It’s Time to Reassess US Arms Transfer Policy

With the recent decision to deploy additional troops to Iraq and Syria to help in the assault on Mosul and Raqqa, the two largest cities within the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed Caliphate, it appears that the Trump administration has begun to take the first steps towards re-engaging the US military in another Middle East intervention.

Yet, while the prospect of more boots on the ground in the Middle East inflames passions among some members of the media and the occasional politician, the continual flow of US armaments into the region hardly seems to register on the public agenda. In 2015, US companies sold $209.7 billion worth of military equipment, $33 billion of which was to Gulf countries.

Continue reading in TownHall

Silicon Valley is experimenting with a Universal Basic Income — and we should pay attention

“We’re about to experience a change in our economy on the scale of the agricultural or industrial revolution,” announced Sam Altman, the president of Y-Combinator, to a San Francisco audience.

Due to artificial intelligence, 62 percent of American low-skill jobs are at risk. The median probability of automation replacing the lowest-paid jobs is about 0.83, while jobs in higher-wage classes have a 0.31 to 0.04 chance of being automated. According to a 2013 report from Oxford, 50 percent of jobs could be replaced within the next 10 to 20 years — a claim supported by a McKinsey report that suggests the technology we have today could replace 45 percent of jobs right now.

If Altman is right, and this economic shift can be equated to the industrial revolution, this change will be an overwhelmingly positive phenomenon for future generations. In the meantime, we’ll face mass technological unemployment. This is why Altman is exploring the Universal Basic Income as a way of alleviating a problem that he, in part, helped to create.

Continue reading at the San Francisco Examiner 

Podcast #65: Environmentalism and You

What is free market environmentalism? Young Voices advocate, Lindsay Marchello joins the podcast to explain her article in RealClearPolicy and why individuals and companies can and do often do a better job of guarding the environment than government.

 

Follow Lindsay on Twitter @LynnMarch2007 Young Voices @yvadv and Stephen Kent @stephen_kent89

Leave us a review on iTunes, Stitcher or GooglePlay where this podcast can be found and email [email protected] with your thoughts on the show

Trump’s Comey Replacement Could Be Even Worse on Mass Surveillance

The recent firing of FBI Director James Comey leaves those who are concerned about mass surveillance in a precarious situation. On the one hand, Comey was no protector of Americans’ Fourth Amendment right to privacy, but neither is the president who will be searching for his replacement. One of the suspected favorites to succeed Comey, former Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers, is even more in favor of draconian surveillance than the ousted FBI director.

While Rogers is just one of eight candidates the Trump administration has interviewed for the position, all are establishment intelligence officials, including a Bush-era counterterrorism expert.

Continue reading at the Observer 

Podcast #64: Gridlock is Good

Gridlock drives the American people crazy, but as it turns out our system was designed to work this way. Jerrod Laber joins the Young Voices Podcast to talk about President Trump and his adversarial stance towards the “archaic” US Senate, the Founders intent and whether or not Republicans can hold Trump accountable.

 

Jerrod wrote a piece in FEE about this very topic

Follow Jerrod on Twitter @JerrodLaber Young Voices @yvadv and Stephen Kent @stephen_kent89

Leave us a review on iTunes, Stitcher or GooglePlay where this podcast can be found and email [email protected] with your thoughts on the show.