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In Warren, Ohio, once a key U.S. manufacturing hub. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty
There is barely a peep from Washington in response to a widely forecast social and economic tsunami resulting from automation, including the potential for decades of flat wages and joblessness. But cities and regions are starting to act on their own.
What's happening: In Indianapolis, about 338,000 people are at high risk of automation taking their jobs, according to a new report. In Phoenix, the number is 650,000. In both cases, that's 35% of the workforce. In northeastern Ohio, about 40,000 workers are at high risk.
The background: The Phoenix and Indianapolis studies were carried out by ShiftLabs, a collaboration of Rockefeller and New America, a think tank. They are responding to forecasts of an utter shakeup of current jobs, forcing vast numbers of workers across fields to learn new skills, often unrelated to their occupation as currently configured.
By the numbers in Indianapolis and Phoenix:
Women are disproportionately affected in both cities:
The cities are only starting to figure out what they can do.
Go deeper: The jobs and business mecca of Savannah, reported by NYT's Patricia Cohen and Natalie Kitroeff.
Skeptics, including oil companies and much of Wall Street, continue to heap doubt on the ability of electric cars to break out of their green-fanatic niche any time soon. But a new forecast suggests why they can — because they will piggy-back onto existing mobility fashion.
By which we mean ... the love affair shared by Americans and Chinese for SUVs. These tall, roomy vehicles accounted for 42% of all U.S. demand last year and 39% of China's, dominating the largest car markets in the world.
Now that ardor will grow into surging demand for electric SUVs, says Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research firm.
Quick take: By 2022, BNEF says in a new report, Chinese demand for electric cars will triple, and the largest block — 39% — will be SUVs and crossovers. As for Americans, they will buy more than twice as many electrics as they currently do, and electric SUVs and crossovers will account for 52%, says BNEF's Salim Morsy, the report's main author.
What is most surprising: Morsy says the attitude of incumbent automakers has changed dramatically. From creating electrics simply to comply with regulation, the industry now clearly sees sales advantage.
But but but ... Two events could taper the surge of electrics, Morsy said:
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
President Trump hardly invented labor politics. But experts and leaders of both major political parties say his domestic legacy may be his intuition that the worker's time as a potent and unifying national force has returned, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.
Why it matters: Even after Trump is gone, political observers tell Axios, successful candidates of both parties will have to be seen to be seriously addressing the plight of workers, including underemployment, stuck wages and retraining.
The big picture: Democrats say that, going back to FDR, they've championed pro-worker policies like strengthening unions. But Trump, as a Republican, has managed to steal their thunder, reaching out to large swaths of the working class while championing traditionally conservative measures like reduced taxes and rolled-back regulations.
The bottom line, via Darrell West of the Brookings Institution, is that Democrats must get used to sharing workers with Republicans:
West goes on: When it comes to winning elections, “the individuals who are going to be left behind are going to be absolutely crucial, because they are located in key geographic areas. It’s the midwestern Rust Belt that’s going to bear the brunt of this, and those people are going to be the kingmakers in the next presidential election."
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Soaring home prices in tech corridors are one byproduct of the wealth heaped on employees of the U.S. high tech juggernaut. Last week, we discussed the cold peace between Amazon and Seattle, which has levied a head tax on large companies in the city to fund services for homeless people.
But Kasriel also saw the opportunity for a larger impact: As Amazon and Apple scour the country deciding where to build new headquarters employing tens of thousands of people (up to 50,000 in Amazon's case), Kasriel says that "the real solution is for these companies to be much more distributed." He said:
Instead of putting 50,000 employees in one city, it would be much more desirable if Amazon created 10 new 'mini-headquarters' of 5,000 people each or (more difficult but even better), 100 new 'micro-headquarters' of 500 people each, ideally in smaller cities that are struggling today.
Part of the reason why they aren't doing that is precisely because cities like Seattle aren't properly taxing them for the negative externalities they are creating.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
How China acquires U.S. technology (Cory Bennett and Brian Bender / Politico)
Asylum-seekers flee the U.S. and find work in Canada (Selena Ross / WP)
China: the greatest, growing threat to the U.S. (Jim VandeHei / Axios)
Tracking a tuna from Fiji by blockchain (Louise Matsakis / Wired)
The world's largest 3D printer (Jamie Smyth / FT)
You can also take one on a plane. Photo: Tom Nebbia/Corbis/Getty
American Airlines' latest dictum does not in fact mention lions, tigers or bears. But you get the picture in new rules governing what creatures may accompany nervous American passengers as emotional support or psychiatric animals.
Situational awareness: I have seen goats, sheep and chickens aboard flights in Afghanistan, but never in the U.S., Europe or elsewhere in Asia. Since Kabul is not on American's routes, I asked the airline whether people really travel with goats or miniature horses.
"While not common, these are things we have seen on American Airlines."— American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein
More guidelines for your next trip: