Letters for September 19, 2019
So after 20-plus years of eating at Western Village of Sparks restaurants, my wife and I, both 73 year old senior citizens, have been banned for life from eating there by the general manager of Western Village and the maître d’ of the steak house. We complained several times on the comment cards about the rising cost of eating there—preventing senior citizens, who are on fixed incomes, from enjoying the various restaurants. For this, we were booted out. Seems that the First Amendment, which guarantees free speech, pertains only to positive remarks on their comment cards at this establishment.
We are in a monumental economic transition that will phase out thousands of jobs in the U.S. within a decade. It’s not a scary Hollywood sci-fi film or an HG Wells plot; it’s a real and imminent reality that artificial intelligence and automation will replace workers in many divisions of the job market.
This is something that is already happening. Truckers and other transportation industry workers are being threatened with the introduction of self-driving vehicles. Retail workers are being supplanted with automated kiosks. Robotic processes can automate repetitive computer tasks like data entry and web research, in hundreds of industries. If you look at how far technology rapidly grew within the last decade and extrapolate that into a projection of the next, the job landscape looks extremely bleak.
The worst part of it? No presidential candidate for the 2020 election is talking about these issues. No one, other than Andrew Yang. An entrepreneur and founder of Venture for America—a nonprofit that focuses on creating jobs in struggling American cities—he is the only candidate that is dialed in on the issue of automation and artificial intelligence, with solutions for our country as this fourth industrial revolution moves forward.
If you care less about the reality TV show that is politics and more about your community and the economic prison that the U.S. economy could be in if these issues aren’t addressed, I urge you to Google “Andrew Yang” and together we can move forward.
Re “Floating ideas” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, Sept. 19):
I have been diligently looking for and not finding any mention that President Trump’s administration adopted socialism when he commanded companies to move out of China and returned to the United States. By what political theory other than socialism does the government have a right to tell “free enterprise companies” where they are to locate their business operations? So before the Republican party accuses Democrats of being socialists, it has an obligation to acknowledge that the Trump Administration has adopted socialism.
Not making it
Learning that China provides 70-plus-percent of the ingredients to make our pharmaceuticals gives one pause to pucker. Gee, that means the “industry” now gets to spend even more $$$ on advertising and increase prices. I must admit I do love hearing about the contraindications, though, God help me. Dark humor at its best! Crap, we can’t even make antibiotics anymore without Chinese imports. Way to go-predatory capitalism! Yay. More tariffs anyone?
Re “Slow your roll” (Editorial, Sept. 12):
Continuing education is of paramount importance in every aspect of our lives, and anyone who is not learning every day is sliding backwards. For the vast majority of drivers, and riders, the last opportunity for even a minimal level of formal training coincided with their original licensing, and it is simply inconceivable that operators are permitted to continue to operate potentially lethal vehicles for a lifetime with absolutely no further training. Vehicle safety systems improve continuously, but ultimate responsibility falls to the operator, and I agree passing a written test should be the minimum for continuing to enjoy privilege of driving. And while I have the attention of thoughtful parents with newly licensed youngsters, in October, Reno SCCA will be holding “Street Survival,” a training opportunity for new drivers to learn vehicle handling and performance, under the direction of experienced instructors and in-car coaches. Google is your friend.