- How can tech make sure that workers have the new skills needed? Do companies need to start schools? Do they need to band together and offer blanket training for potential workers, not just for existing ones? How do they make sure those workers don’t starve while they learn? The success of German companies may show us some solutions for re-skilling, if our firms are willing to invest in apprenticeships that include living expenses for the workers while they learn.
- If we reach a new jobs equilibrium in an autonomous, 5G world, will it be well below full employment? Or will the jobs available primarily be so low wage that they can’t pay for basic living expenses? In that case, the basic underpinning of our society—that you work a job for a wage to survive—becomes broken.
- (The same argument goes for low-wage immigration, or for low wages in general; you can pick your bogeyman.) But low-priced Roku boxes and Chromebooks don’t help if the jobs available to many people pay so poorly that they can’t afford the basic needs of food, housing, healthcare, and education.
- Then the tech industry may need to push radical solutions like universal basic income, so Americans don’t starve when most of the jobs are done by robots.