Reflecting on Ray Kurzweil's Support
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Yesterday, Ray Kurzweil, published his thoughts supporting UBI, i.e. Universal Basic Income, while noting the commencement speech of Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard University (1). In the recent months, a number of forefront technology leaders such as Elon Musk and Bill Gates have also expressed their words of support for UBI, especially as technologies, such as driverless cars, may very soon, seriously displace workers, in numbers, that could be considered a glacial change, as compared to all such events, in the history of industrial society. Although the concern of Ray Kurzweil and others, noted above, is admirable, but unfortunately, since the dawn of post-industrial information society, attention to its social side, has been absent, by all institutions of social science and humanities, that still, fundamentally, think in terms of the old industrial world.
The reality is, that contrary to the industrial society, which basically had a *mass* production, at its core, and all other things, were defined by a *mass* superstructure, the post-industrial society, in contrast, is *not* mass-oriented, and therefore, solutions such as UBI, which is a *mass* approach, are at best, panaceas, similar to the welfare state, which although, better than nothing, and somewhat relieves the pain of those deprived of their livelihood, but is not a solution, to the problem, that is finally being reckoned, as needing an urgent solution.
The US tax system, best represents, the complexity of present economy, when government charges the people, for the common good. A system, to respond, to the needs of the people, who lose income, must be as comprehensive, and individualized, as the system of individual income tax system. This is what, this author, discussed, twelve years ago, proposing a plan for an Alternative Income System (2). Unfortunately, never received any support to work out the details, to offer the plan, as a solution to the problem, which, today is finally being reckoned as a real issue to be addressed by a catch-all phrase of UBI, which is useful, but cannot fundamentally address the problem we are trying to solve for the 21st Century economy of the US and the rest of the world. Unfortunately, economics departments of our universities, are still living in the 19th Century, while entrepreneurs like Ray Kurzweil, have a better grasp of the economic dilemma, of our times.
Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
June 1, 2017
1. Ray Kurzweil: Supporting universal basic income as step in world progress
2. Alternative Income-Social Justice in Post-Industrial Society
درآمد آلترناتیو-عدالت اجتماعی در جامعه فراصنعتی