- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Hachette Books; 1 edition (April 3, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316414247
- ISBN-13: 978-0316414241
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 86 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The War on Normal People: The Truth About America's Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future Hardcover – April 3, 2018
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"Andrew Yang is one of those rare visionaries who puts dreams into action. The War on Normal People is both a clear-eyed look at the depths of our social and economic problems and an innovative roadmap toward a better future."―Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global
"This book is a must read. Andrew Yang is tackling one of the biggest challenges facing our country the way only an entrepreneur can, but unlike most, he sees the big picture. Making money is good for you-but building a strong society and strong people is good for all of us. The topics Andrew addresses in this book aren't about some dystopian future way down the road. These things are happening today, and every entrepreneur should read this book to understand the challenges of the next decade."―Daymond John, star of ABC's Shark Tank, bestselling author of The Power of Broke, and founder of FUBU
"In this powerful book, Andrew Yang highlights the urgent need to rewrite America's social contract. In a call to arms that comes from both head and heart, Yang has made an important contribution to the debate about where America is headed and what we need to do about it."―Alec Ross, New York Times bestselling author of The Industries of the Future
"America desperately needs a wake-up call. This book will open your eyes to the ongoing effects of automation. Fortunately, aside from knowing full well the many challenges we face, Andrew Yang has a firm grasp of the solutions, most especially our need for Universal Basic Income. Read this book and hear the urgent call for abundance over scarcity, and humanity over abject madness. The clock is ticking."―Scott Santens, Director, U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network
"Andrew Yang writes with passion and conviction, offering astute analysis--as well as a hopeful solution--for the looming challenge that may well define the coming decades: How can we ensure broad-based prosperity in a future where labor-displacing technology becomes vastly more powerful?"―Martin Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Robots
"A sobering portrait of a crumbling polity . . . [and] a provocative work of social criticism."―Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Andrew Yang is the founder of Venture for America, a major non-profit that places top college graduates in start-ups for two years in emerging U.S. cities to generate job growth and train the next generation of entrepreneurs. Yang has been the CEO, co-founder or executive at a number of technology and education companies. Yang was named a Presidential Ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship and a Champion of Change by the White House and one of Fast Company's "100 Most Creative People in Business." He was also named to the National Advisory Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the Department of Commerce. A major documentary with an Oscar-winning director, Generation Startup, featuring Yang and Venture for America, was released in Fall 2016 and is available on Netflix and other streaming platforms. He is a graduate of Columbia Law, where he was an Editor of the Law Review, James Kent Scholar and winner of the Class of 1912 Prize, and Brown University where he graduated with degrees in Economics and Political Science.
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I found this book relatively impressive and frightening. Yang, a former lawyer, entrepreneur, and non-profit leader, writes showing with inarguable data that when companies automate work and use new software, communities die, drug use increases, suicide increases, and crime skyrockets. The new jobs created go to big cities, the surviving talent leaves, and the remaining people lose hope and descend into madness. (as a student of psychology, this is not surprising)
He starts by painting the picture of the average American and how fragile they are economically. He deconstructs the labor predictions and how technology is going to ravage it. He discusses the future of work. He explains what has happened in technology and why it’s suddenly a huge threat. He shows what this means: economic inequality rises, the people have less power, the voice of democracy is diminished, no one owns stocks, people get poorer etc. He shows that talent is leaving small towns, money is concentrating to big cities faster. He shows what happens when those other cities die (bad things), and then how the people react when they have no income (really bad things). He shows how retraining doesn’t work and college is failing us. We don’t invest in vocational skills, and our youth is underemployed pushed into freelance work making minimal pay. He shows how no one trusts the institutions anymore.
Then he discusses solutions with a focus on Universal Basic Income. I was a skeptic of the idea until I read this book. You literally walk away with this burning desire to prevent a Mad Max esque civil war, and its hard to argue with him. We don't have much time and our bloated micromanaged welfare programs cannot sustain.
There were 2 things that stood out to me about his book, 1) the growing disillusionment of the young male population, and 2) what it means to be normal and the bubble many elites live in.
Communities of angry young men is nothing new, but in the last 10 years they have had a explosion of growth as people retreat from social interactions and just give up with a nihilistic air to them (groups like MGTOW or TheRedPill are great examples). Yang addresses the man child that sees no future when he points to what many online communities of angry men preach, more women graduate from college, it's hard to climb up unless you were born into it, let's just give up, and etc etc. He further notes how this damages our social fabric, from the increasing drug usage to decreasing marriage rates to decreasing civic engagement. The disillusionment as mentioned is talked about, but recognizing the desire to retreat into video games was a relate-able feeling that other leaders have not talked about.
But despite the growing problem within people outside of the intellectual class, we as a country live in a divided world such that while only ~30% of Americans have bachelors degrees, if we have a Bachelors degree ourselves, chances are we only know people with bachelors degrees as well. He further notes that the elites in our country that went to MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and etc go to work in the same places and the same companies and hang out with each other further segmenting themselves off from society. This is self-evident in the last election where many liberal Americans were caught blindsided by the Trump win that tapped into a large vein of discontentment.
Yang clearly illustrates and trends and diagnoses the problems, his solution he puts forward will stand debate over the coming years as I suspect it's not the last we hear of it. What is clear is that the issues he outlines are undeniable and need to be addressed with new ideas as opposed to more of the same.
Andrew Yang completely nails what has caused many of the problems in the US. His simple description of the human effects from automation, and his major policy recommendations to fix them are both a strong reality check and extremely inspirational.
Whether you're Republican or Democrat, Andrew clearly proves that automation is real and having a negative effect on our society. Most importantly, instead of just identifying the problems, he suggests bold (but still realistic) policy solutions that can prepare us for this new reality.
It's a quick read, easy to understand and Andrew throws in a few good laughs along the way.
Simply put - This is a must-read for all Americans.