US: Elon Musk predicts a “pretty good chance” for UBI

In an interview with CNBC on Friday, November 4, famed Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elon Musk — founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity — stated that a universal basic income will likely become necessary due to automation.

Musk says, “There’s a pretty good chance we’ll end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation. I’m not sure what else one would do. I think that is what would happen.”

In recent years, UBI has received a surge of attention from Silicon Valley’s tech industries, where it is often viewed favorably as a way to soften the blow of technological unemployment and to facilitate entrepreneurship. Most famously, perhaps, Y Combinator–the start-up incubator headed by UBI-proponent Sam Altman–is preparing a pilot study in Oakland that will lay the groundwork for a larger scale trial of a basic income. O’Reilly Media CEO Tim O’Reilly and (particularly notable in this context) Tesla Motors software engineer Gerald Huff are among the other members of Silicon Valley’s tech elite who have written in support of UBI.

However, Musk has remained silent about the issue prior to Friday’s interview with CNBC.

Musk has been an outspoken champion of other political causes, particularly the introduction of a carbon tax to combat climate change (a policy that itself enjoys popularity among many UBI supporters who see the tax as a way to fund a social dividend).

Reference

Catherine Clifford (November 4, 2016) “Elon Musk: Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage” CNBC.


Photo CC BY-ND 2.0 OnInnovation

Kate McFarland

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 407 articles.

Kate has worked as a professional student (holding a BS in Mathematics, MS in Statistics, and PhD in Philosophy), and is currently taking a mid-career retirement before continuing to an MA or PhD in Linguistics or Communications. She began selling her labor to the Basic Income movement in 2017, after gaining some recognition for her late 2016 work for BIEN's Basic Income News. She's presently plans to reorient her life around new unpaid and independent BI work and is, as always, open to wherever the venture might lead (the resumption of her studies of argumentation theory and politeness theory can always wait).

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