It’s estimated that about 7 million jobs will be lost due to automation over the next 10 years. Many of these jobs are cashier and general retail jobs. Already, Walmart has stores that are completely cashier-free. The savings in having automation is partly what drives these advances.
Many people worry about lost jobs. And the people hit hardest–if we don’t do something–is and will continue to be low wage earners.
A UBI is a solution that nips this right in the bud.
It’s time for UBI to become a more mainstream idea.
I first read about UBI over 8 years ago in graduate school. Back then, it was an idea in the philosophy world that didn’t seem to gain much traction. I liked it, however. So much so that I became an advocate for UBI, having volunteered for Basic Income Earth Network and written about the success of UBI-like programs used by Native American tribes.
Most of the arguments for UBI fit nicely within the capitalist framework. So don’t let anyone tell you it’s a form of socialism or communism. There are various proposals to funds a UBI and current estimates are that a UBI–one that really only covers basic needs–would be about $800-1,000 per person per month.
This is not nearly enough to live The American Dream, but it’s enough to keep people from going hungry.
There’s plenty of justification for UBI. The idea has been fleshed out enough over the years that there are more than enough arguments for it.
The real questions are those yet to be asked and answered, such as: At what age does a UBI begin? 18 years old? Or working age (16)? How will a UBI be funded? Exactly how much should a UBI be?