Australians support universal health care, so why not a universal basic income?

In Australia, the idea of a universal basic income has floated in and out of our political arena for years, but remains only that, an idea.

 

Job Seekers Search For Employment At Job Fair Held In Denver, December 2009 (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

In Australia, the idea of a universal basic income has floated in and out of our political arena for years, but remains only that, an idea.

Keep reading Show less
Politics & Current Affairs

Hey Bill Nye! Will We All Lose Our Jobs to Robots?

Job automation will need to strike a delicate balance — we want enough to make our lives more comfortable, but no more than that.\r\n

There are two schools of thought about job automation: one rejects the idea as robots "stealing" human jobs, while the other cannot wait to put its feet up and tuck into some Proust — finally, free time for all those 3,000-page beasts of literature! The reality, as usual, is somewhere in between. An increasing number of professions will become automated, but Bill Nye believes there will always be a place for human ingenuity. We started building complex machines centuries ago because there are things we would rather be doing — like building new machines, refining mathematics, continuing our education, or exploring the universe. There are some jobs it would be better for robots to have: industrial welding, driving trains, packing warehouse orders, admin — why not make our lives less strenuous? "We want to automate the world to the extent that is comfortable, but no more," Nye says. Job automation is scary in the way that large-scale change usually is, but Nye thinks it will be a positive inflection point for humanity, enriching our existence with more debate, art, invention, sport, and discovery. Bill Nye's most recent book is Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World.

Keep reading Show less
Technology & Innovation

The Philosophical Arguments For a Shorter Work Week

What did Nikola Tesla or Bertrand Russell think of fewer working hours? Can a good life only come from work — and if so how much of it, and what kind?

Nikola Tesla

Keep reading Show less
Politics & Current Affairs

47% of jobs will vanish in the next 25 years, say Oxford University researchers

“No government is prepared,” The Economist reports. 

 

British Musicians. Ms. Dynamite. Getty Images.

The Trump campaign ran on bringing jobs back to American shores, although mechanization has been the biggest reason for manufacturing jobs' disappearance. Similar losses have led to populist movements in several other countries. But instead of a pro-job growth future, economists across the board predict further losses as AI, robotics, and other technologies continue to be ushered in. What is up for debate is how quickly this is likely to occur.

Keep reading Show less
Technology & Innovation

The Idea of Universal Basic Income Goes Back to the 16th Century

People like Thomas More, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Bertrand Russell have already had many of the arguments we're having about basic income today.

 

Dr. Elise Klein wants to point out the conversations we’re having around Universal Basic Income (UBI) aren’t new. Great leaders and thinkers Thomas Paine, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Tony Atkinson have already had many of the arguments surrounding UBI, today. Its history bears repeating.


The city of Cincinnati is trying to come up with ways to combat the problem of panhandling, which keeps people from going downtown. (Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)

Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science