THE WAR ON NORMAL PEOPLE
Andrew Yang "THE WAR ON NORMAL PEOPLE"
Andrew Yang who created and leads the ‘Humanity Forward’ movement, presents a widely-researched, intelligent, and very readable depiction of the plight of mid-America as technology reduces jobs and incomes. He shows how automation threatens incomes across a range of employment from clerical administration, through retail, food and catering, manufacturing, trucking, insurance, accountancy, medicine and law. This ‘Great Displacement’ is more widespread and more far-reaching than previous waves of technology. Personal and social living conditions for communities of ‘normal people’ suffering economic exclusion are dreadful.
A civilised society with immense productive capacity due to automation can achieve better, fairer outcomes. Yang presents basic income (UBI), funded by VAT, new creative use of time, and reformed US health and education services as the set of answers.
Yang is right. The high-tech, high automation structure of modern economies does need a basic income to supplement or replace wage, both to sustain people’s living conditions and to create aggregate macroeconomic demand.
But the same arguments lead to a matching proposal for sovereign money, ie debt-free government money issued up to the level of full potential output GDP, which can fund UBI and other social welfare programs. It’s a preferable solution to increased taxation, which would have the further effect of reducing aggregate demand. UBI and Sovereign Money represents the best consistent policy proposal.
The book is available here.
Editor ‘The Case for Universal Basic Income’