Only a new radical left can help solve our modern issues with government/economics. The job of the radical left is to render the conservative/liberal tension obsolete: taking the economy to a new meta-level...
In effect, you're keen to overturn this only-somewhat-metaphorical game of Monopoly we've been playing for a few centuries. I'm pretty tired of the game as well, but peoples' ability to put food on the table for their children is still tethered to the neon pink money we're passing around.
You have this view of a seemingly imminent revolution that you want to hasten in, I get that. I'm not entirely convinced of some transcendental, quick, species-wide evolution on the immediate horizon, but we're both looking to do the same thing: progress. We're just not in total agreement on the specifics, but that's OK. And I concede, it's still entirely possible that you are correct.
Research with basic income communities shows that people work more overall in a basic income society because they are more in control of defining their own work trajectory. There are many structural status quo 'impossibility' notions at work in the idea that the system would collapse because we wouldn't have minimum wage slaves. In particular I am interested in the fact that people say that most people will stop showing up to bullshit jobs - but my response is SO WHAT? I am sick of living in a society built on alienated (read: dehumanising) labour. Moreover, people will say that everyone will stop working alienating jobs, but I am more interested in the fact that people will not then simply do nothing. People want meaningful work. How about let's focus a discussion on that.
Thoughts, not necessarily true rebuttals (you make good points):
1. It won't matter how many robots we've got, the available profile of jobs won't match the capabilities of the human workforce for a long time. That's something we'll be trying to close the gap on gradually.
2. Bullshit jobs, by definition, don't need to exist. The relationship of bullshit jobs to minimum wage slavery is definitely not a one-to-one correlation. I'd actually speculate that most bullshit jobs are above minimum wage pay; desk jobs, the necessity of which exist on a spectrum, not as a binary "need" or "don't need". But yes, it is dehumanizing to not feel fully-utilized, or to work a job that you know is likely to see automation within a few years, or to work a job that pays the lowest possible amount. That much is certain, I agree. You and I have the pleasure of enjoying meaningful work. I (and probably you too) have also had the displeasure of even just marginally dehumanizing work, and agree with your high valuation of purpose and contribution.
3. Hypothetical scenario: Subject 2fY9kU3 scores as an extreme extrovert on their aptitude test. People report 2fY9kU3 as a very pleasant person to be around, and other indicators point to optimization in a management position for this subject. Subject 2fY9kU3 has no interest in managing, and would prefer to continue working at a lower technical level. It will be interesting to see how we'll optimize overall efficiency vs. overall happiness, or if a paradigm shift like the one you suppose will automatically optimize.
This is neoliberal ideology. The people who are a drain on society in the developed world are the mega-rich, not struggling low-income workers or the unemployed.
People who receive a basic income and just decide to spend their basic income without doing anything extra will still have to spend their entire salary in the market.
Yes, we agree here. Where we don't agree is in our estimations on the number of people willing to immediately cease participating in any form of production whatsoever. We've not yet built the socioeconomic structures to shuffle everyone around and automate any vacuum left behind without turmoil. To put it in terms of "meaningful work", we have not yet developed automation capabilities to afford the luxury of granting everyone meaningful work. I know you're thinking ahead, but I do feel like you're overestimating the pace of technological progress. Automation of all physical and/or "meaningless" work isn't as close as we'd all like to hope. But yes, driverless cars are going to be incredibly impactful very soon. Hopefully the techniques for reinvesting displaced human ex-employees back into the workforce take as few casualties as possible before we refine them into something decent.
Also, we must work hard to ensure that new forms of collaboration and entrepreneurship will enable people to explore inherent pro-social and pro-creative interests and passions. I think that if we design a truly human economy we can eventually eliminate alienated labour altogether which will render redundant the whole discussion of whether someone is "employed" or "not employed". The goal should be collective self-actualisation - no one is left behind - all options for growth are open.
The Internet of course springs to mind as the dominant medium on which to built this infrastructure. There will now always be a new Silk Road(s), or a Darknet ∞.0. The Internet is an idea that will define our ongoing evolutions. (look, here we are, on Hubski, having this civilized discourse)
I like the idea behind "human economy". I would press the "try me now", or the "talk about me" button, but I'm not sure any politician has even heard of the idea, because it's relatively new, radical, and scares the status quo.
Collective self-actualization is a lofty goal. It is encouraging that the presence of "anti-intellectualism" seems to be on the wane, globally. I also agree with you that as a human, finding purpose and having the financial ability to self-actualize is an opportunity that should be given to every human being.
IMHO - I think the job of the government today (and the job of a new international left) is to shift economic focus from corporate activity to commons activity (this means - as a foundation - huge investment in making education, health care, food, water, shelter free).
