The War on Normal People
Book

The War on Normal People

The Truth About America's Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future

Hachette Book Group USA, 2018 more...

Editorial Rating

8

Qualities

  • Eye Opening
  • Bold
  • Visionary

Recommendation

Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang attended elite colleges and held high-ranking positions, but he isn’t especially impressed with himself. As Yang tells it, he’s just really good at taking standardized tests, a trait that led to his Ivy League pedigree. In this engaging book – a cut above the usual political fodder – he describes an increasingly Darwinian US economy that, he says, demands a universal basic income for all Americans. Yang offers here, in more detail than he was able to communicate as a candidate in the 2020 US presidential race, a vision that might win him new supporters.

Summary

Automation threatens millions of American jobs.

Silicon Valley and Wall Street are booming, but at the expense of the rest of the US economy. Most tech start-ups are pursuing business models that involve automating workers out of their jobs. The rise of the robots once was the stuff of dystopian science fiction. Today, it’s a reality. Millions of jobs held by drivers of trucks, buses and cars will disappear as a result of self-driving vehicles. And vast numbers of low-wage jobs could cease to exist in the coming years. Robots have already replaced some four million factory jobs in the United States since the 1990s. That’s a big part of the reason the US labor force participation rate has dipped below 63%. And it won’t be just low-paid workers who lose jobs to “the Great Displacement”: White-collar roles are threatened, too.

If tens of millions of jobs indeed disappear, the federal government is the only entity capable of addressing the scope of the economic restructuring that will be necessary. State governments and nonprofits simply lack the resources to deal with these seismic shifts. Without dramatic intervention, cutthroat competition...

About the Author

Andrew Yang has been the CEO, co-founder and executive of numerous technology and education companies. He ran for the US Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.


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