The global economy is rapidly transforming as technology captures an increasingly greater share of human workforce, leaving many behind. The answer to this issue is a basic income guarantee, according to a recent Foreign Affairs article.
In the last century, the welfare state has not kept up with technological development, as humanity transitions to a digital economy. There are still going to be winners and losers in this new economy, but stable and routinized jobs will largely go away to be replaced by intermittent ad hoc work, authors Nicolas Colin and Bruno Palier argue.
As a result, social services will have to be reorganized to meet this new economy’s needs. The article suggests a universal unconditional income as an alternative to provide people with the ability to choose jobs and lives as they want. However, Colin and Palier believe that unconditional income is both “extremely expensive and insufficient.”
In addition to a universal unconditional income, the article indicates that other structural reforms should be put in place, such as removing barriers to entrepreneurship. It advocates “flexicurity”, which the authors defines as guaranteeing access to health care, housing and other necessities, while also deregulating labor markets.
Nicolas Colin and Bruno Palier, “The Next Safety Net” Foreign Affairs, July/August 2015.