Michigan is Bipartisan when it comes to militarism and capitalism

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

It is easy to present Democrats and Republicans as polar opposites, always waring with each other. However, the Blue State/Red State dichotomy is often an illusion framed around certain social issues.

When it comes to US foreign policy and the defense of capitalism, then we can easily see bipartisan consensus.  For most of US history, especially once wars are started, it is rare to find members of Congress who take a stand against US militarism. This bipartisan consensus is often framed as “support for the troops,” but a closer look will demonstrate that both the Republicans and Democrats are deeply committed to US wars abroad, which leads to a consensus on the Defense budget, which leads to bringing money to states that have a stake in weapons contracts or domestic military bases.

This bipartisan consensus was on display just before the holidays, when Michigan Senators Gary Peters and Debbie…

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Big Data, A.I., ‘Personalized’ Learning: A Solution for Eliminating Poverty and Improving Schools?


Tuesday’s NY Times featured a commentary whose author promotes artificial intelligence, big data, and “personalized” learning—algorithm-driven computer programs said to tailor learning to a student’s needs and interests—not only for reinventing education but for powering a new war on poverty. It is a glowing article framed as problem-solving: “Poverty, of course, is a multifaceted phenomenon. But the condition of poverty often entails one or more of these realities: a lack of income (joblessness); a lack of preparedness (education); and a dependency on government services (welfare). A.I. (artificial intelligence) can address all three.”

Clearly the author, Elisabeth A. Mason, the founding director of the Stanford Poverty and Technology Lab, isn’t a fan of dependency on government programs to provide support for people trapped in poverty, and she believes big data and artificial intelligence can match people who are out of work to, “good middle-class jobs that are going unfilled.  Today there…

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