• I was casually scrolling through my Facebook Feed, when I stumbled upon an article titled “Beware these dying jobs are disappearing the quickest”*, which if you ask me sounds more like a warning sign than an art […]

    • AI is also part of the reason that computer programming is expected to decline — more of it will be done by non-human labor.

      All of which leads to the conclusion that there are no truly safe jobs. Only the nimbleness of an educated, creative mind and muscular intelligence will be able to navigate the inevitable pivots that will be required as things change and change and change.


    Lightening Round # 3

    How can we assist workers from low skilled occupations to twenty-first century demands?

    The startling realty that millions of truck drivers could soon become unemployed with the […]

    • My thought process was much the same as yours re Universal Basic Income, i.e., would it lead to massive amounts of people sitting idle, and all of the social, mental health, etc, baggage that would come with having a class of people out of work. But at $12,000 per year, I think everyone I know would be doing some type of work to supplement it.

      Having read Stern’s book on the topic, I find myself pro-UBI and trying to play devil’s advocate to see what I’m missing. In the example you cite, ie, truck drivers being out of work, is it possible that UBI (as opposed to them finding new jobs) would lead these displaced workers to feel worthless and depressed, living off of UBI (which is what an anti-UBI person might say)? Sure, it’s possible, but I think UBI beats the alternative of collecting unemployment insurance, taking a job at Walmart, etc. Either way, people are going to lose their livelihoods, and the question becomes, what is the best solution to that.

    • The idea of UBI is very interesting and I want to support it as an ease to the decrease in jobs and increase in automation, but I am still reluctant. I agree with the concerns of idleness for those who wish to solely thrive off of $12,000/yr and I have crossed paths with individuals who are very complacent. They do not have the motivation to work and lack concern if they have lost their job. Some young people are very content with living at home with their parents and those parents do not seem to be really pushing their children to find employment. Parental understanding that finding employment is very difficult and competitive coupled with the discouragement from continuous employment rejections for new graduates makes the unemployment status of young adults seem “normal” and expected. The possibility of obtaining a paid job after college is seeming more and more impossible for young adults and parents may also be accepting that reality rather than motivating their children to not be discouraged. UBI may be an enabler for recent graduates, which leads to the question of who should be eligible for UBI? At what age can people obtain UBI if the working age begins at 14 years (with minimum set hours) or 18 years (when there are no restrictions on the number of hours worked)?

      Also, for those recent graduates with no employment experience they may not be motivated to find work immediately with UBI. However, UBI would be beneficial for those that require experience in their field of study and must take unpaid internships. The assistance of UBI would allow individuals to have an income and gain experience in fields that only offer unpaid internships. Although, if UBI were in effect, how would companies respond? Would they offer more unpaid internships or transition low paying and low skilled jobs into unpaid internships to decrease expenses because UBI is sustaining individuals with less education or skills?

      I also ponder where the funds for UBI would come from and is it adjusted to the cost of living in each state of the U.S.? 12,000k may not be enough to sustain individuals in larger cities, but may be plenty for those in lower cost of living areas; thereby discouraging the search for employment.

    • let the conversation begin! As Aaron notes, there are many questions about UBI — how much, when, how, who — but the “why” centers confidently around the need to re-imagine the safety net in a post-work world. Still, I can’t help but focus on “unintended consequences,” which is what I will look forward to discussing in class with Andy Stern.

  • Aaron commented on the post, Lightening Round # 1, on the site Mind The Gap 2 months, 1 week ago

    Hey Vincent thanks for your comments and warm wishes. I enjoyed reading about your early work experience working for your grandfather at his pizzeria, and yes I too have a dreaded fear of ‘Sundays’. I definitely want to discuss the difference between passion and practical work tomorrow, something that you touched upon in your posting. Work…[Read more]

  • The Growing Pains of Why We Work
    Throughout my life the nature of work and what going to work for me as a person has changed over the years.  What started as a simple quest to obtain mere spending money has […]

    • We both brought up the concept of “work ethic” in our blog posts, and it has me wondering about the work ethic of the future. Conventional thought is that younger generations don’t have the work ethic that, say, their grandparents did — or that each successive generation has less of a work ethic. I’m guessing that that trajectory (assuming it is true) will have to change course if we move to a more task-based economy? Or perhaps people with a solid work ethic be the ones to transition well to a task-based economy, and those without will be hanging on to traditional 9-5 jobs that may demand less.

      On a personal note, congrats on being part of the Teaching Fellows program. I looked into it several years ago and quickly realized teaching is not for me. It is certainly a calling that not everyone has. Wishing you the best as you return to classes this week.

      • Hey Vincent thanks for your comments and warm wishes. I enjoyed reading about your early work experience working for your grandfather at his pizzeria, and yes I too have a dreaded fear of ‘Sundays’. I definitely want to discuss the difference between passion and practical work tomorrow, something that you touched upon in your posting. Work ethic can be a strange thing as I believe that just about everyone can be passionate about something and work hard at it – the main problem being that the market does not reward certain passions, thus co-opting people to accept jobs they need to do merely to survive.

        Think of the countless writers or aspiring actors who accept waiter or bartender jobs to pay the rent. They may have an unwavering passion and work ethic for their chosen pursuits but might be phoning it in at work.

        Now, that being said I can attest that there are plenty of waiters who are passionate about providing quality service and others who could care less. I think newer generations could use a good lesson about how to make the best of a situation and how to better leverage one’s personality and abilities into work that is seemingly unrelated. And the golden maximum which I tell all my students again and again “life is about doing things, you may not want to do” – a saying which has sadly become more of a taboo than a hard lesson of truth.

        A lot of this has to do with expectations as well….a teenager who sees a job at a supermarket as a stepping stone before college will probably be a lot more eager than a 27 year old, four years out of college whose stuck working at a supermarket because they can’t find a job in their chosen field.

        I think because previous generations weren’t necessarily promised anything, they never took anything for granted, which meant they brought a much stronger work ethic to the table. However, when you promise an entire generation a pie in the sky, everyone begins to believe what they already have are mere crumbs and grow resentful at what they believe to be a ‘lack of opportunity’ either real or perceived.

        See you tomorrow and have a wonderful but not dreaded Sunday night!


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