William White of Fort Walton Beach wonders what will happen to human beings once automation takes over all the jobs.
Financial adviser Margaret McDowell is on to something. (“Free money, work and crumbling infrastructure” Sep 29: “Global aging crisis: We’re all getting on” Oct 6) But she is still falling short of real issues facing humans. The tasks ahead are far beyond “revolutionary” in nature; calling for change on an absolutely “evolutionary” scale.
The late TV chef/adventurer Anthony Bourdain, visiting Shanghai, sat across the table from a renowned Chinese economist. The old gentlemen posed a rhetorical question to Tony.
“What, then, shall we do with people?
A question of enormous significance, especially in light of new climatic normals - whether land, sea or air. So let me rephrase his question. How are humans going to “make a living?” Many lack living wages, or any wages, already! Watch them building a Mercedes, Audi, even those Chinese electric cars. Notice how few humans are on the floor? Building trades, food, commercial venues, all increasingly automated. Even the professional fields, once considered secure, increasingly are swept into the domain of artificial intelligence.
Current neo-liberal economics and market pressures are drowning us with production, profit and consumerist demands. Insatiable “WANT” messages impinge on our senses 24/7, spawning over-production, crushing our planetary home and its limited resources. Technologies more focused on destruction than creation! Technology that may still rescue the planet and creatures dependent upon it.
One solution, time itself, is rapidly running out. What sensible system spawns billionaires, along with those whose time’s considered literally valueless?
One wealthy, presidential contender recommends supplemental income of $1,000 monthly. In Kenya, basic income and all commercial transactions happen on that small machine in your pocket or purse. “Time dollar” exchanges, coops and trade operations sprout up everywhere.
It may rankle some “conservative” readers but only a panel of experts, including Nobel Laureates, could formulate “time” payments on a grand scale. Only one entity capable of shaking up the status quo, establishing a more just and equitable world order. The world’s meeting hall. The United Nations!
Birthed in 1946 by a world weary of endless war, horror and suffering. Imagine any religion denying economies based upon true mutual and planetary need?
That little Swedish girl’s right. How dare we let our children’s world become such a mess?
William White, Fort Walton Beach