“Unconditional income for people in the country — a necessary attribute of living in the world where some professions were replaced by robots, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and automation, according to some experts. According to them, the introduction of a basic income is the only way to keep afloat the economies of some countries,” writes the author of the material. He Tracinski does not believe that technological advances come so quickly that the workers almost immediately onto the streets of. “I think we all understand in advance that changes are coming, and most people will have time to adapt — to change my life or place of work.”. Yes, automation will change the economy, but technological progress is always changing her, ever since the industrial revolution.
And to allocate the former workers of the unconditional permanent income is the worst way to help them to adapt to new conditions. “Lets stop and look back. The calls of experts from the technology industry to introduce an unconditional income is nothing new. Fears that new technologies will deprive us all of the work and dreams that they will allow us to finally live in a utopia without having to work hard, as old as the industrial revolution itself. Such assumptions arise each time with the advent of new technologies,” the author continues.
As an example of such a conflict leads Tracinski Luddites and followers of the proposals of Robert Owen (owenstown) in the early 19th century. Luddites were ardent opponents of the introduction of machines during the industrial revolution, they believed that technology would deprive the most part of the population. Followers of Owen believed that the industrial revolution will help to build a socialist utopia in which everybody gets all he needs for life. “Both sides were wrong.
The Luddites predicted unemployment, but it turned out that humanity was on the verge of its greatest flowering. Proponents of the theory of Owen established a utopian commune in Indiana, but it lasted no longer than four years,” says the author of the note. “But from such ideas, it is very difficult to refuse — that the industrial revolution can again produce such an abundance that it would be possible to build a new society according to the paradigm of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”, thus removing the connection between work and income”. According to Tracinski, with each new breakthrough technologies such assumptions prove to be ineffective, but continue to worry experts. The combination of computers and self-regulating mechanisms has led us to the cybernetic revolution.
The result of this revolution with an inexhaustible supply of productivity and the reduced need for human labor. The economy of abundance will help to contain the whole population in comfort and economic security. People do not have to engage in what is commonly called work. Wealth is still wealth, even if it is produced by machine and not man. We encourage each resident and family a sufficient income at the legal level.
This is an excerpt from a letter to US President Lyndon Johnson, which he received shortly before told about his initiative of the “Great society” in 1964. “And now were back to the same ideas — but this time with the development of robotics and artificial intelligence systems. If this time is no different from the rest, what lessons should we consider?”. One of the lessons according to Tracinski, is that regardless of how intelligent and complex the system will be need people, who will be her support.
“Someone has to watch them, someone to regulate their work, someone to understand how they work and how to work with other systems. In the technology sector now employed millions of people who are engaged in implementation, development, support. Ask them how soon the industry will catch up with automation. And its not talking about the innovators who determine the development of the technology,” he explains. The industry is full of people, although even in 1964, some believed that the imaginary “cyber system” will work by itself.
“The disadvantage lies in the fact that human work remains necessary. Plus in the same, and furthermore, that this has become much more productive and highly paid”. The average annual income of professionals in the technology industry in the U.S. is about $100 thousand, the author writes material. Also notice that the transition to a new type of economy could really be for someone painful. “But lets be accurate.
It was painful for those who would not or could not develop the skills necessary to change activities. That is why the idea of introducing an unconditional income so horrible. Such income will stop the adaptation of workers to the new reality”. Absolute income, according to the author, not only eliminates the need for the work, but also encourages the rejection of it. “The more generous the government to those who are not working, the more affected workers.
Imagine that an unconditional income is $30 thousand a year and those who earn more than this amount from their payments from the state. In fact, it turns out that the one who earns $100 thousand, have to pay $30 thousand a year in addition to those taxes that he already pays”. Why would someone work hard to get more money, when you can do nothing at all and is quite nice to live?. “Some believe that workers will spend free time in developing skills and adapting to changing market. The Central idea of an unconditional income remains the possibility not to work at all.
In Switzerland, a similar idea has spread with giant posters that were offered to residents to think about what they will do if they dont have to work”, — the journalist continues. The loss of a job should not frighten. We should aspire to. No need to ask questions about what will happen when computers will steal our jobs. You need to ask yourself how to achieve this.
“Ah, this age-old dream — to live without working. Which almost always boils down to live at the expense of someone else who works,” writes the author of the material. Another problem, in his opinion, is that the gap between segments of the population will increase significantly. Even in such a society there will be people who will want to develop your skills and will strive for greater. “Life without work is a life of economic stagnation”.
“As I said, regardless of how complex the technological system, will always need people who will do it. The more productive and “smarter” system, the more workers it replaces, and the greater the reward for those who know how it works”. According to the author, the economy an unconditional income divide residents into two layers. Those who have decided to abandon this income and continued to work and develop, and those who couldnt adapt and missed the chance to enter the “technology top class”. Tracinski offers to consider as an example the transition from agriculture to industrial farming and food production.
The percentage of the US population engaged in agriculture, the year falls, the amount produced of food — growing. “Output increases, the number of employees in industry employees — falls. Previous generations have adapted to this transition, and found work in factories instead of farms.”. “Lets imagine what would happen if we suggested earlier worked on farms to residents of the unconditional income, patted them on the shoulder and announced that they are now free to choose their occupation, not thinking about money. We would encourage them to stay in their communities and move to cities that have had a terrible effect on their lives and on the economy,” he explains.
During the leadership of President Johnson in the United States was declared a “war on poverty”. According to Tracinski, her idea was to reform the economy so that the poor could “break the vicious circle and embark on the path of prosperity”. Was adopted a number of measures, which included including state benefits for some residents. “Since then, however, the level of poverty in the country fell from 19% to 13%. At the same time, according to some supporters of the “war on poverty” if you cease to pay state benefits, the level of poverty in modern America will account for 29% of.
To be poor has become safer, but no more. Having fixed unconditional income for all, the government will encourage displaced workers to remain permanently below the poverty line. It promises that it will always find means to help these people.”. Thus, unconditional income is a tool that will divide people on those who do not benefit the economy, and technological elite, which owns all the riches of the world. Not like a progressive utopia.
“You know whats worse. That unconditional income is pushing people into a dead end idleness — although new technology will give them such opportunities, which theyve never dreamed of,” — concludes the journalist.