Apart from being zillionaires and generally considered geniuses?
Congrats if you answered that they all support UBIs. Although if you’re following this blog that answer shouldn’t surprise you much.
So why are all these well-known and well-respected figures suddenly showing their support for UBIs? There are a couple of reasons actually, but overall the mood in Silicon Valley is that with current technological advancements it will be necessary within the next few years. And if anyone knows about the current advances in technology it’s them.
So let’s take a look at some of the reasons they’ve given for this.
Firstly, as we went over in a previous post, increased automation and robotics are making many of the jobs that currently exist obsolete. Technology has always done this, but the general sentiment seems to be that the rate at which it’s happening now is unprecedented and so unprecedented measures are needed.
Even if new jobs are created by this technology it seems unlikely that they will spring up at the same rate as they are disappearing. Also, as Rutger Bregman has pointed out, many of these jobs are likely to be unnecessary and unfulfilling. Wouldn’t it be better to let people find their passions with a guaranteed income than to force them into pointless and unfulfilling jobs?
Also, remember that these days just by existing you’re creating profits for companies. Harvesting your data creates massive profits so it makes sense to tax part of that and distribute it back to the people who are creating these profits. After all, most of these profits come from advertisers buying the data, and they won’t be very interested if none of us have an income to buy the things they are advertising.
Let’s hope that the support of these industry leaders will help both people and politicians understand why a UBI is necessary, now more than ever.