Advances in robotics will make the adoption of basic income inevitable, Elon Musk said.
“I think some kind of universal basic income (UBI) is going to be necessary,” Musk said at the World Government Summit in Dubai on February 10. This is the second time Musk has stated we will have no choice but to adopt a basic income, last year he made a very similar statement to the American news network CNBC.
Interestingly enough Musk is not very comfortable with the notion but he seems resigned to it, reported Fast Company. He believes governments will have to adopt UBI to prevent starvation and preserve civil order.
“I want to be clear,” Musk said. “These are not things I wish will happen; these are things I think probably will happen. And if my assessment is correct and they probably will happen, than we have to think about what are we going to do about it?”
“I think we’ll end up doing universal basic income”
“There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better,” Musk predicted. “The output of goods and services will be extremely high. With automation there will come abundance. Almost everything will get very cheap.”
“I think we’ll end up doing universal basic income,” Musk admitted. “It’s going to be necessary.”
The SpaceX and Tesla billionaire also showed himself to be something of a philosopher as he pointed out one of the biggest dilemmas underlying the concept of basic income.
“The much harder challenge is, how are people going to have meaning,” Musk pointed out. “A lot of people derive their meaning from their employment. So if there’s no need for your labor, what’s your meaning? Do you feel useless? That’s a much harder problem to deal with.”
Musk is not the only billionaire to endorse basic income. Pimco Funds founder Bill Gross and Facebook founder Chris Hughes have come out in favor of UBI. Gross’s case for it is similar to Musk’s; he believes automation will eliminate so many jobs government will have to support a much larger segment of the population.
If these geniuses predictions are valid, massive growth in the welfare state is inevitable. The basic income might be our future whether we want it or not.