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How To Fix The Future

Andrew Keen, one of the world’s best-known and controversial commentators on the digital revolution, proposes his solutions to reforming the digital age with his book “How To Fix The Future.” Plus, we welcome back insurance guru Robert Hunter, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the nation’s greatest grassroots consumer victories, the passing of Prop 103 in California.

Andrew Keen  is one of the world’s best-known and controversial commentators on the digital revolution. He is the author of four books: Cult of the AmateurDigital Vertigointernational hit The Internet Is Not The Answer, and his latest book How To Fix The Future. Mr. Keen is executive director of the Silicon Valley innovation salon FutureCast and the host of Keen On,” a popular TechCrunch chat show.  And in 2015, he was named one of the “100 Most Connected Men” by GQ magazine.

“The great challenge of today is arming us with agency, giving us the power to determine our own lives in the face of these massive (digital) companies and of these seemingly inevitable technologies. That’s the great question of the 21st Century: How to be human?” Andrew Keen, author of “How To Fix The Future”

Robert Hunter is the Director of Insurance at the Consumer Federation of America. Over the years, Mr. Hunter has held many positions in the field, both public and private, including being the Insurance Commissioner for the State of Texas, being the President and Founder of the National Insurance Consumer Organization, and as an underwriter for Atlantic Mutual and Centennial Insurance Companies.

“California’s liability (auto) insurance premium is more than 5% below what is was in 1989. I’m not talking about inflation-adjusted. I’m talking about if you paid $100 in 1989, you pay $94 now.” Insurance expert, Robert Hunter, on the 154 billion dollar savings to consumers since California voters passed Prop 103


  1. Kenneth Paderewski says:

    Andrew Keen’s excellent point to “re-architect the relationship between companies and individuals” makes sense. But Keen appears focused on phenomenon like Google, Facebook, Trump, which are examples of phenomena making headline news.

    Turning to the systemic problem rather than a phenomenon is How To Fix The Future. A halt must be put to the seemingly endless creation of money and debt by the US Fed for the financial world – not OUR WORLD. (Except in our world to dive into conjured-money making isn’t a solution either – only real money counts.)

    Weening the US dollar off its hubris as the currency king is where to begin to fix the future; expose the dollar’s role as the weapon of monetary policy warfare that conquers democratic action in places like Brazil and Mexico, as Nomi Prins points out in her analysis of the Central Banking System – equally dangerous to Americans at home.

    Before we look at tweaking the phenomenon as a way to a better quality of life, we must look even closer at the system which allows certain phenomenon to thrive for better or worse.

    Fix the system first, then a solution to phenomenon will follow. As long as the US Fed refuses to be audited by the people, tweaking phenomenon is a waste of time. Only a Fed held accountable can deter irresponsible financial speculation and its trickle down effects that hurt society.

    Financial Speculation? Now that’s a phenomenon – 2008 all over again – watch out Listeners!

  2. John Puma says:

    I listened in frustrated bewilderment to the interview with Andrew Keen.

    He is certainly glib but I’d suggest that if he wants to sell his book, it would be to his financial advantage to recruit someone else to do the requisite interviews.

    He first said that he doesn’t care if his personal information is harvested by internet denizens because he is doing nothing illegal. I would never buy a book from someone who has so thoughtlessly (at best!) embraced the reasoning of Dick Cheney (among other political monsters) for the obliteration of the fourth amendment of the US constitution.

    He also repeatedly suggested that paying for internet services guarantees maintenance of secrecy of one’s personal information. He thereby revealed an extreme naivete immediately eliminating him from any serious consideration as a valid analyst of the area of his claimed expertise – the corporate digital world.

  3. Deborah says:

    please read Automating Inequality How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor by Virginia Eubanks.

  4. Ben Leet says:

    About the $100 insurance cost in California in 1989 — it’s worth $208 today. Inflation
    calculator at BLS web page. Who says regulation doesn’t work? .

  5. Ben Leet says:

    About the 3.7% unemployment rate — the National Jobs for All Coalition (dot org) shows real unemployment at 9.6%. ( The metrics on unemployment and low wages are not clear from government sources, they are confusing. The NJFAC is a detailed report and should be read to be understood. I think the rate was about 19% ten years ago, so it’s falling. The Social Security Administration reports yearly on wage income. In 2017, most recent year, it showed that median wage income — the middle worker — earned $31,561. Adding all the income of the lower half, some 83 million workers, sums to $1.1 trillion, and that is less than 8% of total national income, which is $15 trillion (though the says it’s $16.2 trillion). Who gets the other 92% of national income? If you divide the $1.1 trillion by the 83 million workers, the average income for the lower half is $13,700 a year, which $1,140 a month. The poverty level for a single person in 2017 — $13,860. So average wage income for half of all workers is below the Federal Poverty Level. And for your info, the FPL is about 20% of the “average income”. Bear with me, it’s complicated, I should not pack so much into a comment. The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), U.S. Census, shows that 42% of Americans live with incomes below 200% of FPL. And like I said, the average household income is about 500% of the FPL. Divide $15 trillion by 125 million households, gives you $120,000 average income for all households. The median for all is just above $60,000, the FPL average is below $20,000, so 500% of that is under $120,000 — too complicated I’d say. Anyway — The United Way charity has issued several reports (ALICE is the title) recently about the portion of U.S. families whose income fails to reach the “survival budget” minimum, they say 40% of U.S. population have incomes below survival budget level — see ALICE at United Way. ALICE means “Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed”. I’m trying to write an article about this topic. Another good source is a report from Jeff Madrick at the Century Foundation, “A Vision for a High Wage America”. Tell Ralph to think about interviewing Madrick or his co-author McCormack.

  6. Rebecca says:

    As far as privacy issues are concerned, Ralph Nader should interview Carrie Goldberg about the epidemic of “revenge pron.” Please cover some issues impacting women.

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