Racism is like a flavor in society’s cake . . .

. . . But it doesn’t taste good.

֎ [VOX] As of 2016, the median wealth for black families in America was $17,600, while the median wealth for white families was $171,000.

One of the biggest factors driving these disparities is housing. A home is the most valuable thing many people will own. And buying a nicer home in a nicer neighborhood has always been the easiest way to climb up the socioeconomic ladder. But that option hasn’t always been available to everyone, especially black families.

The story of housing discrimination in America is complicated and rooted in a long history of racist policies stretching back to slavery. Well into the 20th century, the government systematically discriminated against black homeowners through a process known as “redlining,” which constrained who could get decent mortgages for good homes and where those homes could be built.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, a professor of African American studies at Princeton, wrote a book called Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership.

Salaries have remained flat for forty years while inflation has risen by 225.37%. Donald’s attack on food stamp programs displays his disregard for human value. Even food stamps cannot compensate for the disparity of constrained increases in salary. More than inflation, it is racism itself. The spirit of capitalism is in all the nation’s activities: racism, housing, salary, legislation and taxes. African Americans are not allowed to participate freely.

֎ [Washington Post] 5.1 times higher rate of incarceration

There are signs that racial and ethnic disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system are declining, but in 2016, black people were still incarcerated at a rate 5.1 times higher than white people. That’s one of the findings in the first major report from the independent, bipartisan Council on Criminal Justice, which looked at the populations in U.S. prisons and jails, as well as individuals on parole and probation, between 2000 and 2016. It’s worth noting that in 2000 the rate at which black people were incarcerated was much higher at 8.3 times the rate white people were imprisoned. [Washington Post]

Racism remains the great sin of American Culture. Since its inception the US has been proud of itself for having equal rights and the freedom to achieve as well as one can. Except for African Americans. Although always present, typically white supremacy emerges in the citizenry during times of unrest and fear as one of the major identity movements.

Many years ago mariner had a contract with a deep Dixie state to examine new demands for computer support for a county sheriff’s department. He put together a knowledgeable team of four bright systems analysts: two whites, one woman and one black. The woman was deemed a whore because she was a divorcee traveling with men; the black was not allowed to make his presentations. Mariner filed a quick conclusion to meet obligations and cut the trip short. Racial prejudice, particularly in Dixie, is as strong as it ever was. It is true that migrations from other parts of the nation are beginning to lighten the deep red hue but that is only in the larger cities that have a college-oriented job market. The rural areas are as racially primitive as ever.

In urban areas, including the South, the last twenty years have shown visible changes in American society. The entertainment industry especially has made an effort to include all races in its productions; television advertisement has actors of several races in a large portion of its commercials. It is obvious that around the nation citizens aged 35 and younger have greatly reduced the exclusionary behavior of older generations.

While the Federal Government may make the most aggressive moves to integration, it is at the state level that legislators will be reticent and pass blocking regulations. In the south, voting is a good example. Dixie makes it as hard as possible for African Americans to vote.

– – – –

Speaking of state legislation, there is an extremely conservative organization called ALEC that has targeted state elections and local legislation to make it harder for the states ( and the Federal Government) to enact centrist and liberal policies. ALEC is well organized and funded comfortably by the Koch brothers and many other wealthy, far right corporations and individuals. Just as McConnell and Trump have elected 150+ conservative judges (many not even experienced trial lawyers) in order to have court cases lean toward conservative opinions, so too is ALEC playing the states to load legislatures with conservative legislators.

This activity, if at all successful, will make it easier for federal elections to be overturned by the Electoral College. This is another example of misrepresentation of the populations in rural counties and states. Enough conservative county voting officials can submit conservative members to the Electoral College while not having the popular vote. Only eleven states have passed legislation that says the popular vote mandates their position in the Electoral College.

Ancient Mariner

 

Comebacks for 12/1

A few comments were made by readers generally suggesting that the dissection of Republican versus Democrat into a list of separate issues still amounted to Republican versus Democrat.

