Irwin Explores Minimum Income, Free Training Among Options

Neil Irwin, a senior economics correspondent for The New York Times and author of “The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire” discussed options for dealing with  impending wave of job disruption futurists predict due to AI and robotic advances.

He predicts that government will be crucial in creating plans that keep society and civilization on an even keel.

From a universal income plan to earned income tax credits to free education for less skilled workers, analysts are discussing an array of ideas to deal with potential job loss, according to his article in the Times. Another idea would be to have government or employers fund lifelong learning programs so that worker skills stay relevant in changing times.

Irwin cited a report called “Don’t Fear the Robots: Why Automation Doesn’t Mean the End of Work,” published by the Roosevelt Institute, a liberal think tank, arguing that a massive loss of jobs isn’t the necessary result of rapid tech development, if countries commit to a plan that includes: full employment, revised intellectual property law so others have access to patents sooner, public guidance in tech development, work sharing and free higher education and vocational training.

Irwin warns that the United States doesn’t want a repeat of the job losses of the ’80s and ’90s when globalization and automation left a lot of factory workers jobless.