Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Here I will keep my up-today main comments on Universal Basic Income (UBI)

Years ago I wrote: “We need decent and worthy unemployments”. With ever growing structural unemployment threatening, I am sure that a Universal Basic Income is a fundamental tool for achieving that. 

Here follows my current thinking on UBI:

Universal Basic Income eats directly into the redistribution profiteers’ franchise value, and so they will be its strongest opponents. Their opposition can take many forms, like that of enthusiastically supporting UBI, but cleverly backstabbing it at any possible opportunity. We must always be alert!

There are some fundamental mistakes that could kill UBI, even after its inception, and so therefore we must see to that the enemy does not exploit any of its possible Achilles’s heels.

1. UBI is strictly for the population of working age. Children and elderly have their very specific needs that should be satisfied with different tools.

2. UBI shall strictly be related to working conditions, like 70% of the lowest fulltime salary; and NOT to any poverty related threshold.

3. UBI needs to be 100% funded with real and clearly identifiable sources of income, and not with any debts. One possibility is to apply to robots and similar automations those payroll taxes and similar that applies to humans. As am added benefit that would also allow for a more efficient allocation of labor/capital resources.

4. The more UBI is funded by sources linked to other socially relevant matters, like from carbon taxes to help stop pollution, the better.

5. UBI must always be kept as a citizen to citizens affair and so, ideally, it should be enshrined in some type of constitutional protection, so that populists trying to serve their own ambitions do not capture it.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Here some disorderly lose cannon questions about life in the just around the corner Robot/Automation La-La-Land

The more varied and crazy questions we pose, the better chance we have to prepare ourselves... and so, in no special order, here we go with some tweet-sized ones!!!

When Mexicans, Chinese and American compete for the jobs the robots are taking, is that not just a Lilliput/Blefuscu war?

If you built that Mexico wall who would benefit the most, the U.S. low-skill workers, or the robots?

Why is how to handle jobs being productively taken over by robots/automation, not sufficiently high on our agendas?

Who will be able to separate delivery robots with good intentions from those with bad ones?

How will net salaries not paid to robots be used: Lower prices, higher salaries, bonuses or dividends?

And when robots substitute for humans, what are the consequences for a nations tax base?

Should we tax robots low enough for these to do all possible jobs for us humans, or high enough for us humans to remain competitive for the jobs? (I guess that if in Sweden they could respond with a not so helpful “Tax them lagom”)

Should we allow 3rd class robots, only because of unfair competition, like no payroll taxes, to replace humans?

Since it is hard to define the work of robots, in order for humans to to compete with these for jobs on a level playing field, and for production to be structured in the most economical way, it would seem that current payroll taxes need to be eliminated.

Is not falling working-age population numbers quite irrelevant with so many robots volunteering to work? 

When 2nd class robots don’t cut it, how to we assure ourselves we get the 1st class ones?

The higher the minimum wage for humans, the more jobs for robots. Are those predicating higher minimum salaries just lobbyists contracted by robot manufacturers?

No minimum wages for humans. Those are just subsidies to robots. Robots must compete, so that we get the best robots.

Having your nation being “Second” is livable, but is having your robots not being “First” that?

The better the robots, the more we lose human jobs, the more the need of a Universal Basic Income (UBI). Are we prepared?

Universal Basic Income threatens the redistribution profiteers so they will try to stop it. How can we stop them?

The lower trade tariffs and human salaries are, the more competition do robot manufacturers face. Is that good?

The higher the trade tariffs and human salaries are, the more will robot manufacturers profit. Is that good?

The better the robot, the more it can produce for us, but the more human jobs it can take from us. So what do we do?

In order to force our robots to become 1st class, do we not need to tax them, a lot? 

If land A has the better robots how can B compete: with tariffs or with lower dividends, salaries, bonuses and UBIs?

If my grandchildren’s future depends on the quality of their robots, is it really a sin to engage in some industrial espionage?

To who does robot productivity that supplants human productivity belong: to all, or to the 0.00000001 percenters?

How can I help my grandchildren to be needed as sane and happy humans, in tomorrows’ Robot/Automation-land?

With so much automation possibilities, how does one answer “Grandfather what to you think I should study?”

What are unions to do with a shrinking labor base? Will tomorrows CEO’s need a union? What if robots want to unionize?

With unions vigorously defending the employed, their clientele, don't the unemployed need to create their own unions? 

What’s better intelligent artificial intelligence or sort of dumb artificial intelligence we can still sort of better control?

In case Artificial Intelligence becomes too intelligent for our own good, should we put some dumbing brakes on it?

I can’t wait for artificial intelligence to take over from those dumb human bank regulators who believe that what’s perceived risky is more dangerous to our bank system than what is ex ante perceived as safe.

When supplanted by robots how can we avoid being thought of as an unneeded human surplus?

If we humans are supplanted by robots, are we doomed to join Jethro Tull’s “Heavy Horses” in retirement? 

What if we had a thousand times more of more capable robots, would that not make it so much easier to stay home fighting coronavirus?

PS. We need decent and worthy unemployments

PS. Let robots make us an offer we can't refuse

PS. My Universal Basic Income 

Where are those Mexicans? (and the robot is laughing)