Home Economics The War on Normal People

Learn the key ideas of the book by Andrew Yang

The War on Normal People

How to prevent unemployment through the UBI solution

Automation, artificial intelligence, globalization: the three heads of a monster that threatens the future of the US working class, with the promise of taking away millions of jobs. Starting from a punctual and convincing analysis of the socio-economic landscape of the United States, Yang in The War on Normal People describes the impact - which is already partially underway - of new technologies on Americans, who receive wages below $20 an hour: truck drivers, workers, waiters, but also clerks. To counter the effects of the expected loss of millions of jobs, Yang proposes the establishment of a universal basic income, which will bring everyone above the poverty threshold, and which will allow the creation of a "centric human" capitalism based on a new currency: time.

The War on Normal People
Read in 16 min.
Listen in 20 min.

Automations are changing the labor sector, how can we prevent unemployment?

Who are "normal people"? The middle class, to which 70% of Americans believe they belong. The question is, what will ordinary people do in the coming years? Automation and artificial intelligence are pushing people out of the job market, thousands of jobs will be lost in the near future. Right now, some of the smartest people in the country are looking for a cheaper version of you: a foreign worker, a software, a robot. There is no malice in this. The market rewards those who do things more efficiently, and efficiency loves things done effectively and at the lowest possible cost. A wave of automation and job losses is not the vision of a dystopian future, but a transformation already underway.

The numbers tell a story that we wanted to ignore: there is a growing mass of permanent unemployed, automation is accelerating to the point of affecting social structures, and our lifestyle. A report released by the White House in December 2016 traces the landscape for the next 15/20 years: 83% of jobs paid less than $ 20 an hour will be automated. According to the report, between 2.2 and 3.1 million drivers of cars, buses, and trucks will disappear with the advent of self-driving vehicles. Driving a truck is one of the most common jobs in 29 states. The same goes for the innovation that will "touch" cashiers, fast-food workers, and people who deal with customer service. Automation has already eliminated 4 million jobs in the manufacturing industry from 2000 to today.

The workforce in the United States is now 62.5%, lower than that of almost all other industrialized countries. The number of Americans who are not part of the workforce is 95 million. The author calls this phenomenon The Great Displacement. This is the most pressing social, not just economic, issue of our time: the unease due to unemployment leads to the growth of social problems, including domestic violence, depression, and drug use. There is an entity that can reform society and prevent a large part of the United States from becoming jobless and without a future, the Federal State, which, however, currently has neither the budget nor the structure to act accordingly. To reduce the effects of The Great Displacement it is necessary to invest in education, apprenticeship, training, tax incentives, but acting according to the usual policies is not enough, because we are used to thinking that the market solves most of the problems, but this time it will be the opposite.


The key ideas of "The War on Normal People"

Automations are changing the labor sector, how can we prevent unemployment?
What is the US employment scenario of recent years?
How the labor market has changed over the decades
The figures of the US labor market: jobs, wages, and possible losses related to automation
Jobs change and so do other aspects related to our life
The solution to change things is called UBI, what is it?
A new model of person-based capitalism
Take-home message

Try 4books Premium for free!