Elon Musk believes we’re headed toward a future of near-complete automation, and with it, a universal wage for the millions left jobless by robotic replacement.
Musk “isn’t sure what else one would do” in a world where robots have made human workers obsolete. He thinks “a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation” is all but inevitable.
The famed futurist businessman, engineer, and inventor cited mass road freight as an example. When tractor-trailer trucks can drive themselves, the only remaining jobs will be supervisory. And while that may be a “more interesting” job than being an actual driver, it’s also a very limited role.
The Universal Basic Income is proving ever more popular. Switzerland very nearly became the first country to implement it, and would have allotted each citizen $2578 on a monthly basis if it had passed. Barack Obama has joined the conversation as well, though he isn’t sure whether the current UBI model will appeal to a “broad base of people” in a conversation that we’ll almost certainly need to have in the next decade.
Futurist Zoltan Istvan also spoke of the coming need for a UBI when he spoke to Breitbart Tech earlier this year. “It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s some kind of socialist perspective,” he stated. “There’s also ways to create a universal basic income through Libertarian means and our Libertarian ideas and stuff like that.”
It would wipe — it would essentially replace — welfare. I think there’s a lot of Right-leaning people who would like to replace welfare. And the Universal Basic Income would do that. It would also replace Social Security, which is a huge headache for very many Americans moving forward, as they know that we just don’t have the money to pay that off.
Unemployment is already a global problem, and the onward march of technology will only serve to make it worse. When jobs have quite simply ceased to exist, the U.S. will be just one of many technologically-advanced nations grappling with ways to support unemployed citizens after their planned obsolescence.
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