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

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.
I'm not saying we are there yet. Just wondering about your thoughts on a situation where work was truly optional.
 
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.
Which explains how a certain orange thing got where they are.
 
What would YOU call an entity that subsists entirely upon the efforts of others without contributing?
...a child/infant?
...a pet?
...an invalid/Alzheimer’s/quadraplegic/coma patient?
...anyone on sick/vacation leave?
...a victim of kidnapping/domestic abuse?
..,a felon/prisoner?
...a corporation?
...a celebrity?
I mean, I could probably go on.

Additionally, you can’t say, “People who don’t work are worthless” when being unemployed is never their choice to begin with. A person can’t just walk into some random location and commence working, the choice of whether anyone ever gets a job resides with the employER, not the (prospective) employEE. So if no employer will have you, then you just don’t work, whatever the reason might be.

As for people who deliberately choose not to contribute, and instead decide to selfishly subsist their way through life? I expect the label that would be applied to them would be either “spinster” or “bachelor,” ensuring that such behavior eventually fades from the gene pool entirely.
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.
This may come as a shock to you, but I don’t believe it would be possible to put together any sizable group of people where everyone would choose not to work UNLESS the members of the group were preselected based on that specific criterion.

In fact, I doubt that even YOU would be able to sit at home and merely consume for weeks on end if your personal needs were otherwise met. Eventually you’d break down and mow the lawn or rearrange your rooms/furniture, all with no reward other than a feeling of accomplishment.

—Patrick
 
Last edited:
Anything less and we're picking who has to work and who gets to be a parasite.
An unemployment rate of more then 0% gets the same result (unless you're ok with letting them die of hunger, i guess). What's your cut off point?

And btw, obviously actually working would be more advantageous then not working. At least until we get to actual post scarcity.

What would YOU call an entity that subsists entirely upon the efforts of others without contributing?
45!

(Or, you know, an heir, if you want to be more inclusive!)

No. If *anybody* has to work, *everybody* should have to work.
Gods forbid we only let people who enjoy the work (since, you know, building robots is already a hobby for a lot of people) do it, and allow them to be truly well compensated, because then some of the less worthy people won't be getting their just punishment of having to do stuff they don't like for food.
 
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.
I mean, it's not for nothing that most arguments in favor of landlords go the way of saying they already worked hard to be able to purchase their properties, rather than saying they are working hard right now.

Even if there is some work involved (which can be offloaded to someone else anyway) it certainly gets paid well above any other job, and with much flimsier meritocratic excuses than other absurdly well paying jobs. As a landlord you earn according to the wealth you have already accumulated (or received through inheritance), not according to any value you personally provide.

It can also be argued the landlord position is unfair because their are becoming richer from the work of others, while contributing little to that generation of wealth and while preventing those who're generating it from becoming richer. Thus parasites, in a very palpable sense (and in a different way from recipients of UBI or welfare).
 
"landlord" or "factory owner" or "plantation owner" are all basically the same function. You've somehow (and I'm not implying this is inherently wrong, illegal, immoral or anything else) gotten enough capital to invest in something that will allow you to benefit from other people's work.
Personally, I own a small apartment in Brussels that I let, so I *am* a (small time) landlord. And it does require some work and has some hidden costs and investment all that jazz. Still, it's a way to make money well outside of the normal effort/reward balance.
My sister-in-law owned about 15 properties at one time (I'm not entirely sure how many she owns now - some were in Hungary, some in the UK, some in South Africa, some in Belgium, and I know she's sold some, and she's letting her family stay in a number of them rent-free, and whatever). It was pretty much a full-time job managing all of those together...But that's mainly because she wanted to do it all herself. She was easily making enough off of them to hire someone to do the actual managing for her. At which point it'd have become a fully self-maintaining enterprise, and it essentially becomes free money for her.
I'm definitely not advocating for all-out communist or socialist repartitioning of the wealth to all workers...But there's a big difference between a) taking risks, starting up a business, and getting rich; b) having a rare or special talent and getting rich; c) having enough to invest in means and getting rich

Also, the whole "everyone has to work" line is pretty much bunk, anyway: there are already thousands of people being paid - and paid well - to sing, play music, kick a ball, etc etc. The definition of what is or is not a job is flexible. What is or is not essential for society is flexible.
 
(I do agree with your first line. But the wealth of people who start up companies, own factories or whatever is usually justified through risk, through innovation or sort of important decision-making. I don't really agree with that, but with landlords these apply even less.)
 
