[ExI] The system

Antonio Marcos amcmr2003 at yahoo.com.br
Fri Feb 1 04:40:59 UTC 2008

========= Continuing =======

In the last episode...

 The first good example I saw of minimum income was in
"Visit Port Watson!", the finest piece of Utopian SF I
ever read. Set in the remotest islands of the pacific,
it's a fictional travel guide to an imaginary
republic. The ruler set up an offshore banking and
finance centre, and divides the profits up amongst the
citizens so they can all have an income from the
state. The idea when extended to western civilisations
is to give everyone a handout sufficient to cover
their basic needs. This replaces welfare, pensions
schemes, sickness benefits, etc.
 The combination of the two has been advocated by some
libertarians as allowing people to earn what they
want, while also given people freedom from being
forced to work. If someone's idea of life,liberty and
the pursuit of happiness is sitting down watching soap
operas all day, they can. This combination also works
from a socialist view - "From each according to their
earnings;to each to cover their basic needs", while
allowing eager capitalists to earn extra cash and
allowing the profit motive to exist.
 Say this particular innovation gets adopted by a
political party in a developed economy, and is
implemented one day. What will happen?

ta na na na!

 People will probably do one of three things: some may
want to earn as much as possible to add to their
minimum income. In the US, people work more hours than
they did in the 1970s, but the amount of stuff they
own is much greater than their 1970s predecessors. In
France, they've achieved a 35 hour working week, and
people working longer hours each week get time off in
lieu. The French equivalent of the wall street banker
gets 45-50 days paid leave a year in return for
working so hard during the week.
 A second group of people will give up working. As
Spike said, there's many people in the US motivated by
a fear of not having health insurance who would
otherwise retire early. Likewise, people who currently
claim unemployment benefits might just give up looking
for work.


But who would then get my garbage, or cook my food?!
This trash pile up rather quickly you know? After all
if everybody in the world consumed like the average
american, we would need about 6 earth to sustain us!..
The government would do it? But who would they hire??
they are paying everyone not to work.. so, i guess
those salaries would soar! And then we would need
universities to avoid everyone from becoming a garbage
man, and make them study for years the anatomy of
garbage, memorizing useless stuff... So they can
legally think they are elite, yes, think, after all
they are still garbage man. Yes, there is a lot of
people wanting to be them, but.. ok.. let their dream

hmm.. maybe not actually salaries, since we wont be
needing companies anymore, i mean, who would work for
anyone else.. rather we will get mercenaries, who
would then charge huge ammounts for 'protection'..
yeah, garbage can be very dangerous you know? they can
actually appear from nowhere, in the mid of the night,
piles and piles..

By the way, a change of mentality is out of the
question. (Watching soap opera all day are too tiring
a work (i cant stand a few seconds), and get people to
busy to actually recycle their own garbage, or send to
the proper place)

 A third group of people might take this as their
chance to do what they really want to do with their
lives - pursue hobbies, practise arts, perform
academic research into what really interests them,
work for charities. These people would no longer be
limited by the need to pay the rent.

But they would want some of that great green stuff
type 1 has! after all, there are other groups
producing things THEY want also.. and they aint giving
it for free, after all there was a lot of work to
invent it and produce it, compared to how much work
they should actually be doing (i mean, i could be
watching soap operas), it would make them sick and
those medice researchers charge pretty damn much! I
dont blame them though, they must pay for garbage

 In this situation, I dont see much sharing of
knowledge between researchers.. there would be a lot
of competing rival factions, throwing garbage at each
other's lots.. I wonder though where do type 1 people
get all that money, exporting? Maybe they collect
garbage... maybe they export garbage! type 2 would get
rich then, just by sitting on their b**** watching as
they pile grow higher, then lower.. higher.. then
lower... oh joy..

 The unanswerable question is to what proportion
people will fall into these categories.

Im not trying to say it wont work but.. :) at the very
least, a lot of would be type 2's would be forced to
work... it seems most people will be forced to do
stuff they dont want to.. and I think thats the way it
should be! if you dont have the discipline to recycle
your garbage, cook your food, dont overheat your
planet till meltdown.. well.. i guess you should be
enforced by law to do your part, to the benefit of
everyone else that does. This system might work then.

 We could try
doing surveys, but people may not answer particularly
truthfully. We can try predicting from national trends
(ie we'd guess the US would have more type 1 people
than other countries, but I couldn't tell you what
 The trick would be to have enough people in the first
category to generate the cash

generating cash from thin air? what are they selling?
what are they buying? to whom? type 3 is producing the
good stuff, are they not?
Maybe farming? please dont say garbage again.
yes.. farming.. but.. government is providing all the
needs arent they? so.. government gives tax money to
people so they can pay for food.. but.. type 2 dont
pay tax.. type 3 neither (in your original idea).. so,
essentially type 1 is paying themselves to feed the
people! \o/ this could work if a change of mentality
would take place, but then what wouldnt? Everyone
doing what they can and like and need.. we wouldnt
have to design much of a system, it would all fit
together in an obvious way.. no need to enforce
anything.. many people call that idealism, and most of
them, dont believe it. I do \o> thats why i bother to
type all this. please kill me. seriously :p

 to keep the other two
groups going. Huge numbers of people would fall into
category two. 
If the third category was big, it could
trigger a renaissance of unimaginable proportions. 
well.. i wonder what minimum changes in mentality
would be needed for this to work.. As always, I think
the least change we make in the current system the
better (not that we wont make more later, on the
contrary the idea is gradual change).. it is easier to
predict what impact it will have, it wont be so abrupt
to cause vital dynamics (nutrient flow, waste
excretion.. yes GARBAGE!) to halt.. human mentality
tends to adapt slowly, so to get the "my grandpa
systems was drastically different than mine" effect,
we need to change slowly, otherwise the same mentality
would fall back, snap back (probably better word), to
what its used to..

 Natasha has alluded to these possibilities when
talking about her papers on "Homo Ludens". People are
starting to look at the concept of a life without the
need for work seriously. With the increasing
automation of many jobs, do we need to keep finding
new ways for people to add to the economy? Will those
old predictions of "in the future, robots will do 90%
of work" come true? Would the cutting down of human
work be the start of a golden age of civilisation, or
our first step in becoming decadent lotus eaters?

Hopefully so! All of those and some more.. but i
predict low jobs will last a long time yet, the elite
is too lazy to let go of their willing slaves. Unless
a change of mentality takes place, this wont happen..
and the confort zone isnt being challenged very much.
But well.. nothing that a few volcanoes, or a few
inches of water cant do, uh? lets hope.

 I'd like to see a nation try, just to help the rest
of the world prepare for the future and consider other
ways of living.

Im not a voy..... ..eurrrrType2 but that would indeed
be fun to watch.

 "consider other ways of living."
That would be very useful!!! I hope thats not too late
though ^^



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