֎ While it is true that the headings consistently were presented as republican first and democrat second, the variables that delineate the issues are not based on party. Each item requires very different amounts of time to be resolved, requires different modifications to government process, cultural modifications, cost, changes to the Constitution, disruption for business and taxation and even a public change in attitude and ethos. This is not a list that can easily be bundled into a party platform. Each party, given the entire list, could possibly break into different camps of acceptance; remember the Freedom Caucus, the libertarian wing of the Republican Party?

֎ South America? Where did that come from? Two variables dominate international coalitions: economic opportunity and geography. Both variables are in play at the same time. A visible example of both is China’s Belt and Road vision that unites every nation in Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Still, China sees many opportunities for economic development in Canada, Mexico, South America and the Pacific Rim – including Australia.

Might the US take advantage of geography in a similar manner? Does the reader remember there is a ‘Belt and Road’ that already exists in the Americas called the ‘Pan American Highway’ that runs from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego at the bottom of South America? This is not to suggest the US forget about economic markets and longtime allies; but geography cannot be ignored. What would be the strength of the US economy if Canada and Mexico were more dependent on China?

Shortsightedly, just yesterday Donald added punishing tariffs on Argentina and Brazil, two countries struggling economically. Donald isn’t shrewd enough to think of these tactics on his own; let’s start a conspiracy theory that Putin told him to do this. Oh well, South America can always turn to Russia for salvation. Remember that Putin sent a military unit and two nuclear bombers to Venezuela to protect dictator Nicolas Maduro and recently confirmed that he is willing to send more troops to the South American country to support the regime.

Didn’t the US learn its lesson with Cuba? Apparently not.

Mariner finds it entertaining that China’s Belt and Road is identical to the Interstate highway program approved by the Eisenhower administration (1953-61) and will have the same effect of merging interstate commerce.

֎ Two items, Restrictive doctrine v humanism and Public myth v existential pragmatism, are more in the hands of the public. These items are based on cultural standards set almost completely by social ethic.

Simply, the restrictive doctrine issue deals with the church’s application of religious ethics – having virtually nothing to do with political parties although there is a struggle keeping church and state apart. Not so simply, changes to cultural (as opposed to legislative) beliefs, i.e., guns, racism, work ethic, social accountability, and other myths that resist unification of a national identity, are very much a matter of reeducation and public willingness to subsume mythical influence into one-for-all ethics.

֎ Although this item isn’t part of the list, it is worth noting:

In September, Tennessee State Senator Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield, BS, Lipscomb U.) declared that he wanted to eliminate higher education (presumably only for women, because of abortion) which would “end a liberal breeding ground” and save America. [DAILY KOS]

Thanks for reading.

Ancient Mariner

No, it isn’t just Republican versus Democrat

Mariner began to realize that there are many political battlefronts occurring simultaneously none of which can be melded easily into other battlefronts. In fact, righting the ship of state may be more like herding cats than the public expected. Below mariner lists some conflicts that require more than two hands to untangle.

Corporatism v democratic socialism

This conflict centers on the apparent corporate freedom to do whatever it wants to do and to turn as much profit as possible without accountability for social conditions or national unity. A complicated issue is that data tech corporations are introducing commercialized authoritarianism largely because antitrust laws have not been enforced.

Libertarian government v public accountability government

This conflict engages those who believe less government is better government – to the extent that social viability (AKA discretionary funding) is unacceptable versus those who believe in a government that is responsible for public wellbeing. One obvious confrontation is health services.

Capitalism v government oversight

A struggle over who manages the economy, taxes, monetary legislation, price regulation, inflation, antitrust and similar fiscal privileges; focused more on wealth and investment than on business practices. Two critical issues are part of this confrontation: housing and the Green New Deal.

