In the coming years, possibly within a decade, some one quarter of current jobs as we know them may be displaced, as automation replaces physical labour and AI replaces growing chunks of Information Age jobs. Oxford University researchers even project that half of US jobs could become obsolete by 2030.
This dynamic will aggravate both inequality and increasingly polarised modern labour markets. The march of technology, combined with reliance on the legacy principles of the free market economy, is already undermining the social contract and even tearing at the very social fabric; Covid-19 has only accelerated these trends. In 2021 and beyond, our society will have to find a new policy path if we are to avoid deepening injustice, but also political upheavals, social unrest and systemic risk.
So what is to be done? Every crisis brings with it the required energy for making bold changes. In 2021, policy comes in for a major overhaul, with a whole new approach to reducing inequality that has little to do with adjustments to the tax code.
Instead, a Citizens Technology Fund is created that transfers a portion of asset ownership of capital assets to everyone, with an extra portion going to displaced workers, allowing them and everyone else to participate in the productivity gains of the digital era. The policy is spun as a Disruption Dividend, and goes a long way to relieving the economic and social anxieties for those who have been losing out on the share of economic output in recent years.
The Disruption Dividend frees up enormous entrepreneurial energy at the individual and community scale as millions have more time and energy on their hands away from repetitive and stressful jobs. More meaningful work in community restoration, artisanal crafts and food production explode in popularity. Leisure-related sectors boom as well, from hobbies to recreational sports and activities, real and virtual.
Trade: Long companies in education, art, crafts and hobbies. But also in the digital spectrum, virtual reality, gaming and E-sports.
See next 2021 prediction:
A successful Covid-19 vaccine kills companies