Pete Buttigieg on Technology
Democratic Presidential Challenger; IN Mayor
BUTTIGIEG: Look, I'm interested in decarbonizing the fuel that goes into air travel. I also don't believe we're going to abolish air travel. But we do need to do more to provide alternatives to air travel. I think about the train system, in a country that views itself as the greatest, most modern, the most sophisticated in the world. How is it that we have such an inferior train system when trains are a lot easier to power on a green basis because they run on electricity?
I'm not even asking for asking for Japanese-level trains. Just give me like Italian-level trains and we would be way ahead of where we are right now, but that's going to require policy choices and investment. And if anybody says we shouldn't subsidize trains--think about just how many ways we subsidize driving which is among the most carbon intensive things we could be doing.
Buttigieg has argued that before they can even contemplate break-ups, enforcers at the Federal Trade Commission & Department of Justice need to be better empowered. That may mean more resources, staff or statutory authority. "We're going to need to empower the FTC to be able to intervene, including blocking or reversing mergers in cases where there's anticompetitive behavior by tech companies," Buttigieg said.
Under his leadership, South Bend has reimagined its role in the global economy, spurring job growth & major investment in advanced industries such as data and technology. At the same time, Pete emphasized building a South Bend community where every resident--regardless of race, religion, gender, or orientation--could feel safe and included.
Fresh from a job in management consulting, I had promised during the campaign to set up a 311 system, so residents wouldn't have to figure out the relevant department in order to report a pothole or get a streetlight fixed. When the 311 center opened, we gained something more valuable than a new mechanism for customer service; for the first time, South Bend had a central, constantly updated data set on what people were calling about. Using that data, the city was able to make countless operational improvements, from cutting the time it took to get a pick-up by our trash crews, to simplifying the way residents paid their water bills.
Thinking back to his youth on the street department, one councilman was skeptical. "You have this technology to tell you which streets need repair," he said. "But if your foreman's any good, he ought to already know that off the top of his head!" Admittedly, the councilman had a point. One of the reasons we had qualified, experienced individuals in organizations is to use their intuition and expertise to solve problems.
For all the power that data analysis represents, it also has its limitations, and the potential for mischief. You might spend lots of time and resources gathering data that will never be used, or accumulate data that winds up telling you things you already know.
[On the planned infrastructure bill]: "Transportation can be a part of the solution," Buttigieg said. "In fact, it has to be because transportation is the biggest part of the problem. We're the biggest sector when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, which means improving transportation is the biggest thing we can do to get our economy on the right track." According to the EPA, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation account for nearly 30% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
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Incoming 2021 Biden Administration:
Domestic Policy:Susan Rice
Public Liaison:Cedric Richmond
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Former Bush Administration:
Pres.:George W. Bush
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