Andrew Yang is a technology expert who is running for president in 2020 on what might be called a Tech-Caution platform. Unlike the clueless characters currently running our national government, Yang understands the danger of automation and artificial intelligence — that when smart machines take over major employment categories in America, the economy will fail from massive, permanent job loss. Curiously, the brilliant captains of industry are big on developing the cheapest possible manufacturing, but have forgotten that shoppers with healthy incomes are a big part of the economy equation.
For more details on the issues, see the candidate’s website Yang2020.
Consider what technology experts have already predicted for our near future. Oxford researchers forecast in 2013 that nearly half of American jobs were vulnerable to machine or software replacement within 20 years. Rice University computer scientist Moshe Vardi believes that in 30 years humans will become largely obsolete, and world joblessness will reach 50 percent. The Gartner tech advising company believes that one-third of jobs will be done by machines by 2025. The consultancy firm PwC published a report last year that forecast robots could take 38 percent of US jobs by 2030. In November 2017, the McKinsey Global Institute reported that automation “could displace up to 800 million workers — 30 percent of the global workforce — by 2030.” Forrester Research estimates that robots and artificial intelligence could eliminate nearly 25 million jobs in the United States over the next decade, but it should create nearly 15 million positions, resulting in a loss of 10 million US jobs. Kai-Fu Lee, the venture capitalist and author of AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order, forecast on CBS’ Sixty Minutes about automation and artificial intelligence: “in 15 years, that’s going to displace about 40 percent of the jobs in the world.” A February 2018 paper from Bain & Company, Labor 2030, predicted, “By the end of the 2020s, automation may eliminate 20% to 25% of current jobs.”
Why isn’t Washington paying attention to tech experts’ warnings? There’s not a whole lot to be done in the face of such fundamental social change, but certainly America won’t need more immigrant workers, as President Trump has recently suggested in a major reversal of a top campaign promise. That flip-flop is doubly bad because:
Automation Makes Immigration Obsolete
TUCKER CARLSON: Big tech knows a lot about you, in some cases more than you know about yourself. They certainly know where you go and what you eat. May even know what you think. The only thing it can’t control is what your thoughts are, but they are working on that, too.
In a 2018 phone recording obtained exclusively by this show, Adam Kovacevich — he is Google’s head of U.S. Public Policy — explains to Google employees why the company was a sponsor for CPAC that year. Google sponsored CPAC, he says, because it wouldn’t let them push the party toward a more open borders agenda. Listen:
GOOGLE EXECUTIVE ADAM KOVACEVICH: The Republican Party and the conservatives in general, is also going through a lot of internal debates about what should be the sort of position of the Party and I think that’s one that we should be involved in because we, I think, want probably, the majority of Googlers wants to steer conservatives and Republicans more towards a message of liberty and freedom and away from the more sort of nationalistic incendiary nativist comments and things like that.
CARLSON: Now, as noted, Google has more power than any company has ever had. It has the power of its massive data reserves technology, of course, it has financial power. It has one highest market capped companies in history. It also increasingly has political power though they don’t typically admit it in public.
Kovacevich did admit it. He said that companies like Google are playing quote, “a leadership role” in American politics. He bragged that the company got a support of mass immigration on to a CPAC panel and that person argued in support of Google’s agenda. It shows a lot about big tech’s attitude toward the country. They are in control — elections, parties, democracy, just a hindrance to their control.
So we told you a lot on this show about the potential dangers of big tech. Some of those dangers are imminent, and they are technological, and the main one is robotics and artificial intelligence.
Remarkably, the person, the political figure who is making the most sense on this subject, who has thought about it most deeply is a Democrat who is running for President. He is Andrew Yang. He is an entrepreneur and as we said, he is a Democratic presidential candidate. He says that artificial intelligence and expanded automation could potentially cause violence in this country and that we need to do something about it right now. Andrew Yang joins us tonight.
Andrew, thanks very much for coming on, and I meant that with sincerity. I haven’t heard anybody in our political conversation describe the threat as clearly and compellingly as you have. Why should would he be worried about automation?
CANDIDATE ANDREW YANG: Well, if you look at the backdrop, we automated away four million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri, and those communities have never recovered. Where if you look at the numbers, half of the workers left the workforce and never worked again, and then half of that group filed for disability.
Now what happened to the manufacturing workers is now going to happen to the truck drivers, retail workers, call centers and fast-food workers and on and on through the economy as we evolve and technology marginalizes the labor of more and more Americans.
CARLSON: What will be the effects of that? That’s a massive displacement of people. What will happen once that happens?
YANG: Well, as you said, I think it’s going to be disastrous, where if you look at truck drivers alone, being a trucker is the most common job in 29 states. There are 3.5 million truck drivers in this country, and my friends in Silicon Valley are working on trucks that can drive themselves because that’s where the money is, where we can save tens, even hundreds of billions of dollars by trying to automate that job.
But I was just with truck drivers in Iowa last week and imagining that community recovering from their income going from let’s call it $50,000 a year to much, much less than that catastrophically, it’s going to be a disaster for many, many American communities.
CARLSON: You are one of the only people I have met honest about the effects of the de-industrialization. I remember in Washington, the idea was, they will all become computer programmers, and so everything is fine, but that didn’t happen.
My question is do we have to sit passively back and let this happen to the country?
YANG: Well, that’s why I’m running for President, Tucker. I think it would be insane to just sit back and watch this automation wave overtake our communities and our economy. So we are not ostriches. We can get our heads up out of the sand, and say, “Look, we get it. Artificial intelligence is real. Self-driving cars and trucks are being tested on the highways right now and we need to evolve.”
We need to actually start pushing the way we think of economic progress to include how our families are doing, how our children are doing, and things that would actually matter to the American people because GDP is going to lead us off a cliff.
You know, robot trucks — great for GDP, terrible for many, many American communities. So we need to get with the program and figure out how to actually make this economy work for people.
CARLSON: I sit with my jaw open. I agree with you so strongly. Let me ask you finally, why isn’t this a central question in the campaign of everybody running for President on any side, and why instead are they talking about issues that are really are kind of frivolous? Why aren’t they talking about this?
YANG: It’s a good question, Tucker. I mean, one of the reasons I’m running for President is to push this in the center of the mainstream agenda where every candidate should be talking about what we are going to do about the fact that we’re automating away the most common jobs in the economy right now.
As we are sitting here together, the labor force participation rate in the United States is 63.2%. The same level as Ecuador and Costa Rica, and if anyone thinks that’s where America ought to be, I mean, that number is even going to be further challenged when all of this technology comes online. So we have to make America embrace this challenge of the 21st Century and then try and address it together as a people.
CARLSON: Last question. Shouldn’t people who cite unemployment statistics be penalized for saying something so stupid?
YANG: Yes, we have a series of bad numbers and I refer to GDP as one. Certainly, a headline unemployment rate is completely misleading and one of my mandates as President is I’m going to update the numbers that actually make sense to the American people.
CARLSON: Yes, yes. So we can know what’s going on, otherwise we can’t make wise decisions.
YANG; Yes, right now again and you know this, our life expectancy has declined for the last three years, first time in 100 years because of a surge in suicides and drug overdoses. How can you say an economy is healthy when our people are dying? It makes no sense at all.
CARLSON: I literally — I don’t even know what you think on the other issues and I just support what you said so much. I appreciate your coming on.
YANG; Thank you, Tucker. It’s great to be here.