"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

On A Basic Guaranteed Living

The very idea of a basic guaranteed living is regarded as heresy in a Western society that worships the market economy as Aztecs worshiped eclipses.  Both societies had ritual sacrifice, but we try to rationalize it away as “creative destruction.”

The moment we consider labor as a resource that can be stockpiled like grain, coal, or copper, it’s hard to think the same way.  If we want a wealthy, resilient society, then it makes sense to pay, feed, and train people right now so they are available when needed.  After all, we usually pay for a can of soup first and put it in the pantry before we actually get hungry.

Once we begin to toy with this mindset, we see that when the God of the Market is installed as lord of Olympus, it becomes an alzheimers-ridden invalid stuck in the eternal present, the vagaries of the stock market the tremors of a frail, arthiritic hand.

If we thought about the economy in real life like we do in computer games, we’d spend much of our resources preparing society to weather disasters and last the long term.  Militaries already behave a lot like this, obsessively drawing up plans for every contingency.  Why not build things and train people thinking about how to win the game?  Isn’t that a more engaging mission than “economic growth” for its own sake or looking for the El Dorado of “full employment?”

Why not pretend like we’re establishing a Mars colony and make it a national mission to massively back up all critical infrastructure, making it as durable as possible, in addition to pristinely maintaining what we have?
Why not train twice as many electricians, plumbers, developers, and garbagemen as we actually need and give them half the time off?  Then, in a rare emergency, abundant reserves are always ready to spring into action.
Why not prepare for the size of the economy remaining the same or even shrinking so its natural fluctuations, or planned movements are no big deal?  Surely an economy that collapses into chaos without infinite growth is stiffly unable to maneuver in changing situations.  Like a limb stuck in a brace, when forced to move, it breaks.

Instead, we force people to find the most frivolous ways imaginable to play at shuffling around economic tokens on pain of starvation, even if the activity or its externalities are a net negative to society.
Millions of people go through the motions of make-work pretending an obsolete way of life can waltz on even as it falls apart.  This prolonged denial of reality benefits the very upper and lower ends of the spectrum while everyone else is punished.

Why not reward the people who get trained in valuable skills and contribute with fewer hours?  In our present system the most productive have to do more work because a laissez faire free market only supports just enough personnel.  Why not reward the good kids who reliably get stuff done with less homework by overstaffing instead of saddling a few of the most productive people with all the work they can handle?
When the best players on the team are too busy to have families because of the competitive rat race, society is doing something wrong.

Why not do things the other way around and have low IQ people on state welfare kept busy whenever possible, even if it’s picking up trash, sweeping streets, or mowing lawns?  Always more of that to be done.  They’d have to constantly pursue those endless daily tasks to get their guaranteed food and state housing.

Of course, some might not be amenable to working at all.  It’s hard to force people to do things they don’t want to do and inhumane(and politically damaging) to let people starve.  So those who would receive state benefits but refuse to put in their fair share would be allowed to do so but have to undergo mandatory sterilization.

I imagine another condition of state guaranteed housing would be that like soldiers they must go where they are needed(though it would only be humane to keep families intact).  Perhaps the worst of those both lazy and dumb would go to camps in Alaska where they’d have enough nutrition to live and cable TV until they die.

I have considered before that the problem with the market as we know it with all its gaudy gadgets, brainless fashion, boring aesthetics, and planned obsolescence is a natural result of allowing dumb people too much participation.  Not to mention, many capable people working 60+ hour weeks don’t have the time and energy to be discerning customers.  Workers with more money than leisure are relegated to being mere consumers.  If this were remedied, everything from boots to books would be higher quality.

The low IQ population on state benefits—even those doing useful work—would mostly get basic food and housing with a very limited monetary allowance to prevent them from corrupting product quality.
This would also put up a barrier to stop people who are subsidized by the state redefining the low bar of market competition to the disadvantage of those who paid for everything they’ve got.

People with their needs met by the state spending too much money would distort prices just as we already see with the devastating impact of easy loans and insurance on housing, college education, and healthcare in the USA.

This way, we’d effectively have a labor force with deep reserves that can handle sudden shocks.  The economy would be able to grow, maintain, or shrink as best serves the needs of the whole society.
Anyone can choose to get a basic living from the state, but in exchange, access to money, freedom of mobility, and freedom over time is limited.   Those taken care of by the state only fit for menial work are kept busy.  Those both dumb and useless would be sterilized.

Higher IQ people living on state aid might be given substantial free time, extra perks, in proportion to their abilities but strategically worked and challenged so they don’t get completely lazy and become idle shutins.  If they have creative talents, perhaps they are paid by the state in time by having to do still less hours of state labor and given whatever equipment they need.
Also, instead of having an army of social workers dedicated to the most hopeless and despondent, why not have a task force of therapists that specialize in properly socializing smart omegas?  I once saw a video about people in Japan who actually do this and introduce shutins to the adult world.

