"Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That's the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system." -Martin Luther King, Jr.
The homeless are treated like animals in the richest country of the world which has more than enough resources for everybody! Do we have to cling to this extremely barbaric and outdated economic model, or are we about to outgrow it? Do we want to perpetuate the system based on artificial scarcity, elitism, fear, and greed? Is it 21st-century U.S. or middle-aged France?
There are now 6,500 homeless people in San Francisco alone, compared to the total 800,000 population! (About 0.8% population homeless?) According to endhomelessness.org, 578,424 homeless individuals lived on the streets in 2014 in the United States. Of those, 177,373 “lived in a place not meant for human habitation such as the street or an abandoned building”; about 50,000 of those 578,424 are homeless veterans.
Is this a socio-economic model the U.S. wants to export to other countries? I recently visited Panama where I haven't seen a single homeless person on the street! As a thought experiment, consider this: you have an unruly teenage son or daughter who ran away from home and now sleeps on the street. Wouldn't you do anything in your power to get him/her back home because you truly care? Right?
We need that highest level of empathy in our society ahead of the coming AI revolution, which is just years away. Otherwise, once we create Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) in our own image, with our "human value" system, however treating underprivileged people like animals, our behavior will be observed, and "internalized" by the conscious machines as well, so we may, in turn, be in Existential Trouble!
According to the Davos Economic Forum report, the economy is going to lose about 5 million jobs by 2020 due to automation, technology unemployment, and AI-based advances. Some of these people may end up on the street, adding to a bigger army of homeless people, and fueling social unrest. Universal Basic Income should be implemented as soon as possible to eliminate poverty, homelessness, and wage slavery, as a preemptive measure. The U.S. presidential candidates should start the debate around the issue of basic income guarantee right about NOW!
Download San Francisco Homelessness Report
-by Alex Vikoulov :: Ecstadelic Media
Tags: obsolete capitalism, artificial scarcity, US homeless, presidential candidates, US elections 2016, basic income, universal basic income, social dividend, basic income guarantee, technology unemployment, technology displacement, inconvenient truth
*Image Credit: Aaron Draper