Friday, June 17, 2016

Scrap Welfare -- Give Everyone a Paycheck. We are going to need it -- when Robots do all the work

Many are lobbying for a bold social experiment to help eradicate poverty and protect workers in an increasingly automated economy... the idea of guaranteed minimum income for everyone. Guaranteed minimum income is a system of social welfare that guarantees that all citizens have an income sufficient to live on.

The Atlantic:

The idea isn’t new. As Frum notes, Friederich Hayek endorsed it. In 1962, the libertarian economist Milton Friedman advocated a minimum guaranteed income via a “negative income tax.” In 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.” Richard Nixon unsuccessfully tried to pass a version of Friedman’s plan a few years later, and his Democratic opponent in the 1972 presidential election, George McGovern, also suggested a guaranteed annual income. In a 2006 book, conservative intellectual Charles Murray proposed eliminating all welfare transfer programs, including Social Security and Medicare, and substituting an annual $10,000 cash grant to everyone 21 years and older. The Alaska Permanent Fund, funded by investments from state oil revenues, sends annual dividend checks to the state’s residents.

While recently Swiss voters rejected an option, the idea of guaranteed income is compelling, in the face of the on-going robot revolution. Other proposals are being debated elsewhere, including the Netherlands, Finland, Canada and New Zealand.

Here's an interesting take on the concept...

And Forbes has an excellent summary of the Netherlands experiment...

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