A commonsense approach to a problem that's only going to get bigger.
In August, SF Supervisor Jane Kim launched a campaign called Jobs of the Future Fund, with intentions to find solutions for those who will inevitably lose jobs as automation increases.
“Proceeds from the tax would bankroll things like job retraining, free community college, or perhaps a universal basic income―countermeasures Kim thinks might make a robotic future more bearable for humans,” says Wired.
The campaign’s site states that this ‘automation revolution’ has the potential to eliminate more jobs than the Great Depression and Great Recession combined. As much as half of the jobs in the US will disappear “through the transition to robot, algorithms or other forms of automation.”
Jobs of the Future is an organization and outreach program that asks for policy makers, labor leaders, businesses and civic organizations to start thinking about solutions to this problem.
The solution their touting: a statewide California tax on automated robots, just like our workers today are being taxed (inspiration taken from Bill Gates). If companies are required by law to pay taxes for the automation the money can be funneled into education and retraining for those whose jobs have become obsolete.
As Kim reminds us, this is all very new territory. The terms ‘job displacement’ and ‘automation’ are still actively being defined. If you’d like to get involved and voice your opinion as Californians start working towards ballot measures, do it here.
Donate to their Crowdfunding campaign here.