Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
comment by keifermiller
keifermiller  ·  479 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Homelessness up 26% in LA YoY, 10% in Seattle , *61%* among LA youth

    needed

inevitable

What does UBI boil down to? It's a prop to keep capitalism from running off the rails once society no longer carries the structures that made it a stable social arrangement.

But it needs to do more than that to work in the long haul.

It needs to support the current economic system and it needs to suppress the reorganization of society around whatever new social structures emerge. Because those laborers are indeed human beings. If they're freed up, they're going to go into society and create new complexity.

And that newness is going to give rise to something else.




kleinbl00  ·  477 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    What does UBI boil down to? It's a prop to keep capitalism from running off the rails once society no longer carries the structures that made it a stable social arrangement.

I missed this last time. This is a fundamentally profound way of looking at UBI; the fact that nobody can afford it in any meaningful way demonstrates the problem you outline.

I read a summary of this; I haven't read the whole Davos take yet but it ostensibly argues that kids born in the past ten years in the developed world have a median life expectancy of 103 and shortfalls in paying for retirement for them are on the order of $400 trillion dollars. I need to dig deeper but I wouldn't have thought ten years ago that we could be looking at end-stage capitalism. Now? Now I think you could make a compelling argument (not sure I'm convinced yet).

throwaway12  ·  479 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    It's a prop to keep capitalism from running off the rails once society no longer carries the structures that made it a stable social arrangement.

So are unions and welfare and all sorts of things. A society that mixes and picks techniques that work the best is way better than the society that goes "well, capitalism has issues, throw it all out!"

Marx was totally wrong about communism because people adapt to their situation. We didn't run out of oil by now because people found new sources and used less. We haven't run out of copper because we invented fiber-based communication.

We are never stable as a society if you look at where we stand and extrapolate that trend into the future. What makes us stable is constant change and tweaking of ourselves. Our ability to deal with instability is what makes us stable, not the fact that our society is made to be stable.

keifermiller  ·  479 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    "well, capitalism has issues, throw it all out!"

I'm saying that one of the conditions that capitalism springs from is wage labor. It's perfect for a system that uses price to allocate resources.

Unions fight to strengthen wage laborers. Welfare provides them with a basic social safety net. They augment wage labor.

Automation is coming. It isn't augmenting. It's replacing.

Maybe we get UBI. That creates a new social class.

Maybe we don't. That swells an existing class that started this discussion.

Either way, it's going to be quite a large change. Societies are a process, yes that process seeks stability, but every so often they hit an inflection point and tip in a new direction.

That's what gave rise to capitalism in the first place. It is a process that stemmed from a change in the patterns of human activity.