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The Economics of the Future


Richard Petty

In this weeks show Robert Tercek joins Brett King and Richard Petty, the authors of a new book titled The Rise of Technosocialism, to discuss how 21st century economics will be reframed by inequality, automation and climate change. Right now inflation is a massive issue, but its just the start of some seismic changes to core economics set to hit humanity over the next few decades. Which future scenario is likely? Luddistan, Failedistan, Technosocialism or the US’ Neo-Feudalism?

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this week on the futurist brett king is in the hot seat there's one element thatyou will see repeatedly in human history is that we tend tonot plan very well for these things the the crisis have to be on us anddebilitating for us to respond but the scale of artificial intelligenceand climate in respect to the changes they're going to bring on society are so large that any delay inresponse to this and any complacency as you say is going to cost lives and trillions ofdollars technology is as all your listeners will be aware of because they interact withit on a daily basis emancipates you from the drudgery of tasks that one didn'twant to do in the past maybe doesn't want to do in the future and won't need to it's a force for good in that way nowthat doesn't mean that equality is going to disappear but it does mean that morepeople are going to have access to greater resources and a better quality of life[Music] hello welcome to the future i'm robWho is Brett Kingterczyk and this week we've got something special for you my co-host brett king will be in the hotseat answering questions with his co-author on their new book techno socialismhey brett welcome to the future it's great to be back in the future withyou robert um i like living in the future yeah um and uh you know this is a this is anunusual uh one where i get i'm on the other side of the microphone if you like uh where you're asking the questionsthat's right um but um yeah great great too i'll do my best to make it as uncomfortable aspossible for you to get started let's let's talk a little bit about your co-authorso this time you've written a number of books uh and for folks who don't know brett's written several booksparticularly the bank series the future banking series which are superb but this time brett's worked with aco-author dr richard petty who is a global policy advisor who's worked allover the world including in china we'll get into that in a moment he's also an entrepreneur a best-selling author andan academic now brett what attracted you to work with richard petty on this bookhis hairstyle [Music] and now um now richard and i have knowneach other for more than 20 years now we work together in hong kong um and around the world actually we wehad a bit we had a businesses in in china and dubai and elsewhere that we we worked on together so we'd known eachother for for quite a while um and we we'd been looking for a project to dotogether um and this this ended up being being something we incubated for anumber of years we talked about it and it just slowly took shape um but umi think what really sort of kicked this off is we end up getting together in sydney at one point we both happened tobe there and we got into a a boardroom with a whiteboard and i think spent umfour or five hours in front of a whiteboard just mapping some some ideas out and and the book was sortof born out of that now you know we we did have some things we talked about prior to that but that was the kickoffand at that point um you know it was sort of the melding of the minds and we knew each other so well it waswas uh fairly effortless um you know to put the book together after that but yeah we've beenlooking for something to do together like this but we'll get into your process and we'll get into the scenarios uh in just a second but now i think it'sIntroducing Richard Pettya good time for us to introduce richard richard welcome to the futurists it'sgreat to have you here this is a show where we talk to people who are thinking about and actuallyactively building the future and what we're most interested in is how did you arrive at your vision of the future whatwas your methodology for arriving at that and what are you doing about that to implement it those are the questions that we like so welcome richard to theshow thank you rob hi brett you know what i'm interested in talking to you about is uh is the core premise of thebook so richard share with me a little bit about the perspectives that you brought to technosocialism well brett and ispent a lot of time talking about the various uh ideas in the book and how they take form and how they might takedimension in terms of different chapters and we arrived at the core themes because they're universaland hopefully because they're universal they're applicable and of interest to everybody i thinkbrett's uh background is is banking and technology a whole range of thingsbut if i were to narrow it down the future of tech future of technology broadly and banking and my background isin finance and economics and accounting and business uh and as an academic so ithink we we blended the two hopefully fairly successfully to produce a book that's of interest well the book isactually a very good book uh i told brett it's the best book of his that i've read so clearly your contributionmade a big difference um what's interesting about the book and why it's relevant to the show this is not just a shameless plug from mybuddy's book not at all in fact the while brett was writing the book is when we