(I do agree with your first line. But the wealth of people who start up companies, own factories or whatever is usually justified through risk, through innovation or sort of important decision-making. I don't really agree with that, but with landlords these apply even less.)
Yes, and I do agree with wealth being gained through taking risk and working your ass off and all that - while I may think the degree of wealth gained by Bill Gates, I don't dispute that he was involved in a risky startup and worked really hard to make Microsoft/Windows/Office/etc into what they are today.
A lot of the greatest amassments of wealth are not based on anything other than "was already rich, became a lot richer through other people's work", though.
I know a lot of people don't agree, but inheritance should be taxed far more heavily than it is.
 
For what it's worth, if I lived in a post-scarcity Star Trek society, I would never work again. I might attempt some creative endeavors, but generally speaking the vast majority of my time would be spent in holodecks enjoying certain special programs.
 
For what it's worth, if I lived in a post-scarcity Star Trek society, I would never work again. I might attempt some creative endeavors, but generally speaking the vast majority of my time would be spent in holodecks enjoying certain special programs.
At this point, one would not have to worry about such BS as 'return on investment' to see what's out there/up there/down there/in there. Research could be done for the good of all existence, not to help the administration attract wealthy donors.
 
I doubt that even [GasBandit] would be able to sit at home and merely consume for weeks on end if your personal needs were otherwise met. Eventually you’d break down and mow the lawn or rearrange your rooms/furniture, all with no reward other than a feeling of accomplishment.
To kinda expand on this, while many people who would choose to work would be doing it for the reason you might most expect, that is: "I enjoy doing this so much that I'd do it even for little/no pay," there are also going to be those whose primary motivation would instead be, "Ugh, you're terrible at this. Step aside and let someone with more talent have a go," or "I feel duty-bound to do this thing, " or even "I enjoy the respect that doing this thing brings me (and/or my House)." What I'm saying is, Altruism is nowhere near the only motivation for working "for free."

--Patrick
 

figmentPez

Staff member
Are we just ignoring the fact that a basic income is just that, basic. Do you think that people aren't going to work for better stuff than they can afford on a baseline income?

Aren't people like Bill Gates an exact counter to that idea? "Here's enough money that you could live off of it for the rest of your life if you budget and live simply", but they choose to work to try for more.

But let's be honest here the work we're worried about not getting done is the stuff done out of desperation. Janitorial, housekeeping, and waste disposal; migrant farm work, washing dishes, industrial laundry, etc. The stuff we're worried won't be done with a smile if workers have the option to say "take this job and shove it", like waitstaff at restaurants, grocery checkers, and other customer service jobs.

There will be people will be willing to wait tables to earn enough money to travel, or get a faster computer, or some other luxury, but they're not as likely to accept being treated like shit while they do. There are people who will clean hotel rooms because it gives them a sense of accomplishment that is necessary to their mental health, but they won't do as many rooms an hour, and they won't clean bad messes with inadequate protective equipment, and they won't clean up some horrible stuff at all.

The work we're worried about not getting done, is the stuff that we're basically blackmailing people into doing. The stuff that really would be paid a lot more, if the system were fair and didn't exploit people. The stuff that would demand huge hazard pay bonuses, if the people working in the "free" market were really as free as we pretend they are.

What we're worried about is having to face the reality that cleaning a bathroom covered in shit, or putting up with verbal abuse while serving burgers with a smile, are jobs that should be getting paid a lot more money than they are now. You won't have to talk doctors into caring for people after UBI. You probably won't even have to talk teachers into teaching, though some much needed changes in class size and support might need to happen. You definitely won't have to talk lawyers into practicing law, and there will probably be just enough people willing to do accounting. But getting people to work on garbage trucks, or cleaning bathrooms... And that's not even getting into the complexities of jobs like construction, where people might be willing to do it, but not anywhere nearly as cheaply.

Oh, the horrors we'll face when all people will be free to say "no, I won't risk my life or my health for that job" because they're already guaranteed life without it.
 
cleaning a bathroom covered in shit, or putting up with verbal abuse while serving burgers with a smile, are jobs that should be getting paid a lot more money than they are now.
There's also the chance that a person who has to clean up a bathroom covered in shit from time to time will grow a little empathy and so be less likely himself to cover a bathroom in shit in a fit of pique.

--Patrick
 
Are we just ignoring the fact that a basic income is just that, basic. Do you think that people aren't going to work for better stuff than they can afford on a baseline income?
Well, i wasn't... did i not make that clear enough?
 
There's also the chance that a person who has to clean up a bathroom covered in shit from time to time will grow a little empathy and so be less likely himself to cover a bathroom in shit in a fit of pique.

--Patrick
Maybe you're onto something. In the 'post-work world', require everyone to take their turn at the 'dirty jobs', like the military service requirement in Starship Troopers. That will solve the "who will do those jobs" problem and maybe some people will learn a little empathy.
 
I always feel like people should have to work retail for a year before they are allowed to interact with service personnel. :p
 

GasBandit

Staff member
That's not wealth envy, it's utter contempt for an actual parasite on society.
It's totally wealth envy. And also false equivalency, and anecdotal. So I feel content to rebut with something equally anecdotal. My grandfather is a landlord. While he was working, he bought a house here and there over the years and immediately rented them out. They continue to be his income now that he's retired. The thing a lot of people forget about being a landlord is that the landlord is on the hook for maintenance, not the tenant. Toilet breaks? Landlord. Sewer backs up? Landlord. Hot water heater dies? Landlord. AC? Landlord. Roof? Landlord.

@PatrThom There's a difference between can't work and won't work.

Also:
In fact, I doubt that even YOU would be able to sit at home and merely consume for weeks on end if your personal needs were otherwise met.
Ha ha ha oh buddy you do NOT know me ;)

An unemployment rate of more then 0% gets the same result (unless you're ok with letting them die of hunger, i guess). What's your cut off point?
The difference is, now we have unemployment insurance, which means you put in WHILE you're working, and get the benefits when you're not - but within a time limit. Granted, it's state-administered so it isn't ideal, but it's definitely not a straight choice between starving in the street and living on the dole forever.

Gods forbid we only let people who enjoy the work (since, you know, building robots is already a hobby for a lot of people) do it
That's just it.. in my experience if you like something that much, chances are it's a hobby, not a job, and it's probably not one hiring a lot of people. Or we'd all be professional masturbators.

Even if there is some work involved (which can be offloaded to someone else anyway) it certainly gets paid well above any other job, and with much flimsier meritocratic excuses than other absurdly well paying jobs. As a landlord you earn according to the wealth you have already accumulated (or received through inheritance), not according to any value you personally provide.
And how is that any different from a savings account, or a treasury bond, or an IRA? And is providing and maintaining living space for people who can't yet afford to buy it not a service?

Also, the whole "everyone has to work" line is pretty much bunk, anyway: there are already thousands of people being paid - and paid well - to sing, play music, kick a ball, etc etc. The definition of what is or is not a job is flexible. What is or is not essential for society is flexible.
Regardless of what you think of the product or service, if someone is willing to pay for that service, it's not paid laziness. And for every well paid musician, there are literally millions who had no chance of making it.

For what it's worth, if I lived in a post-scarcity Star Trek society, I would never work again. I might attempt some creative endeavors, but generally speaking the vast majority of my time would be spent in holodecks enjoying certain special programs.
Heh, and I think more people are like you (and me) than would admit it, even to themselves. Scott Adams postulated that the holodeck will be humanity's last invention, and that we will die off within 2 generations of it becoming affordable to the common man.


Look, this thread is becoming too much "GasBandit has to reply to a half dozen people" already, so tell you what, I'll just leave you guys to your utopian fantasies where nobody has to mop up vomit or plunge a toilet if they don't have an orgasm at the thought of a plumber's snake.
 
It's totally wealth envy. And also false equivalency, and anecdotal. So I feel content to rebut with something equally anecdotal. My grandfather is a landlord. While he was working, he bought a house here and there over the years and immediately rented them out. They continue to be his income now that he's retired. The thing a lot of people forget about being a landlord is that the landlord is on the hook for maintenance, not the tenant. Toilet breaks? Landlord. Sewer backs up? Landlord. Hot water heater dies? Landlord. AC? Landlord. Roof? Landlord.

@PatrThom There's a difference between can't work and won't work.

Also:

Ha ha ha oh buddy you do NOT know me ;)


The difference is, now we have unemployment insurance, which means you put in WHILE you're working, and get the benefits when you're not - but within a time limit. Granted, it's state-administered so it isn't ideal, but it's definitely not a straight choice between starving in the street and living on the dole forever.


That's just it.. in my experience if you like something that much, chances are it's a hobby, not a job, and it's probably not one hiring a lot of people. Or we'd all be professional masturbators.


And how is that any different from a savings account, or a treasury bond, or an IRA? And is providing and maintaining living space for people who can't yet afford to buy it not a service?


Regardless of what you think of the product or service, if someone is willing to pay for that service, it's not paid laziness. And for every well paid musician, there are literally millions who had no chance of making it.


Heh, and I think more people are like you (and me) than would admit it, even to themselves. Scott Adams postulated that the holodeck will be humanity's last invention, and that we will die off within 2 generations of it becoming affordable to the common man.


