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Wednesday - February 28, 2018 12:42 am

McCabe: Robots are coming, universal basic income might make up for wage losses

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(AP file) (AP file)

What may sound like an extreme idea to some, appears to growing in popularity for many.

You can count Wisconsin Democratic candidate for governor Mike McCabe among those who are calling for, at least, some experimenting with the universal basic income idea.

"Think about it like Social Security," McCabe said. "It's trying to create some stability for people as we hurtle toward a jobless economy.

"We gotta think long and hard in this society. And, we gotta start thinking about it now, about how we create that kind of security and stability for an awful lot of working people out there who are going to be really vulnerable."

It's really just a way for many workers to contend with an increasingly automated world, says McCabe.

"There's going to be an awful lot of working people who are going to be out of work," McCabe said. "Jobs are going to disappear and what people are going to be able to find to replace those jobs aren't going to be family-supporting kinds of employment.

"Robots are here and more are on the way. Driverless vehicles are coming. And when they come, what's going to happen to all the truck drivers and bus drivers and taxi drivers?"

The universal basic income would fill in gaps for those who can no longer find skilled jobs that pay well enough to survive.

McCabe has proposed a $9 million state-funded experiment with 1,000 people to start off. Half would get $1,000 per month. The other half would get $500 per month. If it doesn't work, says McCabe, then he'll adjust or try something else.

The concept has received some support from billionaire icons like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Elon Musk, as well.

Last modified on Wednesday - February 28, 2018 10:46 am
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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