As people become useless, how can capitalism survive?
As technology advances exponentially the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence will start taking over our jobs. More and more people already can’t find work, yet the nation is still very productive.
Yes, a lot in part due to globalization and cheaper foreign labor, but those cheap labor countries will only remain competitive against fully automated factories for so long.
Self driving vehicles will eventually be here, it’s just a matter of time before we think of driving ourselves as the most barbaric thing we ever did, our kids won’t believe we actually drove ourselves.
Self driving vehicles will take the jobs of millions of people, think bus drivers, truck drivers, taxi drivers, and these robotic vehicles will do their job infinitely better, not getting tired and for way less money.
Think Fedex, UPS, USPS announcing their first robotic delivery fleets, an then in a matter of years they start reducing their costs exponentially by letting go of +90% of their human workforce, shipping worldwide becomes faster and cheaper than ever.
If things keep going the way they are as they happen on the internet, only a handful of people will own powerful computers, shrinking economies due to technological efficiency and more wealth will be concentrated in a few.
If the same thing happens to robotized labor, we’ll find ourselves soon in civil war with so many “useless” people unemployed.
But I think there’s another end to it, while keeping capitalism.
If we are all smart about it, as we see robotization happening, we must make the decision to change a few things, without turning completely into a socialist country which in the case of latin america’s implementation of socialism, the result is usually an all too powerful government and oppressed citizens.
I believe that instead of handouts (like having a government that provides everything to people who are just useless thanks to robots being so useful) we should look at this as an opportunity to make everyone in society a stake holder of the robotic workforce.
If things would happen the right way, robots would be doing our job and we’d be getting paid for it while we play outside.
The only way this could happen would be to distribute the ownership of all the robots to as many citizens as possible. The implementation of such distributed ownership is the part that I still don’t have quite clear and I’d love for you to give me some ideas on how this could come true.
Perhaps it could all start with a law to avoid the ultimate inequality gap, as things are today the rich will be the only ones to own the majority of robots, ending up with a robotic workforce that produces goods that nobody will be able to afford since they’re all unemployed, then people would start talking about a communist revolution and we don’t want that, we need capitalism evolved. A nation made from a lot of rich people out of robotic production and a renassaince of American product exports.
I think if the people now living off of unemployment checks would own a portion of the robotic workforce, they would instead get larger and larger divident checks that come off their robot’s productivity (I see this as some sort of Robotic ETF that pays monthly dividends).
This ownership could initially come from a portion of their tax contributions/returns (through some initial law that would make as many americans as possible robotic-workforce-entrepreneurs by force), maybe there could be incentives toward robotic equity, such as people who continue to get a high level education getting tax credits or rebates on the price of the robotic labor ETF.
The first country to figure this out will be king, itwould have a society mainly composed of a highly educated and almost rich middle class, people that don’t have to spend 8 hours a day doing work that’s done 1000 times better by their robotic counterparts.
A society that would have a surplus of money they could use to travel the world, study, research, or invest in whatever they please, being highly educated an peaceful we’d find times to take mankind to far more interesting directions like clean and free energy research, space exploration and mining, medical advances, the pursuit of much longer life spans, and solving real problems affecting developing nations.
But the question remains, how do you motivate the currently rich elite to not eat/cook the whole robotic labor pie, or to somehow share it so that we all get to own a piece of it and live worry free, happily unemployed because robots are the ones that are supposed to work for us?