Restrictive doctrine v humanism

This battle involves morality issues like abortion, LGBTQ and church versus state. Freedom of religion, even though clearly stated in the Constitution, remains constricted for faiths other than Christianity; within Christianity the battle is about interpretation of traditional doctrine versus current culture.

Political expediency v scientific expediency

This issue pits politicians against scientists. The most important issue is the conflict between the fossil fuel industry and global warming, which is made more disruptive because it also affects most of the economic/social issues cited above. This category seeps into areas like vaccination, abortion, environment, pollution of the land and water and ideological issues similar to how to feed 11 billion humans and preserving the planet’s supply of fresh potable water.

Public myth v existential pragmatism

Primarily this is the battle over fake news. Not just fake news on the airwaves and social media, which is significant, but common class prejudices about standards for justice, work ethic, racism, and about conspiracy theory amid several rootless assumptions. A major public myth is the common misinterpretation of the Second Amendment (gun rights) – proving not to be pragmatic in today’s society. Racist immigration policy is another issue that seems not to be pragmatic.

Isolationist v internationalist

This conflict has been severely damaged by Donald for no reason. The twenty-first century will have a widespread restructuring of international coalitions; China is emerging as the new powerhouse economy; NATO and other mid-1900 alliances are showing their age. An example of how internationalism is important is to note how critical it is for the US to represent political and economic security both for North and for South America – where China already is attempting to play that role while the Donald immigration doctrine is abusing Central and South American citizens.

Plutocracy v democracy

The battlefront in this section is how the government functions as an institution. Related issues deal with voting rights, gerrymandering, money in politics, entrenched lobbying, term limits, balanced congressional representation in the Senate, etc.

Add to all these battlefronts regional differences, population density, cost of living differences and classic prejudice between social classes.

So much to do with a citizen’s vote.

Ancient Mariner

 

 

The Democratic Candidates

It likely that Buttigieg will not stay near the top as states with diverse ethnicity have their say in primaries. Iowa, New Hampshire and perhaps Nevada (Latino but not many African Americans) are not particularly diverse. North Carolina, however, has a significant African American population. As of today in North Carolina, Buttigieg ranks fourth among democratic candidates with only 6 percent. Buttigieg’s perception is that blacks need black but middle class examples for their economic and educational circumstances to improve, implying that blacks are their own deterrent rather than implying a larger societal issue.

Similarly, the progressive candidates will lose what seem to be strong positions at the top of the list as the primary season swings across the hinterland. There democrats are centrist first, liberal second; only west coast states and some large cities will aggressively support progressive candidates.

The bottom of the list, referred to by many as special interest candidates, women, rookies and recognition junkies, likely will stay at the bottom. The two billionaires (Steyer and Bloomberg) are a small threat to finally be able to buy the Federal Government just as mariner may be able to buy a 2014 Toyota.

This leaves Joe. The legacy of the campaigns with Obama still resonates with African Americans. The hinterland is more comfortable with Biden’s centrist history and style. Many polls show Biden with leading numbers as a second choice candidate. His speaking foibles will not be enough to push him out of the competition. Finally, as a compromise candidate among the many tribes of democrats – after all what really counts is defeating Donald – Joe will be the man.

The electorate may respond somewhat to Joe and many Hillary holdouts may return to the fold, perhaps just enough to make the Electoral College insignificant.

After the candidates’ display of talent, intellectuality and cognizance of the new world everyone faces, mariner feels greedy and wants to keep all of them around. With luck, those in the Senate will stay in the Senate, others will make excellent Cabinet Secretaries, and some will become Governors. Joe’s job will be to make peace between parties then lead the charge to win majority in the Senate in 2024.

Ancient Mariner

 

A Nasty Crossbreed: Communism and Capitalism

Communism – a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned (Think Donald’s base, oligarchs, government and the proletariat in disarray; think data gathering corporations that know everything – even about each of us and that information is used to make billions of dollars without a penny owed directly to “the public.”)

