The War on Normal People
From entrepreneur Andrew Yang, the founder of Venture for America, an eye-opening look at how new technologies are erasing millions of jobs before our eyes-and a rallying cry for the urgent steps America must take, including Universal Basic Income, to stabilize our economy. The shift toward automation is about to create a tsunami of unemployment. Not in the distant future--now. One recent estimate predicts 45 million American workers will lose their jobs within the next twelve years--jobs that won't be replaced. In a future marked by restlessness and chronic unemployment, what will happen to American society? In The War on Normal People, Andrew Yang paints a dire portrait of the American economy. Rapidly advancing technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and automation software are making millions of Americans' livelihoods irrelevant. The consequences of these trends are already being felt across our communities in the form of political unrest, drug use, and other social ills. The future looks dire-but is it unavoidable? In The War on Normal People, Yang imagines a different future -- one in which having a job is distinct from the capacity to prosper and seek fulfillment. At this vision's core is Universal Basic Income, the concept of providing all citizens with a guaranteed income-and one that is rapidly gaining popularity among forward-thinking politicians and economists. Yang proposes that UBI is an essential step toward a new, more durable kind of economy, one he calls "human capitalism."

The War on Normal People Details

TitleThe War on Normal People
Author
ReleaseApr 3rd, 2018
PublisherHachette Books
ISBN-139780316414241
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Economics, Politics, Business, Science, Technology

The War on Normal People Review

  • Mrs. Europaea
    January 1, 1970
    Move over Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Mama has a new issue to plague her sleepless nights.In The War on Normal People, Yang, outlines the upcoming employment crisis to hit the United States. With increasing measures by businesses and organizations to make all things automated for reasons of "productivity and efficiency", he lists the industries most in jeopardy due to technological advancements. Industries include but are not limited to: Office and Administrative Assistant, Sales and Retail,, F Move over Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Mama has a new issue to plague her sleepless nights.In The War on Normal People, Yang, outlines the upcoming employment crisis to hit the United States. With increasing measures by businesses and organizations to make all things automated for reasons of "productivity and efficiency", he lists the industries most in jeopardy due to technological advancements. Industries include but are not limited to: Office and Administrative Assistant, Sales and Retail,, Food Preparation, Transportation, and Production.As a fairly new resident of the Midwest I can personally attest that the Transportation industry is in jeopardy. If you've ever driven on I-65 you know that no matter the time of day Semi's are overwhelmingly ubiquitous. When Yang cites that truck driving will go automated in the next ten to fifteen years due to "national competitiveness and human welfare" it's hard to develop an argument against it. We've all been held up in traffic due to an accident that was later deemed in full or partial fault to truck driver negligence. Yet when you look at the statistics for accidents of the automated trucks being tested in Ohio and California it is virtually non-existent. For this argument in particular, what are the solutions? Well, Yang again outlines a few possibilities, many of which seem as grim as the decline of employment and the increase of unemployment. Yet he ends optimistically enough by saying that many companies are already trying to change their work ethic to something more "human." Human capitalism as he calls it places more value on the human doing the task than on profit driven capitalism. Is this enough? Probably not, but the fight is in all of us not to stand by and let AI take over, and chances are that we will fight because as AI eliminates our opportunities we as a people will finally understand what it means to unite as one, to stand and fight for society's future. The bottom line is we do not want our future generations living in what used to only be true in dystopian novels and unfortunately it may take hitting rock bottom for many of us to realize it.
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  • Muhan
    January 1, 1970
    When Donald Trump was elected President in 2016, I was living in Miami, FL. At the time, I had lived through three cycles of boom and bust in the United States. The great recession, in particular, sparked my interest in economics and its impact on society. At the time, learning about subprime mortgages, securitization, foreclosures, and interest rates engrossed me in a profound but technical manner. As the Big Short summarized so succinctly, how could “5 trillion dollars in pension money, real e When Donald Trump was elected President in 2016, I was living in Miami, FL. At the time, I had lived through three cycles of boom and bust in the United States. The great recession, in particular, sparked my interest in economics and its impact on society. At the time, learning about subprime mortgages, securitization, foreclosures, and interest rates engrossed me in a profound but technical manner. As the Big Short summarized so succinctly, how could “5 trillion dollars in pension money, real estate value, 401k, savings, and bonds” just disappear? My fascination turned to shock, and eventually to a keen sense for economic justice, as I learned more about American economic history. Unlike the first half of the 20th century, the second half for real American income growth had been stagnant. Simultaneously, all the building blocks of the good life: real, nutrient-dense food; healthcare; education; and owning a home in a metro area with jobs, had skyrocketed in cost. In essence, labor had been abused and bloodied for a quarter century, and no one seemed to care.Given this, I was only mildly surprised by America’s electing of a fast dealing celebrity populist lookalike. All around me, among the immigrants, minorities, rideshare drivers and my fellow Miamians, there was sympathy for Trump, and what they believed to be a message for the little guy. Even Bill Clinton foresaw and worried about the wave of populism in the United Kingdom, a proxy for other “enlightened” countries, with Brexit and what it meant for Hillary. Despite the screaming and shouting of increasing racism/misogyny/xenophobia/etc, I came to see this viewpoint as intellectually lazy and a convenient scapegoat. It’s much easier to demonize someone who looks different than you than to look at numbers and the story those numbers tell. Thankfully, “The War on Normal People” has made understanding the story of those numbers, and the people behind the numbers, easier than ever. Reading Yang’s book is like a combination of Eddie Huang, Jane Jacobs, Matthew Desmond, Hanna Rosin, and Tyler Cowen. It is as unlikely a combination as it is valuable in its combination of humor and memoir, economic and social commentary, raw, unbridled intellectual ambition and audacity of topical breadth. In three eponymous parts, Yang covers “what’s happening to jobs”, “what’s happening to us”, and finally proposing “solutions and human capitalism.” Part I: reads like an economic undergraduate education in merely 80 pages. My favorite section by far, and emblematic of Yang’s pull-no-punches style, is “The Usual Objections” chapter, addressing usual objections to warnings of current economic peril, meticulously answering (with citations) arguments like “there will always be more jobs”, “government should retrain workers”, and others. The only topic I found under-addressed was the stagnant wages question and how, even for those with jobs, most of us are less well-off than a comparable American just a few decades ago. Yang covers this more in section, but I would like to have more material on the “silent majority” of situations between the dipoles of “displaced” and “bubble insiders.”Part II: Yang taps into his sociological side to explain “Life In the Bubble”, qualified by