If most jobs are automated, what skills will people need? wonders Marc Tucker. Who will be educated and how?
Some Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are proposing a guaranteed basic income — everyone gets a check, regardless of need — to deal with the consequences of automation. Sam Altman, the president of Y Combinator, is funding a trial of the idea.
Matt Krisloff, the manager of the project, sees a day when “95 percent— or a vast majority — of people won’t be able to contribute to the workforce.”
Since the Great Recession, most of the job growth has been among knowledge workers, writes Tucker. Workers doing routine tasks may not have a future.
Raising the minimum wage for low-skilled jobs will encourage employers to replace workers with technology. Self-driving cars, trucks and trains could put millions out of work.
Those on this new dole will have time “to think deep thoughts about protecting the environment,” as one advocate suggests. They can write poetry, create art, grow vegetables or . . . play video games.
If there are a few challenging jobs for the highly educated, and the dole for everyone else, educators would have to decide who’s worth educating, Tucker writes.
There’d be plenty of recess, music, art and sports for those destined for the dole.
Would teaching be automated? I think content delivery might be, but there will be a need for humans to interact with humans. I hope.
On Sunday, Swiss voters soundly rejected a guaranteed income proposal, reports Business Insider. “Supporters had said introducing a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,563) per adult and 625 francs per child under 18 would promote human dignity and public service. Opponents, including the government, said it would cost too much and weaken the economy.”