Capitalism – an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. (Think corporatism and actually owning the government as well thereby eliminating government altogether).

The crossbreed is the worst of both ideologies: The public at large owns nothing, not even houses, automobiles or privacy. The end result is controlled classism with a socialistic flavor, citizens having no real say in anything, and continuous class war.

What follows are examples of crossbreeding.

֎ [NEWSY] The internet has revolutionized how donors behave. People now give more frequently and in smaller amounts than ever before. But every time you donate online, there’s a processing cost. A Newsy analysis, published in partnership with Politico, found that the small donor revolution has also helped direct millions of dollars to the middlemen that process donations. While it’s a matter of cents on the dollar, those pennies can add up fast. And in recent years, as small-dollar donations have ramped up, credit card processing costs have exploded.

Banks and data tech companies want in on everything and at the moment are getting what they want. Just today mariner received a ‘gift’ from Dish Network. The gift is a TV remote paired with Google’s voice recognition software. It won’t be installed. As to charitable donations online being skimmed by banks, mariner enjoys even more than usual covering that cost by writing a check to the charity and posting the donation through the Postal Service, with a wry smile while he does it.

Put in context the National Rifle Association (NRA), the fossil fuel industry, the government (owned by corporations), mega corporations like Amazon, Walmart, Google, Microsoft, AT&T, and other independent, do as they like multifunction, multinational corporations, and one realizes the citizenry has nothing to do or say about the US economy, its scruples or its original ‘freedom and justice for all’ myth.

Does the ‘public’ own anything? Does the ‘public’ share in GDP profits? Does the election process have any significant contribution?

Aside from citizens with enough excess resources to invest in capitalist ventures (Wall Street) or actually have enough assets to own a house not compromised by bank oversight, the citizenry is on a path to controlled communist social structures and little or no opportunity to share profit with capitalist corporations.

This is indeed a difficult circumstance for the general public. What makes the situation even worse is that the crossbreed feels no obligation to compensate for the global warming situation, environmental health, free medical support or anything else ‘free’ from the corporate-owned government, or the impact of automated intelligence (AI).

On the good side, it was an unusually warm, sunny day; mariner worked in his garden.

Ancient Mariner

 

Job Security

Job Security

Nationally job security will be an existential crisis in just a few years. For elected officials, especially republicans, the crisis starts now with state primary campaigns for the 2020 election. Donald has about 40% of the national vote and much more in red and purple states. Talk about bribery! Donald holds the Republican Party hostage by keeping his base actively charged as a key group in republican primaries. In short, the republican candidates will perform gross, irrational and un-American behavior to secure Donald’s base during primaries in an effort to sustain their lucrative, elected careers.

Something is wrong. Elected officials are supposed to be subject to citizen discard as history moves on. As of this moment, there are 79 members of Congress that have been in office for at least 20 years, and there are 16 members of Congress that have been in office for at least 30 years.

There are identifiable reasons for an elected official to consider their election a career for life. First, of course, is the combination of money and power; a nice job if one can keep it even though in reality the home district continually evolves culturally, fiscally and industrially. The second reason is the role of lobbying, which would rather keep subservient (AKA bought) representatives in place. The third reason is that being a member of Congress provides prestige and access to higher social class experiences and a fat benefits package to boot – a nice life.

What has happened over time is that the spirit of representing one’s own people has disappeared as a purpose for being an elected official. While Donald et al are damaging the US on a daily basis, it should be relatively easy to deny a second term for one individual in government. But that would not change a decrepit and outmoded government that is useless in the roiling twenty-first century.

What must change generally is the age of elected officials in Congress. There is a notable difference in the House of Representatives as younger candidates are beginning to win elections. Alas, the Senate, with its six year term, remains a calcified legislative body. It is the remnants of Reagan economics dating back to the 1980s, a policy that has fed the separation of wealthy versus poor.

