New blue collar jobs and an unconditional basic income experiment in India

WBUR’s recent On Point radio show, “The New Blue Collar Jobs Of Tomorrow,” discussed a USA Today study, “Where the jobs are: The new blue collar,” that was cautiously optimistic about new blue collar jobs between now and 2017:

By 2017, an estimated 2.5 million new, middle-skill jobs . . . are expected to be added to the workforce, accounting for nearly 40% of all job growth, according to a USA TODAY analysis of local data from Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. and CareerBuilder.

One of the guests on the show was Eirk Brynjolfsson. Earlier this year, I reviewed his book, The Second Machine Age. In this review, as well as an earlier post, I discussed the concept of a basic income as a possible policy to help cope with the projected impact that technology will have on the economy in the long-term. I felt before, and feel today, that this idea needs more study. In the comments section of the WBUR report, I found an encouraging video that discussed the results of a study in India. Here’s the introduction:

What if everybody received every month enough money to live by? Will society collapse? Will we all become slackers? Myths and facts about Unconditional Basic Income, with analysis from a real world experiment conducted in India between 2011-2013. Keynote speech by Federico Pistono at the Future of Work Summit, NASA Ames Research Park, California, June 30, 2014.

Eirk Brynjolfsson was in the audience and spoke to Federico Pistono during the question and answer session. Brynjolfsson suggested that results in developed nations, such as the U.S., might be very different from India. He’s right. Nevertheless, this is a very interesting video and I fully support repeating the experiment in other countries. As Pistono concluded at the end, this is not a panacea. Nevertheless, it could be one element of a future solution. Enjoy the video.

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One thought on “New blue collar jobs and an unconditional basic income experiment in India

  1. Pingback: Reviews of “The Second Machine Age” that inspire me | Commentary by Allan

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