came up with the idea for the showbecause the subject matter of the book is really really relevant to what we're trying to do on the futurists namelyit's helping people understand what's coming next what's likely to occur in the near future and why that's likely tooccur and what to do about it now so that you can be prepared these are these are really two themes that are true intechnosocialism the book and they're also part of what we hope to build here at the futuristsuh no so you two seem to have as part of your methodology first you've worked together in many places in the world andi think that's a really important thing for people to take away from the show people who are thinking about the futuretend to get out and look around the world it's a bit like that old adage that i know brett likes to quote uh theidea that the the future's already here it's just unevenly distributed that's uh william gibson quote and it's a good oneit's relevant it's actually true you know i've seen that myself from working in asia and europe as much as i possiblycan i think it's important to get out there so you do have that in common but in addition you're multidisciplinaryand so while brett has a focus on finance and technology and the intersection of the two you bring otherperspectives about from economics and so forth into it and that mixture then allows you to kind of compare and contrast some perspectives so for thefolks who are listening that right there is a key point that is that is part of the methodology of creating this booktechno socialism bret why don't you tell me in a nutshell what's the theme of the book what's the book aboutWhats the book aboutwell so if you look at the subtitle it says the rise of techno-socialism how uminequality ai and climate change will usher in in a new world right um and soit's very much a philosophical conversation about how humanity willadapt to these forces obviously inequality is a massiveproblem right now and has become a much more significant problem as a result ofthe pandemic um you know the the gap between the rich and the poor has grown globally the number of people you knowfor the first time in 100 years we've seen people slip back into poverty this is atrend over 100 years that we've been um you know that we sort of got on top ofbut on you know the the other issues are clearly how humanity's going to adapt toa world where we have highly automated societies and the changing role of work and humancapital in those societies and of course our response to climate change and theresources and effort that it's going to take on a global basis and the corporation it's going to needany one of these three things would be considered a crisis historically in respect to um you knowthe the how humanity is going to have to respond to that so we wanted to sort of really map outwhat are the potential ways we're going to have to deal what are the ways humanity might respond to thatand put an argument forward for what we thought was the optimal way that humanity could uhrespond to those changes but um you know okay one thing i noticed is uh you just mentioned three things threeThree big drivers of the bookof the big drivers of your scenarios uh you described and characterized them as as crises right so uh climate change inglobal inequality or income inequality uh and the rise of artificial intelligence now i would submit to youthat quite a few people are very complacent about this they don't see it as a crisis at all and you know manypeople deny a climate change at least you know many people in the united states seem to deny that it's even a factorinequality although it is a great matter of great concern many people are not concerned about itthey're not reacting to it we're not certainly not taking measures to do anything to uh to rectify that or redistribute income in any meaningfulway um and then with the rest of artificial intelligence i think the mass group ofpeople right now is fairly indifferent to it and maybe even unaware of it correct me if i got that wrongno i think you're broadly right rob uh most people i believe would be familiar with the ideas they'd hear about it inthe in the ether it would be background noise that very few people are dealing with theissues directly i i would say climate change aside because it's been such a focus in mainstream media for a longtime but if you look at wealth and income inequality and and ai and and even the digital economythese these concepts are um very important and prevalent uh already in some sectors but they're not widelydistributed through the economy in a way where many people are engaging with the with the ideas on a daily basis andbeing confronted by them and what they mean and the the issue we have really is justhow quickly the forces that are shaping the world have been accelerating so i have conversations regularly withpeople where they say things like well you know post uh industrializationuh baby boomer look at the time frame taken from major change there 20 years 30 years 40 years these various thingshappen whatever examples they cite uh so we've got you know 30 years 40 years looking into the future based onthe past to think about what might be happening that's just not true what's happening is the time compression thespatial compression means that the forces that we're seeing todayuh are shaping things far more rapidly so the changes take central bank digital currency as one example in china talkabout a trial in 2018 and it's here that they could be given okay so one thing you're saying is thatthese three big forces in a way they reinforce and accelerate each other i think that's quite true youknow for instance