Mitch McConnell, the republican, the longest-serving U.S. senator for Kentucky in history, and the longest-serving Republican U.S. Senate Leader in history, and 77 years old, has done his best to make the Judicial Branch as conservative as possible – not to mention his total, absolute stonewall of dozens of important House bills that gather dust in his office – legislation relevant to the twenty-first century.

But the Judicial Branch must enforce legislation passed by Congress, which may be a way of neutralizing Mitch’s efforts – if Congress can, in fact, pass cogent legislation. The whole point is the US Senate must lose its republican majority. No easy task since the lightly populated districts across America are aware that their undue dominance in politics will disappear if Congress becomes truly representative of appropriate amounts of population.

The Constitutional changes to help repair imbalanced representation will be to eliminate the Electoral College, remove gerrymandering, add term limits and reapportion the Senate based on population. However, these are constitutional battles that must be fought by Congress and the Judicial Branch. The job of voters is to elect modern, of the moment citizens who understand these changes must occur if the US will survive the twenty-first century – nay, even the next ten years!

The job voters have, and that includes every party, every independent and every economic class, is to vote out the irrelevant Reagan republicans that still hold the Senate in their grasp. Even more important than Donald, is to make the Senate democratic.

Ancient Mariner

 

Global Warming – WW II technology returns to the present

35 Olympic swimming pools of radioactive matter

The legacy of the U.S.’s Cold War-era atomic testing program is still affecting the Marshall Islands at the Runit Dome, which holds more than 3.1 million cubic feet of U.S.-produced radioactive soil and debris, as well as lethal amounts of plutonium. An investigation between the Los Angeles Times and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism reports that the dome is now at significant risk of collapsing from the effects of climate change. American officials have declined to help address the problem, but the news report says the U.S. government withheld important information about the contents of Runit and its weapons testing program, including the fact that 130 tons of soil from atomic testing grounds was shipped from Nevada to the Marshall Islands in 1958. [Los Angeles Times]

There is enough radiation in the Runit Dome to end all life in a large area of the Pacific Ocean around the Marshall Islands and beyond. This catastrophe raises a general issue about island nations threatened by global warming: Carteret Islands, Kiribati Islands, The Maldives, Seychelles, Torres Strait Islands, Tegua, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Micronesia and Palau. The problem with these islands isn’t radiation, its people. 1,241,560 of them.

Although not an island, Bangladesh, located in South Asia, experiences floods that cover about a quarter of the country every year. Climate change is making the floods worse for 156 million people.

And it isn’t only people on islands . . .

Ancient Mariner

 

Exciting Times Ahead

A new study uses artificial intelligence to find that jobs done by highly skilled workers are the most likely to be affected by AI. AI is likely to hit hardest at a combination of leading tech hubs and older manufacturing regions. Exposed are high-skill jobs like professional, scientific and technical services, information, finance and insurance. [CITYLAB] See:

https://www.citylab.com/life/2019/11/ai-skill-jobs-work-automation-brookings/602272/?utm_source=newsletter&silverid=%25%25RECIPIENT_ID%25%25&utm_campaign=citylab-daily-newsletter&utm_medium=email

As climate change, economic change and cultural change make disasters more severe, researchers say we can prepare by being informed, volunteering, and staying socially connected. The glue that provides survival and confidence even in the worst of times is not wealth or separatism, it is bonding with one another; it is sharing and caring; it is ‘having one another’s back.’ Daily life already is tumultuous but quickly financial and personal wellbeing will be challenged in ways that truly may interrupt life’s familiar traditions.

Generally speaking, there will be many jobless families; research shows job loss will grow to half the known jobs that exist today – by as soon as 2035. Further, weather patterns are shifting to a degree that agricultural economics around the world are in peril year by year; finally, even the American political dream is at risk as a dysfunctional government lies unprepared for a vastly different and burdensome situation. By 2050 and beyond, climate change will not help as millions of people around the planet lose their homes to sea rise.

