Editor’s Note: As a historicist, I am extremely nostalgic for the Southern past and spend much of my time there, but meanwhile in the 21st century we are living in a very different time with different challenges. Chattel slavery is being revived by Silicon Valley to compete with human workers. Ask yourself who Huey Long would be cheering for in the 2020 election.
I’m with the Uber and Lyft drivers in spirit, but we all know they are going to be replaced by self driving cars. Capital is abolishing labor and we need a 21st century solution. Strikes aren’t going to work as a tactic against this new technology https://t.co/JydrqQpMaq— EMPEROR ‘KINGFISH’ WHITEPILL (@CptBlackPill) May 8, 2019
Our Humanity First rallies are a phenomenon. And we are having our BIGGEST RALLY YET on May 14th in New York City right in Washington Square Park at 6:00 p.m.— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) May 7, 2019
Thousands will be there – join us for an epic rally for the future. RSVP NOW. #YangGang https://t.co/QhoGRHpHwP pic.twitter.com/qTYudcVhYG
“Finding an Uber or Lyft became harder in New York, Los Angeles and other major cities Wednesday as drivers went on a work stoppage to call attention to what they consider to be low wages and lack of job security.
The protest came against the backdrop of the two ridesharing giants making a play for investors, with billions of dollars in play, at a time when their drivers say they are earning peanuts. Lyft recently started selling shares to the public and Uber is on deck.
The protests varied by city. In the Big Apple, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance called for a work stoppage from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. EST. In Los Angeles, Rideshare Drivers United urged drivers to shut off the smartphone apps they use to locate passengers for 24 hours starting at 12:01 a.m. PST. …”
“Entrepreneur Andrew Yang is running for president to make sure Democrats debate the future of work — and he says the Uber and Lyft driver protests that could disrupt thousands of commutes today shows why that’s urgent.
Yang, a long shot for the nation’s top office, says the drivers staging the global strike have legitimate complaints. The lack of job stability for independent contractors who do not have the same benefits and protections as traditional employees is a big reason Yang’s top campaign issue is creating a universal basic income that would provide every American adult with a baseline income of $1,000 per month. He’s seeking to protect gig economy workers whose income fluctuates, or those whose jobs are at high risk of being automated.
But Yang warned that giving drivers collective bargaining rights would only be “one piece of the puzzle.” He said unions have weakened over the past 50 years, and that alone would not solve the drivers’ problems.
He noted companies no longer have the incentives in place to give workers broad benefits, and policymakers need to adapt to that reality and make it possible for benefits typically associated with employers — like health care — available to all Americans.
“It’s very hard to turn back the clock,” Yang told me in an interview. “We have to stop pretending it’s the 1960s.”
“Long shot” candidate.
Andrew Yang is the only person in American politics who has the guts to tell the Uber and Lyft drivers what is going to happen to them in the long run with self-driving cars. The tactics used by organized labor in the past like strikes and unions will only accelerate their replacement by an automated robotic slave labor workforce driven by deep learning AI. Bernie Sanders is behind the times.
There is only one solution to this social and economic problem. We have to reconstruct FDR’s New Deal populist-progressive coalition and rewrite our social contract for the 21st century so that the wealth being generated by the Fourth Industrial Revolution is shared more equitably and stabilizes our society and defuses the resentment and polarization before it takes a violent turn. If Peter Viereck were alive today, he would argue that “any non-moronic conservative must favor” Andrew Yang in 2020 because he is doing more than anyone to “prevent class-radicalism & communism.”
We’re not on the side of the anarchists who want a violent transition away from free-market capitalism. Unlike those people, we prefer a smooth transition but Yang is our only shot at that. $1,000 a month isn’t nearly enough to do it but we need an icebreaker in our national political conversation.