artificial intelligence though it brings great opportunities for those who are deploying it it also means a lot ofpeople are going to be displaced from their jobs and that's going to at least in the short term exacerbate incomeinequality and we can say the same about climate change you know if most people sleepwalk through climate change untilthere's a fire in their neighborhood or until it's like super snowy and freezing cold but then you know the weather goes away and and after time we sort of slipback into complacency but those disruptions in the climate are also going to have an effect i think oninequality and so you can start to see those big three factors influencing each other in some in some respectsaccelerating what might become a mega crisis is that your premise is that how you see this is that why you felt it wasso urgent to write this book i i think um there's one element thatWhy was the book so urgentyou will see repeatedly in human history is that we tend tonot plan very well for these things the the crises have to be on us andum debilitating for us to respond right but the scale of artificial intelligence andclimate in respect to the changes they're going to um bring onsociety are so large that um any delay in response to this and anycomplacency as you say is going to cost lives and trillions of dollars and the best illustration ofthat is the pandemic that we just had and this is you know many people acted like wow nobody could have foreseen thisno one could have possibly imagined that there would be a new kind of coronavirus that would come out of the wuhandistrict from perhaps a bat when in fact that very scenario dozens and dozens of times by expertscientists just no one was listening to them and and um the inequality um you knowall of these crises produce economic uncertainty that's the premise in the book but that's right the the inequalityissue when we've seen the the levels of inequality that we have today we've seenthese in the past it has always um been a precursor for revolution thatthat's how serious the level of inequality we have today is and you can seeum as we discuss in the book that the number of protests globally and the participation in protests globally hasincreased significantly more than doubled in terms of frequency and a tenfold increase in terms ofparticipation volume of uh protesters so that gives you the indication thatwhat's happened in the past with inequality producing revolution we've got all of the potential ingredients forthat happening in many countries around the world today because of inequality alone that's even before we get intothe unemployment potential of automation and the broader impact of climateso so given all of those trends and those scary uh those scary factors that are causing so much um let's saydisruption or uncertainty big theme in your book um you propose that the solutionthe antidote to all this is a form of socialism now here in the u.s those are fightingwords you know when we talk about social socialism in the united states it's basically a catch-all phrase forsomething that i don't like very much and it's thrown around by various political figures who i think aren'tvery well informed uh how accurately are you using this term socialism what's your definition ofsocialism and techno socialism well neither brett nor i are a socialistEquality of kindwe should say that up front we're both uh raised in capitalist economies with capitalist views and ideals so i'm nottalking to a modern day frederick angles and karl marx here proposing some sort of red-shirted revolutionabsolutely not that's absolutely not so so the title is perhaps uh interesting and maybe maybethere to help stimulate interest but but in specific terms it goes to equality ofkind that isn't what socialism uh of the past would presage or oradvocate for it but it's a broader quality and it's a broader quality that technology brings about and technologyenables uh technology is as all your listeners will be aware of because they interactwith it on a daily basis emancipates you from the drudgery of tasks that one didn't want to do in the past maybedoesn't want to do in the future and won't need to um so it's uhit's a force for good in that way now that doesn't mean that incoming wealth equality is going to disappear but itdoes mean that uh more people are going to have access to greater resources and and a better quality of lifeso this is what the technology is enabling now the classical association socialism envisioned the notion that theworkers will own the means of production right famously and and um that's both bikunin and karl marx writing in the1870s um and to a certain extent in digital media that's true you know in this creatoreconomy now everybody has a super computer in their pocket a smartphone and they are able tocontribute uh so one aspect of equality richard is access right equal access there's a lot of waysto define equality but historically that's always been an issue in most countries that not everybody has equalaccess to opportunity one might say that digital media does level the playing field at least somewhat and the fact that everybodywith a smartphone now can participate in the creator economy would you point to that as a form of techno-socialismso let me let me jump in here um yes absolutely i think what we advocatein the book and richard came up with this great concept um you know which wasthat the economy should serve the citizens first and foremost so rather than the the workers owning the means ofproduction that it's like the citizens should own the outcome of the economy you know andso if you look at alignment of how economic output