MindBullets 20 Years

Technological unemployment means no work but basic pay

Redundant workers cashing in on robot jobs

Up until now, we have managed to survive recessions and every economic slump, but experts believe we are finally reaching a plateau, as the majority of jobs are being automated away. Income inequality is reaching levels never seen before.

The world is increasingly run and ruled by tech-heavy companies who employ only a handful of people. The ten biggest multinationals of the ’90s employed 12 times more people than the ten biggest corporations today. The business behemoths of the current age rely on robots and computers to do the bulk of their physical and mental labour.

These bots don’t get sick or tired and don’t have babies, which leaves the majority ‘technologically unemployed’. The wealthiest 1% are pocketing the profits while the rest compete with robots or become ‘self-employed’; populations are now money-poor and skill-rich.

After angry middle class mobs orchestrated a global attack on their robots, Stuff Inc became the first manufacturer to agree to an unconditional basic income for workers who have been replaced by its technology. Stuff doesn’t mind footing the bill. As the CEO, Mark Rosenschoon says, “Honestly, it’s such a tiny dent, we won’t even feel it. Besides, people have to eat, right?”

It’s enough to pacify the mobs for now as they spend their time in creative leisure pursuits, or maybe doing some charity work, without worries about how they’ll bring home the bacon, or bread and butter. Coffee bars and pubs are full of people chatting with their friends or bent over their smartphone screens, at any time of day or night. Society has never been more social.

But what happens when they want to redefine what counts as ‘basic’ in basic income? Forget about a run on the bank, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s a run on the robots we should be worried about!

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.