It’s not so much the rate of change as the broadening of scope.
Steve Baker
11

Steve,

Thanks for that reply. I think what you have lived through has happened to many people, except that you have had the personal and professional resources to keep up. That is commendable, and I hope has served you well. It seems that now people rarely work for one company more than four years, if that.

I have been a psychologist in a Massachusetts industrial mill town for over forty years. Since the 2008 recession most of what I have had to deal with was the anger and anxiety people have felt about the stress associated with having to earn a living. Everyone felt squeezed; everyone felt expendable and replaceable, and many people were let go or replaced. This was especially hard on people over fifty.

I was at a conference in Cambridge yesterday and was speaking to a couple of people who had started and sold some companies that you probably have heard of . They were dedicated capitalists and entrepreneurs. One even teaches some classes at Harvard Business School. They agreed that eventually, the U.S. will have to adopt some kind of guaranteed annual income. It certainly will be a hard sell here, with many of the current racial and political attitudes, but within fifty years we probably will only need about a third of the population to push the buttons and watch the machines that will grow and distribute our food, clean up our waste, move people around, keep the infrastructure maintained and keep us entertained.

I know it’s controversial, but there are studies that show that when people feel financially secure they become more creative, more productive and are much more accepting of new ideas and new people. Also, many theorists who call themselves “conservative” are in favor of such a plan. They can see that it could be more effective and efficient than all the money that is spent on social programs now, so many of which are ineffective in lifting people out of poverty. Also, this would eliminate a lot of judgmental and degrading elements associated with applying for benefits

It’s more than technology that’s changing. It’s the world’s climate, it’s the migration of people, both very skilled and very unskilled around the world. It’s advances in medicine. It’s changes in social norms, changes in communication, changes in expectations, and changes in the skills people need to adapt. This gets intensified because all of these things interact with each other to create a constant flow of change.

Thanks again.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.