works today in the systems we have today it's gearedtowards a very small subsection of the community at large or the citizenswhereas you know if you repurpose the economy to focus on the core needs of citizensfirst and foremost and you do that with technology two things happen you get much better at look afterlooking after the core needs of citizens and over the period of time within just a couple of decades you can reduce thecost of government and all of those services to citizens dramatically so it's like um socialism but without thecost in fact cheaper than the cost of the current system today we we demonstrate in the book for example onhealthcare how you can lower the cost of that the national healthcare system in the united states by 70 70 percent fromthe system today using using uh you know uh automation of that system great okayso we're talking about two things then one is equal access equality of access to opportunity and what bret you justspoke about is equality of outcome uh you know basically divvying up the pie we know that there's some prosperity there butit's not equally distributed so that's another way to go about doing it in the second half of this program what i'dlove to do is get into the four different scenarios that you posit for the future and tell me how you arrivedat those scenarios and then tell me why you chose techno socialism as the most favorable outcomeso right now i'm talking to dr richard petty and my co-host brett king they are the co-authorsof the rise of techno-socialism one of the best books on the topic of the near future thati've read and part of that is because it's so well informed by data as asbrett and richard just pointed out they meticulously document every scenario every claim that's in the bookwith factual information so in the second half after the break we're going to come back and talk about some of the core parts of what's inside theprescription for the future you're listening to the futurists see you in a momentwelcome to breaking banks the number one global fintech radio show and podcasti'm brett king and i'm jason henricks every week since 2013 we explored the personalitiesstartups innovators and industry players driving disruption in financial servicesfrom incumbents to unicorns and from cutting edge technology to the people using it to help create a moreinnovative inclusive and healthy financial future i'm jp nichols and thisis breaking banks [Music]Scenarioshey welcome back to the futurist i'm rob tercek and today i'm interviewing my co-host brett king and his co-authorrichard petty dr richard petty about their new book technosocialism nowbret one of the core premises in the book is scenarios and that's also really relevant to our show that's why you'reon the show today you posit four scenarios for the future of humanitycan you tell us about those four scenarios so so um we came up with four scenarios they arethe latter stand scenario the fail to stand scenario neo-feudalism and technosocialism andthose uh quadrants on a um you know a two by two umrepresentation of two primary axes one is societies that are inclusiveversus exclusionary and futures that are optimal or planned versus futures thatare chaotic and so on the chaotic side you haveon the inclusive side is where we say technology creates division so we rejecttechnology like artificial intelligence so that's the inclusive chaotic on the exclusionary chaotic you have the foulstates where we just waited too long to react to some of these core problems andyou know as a result you have failed states in a way that's kind of the default path that we're on if we just donothing and we sort of sit back and go yeah ai climate change whatever we're not doing anything about it then we endup in failed us down exactly and then on the planned futures you haveexclusionary economies like the united states where we said neo-feudalism isessentially where we're heading today which is where the gap between rich and poor gets baked in systemically so thestratification of you know wealth in society is is sort of baked in by marketmechanisms and by the way um you know society responds um and then the inclusionaryuh technology based you know planned outcomes is where we we look at you knowreducing the cost of government making technology accessible to everyone so for things likebetter health care better access to education better transportation systems access tofood shelter you know all those sort of things that we use technology to ensure that um the the best quality of those uhuh you know capabilities are delivered across the economy okay so that's the that's the fourquadrant those are the four quadrants so for those who are listening if we do nothing we end up in feldestan basicallythe land of failure where these these big trends these big disruptors are going to overwhelm our systemsanother alternative which is also kind of a failure is neo-feudalism and that's where the rich do something about itthey start to build walled cities with private police and so forth and they leave everybody else behind we have a scenarioof massive inequality ludustan is a scenario of chaos wherepeople reject technology altogether and we are unable therefore to harness it to improve lifeand things to begin to degrade so from the viewpoint of this book the only scenario that makes sense is technosocialismtechnosocialism relies on technology but with planning and foresight that's what brings it to the relevance of ourlisteners here now i would say planned economy is a loaded term uh certainly here inthe united states where we've had 50 years of neoconservativism and the idea that the government should be hands offin