Check out a new video on why Andrew Yang could actually make America great again through his Freedom Dividend proposal.
I’ve been following Andrew Yang on YouTube, and I was really excited about his debate on Thursday. I caught the debate late on YouTube while it was playing live on YouTube, and so I had to rewind the playback live video and try to see how the debate was going for Andrew Yang. I got frustrated to see Andrew Yang was so silent and not a lot of questions were being directed at him for the longest time. I felt he was so shy and shouldn’t be on the debate stage until I realized there is another YouTube video which he explained that his mic was deliberately turned off. Check out the YouTube video right after the break to see his explanation of why he wasn’t able to interject his points into the debate most of the time.
I didn’t finish watching the debate because I felt the whole thing was a joke! Now, I’m even more frustrated that they deliberately switched off his mic. Now, I can see why this whole thing is so rigged!
Update: I found another video shows why Andrew Yang couldn’t interject his points into the debate.
I don’t know much about JCPenney at all since I don’t shop there. Nonetheless, I couldn’t help but want to talk about it a bit. Recently, we have seen how Sears is struggling with its own survival, and so it is not a surprise for us to see JCPenney may fall into this same situation as Sears. Basically, if JCPenney isn’t able to modernize its own business model to fight against online giants like Amazon, JCPenney may as well eventually be just a memory.
I look at JCPenney’s stock today and I’m seeing it’s being listed around $1.28 a share. This used to be $80 stock back in 1999 and in 2006. So, the question is, what has changed?
Has JCPenney fallen victim to online giants like Amazon? I partly think so but not really 100% convinced that it is 100% the fault of online giants. If you take a look at Walmart, it doesn’t have to beat Amazon on the online platform to stay profitable! So, why Sears and JCPenney look so outdated?
I notice Kohls has done a very good job through its online platform, and so I think JCPenney could learn a thing or two from Kohls. Then again, Walmart still does rather well with its traditional bricks and mortar stores. So, perhaps it’s the combination of well managed both offline and online that could save brands like JCPenney?
Then we also have to look at a bigger picture such as why people don’t go to the mall as often as before! Sure, we can say it’s the online giants that kill off the malls! Nonetheless, the malls do have benefits such as entertainment and so forth. I notice in other countries such as in China, the malls are still very vibrant! Furthermore, Chinese do buy stuff through online platforms a lot. So, why malls in China are vibrant still?
I guess, if the malls are vibrant, stores like JCPenney and Sears could survive since they locate inside most malls! Nonetheless, as malls are closing down or getting empty, I don’t see how JCPenney and Sears and so forth could stay profitable when customers don’t even show up!
Here is the shot in the dark part! Could it be that our economy is doing poorly, people are no longer having a job for life but a job for a gig, and they shop online more — all of these factors come together to form a perfect storm which is killing off malls across America? The bigger issue is of course why are people no longer be able to have a job that they could work without worrying about being replaced by automation? Yes, automation is going to replace more people from their jobs!
Andrew Yang, 2020 presidential candidate for the Democrats, suggests that soon truck drivers, cashiers, burger flippers, lawyers, call center operators and a lot more will be replaced by AI and automation. Sure, things don’t look dramatic now since your neighbor may still have a normal job. Nonetheless, if the trucking business could save $160 some billion of dollars per year to just automate the trucks and get rid all of the truck drivers, why do you think this is not a good idea for them to do so? Perhaps, even Lyft and Uber drivers in the future will be replaced by self-driving, smart AI car too!
So, if it’s true that machines and software will eventually kill more jobs, then people will, of course, have less money to spend at shopping centers and malls. Do you think this will affect online platforms eventually? To me, it’s a common sense that the online platforms will also be affected by a poorer economy! Nonetheless, online platforms like Amazon could survive better since they got convenience on its side. For an example, frequent sales are just a few clicks away!
Sure, we can say that we like to blame the economy for our problems, but the truth is that the advance of technology and the convenience of shopping through online platforms have created a formula in which we are now seeing the decay of our economy. So, if we have a poorer economy, how can we not blame it on the problems that we see, right?
Andrew Yang suggests that through “Freedom Dividend” the government can help prepare the economy for a soft landing when the advance of AI and automation gets worse in the coming years. Of course, you can go on YouTube to watch his videos and see a more fuller explanation of his Universal Basic Income “Freedom Dividend” idea. Here, my shot in the dark is that I think even outdated stores like JCPenney could survive in a good economy! Perhaps, “Freedom Dividend” may offer people more options so they could wander their way into one of the JCPenney stores!
Andrew Yang said that “Freedom Dividend” will not be able to solve the bigger issues that the AI and automation spring forth. So, he also suggests in addition to “Freedom Dividend,” he also wants to see Medicare for all. Furthermore, he wants to abolish the usage of GDP as a measuring stick for how healthy an economy is. Instead, he wants to create a better measuring stick for the economy which measures environment sustainability, nutrition health of children, and so forth to capitalize on human well being instead of capitalizing the market caps, stock prices, and so forth. He thinks as AI and automation spring forth, the GDP number could go to the moon but more people will get fired from their jobs. Think about this, machines produce more things that will be counted toward the GDP number but the humans are not going to be able to participate in producing this number!
