Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature
, praises Utopia for Realists
as “bold, fresh ideas, and lively prose.” I concur. While the big, progressive ideas are fun enough to explore—universal basic income, a 15-hour workweek, and open borders—the writing is exciting, confident, funny, entertaining, down to earth, and heavy-hitting. The author doesn’t get bogged down in the weeds and clearly has a grasp of global ideas and trends in various disciplines. I like generalists and renaissance men.
The author makes an argument for three ideas whose “time has come.” Universal Basic Income, or “giving free money to everyone,” solves poverty and allows people to transition to a future of robots replacing human work. The 15-hour workweek allows us to face a future of massive unemployment—again, because of robots doing our work. So, for example, my full-time librarian job would be split among two people, both part time. After all, the dream of robots has always been more leisure time for humans, right? So why are we working more than ever? And lastly, all countries should open their borders to everyone who wants to come in. The author believes this solves world poverty and increases the income more than anything imaginable—the statistics he shows are quite stunning.