More jobs please

Whither the jobsTwo activities consume our time on earth: sleeping and working. There may come a time when sleep is unnecessary.

Never say never.

As for working, that time is now.

Increasing numbers of jobs are disappearing. Technology obsoletes man. Even artistic man. The past is often prologue.

For example, in 2014, here in Portland parking structures were once staffed by at least one person per booth. Not anymore. More such structures are “attended” by “robots”: automated processing machines. Where once there were at least three people staffing exit booths, now one person oversees the machines.

Portland area grocery cashiers got so scared of self-checkout systems – automated registers shoppers check themselves out through – they proposed legislation enforcing a per-unit limit on grocery chains.

Manufacturing, engineering, coding, design, and yes, even home construction. GPT-3, a deep learning AI machine writes better than many philosophers and literary greats.

You name it, automation either can or will fill the need. Recently, job destroying automation now graces the lips of politicians. Large movements underway encourage government towards Universal Basic Income while nature too does her part: COVID helped prepare the way by further eroding capitalism and forcing governments into distributing money no one worked for. To me, that’s progress.

More of America and the world now sees UBI as our future. Some political leaders resist the idea, but fuddy-duddies can’t stem the tide.

Meanwhile, a lot of people remain indoctrinated that jobs are the answer. We still want more jobs. Mind-numbing, soul-sucking is ok, so long as they pay the bills, right?

Finally, we’re starting to look at the real problem. Rather than create jobs so people can pay their bills, why not eliminate the bills? We’re not quite collectively there, but UBI started our collective head scratching.

People think they want jobs. We think people would be happier if they didn’t need money to get the things that make life livable. Copiosis offers happiness no other system can, mostly because in other systems, human happiness isn’t the goal. Working and keeping you in debt are.

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