I’ve been asked in the past about my views on UBI, or universal basic income. This article does a pretty good job of summing up how UBI creates two classes of humanity. I would go further to say UBI takes a large portion of humanity out of the evolutionary process.
When you lose your job to a machine, you are forced to reinvent yourself and find a new way of providing for yourself in a world of limited resources. That’s why businesses are started in garages, why new things are invented, and why people go back and educate themselves in fields that matter to the progress of humanity.
I see it as the Matrix. For younger readers, the Matrix was a movie about a future age where robots have taken over the world and hooked every human into a computer that feeds off of their biomass energy while keeping them satiated with a false virtual reality.
In the Matrix you live in a fake reality, have everything you need, and meanwhile your body slowly is eaten up and decays. Outside of the Matrix life is difficult. You are fighting the very automation that has enslaved the rest of humanity. For a time the food isn’t as good. The living conditions aren’t as good. But you are free, innovative by necessity, and progressing humanity.
We’ve had UBI before. Instead of having a job, we had large populations who lived in provided homes, ate provided food, and performed tasks required by the free class of society. That was slavery. In my mind, UBI equates to slavery because it’s only a matter of time before the working class requires the UBI class to contribute for their government provided paycheck. That will usually come right about the time the Socialists get the difficult reminder that resources are not unlimited.
When the resources to provide UBI run out, the question usually comes down to whether people should be forced into labor camps or systematically starved. Just ask anyone anywhere socialism has actually been tried. When robots figure out how to solve the question of limited resources, then let’s give UBI a shot.