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jerryking : founding_fathers   15

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
The temptation of Oprah Winfrey
January 10, 2018 | FT | by Edward Luce.

[Oprah Winfrey & Donald Trump] share a disqualifying trait: they are celebrities with no experience in politics. If Ms Winfrey is the answer to Mr Trump, what was the question?

I mean no disrespect to famous people. America invented the celebrity and nobody does it as well. But America also came up with modern democracy. The problem is that celebrity culture is taking over politics, which is a dead loss for governing.....But there is nothing in Ms Winfrey’s background that would equip her to tackle the future of work, or the rise of China. All a Winfrey administration would bring is personal brand destruction. What is at stake is America’s ability to govern itself sensibly. The US constitution was designed to exclude mob rule. The people should have their say — but with safeguards. It was set up precisely to stop someone like Mr Trump from taking over. The fact that many Americans do not know this underlines the point. The popular view is that the US was founded as a democracy. In fact, it was born as a constitutional republic. There is a big difference. America’s founding fathers feared the demagogue. Their system worked until 2016. Now it is in jeopardy.
speeches  Edward_Luce  Oprah_Winfrey  African-Americans  demagoguery  founding_fathers  women  celebrities  Donald_Trump  politics 
january 2018 by jerryking
What Ben Franklin Could Teach Us About Civility and Politics - WSJ
By STEVEN C. BULLOCK
Nov. 7, 2016

As Ben Franklin once said: "We must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately.
Benjamin_Franklin  Founding_Fathers  politeness  civility  humility  politics  quotes 
november 2016 by jerryking
The Impossibility of Reparations
JUN 3 2014 | - The Atlantic | DAVID FRUM.

If “reparations” means remembrance and repentance for the wrongs of the past, then let’s have reparations. Americans tell a too-flattering version of their national story. They treat slavery as ancillary rather than essential. They forget that the work of slaves paid this country’s import bill from the 17th century until 1860. They do not acknowledge that the “freedom” championed by slaveholding Founding Fathers, including the author of the Declaration of Independence, included the freedom to own other human beings as property. They can no longer notice how slavery is stitched into every line of the Constitution and was supported by every single early national institution. The self-reckoning we see in Germany and other European countries does not come easily to Americans—and is still outright rejected by many.
slavery  myths  origin_story  reparations  Ta-Nehisi_Coates  African-Americans  racial_disparities  execution  affirmative_action  race_relations  David_Frum  slaveholders  Founding_Fathers 
june 2014 by jerryking
Thanksgiving, 1789 - WSJ.com
November 20, 2012 | WSJ | Melanie Kirkpatrick.

George Washington's proclamation was not without controversy.
Thanksgiving  history  Founding_Fathers 
november 2012 by jerryking
Vote of Thanks to the Founders - WSJ.com
November 29, 2002

Vote of Thanks to the Founders for What Endures

By DANIEL HENNINGER
Daniel_Henninger  Founding_Fathers  Thanksgiving 
september 2012 by jerryking
Paying a Call on the Adams Family - WSJ.com
MARCH 1, 2002 | WSJ | By JOHN QUINCY ADAMS JR.

"America's First Dynasty: The Adamses, 1735-1918"
By Richard Brookhiser
Reviewed by John Quincy Adams Jr.

The greatest of all American political dynasties, however, is not a recent one. It is that of the Adamses, the subject of Richard Brookhiser's multigenerational study. (I should confess to being a member of this large and ever-expanding family.) Of course John Adams, the patriarch and second president of the U.S., has received a great deal of attention of late thanks to David McCullough's magnificent biography.
book_reviews  dynasties  Founding_Fathers  family  David_McCullough 
november 2011 by jerryking
A Cold Man's Warm Words - WSJ.com
JULY 2, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By PEGGY NOONAN A Cold
Man's Warm Words. Jefferson's tender lament didn't make it into the
Declaration.
Peggy_Noonan  inspiration  Founding_Fathers 
july 2010 by jerryking
WSJ.com - The Problem With Patents
When the patent sys. works, it rewards entrepreneurs &
inventors, encourages innovation & serves as a bulwark of property
rights. The Founding Fathers considered patents important enough to
provide for them in the Constitution, granting Congress (via the U.S.
Patent & Trademark Office & the courts ) the power to protect
the rights of patent & copyright holders "for limited times" &
to "promote the progress of science & useful arts." Patent rights
are good insofar as they are useful...A patent sys. is only as good as
the quality of patents that issue from it. If bad or dubious patents
proliferate, they can have the opposite of their intended effect, which
is to promote & reward innovation...the USPO is vulnerable to the
usual failings and perverse incentives of any other govt.
bureaucracy...What's broken with the patent sys. is that "it’s the
patent office, not the rejection office." The USPO gets paid when it
grants a patent, creating pressure on the staff to keep the $ coming in.
patents  USPTO  Founding_Fathers  incentives  constitutions  property_rights  innovation  innovation_policies  revenge_effects  perverse_incentives  Gresham's_law 
december 2009 by jerryking
‘These Are the Times That Try Men’s Souls’ « The Enterprise Blog
October 21, 2009 | American Enterprise | blog post by Newt
Gingrich. Newt's launching his latest novel, To Try Men’s Souls: A Novel
of George Washington and the Fight for American Freedom with co-author,
historian William Forstchen. The story is about General George
Washington’s 1776 crossing of the Delaware River, to launch a sneak
attack on the British troops at Trenton.
Newt_Gingrich  George_Washington  Founding_Fathers 
october 2009 by jerryking
Never Mind Machiavelli - WSJ.com
JUNE 30, 2008 WSJ book review by ARAM BAKSHIAN JR. of George Washington on Leadership
written by Richard Brookhiser. Inspired by the Roman philosopher, Seneca.

Acknowledge the full range of George Washington's achievement: "He ran two start-ups, the army and the presidency, and chaired the most important committee meeting in history, the Constitutional Convention. His agribusiness and real estate portfolio made him America's richest man. . . . Men followed him into battle; women longed to dance with him; famous men, almost as great as he was, some of them smarter, did what he told them to do. He was the Founding CEO."

The key, as Mr. Brookhiser sees it, is the ability to learn from failure and disappointment – requiring at least enough modesty to acknowledge the need for self-improvement instead of merely blaming others. Washington suffered losses in the battlefield (in the Revolutionary War, most famously, at the Battle of Long Island in 1776), the betrayal of subordinates (Benedict Arnold comes to mind) and even doomed early love (Sally Fairfax, alas, was already married). Such experiences, Mr. Brookhiser says, added up to "a long learning curve that began in his teens and stretched well into middle age.
book_reviews  Founding_Fathers  George_Washington  history  leadership  Niccolò_Machiavelli  Romans  self-improvement  Stoics 
february 2009 by jerryking

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