‘Universal Basic Income’–Another Ridiculously Bad Idea

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Why is is that the big shots in the tech world are such hopeless dunderheads outside of their own narrow field? And why in the world does anybody listen to them?

The Facebook wallah last week gave the commencement speech at the Harvard Dolt Factory, and advocated “universal basic income” (http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/26/news/economy/mark-zuckerberg-universal-basic-income/index.html)–that is, the government gives you a paycheck whether you’re working or not.

Oh, we just gotta do it! After all, robotics and Artificial (ahem!) Intelligence and self-driving cars are going to make us poor dumb humans obsolete and cause the loss of “tens of millions of jobs.” Therefore we all need checks from the government. And please don’t be so stupid as not to know how the government will raise the money for those checks.

And also we gotta Save The Planet from Climbit Change, even though it’s a big fat hoax.

At the risk of sounding simple-minded, where does it say we have to go whole-hog for robotics and Artificial Intelligence and put all these people out of work? Have we suddenly lost our free will? Just because we can do something, does that mean we must do it? Man, that’s way too Jurassic Park for me!

I know the world’s  big brains and bigger mouths all think you can abuse the culture all you like and nothing bad will happen. That’s why none of them have even for a moment considered that doling out a “universal basic income” might have disastrous effects upon the character of a nation.

How hard do you want to keep working so the jidrool next door can sit home and play video games all day?

How hard will anybody try to excel, when it will always be possible to live in reasonably comfortable circumstances without lifting a finger?

Did I mention the speaker also proposed to “modernize democracy so that everyone can vote on-line”? Another great idea. Bet he’s got a million of ’em.

Oh, well. Why even have free will, if we’re not going to use it?

Do you see where this is going?

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

8 responses to “‘Universal Basic Income’–Another Ridiculously Bad Idea

  • Linda Sorci

    Hang on to your seats because I read just this morning (I can’t remember where) that Zuckerberg will be going on a ‘listening’ tour in a run-up to the 2020 presidential election. Evidently he has high hopes. Heaven forbid!

    Like

  • UnKnowable

    “Just because we can do something, does that mean we must do it?”

    I find myself thinking the same thing frequently. Technology has not taken over. Technology has no free will of its own, it has to be implemented by humans. Unfortunately, a small group of people seem to think that they have the right to hold our technological future in their hands. So far, they are long on promise, but short on delivery.

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  • Watchman

    Add Universal Basic Income with artificial intelligence and automation and you have something like the Eloi from The Time Machine. People whose every need is provided for, but who are remain ignorant and subservient to the Morlocks (ie. government).

    “At the risk of sounding simple-minded, where does it say we have to go whole-hog for robotics and Artificial Intelligence and put all these people out of work?”

    I recommend a book called “Technocracy Rising”. It’s a bit dry at times, but it explains a lot of whats going on.

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  • Phoebe

    The most important question is: “Where is the money going to come from?” And inherent in that question is another: “Who is going to start up and/or run the companies to provide the automated services, if everyone is sitting at home collecting soon-to-be-worthless money?”

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    • leeduigon

      Well, we know where it’s gonna come from–from you and me! Government has no money of its own. And for every dollar they dole out as universal income, they’ll need to spend at least another dollar, if not much more, to set up and administer a new bureaucracy. It will grow like the Blob, with no Steve McQueen to stop it.

      Why don’t we just, like, NOT throw all those people out of work?

      PS–Is Iggy any better? You haven’t mentioned him today.

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      • Phoebe

        Iggy seems to be back to normal. Thanks be to God!

        As for the universal payout, we keep talking about how those of us who work for a living will be supporting those who don’t — but my second question was, in effect, “Who will there be to work for?” Owners (or potential owners) of companies will have no incentive to run these companies — or take the risk of starting a company or expanding it once it’s established — if they don’t anticipate a good profit. So there won’t be any jobs at all, except in government, but as you point out, the government doesn’t have any money except what it can extract from the private sector. And when there’s no private sector to speak of, then what? (Answer: Socialism or Communism, with its concomitant shortages, thuggery, and theft.)

        Furthermore, when everyone is given the same amount of money, money pretty much becomes worthless.

        And of course the commissars always award themselves bonuses anyway.

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    • UnKnowable

      The overhead piles up quickly. If you want to give away free money, you will need a vast bureaucracy to make sure no one double dips. Soon you will spend nearly as much on that bureaucracy as is spent for the benefits themselves. This is a plan which is beyond doomed.

      Like

  • Sidney

    Lee, you’re my kinda thinker…”Common Sense’, (the reason “Common Law” was named that, was because it was based on “Common Sense”! — only had two basic LAWS: #1] I will do all that I said I’d do; & #2] I will not infringe on the rights of anyone else)…Stop & think about HOW MUCH of your life that actually covers…

    I grew up in Georgia, so we had several options for fun in the 50’s: “flexible Flyers”, (snow sleds, but with wheels & a breaking system), playing in the woods with our dogs, finding turtles, playing Army, the front yard hose down, and selling “Mom made Lemonade”, or reading a book. OR, (after age 10), SUMMER CAMP! (can you guess which the boys all chose?)…Yup! Georgia in the 50’s & EARLY 60’s was paradise…

    Like

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