Elon Musk recently came out strongly for the Universal Basic Income because he believes that over time, computers will take over most jobs and people will loose jobs and to sustain this living, people will need to be given a Universal Basic Income.
Watch the video: Elon Musk on Universal Basic Income
But how true and workable is this idea?
While I am not personally against such an idea, I think there is a need for searching better alternatives. Jumping to a simplistic solution like Universal Basic Income inhibits creativity. Here are some reasons why Switzerland, a very rich country that can afford such a decision, actually decided against it (News Link for details).
- Disconnecting the link between work done and money earned would have been bad for society; clearly communist/socialism attempted and failed.
- The idea Elon moots is that with automation, efficiency will improve and everything will become cheap and a low Basic income would suffice to sustain. However there are challenges to this statement
- Efficiency will reduce cost of goods and services but everything will be expensive for an unemployed
- Universal basic income may only provide enough to survive, not enough to meet aspirations of the generations
- Who would pay for Universal Basic Income? If companies are taxed, then improving efficiency will not result in lesser cost
While those problem exist, I think India has figured out what people will do if they don’t have to earn for their living. India once was a very rich country and marginal utility curve meant that doing anything more to earn more didn’t yield more happiness. Here are things we could do
- Pursuit of Knowledge
- Family focussed
- Minimalist living as a way of life
But I think the world won’t get there very quickly! There is a lot of work that isnt happening today that needs to be done!
- Are all diseases cured?
- How many houses are designed by expert architects?
- More sustainable living innovation
- zillions of more problems are yet to be solved and Human kind also enjoys luxury of war to go back to ground zero … regressive growth.
What do you think?