Summary: Solutions are proposed as the shockwave of the new industrial revolution becomes visible on the horizon. Naturally, we first get small and comfortable ones — such as a guaranteed minimum income, which guarantee high and growing levels of inequality. We might even implement these, leaving the resulting social turmoil for the next generation. First of 2 posts about the GMI.
Our future if we distribute technology’s gains via welfare.
Well-fed, well-dressed menials bow before the aristocrats.
First, the new industrial revolution was debunked. When it become too obvious to ignore, the coming destruction of jobs was denied. Now that too has become obvious — so attention turns to easy solutions. Most commonly recommended is a guaranteed minimum income — a greatly expanded welfare system. For example…
- “Could a basic income solve the biggest challenge of the digital economy?” by Andrew White in The Guardian — “With growing numbers of jobs threatened by automation, reviving old ideas of an unconditional income may be the best way to protect workers.”
- “What If Everybody Didn’t Have to Work to Get Paid?” by David Wheeler in The Atlantic — “Advocates say that a guaranteed basic income can lead to more creative, fulfilling work. The question is how to fund it.”
Productivity has risen, but the gains went to profits (not workers ), then flowed through to the top few percent of households, leaving little for the rest.