Universal Basic Income & Purchasing Power - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14773926
Two unrelated questions for Technocracy experts:


1) What do you make of the rising popularity/interest in Universal Basic Income? People are starting to become aware of the "problem" of automation, and I've seen the idea of UBI being tossed around a lot as a solution. If such a solution were to implemented, would the price system be "saved"? My concern here is that Technocracy would become even more obscure if this happened, putting the goal further out of reach.

2) If we could compare the purchasing power of a citizen of the North American Technate to an annual salary in US dollars, what would it be?
#14773929
Two unrelated questions for Technocracy experts:


I am not an expert at anything, but I like to share my opinions. :D

1) What do you make of the rising popularity/interest in Universal Basic Income? People are starting to become aware of the "problem" of automation, and I've seen the idea of UBI being tossed around a lot as a solution. If such a solution were to implemented, would the price system be "saved"? My concern here is that Technocracy would become even more obscure if this happened, putting the goal further out of reach.


It sounds like a practical method of appeasing the masses as unemployment increases. The price system will need to be maintained for the reason listed below.
2) If we could compare the purchasing power of a citizen of the North American Technate to an annual salary in US dollars, what would it be?


It does not matter. They can place it at any level and then take back what they want through ownership of business, services, and housing. They will probably start just above minimum wage and then give meaningless increases periodically that will be offset by the means I mentioned.
#14773931
The notion of a basic income has been around since at least Milton Friedman proposed the negative income tax concept in the 1970s. The issue is really one of human ego: automation has already made most jobs redundant, and actual industrial output in terms of energy is so extensive that almost no one is doing any "physical labour" in the sense of the majority of their work function being labour that cannot be done by machine (the energy expended by a car engine while it drives someone to a place of employment does more work than the human will do in many months in terms of labour output)- Technocracy claims that this has been the case since about the 1920s.

What's really going on today is that there is a transition from labour as a source of livelihood to labour as a status symbol- anyone working primarily as a clerk or office worker is really intellectual capital rather than a source of "work" in terms of energy expenditure. This means that the concept of "hard work" as it has been classically known throughout human history - ie the expenditure of backbreaking labour to make something- is no longer really the foundation of the modern economy. People who are talking about implementing Milton Friedman's concepts today are simply coming around to the inevitable realization that there isn't enough human "work" left in the economy and that not everyone has been properly trained to function as a non-labouring worker in the prestige sense that that term now denotes.

The question, therefore, is really a social question about what kind of a society do we want to live in? Going down the path of basic income is an admission that the classic economy is dissolving, or already has dissolved, and that therefore it is not possible to justify the high incomes of the intellectual "labouring" class- or rather- a UBI system would be an admission that the price system had indeed failed. The political class has a serious task ahead of them, mainly, they have to manage this transition without causing a social revolution. Beginning to phase out money via a UBI system is I think the right way to go, but it has been delayed artificially for so long by capitalists that starting now requires re-education and serious social consideration. Readdressing the questions: what is the purpose of life? With a UBI system that purpose is no longer, "to work to make money to survive". Why are some people paid more than others? With a UBI system the answer is no longer, "because their labour is more valuable." Why has the government allowed poverty to exist for so long when we all knew a UBI system was inevitable?

Honestly, I think governments are afraid of these consequences and so would rather not toy around with the economy. There are certainly some overiding ideological biases here: UBI is socialism, etc.

Regarding the second part of your question:

There would be about 400-450 million citizens in the North American Technate. I think the current GDP per capita in the US is about 55,000 dollars a year, so presumably it would be something around that number. Not that it would matter, since everyone would have the same standard of living.
#14788168
We are going to need a government that pays us because we live in a society that is fueled by our consumption.
If our jobs are being automated and done by robots in the near future, we the citizens will need a way to keep the engine running, we will need money to be able to consume, and therefore, the government will have to pay us.
Of course this raises the bigger question; is that our only purpose here, our most important mission, to mindlessly consume?

