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Though it takes him a while to complete the wind-up — the real substance begins at 7:45, but what precedes it is charming and substantive — Senator Ben Sasse recently spoke on how both parties’ domestic agendas are woefully out of date (the Democrats by a century, the Republicans by mere scores of years). Give it a listen and give us your thoughts.
One particular passage regarded how the labor market has changed and how our politics have failed to keep pace:
Right now, our national conversation is limited to a few sources of [economic] angst, a few causes of… competition on the supply side of the labor market. Immigration and trade are scary and disruptive in certain ways for people. But this weekend, as I’m talking to 18 to 22, 23-year-old kids, you know what came up multiple times? Robots. I haven’t heard that discussed in the presidential campaign, but there is no magic bullet around immigration or trade that’s going to change the nature of what robotics are going to do. And jobs that are routinizable — if that’s a word — and predictable, those jobs are going to become more and more rapidly dis-intermediated and disrupted, and we’re going to need to create a completely different kind of conversation than we’ve ever had before. And right now, our politics aren’t really up to that level of disruptive conversation. We have two political parties that seem to be wanting to have a fight about whether we should “Make America Europe Again,” or “Make America 1950 Again.” Neither of these are very interesting.
It gets even better from there.