This resembles a "stage one" UBI implementation, which I don't believe we're ready for. As I mentioned earlier, I'm pessimistic enough to believe that far too many members of society will take anything you throw at them. Not everyone has the same notions of what "bettering themselves" entails. I think it'd just be too rough for present day 'merica.
Essentially all current forms of welfare are inadequate, absolutely. We need much more money for it. But the cost to fund a basic income is at least an order of magnitude more than what welfare sees in current budget allocations. In the U.S., at even just $12,000 per year per person, that's over $3.8 trillion in annual U.S. UBI.
And neither have we had the necessary public discussion and scrutiny of the entire idea; of UBI, automation, meaning, and (gasp) certainly not of "collective self-actualization" (pretend I stuttered through that while looking down at a cue card). All of this is unfortunately dismissed as "impossible" in every future scenario. Yes, I do think it will come down to people "demanding the impossible" until enough politicians and members of the aristocracy are frightened into conceding that the impossible was, in fact, quite possible all along. Are we potentially crippling ourselves later for not having begun public discussion of this process right now? It's entirely likely.
New economy: all basic creature needs are a human right and non-negotiable (this is why modern liberals are destroying the left, and why they are playing the political game on conservative terms). I don't think this requires the erection of a "global hierarchy" - in fact - quite the opposite. I disagree with economists like Piketty that a global government is going to emerge to regulate a global market and distribute funds from a global wealth tax. True global organization is distributed organization (i.e. no central control). When we have reached the end of history there will be no state, but to get there we need to radically democratise the state and create a globe that is a common space for all humans. My hope is that one or several countries will lead the way in this initiative - in the developed or the developing world (i.e. Switzerland or Namibia for example) can institute a basic income and start experimenting with communities based on social self-organization projects. If you are interested about what is happening with basic income initiatives/advocates/research in Belgium, Switzerland, and Namibia I'd recommend this documentary which gives a nice summary.
Again, I would love a "human economy", but I do not follow your logic of UBI necessarily leading to a decentralized global infrastructure of any kind. I haven't read Piketty (planning to soon), and I'm not knowledgeable enough in economics to have my own theories. Can't offer you much worthwhile discussion there, my apologies.
So I wrote the above text before watching the video. I edited and added a little bit afterwards, but still wanted to snapshot my points before exposing myself to your propaganda (Sorry, I'm totally kidding... I giggled while typing that).
I have taken the argumentative form of an old Belgium woman, in this video. I remember having previously discussed with you the cost of basic income. It’s odd, we’ve gone through much of the clip's arguments, both in previous threads, and in this very one. Kinda surprised that I’m torn between the two arguments… that I have some “central left” component to my vector, or something. I'd have guessed that I was so far left that I've circumnavigated, and popped up far right, or something.
The introduction, “Re: The Nobility of Being Rich and Legally Obligated to Pay for UBI”, was touching. But I don’t think every member of the wealthy class will agree. Once again, we’re at odds: idealism vs. pessimism. And I want to see us become more ideal, I really do, but I think the pulse of western society couldn’t handle this transition immediately.
And there you go! The game plan for funding it. A capital tax increase, for 100 billion in annual gains taken from the wealthy. In Belgium. Scale that to the United States’s size, and have fun finding a U.S. senator or representative to pitch this bill.
Regarding UBI "splitting parties': I’m not sure about in Europe, but there are virtually no advocates of UBI on the political right in the United States. The voting conglomerate is steered (as steers are) by party politicians and media sources, which are absolute puppets of the corporate oligarchy. The vast majority of the left isn’t all that different, maybe a little less brand-naming flying about. I doubt that UBI has the potential to politically divide the right wing, and has only a small chance of gaining traction in the current left wing climate.
TL;DR - Looks like I'm a fan of UBI in a more progressed future, but not at this very instant. Still, publicly discussing how to gradually implement a UBI model as the workforce gradually sees automation and (hopefully) eliminates bullshit jobs sounds like a good idea to push for today.
EDIT: Here I would also like to add an old Hegelian notion that speaks to our current situation (which I believe to be largely one of overcoming our own psychology):
For Hegel: in order to pass from alienation to reconciliation, we do not have to change reality, but rather the way we perceive and relate to it.
In other words: we need to change the way we perceive and relate to our labour/work/society - we need totally new foundations for adult human life. Until that happens - we are going to continue to have the contours of our collective life organized by impersonal persons (corporations).
"Happiness (c). Brought to by Impersonal Personnel Incorporated"
I don't think you're wrong at all here. Many times, I've asked myself and many of my friends, "How do you change a culture?". Most often, I'm referring to western youth culture's dismissal of the value in education. The changes you seek to instill are monolithically more of a leap. But certainly, it must happen at some point, or else we will perish as a species. I'm hoping you're right, and we get to witness something truly radical within our lifetimes.