I think the very succsessful nations of the near future will be the ones that introduce basic income before others, but I also think that UBI is just a passing phase.
Imagine a world where the unemployed masses no more have to be ashamed of their situation, carrying the stamp of an unsuccessful citizen, because our only mission in society is to work. I think UBI will give the people finally a way to truly question the purpose of money and wealth, since it's just given to us.
It will lift people from the perpetual race against the clock, continous grind of working and making ends meet. Maybe it'll give people time to really start fixing the problems of this planet.

Before anyone says I'm being chidlishly naive, I do realize the great threat of automation and robots and A.I in the sense that the companies that create these things and will take work and jobs away from people will just monopolize it, patent it and not share anything with anyone.
They will be unimaginably wealthy and will be able to lobby any type of legislation they please againts UBI and the ideas of sharing the wealth that comes out of labor done by machines.
And most likely things will go like that because after all, money is still what sets the course of our future.
#14788169
I'm not in favor of paying people not to work but from a practical standpoint it make sense to deliver that money in the most efficient way possible if you are going to do it. As it stands, we are giving welfare slugs something on the order of $30k/year piecemeal through large, inefficient buracracies.
#14788172
Basic income seems like a logical choice but part of me is skeptical that it would work. A better solution would be finding ways to make people's efforts more important again, yet doing this without consumerism and the service industry (which is what we already do if you think about it) is hard to figure out, yet environmental concerns make it a relevant issue.

Like I said in my "leadership and globalism" thread, people who own multiple homes, cars, jets, yachts and so-on are inadequate as leaders on environmental issues. If they could still control the narrative it might have barely worked but they don't control the narrative anymore, people are aware of their hypocrisy.
#14788206
Many of Britain's best bands developed their sound whilst living off benefits. Harry Potter was written by a welfare queen. Most of our medical and technological development is directly funded by the gov't.

If you're a fan of The Beatles, Harry Potter or the internet you may be a fan of universal income.
#14788208
AFAIK wrote:Many of Britain's best bands developed their sound whilst living off benefits. Harry Potter was written by a welfare queen. Most of our medical and technological development is directly funded by the gov't.

If you're a fan of The Beatles, Harry Potter or the internet you may be a fan of universal income.

False equivalence between the creation of the internet and basic universal income.

Harry Potter and the Beatles are hardly important compared to the other things, fundamental to human nature, our evolution of form and existence, that having a basic income might call into question.
#14788224
So what happens when self driving cars turn into self driving semi trucks and 3.5 million hard working Americans lose their jobs all at once?

Damn leeches will want to be able to feed their families. They should have seen technological advancements coming.

There are robots and AI being developed to do just about everything, including the professions. A basic income isn't just a good idea it is necessary to make the economy function.
#14788232
The self-driving cars debate is a great way to get into the current theoretical limitations of modern artificial intelligence.

Who do you sue if it messes up?

Can it interact not only with other self-driving cars, but with human drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, animals and natural disasters?

Answer is not yet a definitive yes across the board.
#14788236
The manufacturer would presumably be who you sue since a program flaw would be a manufacturing flaw.

Google cars are capable of interacting with all but the natural disasters. By which I'm assuming tornados? I can actually think of some potential solutions like the car responding to tornado alerts by moving to a safe place for the passenger to stay till it's over.
#14788237
mikema63 wrote:So what happens when self driving cars turn into self driving semi trucks and 3.5 million hard working Americans lose their jobs all at once?

Damn leeches will want to be able to feed their families. They should have seen technological advancements coming.

There are robots and AI being developed to do just about everything, including the professions. A basic income isn't just a good idea it is necessary to make the economy function.


how are you going to pay for it
#14788240
From the people making an extra couple hundred billion by firing hard working Americans to save on their wages?

In a grander sense the program on the whole on a national level could have a negative income tax that garuntees 15000 a year by simply moving all the money from our other various welfare programs into it with no additional cost or tax. Then states and cities with higher costs of living can consider their owl local programs.
#14788246
Of course this raises the bigger question; is that our only purpose here, our most important mission, to mindlessly consume?

Society can function perfectly well without being able to answer any of these Big Questions, kuu. For example, questions such as: "is that our only purpose here, our most important mission, to mindlessly work?" Nobody knows the answer to that question, and most people don't even bother thinking about it. That hasn't stopped the capitalist system from functioning with considerable success for several centuries.
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