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jerryking : alexander_hamilton   5

An equation to ensure America survives the age of AI
April 10, 2019 | Financial Times | Elizabeth Cobbs.

Alexander Hamilton, Horace Mann and Frances Perkins are linked by their emphasis on the importance of human learning.

In more and more industries, the low-skilled suffer declining pay and hours. McKinsey estimates that 60 per cent of occupations are at risk of partial or total automation. Workers spy disaster. Whether the middle class shrinks in the age of artificial intelligence depends less on machine learning than on human learning. Historical precedents help, especially...... the Hamilton-Mann-Perkins equation: innovation plus education, plus a social safety net, equals the sum of prosperity.

(1) Alexander Hamilton.
US founding father Alexander Hamilton was first to understand the relationship between: (a) the US's founding coincided with the industrial revolution and the need to grapple with technological disruption (In 1776, James Watts sold his first steam engine when the ink was still wet on the Declaration of Independence)-- Steam remade the world economically; and (b), America’s decolonisation remade the world politically......Hamilton believed that Fledgling countries needed robust economies. New technologies gave them an edge. Hamilton noted that England owed its progress to the mechanization of textile production.......Thomas Jefferson,on the other hand, argued that the US should remain pastoral: a free, virtuous nation exchanged raw materials for foreign goods. Farmers were “the chosen people”; factories promoted dependence and vice.....Hamilton disagreed. He thought colonies shouldn’t overpay foreigners for things they could produce themselves. Government should incentivise innovation, said his 1791 Report on the Subject of Manufactures. Otherwise citizens would resist change even when jobs ceased to provide sufficient income, deterred from making a “spontaneous transition to new pursuits”.......the U.S. Constitution empowered Congress to grant patents to anyone with a qualified application. America became a nation of tinkerers...Cyrus McCormick, son of a farmer, patented a mechanical reaper in 1834 that reduced the hands needed in farming. The US soared to become the world’s largest economy by 1890. Hamilton’s constant: nurture innovation.

(2) Horace Mann
America’s success gave rise to the idea that a free country needed free schools. The reformer Horace Mann, who never had more than six weeks of schooling in a year, started the Common School Movement, calling public schools “the greatest discovery made by man”.....Grammar schools spread across the US between the 1830s and 1880s. Reading, writing and arithmetic were the tools for success in industrialising economies. Towns offered children a no-cost education.......Americans achieved the world’s highest per capita income just as they became the world’s best-educated people. Mann’s constant: prioritise education.

(3) Frances Perkins
Jefferson was correct that industrial economies made people more interdependent. By 1920, more Americans lived in towns earning wages than on farms growing their own food. When the Great Depression drove unemployment to 25 per cent, the state took a third role....FDR recruited Frances Perkins, the longest serving labour secretary in US history, to rescue workers. Perkins led campaigns that established a minimum wage and maximum workweek. Most importantly, she chaired the committee that wrote the 1935 Social Security Act, creating a federal pension system and state unemployment insurance. Her achievements did not end the depression, but helped democracy weather it. Perkins’s constant: knit a safety net.

The world has ridden three swells of industrialisation occasioned by the harnessing of steam, electricity and computers. The next wave, brought to us by AI, towers over us. History shows that innovation, education and safety nets point the ship of state into the wave.

Progress is a variable. Hamilton, Mann and Perkins would each urge us to mind the constants in the historical equation.
adaptability  Alexander_Hamilton  artificial_intelligence  automation  constitutions  disruption  downward_mobility  education  FDR  Founding_Fathers  Frances_Perkins  gig_economy  historical_precedents  hollowing_out  Horace_Mann  Industrial_Revolution  innovation  innovation_policies  James_Watts  job_destruction  job_displacement  job_loss  life_long_learning  low-skilled  McKinsey  middle_class  priorities  productivity  public_education  public_schools  safety_nets  slavery  steam_engine  the_Great_Depression  Thomas_Jefferson  tinkerers 
april 2019 by jerryking
James Surowiecki: America’s History of Industrial Espionage
JUNE 9, 2014 | The New Yorker | BY JAMES SUROWIECKI

One of these artisans was Samuel Slater, often called “the father of the American industrial revolution.” He emigrated here in 1789, posing as a farmhand and bringing with him an intimate knowledge of the Arkwright spinning frames that had transformed textile production in England, and he set up the first water-powered textile mill in the U.S. Two decades later, the American businessman Francis Cabot Lowell talked his way into a number of British mills, and memorized the plans to the Cartwright power loom. When he returned home, he built his own version of the loom, and became the most successful industrialist of his time.

The American government often encouraged such piracy. Alexander Hamilton, in his 1791 “Report on Manufactures,” called on the country to reward those who brought us “improvements and secrets of extraordinary value” from elsewhere. State governments financed the importation of smuggled machines. And although federal patents were supposed to be granted only to people who came up with original inventions, Ben-Atar shows that, in practice, Americans were receiving patents for technology pirated from abroad.

Piracy was a big deal even in those days. Great Britain had strict laws against the export of machines, and banned skilled workers from emigrating. Artisans who flouted the ban could lose their property and be convicted of treason.
Alexander_Hamilton  China  copycats  espionage  history  industrial_espionage  Industrial_Revolution  intellectual_property  James_Surowiecki  security_&_intelligence 
june 2014 by jerryking
Pundit Under Protest -
June 13, 2011
The 2012 election is about how to avert national decline. All other
issues flow from that anxiety....The Republican growth agenda — tax cuts
and nothing else — is stupefyingly boring, fiscally irresponsible and
politically impossible... Republicans have taken a pragmatic policy
proposal from 1980 and sanctified it as their core purity test for
2012....Democrats, they offer practically nothing. They acknowledge huge
problems like wage stagnation and then offer... light rail! Solar
panels! ...Democrats dream New Deal dreams, propose nothing and try to
win elections by making sure nobody ever touches Medicare....a
Hamiltonian Party would offer a multifaceted reinvigoration agenda,
grabbing & blending growth ideas from all spots on the political
spectrum...This reinvigoration package would have four baskets.(1) an
entitlement reform package (2) a targeted working-class basket (3) a
political corruption basket. (4) a pro-business basket.
Alexander_Hamilton  America_in_Decline?  David_Brooks  decline  Democrats  elections  GOP  multifaceted  pro-business  wage_stagnation 
june 2011 by jerryking
A Reasonable Man
Jul 4, 2010 | New York Magazine | By Christopher Beam. "“It’s
not the best time for people like me,” says Brooks.

And yet it is. Brooks’s charming, levelheaded optimism may be out of
style. But he gets to play the voice of reason against a chorus of
doomsayers. His moderate conservatism—a synthesis of conservative giant
Edmund Burke and Ur-centralizer Alexander Hamilton that has earned him
the label of “liberals’ favorite conservative”—may be anomalous, but it
allows him a kind of freedom that other, more partisan pundits lack.
He’s a party of one, without followers. This is Brooks’s central
paradox: He’s both the essential columnist of the moment, better than
anyone at crystallizing the questions we face—ones for which there are
often no good answers—and also, somehow, totally out of step."
profile  David_Brooks  Edmund_Burke  columnists  conservatism  Alexander_Hamilton 
july 2010 by jerryking

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