With the news of Tesla Motors’ self driving semi trucks and PepsiCo and Walmart preordering fleets to replace both their trucks and drivers. Also Walmart will be replacing all of their cashiers with self checkouts by the end of 2018 or 2019. Their warehouses will follow (only Walmart jobs will be shelf stockers and customer service). So the largest private employer and the biggest job in 49 states—truck driving—will lose millions of jobs in the US alone. Further, Uber and Lyft are experimenting with self driving cars. McDonalds is also building employee-less stores including kiosks and machines to prepare food. Lawyers are being replaced with AI and surgeons with much more precise robotic arms powered by AI. With the two biggest sectors of private jobs being lost and even high skilled jobs at risk—including accountants and CPAs, what kind of new jobs would our magnificently efficient capitalist system create for tens of millions of Americans? (sarcasm) Doing a quick run of some numbers, I found that the Social Security Admin could pay all ~280 million adult US citizens $1,200 a month and $300 per child without substantially raising taxes. Simply scrap the cap on social security payroll tax and increase it 10%. Since everyone will be getting tax free UBI, save another trillion by eliminating the standard deduction and another trillion by reducing safety net programs 80%, and eliminating others completely like SSI, and reducing military spending by 50%. Fully financed and poverty would be virtually eliminated. Only a 10% tax increase, and we could make it progressive to lessen the burden on the working and middle class.
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