June 27, 2018

We need worthy and decent unemployments

Sir, I refer to Martin Wolf’s “Work in the age of intelligent machines” June 27.

In 2012 (while I was still not censored in Venezuela) I wrote an Op-Ed titled “We need worthy and decent unemployments”. In it I held “The power of a nation, and the productivity of its economy, which so far has depended primarily on the quality of its employees may, in the future, also depend on the quality of its unemployed, as a minimum in the sense of these not interrupting those working.”

That is the reason why I am absolutely sure our societies have to start urgently, even if from a very low level, to implement an unconditional universal basic income (UBI).

And referring also to Sarah O’Connor’s “Minimum wage laws still fall short for those on the bottom” June 27, let me point out that while minimum wages raises the bar for the creation of jobs, UBI is a stepping stool that allows you to reach up to the mostly low paying jobs of the gig economy. 

PS. You want to increase the minimum wage $2 per hour? Better pay $2x40x4 $320 in universal basic income to all.