particular on the technology industry where we barely regulate anything anymore in the united statesum that seems like it's quite a quite opposed to the national trend in the us that may be different elsewhere and iknow that you're both australian tell me a little bit about that though you know how likely is it that we're gonna see umyou know government policy or some sort of industrial policy well when we talk about governmentGovernment policypolicy i think it's important to understand there's a real bifurcation on the global stage among governments andthinking about regulation and policy so some some economies i would suggest are over over regulated and continue headingin that direction and other economies are very focused and perhaps regulatedin a more in a more sensible way ultimately this needs to lead to productivity that's that's something weargue in the book if it doesn't result in productivity then it's going to stymie innovation kill the knowledgeeconomy uh you know or under realize the potential that's there so government needs to work hand in handwith business i think the policy prescriptions that uh the government puts out need to be informed by businessbut quickly really nimbly and it needs to be an effective compact rather than just shutting business down which manybusinesses would argue feels like it's so often the case now where do you see that happening is there any place in theworld where you'd point to a national government that's actually doing a good job of working hand in hand with business to set intelligent policiesi think if you look at the examples of smart cities that we give in the book and and perhaps a good example there isuh singapore uh working hand in hand with business to create smart city developments and to look at new economyinitiatives if you look at what singapore's done with digital hub and what they've done with inner educationeducation being such a key and core industry to knowledge innovation and creativitywhich is the backbone of the future economy uh now singapore is not perfect of course there are many ways in whichuh in which singapore might be argued to be uh over-regulating or overlyintrusive but to a large degree they get it right in a lot of areas in terms ofimproving productivity and supporting industry so i think that's a fair example it happens in the in the us inparts of the us but not in u.s overall and possibly because in the us there areso many other distractions and so much uh political uh infighting and fractiousness that that just doesn'thelp the cause it doesn't help anyone's cause ultimately and in the us the states pursue their own policies yeahcorrect so it's very much a state by state uh success success fail uh scorecard in in many industriesso the states is an interesting case study for that reason now uh singapore has often been admiredby other parts of asia nation other nations in asia it's often looked at as a modelwhen i lived in hong kong there was a very healthy rivalry between hong kong and singapore but singapore was viewedalso though as as a little bit of an exception in the sense that it's a small island countryum with uh only six million residents and um and because it doesn't really controlany resources of its own it had to focus on certain industries where they could be competitive and theyalso focus very much on diplomacy and good relationships with their neighbors because they're a small country in themiddle of some very big countries now china in general over the last 20 years has observed thesingapore phenomenon and in some ways has tried to replicate it first i know there was an initiative in singapore uhnearly 20 years ago to actually work with the singapore government to try to replicate some aspects of governance inin shanghai and what you see in china is you know an attempt to create a i guess a benevolentdictatorship uh similar to singapore uh you know where they're they're umit's a it's a dictatorship that decrees things that are kind of in favor of the people we've seen recently thatpresident xi in china is doing some of this you know there's been a real crackdown on technologycompanies and particularly the excessive technologies um and a reach in a shifting over to umover to more scientific industry like you know core science uh the manufacturing industries things likechips um and renewable energy solar panels and so forth can you talk a little bit about the contrast with chinabetween china and singapore so i i think the one thing that's clear that china isis doing in terms of its prosperity doctrine is is looking at this problem of inequality and the potentialfor you know we we saw the tech giants uh particularly um you know start to gethuge amounts of power in the economy and you know recently they've sort of pulled back on thatbut the interesting thing is you know you could probably characterize china'seconomy as less regulation when it came to a lot of the technology initiatives particularlyfor example the the alibaba and group um you know 10 cent um you know these umbusinesses just on the areas of like mobile wallet and mobile banking innovation that's happened a lot of thatoccurred at a sort of break next speed without any real regulation but as soon as itit started to look like it could turn negative or result resulting issues then then thechinese government stepped in um so the the real core thing we focus on though in the book is the fact thatchina as an economy is preparing its nation for the types of skill sets that are goingto be needed in the 21st century and it appears they're doing a better job of that than than the us you know in theu.s we still hear arguments about traditional