Concisely, Universal Basic Income (UBI) has been considered as a possible answer to automation-linked job loss. However, an independent commission in the U.K. has stated that a Universal Basic Infrastructure is what might help states to truly progress.
UNIVERSAL BASIC INFRASTRUCTURE
The Universal Basic Income (UBI) isn’t an entirely new concept but some of the researchers have recently suggested that if we are implementing UBI into a national strategy that some of us call it as a “Universal Basic Infrastructure” could result into a positive move towards reducing poverty and supporting progress.
Basic income has been a fiery topic of discussion through over the globe. This article is summarizing the national and regional debates; where these things are taking place.
This debate is undergoing discussion mainly in Africa, South Africa, Asia; mainly in India, Japan, Macau, South Korea, and in The Middle East; mainly in Iraq, Iran, and in few major parts of Europe like Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and in North America.
What exactly Universal Basic Infrastructure is?
Universal Basic Infrastructure is basically a system where each and every employee would get a basic salary that would be regardless of financial status, employment status, background, or any other possible factor. This system has been introduced with respect to the rising concepts behind automation like linked job loss, and the demanding income reductions that many people would face because of it. In accordance with overcoming such situation; UBI is found to be a more feasible option.
However, now the Industrial Strategy Commission; “an independent, authoritative inquiry into the development of a new, long-term industrial strategy for the U.K.”- is arguing that everyone should not only be entitled to not only UBI but also to the “Universal Basic Infrastructure”; as mentioned on their website.
Aside from simply some universal income, the commission also declares that all should have a free access to the services like high-quality healthcare and education. The commission goes even further to argue on- the state has a duty to use its financial power to create new markets and push the society forwards with progress and innovations in both the healthcare as well as the technology. According to the commission, these efforts should be focused on fighting climate change.
Who would be suffering the most?
As we all are aware of that robot-to-worker ratios are rapidly rising in factories in over the globe. There are around 4.78 robots working per 100 workers in Korea, that in Japan is 3.14 robots per 100 workers, In Germany, the ratio is 2.92 robots to per 100 workes, United States’ robot-to- worker ratio is 1.64-to-100, China has a ratio of 0.36 robots to 100 workers, and the global average ratio is 0.66 robots to per 100 workers.
As soon as the number of robots will grow, the cost of their implementation will automatically keep decreasing. The parts of the world that would suffer a tonne are the underdeveloped and developing countries like Nepal, China, and more. The job risk rate in China is expected to be 77% and that in India is expected to be 69%; whereas the global average job risk is expected to be 57%.
However, on the other hand, the major developed countries are isn’t much better off! In greatly developed areas like Los Angeles (CA) the job risk rate is expected to be 47% and that in Houston (TX) is expected to be 45.8%. The problem is, however, bigger than manufacturing. According to the verticles, the insurance underwriter’s job risk rate is expected to be 99 %, Farm laborer’s job risk rate could be 97%, Construction laborer’s job risk rate could be 88%, truck drivers could be at 79% of job risk.
A UNIVERSAL RESPONSIBILITY
The report concisely states that “reaching higher consequences for humans’ well-being need to be placed at the center of the strategy.” The report is actually a call to action and not only a declaration that states the need of better supporting their citizens. The commission here presents some specific direction for designing such a strategy.
The commission puts forward that states should invest more in health and social care. This leads to an argument that these investments would have the ability to drive innovation and improve some average skill levels throughout a society. They also have advocated that more power is distributed to smaller, local governments to combat “extreme” centralization, such as is seen in the U.K.
The report goes on to give more specific examples of how government and financial systems can be rearranged and reorganized to eventually build a foundation that is both more inclusive and more favorable for the modern society.
The life that we have known and living from the past few decades has been changing rapidly. The artificially intelligent machines are increasingly being integrated into the technologies that have the capability to replace some of the human held jobs. If the states and government plan to ignore this challenging scenario, most of the people will suffer.
The commission has now realized that a UBI could be a piece of the confusion, but a Universal Basic Infrastructure needs to be put into action if governments are really expecting their societies to evolve. There is only one direction we can go, and that is forward. Supporting individuals’ health and well-being is a key part of supporting innovation and the future.