That’s a likely headline ten or twenty years from now… if things unfold the way they should.
Most of the jobs in the USA and throughout much of the world will be replaced this century by automation… by robots… and the seeds are already taking root.
The age of robots could be great news or terrible news:
- Best-case scenario: Efficiency soars, economies flourish, and everyone is comfortable doing what they really want to do in life, whether it’s fixing up antique cars, painting pictures, writing books, taking classes, pursuing a career, working part-time for a few extra bucks, doing volunteer work, getting in touch with God through heart meditation… whatever. Everyone’s relaxed because no one’s in poverty.
- Worst-case scenario: The job market’s a feeding frenzy where tens of millions of people are competing for tens of thousands of available jobs. Everyone’s anxious and salaries are low because so many people are desperate for work. Millions are destitute.
Basic Income is what makes the best-case scenario possible. Every adult US citizen would receive from the government, tax-free, about $12,000 a year ($1,000 a month), in basic income. That way, no American falls between the cracks into poverty. That way, everyone’s basic needs are met. That way, all Americans can relax and spend time doing the things they really want to do.
How the USA could afford a basic income program is another matter, of course, and I’ve already explained elsewhere, in detail, what I consider to be the best possible solution. (A link to that solution is included at the end of this article.)
For now let’s look at the shifting job market that will make basic income a virtual necessity within the next quarter-century.
Yesterday my wife Regina and I did our weekly ritual, watching the CBS Sunday Morning news-magazine TV show. One segment that set fire to our minds was about robots taking over American jobs. (Watch the segment or read the transcript… )
Here are some of the facts and figures from the show:
- Self-driven cars and trucks are now being developed and tested across American highways, and could eventually replace 180,000 taxi drivers, 600,000 Uber drivers, and 3.5 million truck drivers.
- Several million store workers could be replaced by automated systems in which customers walk into a store, grab what they need, get charged automatically by computerized sensors, and leave with their purchases. No cashiers, no checkout lines. Amazon Go grocery in Seattle, WA, is the first and only such store so far, but it’s the way of the future.
- Zume Pizza in northern California uses several robots that help their staff make pizzas… with the goal of making the robots self-sufficient enough to replace the humans altogether… eventually.
- By 2025, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, CPAs, stock brokerages, and other financial entities could replace as many as 230,000 workers with automated systems. (Other sources predict a loss of 61 percent of all US financial services workers in the next 15 years.)
- According to one recent study, nearly half of all American jobs will be displaced by robots and automated systems in the next two decades.
Some sources warn that 49 percent of all American workers could conceivably be replaced by machines and software now, today… and that 58 percent of American CEOs plan to replace some workers with automated systems in the next five years.
Other people who could lose their jobs in the coming years include construction workers, inventory managers and shelf-stockers, farmers, journalists, assembly line workers, and movie stars. (Read more…)
In short, Americans this century face a complete upheaval in the way we live, and we can look at it as either a crisis or an opportunity.
I know of only one, very easy solution that will let every American citizen relax and enjoy life in a delightful new culture… a social Renaissance:
- Basic income… together with a few supporting principles and programs that will make basic income work like a charm. (Read about the complete solution… at least the one that I’d propose.)