And yeah, someone may freeload.
It is not so much that they are going to freeload. To go back to childhood religious programing for a moment, "idle hands are the devil's tools." If they want to waste their very brief existence watching TV and not doing anything, that is on them. But not having people starving and homeless has other benefits, which you went into. One of the reasons, and man, there are reasons, for the suicide epidemic is that there are a lot of men out there that have lost their purpose. They have no direction, or have been shoved aside due to the massive changes in the economy, society etc over the last 25 years. There is a reason that the two biggest triggers for suicides in men are loss of job and divorce. Some people cannot handle that, and to show this is a human thing, women in the US and Europe are now starting to kill themselves in increasing numbers. Look at Belgium and Finland, nations with some of the best social safety nets and welfare programs out there. They have double the suicide rate of the US, and ours is not anything to be proud of. If nations with some of the best social programs, guarantees, housing allowances etc can't keep people content enough to not off themselves, is this something we need to correct before a UBI?
This is my mental hurdle. We all have one, and it will be different in each of us. And I really love this debate because the world where a UBI is needed is coming faster than most realize. But what happens when there are not enough jobs for all these guys who now have a basic income? We can't all be artists and musicians. We can't all be WalMart greeters. Hell, I have people in my extended friend circle that do fuck zero all day, only work enough to keep the lights on in the shitty apartment and play games and get fatter every year. I hate to see that happen, but they are only hurting themselves, so... yea. Idle people tend to not be happy people in my experience. And despite leaving the church multiple decades ago, that programing of a Puritan work ethic and fight against sloth is there in my head. I said this in other posts on Hubski: men are programed to build things. We build families, friendships, communities, nations as well as the physical things like buildings, roadways, cars, water delivery systems, computers, etc. If some sort of purpose is not put into the bargain that a UBI brings to the table, what are the mental impacts of that?
Maybe we will have to have a draft, but instead of military, you need to do 2-3 years of national service. Drag young men and women out of their family, put them to work building the nation (monuments, tour guides, rangers, infrastructure, even teaching and medicine and the government kicks in for your schooling). This builds social circles, builds the idea that "hey, I helped build this place!" and shows you a world beyond the tiny little space you grew up in. SOMETHING of the like is going to be needed to create an ownership of the country otherwise you get a class of people who demand entitlements and none of the responsibilities related to receiving them.
And, how long can someone really be passive and bored?
Some men die at 25 and are not buried until they are 75. I've abandoned friendships due to this sort of attitude. It exists, but how prevalent/rare is it? I have no idea.
Does it really matter if someone else doesn't take the opportunity and run with it like you did?
Absolutely not. And those are the words I should have used, I think. But I would like to not see so many people waste away and contribute something to the place we live in. And that may be my bias showing in this debate.