The world has experienced three industrial revolutions where technology changed how we live. The First Revolution was in the late 18th and early 19th centuries with mechanization, where machines replaced human labor. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the Second Industrial Revolution was when assembly lines replaced skilled craftsmen. By eliminating non-productive activity, assembly lines increased productivity, lowered prices, increased buying power, economic growth, and employment. The Third Industrial Revolution of the latter part of the 20th century benefited from increased automation – think robotics, computers, cell phones, and the internet. Electrification supported modern telecommunication systems such as telegraphs, radios, telephones, and televisions.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) sees the Fourth Industrial Revolution as combining technology with data and the interconnectivity of the human race where information is shared. Klaus Schwab, the founder of WEF, defines this on the WEF website this way. The Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a fundamental change in how we live, work, and relate to one another. It is a new chapter in human development, enabled by extraordinary technological advances commensurate with the first, second, and third industrial revolutions. These advances are merging the physical, digital, and biological worlds to create huge promises and potential peril. The Fourth Revolution utilizes the combination of robotics and artificial intelligence, where computers make decisions.
Increasing automation and robotics will lead to structural unemployment and eliminate many low-level jobs. To compensate, the government will issue everyone a minimum payment each month. Investopedia defines Universal Basic Income (UBI) as “a government program in which every adult citizen receives a set amount of money regularly. The goals of a basic income system are to alleviate poverty and replace other need-based social programs that potentially require greater bureaucratic involvement. The idea of universal basic income has gained momentum in the U.S. as automation increasingly replaces workers.” Some countries already have UBI, and the United States is almost there with the Earned Income Tax Credit. What could go wrong? Money in our bank accounts can disappear if we do or say anything contrary to the official narrative. Monies that we do not spend by the end of the month will disappear. The government does not want us to save because an accumulation of savings could eventually lead to personal independence. Now we are controlled by the masters of the universe – game over!
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