“Let me just say this about the issue of advancing technology, displacement of workers, and what we’re going to do about it,” Ellison said.
“I personally do think that universal basic income is an idea that has a lot of merit,” he said. “There are some pilot programs going on right now in the United States. Stockton, California is working with a program and there’s some different ways to work with it.
“As people are displaced, the truth is there’s still plenty of stuff for people to do,” Ellison continued. “I don’t think that universal basic income means people sit around. I think it means doing other things that are necessary.”
Ellison thinks people will volunteer to work in schools, document history, and contribute to other worthy causes if the government pays their way.
“There are things that are valuable and important that don’t necessarily have a ‘market value,’ that we should have people doing,” Ellison said. “Like in the 1930s, we paid artists to basically document the depression. We went out and had … writers document rural life in America. There were people who had been in slavery who were still living. During the depression, we paid people to go interview them so we could keep that knowledge and you can go to the Library of Congress and listen to them today because of this.”