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Andrew Yang. Photo: Yang campaign.

A new consensus of analysts assures us that we should not worry as automation dislodges up to hundreds of millions of white and blue collar workers across the planet over the coming years, since virtually all will find new jobs. But Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur and an early candidate for president in 2020, says those new jobs are already late — a dystopian age of automation is already here.

Quick take: Yang is a long shot, but his anti-robot message — coming not from a Luddite but from the tech world itself — resonates, especially when he seems to be tattling on his pals. He tells Axios that while experts and politicians debate the potential impact of robotization, his Silicon Valley friends are already angling to figure out how to make it happen faster so they can cash in.

  • "The way the debate is framed is wrong — that robots are speculative and we need to keep an eye out," Yang told me by phone. " ... We are in the third or fourth inning of automation. It brought us Donald Trump."
  • "I hang out in Silicon Valley," Yang said. "They are all totally convinced. There is zero ambiguity. Their calculus: what functions require a lot of people and how can we change that?"
  • Yang's platform is a call to action to soften the social and economic decline that he says automation is already causing.

Go deeper

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

Far-right figure "Baked Alaska" arrested for involvement in Capitol siege

Photo: Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The FBI arrested far-right media figure Tim Gionet, known as "Baked Alaska," on Saturday for his involvement in last week's Capitol riot, according to a statement of facts filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

The state of play: Gionet was arrested in Houston on charges related to disorderly or disruptive conduct on the Capitol grounds or in any of the Capitol buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session, per AP.

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