Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur and 2020 US presidential candidate (Dem), running on a platform headlined by universal basic income (UBI). He is the only candidate to have made UBI a plank of his platform.
The robots are coming for your jobs, if they haven't already. AI phone systems, self-service checkouts and kiosks, websites, mobile apps, self-driving vehicles, and automated factories — these are all innovations that boost profits and efficiency, and safety, too, while eliminating the need for human workers. And this is just the beginning. As the cost of AI and automated systems comes down in the next decade or two, the cuts will expand deeper into the labor force.
The question is: are these jobs worth saving? Are the soul-crushing, mindless, unfulfilling, depressing jobs most of us work worth us standing in the way of technological progress and innovation to preserve? That question is moot; there is no putting this genie back in the bottle. Forces are now in motion that cannot be reversed, short of a cataclysm that blows civilization back to the Stone Age. The purpose of technology was always to free us from the need to do human labor, to do the jobs we don’t enjoy, and to do them better, faster, and more safely. Universal Basic Income is not the answer to all of our problems. It is a springboard to the real solution: fostering the development of the social, entrepreneurial, creative, and intellectual potential of humanity.
See more in my Andrew Yang folder.
Yeah... moving one's fingers around and around in circles all day long, day after day, year after year, is "DIGNIFIED!11" and "MEANINGFUL!111" Uh, yeah. Sure. The scary thing is, it's not just politicians saying this. People tell themselves whatever will keep them from going insane, no matter how absurd.
"The refuge of people with nothing better to do." I gotta remember that one. Most people say "nothing better to do" to someone else who's doing something they themselves don't approve of, meaning... wait for it... WORK!
Being someone who is creative and able to make just about anything happen that I want to, I can guarantee that being stuck in repetition, employment consisting of two jobs that offer no extra money at all - everything going toward rent, food and bills - This kind of life is not fulfilling, this kind of life is not life. This is what you call "stagnation". And I'm becoming a fucked up person because of it.
I welcome the arrival of the robots to take over the common, mundane jobs. Humanity is past burger-flipping. Past sitting at a cubicle filling out papers with information a computer could take care of in a fraction of the time. "Standard" jobs won't die easily or quickly but they MUST die.
The DNC has set their guidelines for qualifying for the debates, and they appear to have learned their lesson after the 2016 debacle. Candidates need to be polling at at least 1%, and they need 65,000 unique donors. Donations as little one dollar count. No other candidate is talking about these issues, let alone proposing ideas. In fact, Yang is the only non-politician running, also. So if you feel that these issues deserve to be debated on the national stage, give Andrew Yang a dollar. www.yang2020.com
Time to do my research! On face, Mr. Yang's ideas seem to be things that I support. If that continues to be the case, I'm sure I can stand to donate more than a dollar.
It's what we need in this country. Someone who sees more than appearance and personal gain, someone who wishes to fix these problems that will only continue to get worse as the radical left continues to have such an oppressive voice.
UBI is meant to get all citizens just over the poverty line. One could, if they absolutely had to, survive on it, but it is not meant to replace all income sources. It is meant to provide people a soft landing who find themselves displaced in the job market, and to provide a cushion for others to pursue ventures and endeavors they otherwise wouldn't be able to (starting a business, pursuing something one is passionate about but which otherwise wouldn't pay enough to live on by itself, etc.)
I've changed my worried position since people like Yang, yourself and many others have stated and proved that a lot of jobs these days lack that.
I remember reading an example in Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book "Flow" that I've used before. He claimed that while we do in many ways have it better of today than say a bit more than a century ago, we aren't necessarily happier. Because, he argued, if you worked as a blacksmith in a small village you were important. Sure, compared to a president or a general or business tycoon or someone higher up in the hierarchical chain you may have been nothing but a vote, potential canon fodder, or a customer. But in the small village, that was in essence your entire world, what you did had meaning. When someone needed to shoe their horses, they came to you, when they needed to repair an important tool made of metal, like an axe or a plow, they came to you, likewise if they needed to pull out some teeth, they came to you.
But today, when you work as a small, often easily replaced cog in a machine, you don't feel so important.
Especially since many jobs these days are very vague in what they actual task or title is. Like what in niefelheim does a "inter-corporate media manager" do? Hard to feel like you are an important member with a meaningful task that matters to people.
(Speaking of vague job titles, where the goal seems more to have a fancy sounding a long name instead of, you know, actually doing something (like the George Carlin routine on "Soft language" I sometimes think that people rather give their workers fancy job-titles instead of giving them a living wage) I like to parody that by giving mundane or common jobs difficult titles. When I did work as a clerk, for example, I said that I worked "in costumer to corporation interactions when dealing with exchange between liquid assets and products.")
UBI combined with free education would also be a grand idea in progressing humanity forward. Imagine all the new thinkers we would breed with people who have a natural nack, and thirst, for pondering ideas and tough problems but these days have to slave away to make ends meet. Imagine if they instead got the chance to study for the sake of knowledge, not to get a job, and spend that time becoming multifarious in their talents and therefore able to combine many new ideas instead of just overspecialising.
The thing I fear about universal Basic income is the insidious inflation that it will introduce rendering it ineffectual. This view is based on observing government grants and how it begins to distort the market, enabling supplier businesses to raise prices - leaving you back where you started.