Rabu, 14 Mei 2014

MindBullets: News from the Future

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published by FutureWorld.org
Redundant workers cashing in on robot jobs
Dateline: 3 February 2024
Up until now, we have managed to survive recessions and every economic slump, but experts believe we are finally reaching a plateau, as the majority of jobs are being automated away. Income inequality is reaching levels never seen before.
The world is increasingly run and ruled by tech-heavy companies who employ only a handful of people. The ten biggest multinationals of the '90s employed 12 times more people than the ten biggest corporations today. The business behemoths of the current age rely on robots and computers to do the bulk of their physical and mental labour.
These bots don't get sick or tired and don't have babies, which leaves the majority 'technologically unemployed'. The wealthiest 1% are pocketing the profits while the rest compete with robots or become 'self-employed'; populations are now money-poor and skill-rich.
After angry middle class mobs orchestrated a global attack on their robots, Stuff Inc became the first manufacturer to agree to an unconditional basic income for workers who have been replaced by its technology. Stuff doesn't mind footing the bill. As the CEO, Mark Rosenschoon says, "Honestly, it's such a tiny dent, we won't even feel it. Besides, people have to eat, right?"
It's enough to pacify the mobs for now as they spend their time in creative leisure pursuits, or maybe doing some charity work, without worries about how they'll bring home the bacon, or bread and butter. Coffee bars and pubs are full of people chatting with their friends or bent over their smartphone screens, at any time of day or night. Society has never been more social.
But what happens when they want to redefine what counts as 'basic' in basic income? Forget about a run on the bank, you can bet your bottom dollar it's a run on the robots we should be worried about!
Published 15 May 2014
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Links to related stories
1. A mighty contest: job destruction by robots could outweigh creation - The Economist, 29 March 2014
2. 5 reasons to consider a no-strings-attached, basic income for all Americans - Salon, 19 March 2014
3. The middle class is steadily eroding. Just ask the business world - The New York Times, 2 February 2014
4. Why you should revolt against the 'robot uprising' - Entrepreneur, 20 January 2014
5. Why a Swiss proposal to give every citizen $2,800 each month is so radical - Business Insider, 17 October 2013
6. An unconditional basic income is the solution but the important word here is basic - Forbes, 12 July 2013
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Despite appearances to the contrary, FutureWorld cannot and does not predict the future. Our MindBullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright FutureWorld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer. Image courtesy StockMonkeys.com.
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