The UBI Thing

The UBI Thing

I hear this a lot, that we will need universal basic income (UBI) because of how many and how quickly jobs will disappear in a post-AI world, and how destabilizing that will be. While there is truth to that, and I've made the same point, about what is going to happen at a domestic level and an international one, UBI itself is destabilizing.

Why? Well, think about what happened during Covid when many jobs disappeared, and we paid people to stay home. That did not lead to human flourishing, despite the UBI. And neither, in a longstanding experiment, does retirement, as many retired people will tell you: it doesn't free people up to create great works of literature (do those still exist?), but it does free up a lot of time for problem drinking, as the data makes clear.

But that won't stop well-intentioned (and not-so-well-intentioned) people from making the claim.

AI β€˜godfather’ says universal basic income will be needed
Geoffrey Hinton, known as the godfather of AI, said the technology could leave many without jobs.

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