Universal Basic Income, Automation and the Future of Jobs

Interesting Engineering

The nature of work has changed dramatically since the 1950s.

In that glorious post-war period, work was primarily a man's purview, while women did so-called "invisible" work - taking care of children, maintaining the home and cooking.

It wasn't unusual for a man to retire 40 years laterfrom the same employer he started with. That employer picked up the worker's health and life insurance, and some employers even paid school tuition for their workers' children. There was a sense of continuity. 

Welcome to today. It's rare for a worker to stay at a single job for longer than 4.2 years, according to an Economic News Release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Skilled and the Unskilled

Workers without a specific skill are slotted in, like cogs in a machine, to a never-ending stream of manufacturing or service jobs. Their pay is low and the number of hours worked is long.

Employers are pleasing their stock holders by extracting maximum value from their workforces by slashing wages and scaling back benefits. Employees are dealing with weakened unions, and rising costs of health care and education.

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