There is also, of course, the problem of underclass fecundity.  Several methods could be used together to discourage breeding.  One possibility I could think of is that a child of parents on guaranteed living would get rations sufficient to perhaps 80% of its needs.  The parents would have their first kid and watch the amount of rationed rice they have left over diminish.  Even the dumbest of humankind are generally responsive to the implied threat of food scarcity.  Also, state housing might be restricted to about 500 square feet, a method that seems to work well with hipsters.  Then flood the institutions they use with relentless anti-child propaganda though this works less well with the least permeable minds.
There may be those that keep trying to pop them out no matter what and if not stopped they get selected for and like an antibiotic resistant strain, propagate quickly.  Maybe there would be a hard 2 kid limit for those who don’t get the hint and if they try to disobey get mandatory sterilization.

There would be abundant programs and “halfway houses” to get people back into the market economy again whenever they want.  Besides being relatively uncomfortable and with fewer freedoms, the greatest enforcement against abusing the system would come from human status competition.  Having money would have even more status than it does now, because not everyone would have it.  Without money, one’s social standing would be crushingly low.

This would be very intentional because the post-enlightenment neo-tribal state recognizes that status is sexual capital that allows men to get desirable mates.  Then, that access to resources allows couples to house, feed, and protect children.  There would be a tacit understanding that a dollar bill should only go into the hands of someone you want to see more of in the next generation.

As with any system, I’m sure I could spend a lifetime hammering out every loophole, dysfunction, and weakness bound to be exploited by parasites and free-riders, but these are my initial thoughts on what a post labor scarcity economy might look like.

15 responses to “On A Basic Guaranteed Living

  1. UlricKerensky May 20, 2017 at 10:51 am

    An extremely quick point:

    High status jobs have high hours in large part because thise holding them have a very strong desire to keep the pool of potential competitors limited, and they can show how hardworking they are to their respective masters. It’s a fear of losing their sincure and falling from grace.

    • Giovanni Dannato May 20, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Good point. Perhaps we have disincentives for striving past the point of diminishing returns for society. From what I understand from Spandrell’s blog, Bloody Shovel, Japan effectively has salary caps created by tax brackets that become rapidly more punitive beyond a certain point. Some people still strive because of the difference a few thousand more makes in status signalling. But I imagine there’s fewer of them and preventing the most extreme income disparity does seem to help preserve the social fabric and prevent the weird character the market takes on when a few can afford gold-plated dog food while others go hungry. If this measure were not enough there could be others. Possibly a hard cap on work hours? I’m sure the most ambitious people would try to under-report, but you get the general idea.

  2. A.B. Prosper May 20, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    It might work if borders are closed tight. Otherwise even this dystopia is immeasurably better to billions of poor low IQ. poor impulse control types that flood the world and they’ll end up an enormous problem.

    Also such a society will will need to be either a military state or very homogeneous to work. Diversity and proximity always engender conflict and tribalism

    That said such a plan is basically slavery 2.0 , neo-serfdom or the return of the innumerable make work programs that every Socialist regime through history has tried to make work with mediocre results

    Given the continuous growth in automation, its also not unreasonable to assume 80% of everyone will be surplus anyway, including smart people. Treating a small underclass like you suggest is fine but a return to a kind of serf system with techies and social butterflies on top is nightmarish

    Real demand for labor is just not there and forcing people to take make work is disgusting when so many people are unemployed. Germany learned this when one state tried to force a woman to take a job as a prostitute as there was a demand. Courts overturned it but it will lead and that direction, people as commodities which is part and parcel, Evil.

    Most people would be far better off going full Pol Pot on their techie of choice rather than live in such a world . A lot of tech people know this too if the articles I’ve read are to be believed

    Insistence on valuing machines over people is a huge chunk of the reason society is entering an endgame, more so than Cultural Marxism

    A better solution would be Distributism , a system to change the incentives to make hiring people more efficient than many types of automation and to assure a maximum income and a maximum 30 hour work week with only male employment and limited female employment outside the home assumed

    Throw in some economic nationalism. bans on foreign bank ownership and that kind of thing and all that inefficiency in the form of wages circulates back into the economy.

    Inefficiency especially in the form of wages is the economy and without it, demand exists but there is no way to fill it and no market for anything other than the state.

    Think of a puzzle, if machines make good, robots load them into robot trucks or drones and ship them than robots unload them either into stores with security robots and kiosks or deliver them by drone whose buying?

