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Dreams of a Male Dummy (146) On Andrew Yang’s Campaign Theme

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--- Talking about UBI, Automation, Climate Change, Resolution(斬草不除根 春風吹又生)


A Friend: Have you paid attention to 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries. Found anyone interesting?”

The Wise Man: Yes. To me, Andrew Yang is most interesting.”

F: “Why? Any special reasons?”

W: “Well, let me tell you my personal reason first. He and I attended the same graduate university, Columbia University. And, His father and I attended the same college, National Taiwan University.”

F: “That’s interesting. Any other reasons?”

W: “The real reason he is so interesting to me is that he is the only candidate whose campaign theme is primarily addressing our current and future challenges. The challenges all human beings face.”

F: “Can you elaborate?”

W: “His signature policy universal basic income (UBI) is his response to the rapid development of automation, which is increasingly leading to workforce challenges. You know, our jobs have been being taken over by robots/AIs; in a couples of years, millions of people will lose their jobs, if no significant things were done.”

F: “I know he wants to give $1,000 monthly for every American adult over age 18. What is your opinion about this?

W: “I don’t quite agree.”
F: “Why?”

W: “If it was $10,000, instead of $1,000, I would agree.”

F: “!@#$?*!”

W: “Another thing is that for people like me $1,000 per month is not enough, and for people like Donald Trump, it’s next to nothing.”

F: “You are making sense now. What’s your proposal?”

W: “Some should get nothing, some $1,000, some $2,000, … according to their need.”

F: “Sounds OK. Any other things?”

W: “About Global Warming, he said it is too late now, and we should immediately evacuate people to higher land. Well, how much money would be involved? How long would it take? By the time it’s done, the higher land is very likely to be unlivable.”

F: “What could we do about it!?”

W: “Let me talk about one other thing he said first. He advised young people should choose their majors to study very carefully, due to the job market changing dramatically & exponentially, and it’s getting worse. He also said the governments should provide very good job retraining facilities, due to the same reason. this is all common sense. But when people graduate or finish the retraining program, the job market might be very different already, so jobs might not be available. In a couple of years, they could be back to the job market, or have to reenter the retaining program.”

F: “So?”

W: “We have to be able to predict the job market so that what he said could make sense.”

F: “But, he said it’s impossible!”

W; “This and the Climate Change challenge are both due to the exponentially fast advancement science & technology. Actually almost all our deadly threats are due to the same reason. We learn somethings and invent some others. We, the greedy, become more powerful to abuse the resources and to kill each other. And sooner or later, human beings become extinct.”

F: “So!?”

W: “If we don’t know the root of the challenge, and resolve the root problem, the challenges will not die, and new ones will pop up.”

F: “Give me some help here!”

W: “We do not, and cannot control our own invention, science & technology. We stone ourselves. What we get is what we ask for.”

F: “Thanks. So we are on a one way train to …?”

W: “Let’s be positive. For the climate change threat, UN said last year, we still have 12 years to take action. Please refer to UN: We have 12 years left to take action on climate change ... (UN, 10/8/18).

But, this year, BBC gave only 18 months. Please refer to Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months (BBC, 7/23/19)

F: “Thanks!”

W: “The Chinese proverb “斬草不除根 春風吹又生” may give us a guidance of what we should do.

F: Could you explain the proverb in English?”

W: “You may ask Andrew Yang’s Father.”

W: “Let me conclude here. I hope Andrew could be more proactive. Tell the root of our challenge, and give us the solution to deal with the root problem.”

F; “Could you give an example?”

W: “His signature policy "Freedom Dividend"/”universal basic income” is his response to the rapid development of automation. The root problem is “AI technology runs out of control”. So, the solution is how to control it. Don’t you think so?”

F: “Yes, our Wise man!”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Root: Science? Scientist? Greed? (The root of climate change).

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