Summary of People Get Ready

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Professor Robert W. McChesney and journalist John Nichols believe that capitalism gives large corporations and wealthy individuals too much power. The authors anticipate that exponentially compounding computer power will take over job functions in the future and put people out of work. They urge citizens to become more engaged, to debate the issues and to press for beneficial change. McChesney and Nichols address shortfalls in today’s economy, and in democracy and capitalism itself, but the alternatives they offer – a guaranteed minimum wage, free education and free health care – aren’t necessarily aligned with a capitalism structure. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends this topical, controversial narrative for the historic context it offers. It will particularly intrigue policy makers, executives and economists interested in the state of American democracy and capitalism.

About the Authors

Robert W. McChesney, a professor in the department of communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is author of 23 books. He co-founded the media reform organization Free Press. Journalist John Nichols is the Washington, DC, correspondent for The Nation and associate editor of the Madison, Wisconsin, Capital Times.



The Approaching Tempest

Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, sounded an alarm at the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He warned that automation would take over many middle-class jobs that previously seemed safe from technological encroachment. He referred to this development as the “defining’ issue of the next two to three decades.” While the prevailing contemporary conversation centers on how this process of “creative destruction” will increase capitalists’ profits, the discussion does not cover the outcomes for those workers who will suffer the most.

Economic inequality and an increasing loss of opportunity to move upward financially have devastated the American labor force since the 1980s. These factors increase political inequity and foreshadow the likelihood that society will have fewer humane options to offer workers to deal with their upcoming displacement in the “digital revolution.”

However, digital technologies also show tremendous potential to improve people’s lives, depending on how society goes about developing them. These tools call for citizens to engage in an active democratic debate, which is sadly lacking in today’s environment...

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