Next:Economy Newsletter
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Coming soon: The Long-Term Stock Exchange

Ever since economist Milton Friedman's view that a company's top priority is to maximize shareholder value took hold, Wall Street's emphasis on short-term performance has spawned a multitude of problems in our economy. Silicon Valley may have found one solution: the Long-Term Stock Exchange. Spearheaded by entrepreneur Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, it's backed by tech leaders—including Marc Andreessen, Steve Case, Reid Hoffman, Dick Costolo, and Tim O'Reilly—who want to encourage long-term thinking on the part of executives and investors by providing incentives for investors to hold stocks for greater periods of time and rewarding company employees for long-term business performance. Proponents believe it will relieve some of the market pressure on entrepreneurs who want to bring their startups to IPOs and that it will catalyze innovation and new investment opportunities. Under discussion for several years, the LTSE could come to fruition by the end of 2017. Read all about it in the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times, which also explores other alternative approaches to the financial markets. If you don't subscribe to either of those publications, here's a good primer on the LTSE from Quartz.

Income inequality grows in West Coast tech boom

As Silicon Valley continues to mint new millionaires (and enable today's titans to get ever richer by the day) the tech boom has spawned another growing category of workers: the working homeless. This week the Associated Press brought to light stories of workers who live in the shadow of the West Coast tech boom but are not participating in prosperity. The problem: basic supply and demand. Those affluent tech workers have exerted upward pressure on housing costs, putting homes out of reach—from Seattle to San Diego—for people who don't command Silicon Valley salaries. At the same time, working-class wages have not risen, despite the healthy jobs market:
"I've got economically zero unemployment in my city, and I've got thousands of homeless people that actually are working and just can't afford housing," said Seattle City Councilman Mike O'Brien. "There's nowhere for these folks to move to."
The AP dug into this story, to paint a distressing picture of the homeless living in the gilded streets of the West Coast's wealthiest cities, many of whom serve the affluent tech workers.

+ This is more evidence that venture capitalist Nick Hanauer was correct in warning his "fellow zillionaires" (as we shared this summer) that "the pitchforks are coming for us plutocrats."

A "new New Deal" for automation-displaced workers

Speaking at MIT Technology Review's annual EmTech MIT conference this week, Andrew Ng—creator of Google's deep learning Brain project, former head of AI for Baidu, and founder of the startup deeplearning.ai—recounted that in his work he often visits call centers, speaking to people whose jobs he's likely to help automate away. He proposed an idea to help workers whose jobs are at risk of disappearing: a "new New Deal" that pays people displaced by technology to study, offering an incentive to learn new skills and reenter the workforce.

+ Ng's proposal makes sense to address the skills gap in the labor market. But what if the skills gap is a myth?

Bot.Me: PWC on augmentation by AI

With a market expected to reach $70 billion by 2020, artificial intelligence stands to transform consumer, enterprise, and government markets across the globe. This extraordinarily upbeat look at the possibilities of AI in the workplace, the home, the healthcare industry, and other realms across society—based on a survey of 2,500 US consumers and business decision makers—paints a picture of Americans ready for AI to improve the quality of their lives and solve major problems in the world. Read PWC's new report—Bot.Me: A Revolutionary Partnership.

Tim times two: Tim O'Reilly on the Tim Ferriss Show

A while before Tim O'Reilly's book WTF? What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us was released, Tim Ferriss was among the first people to schedule an interview with Tim O'Reilly. The podcast is finally out, and it runs over two hours, giving the two Tims time to engage in a wide-ranging discussion that begins with Sesame Street's Cookie Monster, covers Tim O'Reilly's family background, child-rearing advice, his education in the classics, and the start of his business, and roams into philosophy, psychology, reality, evolving consciousness, Plato, Lao Tzu, Ulysses, Wallace Stevens, tarot cards, interviewing Frank Herbert, and all manner of personal topics for more an hour until they get around to talking about WTF? It's a different kind of interview than the others we've shared of late. If you want to get to know more about Tim O'Reilly, settle in and enjoy the Tim Ferriss Show.

+ Business Insider's very much shorter segment with Tim O'Reilly: "Robot workers will improve everyone's lives, not just the rich."

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