September 30, 2017

Canada needs a Universal Basic Income, 1st class robots and the smartest artificial intelligence, and to be daring

Sir, as a Venezuelan I am so lucky and so grateful for having two of my daughters and my two granddaughters living in Canada; and so of course I gave special attention to Tyler Brûlé’s “My plan to make Canada great again” September 31.

Except perhaps for that of “some form of national service with both defence and civilian functions”, and which because of my Swedish connections rang a bell with me, his other proposals left me quite indifferent.

I would instead suggest the following three things.

1. To prepare itself for the possibility of structural unemployment that could cause a breakdown of social order. This will probably require the introduction of a modest Universal Basic Income, a social dividend, and not paid by taking on more debt.

2. To gather all possible brain power in order to guarantee that future Canadians live surrounded and served by 1st class robots and the smartest artificial intelligence possible. Thinking of mine being dependent on anything lesser is just too horrible.

3. To immediately get rid of the risk weighted capital requirements for banks. These have banks staying away from financing the “riskier” future, like SMEs, and just keeping to refinancing the “safer” past, or basements in which to live. Risk taking is the oxygen of any development. God, make Canada daring!

PS. On Bombardier the following was my pro-Nafta tweet: “The fundamental question: Would Boeing build better airplanes in the future with or without competition from Bombardier? Keep the pressure!”