Social Democrat.

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7 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
I could criticize Bernie by saying that he's trapped in the past, that his vision has no workable answer to the coming universal unemployment, but this silver spoon, born on 3rd base 5 year old? He thinks he can change the apocolypse to maintain his privilage.
A Real UBI/UMI - not this snake oil.

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8 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

detroitmechworks's picture

out of the way.

Detroit's Top Ten Excuses for Why this Liberal Hero couldn't do anything he promised.

1. Don't let the Perfect be the Enemy of the Good.
2. You want a Pony.
3. It's all because he doesn't have both houses of congress.
4. The Republicans obstructed him.
5. You're Racist.
6. I have a list of his successes.
7. He's playing the long game, and he HAS to wait till his second term, then he'll be free to save us.
8. Technically he ended a war.
9. We need to look forward, and not concentrate on the mistakes of the past.
10. You just hatehate dislike are biased aren't giving him a fair chance.

/snark

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9 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Anyone else having the page flip up to the top of the page, after a lengthy wait to link to anything, every time they rec a comment?

That started happening about to me half-way down the page and eventually I stopped reccing... such a lot of excellent comments, too!

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@Ellen North
sorry 'bout that, should be back to normal now.

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2 users have voted.

@JtC

for being The Best!

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

hecate's picture

French presidential candidate Benoit Hamon proposed UBI and a tax on robots. Eminently sensible: both. But people laughed and called him names—the mockers of course including dodderers here at this old folks' home—and Hamon received fewer votes than did the she-Nazi, with her comforting call for a return to the halcyon days of the 12th Century. Yeehaw.

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9 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@hecate

I enjoy your perspective. All the best!

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4 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

QMS's picture

@hecate Happy to hear you hecate.

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3 users have voted.

Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

EdMass's picture

Only one of them will be focused on the robot apocalypse.

Really?

Michio Kaku on a recent podcast with Ray Kurzweil agreed (http://mkaku.org) that the science is way out of scope and if you want to worry about something try what Melania or Ivanka is wearing today.

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3 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!