Automation is a ticking time bomb for our economy. Millions of driving jobs, experts predict, will be the first to go. Here in San Francisco, thousands of workers drive for services including Lyft and Uber even while those billion dollar companies dedicate themselves to researching how to eliminate those workers through self-driving cars. Automation isn’t a threat as long as the economy is growing, or as long as workers are cheaper than robots. But that won’t last.

We are facing changes of monumental proportion and even the Silicon Valley elite are beginning to plan for a future where there are far fewer jobs than there are people to fill them.

And yet our society is amazingly prosperous.

The Democratic Party has unveiled a new “Better Deal” slogan that promises “Better Skills.” We all know that upskilling is not enough. Computer programs can already code, so code academies aren’t the answer. Even much of the work of attorneys like me – the tedious research and brief writing that fills many an associate’s day – is being replaced by computer programs. Political debate on social media is often carried out by “bots” – simple programs that communicate and conversate like real human beings.

“Better Skills” alone aren’t enough, so what are we to do? First, it’s time to open our public colleges and universities to all, free of charge, to ensure that all American have a shot at the nuanced education required to keep ahead of the bots. Second, we must begin to turn our economy from war to care.

Insurance jobs should be replaced with real health care opportunities.

Instead of waiting for automation to turn our world upside down, it’s time for us to make a real shift to an economy that takes care of all. President Roosevelt, in his 1944 State of the Union, offered these rights:

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.
I want an educated population that works together to face down the challenges of automation together. We can rethink work, we can rethink our dependence on a war economy, and we can reform a health care system where millions of jobs depend on the suffering of millions of uninsured and uninsured Americans.

Is the current Congress capable of dealing with these changes? No.

It’s time for us to replace the toothless politicians in DC with leaders willing to take on the real challenges we face, who are dedicated to the rights of every American to live a life of prosperity and dignity.