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The Rundown

Top Economists Say Not to Fear the Robot Uprising of Automation

Your daily guide to what's working, what's not and what you can do about it.
Photoy by Erdem Yılmaz and Dawn Armfield via Pexels and Unsplash. Image by Aaron Barksdale

The terminators: Central bankers and economists are telling people not to be afraid of a Schwarzenegger-esque dystopian world in which robots take all the jobs and then kill all humans because of increased automation. Since the first industrial revolution of the 1800s people have fretted about their jobs becoming obsolete, and the anxiety of job market today is just another example of history repeating itself. Financial experts say that although technology has put a damper on some parts of society, these advances have led to an increased quality of life and to people finding better jobs.


Skrrt Skrrt: On Wednesday, Volvo announced that starting in 2019 all their cars will either be hybrids or completely battery powered, which makes them the first mainstream car company to chuck the deuces at fossil fuel engines. Volvo's move is a green light to renewable energy, following the lead of Elon Musk's Tesla electric cars. Now that the prices of battery-powered cars are dropping and charging stations are popping up, more and more gas guzzling jalopies are getting curbed.

WTF Democrats? Tech geniuses Mark Pincus of gaming app Zynga and Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn are upset with the current political landscape, so they're trying to fix it with a new political group called "Win the Future" -- stylized at WTF. Through their website, people can vote on different topics and form the organization's political platform. For Pincus and Hoffman it's not about partisanship, but about mainstreaming the political agenda of the Democratic Party. They've gained the support of venture capitalist and left-leaning donors, but something doesn't sit right about two billionaire media moguls attempting to drain the swamp that usually works in their favor. That's not to say that their idea is a sham, but the road to hell is often paved with good intentions.

Wrestling match: CNN is battling with the President of the United States and the world is watching outside the ring as the two duke it out. Mr. Trump has made it his mission to incite public mistrust of the media, but at times CNN has been its own worst enemy. The network retracted stories about the President's inner circle, which led to the resignation of three journalists— not to mention the Kathy Griffin debacle. CNN has been particularly targeted in Trump's war on the media, but in this situation an attack on one is an attack on all. And by extension it's an attack on the liberties held highest in the constitution.


This isn't surprising: Pride Month 2017 may be over, but that doesn't mean the public should forget about the LGBTQ community until next year. President Trump would disagree. During the month of reflecting on LGBTQ civil rights he remained silent in stark contrast to his predecessor. To add insult to injury, Trump's administration has hired anti-transgender crusader Bethany Kozma to the Office of Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in the US Agency for International Development. Kozma's resume includes restricting bathroom access for trans kids. Her appointment to this position reinforces the need to protect trans youth, which the National Center for Transgender Equality does on daily basis. Get involved now to ensure equal treatment of gender and sexual minorities.

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Armed with a pen: Tommy Le, a 20-year-old from Burien, WA., was shot and killed by a King County sheriff's deputy a few hours before his high school graduation last June. Police received several 911 calls describing an aggressive man with a sharp object threatening people in the street. When they tracked down the suspect, later identified as Le, they ordered him to drop his weapon. According to police, he then charged at the officers, and was struck by tasers — which seemed to have no effect. A sheriff's deputy, who claims to have believed that Le was armed with a knife, shot him three times. He died shortly thereafter. Later reports revealed that he was in fact only holding a pen.

Le, who was described by classmates and teachers as a "goofy, little guy," reportedly weighed about 100 pounds, making the police officer's usage of deadly force in self-defense even more questionable. Coming in the wake of the Seattle PD's shooting of pregnant mother Charleena Lyles, this tragedy adds to the long list of deaths at the hands of law enforcement.