Much of this article is a retake of the Michael Journal which I have adapted for my communication.
In this article, I present the origins of current poverty and give a solution to remedy.
1 THE CONTEXT
Technological is constantly evolving. After the industrial revolution, man is now in an era of technological revolution. Major advances in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics are increasingly reducing human intervention. A study by McKinsey, titled “The Future of Work,” shows that by 2030, 50% of jobs will be automated.
Technological progress has multiplied human productive output. Land which required several people and several hours to cultivate, is now subject to mechanical treatment which takes less time and produces a thousand times more; there is now an abundance of goods and services.
This context characterized by automation and robotization on the one hand and on the other hand by an abundant production is the source of several problems.
2 THE PROBLEM
The progress in artificial intelligence and robotization causes a drastic reduction the number of jobs. Since employment is strongly linked to income, there is a drop in purchasing power. This does not fail to impact on the standard of living of citizens.
The second problem is that of poor product flow, which constitutes a shortfall for producers. The low purchasing power causes low consumption and loss for producers.
Finally, the resulting too little transaction weakens the economic system. Economic systems being dependent on each other, the whole planet suffers.
In short, our economic model produces too many poor people. According to Billionaire Ray Dallio, There has been no increase in workers’ income, in the US, since 1980.
The central problem is: What can be done to reduce poverty in a century of abundance, progress and communication?
This is a paradoxical question. We live in a century, where everything is done to liberate man but where man has never been so enslave. We live in a century, where there is so much wealth, where the rich are more and more wealthy but few and the poor more and more poor and far too many.
3 INITIATIVES ALREADY TAKEN
Several measures have been taken to make the world economy fair and more equitable. Various initiatives have been implemented but which have so far not produced the expected results.
First of all, there is the rise in wages. The chronic lack of purchasing power cannot be resolved only with rising wages. As long as wages remain the sole purchasing power, it is impossible to settle the question of income in relation to the cost of living. You will never reach the price of goods just by raising the level of wages that go into prices; it is like to add the same sum to the two terms of an inequality. Salary cannot give everyone income. Especially since with the progress in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics, human work will be less and less necessary.
Secondly, there is job creation. We cannot solve the social problem by simple job creation, since workers are unemployed because the products from their jobs overwhelm the market. Why ask to produce more when the products are abundant? The aim of the industry is not to create jobs, but to manufacture products. The remedy for social unrest is not employment, but the disposal of products. And the sale of all the products would revive employment.
Finally, a decrease in prices relative to purchasing power will hurt producers who have to meet costs other than wages. What we need is extra money; money obtained outside wages; money that the boss is not paying.
All these measures are certainly laudable initiatives, but unfortunately have hardly produced viable fruits. What to do ? We have to change our paradigm and think differently.
4 THE SOLUTION : THE SOCIAL DIVIDEND ?
Nature has given us a variety of natural resources. The forest, the sun and the rivers, no being on earth can claim to have created them. These are gifts of nature that belong to everyone for the simple fact that we are human beings. The exploitation of this wealth requires additional efforts, but already their existence cannot be claimed by anyone. If their exploitation generates profit, it is quite understandable that a dividend must be redistributed to all.
Progress also does not belong to anyone. For example, the technological evolution of computers: We moved from a machine occupying an entire house to a tiny touch screen that can be carried in a bag. Who owns this progress, if not the society as a whole? It is the accumulation of knowledge transmitted from generation to generation. If this knowledge generates dividends, these must be for all and not for a few.
This dividend that I am talking about is the Social Dividend. It is a universal income, intended for everyone, from the cradle to the grave, based on no subjective criteria except that all human beings have equal value and dignity. Doesn’t the sun shine for everyone? Regardless of skin color! Regardless of nationality. Indeed, the resources of the earth were created by God for all men. The social dividend highlights the community character of natural wealth and progress.
4.1 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SOCIAL DIVIDEND
The social dividend does not affect work. Work will continue and will always be entitled to its reward. The social dividend is only a minimum income intended for everyone because we all have the right to a roof over our heads, food and clothes.
The social dividend is not socialism or capitalism. Private property remains. The industry remains. Work continues to take its wages. Everyone, young or old, rich or poor, employed or not employed, sick or healthy, are entitled to this dividend. It is the common property of everyone. If you grant it to some more than others, you favor someone more than the other. If you don’t give it to anyone, you let production go to waste in front of glaring needs.
The implementation of this solution is the responsibility of the state. It has competent resources that can operationalize the dividend for all.
Indeed, our Production System is almost innovative, but the Distribution System is not. Faced with abundant production, there is lack of purchasing power. Products don’t get sold; producers records losses and consumers have nothing to eat. These low number of transactions weaken the economy and create poverty.
Progress will continue and in doing so work will become increasingly scarce. We need to find a mechanism to give income to men, to create transactions and increase growth.
What can be done to reduce poverty in a century of abundance and progress?
The social dividend grants everyone a minimum income. It provides everyone with a minimum purchasing power, it makes man free, reconciles technological progress with man. All are entitled to this income because all are owners of the natural wealth and all have participated in the accumulation and transmission of knowledge.