Look, this thread is becoming too much "GasBandit has to reply to a half dozen people" already, so tell you what, I'll just leave you guys to your utopian fantasies where nobody has to mop up vomit or plunge a toilet if they don't have an orgasm at the thought of a plumber's snake.
But I think you're mostly fighting a strawman.
To be clear, I personally don't think a UBI is the solution to all of society's ills, and a variation similar to what Belgium does now is better...but by some definitions, we already supply a UBI. Welfare/unemployment is unlimited in time, available for everyone. If you think you can live happily and successfully on about €650 a month, good luck to you.
Anyway, most in favor of UBI don't mean we should all get free iPhones and 70 inch tv's, and working would be just chilling and filling time.
However, if everyone has enough money as a basic to have a roof over their head, 2 or 3 basic meals per day, access to public transportation, access to life-saving medicine, and clothes on their back, without much more, than the balance for "minimum livable" changes. If you want somebody to bag you're groceries for you, well, that's going yup have to earn that person enough to make it worth his while. Maybe a lot of people would still willingly do a menial job for 1 day a week, so they can afford their WOW subscription. Maybe people'll do it two days a week so they can take a holiday to the sea once a year, or go skiing. Some people like puttering around in car engines, and doing that for 2 days a week will allow them to go skiing AND to the sea, AND have an iPhone 13 rather than a crappy iPhone 11 that doesn't even fold properly.
It'll mean people don't have to sell their body or leave kids in horrible conditions just to survive.
Some jobs might no longer get done for the wages people are willing to pay for it - like cleaning out toilets. Guess you'll either have to pay somebody more to do it, automate cleaning, or accept dirty public toilets.
I can imagine you'd still have shops where a guy fills your bags, and another rings up your stuff, and someone fills shelves. And it'll be a lot more expensive to shop there. You'll also have mire Belgian shops where there's one cashier for 12 self-check-out tills, and you'll have to get stuff out of boxes yourself. But it's cheaper.
I'm not saying that's a perfect society - again, I'm not in favor of a UBI - but it'd probably be more egalitarian and keep more people alive and happy.
 
@PatrThom There's a difference between can't work and won't work.
I address that very point, further down in my post.
Ha ha ha oh buddy you do NOT know me
Well, as a sort of thought exercise, I would like you to entertain the possibility that the world may not in fact be populated with 7+ billion GasBandits, intimating there may be a wiiiide range of what people consider "rewarding" and/or "fulfilling" beyond what you might select.
a crappy iPhone 11 that doesn't even fold properly.
Oh, but you can fold them.
Once.

--Patrick
 
What I'm getting from this is that Gas wants to be a leech on society but can't, and so he projects that into everyone else in the world.

Which tracts for most libertarians/conservatives I know
 
Which tracts for most libertarians/conservatives I know
He's more of a Social Darwinist type, I think. Which is great while you can ensure that there are still those who are beneath you, but not so great once they run out.

--Patrick
 
So we've got an answer to the original question posed here: Finland reported their findings, and not only did it not decrease incentive to work, but it over-all resulted in better finances and mental health:


Between November 2017 and October 2018, people on basic income worked an average of 78 days, which was six days more than those on unemployment benefits.

There was a greater increase in employment for people in families with children, as well as those whose first language wasn’t Finnish or Swedish – but the researchers aren’t yet sure why.

When surveyed, people who received universal basic income instead of regular unemployment benefits reported better financial well-being, mental health and cognitive functioning, as well as higher levels of confidence in the future.
 
Been watching that.

I can't help but think so much of this is immediately obvious to anyone who doesn't view UBI as "subsidized freeloading."

--Patrick
 
"I can't get away with slave wages and working conditions that make the Black Hole of Calcutta look like the Ritz anymore! I'm against it!"
 
"I can't get away with slave wages and working conditions that make the Black Hole of Calcutta look like the Ritz anymore! I'm against it!"
My wife, everybody:
"How can we blame immigrants for stealing all the jobs when nobody actually HAS to work?"
and:
"Without the threat of losing their house looming over their head, the wage slaves with the shittiest jobs are just going to go on strike instead of coming to work!"
Oh, she's on fire tonight!

--Patrick
 
So we've got an answer to the original question posed here: Finland reported their findings, and not only did it not decrease incentive to work, but it over-all resulted in better finances and mental health:

Here is the link to the press release of the Finnish Social Insurance Institution regarding the UBI experiment.

In the press release, there is a link to the final report, but that is only in Finnish. However, it has a 3-page summary in English at the end in case someone is dying to know.
 
Top