The story of Ford Motor Company founder’s grandson Henry Ford II and United Automobile Workers (UAW) chairman Walter Reuther is still talked about. One day, Henry Ford II, along with Walter Reuther, teased at the automated factory and said: “Chairman, how are you going to take the union dues from those robots in the future?” Then Walter Reuther countered. “Boss, how are you going to sell cars to those robots in the future?”
This story was introduced in a book, Rise of the Robots Martin Ford | Basic Books | 2015, which deals deeply with the aspects of robots and artificial intelligence as ‘jobs’. Martin Ford, a computer design and software development specialist and successful businessman in Silicon Valley, looks at the current state of artificial intelligence through Rise of the Robots.
The Washington Post releases stunning statistical data in January 2010. No new jobs were created during the first decade of the 21st century. This incident, which has been unprecedented since the Great Depression, is called the ‘lost decade’. Although science and technology are rapidly developing and more and more products are being produced, why did not the first decade of the 2000s create jobs? The author says the reason is because the relationship between workers and machines has fundamentally changed.
In the Rise of the Robots, the author looks at how automation affects jobs and workers’ income. It also looks at the realities and different parts of the people’s thoughts about the jobs to be automated. It confirms that not only simple labor but also high-wage and high-skilled jobs called ‘white collar’ are not safe.
The author then looks at what the nature of information technology is and show how information technology has progressed at a pace that humankind has never experienced before. In addition, the author also examines how information technology is transforming key areas of the economy. In particular, look at how they are threatening college graduates and even highly skilled jobs with further work experience.
The author also looks at areas that are predicted to be relatively safe from robots, such as education and healthcare. But the author says that education is no longer a safe area because of the effects of various technological advances. Even the author believes that creative writing and other creative work can be replaced by software algorithms, and college education is expected to be largely replaced by online education.
The author agrees, however, that the medical field would be exceptionally safe from robots in other occupations. However, it is inconvenient to look at the reason. The main reasons for leaving these fields as relatively safe areas from robots are the inherent characteristics of the medical system that can not be replaced by robots, the increase in medical costs, and the lack of medical staff including physicians. In other words, the job security of the medical profession presupposes the sacrifice of those who need medical care, especially those who face the risk of low wages and unemployment. Because of this, as a doctor, my mind to look at this issue is not easy.
Next, the author takes time to guess the new economy through 3D printing and the appearance of unmanned automobiles. Focusing on these two technologies, which will become popular in the near future, the author points out the benefits we will gain from technology and the loss of jobs that follow.
In addition, the author focuses on the concept of ‘Singularity’, which is about super intelligence and nano technology. These technologies, like robots, are not feasible right now, but they are worth seeing once in a while because they are much more of a potentially destructive technology.
Finally, the author focuses on the problems of unemployment and wealth caused by robots. It is, in fact, the central theme and conclusion of this book. The author proposes a ‘basic income security system’ as a solution to solve the concentration of wealth and protect those who lose their jobs.
To put it simply, it is the idea that the government will pay the right amount of money so that people can consume. The author also considers the fact that they can throw away their willingness to work as a result of relying solely on basic income. So the author emphasizes that the amount of basic income payments should be kept to a minimum so that the livelihood can be resolved but the comfortable life is not enjoyed.
The author proposed a ‘basic income security system’ at the end of his research and study, but I disagree. I think the ‘basic income security system’ will not be the ultimate solution. If the ‘basic income security system’ is realized, I expect that we will lose one of our treasures.
Before we look at what we are going to lose, let’s take a look at what the author claims about wealth and unemployment. As robots replace people’s jobs, companies produce more high-quality products at a lower cost. In the process, the ‘people as employees’ are getting smaller and smaller. However, ‘people as employees’ are also ‘consumers’ outside the workplace. In other words, a decrease in the number of people ‘s jobs means that fewer people will earn income through the company’ s production activities, which means that the number of people who buy and produce the company is reduced.
This leads to two serious problems. Because companies can not make money from people, they can not continue production activities, and consumers can not buy necessary things because they have no money. As a result, corporations can not produce goods, and consumers can not buy goods because they have no money, so business and individual economic activities are stopped. To prevent this, it is the core of the ‘basic income security system’ that the government distributes the money to consumers so that they can go back to the economy.
By the way, here we have a problem to think about. What is the source of our power to elect presidents and lawmakers by election? I think it is the tax. The taxes we pay are the basis for the existence of the President and the members of the National Assembly.
But the majority of people do not pay taxes, but they spend living expenses from the government? Probably then, the money will be taken by automated companies by robots. Today, crony capitalism, which infringes on the rights of the people for the benefit of minority conglomerates, becomes a social problem. If the government pays the living expenses for the majority of the people by taking the tax from the corporation in the name of the ‘basic income security system’, does the government need to listen to the voice of the public rather than the profit of the corporation? I think there is no possibility of that.
Step 1: Jobs are reduced by the universalization of robots.
Step 2: The product is overflowed, but the purchasing power of the consumer drops.
Step 3: Consumption is declining, so the company’s profits are at risk of falling.
Step 4: The government collects taxes from businesses and pays the cost of living to consumers. (Author’s claim)
Step 5: Consumption is revived and corporate production continues.
Step 6: The government restricts people’s political participation at the expense of living expenses, and promotes policies based on the decisions of companies that pay taxes. (My claim)
In short, the ‘basic income security system’ that the author claims will ultimately undermine democracy. It can be easily understood from the case of some Middle Eastern countries that distribute living expenses to the people and maintain their kingship. However, since the kings of the Middle East have a power base in oil, there is no problem if they can well control the oil facilities and the enterprise. It is not necessary to squeeze the people.
However, governments that can operate a nation only by receiving taxes from enterprises will constantly have to consider the interests of the enterprise. Even if a company violates the interests of the public in order to improve its profitability, it can be expected that the government will tolerate it. This is because the source of the government’s money is not the people’s tax but the corporate tax. There is no way for people living with government support to stop this absurdity. If companies later decide that the electoral system is annoying, it may actually be done.
Famous psychologist Abraham Maslow established a five-step needs theory based on his own name. According to this, human needs are stratified into physiological needs, safety needs, belongness and love needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. The latter corresponds to a higher level of needs. Abandoning the democracy that can move the government to the people’s will in order to solve the problem through the ‘basic income security system’ gives up esteem needs and self-actualization needs, which is the highest stage for solving the lowest level of physiological needs will be.
But when I think about it again, I do not know the exact answer for the problems that the robots will bring to the end of the job. I can understand the frustration of the author who was forced to propose the ‘basic income security system’. Rise of the Robots is worth the time to read, even to understand the current situation that you have to worry about the ‘basic income security system’.
However, I do not intend to give an unfinished opinion. Given the size of the people who are reading my articles, I would like to avoid further confusion with people. The easy and simple solution is to save the moment, but eventually it will pay the price later. What I can do now is to encourage awareness of the risks of robots and to make sure people understand that the ‘basic income security system’ can not be the solution.
It is the role that I can play in getting the buzz out and letting the people worry. Some of you who read this article will be much smarter than me, and will be able to provide a better solution. I look forward to that.
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