Elon Musk and Universal Basic Income

Author Adidas Wilson
4 min readNov 2, 2020

During the World Government Summit in Dubai, Elon Musk brought up crucial ideas on the future of humanity. According to Musk, Universal Basic Income (an economic idea that suggests everyone receives a paycheck from the government for personal spending) is among the few solutions for robotic automation.

When automation becomes widespread, everything will change. People are referring to it as the coming of the “post-scarcity economy.” In simple terms, in future (a future that is fast approaching), money will not be a big deal, and all economies will completely collapse.

Post-scarcity is one of those things that everyone should try to understand. Traditional economies are still functional because things are hard to come by. For instance, food is limited; otherwise, it would be free. You cannot possibly charge for what is infinite like the sun, can you?

With replicators, which are technically magical boxes that can create anything out of anything in the blink of an eye, things do not have inherent value. You cannot even influence the demand and supply of anything since the demand is not definite and the supply is limitless. In a system like that, the traditional economy is useless and powerless. How would you even draw the demand and supply curve for such a circumstance?

Humans are nowhere near replicators, obviously. And a total post-scarcity system will not be possible for a long time. However, great advancements are about to happen. The number of jobs that robots will grab from humans is significant. Take self-driving cars, for instance, that alone will render about 20% of employees unemployed.

That is hardly the only industry that will be shaken. So many jobs can be automated easily and eventually cause millions of Americans to become jobless. It might take twenty years-or even thirty-but the truth is that no economy can withstand that.

Plans for universal basic income suggest tax robots. This aims at replacing the revenue that will be lost from the unemployed and alternatively created from the robots. Businesses will still gain-money will keep coming in for people to continue spending. According to some conservative estimates, the robots might even pay for themselves several times over. So companies have nothing to lose.

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Author Adidas Wilson

Adidas Wilson was born in Chicago, surviving a near death experience driving off a bridge in an 18 wheeler and getting hit by a train. Author and Motivator