We’re traveling, which gives me a chance to avoid as much convention news as possible. But this headline from my local fishwrap made me laugh:
“GOP Aims To Show Diversity At Convention”
Ha ha ha ha ha! Yeah, the fat white guy and the skinny white guy. The Northern white guy and the Southern white guy. The tall white guy and the short white guy. So much diversity! And amazingly, every one of them is an expert on women’s health issues!
Good luck with that, fellas.
I’ve been talking to some interesting folks on our travels. Last night we chatted with a couple from New York and I heard something I hear often from New Yorkers: there’s a real fear of torch-and-pitchfork wielding mobs as income inequality in this country escalates. This guy said we could be looking at something like 40% unemployment in the next few decades just from automation and globalization. I learned of a software company that laid off hundreds of software engineers after they wrote the code that made their jobs obsolete. They had dug their own graves.
New Yorkers seem really scared that this many unemployed people will lead to riots and violence and instability, which is no doubt why Occupy Wall Street scared the crap out of them. But no one seems interested in a WPA-style “put people to work” program, so until people get over their fear and start doing more than just retreating behind their gates and guns, we don’t have any solutions.
And yeah, I’m thinking thousands of pissed off, laid off software engineers is a bigger threat than thousands of pissed off, laid off burger flippers. Y’all sure that was a solar flare that took down India’s grid? I’m not afraid of the torch-and-pitchfork mob, but I do think our conversation is totally on the wrong things. Someone needs to address these massive changes and formulate a plan. I don’t think tax cuts for the wealthy are going to solve the problem of mass unemployment because of technology.
Here are some pictures from our travels; we’re back on the road tomorrow to a place with even more spectacular scenery.