WIRED columnist Joi Ito on the polarizing, poorly understand concept of universal basic income—and why its moment may have finally arrived.
Indian politicians have met to discuss the possibility of introducing a universal basic income (UBI) after a survey suggested it could eradicate the widespread grinding poverty in the country. Talks were held in Delhi to consider the controversial proposal – which has economists and politicians fiercely divided.
The conversation about UBI has reached a crescendo as the workforce leans more heavily on technology. Nearly half of all U.S. jobs could be replaced by robots in the next decade or two, according to an Oxford University study . Last November, Tesla’s Musk said there was “a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that,” as a rising number of workers lose jobs due to automation.