UK’s Financial Times: Hire the Robots to Work, Pay the People to Play
|February 12, 2014||Posted by Staff under Good Press, Work / Play|
This 2014 excerpt of the UK’s Financial Times, Feb 11, is by Martin Wolf.
Nigh half of US jobs are at high risk from automation. Most workers in transport and logistics occupations, together with the bulk of office and administrative support workers, and labour in production occupations, are likely to be substituted by computer capital. Moreover, computerization will mainly substitute for low-skill and low-wage jobs in the near future. By contrast, high-skill and high-wage occupations are the least susceptible to computer capital.
It is possible that the ultimate result will be a tiny minority of huge winners and a vast number of losers. But such an outcome would be a choice not a destiny. Property rights are a social creation.
Technology itself does not dictate outcomes. Economic and political institutions do. If the ones we have do not give the results we want, we must change them.
We will need to distribute income and wealth differently. Such redistribution could take the form of a basic income for every adult. The revenue could come from taxes on bads (pollution, for example) or on rents (including land and, above all, intellectual property).
Intelligent machines will make it possible for human beings to live far better lives. What else is the true goal of the vast increases in prosperity we have created?
Ed. Notes: Along with paying dividends to the citizenry, we could also stop paying wasteful subsidies to special interests. Along with collecting taxes as cited above, we could also quit levying the counterproductive taxes on earnings, sales, and buildings. Both steps will swell location value, generating even more revenue with which to fatten the dividends to everyone. The editor above makes so much sense, one must wonder when will the US’s Wall Street Journal will ever catch up to the UK’s Financial Times.