Zoltan Istvan at TechCrunch. Istvan was the presidential candidate of the Transhumanist Party in 2016 and is seeking the California governorship as a Libertarian in 2018. Due to California’s laws the party has no say in who runs with its label, and multiple Libertarians can be on the primary ballot against candidates of other parties and non-party candidates with no party nominations. Thanks to IPR lurker Kevin for the heads up.
Between now and the end of Donald Trump’s first term in 2020, it’s likely millions of jobs in America will be lost to automation, software and robots. Depending on how fast technology evolves, that human job-loss number might even rival that of the Great Recession of 2007, where more than eight million people were put out of work, and America’s banking system nearly collapsed.
By 2030, the job losses will likely be in the tens of millions. McDonald’s will flip burgers with machines, Amazon will deliver packages with drones and taxis will all be self-driving. Even white-collars jobs, like those on Wall Street, will be replaced by artificial intelligence — the world’s largest hedge fund has already set plans in motion for this.
Like the Titanic, capitalism is sinking, but few passengers are wondering yet if there are enough lifeboats.
I recently declared my run as a Libertarian for California governor in 2018, and I gently support the idea of a state-funded basic income to offset the effects of ubiquitous automation. A basic income would give every Californian some money — and it makes sense to start such a dramatic program here in the Golden State, since this is where much of the human-job-replacing-tech is created.
My Libertarian friends are skeptical of my support for a basic income. They insist the only way to pay for such a program is via higher taxes. This is not true; other ways exist. California could potentially cut deals with the federal government to lease its empty land and natural resources to help pay for a basic income.
After all, state and federal resources belong to the people, and 45 percent of California (more than 45 million acres) is government-controlled land, leaving vast areas idle and mostly undeveloped.