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Can Automation Turn Fewer Jobs Into Better Ones? by John Nichols — YES! Magazine

Automation can and should eliminate drudgery, freeing people to work fewer hours for fairer compensation and to devote themselves to social advancement. To do this, however, citizens must assert themselves by demanding not just political but economic democracy. We must replace fantastical talk about “the future of work” with the honest understanding that there will be less work. We must shape a humane future in which corporate monopoly and inequality give way to a sharing society where technological progress benefits everyone.

via Can Automation Turn Fewer Jobs Into Better Ones? by John Nichols — YES! Magazine

Technological Unemployment has been a major concern of mine for at least a decade.  I think we’re starting to see it come into it’s own with Uber actually rolling out driverless cars in Cleveland. While these cars have human backups, I’m convinced this is just a transitional phase to get people comfortable with the idea of driverless cars.

If were are going to have an economy that works for all, I think we’re going to need the hard conversations that this Yes! article is calling for.

 

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Court: Feds Cannot Prosecute Medical Marijuana In States Where Legal | PopularResistance.Org

The unanimous 9th Circuit ruling on Tuesday was issued by a three-judge panel, two of whom are Republican appointees with a history of pro-law enforcement opinions.

The U.S. Department of Justice cannot spend money to prosecute federal marijuana cases if the defendants comply with state guidelines that permit the drug’s sale for medical purposes, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

via Court: Feds Cannot Prosecute Medical Marijuana In States Where Legal | PopularResistance.Org

To me, this is a welcome victory for local control and sensible drug policy.

Working Economy: IMF – Tax Cuts No Way to Grow

In a working economy, the economy would grow and gains would be shared by labor and capital as both have a role in production.

Back in 2015 the International Monetary Fund (IMF), known mostly for its austerity driven policies looked at the effects of tax cuts for the wealthy and raising incomes at both the top and bottom levels of income. They studied 150 countries and came to the following conclusions:

The researchers calculated that when the richest 20% of society increase their income by one percentage point, the annual rate of growth shrinks by nearly 0.1% within five years.

This shows that “the benefits do not trickle down,” the researchers wrote in their report, which analyzed over 150 countries.

By contrast, when the lowest 20% of earners see their income grow by one percentage point, the rate of growth increases by nearly 0.4% over the same period.

 

Sources:

The ‘trickle down theory’ is dead wrong by Alanna Petroff (CNN Money)
June 15, 2015: 12:35 PM ET (http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/15/news/economy/trickle-down-theory-wrong-imf/)

Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality : A Global Perspective    (https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=42986.0)

 

Clinton Understands Complexity

While I’m not going to blog in earnest about the presidential election till after Labor Day, I was very touched by the e-mail below from the Clinton campaign. You have to understand that while I am voting for Hilary Clinton over Donald Trump, I usually delete her campaign e-mails after reading a paragraph – if I open them at all. But this one was different. She really seems to be grappling with a number of major issues that have hit us over the past few days. Unlike some, she understands that we can mourn both the police officers who were cut down in Dallas AND the two black men shot by police in the last week seemingly without reason.

Without further ado, here is her message that I read in full and want to share with you now:

=========Message from Secretary Clinton=====================

Like so many people across America, I have been following the news of the past few days with horror and grief.

On Tuesday, Alton Sterling, father of five, was killed in Baton Rouge — approached by the police for selling CDs outside a convenience store. On Wednesday, Philando Castile, 32 years old, was killed outside Minneapolis — pulled over by the police for a broken tail light.

And last night in Dallas, during a peaceful protest related to those killings, a sniper targeted police officers — five have died: Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, and Lorne Ahrens. Their names, too, will be written on our hearts.

What can one say about events like these? It’s hard to know where to start. For now, let’s focus on what we already know, deep in our hearts: There is something wrong in our country.

There is too much violence, too much hate, too much senseless killing, too many people dead who shouldn’t be. No one has all the answers. We have to find them together. Indeed, that is the only way we can find them.

Let’s begin with something simple but vital: listening to each other.

White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about seen and unseen barriers faced daily. We need to try, as best we can, to walk in one another’s shoes. To imagine what it would be like if people followed us around stores, or locked their car doors when we walked past, or if every time our children went to play in the park, or just to the store to buy iced tea and Skittles, we said a prayer: “Please God, don’t let anything happen to my baby.”

