Op-Ed; Opinion

Funding basic income through data mining

Written by: Craig Rhodes

We are fast entering an era in which there’s going to be a chronic shortage of jobs for millions looking for employment. That trend is only going to accelerate. Everyone’s job is on the line now. If we don’t begin to address this problem, then we will suffer long-term consequences: mass unemployment and political alienation of millions because jobs are fast disappearing mainly due to automation.

My suggestion is strategic not tactical. The details can be worked out in committee negotiations.

Corporations are mining nearly every piece of online data that we as individuals produce and then selling it to the highest bidders including the NSA for hundreds of billions per year. It’s an unregulated modern day gold rush happening under our very noses without notice. We as individuals should be compensated for our data in the same way that corporations are compensated for their data. Copyright law should protect us in the same way it protects corporations. Terms of Service Agreements should be outlawed. Copyright laws should be amended or rewritten.

There’s a reason Google and Facebook do not bill us. We’re not their consumers — we’re their product. The lion’s share of profits made by Google, Facebook, AT&T, Verizon, and scores of other corporations are from the data we produce. Facebook’s billion plus users are the largest unpaid workforce in history.

If a corporation profits from our data, whether it be browsing history, emails, buying habits, contact lists etc. then they should have to pay us for it just as we must pay for their movies, music, software and more. Such compensation might go a long way toward alleviating our chronic employment problems as well as help the working class who are losing jobs faster than any other demographic. It would not be welfare nor would it involve raising taxes. It would be payment for services rendered in the form of a subsistent guaranteed income similar to the Alaskan model.

Manufacturing jobs are not going to come back. And in time automation will begin to affect the professional class as well. Those who depended on such jobs should be dealt with or our nation is going to suffer catastrophic consequences.

This and many more initiatives should be included in a robust strategy. We must be bold.

About the author: Craig Rhodes is a retired art teacher after 34 yrs. Active in politics since an early age. Rhodes held elective office. Lifelong gardener, musician, environmentalist, avid reader of all subjects both non fiction and fiction, potter, portrait artist, and more. Rhodes is active on any number of social media including Facebook and have been surfing the internet since it first appeared on the scene as the Arpnet under DARPA.

About Guest Contributor

Guest has written 112 articles.

Share Button
The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.