Our beloved Billionaire with a social conscious Bill Gates, chime in on how rapid advances in robotics, A.I. and software are going to further reduce labor demand.
Here, Gates is reiterating points that are now being more widely discussed in public policy circles such as the book Does Capitalism have a Future (Wallerstein, Mann, Collins, Derluguian, and Calhoun) or a recent Economist article, entitled the "The Future Of Jobs: The Onrushing Wave," which warns that technological advancements harbor the potential to spark an historically unprecedented wave of downsizing as jobs from taxi drivers, accountants, airline pilots and even journalist give way to AI automation.
Now back to Bill Gates, he rightly notes that this process of technological displacement--where capitalism essentially implodes on itself (hey we can make all kinds of cool stuff but no one has a source of income)-- is not something that citizens and governments are prepared for. Good point so far and then comes the bizarro non sequitur of Gates' being against raising the minimum raise because that will discourage hiring in the sectors where technology is going to replace everyone:
When people say we should raise the minimum wage. I worry about what that does to job creation ... potentially damping demand in the part of the labor spectrum that I’m most worried about."So, let's work this logic through__technology is going to make many workers expandable because machines are much, much cheaper than workers. So, raising the minimum wage would be terrible because.........?? What is the implication here. Maybe this:
If you are willing to work for slave labor wages or even better nothing at all, then there is a chance down the not too distant road that corporations may, out of their good graces, hold off in replacing your soul crushing job with technology.
Awesome!! Bring on the Hunger Games!!
Glad to see that Gates is really thinking out of the box when it comes to this brave new economic world. I am a billionaire so listen to me - work for a pittance until that lay off slip inevitable comes and please, please get mentally prepared for this change!!!
Fortunately, others are actually thinking about how to reorganize economies so that meaningful work and economic self-sufficiency do not disappear into a matrix like web of technological power. If you want to be more than a human battery in Bill Gates envisioned Utopia (if you are a billionaire)/Dystopia (most everyone else), you might check innovators like Bergman's writings and projects on building a new work-new culture-new economy nexus:
Julie Schor's work on building the Plenitude economy: