Get rid of welfare and just give every adult $870/mo

I think I would be willing to have a sort of Universal Education system in the States, but it would have to be regulated like mad. I would also want tiers. We need to come up with a good way to assess intelligence and ability. It's a waste of time and money to send "everyone" to college. We should have skills-based/trades options too. My brother couldn't get through H.S. Algebra, but he's a hell of a welder. We would have to acknowledge that not everyone belongs in college.

Instead of money, is there a more tangible product that could be used by all? Non-perishable or shelf-stable foods?
 
We do definitely need an apprenticing system, at least as an alternative. A lot of EU countries have apprenticing/trade school tracks that are part of the school system where students can go into technical/process-based fields based on their schoolwork and then if the career path is right, enter into university for a higher degree (who pays for it depends on the country, school, and degree). The counter-argument is that such a system definitely has an arresting effect on upward mobility at a societal level, but that's also less of an issue in countries with stronger social safety nets, and likely has a major effect on student debt, aggregate happiness, and social stability.
 
Instead of money, is there a more tangible product that could be used by all? Non-perishable or shelf-stable foods?
Once you replace money with a different medium of trade, that new medium of trade de facto becomes “money.”

—Patrick
 
More food for thought:

Universal Basic Income: A Union Perspective - A report/study put out by Public Services International.
Sixteen practical projects were reviewed that tested different ways of distributing regular cash payments to individuals. These included past, current and planned experiments across a range of poor, middle-income and rich countries. [...] [M]aking cash payments to individuals to increase their purchasing power in a market economy is not a viable route to solving problems caused by neoliberal market economics. [There is] no evidence that any version of UBI can be affordable, inclusive, sufficient and sustainable at the same time, [and campaigning for it threatens] to divert political energies - as well as funds - from more important causes.
tl;dr: "It's no silver bullet"

--Patrick
 
Still more food for thought:

What if jobs are not the solution, but the problem?
FUCK WORK
Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren’t working anymore? [...] we’ve believed that, even if it sucks, a job gives meaning, purpose and structure to our everyday lives [...] as if having a job is self-evidently a good thing, no matter how dangerous, demanding or demeaning it is. [...]
[It's] time we asked even more practical questions. How do you make a living without a job – can you receive income without working for it? Is it possible, to begin with and then, the hard part, is it ethical? If you were raised to believe that work is the index of your value to society – as most of us were – would it feel like cheating to get something for nothing?
--Patrick
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Until we've got a source of unlimited free energy and replicators, yes, work is still a requirement for civilization to continue.
 
Until we've got a source of unlimited free energy and replicators, yes, work is still a requirement for civilization to continue.
Well we've pretty much got the first one, if only the majority wasn't so self-interested that they refuse to see it.

--Patrick
 
Yeah... energy issues in the US could be more than met with the expansion of green energy and modern nuclear power plants, and most raw food production is already effectively out of the hand of Americans to begin with. We're well on our way to having the basic needs of most people being able to be met.

The first, real jump isn't going to be from Work -> No Work, it's going to be I Have To Work -> Don't have to work a job I hate just to survive, I can find something else. Most people WANT to work and contribute to society in some way, they'd just rather not have to be abused by their boss or be the victim of corporate mismanagement. THAT is an achievable goal in the now.
 
Most people WANT to work and contribute to society in some way, they'd just rather not have to be abused by their boss or be the victim of corporate mismanagement. THAT is an achievable goal in the now.
To be fair, if there weren't so many bosses who become bosses primarily for the opportunity to boss other people around and get off on that power trip, being a subordinate wouldn't be so bad.

--Patrick
 

Dave

Staff member
I think people are finding out right now that work is just as much as human interaction than it is money. We are doing okay and my wife is starting to freak out. She misses her job so much.
 
Until we've got a source of unlimited free energy and replicators, yes, work is still a requirement for civilization to continue.
Said the guy who argued multiple times that enough new wealth can be created so that having a few people hoard as much money as possible wouldn't actually hinder poor people....

I think people are finding out right now that work is just as much as human interaction than it is money. We are doing okay and my wife is starting to freak out. She misses her job so much.
'Member how before you got a job you where able to intersect with other humans outside school hours, even though they didn't even have mobile phones on them, and you actually had to interact with their parents to get them on a land line, or just walk around and bump into them at your usual hang out spots?
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Said the guy who argued multiple times that enough new wealth can be created so that having a few people hoard as much money as possible wouldn't actually hinder poor people....
This is completely unrelated (and also a mischaracterization of what I've said).
Wealth is not a zero sum quanta.
For all the wishful thinking about unicorn farts, power, food, housing, and resources are.
That is why inflation is a thing.
 
Wealth is not a zero sum quanta.
For all the wishful thinking about unicorn farts, power, food, housing, and resources are.
It has been clear for many decades that producing enough food to feed the world (not staples, GOOD food) is not a problem, we can already do it. The issue is and always has been distribution networks and the sheer fact that many people in power inflict hunger on their own people ether to kill them, to control them, or because it's cheaper to throw food away than it is to give it to people in need (as is done in the US). Housing is in the same boat; we have more than enough housing to house all US residents and more than enough room to build additional housing if it was needed. We simply don't because we have a landed class that has a vested interest in keeping land prices up and keeping themselves from actually working.

It's funny how conservatives say everyone needs to work, but don't blink an eye when someone's "job" is "owning someone else's home and charging them for it's upkeep while keeping all the equity". That's not a job and they aren't working.
 
For all the wishful thinking about unicorn farts, power, food, housing, and resources are.
That is why inflation is a thing.
Ashburner has already said most of it, but I'm going to add that, while you are technically correct, as power, food, housing, and resources ARE indeed finite in quantity, we are not talking about their quantity, we are talking about their level of utilization. Total worldwide energy consumption, for instance, is significantly less than what we could generate with renewables even if you confined yourself to only solar and wind. Transmission might be an issue, yes, but you and I have already discussed that there will come a tipping point where renewable energy essentially becomes "free."

--Patrick
 
This is completely unrelated (and also a mischaracterization of what I've said).
Wealth is not a zero sum quanta.
For all the wishful thinking about unicorn farts, power, food, housing, and resources are.
That is why inflation is a thing.
So wealth isn't zero sum, but "power, food, housing, and resources are." ?

How again does that make sense to you?

What do you even define wealth as if it doesn't include "power, food, housing, and resources"?

....

As for inflation, the modern one is mostly based on monetary policy, and ever increasing demand beyond the Baloo necessities that any policy that encourages no longer being dependant on work would initially aim to cover. So it's not really that relevant at this point.

....

Plus, once machines actually become good at things like driving and working a cash register, work will no longer be an option for vast swats of people anyway. But what people tend to forget is that those workers are also consumers, and i think the current situation shows us what happens when the greatest of businesses find themselves without a large % of customers.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Ash and Pat:

Just because we conceivably might have the ability to outproduce demand in the areas of Power and food, that doesn't mean we have infinite, free, and effortless power and food. If we stop maintaining the power infrastructure, it falls apart and the power stops. If we stop growing the food, we stop eating. It still takes work to make these things. How do you propose to fairly decide who has to work to support those who don't? Good point about transport, though... I guess for this marvelous no-work utopia to come about, we need to add another thing to the list: Unlimited free energy, replicators, AND teleporters.

@Li3n:

Wealth can INCLUDE resources, but they aren't equivalent. Economics 101 - wealth is most certainly (and primarily) measured in money, and money is not finite, and can be generated without equivalent consumption. And we're about as far away from robots replacing all workers as we are away from replicators. And even if that were to come to pass, somebody will have to maintain the robots.
 
Funny how it has to be "Star Trek no-work utopia" or nothing, not "We could be doing less work now and have greater freedoms because of technological advances, but our landed class fear the worker class and use overwork to subjugate our political will. Maybe we should use technological advances in productivity to give people more free time to live their lives instead of using them to squeeze out more wealth for a few?"

It doesn't have to be fucking Star Trek. It could end up being just better than now, by several degrees. But no, it has to be Fully Automated Luxury Communism or we shouldn't even try, apparently. This isn't and shouldn't be a binary... it should be viewed as a system, with components to change and alter for preferable results.
 
I guess for this marvelous no-work utopia to come about, we need to add another thing to the list: Unlimited free energy, replicators, AND teleporters.
I didn't mean transportation of goods and services, I meant transmission of power. Transportation of goods and services might as well just be a subset of energy production.
And we don't need "infinite" food/energy/etc, we just need enough. Humanity could easily supply enough right now to meet 100% of demand. We just don't. You're still thinking in terms of scarcity, and it's my conclusion and postulate that the current scarcity is artificial, allowed to continue existing by entities who deliberately discourage access or progress in order to prevent loss of the influence they now wield. Paying a farmer not to grow a crop? Lobbying a politician to stonewall broadband competition? Spreading rumors about windmill cancer or solar panels sucking up all the sunlight (yes, really)? All examples of this.
We could be doing less work now and have greater freedoms because of technological advances, but our landed class fear the worker class and use overwork to subjugate our political will.
It sure is hard to foment any kind of progress when all your attention and time have to be devoted to your job/bills/debts or else you and/or your family will just... die.

It doesn't have to be fucking Star Trek. It could end up being just better than now, by several degrees.
Yeah, that.

As to who will do the work, well I assume it would be done by those very people who want food, shelter, resources, and energy.

--Patrick
 

figmentPez

Staff member
The issue is and always has been distribution networks and the sheer fact that many people in power inflict hunger on their own people ether to kill them, to control them, or because it's cheaper to throw food away than it is to give it to people in need
Along these lines, don't forget that many jobs are intentionally inefficient because it's easier to keep control over workers when they're forced to feign 40 hours of busywork.

There are legitimate problems with jobs that no human wants to do, except out of desperation, but there's a lot of work out there that people would happily do. People like to work.
 
Wealth can INCLUDE resources, but they aren't equivalent. Economics 101 - wealth is most certainly (and primarily) measured in money, and money is not finite, and can be generated without equivalent consumption.
And Gold is measured in kg, doesn't actually make kilograms worth anything financially by themselves.

The whole point of making new wealth is to produce new actual value through either goods or services.

You really should have gone on to Econ 102 and beyond.

And we're about as far away from robots replacing all workers as we are away from replicators.
That's the fun part, it doesn't have to be even half of workers... 20% unemployment is already a nightmare scenario when we're talking temporary shutdown due to a new virus. Imagine if it was permanent.



And even if that were to come to pass, somebody will have to maintain the robots.
Singularity aside, the people who are actually capable of learning that would make how much of the population?

Also, 'member when Hillary got booed for suggesting coal was dead and the miners should look for training programs? And then lost the election by a few well places 10 thousands of votes in coal country?
 

GasBandit

Staff member
But no, it has to be Fully Automated Luxury Communism or we shouldn't even try, apparently.
Anything less and we're picking who has to work and who gets to be a parasite.

If I roll my eyes at you guys any harder, I'm going to get a headache.

Let me know when you get around to stealing experimental powersuits and shaving your heads.

1586911760511.png
 
Anything less and we're picking who has to work and who gets to be a parasite.
...

The entire point of the article was to stop classifying people who don't work as parasites, especially once we reach the point where they don't actually have to work in order to make ends meet. But no, according to you if they don't produce anything tangible, they might as well be a millstone around the neck of the rest of Society, good for nothing more than food or fertilizer.

--Patrick
 
Last edited:

GasBandit

Staff member
...

The entire point of the article was to stop classifying people who don't work as parasites, especially once we reach the point where they don't actually have to work in order to make ends meet. But no, according to you if they don't produce anything tangible, they might as well be a millstone around the neck of the rest of Society, good for nothing more than food or fertilizer.

--Patrick
What would YOU call an entity that subsists entirely upon the efforts of others without contributing?

No. If *anybody* has to work, *everybody* should have to work.
 
What would YOU call an entity that subsists entirely upon the efforts of others without contributing?

No. If *anybody* has to work, *everybody* should have to work.
A landlord. Even if they do repairs and maintenance, they are still subsisting off of the work of others and using their tenant's funds to do things like pay for the repairs and maintenance of the property, all the while using tenants to pay off THEIR mortgage and acquiring equity. It's an entirely parasitic relationship and one of the reasons the current rent strikes are ongoing.

This is one of MANY such relationships we put up with already. Who decided they didn't have to work? Shouldn't they be out tilling the fucking soil?
 

GasBandit

Staff member
A landlord. Even if they do repairs and maintenance, they are still subsisting off of the work of others and using their tenant's funds to do things like pay for the repairs and maintenance of the property, all the while using tenants to pay off THEIR mortgage and acquiring equity. It's an entirely parasitic relationship and one of the reasons the current rent strikes are ongoing.

This is one of MANY such relationships we put up with already. Who decided they didn't have to work? Shouldn't they be out tilling the fucking soil?
Anybody who thinks being a landlord isn't work obviously has never been one. This argument is mere wealth envy. It's basically that Futurama hippie yelling up at farnsworth "you can't OWN property, man!"

Now, ARE there bad landlords that act like parasites? Sure. You'll find that in lots of professions.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
What if nobody has to work but anybody who wants to can work?
If it's in a situation where if everybody chooses not to work, it all comes crashing down, it's not really a case where nobody "has" to work. Somebody does.
 
Anybody who thinks being a landlord isn't work obviously has never been one. This argument is mere wealth envy. It's basically that Futurama hippie yelling up at farnsworth "you can't OWN property, man!"

Now, ARE there bad landlords that act like parasites? Sure. You'll find that in lots of professions.
When I hear about landlords with 25+ properties complaining that they don't know what do if their tenets strike because it's their only source of income, it's not wealthy envy. It's someone telling me that their "job" was collecting rent from somebody else. They didn't have to go to school for that. They didn't have to work hard for it. Being a landlord is so easy that you can literally become one overnight; it's the only "job" outside of being royalty you can inherit. It's better if a landlord has an actual job outside of collecting rent, but they are still complicit.

That's not wealth envy, it's utter contempt for an actual parasite on society.

The very fact that landlords aren't being all bootstrappy during the rent strikes simply shows that they only believed other people should have to work hard. But yes, let's have a charity ball for the poor landlords who can just sell these assets to get by. They are clearly deserving of sympathy during these rough times, not their tenets who can't work if they want and have to get by with a single $1200 check that's supposed to cover them until sometime between August and November. You know... if they qualify for them, because a lot of people don't.
 
Top