This is the issue that Andrew Biggs implicitly raises in his Wall Street Journal column highlighting the jump in the size of the projections of the Social Security shortfall since 2008. Biggs complains that progressives have responded to the economic collapse by proposing an increase in
As we all should know, corporations focus on the bottom line in the short term. Keeping the shareholders happy is their mantra. The CEO who exploits and degrades workers and makes their lives horrible is assured a long tenure as long as he also increases shareholder dividends. Let the most farsighted CEO allow dividends to drop over a few quarters and he's history.
Now one of the very predictable results of massive, long-term, structural unemployment dues to automation and roboticization of jobs is that consumer spending will massively decrease. The market for goods and services will shrink to a shadow of what it once was. Even people who are employed will spend less, because they'll be spending their income to help friends, relatives, etc., who are unemployed.
And it won't just affect the US, it will affect China because most of their jobs are going to be VERY automobile
So very soon the bean counters are going to be telling the CEOs "The numbers are going south." And the manufacturing people will say, 'Our robots are making the product/service as cheaply as it can possibly be made so we can't squeeze extra profit there." And the marketing people will be saying, "It does not matter how we market the product/service, people don't have money to buy it." And the CEO is going to ask, "Well dammit, how can we get money into the hands of consumers so they can buy our product/service?"
And the answer will be: "Basic Income." In fact, the ONLY answer I can see is "Basic Income."
Thoughts? Is there a link in that chain I left out? Am I missing something?
Jobs for every American is doomed to failure because of modern automation and production. We ought to recognize it and create an income-maintenance system so every single American has the dignity and the wherewithal for shelter, basic food, and medical care. I'm talking about welfare for all. Without it, you're going to have warfare for all.
CGP Grey, in perhaps his most ambitious video to date, has tackled the subject of automation — in short, robots coming for all the jobs. Whether you work in transportation, white collar trades, or even the arts, there's probably a programmer working on putting you in the poor house as soon as possible. Or worse, a programmer teaching a robot to teach itself so it can put anyone out of work.
A little unsettling, huh? The best piece I've ever seen trying to game out the long-term effects of automation is "Four Futures," by Peter Frase in Jacobin magazine. By imagining two axes of possible development — scarcity versus abundance, and hierarchy versus egalitarianism — he outlines four possible futures of the human race. They range from a work-free utopia (as outlined by Iain M. Banks in his Culture series), to a terrifying war of extermination by the rich against the masses of useless poor. Frase's piece is an excellent complement to the above video, which is rather vague about the political implications of the subject. Definitely give it a read.