Today’s News and Commentary — September 14, 2016

The U.S. Census Bureau has good news for Americans: household incomes increased in the largest annual surge ever recorded (5.2%) in 2015. The average household income now stands at $56,516 and is up for the first time since 2007. However, it still stands below the pre-recession high from 1999. The New York Times Editorial Board criticized both major presidential nominees for not yet talking about how to help the poor in light of these statistics. However, they predict that Clinton’s proposed agenda items to help families and the working-class would also have benefits for the poor, while Trump’s policies would harm job growth.

Those who thought they had heard the last on Friedrichs may be surprised to see the lead plaintiff’s name in the news again. This week, Rebecca Friedrichs got political with a second editorial in as many months in The Hill. This time, she criticized Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine for “suddenly abandon[ing] right-to-work.” Friedrichs had previously praised Kaine for his support of right-to-work laws in his home state of Virginia, but wrote that she was “disappointed” with his announcement that he now opposes right-to-work nationwide. A Clinton spokesperson asserted that Kaine has been consistent in his positions and has always opposed a federal right-to-work law.

Lastly, the New York Times reassures us that we should not panic that robots are training to do our jobs. This new reality may help us in prioritizing “creative intelligence,” which helps us work with robots, rather than our knowledge bases, which have been long outstripped by computers and other machines.