As the nation grapples with income inequality, a lack of affordable housing, along with a prospective labor crisis caused by technological progress such as artificial intelligence and automation, Y Combinator president Sam Altman is launching a new initiative to try and create political options in his home state and potentially the nation.
For the past year or more, Altman has been dabbling in this domain with political experiments on the national and local level.
The president of the exceptionally successful accelerator that has backed startups such as Airbnb, Dropbox and Stripe has established a standard minimum income initiative in Oakland, traveled across the nation to take its political pulse, and toyed with the concept of running for Governor in California. Those efforts have culminated in Altmans United Slate for both California and, potentially, America.
The new initiative, that Altman launched now, is a combination of a political stage along with a telephone for applicants the 32-year-old tech millionaire will encourage in their predictions for governor, lieutenant governor, along with Congress.
Altman informs me he chose that potential slate because these races had a lengthy enough lead-time for his participation to make a difference. Past the electoral attention, Altman also had a justification for his first focus on the state of California.
In a age where the Federal government is relegating more duties to the states, California, since the worlds sixth largest market and the most populous state in the nation, can have an outsized role on influencing the national political landscape, Altman says.
At the exact same time, the demand congressional candidates puts Altmans political vision in the national conversation for matters that require national support, such as universal medicare and improved access to schooling.
For Altman, the two parties are very calcified in a mindset which pits economic growth against economic fairness, and he hopes to unify those two competing principles. Beyond that, there are particular areas, for example support for science and technology, in which Altman feels just like the Democratic Party can perform.
Looking beyond the call for applicants, Altman is also hoping to present a ballot initiative to tackle the states housing crisis.
In a statement about the new United Slate site, Altman lays out the problems the nation faces:
Today, we’ve got massive wealth inequality, small economic expansion, a system which works for individuals born blessed, and a cost of living that is spiraling out of control. Most young men and women think their lives will be worse than their parents lives, which should set off alarm bells for us all.
Most individuals lives aren’t what they picturedthey feel as they have great potential that has been wasted.
We’re in the center of a huge technological shiftthe automation revolution will be as big as the agricultural revolution or the industrial revolution. We will need to figure out a new social arrangement, and to make sure that everyone benefits in the forthcoming changes.
We have to return to a working government. If the procedure can do the job again, we’ve got a chance to solve our biggest problems.
Interestingly, Altmans record of potential policy aims wouldnt look weird on a Bernie Sanders political stage.
Especially, Altman lays out ten broad policy objectives including:
- Lowering the cost of living, especially home
- Transferring to international Medicare coverage by slowly reducing the age of eligibility
- Placing a target of 90\% clean energy in the Nation by 2050
- Reforming instruction to enhance access
- Reforming the tax system
- Shifting 10 percent of their defense funding to research and development of future technology
- Reforming trade and employment regulations
- Expanding the social safety net through international basic income
- Improving our representational government
- Promoting world-class infrastructure growth in the U.S.
While Altman had previously considered running for governor, he now thinks that creating a broad-based coalition supporting his schedule is perhaps a better way to approach instituting policies that he believes the state will need to continue being successful on the worldwide stage.
I think there are a number of good group doing so in different nations. I wish to focus on one particular election cycle in one particular state, Altman informs me. I want to do really well on a single specific ballot in a specific year and I want to connect that to a special ballot initiative.
Altman also sees that as the very first step along a much more political road to reshape American politics together lines which may see the nation succeed in the long run. He writes:
I was one of the last kids of the American Century. Im not quite prepared to let it all go. If we dont take action now, the US is going to be surpassed as the world superpower. Id like to contact the values that made our nation the envy of the world. I believe in American exceptionalism, and even with Trump in the White House, my proudest individuality of all is being American.
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