Basic Income & Soylent


It’s also called “being a senior citizen,” as I am, and it can also be called “inheriting a lot of money”, and it might be called “marrying well” or even “divorcing well”.

I’ve tried living on minimum sustinence and I have also tried working, and generally, working is more fun. Most people who don’t work are not happy to be in such a situation. I have sat in a welfare office for more than eight hours next to a welfare mother with at least three kids who was caring for them at the time while waiting, and she was not having a pleasant time.

It is probably a misnomer to divide the world into people who “work” and “don’t work” anyway. Everyone has to cope with the world, and I remember what one girl said as she was panhandling for money and someone shouted at her that she should get a job. “You think this is easy?” she said.


My experience in the world does not bear this out.

No, I’m sure that she did not enjoy sitting in a welfare office for more than eight hours while supervising at least three children. I’m sure if she had to do that every day she’d find a better means of “employment.”

Yes, I think that it is easy, and appealing to the pity of strangers is also in many cases more profitable, but as I’ve said if you prefer begging to working, have at it with my best wishes.


I doubt that your “experience in the world” is as definitive as you think it is. Other people also have experience in the world.



And I never claimed that it was, which is why I qualified my words as I did. I was happy to have a short back-and-forth with someone apparently more pleasant than you, but you seem at first sniff somewhat less likely to hold my interest. Take care and be well.


You have an interesting way of conversating. I figure I’ll throw my own “experience” in. I’ve met unemployed people absolutely content with their life, producing nothing of any value to the economy. I’ve also met unemployed people that are unbearably miserable.

I think the basis for their mental states are entirely related to how they see work. Some people, such as yourself, believe only productivity can justify their existence. Indeed, some people have suicidal thoughts simply from the idea of being unproductive. It’s no mystery to me which forces contribute to this kind of thinking. On the other hand you have people who think productivity is sinful, destructive, perhaps even counter-intuitive to our lives. These are the folk that are usually miserable with their job.

You also have a subsect of working people who dislike their job not because of the environmental mayhem it causes, but because they lack meaning. What is a burger flipping job but charity? Lost time one can never get back. Some people are willing to take this sort of social “hazing” where they essentially work at cost just to be able to say they have a job. But some people see this as either unacceptable or unreliable in terms of boosting overall productivity. They prefer either shortcuts or more sophisticated motivators, call it what you will.

This I think explains the diverse reactions to UBI. While most educated people have no issue with it, there will always be groups, educated or not, that have different principles in life.

The purpose of UBI, I should like to think, is to prevent unnecessary suffering. For someone that cannot work safely or reliably, society is better off investing in their life itself. Society has little use for dead people, but a living person has future potential. Just as we hesitate to “pull the plug” on the terminally ill because there could be a cure any moment, society hesitates to condemn peopls to die when at any moment that person could be capable of re-entering the workforce.

I think you’re also failing to consider charity, citizen science initiatives and other “unemployed” activities that still yield tremendous social value. Having a job is nice and I couldn’t be prouder of you for navigating the workforce as you have. But to say I consider your life more valuable than, say, someone paralyzed below the neck would be a total lie. I don’t know what knowledge that person has that you do not, therefore I cannot intelligently prioritize one of your lives. If you have to sacrifice part of your savings so someone 2,000 miles away you’ll never meet won’t die, most people will be in favor of it. You can say you’re being forced, but I would rather say you aren’t being forced to live in a dangerous society. You’re free from being surrounded by poor, untrustworthy folks who will tell you all kinds of stories to get a few bucks.

Wouldn’t you rather be able to trust people?


[quote=“sylass94, post:146, topic:27058”]Wouldn’t you rather be able to trust people?[/quote]Yes, but unfortunately I live in reality.


What a sad and depressing viewpoint.


It always goes back to feelings with you people, doesn’t it? Truth doesn’t care how you feel.


“You people”? How’s that ‘us vs them’ mentality working out for you?

But no, my main point is I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest people are innately untrustworthy, and it’s quite enlightening that you feel such a fact is a given.


The “us vs them” mentality works out pretty well. It works pretty well for most cultures most of the time. The ones who don’t have that mentality usually end up being taken over by those that don’t.

As for people being innately untrustworthy, that’s not true. Everyone is different in that regard, some people can be trusted & some can’t. When you try to create a system that incorporates everyone, the untrustworthy always find a way to ruin it for the rest, especially when you assume that everyone is trustworthy.


Well I can tell you if I were to blow up all of America’s water treatment and sewage facilities, bringing modern society to a screeching halt…

I wouldn’t trust the pope.

We could argue all day about genetics, human unpredictability, drug exposure influencing decisions, but the simple truth is that if I lay waste to america’s infrastructure, most of us (myself included) will immediately become savage, stupid, disgusting creatures. On the other hand if we design society in a similar fashion to UBI, you don’t need to trust people! I won’t say your distrust is wasted effort since we’re in between those two extremes, but you don’t seem to have an end game. You seem perfectly content having to be skeptical of everyone all the time.

Do you think this is conducive to your long term health?


Excessive co-dependence is the problem, technology is the only real solution. Having your own water treatment & sewage facility (as well as power plant, etc.) is much better than relying on an infrastructure. Too many eggs in a single overpriced & poor-quality basket.


Not in the modern world. That may have been the case in the era of colonialism, but I can’t think of a single time it’s happened recently.


You’re missing a big point. Under UBI, people who work make money than people who do not.

If you have 10 people, 8 working and 2 not. People working earn $20 a day, and each gives $2 to the people who do not work. $18 for working. $8 for not working. Working would double your income.

Not working will still mean your poor. Just not desperate.

[quote] (plus the governmental agency that continues to grow as it gains more people to “care” for and has even more checks to process)[/quote]UBI is a really simple program, and will reduce government overhead. Give money and done. It replaces food stamps, health insurance, and the 50 or so other programs that the government currently has.

And no one uses checks anymore. You can wire money to everyone in the US, for about as much as it takes to stream 1 HD show.


[quote=“SoyVegas, post:139, topic:27058”]
I suppose we can use all the big words and personal anecdotes and economic citations we want, but in the end it comes down to a simple difference in how each of us sees the world.
[/quote]You can also look at the studies.


[quote=“Dias, post:149, topic:27058, full:true”]It always goes back to feelings with you people, doesn’t it? Truth doesn’t care how you feel.[/quote]Feelings are why people do things. It’s part of the truth about being human.

For instance, you posted that because of what you felt. You are also a person. That is the truth.


I think this topic has run it course.

closed #159