I have been seeing a lot of articles and videos about automation taking over many jobs within the next 20 years and the need for Universal Basic Income (UBI). UBI has been hailed as an improvement to traditional welfare systems in that it gives a person (human) enough money for them to buy the basic necessities of life (food, shelter and clothing). But UBI is actually a form of slavery in disguise. Let me explain.
The issue is that robots will displace millions of current workers. Those workers will no longer have income in order to purchase and participate in the market economy. See, automation allows business owners to produce at the same level (or greater) and cost (or lower) compared to using a human, except the human no longer receives a wage for the work they used to do. The results in an economic system that creates equal or greater value (products and services) at the equal or lower cost with less people. The keywords are LESS PEOPLE.
So let’s play this out. My company produces 100 units of X using 10 people that I pay $100. Now I can automate their jobs and still produce 100 units of X and it still costs me $100, which I pay another company for robots. 10 people now are out of work. The reality is because of the increase in technology and the rate of change in technology that is exponential, next year I can produce 110 units for only $90, so I increase the number of products and $10 goes into my pocket as extra profit. But what happened to those 10 displaced workers?
They can’t find a job because they lack skills of the new economy. They don’t have any economic benefit. Or do they? They only economic benefit they have is as consumers. But wait, they don’t have any money to spend. In comes UBI. UBI is intended to give people with no economic value money for them to use to purchase products made by the economy. See if you make products, but you don’t have enough people to buy your products, then you will eventually go out of business. So UBI is not about helping poor people. If it was then they would give better education and training rather than money for people to spend on consumables. This is why it is a form of slavery.
It is slavery in the same form that the US economy in the 1700’s and 1800’s needed chattel slavery in order to fuel the economic engine of the South. Without consumers, there is no economy. There is no one to purchase products. But UBI gives you just enough so that you can continue to consume. It doesn’t give you the ability to save, to invest, or to become an owner. Why doesn’t UBI give displaced workers an ownership stake in their former company. See, capitalism is all about the haves and the have-nots. Capitalism doesn’t care about the have-nots. It only concerns itself with maximizing profits for owners.