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Commentary :: Labor
How Universal Basic Income Will Save Us From the Robot Uprising
14 Nov 2014
Fewer and Fewer Jobs As we head deeper into the 21st century, it's becoming painfully obvious that there are fewer and fewer jobs available. As noted by Marshall Brain, founder of How Stuff Works and author of Manna, there are more working-age people in the U.S. receiving some form of welfare than there are working-age people who do not.

Robots are poised to eliminate millions of jobs over the coming decades. We have to address the coming epidemic of "technological unemployment" if we're to avoid crippling levels of poverty and societal collapse. Here's how a guaranteed basic income will help — and why it's absolutely inevitable.
Illustration by Tara Jacoby

The idea of a guaranteed basic income, also referred to as unconditional or universal basic income, is starting to gain traction in many parts of the world, both in developed and developing nations. It's actually a very simple idea: Everyone in society receives a single basic income to provide for a comfortable living whether they choose to work or not. Importantly, it's only intended to be enough for a person to survive on. The money for this social welfare scheme could come from the government or some other public institution, in addition to funds or income received from other sources. It could be taxable, or non-taxable, and divvyed up on a continual basis, monthly, or annually.

Advocates argue that a basic income is essential to a comprehensive strategy for reducing poverty because it offers extra income with no strings attached. But looking ahead to the future, we may have little choice but to implement it. Given the ever-increasing concentration of wealth and the frightening prospect of technological unemployment, it will be required to prevent complete social and economic collapse. It's not a question of if, but how soon.
A BIG Idea Whose Time Has Come
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Community Centers are Basic income
14 Nov 2014
The 26 community centers in Vancouver Canada act have a cushioning and multiplying effect for the working and the unemployed. Some have swimming pools that take your breath away. They serve as surrogate classrooms and counselling centers and are part of the welcoming Canadian spirit. Why couldn't these centers be a "third way" beyond the state and the market?

Community centers are a form of unconditional basic income that make all the difference. At the center on Alexander, you can bring your laundry and have it done the next day. Canada is our freind and teacher though we are only looking for markets. Shareholder value has made us one-dimensional and outlaws to future necessities.

Our thinking on security, work, happiness, strength and survival need to change now as they needed to change with the bomb. The left needs celebration and organization. Maybe we are in a long mourning time. Albert Einstein said the bomb changed everything except the way we think.

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