his experience founding Venture for America and years working to channel college educated youth to job creating businesses in underserved American cities. Through seven chapters, we are given a sweeping tour of societal collapse and disintegration on every level, tying research, evidence, and common sense to show the relation between economic security and our plethora of social ills. Turns out, everyone becomes a worse version of themselves when resources feel scarce: money talks, but often whispers, at all levels of the economic pyramid. *A favorite passage: “That is not to say that the people in the bubble have it good… In the bubble, the market governs all. Character is a set of ideas that comes up in the books we read to our children before sending them to test for the gifted and talented program, or a means of doing right by our bosses and reports, or a good way to burnish one’s personal network. On some level, most of us recognize that we are servants to the tide of innovation and efficiency. As the water rises, we will protest as we clamber to higher ground. We will be sure to stay out of the way and keep ourselves pliant and marketable to the extent possible. Our specialty is light-commitment benevolence. We will do something to help but not enough to hurt us or threaten our own standing. We know better than to do that.”Part III: is the most exciting section for anyone who wishes to peek at the good life of the future, (sneak preview: it includes AI, solar energy, and lots of mobile technology.) In the final and most radical conclusion, Yang paints a portrait of a revitalized state rebuilding a robust safety net. At the centerpiece of this safety net is universal basic income, a cash stipend of $1000 given to all American adults every month, no strings attached. Again, as with part one, Yang addresses the knee-jerk objections to basic income with plenty of evidence and citations. As someone who continues to wrestle with the implication of a basic income, I was pleasantly surprised to learn about Alaska and the Alaska Permanent Fund, which has paid an annual cash dividend to all residents successfully for decades.This is not to say that the final section of Yang’s book is an easy read, however. By his own admission, Yang states that basic income “...is the easy part of the transition. Money is easy. People are hard. For all of the immense good a basic income will do, it is just the first step.” He then promptly lays out what options for steps two, three, and beyond include: a value added tax of 10% that will in effect distribute wealth from the winners of new technology to the rest of society; time banking; digital social credits; and a potpourri of science fiction sounding solutions. Next to these radical, eyebrow raising proposals, giving people cash and adding metrics for human well-being to the national debate seem easy by comparison. In a critical twist: unlike most authors, Yang is also currently a U.S. presidential candidate running as a Democrat in 2020 to solve these problems. To the joy of some, the woe of others, much of his other solutions reads like a progressive agenda with teeth and fight: Medicare for all, banning public officials from getting in bed with industry, taxing megarich universities that skimp on student aid while hoarding billions in their endowments, regulating social media and technology companies that behave anti-competitively etc. If he maintains this clear and concise commitment to solutions that actually work, then the 2020 election will already be more productive than the last cycle.Reading “The War on Normal People” is mechanically an easy task, but emotionally exhausting. It is smart, tight, and occasionally sprinkled with comedic relief, with a very high density of knowledge to length. The scale of topics that it addresses are massive, however, and even for someone with a high degree of previous background, it can require the reader to reread for comprehension. (For example: combing Yang’s footnotes on the source of the 10% value added tax plan lead me to Andy Stern’s Raising the Floor, helping me understand that Yang’s plan only increases taxes on corporations and individuals consuming more than $120,000 annually, post-tax. This helped me understand the “tax on automation” and where the “money is coming from.”) All in all, for its category, “The War on Normal People” is a strong and surprisingly accessible sophomore work by a unique author. Yang appears to be a rare breed that has both the intellect to understand vast societal problems and the character to actually try and solve them. Either way, readers should be thankful to see an author bring us above the trees to see the forest on these modern issues, and read this book to understand the issues in 2020.
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    Americans are becoming more angered, more frustrated, even more depressed and despondent in this Dog Eat Dog world we currently reside in as they struggle for basics to simply survive.Jobs are being replaced by automation, innovation, technology as the new norm. What happened to benefits for all workers, affordable healthcare and childcare, availability of full time work with paid family leave, equal pay, living wages, seniority, and hiring based on skills and or education rather than income or Americans are becoming more angered, more frustrated, even more depressed and despondent in this Dog Eat Dog world we currently reside in as they struggle for basics to simply survive.Jobs are being replaced by automation, innovation, technology as the new norm. What happened to benefits for all workers, affordable healthcare and childcare, availability of full time work with paid family leave, equal pay, living wages, seniority, and hiring based on skills and or education rather than income or connections? Can we not keep nepotism and corruption out of human resourcing?Pensions are non existent , social security is depleted, our current form of government is too big and not transparent nor workable, cities and states are in the red, financial stress for families is beyond measurable and so too is accounting for accurate unemployment rates. The Great Displacement is in effect and steam rolling through leaving behind deserted and dilapidated buildings and shells of former life as we once knew it to exists.Companies are relocating for cheaper labor and less taxation while employees are being left to pick up the pieces being forced to reinvent themselves in hopes of securing a future that currently is beyond repair for many of us."The logic of meritocracy is leading us to ruin, because we are collectively primed to ignore the voices of the millions getting pushed into economic distress by the grinding wheels of automation and innovation. We figure they're complaining or suffering because they're losers."Survival mode is a daily mode for the former middle class , working poor, and the poor locked in to poverty ( myself).We are not uneducated. We don't want handouts. We don't want pity, empathy, sympathy.Let me begin my story in hopes of enlightening many about the new war against the 'Average American' as one of the so called Normal People as described here.For starters, according to stats quoted ," There are presently 95 million working age Americans, a full 37% of adults, who are out of the work force." "In 2000, there was only 70 million."Unemployment rates are inaccurate as they do not take into account the working poor who are working but not being paid a living wage to support themselves, those out of the work force longer than 6 months, those who gave up looking for work, and those who are working part time, temp, or seasonal work not receiving full time benefits nor pay.As I currently write this, I'm living below poverty in 2018; after divorcing a malignant narcissist from an 11 year marriage-13 yrs together.I'm the primary caregiver of our 3 kids ( 17, 13, 11 yo with oldest child med disabled since birth on social security disability) and have my Masters. My only income is child support and disability on behalf of son). When he turns 18 he loses child support and disability goes for review based on medical re evaluation. If he still qualifies he will then continue to receive and payments will be paid out to him directly. So our current un earned income will be far less than even below poverty level (if you can fathom that idea).My story is lengthy as I was left bankrupt, homeless, long term unemployed having given up career to raise family alone while spouse resided and worked entire marriage 5 states away having only weekend visits ( if at all). You can read my full story here : https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dispel... Volunteering was a way for me to keep searching for employment while being useful and productive yet as you can see not one company wishes to hire the LT unemployed as I'm overqualified as noted by HR and under skilled having no prior work experience due to giving up career to raise my family. In addition I'm already below poverty level and need a job to lift me higher not lower with less salary than poverty level. My debt as you can imagine with Masters student loans is over 30k , my medical debt with a child born without insurance over 30k, my debt living on credit w/o income to support my family awaiting child support and alimony was over 100k and resulted in bankruptcy. This doesn't take into account the fact I'm section 8 approved but as a single mom with 3 teens was declined many apartments due to kids and domestic violence pfa filed. As you may know landlords don't like to rent with kids due to concerns for damage to property and dv survivors are often excluded for violence concerns as nuisance properties may result in too many calls for 911 assistance. Without credit you cannot get a car, an apartment , nor even a job so please read my link above as it's all listed there.Andrew Yang mentions the human component over the almighty dollar which sounds nice in theory but speaking isn't enough we need action and we need it immediately."The unemployment rate is like checking how a party is going based on everyone who's at the party. It doesn't take into account the people who were never invited to the party or couldn't get in."In addition, Brown U grads like yourself and my brother shows that many moved to 1 0f 4 metro areas after graduating ( yet fail to mention the over 100k debt he incurred @BrownU resulting in his bankruptcy) nor is the cost of living factored in moving and the issue that it's that much harder for the older crowd with families to uproot and leave a dying area economically. Might I add he moved from Pa to Ca and worked with an Ivy League education as an Uber driver. Not quite luxury. In addition, we cannot all move to Ca, DC, Boston, NYC, or Mass there must be another alternative."A culture of scarcity is a culture of negativity.""We are quickly transitioning from the land of plenty to the land of "you get yours I get mine." "Where jobs disappear , society falls apart."So the solution in all this despair?Well, UBI as the Universal Basic Income where a version of Social Security is paid out to all citizens to receive a set amount of money per month regardless of work status and income. Ie. Bernie Sanders -- : A minimum standard of living should be entitled for all Americans.Perhaps the Digital Social Credit is another avenue to explore. Rewarding for serving communities through volunteering.Ironically, Cabot Cheese Cooperative has already in place a similar program whereby incentives and prizes are awarded to not only the individual but their nonprofit for community service hours. In fact I was awarded the prize a few years ago for volunteering with over 13 nonprofits. For further information on my volunteering and the program see this link: https://rewardvolunteers.coop/donna-g..."Poverty is not a lack of character , it's a lack of cash."Human Capitalism focuses more on the human component and less on the greed.The market has overrun our leaders. Government is too big and not transparent to handle this fast moving technologically advanced global demand.Making education more affordable and accessible may or may not succeed. For me I'm not sure my masters was worth it as I graduated with high honors yet not one company believes in me nor my abilities nor skills to give me the chance after child rearing. I now am not sure what to tell my 3 teens one of which is a junior in high school about further education as less than 1/3 are hired in jobs requiring it.In closing, I've taken my story about food insecurities, poverty, domestic violence was told by Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) to every member of Congress. SEE pg 38 here: https://d3b0lhre2rgreb.cloudfront.net... I've also been awarded the Points of Light Award by Pres. George H.W. Bush in highlighting my struggles while serving others see here: http://www.pointsoflight.org/programs...I would add I've also counciled others while seeking employment in the field of criminal justice or Public Administration having over 36k readers on my FB page across 45 countries worldwide in 45 different languages : https://www.facebook.com/thelostself/My community service to help women and children was acknowledged with Maternal and Family Health Services : https://www.mfhs.org/?s=donna+hinesThe work I do to assist my community in reading enhancement through goodreads giveaways and direct library donations can be viewed here: https://www.netgalley.com/member/profile Having nearly 5 k viewers on my LinkedIn profile while seeking employment as a freelance writer with over 40 blogs can be viewed here : https://www.linkedin.com/in/donna-hin... Now I can tell you one last thing for anyone to think the poor don't work can simply click any one of my links or articles as I worked first hand with nonprofits on the front line to serve my community's needs.I know first hand the guilt, the shame, the embarrassment begging for basics for survival while being ostracized and shamed daily for not working hard enoughPrior to having kids I worked two jobs to put self through college and was top producer in two departments at Lord and Taylor Distribution Center (factory work over 400 units per hr).I was awarded a 10 cent raise as Associate of the month and top producer in both CTH and GTH with a total salary of $7.25 hr resulting in 3 degenerative disks now in upper, mid, and lower back and ganglion cysts on wrist requiring surgery to simply move my right hand nearly 30 years later. That job still pays same wage nearly 20 yrs later yet ironically cost of living has risen 10x since those earlier years.I left when I was injured without compensation when a 50 lb trolley went off rail landing on top of my head.I went to college, got married, had kids, and well the rest is history.So I ask anyone reading this what's next for those of us who are educated but lack the funds to establish our own way of life and are now 'locked in to poverty'.For every cent we receive increase ( ie cost of living ) we lose in another form of assistance as they go hand in hand and are all closely monitored.While jobs exists they pay peanuts and I can't afford to live less than poverty nor pay off debt with less than poverty.So I wonder where do we; the ones not in the top 1%; go from here as many us of have the skills, are trained, are educated but are passed up for nepotism? See link here as one such example http://standardspeaker.com/news/relea...Many jobs I applied were given to male counterparts even with my resume and application on file. Other jobs were lost during government freeze by governor and then downsized and lost even though I had better skills than the HR doing the hiring based on his own report to me.Another job was given to a man with more billing and coding experience than I yet the job will train and he was out of area. Ironically I was good enough to be provided the community service award a few years later but not for hire.I will also advise you that for white mid class women we are the minority. We are passed up because of being mothers of older age who require benefits and flex scheduling with child care options made available. Many of us were left without the basics no home, no income, no credit nor savings, in fact my kids college funds were depleted by their father and was to be repaid but much like the pfa it's a piece of paper that's not enforced.Companies want to be cost effective and the way to that is by hiring the young who don't require as much as the older skilled and well trained employees.Your novel talks plenty about the unskilled and uneducated but what about the skilled and educated who are passed up all for the bottom dollar?I wonder where we go now?
