Is it Time for a Robot Tax?

The coronavirus pandemic will push the automation of work into hyperdrive as a huge section of our employment force is laid off. As of May 7, 2020, over 33 million workers have applied for unemployment benefits out of a labor force of 165 million that peaked in February 2020. Is it time for a Robot tax?


Local effects of a global pandemic: Kent, WA as a case study

Barbara Lloyd McMichael zeroes in on the local effects of a global pandemic by examining Kent, WA as a case study. Kent’s current efforts to grapple with the Covid-19 meltdown is a microcosm of what is happening in communities across America. While some grant programs have been implemented at the state and federal levels, many small business owners do not have enough resources to allow for the time it takes to receive funds. 


Libraries We Love – Requiem for a Dead Library

The key to understanding people and the world around us begins with education. One way to learn about the world is by developing a love of books. Each month, we profile a library. Large, small, urban, rural, post-modern, quaint or neo-classic; do you have a library that you love? Tell us about it. This month Patricia Vaccarino writes about the James J. Hill Center (formerly named the James J. Hill Reference Library) located in St. Paul, Minnesota.


The Pandemic Magnifies Democracy’s Fissures

This will be the fourth month in a row that I have written about the coronavirus pandemic, and this month I will try to amplify some of the painful consequences of this crisis. We understand all too well that the virus is highly contagious, that there is no way to pre-identify someone who can transmit the virus, and that it is not simply a terrible infection in the lungs alone. We understand that the administration was late to take the potential impact seriously enough to begin assembling testing supplies, ventilators and the corresponding drugs used with ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical personnel and first responders, or working to map the virus so as to accelerate the discovery of a vaccine. 


The Coronavirus Cassandra: Are You Listening?

The Coronavirus Cassandra:  Are You Listening? A Pulitzer Prize winning public health journalist who predicted the coronavirus pandemic is warning us now about the “collective rage” yet to come.  So, how will we respond? The only way to avoid “collective rage” is with collective change.  

 


At Home with De Hooch

Week five of the shutdown. The initial dread and diversion has faded. The existential doubt rises up and we wonder about our basic survival- much as the first settlers of New Amsterdam did long ago when they first arrived here to start a trading outpost. The island of Manna-hatta has become a wild and empty place again and I feel the Dutch spirit rising up from beneath the asphalt.


Books We Love: Yonkers in the Twentieth Century

For anyone who is interested in the 20th Century history of Yonkers, this book is a must-read. Also, anyone who is interested in the history of American cities that have roots in an 18th Century colonial past and an industrial 19th Century past will also benefit.  Author Marilyn E. Weigold does a fine job of unfolding the city’s rich history which is rooted in the waves of immigrants who found their way to America to seek jobs with a good living wage and a safe place to raise their families. 


The Next President Must Harness the Virus Debt for Economic Growth

The Next President Must Harness the Virus Debt for Economic Growth.  Historic Levels of Unemployment Claims and Business Shutdowns Have Required the Greatest Surge in Government Debt Since WW II.