Let’s also put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous job we need them to do. Remember what those officers in Dallas were doing when they died: They were protecting a peaceful march. When gunfire broke out and everyone ran to safety, the police officers ran the other way — into the gunfire. That’s the kind of courage our police and first responders show all across America.

We need to ask ourselves every single day: What can I do to stop violence and promote justice? How can I show that your life matters — that we have a stake in another’s safety and well-being?

Elie Wiesel once said that “the opposite of love is not hate — it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death — it’s indifference.”

None of us can afford to be indifferent toward each other — not now, not ever. We have a lot of work to do, and we don’t have a moment to lose. People are crying out for criminal justice reform. People are also crying out for relief from gun violence. The families of the lost are trying to tell us. We need to listen. We need to act.

I know that, just by saying all these things together, I may upset some people.

I’m talking about criminal justice reform the day after a horrific attack on police officers. I’m talking about courageous, honorable police officers just a few days after officer-involved killings in Louisiana and Minnesota. I’m bringing up guns in a country where merely talking about comprehensive background checks, limits on assault weapons and the size of ammunition clips gets you demonized.

But all these things can be true at once.

We do need police and criminal justice reforms, to save lives and make sure all Americans are treated as equal in rights and dignity.

We do need to support police departments and stand up for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect us.

We do need to reduce gun violence.

We may disagree about how, but surely we can all agree with those basic premises. Surely this week showed us how true they are.

I’ve been thinking today about a passage from Scripture that means a great deal to me — maybe you know it, too:

“Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”

There is good work for us to do, to find a path ahead for all God’s children. There are lost lives to redeem and bright futures to claim. We must not lose heart.

May the memory of those we’ve lost light our way toward the future our children deserve.

Thank you,

Hillary

***

Learn more about Hillary’s plans to tackle criminal justice reform:https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/criminal-justice-reform/

Learn more about Hillary’s plans to prevent gun violence: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/gun-violence-prevention/

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Marco Rubio: Gives in to fear, paranoia

“In fact, if ISIS were to visit us or our communities at any moment, the last line of defense between ISIS and my family is the ability I have to protect my family from them or from a criminal or anyone else that seeks to do us harm. Millions of Americans feel that way.”

via Marco Rubio Says He Bought A Gun On Christmas As ‘Last Line Of Defense’ Against ISIS | Crooks and Liars.

While I don’t agree with guns for home defense, I understand and respect the right of people to have guns for home defense.

But when you’re buying a gun specifically to fend off ISIS/Daesh, you’ve descended into paranoia. Also seem to lack understanding of ISIS tactics, which outside of their territory relies heavily on bombs or groups of people ambushing soft targets like hotels or malls with massed rifle fire. A gun in the home won’t stop either of those.

Also, as a would be President, Senator Rubio appears to have abandoned faith in our military, police services and intelligence services.

The Terrorism Statistics Every American Needs to Hear | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

– You are 35,079 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack

– You are 33,842 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack

via The Terrorism Statistics Every American Needs to Hear | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization.

Well cited roundup of causes of death compared to dying in a terrorism attack in the United States.

The evidence is clear. The resources we are pouring into antiterror efforts are way more than any real threat we face.

The fact that we’ve also killed tens of thousands of people while torturing hundreds of others in pursuit of such a minor threat to our existence, is immoral.

 

Daesh/ISIS Goal May Have Been to Turn Europe Against Refugees

“You know what pissed off Islamist extremists the most about Europe? It was watching their very humane, moral response to the refugee crisis. Seeing Europeans line up to help and embrace Muslim refugees infuriated and shattered the worldview of so many Islamist extremists. The Islamist extremist worldview says that we’re separate, different, hate each other and are eternal enemies. Wanna shatter the Islamist extremist worldview? Show them we aren’t separate or different and don’t hate each and can be eternal friends.”

via Why Paris shows that ISIS are losing and we who maintain the ‘greyzone’ are winning | Goldblog.

Interesting article about how a struggling Daesh/ISIS may be using attacks in Europe to get the West to support their view of a binary world. Let’s not give them what they wish for.

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