This is a little off-topic, but I think relevant to the overall discussion in connection with E-Cat/LENR and any other revolutionary energy technology that might come along. On Facebook Mats Lewan posted a link to an article by Paula Dwyer on the BloombergView website titled “Basic Income Should Be the Next Big Thing”. The article discusses proposals for forms of guaranteed basic income that have been presented in various places around the world.
Where I think it fits with the topics we discuss on ECW is in the context of technological innovations that could replace many of the jobs that humans now do. There has been a lot of discussion about the impact of technological advancement on employment in recent years. What happens when factory workers are replaced by more robots? What happens to mining communities when coalmines are shut down? What about truck drivers and all the jobs surrounding the trucking industry if trucks no longer need human drivers? What if the E-Cat hits the mainstream and lots of energy related jobs are impacted? — and the list could go on. Dwyer writes:
The idea of a universal basic income is enjoying a renaissance today, not only in Washington think tanks but in Silicon Valley, as my Bloomberg View colleague, Justin Fox, has written. Y Combinator, a venture-capital firm, is launching a five-year research project, for example. The goal is to give a randomly selected group of people a monthly check to see if they sit around and play video games or create economic value.
Why does Silicon Valley care? It can see the role of technology in accelerating job losses in the U.S. Two Oxford University professors wrote recently that about 47 percent of U.S. jobs are at risk of being replaced by automation. If that happens, the economy would shrink, and fewer and fewer people would be able to buy the goods that Silicon Valley creates.
Mats notes in his comment on Facebook that with Bloomberg covering the topic, the idea of a basic income is now going mainstream. I put the idea here not to advocate it, but to stimulate thinking and discussion.