To the Labour Party’s Policy Commission on Economy, Business and Trade who asks “How do we create the high-skill, high-wage, secure jobs of the future?”.
My submission : “Don’t try. That’s the wrong place to start. Before a living strategy we should have a strategy about how we should live.”
There are three limits to higher wages
1. The AI Revolution and machine learning
2. Competition from workers on the other side of the world
3. Climate change and limits to growth
We must create a vision of a society able which can show the world how to live in a way that does not ruin our world and share wealth fairly. The evidence points to a way of living that does not use much steel, glass, concrete, planes or cars, with lower waged, less-productive jobs, supplemented by a basic income.
The macroeconomic lever to achieve this could be a very high carbon tax (e.g £1,000 per tonne CO2e) using the proceeds for a universal income. Industrial strategy should consider how to shut down the redundant industries in an orderly fashion.
Lifestyle planning strategy should be to design ways of living on the local neighbourhood scale which are truly sustainable. (In the UK we have nothing close.)
From The TED Talk, “The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn”, by Jeremy Howard. Note: “What doesn’t work – better education, more incentives”