In summary, can Andrew Yang save the malls of America? If he can save the malls of America, this means he can save JCPenney and Sears and eventually the economy itself! Can his idea of “Freedom Dividend” provide a soft landing for the future economy where humans won’t be able to participate in producing things that can be counted as a contribution toward the GDP number? I’m very curious about all of this!
As earth’s population grows larger and automation gains traction each day, how many job categories and niches would dwindle each time before there would be none left for onlookers? More people mean more jobs are needed to sustain a vibrant society where equality gap could be lessened instead of widening. More automation means more people will lose jobs. These two factors are like pouring gasoline onto the fire.
Unethically, such a society could demand people to have fewer children, but such a society needs a strong authoritarian government. In the West, most governments are democratic, and so such demand would be outrageous. Furthermore, such a demand is for a weak society, because the society doesn’t have a solution thus resolving into forcing a reduction of population headcount.
A wiser society would not demand a reduction of population headcount — it got a solution for what’s coming! What solution? As of now, there is no clear solution for the two detrimental factors I stated in the first paragraph! By the way, what is a society? In my opinion, a society is a group of people that stick together for the benefits of the majority. The two detrimental factors I described earlier would chip away most benefits of the majority in our modern societies.
Few governments and groups are trying out basic income as a testing case for trying to solve the inequality gap between classes of groups of people in our modern societies. Nonetheless, small-scale basic income test trials most likely won’t yield any good result. Furthermore, basic income for large countries like the United States and China would be an insane proposition. No amount of money would be enough to give out to each person in a large country.
I think basic income is kind of screwy too! For an example, the more money the government prints to give out the more people will spend thus requiring the money printers to print even more money so the government could have enough doughs to give out to even more people. Get the gist? Once the government tightens the belt such as stopping giving out money, the basic income scheme would collapse immediately. A society that is addicted to basic income could also collapse!
By the way, how inflation would work in a basic income society? I don’t think I know the answer to this as I’ve seen nothing like it has ever applied to a large country like the United States or China. We all know that if inflation goes north too much everything would become rather pricey because the supply of money is too large — simply put, too many dollars would chase too few demands.
As job loss number increases and automation gains worldwide prominent, the tipping point would become too real when a society becomes desperate and mad. Nonetheless, as an advanced society could produce just about anything with little effort using automation, the tipping point once again could occur positively as people would no longer require making a living by working the field, factory, office and so forth.
The question is, in the between the transition from a working society to a leisure society, how many people would have to die and how many revolutions would have to occur before the storm could pass and peace could form? The basic income could work as a dirty solution till the modern society could completely transform into a leisure society! The question is, will the governments of the world dare to print an unlimited amount of money before inflation hits and destroys the hope and dream of attaining a transformation of a modern society into a leisure one?
Perhaps, basic income is too draconian and would not work. Perhaps, providing a fair playing field for the newcomers would work? What do I mean? Imagine basic income is not basic income but a one-time thing for the poor and the newborns! What do I mean again? Well, basic income is too hard to carry out as it requires the governments of the world to continuously print an unlimited amount of money each year. Instead of basic income, why not basic equality for the poor and the newborns?
What do I mean by basic equality for the poor and the newborns? Well, let’s say the government would go about to calculate the right amount of money each person needs to have a fulfilling life as long such a person would not do anything too crazy to destroy the money cache quickly such as using drugs, gamble, and whatnot — then a government would give a one-time basic income to all the poor in his/her own country so to provide a fair level of playing field. Obviously, the rich won’t need any basic income so the government can save money by not giving any to the rich through basic income channel!
Basic equality would save the prudent government a lot of money and yet his/her society would be able to function in a jobless era. All the newborns could also receive one-time basic income in a form of a trust fund that the government would create for them. The trust fund would go out to the parents of the newborns for a while till the newborns become adults. Once the newborns reach adulthood, the government then could give them basic equality (one-time basic income) according to the inflation rate in their time.
Of course, the hope is that the basic equality would buy time for modern societies to transform into leisure societies across the world. The idea of basic equality, one-time basic income, is to leave nobody behind yet buy time for the governments of the world to see their societies transform into leisure societies where automation would provide everything everyone needs. When everybody got everything and more, money would become so irrelevant! In such a society, money won’t buy anything! In a leisure society, only the smart, funny, easy going, talented ones could become real assets of the world!
In chess, there are circumstances that you could force your enemy into a position of no escape, and of course, if the enemy seizes the opportunity first then you would be the one who could not escape the trap. It could be your king which is the most important piece on the board to be forced into a position of retreating into a trap and cannot escape. I think it’s the same for bigger picture as in a national circumstance.
When a country got too many friends to please, too many problems to be solved, too many places to keep the peace, then it’s a lot harder for such a country to be able to be nimble and flexible. Without nimbleness and flexibility, stiffness could creep in and force a country into many weird positions that are unfavorable. Too many unfavorable positions could push such a country into a subtle death trap which eventually envelopes into the inescapable trap!
