Basic income may not be enough by itself to address the enormous changes headed our way with technological...

Basic income may not be enough by itself to address the enormous changes headed our way with technological…

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Basic income may not be enough by itself to address the enormous changes headed our way with technological unemployment. Just as the New Deal incorporated many policies and programs to get us out of the devastation of the Depression, addressing the challenges that lie ahead will require a range of solutions.

Expanding equity ownership, which is to say, expanding ownership of the companies creating the engines of automation, will be another important tool.

Here’s how an idea called platform cooperative might help. Platform Coops are essentially like an Uber that is owned by its users.


  1. Lately I am thinking sophisticated community living design as one step forward.

  2. We have to face the dramatic changes coming. In an expected ice age we most likely will move underground where we can use heat of the planets core.

  3. Gideon Rosenblatt What you are describing in this article (hate to tell you) is GOOD GOVERNMENT. We need transportation, so we collectively invest (taxes) and create bus services! Or subways! Or whatever!

    Years ago, when my firstborn was a baby, we had a collective babysitting group in Georgetown (DC). Everything was run by “tickets.” You “bought” the first tickets (a dollar each) (given to the person who dealt with the bother of buying and giving out tickets), then you “earned” tickets by babysitting for others; and “spent” them by getting babysitting for yourself.

    One earned DOUBLE tickets for babysitting between 5-7 pm on weekdays, and on Friday and Saturday nights.

    Everything was fine until? We had an IRS lawyer move into town… He had four kids, and needed lots of babysitting, but wanted us to get the IRS involved in our “ticket” collective.

    No one agreed to it. Everyone was afraid he was so crazy about the subject he would do something to us (we did not TRUST him) and there went a great notion.

    My point is that when have run out of ways to employ ourselves because of technology, we need to build a better government. We’re not doing so hot right now. In fact, we just gave away a huge surplus that we could have used for infrastructure to the one percent (or, actually, a percent of the one percent).

    We need to get those monies back and invest them BACK into our lives (as you describe)…

    We can do it!

  4. Meg Tufano, sorry to have missed this earlier.

    I both agree and disagree. Where I differ is that I don’t think we want the government running things like Facebook or Google+ or Amazon. We need market-responsive entities in order for things to respond flexibly in ways that government agencies just seem to have a hard time doing.

    That said, I do think that there is a great deal of room for governments to run many of these services. In the above paragraph, I almost added Uber to the list of companies working on solutions that are best left to the market. But Uber or whatever it evolves into in the future is going to function in some ways like public transportation. Is that best left to government, or are we better off keeping things in the private sector’s hands even for solutions like this? I don’t know. I do know that either way, the government is going to need to be very hands-on in order to ensure that whatever solution does emerge is completely aligned with the interests of the community.

    One other interesting point to this is that I think we’re going to see municipal governments playing very important roles in this area. I’m sure the federal and state governments will as well, but smart cities are going to require smart municipal governments.

  5. Gideon Rosenblatt The loss of appreciation that good government is necessary for capitalism’s market power to work (fair playing field) has been a huge one: when “the people” forget that the foxes EAT hens (so they are not good stewards of hen houses), we end up with the odd notion that a “businessman” will do better at governance because he’s a good negotiator (that argument was made to me just today by a neighbor).

    Wasn’t thinking of Amazon or Google or Facebook…But WAS thinking of COMCAST!!!

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