industries supporting big coal and um you know so forth you knowwas was a part of donald trump's campaign um whereas you know china last yeardeployed more solar in a single year than the entire solar installation baseof the united states the last 40 years um you know in in additionthey teach artificial intelligence at almost every element of the education system todayand for every one phd stem graduate that graduates in the us three graduate inchina then you've got the eight trillion dollars they're spending on belton road you know so all of these things led usto um you know believe and and articulate in the book that we think china is goingto be a very strong economic player you know for the remainder of the centurySingapore vs Chinayou can jump in on your point of contrasting singapore and china and where the differences are going to lie so you're exactly right about singaporesingapore's had to adapt and innovate and they've done that very well and they've succeeded because of it but they're constrained by a smallpopulation and the lack of resources china isn't china has massive population huge access to resources it's aone-party state however one might feel about that but that collectivism leads to and has led to the greatest economicmiracle we've seen where you've lifted hundreds of millions 600 million people out of pro out of poverty uh and putthem into uh into a a more modern economy with uh with a lot more quickaction to come so i'd echo what brett said and just add to that by if you look at china'sfive-year plan and you look at china 2025 made in china 2035 standards chinastandards if one looks at belton road if one looks at the greater bay areainitiative these key policy initiatives china really has a lot happening that goes to future economy and goes toidentifying and carving out a successful future in in many ways we would think now everything you just mentioned allthose initiatives belton road made in china 2025 these are what we would call industrial policy where the governmentsets uh you know indus industrial goals and then marshals in sort of a way you know leads uh industry to achievingthose goals and china's been very explicit about this uh you know the the chinese government has set forth thesegoals they publish them they update them regularly and so forth that's quite different from the united states approach which i would characterize aslaissez-faire and in a way clueless uh because you know if you if you watch our our congress uh attempt to do you knowan investigation where they interview someone like mark zuckerberg or uh or the ceos of other technology companiesjust the nature of the questions that the you know that the 70 year old senators are asking shows that they don't really understand the technologiesthat they're they're talking about um this is a frightening scenario for some people in america and others cheer itthey say that's what makes america great you know the government doesn't get in the way they leave us uh they leave it free for business to proceedwhy don't you two comment a little bit about those two and i know i'm generalizing like mad when i make thosecomments um because what you're really advocating in the book is a more directed approach a governmentalapproach where um there is some form of industrial policy so please comment on thatlaissez fairewell it has worked for the us in the past and the question is will it work for the us into the future so laissezfaire works really well when you've got a whole lot of innovation happening in the whole of entrepreneurs who areincentivized to produce what they've produced and in many ways the us is theleader in many industries and will remain so into the foreseeable future particularly in in areas of technologyand social technologies and communication technologies and and so on one could goon and on so the innovation is there but will it continue and uh to brett's point about the stem phds if one looks at howmany doctoral students you have in the us versus china china dwarfs the u.s instem in areas that go to engineering math innovation technology so what sortof future does that predict but the main the main issue i suppose rob the main factor in all of this is coordination inthe u.s there just isn't the uh systematic coordination between government and industry that we see inchina you know for better or worse in terms of a political lens regardless ofone how feels about it uh coordination works if everyone has a common and clearunderstanding so i think your point's very relevant about the the uh the gap between the generational gap thatperhaps doesn't play into that in a in a very sensible way for the us and for other economies like it and you alsoneed a shared framework and a shared understanding of facts and i'd submit that that's not always the case in the us in our highly politicized and highlypolarized uh environment right now richard one of the things that you mentioned in and youdescribed in the book we've formulated is an acronym kic knowledge innovation and creative and these are some of theingredients that you think are going to be necessary for com for industry to respond to these initiatives to achieve these targets umtell me more about that plan well we're already in a knowledge economy and we have been for for sometime the signposts are there as as you discussed during your uh your podcastfor the future economy and what that means and we we'd suggest that it's knowledge innovation and creative economy into the future that willsurvive so that umbrella brings in all of the jobs the industries and then the jobs that are likely to succeed into thefuture and it's where the focus uh focus should