Skip to main content

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.

Popular posts from this blog

Statement re false allegations from Esther Baker

Statement by John Hemming
I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.
I would like to thank Emily Cox, my children, Ayaz Iqbal (my Solicitor), my local lib dem team and many others who supported me through this dreadful experience. There are many worse things that happen to people, but this was a really bad experience.
It is bad enough to have false allegations made about yourself to the police, but to have a concerted campaign involving your political opponents and many others in public creates an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself. Luckily there was a more substantial lobby to the contrary as well, which included many people who were themselves real survivors of abuse, which has helped.
I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. …

Homelessness vs Selling Books

Candidates in elections tend to find themselves very busy with lots of things to do.  It is, therefore, necessary to prioritise things to ensure that the important things are dealt with.

To me the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping is an important issue.  Therefore, when Birmingham's Faith Leaders group contacted me to ask me what I would propose and whether I would work with them to make things better I was pleased to respond with my views and indicate that I would work with them after the election.

The Faith Leaders Group (Bishops and other religious leaders in Birmingham) have now sent out their report.

Sadly, according to their report,  I was the only candidate for Yardley to respond.  The group in their report said:

"Particularly disappointing was the lack of response from some of those candidates seeking re-election as MP for their respective constituencies."
It is worth looking at the priorities of my opponent.
Interestingly today she has decided to be at th…

Millionaires and politics

The Labour Party spent most of the last election criticising me for being a successful businessman (aka millionaire). That is business in the private sector employing over 250 people. It is worth looking at the situation for the Labour Candidate now:

For the year 2016-7 Annual Income from Parliament74,962Specifically for her book51,250Other media income etc5,322.82Total declared income131,534.82

Traditionally anyone with an annual income of over £100,000 has been considered to be a millionaire. I did not use my position in parliament to increase my income.


I have been asked for sources for this. This BBC piece looks at how one should define rich. It was written in 2011 so the figures will be slightly out of date. There are perhaps 2 relevant pieces:
"In 1880 a rich person would have had £100,000 in assets or an income of £10,000 a year, he says. About a hundred people a year died leaving £100,000 and by 1910 this was 250 - "a microscopic fraction of the number of death…