NPR: Silicon Valley advocates for a guaranteed basic income as jobs are replaced by increasing automation

This post on the NPR News blog discusses Y Combinator's basic income experiment here in Oakland, along with some context from other Silicon Valley voices.

The basic thrust is this: if automation is successful at replacing large swaths of the workforce (as some seem to expect), we can't rely only on employers to support our citizens - not only for income for food, housing and other basic necessities, but also for health coverage, family leave, and more.  We've become habituated to jobs filling these needs, but that may not be practical.

The piece talks about restaurant startup Eatsa, which is attempting to eliminate service staff entirely, in favor of having customers interact with automated kiosks. There are strong financial incentives for restaurants to make this sort of move, especially in those sorts of restaurants where service isn't the primary focus in the first place (read: fast casual).

photo via NPR blog -  Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

photo via NPR blog - Justin Sullivan/Getty Images