Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom Appoints Commission To Study How Automation Will Affect The Future Of Work

May 2, 2019

California Governor Gavin Newsom is creating a new commission to study the future of work … and prepare the state for fundamental economic changes such as automation. As Capital Public Radio’s Ben Adler reports, Newsom made the announcement yesterday at a community college in Sacramento.

Newsom: “All right, don’t you guys judge me here…” (0:03)

How many governors does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, apparently, but Gavin Newsom struggled to change a pair of long, narrow fluorescent office lights while perched atop a ladder as a janitor showed him how.

Newsom: “This one, for some reason — do you have to put them in at the same time?” (0:04)

After signing the executive order, Newsom said he’s heard the theory that technology will overtake the workforce and lead to universal basic income — government stipends for everyone. But…

Newsom: “I think that’s a worst-case, break-glass scenario. Because I think we are more than capable of addressing automation in a way that actually can frame abundance, as opposed to scarcity – meaning, come out the other side with more jobs, more opportunities, not less.” (0:17)

The governor says his commission will turn its report in early next year.

At the state Capitol, I’m Ben Adler.