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Be honest about the possibility of a future in which fewer people work

Be honest about the possibility of a future in which fewer people work

David Autor's "Why are there still so many jobs" (Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol 29 (3), pp 3-30) sets out evidence that more and more people in developed countries are ending up in low paid low skilled jobs. This is partly a result of 'middle-class' jobs being demolished due to current economic attitudes about the virtue of decreasing government debt via efficience/austerity, stimulating economies via tax cuts etc. It is also partly due to workplace automation. Current global political upheaval might change prevailing economic attitudes but workplace automation is only going to become more pervasive. While other political parties focus on short term solutions (mostly to do with training and education), TOP should be thinking about the likely medium term proposect of a world in which many people don't work. If we just let this slide, we will end up with more and more angry working poor prepared to vote for anyone who claims they will change 'the system'. So TOP needs to think carefully about NZ could work politically, philosophically, economically if many kiwi's didn't have to work. Universal Basic Income is obviously a good start, but it's only a start.

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    • Josko Sestan
      tagged this with essential 2017-03-10 11:10:39 +1300
    • John Gibson
      commented 2016-12-10 20:29:30 +1300
      Not sure how this fits in with UBI, but I’m sure it does? We do need to acknowledge that “work”, as defined by being paid to do something, is becoming a scarce commodity. Do we regulate so that “paid” work is limited to (say) less than 20 hours per week meaning more people need to be employed? We must acknowledge the basic human need for the self esteem that comes from contributing to society and your family by “having a job”. The UBI policy has elements of what is required. I would like to see some effort being put into developing an extension to UBI which will provide the means to encourage, measure, recognise and reward the huge swath of our hidden economy taking place in domestic and voluntary work. Of particular interest to me is providing a mechanism by which government (and others) can have good data about the hidden economy and perhaps have some policy levers to help make things “better”. This area is fundamental to making NZ fairer for all. More work needed. Must try harder.
    • John Gibson
      tagged this with essential 2016-12-10 20:29:30 +1300
    • Chelsea Finnie
      tagged this with essential 2016-12-03 23:09:48 +1300
    • Michael Shallcrass
      tagged this with important 2016-12-02 19:34:05 +1300
    • John Alan Draper
      tagged this with essential 2016-11-30 10:22:49 +1300
    • Alan Dawn
      tagged this with essential 2016-11-27 19:14:07 +1300
    • John Rusk
      commented 2016-11-27 17:33:48 +1300
      I understand that the counter-argument is the rise of service jobs, compensating for the loss of farming and manufacturing jobs. Examples include entertainment, dog training, life coaching: things that can’t be automated. Many of these would not have been considered “useful work” in generations gone by, but now societies can afford them. I’d be interested to hear Gareth’s thoughts on this sometime.
    • John Rusk
      tagged this with interesting 2016-11-27 17:33:48 +1300
    • Tim O’Donnell
      commented 2016-11-27 15:25:10 +1300
      We need to start working on a tax scheme so that this can be paid for in the future. Get the ground work done & twik it latter when the when the enevertable hits. Big business is going to have to pay it’s fair share or the world will become a very horrid place. Why not start now
    • Tim O’Donnell
      tagged this with interesting 2016-11-27 15:25:10 +1300
    • Tim O’Donnell
      tagged this with important 2016-11-27 15:25:10 +1300
    • James Maclaurin
      published this page in Suggestions 2016-11-27 10:33:06 +1300