Ro Khanna is the favorite son of Silicon Valley, and he is running Congress with an agenda to push the tech industry into the future and to bring the benefits of technology to the rest of the country.
Voting for Khanna, Congressional candidate for the 17th district, is akin to voting for the future; he understands the nuances of the tech industry and which policies fuel a healthy economy.
“Technological automation and globalization are causing major disruptions that is putting stress on the middle class,” Khanna said. “My campaign is about a progressive vision from Silicon Valley around a universal basic minimum income, smart career technical education, and free public college to answer that challenge.”
Khanna proposed a few policies to boost the digital literacy of the future in the hopes to make America the leading manufacturer of cutting-edge technology products.
Khanna sees the value in early education in order for future generations to grasp and learn the skills to lead the world in the ever increasingly complex sector of advanced technology.
Universal preschools have the potential to lift low-income families out of the vicious cycle of poverty that plagues millions of Americans. Decades of research dating back to the 1960s has demonstrated remarkable long-lasting effects of pre-school attendance by low-income students, such as higher high school graduation rates, high rates of employment as well as a decreased percentage of incarcerations.
Universal Basic Income will provide a substantial safety net for poverty-stricken families. By helping these families get on their feet, their kids will have more resources, which will allow them to pursue more educational opportunities.
Also, with some financial security granted to all citizens, a number of things will play out as a result, adding value to society as a whole: entrepreneurial ventures will be more common, creating more jobs and innovation; people will have the time to think for themselves, adding to the political process; and overall, society will be a happier place where people can challenge certain employers and systems, no longer fighting for their survival, paycheck by paycheck.
Khanna believes in the importance of domestic manufacturing and its ties to technology development.
He studied these practices while traveling the country to meet with small-business owners during his two-year stint as assistant deputy secretary in the U.S. Department of Commerce. Khanna advocates for companies to locate their manufacturing processes in the United States by creating a tax structure that rewards them for investing and creating jobs here in America.
Another policy that incentivizes companies to manufacture in the states is allowing companies to bring their profits back to the U.S. at a reduced rate only if they invest a significant portion into manufacturing facilities. Incentivizing companies to invest locally will create millions of jobs and boost the U.S. economy as a result, becoming a key player in exporting tech products around the globe.
One of Khanna’s main goals is to provide Americans more opportunities to learn the skills necessary to fill available advanced-manufacturing jobs – current estimates count 3 million openings. The solution is more partnerships between manufacturers and junior colleges to train the next generation of workers.
Manufacturers make nearly 20 percent higher average weekly earnings than other workers with similar levels of education. And manufactured goods comprise about 65 percent of all U.S. trade, making them crucial to reducing America’s growing trade deficit.
By strengthening digital literacy policies, attracting advanced manufacturers, and building a universal society, Khanna is preparing the next generation of Americans of all backgrounds to be competitive in the global economy, while providing good-paying, skilled jobs to millions of Americans along the way.
Article co-authored by Jake Mitchell
Richie Hecker is an entrepreneur and political activist. He is the CEO of Traction and Scale, an incubator and investment firm that builds transformative businesses. (www.tractionandscale.com)