Then again we could also argue that when a nation is a hermit, it’s easier for others to gang up on such a nation. In today world, when there are so many powers that aspire to be more than what they’re yesterday, I think it’s a ticking timebomb of uncertainties. Like if you do you’re damned and if you don’t you’re damned still.
For an example, let’s say a fictitious country named Carol is making a lot of friends, and she knows that she hates Bob, the hermit, a lot. Bob though, he would love to inflict real damage on Carol, but he doesn’t have any friend to help him out in doing such a thing against Carol. Friends of Carol got a friend who is the only reluctant, casual friend of Bob, and they know this friend, for some strange reasons, doesn’t want Carol and Bob to have any confrontation. Let’s say Bob tried to tickle Carol in the most grotesque way, and Carol went on a rampage against Bob. Friends of Carol suddenly didn’t want to have anything to do with the whole madness, because Bob got a friend that prevented others from involving with Carol and Bob. But then this Bob’s mysterious friend suddenly teamed up with Bob to take Carol down. Now, Carol’s friends got a problem, because they don’t know if they should side with Carol or Bob’s mysterious friend!
Let’s say Carol and Bob both thought that they would be able to outsmart the other, but perhaps one of them didn’t know that a string of scenarios that came before and after their ugly feud could turn one of them into a mouse that got trapped in a rat trap. The inescapable trap is definitely easier to imagine for today’s geopolitical matter I think! Why? Too many countries got their own ambitions to worry about, and so they are making friends and enemies left and right all the time. Just take a look at Syria and various parts of the Middle East and we could see that sometimes we couldn’t know who is a friend and who is an enemy anymore — of course, it’s also depending on which side you’re on too!
Sometimes though, I think sitting pretty and only making move when it’s prudent and safe would keep a nation safe for a long time to come in a world like ours today! Why? The one who sits out the longest would be the victorious one in the end! I think it’s smart to save up energy and resources — while making gains in both energy and resources when you’re in a favorable position — for the right time! Of course, if you’re being forced into an unfavorable position, then sitting out may not be possible in the end. That would be unfortunate for sure.
The above video tries to explore the idea of marrying Democracy and Meritocracy values into one system. In real life, currently, we do not have a system in which both values could be incorporated in a balance manner. For an example, in the West, Democracy is being valued more, thus the systems lean toward mediocre leaders with greatest popularity. In the East, the opposite case mostly occurs. Still, there probably are situations that smooth sailing does occur for the West, and bad sailing does occur for the East. This is a luck and bad luck happenstances. For an example, the people in the West might just pick the best leaders by chance, thus the system could be run by the most popular leaders who are not mediocre. In the East, bad luck could occur, thus the system could have corrupted, mediocre leaders who hold the positions of power and don’t want to relinquish such powerful positions — thus they become unpopular for sure.
The luck and bad luck happenstances are the unexpected elements, thus these things are beyond the control of the system. What people want are the system that can be configured in a way that ensures the highest chance of electing the best leaders that could run the country in the best manner if possible. Unfortunately, electing is more of a popularity contest than electing the best leaders. Why? Election is about who got more votes, and thus in theory anyone could be running for a position to get votes. Strangers vote for each other — it’s more about who appears to be the most competence gets the popularity — thus getting the position. In the Meritocracy system, a pretender who could keep the act together might also appear to be competence, thus fooling the previous leaders who vouch for his or her promotion. Still, the Meritocracy system is built to ensure the highest chance of picking leaders according to meritocracy values.
When marrying Democracy with Meritocracy, we’re running into a direct conflict. Democracy encourages the priority of voting while Meritocracy encourages the priority of strictly observing/testing before a promotion. Thus, in reality we don’t see any system which distributes equal powers to Democracy and Meritocracy. In China, I think some local regions do have elections, but it’s obviously one party state — so there is no true election at the very top. So the true dilemma is how are we marrying the Democracy and Meritocracy together?
I have an idea! Why don’t we have a constitution that ensures a house of Democracy which governs by election, but the house of Democracy is there to examine the performances of the most popular leaders who had gotten the positions through the voting process. After the leaders’ terms are up, they need to be either promoted to longer term positions according to their performance-report-cards, but if their performances are poor they could be demoted or even be impeached. Once they got promoted to longer term positions they could move into the house of Meritocracy. Still, even once they reach the house of Meritocracy, more examinations must be done to ensure that the leaders within the house of Meritocracy are truly excellent. If they’re just pretending to be excellent at their jobs, they could still be impeached within the house of Meritocracy.
Well, I think the idea I suggest above could be tested out for the case of marrying Democracy and Meritocracy together. It’s like the people got to participate in a popularity contest before the real leaders could eventually be recognized. Such a system does provide layers of examinations of our leaders so they could not take it easy and get so corrupted such as becoming lazy in serving people, involving in corruptions and scandals, and so forth. What do you think?