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Technological Disruption - an issue that should be considered in the next parliament

I have been concerned about the impact of technological disruption for some time as you can see if you click on the link.  More recently the Bank of England have started to share my concerns

Technological developments enable human societies to run with much less human work.  However, they have a number of hazards.   Although we cannot change things over night to deal with this we must make some progress working out how to respond.

As I see it the issues are

1.   Finance and Equality
One of the reasons why we are developing a more unequal society is the impact of technology.  There are low paid jobs essentially boosted by the living or minimum wage and then there are jobs that require rarer skills that don't.   We do need to work to avoid growing inequality here.

2.   Security
Peoples lives were much more secure after the second world war and moving into the 1990s.  However, with technological change lives have become less secure.    We need to be aware of this and look for solutions to give people more security in their lives.

3.   Participation in society
It is important for people's well being for them to feel that they have a role in society.   Even if it is possible for people to run society with much less work it is not a good idea to exclude people.

4.   Government finance
Computers don't pay income tax or national insurance.   We need to look at mechanisms potentially to tax the profit that comes from technology specifically in order to have sufficient finance to run society. This could also be discounted to some extent based upon employment to encourage employment of people.

The obvious short term solution is to recognise that it is better to have lots of people working part time rather than some people working really long weeks and other people out of work.  That must be built into the tax credits and universal credits system which is currently pressurising people to work full time rather than accepting that part time workers are making a contribution to society that should be welcomed in leaving opportunities for others to be working as well.

The advantage of electing me as a Member of Parliament is that as someone who has been at the forefront of technology I understand how it works (even if people don't like Frames in HTML).

These are not issues that are at the top of the political agenda today, but they are issues that need consideration.     We may not have the solutions today, but if we don't try looking for them we will have the problems before the solutions.


Comments

Nigel Hunter said…
This looks to me as something we have to seriously consider as the years go on. Keep pressing the point. Maybe put it up for a future Lib Dem conference motion.

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