be uh for anyone who's who's looking at thefuture in a way that might be viewed as like the antidote to artificial intelligence right so artificial intelligence is a double-edged sword uhin some respects because on the one hand it offers the path to great prosperity is we can automate more parts of theeconomy and clearly that's that's that's demonstrably true uh the rewards of that the benefits thatare not always equally distributed but nevertheless ai definitely brings efficiency uh to the to the productionof goods at the same time it also destroys jobs and this is a fact and in your book you cite thatwidely cited oxford report where they uh prognosticate that some 50 of jobsmight be displaced by uh so the knowledge economy innovation jobs and jobs that involve creativitythese things these seem to be less likely to be automated you know brett you haven't spoken up a little bit but whydon't you respond to that a little bit this this double-edged aspect of artificial intelligence and robotics sowe can see where this is trending because if you look at the largest companies today we identify them in thebook you know nine out of ten of the largest companies in the world today our technology company the the only onethat's an exception of that is uh saudi aramco um but of those nineum technology companies that are in the top ten um and i'm not sure facebook might haveslipped out of that recently but um if you look at the number of people theyemploy for the economic output those businesses produce that has been declining overtime it is it is about one-fifth of the largest employers in the 1950s and 1960sin the united states in terms of that ratio of employees or individuals working humancapital to profitability so these technology companies are massively more profitable require a lot lesspeople um to accomplish that we can you know we would expect that that trendwould continue that corporations will become more and more automated because you know humans are one of the mostexpensive components of labor take a business like uber for example um you know when we have autonomous vehicles wecan cut out the cost of human labor um but the more of society we automate inthat respect the more problem we have of having to find jobs that humans can nowdo that have been replaced by that automation and that's really at the heart of this question as to you knowwhat do we do when we have highly automated societies with thesecorporations that the market rewards because they're extremely productive and extremely efficient at producing um youknow capital return you know what do we do with the humans and and that's um a very real questionthat we sort of did try to tackle in the book but it's a bigger question of sort of the role of work in society and how wevalue people in society if they're unable to work because society's taking that option away from them as a resultof automation ironically the one saving grace here may be response to climate change which isgoing to require a lot of heavy lifting uh so that may employ people who are otherwise displaced yeah yeah and if iAI and the creative industrycould if i could just add what brett said very quickly so i i think we would view ai and kic as being very compatiblein the sense that uh knowledge will be the frontier that pushes ai and and everything else so it's essential thateverything innovation needs to happen all the time everywhere for us to progress and advance and on the creativeside people are are going to want uh to see performers and and artists of all kinds whether it goes from food tovisual art to uh you know the other fine arts uh produce they're gonna want to see real human performers uh that willremain people are fundamentally gregarious and like the human connection so ai won't uh displace or replace thatanytime anytime soon okay but let me drill into that a little bit because right now as we're recording thisthere's a demonstration happening in ottawa in canada and across canada at the border with the united states wheretruckers are objecting to a range of issues but you can boil them down to in some respects what they're resentfuluh that their future is being circumscribed and dictated by other people they blame it on government they blame it on regulation but in somerespects they're also reacting to displacement by technology and artificial intelligence anyone who'scurrently working as a truck driver in north america knows that they don't have a very long future because already robottrucking is available it's being tested on roads in the united states right now and it's just a few years away frombecoming reality and that's a big deal because what people may not know is that truck drivers are one of the largest uhindependent jobs that's available in the united states where will all those displaced truckers go they're not goingto become comedians they're not going to be entertainers i don't think they want to become people who are in the creative industry how do you respond to thatrichard i'm very sympathetic to their plight as a much younger man i operated heavy machinery for a livingfor a time so you know i understand how how that feels and how that works um butbut being sympathetic to apply it won't won't change the outcome uh for them the the outcome is going to bethat automation is going to happen logistics and supply chains are going to innovate and change trucking's going tochange and they're they're either going to have to be retrained to do something else not not to be comedians necessarilybut to work in other meaningful jobs that they hopefully enjoy and get fulfillment fromor or are they gonna have to change you know change mindset