May 24, 2016

The gig and the no jobs economy need a Universal Basic Income. It also helps to keep redistribution profiteers at bay.

Sir, you discuss Senator Elizabeth Warren’s framework to “rethink the basic bargain for workers” “The gig economy needs a new bargain for workers” May 24.

I think we need to think equally, simultaneously, of those not working, as there is little doubt there could be a severe lack of all type of jobs.

In 2012 in an Op-Ed I wrote that the society also had to prepare itself to handle a growing number of unemployed, not cyclical but structural, that is, those who never ever in their life will have a chance to get an economically productive job, “We need worthy and decent unemployments”.

I argued there: “The power of a nation, and the productivity of its economy, which so far has depended primarily on the quality of its employees may, will in the future, also depend on the quality of its unemployed, as a minimum in the sense of these not interrupting those working.”

And one of the first things that should be put in place for that is a Universal Basic Income floor, one that is completely independent of the having or not having a job. That, which should be the result of a social contract among citizens, and not the result of governments bringing gifts, will help to redistribute in the most cost effective and least socially diminishing way.

And if that income floor exists, then, contrary to what Senator Warren holds, in order to get more jobs and better salaries, I would call on all capitalists to exploit any low salaries, for as much as they can. 

PS. Should not companies also be part of the gig economy, so as not to waste resources trying to hang on? 

@PerKurowski ©