I left work a little early to allow me to get the grass mowed before the Eagles game last night. I have a bunch of other things to do this weekend so getting tractor time off that list would be helpful. The lack of rain we have had the last three weeks has been very odd as we are still in the time frame of our wet season. It’s so dry that I have to keep watering the sod that I put down a couple weeks ago to keep it from drying out.
My new Prusa printer arrived as planned but unfortunately I had no time to do much more than remove the plastic wrap and place the box on a table in the hobby room. I am hoping to set some time tonight to set it up. Almost on queue my existing Prusa had it’s first issue. The filament did not unload correctly after a spool ran out and I have to figure out how to clear it.
The Eagles walked away from Green Bay with a very surprising but welcome win. Early on the game followed the suit of the other games this year with the Birds starting slow and falling behind quickly 10-0. The Eagles defense looked incapable of stopping Aaron Rodgers and to be honest that was the way the entire game was. The Packers while on offense marched up and down the field, the difference in the game was the Eagles offense scored touchdowns while in the red zone while the Packers had to settle for some field goals.
The other difference was although the Eagles D, especially their secondary, seemed like a doormat the entire game, there were two big plays that had a huge impact, a strip sack of Rodgers that resulted in an Eagles TD and the deflection interception at the very end of the game that prevented the game tying score. The win was much needed and hopefully gets the Eagles back on track. They ran the ball effectively for the first time all year in the win which was nice to see as well.
I do have to rant a little, despite the winning end result. The team is playing way too sloppy. Going into the game they were the third most penalized team in the league and that trend continued last night where the Birds were flagged somewhere around 10 times. The other thing that drives me nuts is the Eagles secondary. Outside of Malcolm Jenkins it seems God awful, just like last year. With as bad as the secondary was last year I would have assumed in the off season that would have been one the priorities. Instead we are left once again with a crew back there that just seems constantly over matched. Man I miss those years when we used to have shutdown corners. Ok rant over, great win, hopefully it translates to positive things going forward.
So when you are on a tractor mowing grass your mind wanders. As I was mowing last night my mind did that and it’s course was set from a Joe Rogan podcast I listened to from February when he had Andrew Yang as a guest. For those of you that don’t read news, he is one of the 2020 democratic candidates for president. He is a very successful entrepreneur and extremely intelligent. He is best known for his “Freedom Dividend” proposal that every American receives $1000 a month, which to many, including myself, seemed sort of ridiculous and untenable, until you take the time to hear the explanation. Taking the time to actually understand issues is something the majority of Americans either will not or can not bring themselves to do. It’s far easier to be lightly informed, something I will dig into more later.
So anyway what Yang talks about is an inconvenient truth, that technology is going to drastically impact the job market. We already had the industrial age, and many would say we have been in an information age. Well the next step is the automation age. The effects of this have already been felt over the last decade or two where millions of jobs have been automated out of existence with more efficient and less costly technology. This movement is something that is going to accelerate over time. Paying human beings salaries and benefits gets to be extremely expensive.
Andrew said truck drivers, call center workers, and cashiers are three examples of positions that are going to more or less evaporate over the next 5-10 years as technology matures to perform these tasks better and cheaper. He talked about other realities such as the lunacy of some people saying the simple solution to this shifting paradigm is retraining the American worker. As an example he asked the viability of a 45 year old trucker wanting or be willing to go back to school to become a software engineer. Sure a tiny handful might be interested but the reality is that isn’t going to happen. Yang said the the active workforce participation in our country is already in the mid 60’s percentile and the coming wave of automation threatens to make an already bad situation much, much worse.
The idea behind the freedom dividend is to give Americans a way to soften that transition that is coming, whether they like it or not. Unlike the most recent tax cuts that unproportionately benefited corporations and the ultra-rich much more than the normal American, this would do the exact opposite. Adding $1000 a month to every American’s pocket that is over 18 years of age would be building the economy from the ground up. That money isn’t going into an off shore tax sheltered account, it would be spent on goods and services every day on a massive scale that would benefit businesses large and small.
When you think literally about the way it has been done in recent years, building from the top down, you see the lunacy of it all. How many skyscrapers start at the 100th floor and work downward? Yes that sounds silly yet the same silly, trickle down lie has been sold by politicians for nearly the last 40 years. Like a building, you build the economy from the base, not the top.
Yang went into great detail addressing obvious questions about the plan such as how do we afford this? He breaks it down in detail and every answer he gave was well thought out and articulated clearly. It was so refreshing to hear a plan, even a plan I still have some skepticism about spoken and presented in such a complete, detailed, and intelligent manner, something I haven’t seen from the Oval Office in the last three years.
So as I was mowing I was thinking about politicians and what I value most when it comes to them, intelligence. It’s why I liked Obama, it’s why I liked Clinton. It’s why I disliked W, who I think is a nice man but didn’t get to where he was on brains, that’s for sure. It’s also the most embarrassing thing about Trump(who I don’t think is a nice man), he just is not that smart. He speaks like a 4th grade bully more often than not and I seriously doubt if he has ever had a deep thought in his lifetime. For the education he supposedly has (that he sued to keep his grades hidden), his intelligence seems incredibly lacking.
I also appreciate not only in politicians but in everyday life someone willing to say the inconvenient truths, which is the exact opposite of what many political campaigns aim to do. They spew nothing but what people want to hear but not what they need to hear. Society today has become so conditioned to take the path of least resistance. Paycheck to paycheck living is the dominant model for American society, it’s easier to not worry about managing your finances. It’s easier to throw things you want but don’t necessarily need on a credit card. It’s easier to not eat consciously and to not exercise. It’s easier to not plan for your future or look at the big picture. All of these things are easier to do than their alternatives but they all lead ultimately to living an unsatisfying, anxiety riddled, depressed life.
Yang mentioned that suicide now kills more people than auto accidents each year in the US. Think about that for a second. It’s all interconnected. Until enough people are committed and brave enough to grab our current broken system by the neck and work towards something different we are doomed to continue to be mindless puppets to the lobbyists and the corporations that control them to follow a set of rigged rules that benefit those that create them to an unimaginable degree.
Do yourself a favor, think more and take the path of more resistance, you will emerge from the other side stronger, smarter, and better.
If you want to listen to the interview you can do so here.