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  • Diane Pagen
    January 1, 1970
    I read The War On Normal People. I recommend it to everyone, which makes it a different kind of book. Even though I love, say, detective novels, and biographies, I won't recommend them to every kind of person. The War On Normal People stands out to me as being able to improve the lives of every person.Andrew Yang isn't screwing around, telling us that we need to ponder the problem of automation, so that in a few years we can maybe do something. Pondering is not helpful. Indeed, he points out tha I read The War On Normal People. I recommend it to everyone, which makes it a different kind of book. Even though I love, say, detective novels, and biographies, I won't recommend them to every kind of person. The War On Normal People stands out to me as being able to improve the lives of every person.Andrew Yang isn't screwing around, telling us that we need to ponder the problem of automation, so that in a few years we can maybe do something. Pondering is not helpful. Indeed, he points out that we continue to ponder automation at the expense of lives. And he is correct: look what "pondering" climate change for a few decades as something that was "in the future" got us: weather disasters more than once a year, a total mess that is upending the lives of millions. Kicking the can down the road on automation will destroy us, he portends, and we can't keep kicking that can down the road while people get more desperate and there are fewer real jobs and opportunities.This book is giving us an opportunity to act on the damage from automation that is taking place now. The proposal for a Universal Basic Income of $1,000 a month is realistic, fair, and smart. You only have to get on a subway in NYC to see what automation is doing to humans. Half the humans on a subway at 3am are homeless; the other half are working themselves into the ground for a job that has terrible hours and doesn't pay enough. Everyone looks shut down and devoid of joy. For many of us and our friends, we are running faster and faster trying to "achieve" but feeling unhappy a lot of the time. The book talks about this.I especially like that Andrew Yang explains the course of events behind how he came to believe in a Universal Basic Income, and that he goes into his trips around the U.S. He describes the blighted areas he saw, empty buildings that were once busy factories. He adds what he saw with his own eyes to the conversations he has had with well-off people in technology, all of whom tell him that automation IS already here and HAS already eliminated jobs and that more will be lost. This book doesn't pretend that slowing down automation or stopping it is realistic or desirable. Andrew makes the case that the answer is distributing income of $1,000 a month to every American. He argues that it will cause us to become better in many ways. More compassionate, more calm, more productive, more healthy, more able and enthusiastic about solving the OTHER problems of human existence because we won't be starving, stressed, or homeless anymore. It will allow us to use automation for good. And, the money tech companies will be taxed to pay for a Universal Basic Income is just a small portion of what they owe for us allowing them to automate us out of traditional jobs. The War On Normal People reads like a conversation, and that makes it easier to take in all the evidence he provides on mass job loss, the opiate crisis, and human relationships. Even though the book has a good amount of data to make the case for a Universal Basic Income, it "flows" smoothly.I think this book is capable of bringing strangers together in conversation about our mutual future, and it is a call to rally for an economy that doesn't consume humans as a way of generating wealth. I also think it is a great book to get teenagers interested in the economy and to educate them to play a role in changing the economy so they will have a real future despite automation.
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  • Andrew Frawley
    January 1, 1970
    It’s hard to be in the year 2018 and not hear about the endless studies alarming the general public about coming labor automation. But what Yang provides in this book is two key things: automation has already been ravaging the country which has led to the great political polarization of today, and second, an actual vision into what happens when people lose jobs, and it definitely is a lightning strike of “oh shit.”I found this book relatively impressive and frightening. Yang, a former lawyer, en It’s hard to be in the year 2018 and not hear about the endless studies alarming the general public about coming labor automation. But what Yang provides in this book is two key things: automation has already been ravaging the country which has led to the great political polarization of today, and second, an actual vision into what happens when people lose jobs, and it definitely is a lightning strike of “oh shit.”I found this book relatively impressive and frightening. Yang, a former lawyer, entrepreneur, and non-profit leader, writes showing with inarguable data that when companies automate work and use new software, communities die, drug use increases, suicide increases, and crime skyrockets. The new jobs created go to big cities, the surviving talent leaves, and the remaining people lose hope and descend into madness. (as a student of psychology, this is not surprising)He starts by painting the picture of the average American and how fragile they are economically. He deconstructs the labor predictions and how technology is going to ravage it. He discusses the future of work. He explains what has happened in technology and why it’s suddenly a huge threat. He shows what this means: economic inequality rises, the people have less power, the voice of democracy is diminished, no one owns stocks, people get poorer etc. He shows that talent is leaving small towns, money is concentrating to big cities faster. He shows what happens when those other cities die (bad things), and then how the people react when they have no income (really bad things). He shows how retraining doesn’t work and college is failing us. We don’t invest in vocational skills, and our youth is underemployed pushed into freelance work making minimal pay. He shows how no one trusts the institutions anymore.Then he discusses solutions with a focus on Universal Basic Income. I was a skeptic of the idea until I read this book. You literally walk away with this burning desire to prevent a Mad Max esque civil war, and its hard to argue with him. We don't have much time and our bloated micromanaged welfare programs cannot sustain.