There are many things citizens can do to prepare for a perfect storm of change. Foremost, every citizen must realize immediately that identity politics is deadly. Citizens must do a 180° turn and begin relating to others in supportive ways instead of with conflicting prejudice. It is a notable sensation to look at others through a sympathetic eye instead of an eye of judgment. Togetherness will be needed to survive tension as resistant as a tug-of-war.

There is one bright spot available: the Green New Deal (GND). Almost as exactly as FDR’s tax inversion and his WPA make-work projects pulled the US out of a deadly depression, GND will generate new jobs that don’t exist today. GND covers every definition of infrastructure from new bridges to new Internet to high speed trains to a new power grid and anything else the reader can imagine that needs to be invented, upgraded or implemented. GND will take at least a decade, most likely closer to two decades.

The problem is a republican-controlled US Senate. Speaking as clinically and as intellectually as possible, mariner suggests the Republican Party is the last vestige of a government from the previous century. There is no other way to say it. If the US will be prepared to assist its citizens, it cannot become so until an overturn of the US Senate and the conservative wing of red states. The first chance for this to happen is 2020. If the Senate is not overturned, the citizens must wait, as gathering cultural and economic storms swirl about, until 2024. (2024 is only eleven years before 2035.)

Even if the US Senate is overturned, there are so many inefficiencies, abuses to citizens and economic thievery that the government itself must be reformed. Mariner has pointed this out in many past posts; visit the politics archive if the reader is interested.

It would be a mistake to sit and wait for the government to morph itself into something useful. Unlike identity politics, racism, elitism and all the other self-important isms, sympathy and empathy can stretch a long way to accommodate hardships that aren’t anyone’s fault in particular but which cannot be ignored. Mariner suggests his standby – continuously look for opportunities to pass it forward; practice makes perfect.

Tithing fits in today’s situation. Imagine if everyone put 10% of their time into good works for neighbors, strangers and the needy. If everyone practiced this way, the cost of living through these times could be reduced by $billions! The alley behind mariner’s home is gravel. A neighbor has taken it upon himself to maintain the alley in excellent condition. Two things: bite one’s tongue painfully every time one has a judgmental thought and

Pass it forward.

Ancient Mariner

.

A Nation of the Corporations, by the Corporations and for the Corporations

֎ Seattle, home town of Amazon, had an election recently in which Amazon spent over $1.5 million in campaign spending in an attempt to seat a seven member Council with pro-business candidates. Amazon’s issue was a ballot initiative that rejects Amazon’s personally managed contribution (tax) to housing for Seattle that would clear the way for government taxation. Amazon was able to seat only two candidates and was unable to defeat Kshama Sawant, a pro-labor city council member who is a thorn in the side of corporation-managed “tax” levies. It turns out corporate influence on ballot measures is a nationwide issue. Corporations are willing to contribute to housing programs only in an effort to provide employee housing, not housing where it may be needed most and, of course, they can change the amount whenever they choose. Ideologically, only governments (Congress) can pass tax legislation. Interesting article. See: https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/11/tech-corporate-political-campaign-donations-elections-pac/601423/?utm_campaign=citylab-daily-newsletter&utm_medium=email&silverid=%25%25RECIPIENT_ID%25%25&utm_source=newsletter

OTHER HOUSING NOTES

֎ 13 years of homeownership.   A new analysis from the real estate brokerage firm Redfin shows the typical homeowner in the United States now stays in their house for 13 years. That’s five years more than they did in 2010. This lack of movement, especially among aging baby boomers, has created inventory shortages and pushed up prices. According to Redfin and the housing data firm CoreLogic, Salt Lake City, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas are the cities with the longest median homeowner stays, all more than two decades. [Wall Street Journal]

֎ Apple pledges $2.5 billion to combat California’s housing crisis [NPR]

֎ Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 40 out of 68 city firefighters need a second job to pay the rent.

֎ Between 2000 and 2015 the U.S. produced 7.3 million fewer homes than it needed to keep up with demand and population growth.

