...we’re looking at fewer jobs that pay the equivalent of what an autoworker or a teacher made in the ’60s and ’70s. All but a lucky few will either have the kind of service jobs that are now paying around $9 an hour, or be worse off.
And if robots can think, be creative, teach themselves, beat humans at chess and even Jeopardy, flip burgers, take care of your aging parent, plant, tend and harvest lettuce, drive cars, deliver packages, build iPhones and run warehouses — Amazon’s “Kiva” robots can carry 3,000 pounds, stock shelves and select and ship packages — it’s hard to imagine what these jobs might be.
If no one can buy, there’s very little to sell; again, relative to their income, rich people don’t buy much. (A hundred million people with $100 each spend a lot more than one person with $10 billion.)
Better is the Guaranteed Basic Income
, which is not universally despised (it’s at least as old as Thomas Paine, was endorsed by the economist Friedrich Hayek and was recently considered by Switzerland), because it would simplify matters and help keep the economy moving.
And why not? We need equally big thinkers now, and dreamers, and we need to be acting with them.
Let’s resolve to build something better. In the long run we know that we’ll make the transition from capitalism to some less destructive and hopefully more just system. Why not begin that transition now?
New York Times
Why Not Utopia?
MARCH 20, 2015
The issue of homelessness returned to the public agenda last week, with a report on camping in city parks. In parks including Beacon Hill, Cridge, Topaz, Kings, Holland Point, Arbutus and Haegert, tents pop up about 8 p.m. each night, temporary homes for hundreds of people. The next day at 7 a.m., police and bylaw officers rouse the campers and send them on their way.
The campers are taking advantage of a city bylaw passed after a B.C. Court of Appeal ruling in 2009 that in the absence of shelter beds, it is unconstitutional to prohibit people from putting up shelters in parks.
It’s called “sheltering,” and it’s not good for the campers, the law-enforcement officers or anybody else.
In dollar terms last year, it cost $400,000 for police, $165,000 for bylaw officers and $100,000 for cleanup. The camps lead to noise complaints, garbage and destruction of ecosystems. But the true cost can’t be measured in decibels or dollars.
The numbers will only grow because the winter shelters closed last week. The tireless Rev. Al Tysick of the Dandelion Society expects to see more people in parks and on the street as he goes on his rounds bringing food and cheer to the homeless.
He is supplying them with tents and tarps, as well as coffee and muffins.
“The lousy thing is it costs a lot less money for people to be housed than homeless,
” he told the Times Colonist’s Sarah Petrescu.
It’s standard procedure to put money into hospital rooms and jail cells, but governments have a much tougher time investing dollars in projects that would keep people out of hospital rooms and jail cells. Housing is one of those preventive investments.
Editorial: Prevention is the cure for camping in city parks
Victoria Times Colonist
April 7, 2015
Those are really our choices, that we can either go down a road towards things getting worse because we refuse to leverage technology for our own good, or we can go down the road of leveraging technology for the good of everybody.
Reddit, Robots, and Resources