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  • Fiona Aboud
    January 1, 1970
    I found this amazing book to be incredibly powerful. The effect of reading Yang's book is literally like waking up and seeing the world in a new way. It's so easy to think of automation as someone else's issue, or a decades-away problem, but the book decidedly convinces the reader that we're already far, far in the middle of revolutionary changes that are manifesting themselves today for millions of people. The book is inspiring in the way it instills urgency. It moved me so strongly that I foun I found this amazing book to be incredibly powerful. The effect of reading Yang's book is literally like waking up and seeing the world in a new way. It's so easy to think of automation as someone else's issue, or a decades-away problem, but the book decidedly convinces the reader that we're already far, far in the middle of revolutionary changes that are manifesting themselves today for millions of people. The book is inspiring in the way it instills urgency. It moved me so strongly that I found myself sharing the arguments and evidence with everyone I know. Very well written, very well supported, and Yang's style is likable, factual, logical, and super engaging. I read the book in a little over a day because I couldn't put it down. Required reading for anyone that cares about the world.
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  • Daniel Arnstein
    January 1, 1970
    Human Capitalism is an excellent economic system that should be institutionalized within America. Yes, radicalizing an entire economic system seems crazy at first; but once you wrap your head around how basic it could be to implement & how effective it could be for 350,000,000 people, it feels like the only way forward. Human Capitalism builds a system for what America should look like in the 22nd century and beyond. In a world where globalism and technology are changing at a rate faster tha Human Capitalism is an excellent economic system that should be institutionalized within America. Yes, radicalizing an entire economic system seems crazy at first; but once you wrap your head around how basic it could be to implement & how effective it could be for 350,000,000 people, it feels like the only way forward. Human Capitalism builds a system for what America should look like in the 22nd century and beyond. In a world where globalism and technology are changing at a rate faster than most can keep up, it is time to truly help those left behind. Which American hubs will be thriving in 40 years? Can you list 25 cities with confidence? What will cities that thrived through the entire 20th century look like when current trends maintain their downward trajectory? We need to flip the system. We need to create an engine that will inspire people to be good, to do good, and to use the time they have to live a life of beauty. This book explores a way to do so. A universal basic income is the way to do so. It will unlock the next stage of humanity.
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  • Zach
    January 1, 1970
    I literally jumped out of my bed in excitement halfway through reading this book.Andrew Yang completely nails what has caused many of the problems in the US. His simple description of the human effects from automation, and his major policy recommendations to fix them are both a strong reality check and extremely inspirational.Whether you're Republican or Democrat, Andrew clearly proves that automation is real and having a negative effect on our society. Most importantly, instead of just identify I literally jumped out of my bed in excitement halfway through reading this book.Andrew Yang completely nails what has caused many of the problems in the US. His simple description of the human effects from automation, and his major policy recommendations to fix them are both a strong reality check and extremely inspirational.Whether you're Republican or Democrat, Andrew clearly proves that automation is real and having a negative effect on our society. Most importantly, instead of just identifying the problems, he suggests bold (but still realistic) policy solutions that can prepare us for this new reality.It's a quick read, easy to understand and Andrew throws in a few good laughs along the way.Simply put - This is a must-read for all Americans.
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  • Aaron
    January 1, 1970
    First and foremost, before I get into anything, I fully recommend this book. I'm giving it a perfect score...... But if I could I'd give it a higher score.Get it from the library, Amazon, or borrow it from a friend. Read it asap, it's easily one of the best books of the year. I hope it catches fire before 2020 (more on that at the end of the review).I have been on board the Basic Minimum Income train for a long time (ever since I read "Saving Capitalism), and did not need any further convincing First and foremost, before I get into anything, I fully recommend this book. I'm giving it a perfect score...... But if I could I'd give it a higher score.Get it from the library, Amazon, or borrow it from a friend. Read it asap, it's easily one of the best books of the year. I hope it catches fire before 2020 (more on that at the end of the review).I have been on board the Basic Minimum Income train for a long time (ever since I read "Saving Capitalism), and did not need any further convincing that it constituents good policy.... But Yang's book has reinforced my resolve.The book touches all of the main reasons why a BMI is necessary. Rising inequality, stagnant wages, and reduced opportunitys are only getting worse. Rampant destruction of jobs in the future from automation will only exasperate the situation.... And none of the welfare or Social safety nets we currently have will be able to contain the coming tide of joblessness.A BMI is the only real solution to the problem.Yang Proposes a 1000 dollar a month BMI paid for by folding in every other current welfare program, pluss a 10% VAT. I feel that this strategy (called the Freedom Divided) has a real opportunity to work.Yang also suggests shifting from our current form of Capitalism, to human Capitalism. This entails a whole host of highly progressive reforms that would put a smile on any progressive.My favorite is adding a new law that requires one month of jail time for every 100 million dollars used in a bailout or fined by regulatory agencies (applied to the CEO and the largest shareholder, with clawback provisions to pull resources out of those two individuals).It's something real sweeping stuff, and it's extra impressive since this guy is running for president in 2020.I hope he gains in popularity and rides a populist victory to the White House. Much of what he wants is in line with old school socialists like Bernie Sanders...... But he it will be much harder to ignore him as some pipe dream crazy person.He's a former CEO, lawyer, and entrepreneur. He believes in Capitalism, but knows it must change to have a future. If he has a public speaking presence and takes the Democratic nomination..... He can win this thing.He's got my voteI hope he gets your
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    I was absolutely shocked by this book and can't stop talking about it. The author gives a background of the largest income sectors in the US, all of which have lost or will lose jobs to automation, including retail and trucking, and the impact this will have on income inequality, families, and the future economy - and he has a plan for how to ameliorate the situation.I'll do pretty much anything to avoid going to a mall (I bought this book from The Major Online Retailer!) and there's no shortage I was absolutely shocked by this book and can't stop talking about it. The author gives a background of the largest income sectors in the US, all of which have lost or will lose jobs to automation, including retail and trucking, and the impact this will have on income inequality, families, and the future economy - and he has a plan for how to ameliorate the situation.I'll do pretty much anything to avoid going to a mall (I bought this book from The Major Online Retailer!) and there's no shortage of vacant retail space in my city, but the bleak statistics on retail were still a surprise.Page 30: "The year 2017 marked the beginning of what is being called the 'Retail Apocalypse.' One hundred thousand department store workers were laid off between October 2016 and May 2017 - more than all of the people employed in the coal industry combined."Page 30: "Credit Suisse estimated that 8,640 major retail locations will close in 2017, the highest number in history, exceeding the 2008 peak during the financial crisis. Credit Suisse also estimated that as many as 147 million square feet of retail space will close in 2017, another all-time high... the equivalent of 52 Malls of America are closing in 2017, or one per week."Page 32: "On average, a single Macy's store generates about $36 million a year. At current sales tax and property tax rates, that store, if closed, would leave a budget hole of several million dollars for the state and county to deal with."What will this mean for our economy and our society if automation continues without a plan for those displaced? Why aren't we discussing this at a national level?
