Opinion

Poll: Would You Support A Minimum Income (Mincome)?

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Money

Would you support a minimum income (mincome) for all American citizens?

Ten years ago, we might have posed this question and be met with laughter. The idea of paying people to do nothing seems absolutely ludicrous.

However, there is an interesting aspect of this debate that is worth considering, even if you don’t agree with it.

First of all, technology is changing. If there is one thing that the push for minimum wage increases has taught us, it’s that robots and machines can do the jobs of humans. 

With Artificial Intelligence (AI) advancing and the capabilities of automated robotic workers improving, employees are constantly looking to see if it is a viable and cost effective option to replace their staff with robots.

After all, robots don’t call in sick, they don’t take smoke breaks, they aren’t playing Angry Birds on their phones when the boss isn’t looking, and they don’t talk back. Machines simply do as much or as little as they are programmed to do.

The theory behind the mincome argument is that the United States will find itself in a position, within the next 10-15 years, where the majority of work that is done in the country is done by machines. Everything from truck-driving to flipping burgers to conducting sensitive brain operations could one day be done by machines.

This will result in a lot of people being out of work. The theory, then, is that there will one day be a need to provide a minimum income to all in order that they can live.

The money would come from a higher tax on the companies that are actually working.

As we said above, we would have laughed at such a notion in the not too distant past, but with the possibility of mass unemployment with the rise of machines, where else would you go? This is all presuming that such a scenario actually occurs.

Take the poll below to let us know what you think:

Embedded Image: Wiki Commons

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