AUTOMATION- A MONEY GENERATING MODEL?
Boon or bane? - is a question that sweeps your mind when you consider machinery substituting muscles, artificial intelligence replacing brain and electricity flowing in the place of blood. As the new model is being implemented at escalated rates in some countries, others still remain blind to such an idea. A recent survey threw light upon the fact that, with such a progress, around 57 percent of existing jobs face the risks of extinction. It also stated that two robots are sufficient enough to cut the wages of around hundred workers in U.S. while in Korea five robots replace these workers. As the market expands, the expenditure in one job sector increases and amount of employment falls, the people with limited skill sets and exposure perish. The ones having secure jobs grow richer and the ones replaced, grow out of money. While development in technology and science is promised, the humanity suffers. Focused towards manufacturing, rapid computerisation kills jobs in other sectors too. Ninety percent farm laborer, truck drivers and construction workers can get affected by this deal between humans and machinery. A lethargic society without work and flow of money can lead us to extreme polarisation, with wide socioeconomic gap and lack of equality.
As the tentacles of this trend hog the roots of existing human pattern, some of us ponder over the thought of resolving further issues, automation could create. One of the recent proposals to resolve this problem is, the introduction of universal basic income (UBI).It is similar to a subsidy provision rate model, but with a negative tax payment. It is like giving a blank cheque as a wage supplement. This system promises a basic national income and functions with transparency by eliminating the complex paternalism which exists, presently. It beautifully shapes the complete world into a happy place, with no poverty and better set of incentives when it comes to work, settlement and savings.
At the surface, the theory is fascinating, but when the model is examined closely, one can find many loopholes. The simple structure, is not as simple as it appears. The money supplied to all citizens in a country as huge as U.S. sums to a monumental amount. The incentives disappear and the structure is declared over costly.
Keeping the cost factor aside, it has an adverse effect on human purpose. The contentment given by automation hinders development. The flow of new ideas and thus productivity decreases. It makes the complete system inactive, the repercussions of which are both social and economic. The work done by you, speaks for you; but with the implementation of a self sustained market, the work vanishes. The basic rule of evolution, 'survival of the fittest' fails. The competition dies, and the world rotates in a monotonous rhythm, with locked status, no scope of promotion and complete dependence on machines.
While the UBI is still a debatable model, countries like Netherlands, Kenya, and Namibia have already considered a few sub-sections mentioned under the proposal, worth implementing. In 2016, The Netherlands distributed $980 to each citizen. Meanwhile in Kenya, a program funded by GiveDirectly gave a monthly benefit to 6,000 people. In 2008, Otjivero-Omitara, a Namibian village riddled with high crime and poverty rates, launched a pilot program that provided every resident of the village with a basic monthly stipend. The money was collected from church groups, NGOs, and labor unions. Since implementation childhood malnourishment dropped 32 percent, the poverty rate dropped by 18 percent, and the crime rate plummeted by 36 percent. In addition, the average income earned outside of the stipend increased 29 percent. The trials seem successful, but UBI poses equal risks when it comes to implementation internationally.
As a conclusion, the society is still oblivious to, what the collaboration with machines holds for it, in the future. At present, the need is to find a way through the fog of woes and wonders, UBI brings with it and search for new models, experiment with the existing models and work for the betterment of both. Machines and humans, collectively have to advance towards creation of our future world.