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  • Selim Tlili
    January 1, 1970
    Andrew Yang is a gifted writer who explains his ideas with incredible clarity and a palpable sense of urgency. His well reasoned arguments in favor of Universal Basic Income have convinced the skeptic in me that it would provide a lot of net positive results to the country and the world as a whole.Andrews fundamental argument, that technology will reduce our workload and cause the economy to shed a lot of jobs, makes sense with a caveat.I tend to be skeptical of predictions that involve a time l Andrew Yang is a gifted writer who explains his ideas with incredible clarity and a palpable sense of urgency. His well reasoned arguments in favor of Universal Basic Income have convinced the skeptic in me that it would provide a lot of net positive results to the country and the world as a whole.Andrews fundamental argument, that technology will reduce our workload and cause the economy to shed a lot of jobs, makes sense with a caveat.I tend to be skeptical of predictions that involve a time line of 10-15 years. In my lifetime I have been told by experts that:- acid rain and the hole in the ozone layer will have devastating effects on the environment by the year 2000 (heard this in 1990)- we will run out of fossil fuels by 2020 (told this in 1993)- the human genome project will uncover the secrets to solving cancer and genetic illnesses and usher in an age of personalized medicine (told this around 1999)- big data would revolutionize healthcare and dramatically lower costs while improving outcomes (am told this every time I see an IBM commercial today)Not to say these predictions are 100% wrong; these things may still happen. The issue is that predicting when they will come to pass is a tricky thing and I tend to be skeptical that large scale revolutions tend to be unpredictable and if we can make a prediction about when it will happen we are more likely wrong than right about when it will occur.But I am convinced that we need to act as though automation is inevitable and that we need to alter how we choose to measure progress. There is great need to direct people towards work that matters and that doesn’t seem possible with what the marketplace currently rewards.I would like to have seen Andrew talk about how to direct American ingenuity at the many large scale projects that need to be tackled. Our aging infrastructure, growing solid waste levels, depleted soils and other issues can benefit from throwing manpower to tackle. It seems like there is plenty of work to be done if we can direct people towards these kinds of jobs.Yang also discussed the concept of virtual currency in the form of “social currency coins”. This is an incredibly interesting idea. I am not sure how this would operate as somewhat of a Luddite in terms of virtual currency. I don’t quite understand how anyone over the age of 60 would know to access a resource like this but it is a fascinating idea.Ultimately he did convince me that a universal basic income along with universal healthcare, while panaceas, could go a long ways to ameliorating society’s ills.I admire Andrew Yang and his ideas. I don’t know if I agree with his timeline or some of his ideas. I wish he had mentioned something about what we could do to help get the country on this track. but Overall I think he is on the right track. I have no idea what it would take to get us towards his vision but I think it is the right direction for us as a country.
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  • Otto Lehto
    January 1, 1970
    Andrew Yang paints a bleak picture of the future. If it were painted by a child, it would take him to a psychiatrist's office. But the author is no child, and no psychiatrist could conceivably deliver us from the menace of technological and sociological change.The book is a powerfully personal plea by a successful entrepreneur for a "human capitalism" to alleviate the social decay and psychological disruption caused by the creative destruction of capitalism. He argues for a Universal Basic Incom Andrew Yang paints a bleak picture of the future. If it were painted by a child, it would take him to a psychiatrist's office. But the author is no child, and no psychiatrist could conceivably deliver us from the menace of technological and sociological change.The book is a powerfully personal plea by a successful entrepreneur for a "human capitalism" to alleviate the social decay and psychological disruption caused by the creative destruction of capitalism. He argues for a Universal Basic Income as a cushion for the savaged working class.What I most liked about the book was the brutal, honest and shocking writing style. He reveals more about himself, and about America, that most people would be comfortable with. Even though the author apparently has political ambitions, there is nothing sugar-coated about his words. This is hard talk about harsh realities.The book is just as long as it needs to be. The first half is clearly superior to the second. It prognosticates about a dystopian future where robots do most of the work and whole regions are abandoned to joblessness, crime and waste. A doomsday prophet is always better at scaring people than at offering remedies and hope. The book is at its best when it makes the reader s--t her pants. The UBI solution is offered as the remedy. Yang calls it, loftily, a "freedom dividend", which provides unconditional cash transfers to all people. I agree with his solytion, although he doesn't add much new to the burgeoning debate around UBI. He openly lifts his proposal almost wholesale from Andy Stern's recent (and impressive) book, Raising the Floor. This is fine, since Stern has it right.Where the book falters is where it attempts to dabble in broader, speculative policy proposals. These range from misguided moral panic in his efforts to blame the free markets for the failures of governments (such as Wall Street bail-outs and America's corrupt health care system) to promising, but underdeveloped, ideas in new institutional arrangements (such as the idea of energizing dying cities with government-backed time banks and other social credit arrangements). It's all very rough, very hit and miss.Despite his occasionally wild and silly proposals, and despite his relentless dystopianism, I found his raw message to be hard-hitting and very important. I don't think we have any choice than to implement UBI and embrace technological change.There's an uncensored urgency to his message. It slaps the reader in the face. Good job, Yang, you have my attention.
