I’m going to get to reviewing Labour’s next 3 Future of Work papers, honest.
But in the meantime, I have something to share from Andrew McAfee.
Just a great Ted Talk on YouTube.
He’s looking at the opportunities and problems that technology is bringing us. And he presents it very well.
Good anecdotes about Henry Ford 2 and unionist Walter Ruther – “Walter, how are you going to get these robots to pay union dues?” “Hey Henry, how are you going to get them to buy cars?”
He looks at the declining return to workers and the middle class over the last 15 years, with median income going down. He looks at the split between stereotypical “Ted” – educated, professional, creative freed from drudge work to really express themselves – and “Bill”, a labourer, whose job is going to disappear if it hasn’t already. Bill is already working less, having more unhappy marriages and more likely to be in prison than he was a couple of decades back.
The answers: much better education aimed at creativity, invest in infrastructure, and something like a guaranteed minimum income.
But give it a watch, there’s much more in there. It’s not claiming to have all the answers, but it’s a discussion we need to be having – and I’m glad Labour are interested in this stuff with their Future of Work Commission.