Robots and Employment

The effect of robotics on employment is one of the central questions we’re going to have to address in the next decade. As those decisions are made, it’s crucial that the people most affected by robotics help determine our policies.

More than three-quarters of those polled by AP-NORC said working people don’t have enough say in how government works. Remarkable, there’s no partisan divide in this feeling:

Democrats and Republicans generally agree that people like them, working people, the poor, and small businesses don’t have enough power in Washington, and that political lobbyists, Wall Street, large businesses, and the wealthy have too much influence.

A second poll, by the Pew Research Center, offers a lot of insight into how those working Americans feel about the future. Seventy-two percent worry that robots will soon be able to do many human jobs. More than that — 85% — think government should impose limits on robots to protect jobs and safety. But the most striking finding of the Pew poll is this: 60% believe that government should provide a minimum guaranteed income (aka, Social Security for All) if robotics significantly disrupts the economy. That’s a huge number for an idea that was, only a few years ago, considered radical and impossible.

The People's House Project