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  • Ailith Twinning
    January 1, 1970
    There's a stark patronizing tone to this book that bugs me. It would have been a lot less evident if the author hadn't begun with "Your sort probably aren't reading this book." Well, thanks for that man. Yeah, yeah, statistics, I know - but there is such a thing as tact and it matters. Apart from that tho, it really feels like a book about someone trying hard to understand what poverty even is, and missing it because a few core issues are in his blind spots. I don't want to talk about giving peo There's a stark patronizing tone to this book that bugs me. It would have been a lot less evident if the author hadn't begun with "Your sort probably aren't reading this book." Well, thanks for that man. Yeah, yeah, statistics, I know - but there is such a thing as tact and it matters. Apart from that tho, it really feels like a book about someone trying hard to understand what poverty even is, and missing it because a few core issues are in his blind spots. I don't want to talk about giving people 11000 a year and allowing wages to fall even lower -- charity and wellfare are great if your system is supposed to have a massive underclass, because it at least keeps them alive, but. . .is that our goal? To be frank, I'd rather die than take any kind of subsidy to low wages. The solution is to either pay a living wage to everyone (could be done, but it ain't gonna happen), or else set the minimum wage to a living wage and deliberately force bad jobs to either adapt or die, you know, the one thing Capitalism is good at. I'll put a proposal for a minimum wage, pegged to inflation, of 25 USD by 2025 on the table, let's debate THAT. Ever since the first bread subsidies we have on record drove down wages we have seen this crop up again and again. What we need is democracy, UBI doesn't help us get there, and there's a strong chance it will make that less likely.The thing is, if you aren't poor, you live in a republic, and you think that's good enough. The rest of us (most of us?) live in the colony, and we're pissed.
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  • Ben Neidl
    January 1, 1970
    Mostly this is about job displacement in the mid and low skill labor force brought on by artificial intelligence. The author predicts major job losses over the next 10 years, with most of the casualties being men in transportation (truck driving) and similar blue collar positions who, the book posits, will either default into right wing extremism or just surrender fully to the increasingly seductive escapism of hyper-stimulating video games (which is already happening). If this guy is even half Mostly this is about job displacement in the mid and low skill labor force brought on by artificial intelligence. The author predicts major job losses over the next 10 years, with most of the casualties being men in transportation (truck driving) and similar blue collar positions who, the book posits, will either default into right wing extremism or just surrender fully to the increasingly seductive escapism of hyper-stimulating video games (which is already happening). If this guy is even half right about what's coming, it's terrifying. The book is better at articulating the problems than offering solutions. The "solution" chapters feel a little shallow and conclusory. There are also some autobiographical digressions that seem extraneous and a little self-serving (the author has announced himself a presidential candidate for 2020). But overall it's a stimulating read. Local note for upstate New Yorkers: the author was raised in Schenectady before striking off on his entrepreneurial adventures in major cities.
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  • Katie Bloom
    January 1, 1970
    Normal Americans can sense that the economic systems in the US are rigged against them, but they can't always see the gears at work. The War on Normal People is a thorough, cogent, data-driven explanation of the state of our nation and exactly how things have gone so wrong. In sum, the average American is suffering from a lack of meaningful opportunity, a lack of money, and a lack of hope—and things are about to get infinitely, catastrophically worse as automation wipes out millions of American Normal Americans can sense that the economic systems in the US are rigged against them, but they can't always see the gears at work. The War on Normal People is a thorough, cogent, data-driven explanation of the state of our nation and exactly how things have gone so wrong. In sum, the average American is suffering from a lack of meaningful opportunity, a lack of money, and a lack of hope—and things are about to get infinitely, catastrophically worse as automation wipes out millions of American jobs in the coming decade. Andrew proposes many innovative solutions, including the Freedom Dividend: a universal basic income for every American citizen. UBI is an idea that's gaining popularity among Americans, and it's wildly more progressive than anything proposed by the Democratic party in the last election. The War on Normal People isn't a fun read. It's terrifying. But it's what we need in this distracting, scandal-heavy political climate: a clarion call to be a nation of equality and abundance, instead of a nation of greed and fear.
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  • La'Tonya Rease Miles
    January 1, 1970
    If this book were an emoji, it would be an eyeroll. If it were a rapper, it would be Kanye West. If it were a freshman composition paper, I would give it a B-/C+. The argument itself is pretty solid but presented in a Chicken Little way, i.e., the economy is failing and robots are taking over. But HOW we get there, including the examples and evidence, is suspect. To build his case, Yang relies upon what we Old Timers refer to as ethos or personal credibility. It's the equivalent of You Should Be If this book were an emoji, it would be an eyeroll. If it were a rapper, it would be Kanye West. If it were a freshman composition paper, I would give it a B-/C+. The argument itself is pretty solid but presented in a Chicken Little way, i.e., the economy is failing and robots are taking over. But HOW we get there, including the examples and evidence, is suspect. To build his case, Yang relies upon what we Old Timers refer to as ethos or personal credibility. It's the equivalent of You Should Believe Me Because I Am Smart. But when he makes claims like, "Most everyone I know buys a lot of stuff on Amazon," (p. 33) I cannot take him seriously at all. I've given out C grades for lesser offenses. I think the overall argument about the future of the economy is quite important, actually, but I think the point would be more effective in an article for The New Yorker than this 200 page plus book.