change industry all together it's gonna it's gonna come downto that the change is happening you can either accept it and try and adapt uhand prepare for the future and that also is an age variable right so if one's close to retirement there's less of animperative if one's in their 30s and they're operating heavy machinery for a living then that's that's a greaterimperative i would suggest it's figure out what else you might like to do and what is derivative of what you're doingnow perhaps and then tool up the skill up there and it's incumbent on government and companies and industriesto help do that because look as a 20 year old guy operating heavy machinery i had no idea about much of what washappening in the rest of the world and i would have needed somebody to tell me that that was a limited path and thathere we're going to help you out we've got some training programs some ideas and we're going to sponsor you through that so you don't end up uh unemployedor redundant to society in some ways in 10 years 20 years time that is somethingthat's absolutely essential that should be the focus it's not the focus now for many governments many policy makersand some for some companies because if you look at it as a company and the shareholder value returnautomation and ai helps so you know where does that leak the employees well that's a secondaryquestion for some and it can't be and it shouldn't be right uh you know one of the things you'll notice in the us is that truckersare actually voting with their feet we have a crisis here right now which is that there aren't enough truckers truckdrivers in the united states um and that's partly because for the last 10 years we've been hearing about robot vehicles and so young people whohear that say well that's a lousy career path i'm going to choose a different career path so to some extent individuals are already making informeddecisions and to give those drivers their due uh i think they may be more informed than we sometimes give them credit forum in the closing moments here i want you to talk a little bit about the biggervision optimal humanity where all this is driving to all this economic activity all this technological change all theprescriptions that you offer share with me your vision of optimal humanity so this is why i i think the rise oftechno-socialism as a book tends to be more a philosophical project rather thanyou know like an economics or policy one in many respects is um you knowif we extend this out hundreds of years what do we want from humanity what's thepurpose of us being here aristotle who we quote in the book said it's for humanity to thriveand i think the argument we make in the book is that we are entering a period of time wherehumanity will will not have any limitations in terms of what we can doyou know technologically or scientifically but that requires us optimally to worktogether that for the species for the planet for the other species that we share on you know the earth with um andand for future generations there is no downside to humanity workingmore collaboratively together to produce outcomes that are in the best interests of all humanswhenever we create division wherever we have economic classes that separate that youknow produce different outcomes that's always going to be sub-optimal for the human species and for the planetbecause you're going to have people gain that so ultimately that's the philosophical question that we sort ofleft readers with in the book is um you know that techno-socialism is a path for that type of collectivism umwhere humanity can work together for better outcomes and if if you choo ifyou say no i want my tribe to be the one that gets all the benefits ultimately atsome point that's going to result in someone else having sub-optimal um you know outcomes sowe believe that artificial intelligence and climate will force us into that sort of renaissance of thinking as a humanspecies that optimally humanity is best served by working together and our fearis that if if that epiphany doesn't happen that um you know the very species is atrisk wow a bold vision and kind of a stirring call to action astirring call to arms as well uh folks this is uh this is the futurists i'm rob chercek and i'vebeen talking to my co-host brett king who is the co-author with our other guest today dr richard petty of the bookthe rise of technosocialism it's a stirring read it's in my opinion it's one of brett's best books it'sreally well informed with data it's rich with factual information so for each uheach assertion that's made in the book and for each policy prescription that's recommended in the book you'll find a raft of data to support itso if you're interested in a fun read with a bright vision of the future but a realistic take on the challenges that weface as humanity i really recommend the rise of techno-socialism in future episodes we're going to bringother futurists other people who are future-minded to come in and share their methodologies with us but today i wantto thank brett and dr richard petty for sharing their thoughts about the rise of tech and socialism thank you both veryvery much for joining us you're welcome [Music] that's it for the futurist this week ifyou liked the show i'm sure you did please subscribe and share it with those in your community and please don'tforget to leave us a 5 star review it always helps other people find the podcast you can also ping us on twitterand instagram on at futurist podcast for futurists you'd like to see on the showor topics you'd like us to cover thanks for joining and we will see you in thefuture [Music]

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