Apparently people have a natural tendency to "actually be productive" and it's baffling to me.

Discussion in 'Braaaaiiiinnnns...' started by evilas, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. Vacuum Energy

    Vacuum Energy waterwheel on the stream of entropy

    Other people in this thread have already covered many of the basic arguments about "who will actually work under basic income", so I'm not going to retread all that ground. Instead, I'm going to offer a different type of argument.

    One of the other things about a lot of these basic income discussions is that a hell of a lot of people work for things other than money:

    - They work because work is an easy place to maintain a circle of casual acquaintances (since you are working with a limited number of people for a relatively long time, and you will often be helping each other).
    - They work because it allows them to claim social superiority over other people.
    - They work because the money they get from work subsidizes a hobby that they like more but that is less lucrative.
    - They work because they legitimately enjoy what they are doing at work, and/or because they legitimately feel that their work is making the world a better place.

    All of these motivations are still compatible with basic income. Some of them are questionable to me, but they do exist.

    As to the "but where will we get sewer workers" question: well, presumably, those jobs will pay quite a bit over the basic income. Remember, the proposed basic income is only about enough for a rented room, cheap food, and the occasional movie. If you want, say, your own woodworking shop in your own garage, you will have to work for money to get that - and it's frankly impressive how many hobbies let you sink way too much money into them. Hobbies can stop being cheap very quickly, and so long as we have a capitalist economy the not-cheapness of them will continue to drive people to work.

    (Of course, if all the jobs start being taken over by robots, you then raise the basic income - because then it isn't going to put anyone out of business.)

    Also, as a more personal observation, it can take a good long while to recover from the outside pressures of society once you get your income from more fixed sources, but it is a process of recovery, not of terminal laziness. It took me a few years of not being abused to regain the desire for mastery-for-its-own-sake, but I do have that desire now.
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  2. evilas

    evilas Sure, I'll put a custom title here

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