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  • Wayne's
    January 1, 1970
    This is a really insightful book, it is a really great take on what is happening politically and economically in America and by extension in many other places including Australia. What I like is the very positive approach that does not just look at problems but suggests productive and constructive ways that we a s a society might address those problems.For all my friends who are sceptical about Universal Basic Income this book suggests how it might be done in a way that would reduce not increase This is a really insightful book, it is a really great take on what is happening politically and economically in America and by extension in many other places including Australia. What I like is the very positive approach that does not just look at problems but suggests productive and constructive ways that we a s a society might address those problems.For all my friends who are sceptical about Universal Basic Income this book suggests how it might be done in a way that would reduce not increase Government intervention. Also it is not one of those left wing books that suggests the Government can save us, in fact very much the opposite looking to our natural productivity and desire to improve our lives through our own efforts as the best way forward.
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  • V.O. Diedlaff
    January 1, 1970
    This book gets off to a good start describing the crisis that AI and robotics will cause. Wang builds his case skillfully. However, I find the solutions in his final section are unsatisfying. Wang recommends a $12,000 yearly UBI. With such a low amount, people will try supplementing their incomes with other work gigs. The problem Wang fails to address is just what those other gigs will be. In my own book, “We Can Fix It,” I attempted to make the point that it’s not sufficient to provide UBI with This book gets off to a good start describing the crisis that AI and robotics will cause. Wang builds his case skillfully. However, I find the solutions in his final section are unsatisfying. Wang recommends a $12,000 yearly UBI. With such a low amount, people will try supplementing their incomes with other work gigs. The problem Wang fails to address is just what those other gigs will be. In my own book, “We Can Fix It,” I attempted to make the point that it’s not sufficient to provide UBI without addressing opportunities. And those can only be addressed by both reducing income inequality as well as proactively creating opportunities to replace jobs lost to robots. It’s not a bad book, but the solution needs to be more holistic than the one proposed.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I find myself optimistically cautious about our fast approaching automated future. It’s going to take a seismic shift in understanding and consciousness to adapt to what’s coming down the pike. It’s going to be a tsunami and our Governments are no where near prepared. Andrew Yang gives me hope again for a better future. His book is both alarming and encouraging. If our societies could actually evolve instead of acting like spoilt children we could really make progress. I love a good book that ma I find myself optimistically cautious about our fast approaching automated future. It’s going to take a seismic shift in understanding and consciousness to adapt to what’s coming down the pike. It’s going to be a tsunami and our Governments are no where near prepared. Andrew Yang gives me hope again for a better future. His book is both alarming and encouraging. If our societies could actually evolve instead of acting like spoilt children we could really make progress. I love a good book that makes me think about how the world really can be a better place. We have to make some serious decisions about the new economy.
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  • Billy Schrero
    January 1, 1970
    Reading this book does not require any great leaps of the imagination – Andrew simply lays out truths most of us can agree with, but when looking at these truths side by side and with the context of how it is affecting so many in our country the picture is frighteningly closer than I previously considered.There is hope between the lines of despair, but The War On Normal People helps acknowledge difficult realities that we can no longer be accepting of.As a story, it is a quick compelling read an Reading this book does not require any great leaps of the imagination – Andrew simply lays out truths most of us can agree with, but when looking at these truths side by side and with the context of how it is affecting so many in our country the picture is frighteningly closer than I previously considered.There is hope between the lines of despair, but The War On Normal People helps acknowledge difficult realities that we can no longer be accepting of.As a story, it is a quick compelling read and I would definitely recommend it!
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  • Nick Rimsa
    January 1, 1970
    When it comes to automation, Andrew clearly and thoughtfully paints the current state of affairs. Spoiler: the picture is bleak. Not only does he present how automation will impact the domestic and global economy (and more importantly the individuals who makeup this interconnected ecosystem), but he presents logical, feasible, and well-intentioned proposals to combat the threat of automation. If only our politicians would listen.
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  • James Meyer
    January 1, 1970
    I simply cannot recommend this book highly enough. Yang is a prime example of the vision drawn from knowledge and experience that the next generation of leaders has to offer. His insights on the current economic, technological, educational, and political situation we find ourselves in are research based and soberly explained. He thinks big and holds few illusions about the challenges ahead for us. I’d follow him.
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  • Teri Leigh Baird
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book that every American should read. It is enlightening and fact based about our society and economy. It gives some solid, clearly reasoned solutions that we can work toward for our future.
  • Al Oliveras
    January 1, 1970
    https://www.bookdialogue.com/the-war-...
  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    Terrifying, fascinating, brilliant. He’s got my vote.
  • Tough Little Sister
    January 1, 1970
    Wake up America! The future is bleak. Got your attention? Good. Read this book.
  • Neil Sarver
    January 1, 1970
    I was really with this book until the final third, when it didn't take a nose dive, but it settled rather than lived up to what it had been.Now, I've been reading a number of these books on dealing with the future and the choices we have a lot this year, and this is easily the most compelling on a number of levels. Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream was also very compelling, and is referenced more than once here. This continues th I was really with this book until the final third, when it didn't take a nose dive, but it settled rather than lived up to what it had been.Now, I've been reading a number of these books on dealing with the future and the choices we have a lot this year, and this is easily the most compelling on a number of levels. Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream was also very compelling, and is referenced more than once here. This continues that with significant other ideas regarding further issues.In drawing the problems, and potentials futures, we look onto, Andrew Yang makes an extremely sound case. Failing only, I think, in showing how ludicrously unsound the logic of those refusing to see it is. Although, in this context, it is sensible for a book that is, at its core, presenting a positive, a set of solutions, which is something we are perhaps unused to in this era.Unfortunately, at some point, he falls into a mishmash of mostly really good ideas that simply aren't presented with the kind of depth and consideration as the UBI argument is, especially, it seems to me that the education plan presented here is lazy and feels entirely out of step with the rest of the ideas. If he intended that to be of a piece with the other, then his explanation of it as such was the weakest point, as it felt much more like an education plan for how things are today, to fix our very immediate problems. I think he needed to present a education plan that fit directly into his other ideas.
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  • Andrew Yang
    January 1, 1970
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