“Guy Standing’s argument for a universal basic income (which he shared on the Forum’s blog back in December) is based on a pretty simple but powerful idea: that no matter who we are – a Wall Street banker or a school janitor – we are all contributing to society, and therefore deserve a fair share of its wealth.
The danger, philosopher Michael Sandel argued in a session on the topic, is that others now understand this income as a form of compensation for those whose skills are being rendered obsolete by the digital revolution.
“We’d essentially be saying: ‘We’re going to pay you off in exchange for you accepting a world in which your contribution to the common good isn’t really required, and what you do with your time, that’s your business.’ I think that would be corrosive,” he argued.
That’s because for most people, work is about so much more than just clocking in and picking up a pay check at the end of the month: our jobs are a fundamental part of our identity.
“Work is about more than making a living: it’s also a source of meaning,” Sandel said in another session. You take away that meaning and you end up with an understandably angry, frustrated group of people – rather like what we’re starting to see across the world.”
Davos leaders: we might be heading for a jobless world, but that’s not as bad as it soundshttps://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/01/davos-jobless-world-unemployment/