In 1928, famed British economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that technology would advance so far in a hundred years -- by 2028 -- that it will replace all work, and no one will need to worry about making money.
Sure wish this man would run for Prez, I've emailed him many times and asked but never got a reply. He use to have a show on PBS that was Great.
Now you're talking, Mr. Reich!
"Instead of shortening the patent period, how about giving every citizen a share of the profits from all patents and trademarks government protects? It would be a condition for receiving such protection."
Few people realize that a program running along similar lines has been in progress for years in Alaska whereby every citizen receives a check representing a percentage of oil revenue profits/income.
Since U.S. citizens PAY for the processes that lead to the education of those that design these programs--through all of the infrastructure their tax dollars funded that contribute in its own ways--this sounds like a brilliant extension of the same imperative.
It would help the lives of single mothers and all those low wage workers who can't make ends meet... a status impacting more and more citizens by the month.
Poor Matt Heins with his sympathy for the poor billionaire referring to any sharing program as mooching, but unlikely to view the matter as thus when it's the billionaire mooching off the public in the form of tax write-offs, tax subsidies, and other pork barrel "donations" thanks product of the work of loyal, well-paid lobbyists.
Wasn't there a time way back when people where tared and feathered Siouxrose11? It has to be done outside though, it stinks, can't do it inside the Lobby, now can we? Okay, poor joke :-)))
I think maybe we need to think about the concept of money in the future world Keyes, and now Reich, talk about. What is money in such a world? Really, what is it now, except debt, which really amounts to economic slavery for the "have-nots," which is most of humanity - you know, the ones who actually produce goods and services?
And who will set up, and enforce, this mechanism?
Well, Mr. Reich, at a time when increased and extended patent protection is proving a bane for developing countries, with drugs as an example, it seems to me ill-advised to give us USAns added incentive to extend and enforce them - patent terms should be shortened, and more technology, should be "given away" as a bedrock of our foreign policy ....
Also, it seems to me that would give added incentive to give more and more patents, including on things that shouldn't be patented - like life forms ....
Great perverse incentive to oppose shutting down Alaskan oil ops ...
Ah yes, the grandly proclaimed Leisure Age that I heard about so much in the 1960s..........Am still waiting......
Fanciful. Is King Ludd lurking? For those of a certain age, it is September first:
Kurt Weill September Song Lyrics: Maxwell Anderson From 'Knickerbocker Holiday' September leads to the melancholy light of October, special light, soft caressing light.
This is a very thought-provoking article. I've been thinking a lot lately about the future of work, and the downward spiral of labor in the world, which is soon to suck down civilization along with it. Many of the mass migrations today are as much about people running toward economic opportunity in a shrinking pool of jobs, as about people running from war, disease, and famine. For example, they flee Syria for Turkey, but then keep going on, hoping to get to Germany. The greatest mass migrations are from populous nations in the developed world to the wealthiest nations, if they can get in.
Very interesting proposal by Professor Reich.
One caveat I would say is that I personally think that the workers of those companies who generate such profits off these patents should get first dibs on the profits through livable wages and benefits. Or, better yet, these corporations should be converted into worker cooperatives where the workers have a bigger share of the responsibility and the profits.
There are other means and sources to fund a basic income; and you could even use Social Security as a foundation by simply extending the receipt of benefits to everyone, not just the elderly.
Still, an excellent contribution to a debate that is long overdue.
Very little wealth generation comes from "creativity". Why were histories most creative individuals often paupers? Wealth generation under capitalism is generally a product of ruthlessness and power-lust. And the "market and the finance capitalist" activities you refer by their very nature concentrate wealth in very few hands and guarantee that only a small minority can obtain acquire wealth in that way. Most peoples earnings go to basic survival - there is very little to nothing left over to play the stock market.
Patent strategies aside, corporate share of total tax revenue has been shrinking for the last 60 years. Where will we be if robotics continue to capture more of the workforce opportunities? A reversal of corporate vs. individual tax burden trends seems necessary.
If you are going to propose ways to redistribute wealth towards an egalitarian society that has more economic equality, it is incumbent on you to also propose a way for that to actually happen in our system. Otherwise, you are engaging in crazy, fantasy talk.
What constitutional amendment or series of amendments would actually do that?
What amendment would turn our constitutional system into one that served the interests of the majority, at least, and could actually pass the policies that would enrich the lives of most Americans?
Here's my candidate, in three links. I'd like your reaction, or anyone's, (or a better idea):