    Nobody . Worse such a smart system won’t be making goods or ordering raw materials from the robot mines since they aren’t being consumed

    Right now the State at all levels is 40% of the US economy if you believe CATO and believe me it can grow more, much more.

    • Giovanni Dannato May 21, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      Clearly, citizenship couldn’t be handed out casually. Immigration would be limited to brain drain types and the rich. If times really got, tough, the state couldn’t realistically afford to have camps of completely useless people waiting in comfort to die.
      Maybe hostile tribes would live outside the protections of citizenship altogether and no one even bother to try to govern them so long as they stay on “reservations.”
      I begin at least with the hope everyone can be taken care so long as there’s eugenic policies. Some billions a year to keep dysfunctional people comfortable and childless until they die would be one of the best bargains in history. You speak of dystopia, but it only seems so if you have IQ 100+. Below that threshold people are generally happy so long as they have food, shelter, family, friends. Personal freedom doesn’t even make their top 10 priorities so long as it doesn’t interfere with their fundamentals. Freedom of speech? They don’t care so long as they get fed.
      As you say yourself, we already are a “military state” because a huge portion of the population is always in schools, prisons, welfare, gov jobs, or the actual military.
      By default we already spend most of our lives as a member of the army of society managed by the state. I am just imagining a system that formalizes that in the most constructive way I can think of. It’s the inevitable trend I see worldwide and the US’ denial of reality is bringing it towards the brink.
      Yes, I agree on limiting female employment, an obvious necessity for positive fertility and for the job market to be a good proxy for controlling male sexual status.
      I am going further into this in the next post, but obviously the kind of state I’m describing controls the banks directly. It doesn’t let them fool around.

  3. ia May 20, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    How would you deal with a situation where a prime victim group takes over a mass transit system in a large metropolitan area? They are race nepotists. They have destroyed the subway system so badly that the Eloi are unable to get to their jobs in order pay taxes that subsidize the criminal behavior of the prime victim group.

  4. stonerwithaboner May 22, 2017 at 5:39 am

    “Why not train twice as many electricians, plumbers, developers, and garbagemen as we actually need and give them half the time off?”

    During the 2008 “financial crisis” one thing that could’ve helped was shortening a work week to 30 hrs or so and then bringing in recent college grads. Of course business is not set up this way, it is all about “profits.” Worker productivity has generally increased in the past 30 years while wages have not kept up. Most businesses would rather “cut the fat” and afterwords “run lean” rather than bring in more employees.

    • Giovanni Dannato May 22, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Engineering the society so people have to bow and scrape to survive I’m sure is all part of the plan. What’s the point of being on top if the peons below you have decent lives?

  5. stonerwithaboner May 22, 2017 at 5:41 am

    Just a general observation, it seems like the “libertarian tough guys” who inhabit MGTOW spaces seem to be making the mistake that feminist’s before them made-“career is all important.” Why the fuck are they so invested in something that can easily be taken away????

    • Giovanni Dannato May 22, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      “Tough guys” are generally working class. Work defines their social role. Most people are programmed by what others are doing and since the industrial revolution, being able to have friends, get mates, have food and shelter is completely dependent on having jobs.
      I ask myself the same questions you do. I could care less about working hard to enrich somebody else who looks down on me with contempt.
      Mabye it’s a form of collective Stockholm syndrome?

      • stonerwithaboner May 22, 2017 at 6:32 pm

        My guess is that despite all contrary protestations, they are trying to make themselves “look good to women.” Honestly, why would anyone want to be in a dominance hierarchy.

      • Giovanni Dannato May 23, 2017 at 8:52 pm

        “Career” guys all want to be the balding pointy-haired boss who can have his babies with the slutty secretary while shitting on his underlings. But some guys realize there are very limited slots for that route to success that mostly go to cunning psychopaths. There’s a lot more opportunity than becoming a successful rap artist, actor, or pro athlete so they still pursue it. But that’s like 1% chance of success versus .001%. It’s a lot more, but…. MGTOWS, on the other hand, realize women like outlaws and wild men. But you have to be cool, which most MGTOW guys know they aren’t. That’s where red pill philosophy comes in.

      • ia May 23, 2017 at 12:52 am

        “Honestly, why would anyone want to be in a dominance hierarchy.”

        The idea is, and I may be wrong, that you cannot escape a dominance hierarchy. Women are hardwired to desire alpha males and men are hardwired to impregnate beautiful women. The only thing that changes is the culture. If you live in a victim culture you capture status by either claiming greatest victim role or you status-signal caring and tolerance. In a normal sane world nobody wants to be a victim or loser. You want to win and crush your enemies and competitors which of course happens anyway. They just use weasel words. LOL.

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