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Basic income and dependance on the government



Basic income is always seen as a way to freedom.

That is true in today’s world, were people are still forced to take jobs to survive or live of welfare scraps, otherwise they’ll end up on the streets. A basic income would better that situation. If the government decides to end UBI, the world would just revert to the previous state and we wouldn’t loose something we didn’t have before.

But if machines do most work and the government gives everyone basic income, because there would be no other choice and imagine if over half the population lives off the UBI only, it would give the government massive power because it would control the income of the majority of the population, so most people are dependant on it. If UBI get’s cancelled for whatever reason, they’ll die because they couldn’t just get a job again, since there’d be no more jobs.
Now imagine, the government does shit and people start demonstrations. They’ll just shut off every rioter’s UBI. See how soon protests cease… The gov could also use it to pacifiy the population, like “hey, we’re going to start useless wars, take away freedom and imprison innocent people, here, have a 20% basic income rise”.

Though, all of this assumes that UBI is going to be payed by the government and not by someone and somehow else…


that is a problem, i dont know a solution.

still UBI is better than apartheid right from the start.

(João Luz) #3

Hum…I’ve never heard of governments threatening to cut down welfare benefits to get protesters to shut up. Offering to raise it in order to divert attention for npopular policies, however, is common, but this is already a problem in our current society (unless you live in a country where there no welfare benefits, of course), an UBI would just make it a little bit worse, since people wouod be even more dependent on welfare.

Anyone, I suppose that when automation becomes widespread and efficient enough to throw most people out of there jobs we’ll already be on the verge of a post-scarcity of society (if we’re not, than that means that automation isn’t as good as they say and it’ll probably not throw everyone out of their jobs), so I don’t think 20% of an UBI will be that significant by that point.

(Michael Hrenka) #4

No. Once there is a sufficiently high UBI it will have the same status as internet access has today, at least. In theory, the government could blackmail the population by threatening to shut down the internet. But what if the government shuts it down actually (if it actually could)? Well, the people will be pretty much united in protest and shut down the government. Same with UBI: If the government shuts down the UBI, the people will shut down the government and create a new government that reintroduces it. Simple. Once there is a UBI, it will have incredible staying power. A government deciding to eliminate a UBI spontaneously is about as practically unthinkable as a government that decides to eliminate the property system (the system that defines that the is something like property and tries to protect it).


It might discourage people from protesting who hadn’t protested so far but for any who already protested, losing UBI would mean they’ve now got nothing to lose and would therefore become completely unmanageable. So, shutting off UBI is actually a very bad idea for controlling people. You’ll piss off a) the people whose UBI you shut off and b) all the people who care about those people whose UBIs got shut off.

The result is that the people will be seething with rage but can’t show it publicly. I don’t think I need to tell you the result. It won’t end pretty. You really need to think about what power is and where a government gets it’s power from.

You know, if you just give everyone 20% more money, without anything else changing, the end result will be that prices go up 20% and no-one is any richer in any practical sense. You merely created instantaneous 20% inflation. People might fall for this once. Although I doubt it.

If you actually increased the production of the things that people want by 20%, that’d work, even without any increases to the UBI. The prices would just fall by 20% and everyone would be 20% richer compared to before. However, this won’t be quite that simple. If it was, it’d have already been done.

You really should try to get a working understanding of economics and politics and power before you try to thinking about things like these.


I think you’re right. A better analogy would be the water supply. Water is the most basic element we need to survive after air, the water supply is under control of the city adminstration, they could just turn it off and kill everyone but they don’t and never would for obvious reasons… :wink:


unless some crazy asshole thinks privatizing the watersupply is a good idea.