Any Ideas?

Starting five years ago in my newspaper columns, I started warning about the huge loss of jobs to be caused by Artificial Intelligence, and the possible need for a base government income. I hate the concept of a minimum living wage, but it has been bandied about for years, and I can honestly say I see no alternative.

There is a race between autonomous cars and autonomous trucks, and the dislocation of many of those long haul truckers. The economic disruption of trucking is staggering because 75% of the cost of many products is transportation, and when you can run a truck 24 hours a day instead of eight you can see the writing on the wall for many of the five million truckers.

In Arizona, there are 11 trucks currently on the road making deliveries. While they currently have a driver, and an engineer checking the data, eventually those jobs get phased out. Obviously a problem with a huge semi is orders of magnitude greater than a problem with a Tesla, so caution must be taken to avoid a whomping accident.

But the economics of automation in long haul trucks is so high that it will come. Automation of Uber (used as a generic term) is also coming, and it may happen even faster than trucks, simply because of the safety issue, but replacing all the Taxi-type drivers is easier, safer and has a public differentiation that equates to stock prices rising.

I have noted before that the Greeks and the Romans had slaves that equate to robots in future cultures, and they didn’t have a minimum wage for the no-slave citizens, but then the Greek and Roman upper class traveled with armed guards, and even then seldom moved about at night.

We need to avoid such extremes of rich and poor, and we will but the only solution currently under discussion is the dreaded government subsidy.

If anyone has an alternative…