Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, is increasingly clear that in the future robots, like the one he is building, will do the work of humans. For this reason, the second richest man in the world believes that a universal basic income will be necessary in the long term .
This week, Musk announced that he is working on a robot, dubbed the “Tesla Bot,” with the ability to perform certain tasks instead of humans. According to Business Insider, Musk himself acknowledged that this is an advance made by a society in which robots like his would occupy the jobs of humans , losing their livelihood.
Although that has not yet happened, the automation of work is a trend that has been developing for years and that has experienced an acceleration as a result of the Covid-19 crisis . According to OECD data, 14% of jobs have a high risk of automation , a figure that could increase in the future. If so, it seems quite likely that the political debate on universal basic income will reopen.
Basically, it would be a ‘right’ that any citizen could access , without having to previously fulfill any requirement . Known are the results of the failed basic income experiment in Finland, which failed to activate the labor market but did contribute to improving the mental health and economic well-being of recipients.
Despite this failure, several cities in the United States are implementing plans based on this guaranteed income, in an attempt to fight poverty. The first town in the country to do this experiment was Stockton, California, followed by Hudson and Oakland. In the Hudson pilot program, $ 500 per month will be given to 25 randomly selected residents for 5 years . For its part, 600 families will benefit from the trial in Oakland , who will receive the same monthly amount for a year and a half.
However, the automation of work does not have to lead to a massive destruction of jobs. According to a report by the International Monetary Forum, those 85 million displaced jobs will be accompanied by the appearance of another 97 million jobs .