֎ National Association of Home Builders estimates builders will build about 900,000 new homes in 2018—400,000 short of what’s needed to keep up with population growth. Their big talking point: Build up, not out.

The housing battle across the nation is growing rapidly. Still, NIMBYs and corporations are able to influence local government’s attempts to use taxes to at least level the issue across income classes. Frequently this battle is waged in ballot initiatives. When the reader votes, make sure to read and understand the full ballot.

Ancient Mariner

The World We Live In

֎ Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon are free to slow down, block or prioritize internet traffic as they wish, without interference by the federal government. That’s the effect of an October ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, upholding a 2017 ruling by the Federal Communications Commission that reversed rules requiring what is called “net neutrality” – treating all internet traffic equally, regardless of where it’s from or what kind of data it is. See:

https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/cities-and-states-take-up-the-battle-for-an-open-internet?utm_campaign=citylab-daily-newsletter&utm_medium=email&silverid=%25%25RECIPIENT_ID%25%25&utm_source=newsletter

֎ In the lush foothills of central Kentucky, Berea seems like your average small, private college, down to its stately brick buildings and its inspiring school anthem. Berea College has not been collecting tuition from students since 1892. All its students are poor.

Also in Kentucky, move about a hundred miles east to another college in the tiny town of Pippa Passes – . Alice Lloyd College. Alice Lloyd doesn’t charge tuition either. Berea was wise enough to start an endowment in 1852 which is worth $1.2 billion today; dividends pay tuition. Alice Lloyd depends on fundraising and a stiffer commitment from professors asking them to carry heavier instruction loads. [NPR]

֎ 800 million jobs

Automation, algorithms, and artificial intelligence already have reduced the amount of human labor in specialty manufacturing, warehouse parcel delivery and resume screening. But a new report from analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates the rise of automation could make up to 800 million jobs — nearly half of all jobs worldwide — obsolete by 2035. [Yahoo Finance]

֎ Angioplasty — was measurably better than pills at reducing patients’ chest pain during exercise. But the study, called ISCHEMIA, found no difference in a constellation of major heart-disease outcomes, including cardiac death, heart attacks, heart-related hospitalizations and resuscitation after cardiac arrest. There was no benefit to an invasive strategy in people without chest pain.

Overall, the keenly anticipated ISCHEMIA study results suggest that invasive procedures, stents and bypass surgery, should be used more sparingly in patients with stable heart disease and the decision to use them should be less rushed, experts said.

֎ Incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) overcame a tough challenge from the President Trump-backed businessman Eddie Rispone to be re-elected Louisiana governor to a second term late Saturday.

Why it matters: The tight race pit the only Democratic governor in the Deep South against a Republican challenger in Trump country. The result is a major blow for Trump, who tried to drum up support for Rispone at two presidential rallies in Louisiana this month and in tweets leading up to the vote. [AP]

֎ Presidential hopeful and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has soared to the top of the latest Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll of 2020 Democratic candidates, released Saturday evening.

The big picture: The poll shows he’s the first choice for 25% of caucus-goers polled, with a 9-point lead over his closest rival, Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Buttigieg also topped a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday, where he’s the favored candidate among 22% of those surveyed.

֎ Chicago’s homeless public school students will now have a chance to work with advocates helping them stay in school and find housing resources.

In October, Chicago public school teachers went on strike demanding smaller class sizes and additional staff. But, as Newsy reported, teachers also wanted administrators to address homelessness, which affects 17,000 Chicago students.

Chicago joins Boston as one of the two largest school districts in the country that addresses student homelessness in labor contracts. Jackson Potter teaches history and is part of the Chicago Teachers Union bargaining team. He has seen firsthand how homelessness impacts students. [Newsy]

Somehow, many issues are based on housing. This is something that only government – state and federal – can address. Private enterprise will be led by profit.

Ancient Mariner