The Washington Post

Free lunch and dinner too

Now we CAN wish for free money. And should. We have had a revolution in thinking about everything, except one thing. Money. Let’s fix that.

We are still working from a mental construct based on the late farm economy. The early farm economy was people growing their own food. The later farm economy was people growing their own food and then a little extra food that they would sell. This small addition turned out to be a large one. It led to the money economy and commerce and specialized labor and the industrial revolution and paper money and electronic money and globalization and the service economy and computers and robots and self-driving cars. But mentally we’re stuck back at the idea that everybody needs to slave away or starvation will be your fate. Time for an update.

Now there’s evidence that the solution to having insufficient money is to give people money. And it, WHAT?? Saves money?? A counter-intuitive worth exploring!

But let’s explore it a lot further. Eventually, and not too far off, it’s going to occur to everybody that we don’t need to be doing so %@&!! much work. Computers and robots, as science fiction has forever been telling us, will be doing it for us. Can we start coming to terms with this now, and plan accordingly? Here’s a slogan we could all rally around: More work for robots, more money for us! This idea will be resisted, for every ad hoc reason that can be devised, because The Lazy Must Be Punished. But they don’t. And neither do we. Let’s figure this out now, okay?

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.


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