I am disappointed that the presidential candidates are not discussing automation. I wanted a conversation about how the candidates could address this issue, with maybe some discussion around universal basic income. Automation is going to have a major impact on the way we as Americans find jobs going forward and has the potential to change our society as much as the Industrial Revolution did.
Increased automation is in everyday aspects of our lives. A trip inside of Sam’s Club or Walmart will reveal rows of self-checkout devices at the end of the store, with a long line of people waiting to use them. Going inside a McDonald’s might show a touchscreen where the customer can order and pay for their food. Google has been developing self-driving cars for years now, with eyes set on a taxi service filled with the machines.
The changes that these inventions can bring about could be disastrous if left unchecked. Cashiers are low-skill jobs that can provide money to anyone in need of a job. Taxis are already having to compete with online services such as Lyft and Uber. What chance will they have if the competitor doesn’t need to pay for workers?
This increased automation is going to tear jobs away from communities and people who desperately need a paycheck to make ends meet. This is why some form of a universal basic income will be necessary in the future. A small amount of guaranteed money from the government (even if it’s just $1,000 every month) could soften the blow that automation will inflict on the impoverished and middle class. This is an issue that will get worse over time and action needs to be taken to avoid economic crisis.
Get the choice right
We are getting a second chance. Those don't come by very often, so let's review our situation.
Four years ago we had a choice between an Anointed Member of the Beltway Elite and a TV star playing the role of Outrageous Outsider With Wrecking Ball. Voters were disgusted with the Beltway Elite and did not know what OOWWB would do if he actually took office. Voters also knew that everybody blows off steam and says bad things. So they gave him the benefit of the doubt and took a chance. Then it turned out what I said was true: You don't put someone like that in charge of the nukes no matter what you think of the Beltway.
Having a track record changes the game. If this country re-elects this president, it will be on the hook for whatever he does next.
This second chance could also be our last. Our president has made it very clear he doesn't want to relinquish power. It can't happen here, you say? The Germans said the same thing in 1933. How did that work out?
About personal choice
I am so tired of seeing the excuse of it being a "personal choice" to wear a mask or not. These seem to be largely Republicans. Why is it then that these seemingly same people are the ones so intent on trying to deny a woman's choice when it comes to her body?
Pro-choice is also a "personal choice." And it's not a choice made cavalierly just to make a political point, as wearing masks has become. Lastly, pro-choice is not killing babies. Pro-choice means having a choice. Pro-choice women do choose from both options.
MARLA J. GLADWIN
North Little Rock
Careful with rumors
A month ago this paper printed a letter from me in which I stated that I could not vote for a candidate or party who rejected God. Since then, it has come to my attention that I fell for a fake news story. That being the case, I believe that I owe readers of this paper an apology, not for my response, but for falling for what was little more than a rumor.
I only wish that some so-called "journalists" on both the left and right of the political spectrum would stop reacting to rumors as though they came down from Mount Sinai on golden tablets.
North Little Rock
An unpardonable sin
Rising from the boneyard of fractured beliefs, the one that leaves me gasping, is realizing I was badly mistaken when I thought voters would never vote for president any candidate who promised to steal from us two lifesaving programs the GOP has disdained since inception.
Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into existence Social Security in August 1935. Immediately and ever after, Republicans, conservatives have sought its demise. The same with Medicare, which Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law in July 1965.
Johnson also supported civil rights for all Americans, which, as he foretold, cost the Democrats the South, giving Republicans a wide swath of red made more potent by the electoral college.
And that good fortune for the GOP has endangered Social Security and Medicare more beginning this November than previously (not to mention Medicaid, a devil's brew of socialism), should Trump pull off his greatest show of deceit, greater than any circus, so much so that P.T. Barnum must be smacking his forehead in the center-ring of his forever.
Trump's genius lies in his lifelong practiced and honed skill of bait and switch. He has taken the back door to the destruction of Social Security and Medicare by promising if elected to end payroll taxes, the source of revenue for both programs that have saved untold lives the misery of abject poverty in their final years on Earth.
And that will be the ill-informed voter's unpardonable sin.