Critics of ideas such as basic income see the very idea of it as a far-fetched fantasy, or at best a depraved scheme of “big government.”
In reality though we are already a long way down the path to becoming a post-labor-scarcity economy. Between schools, prisons, universities, social security/medicare/medicaid, disability money, the military, welfare and foodstamps, subsidized employment for people on welfare, and actual government workers, a substantial portion of the population already spend most of their lives as post-scarcity wards of the state kept out of a shrinking, over-saturated private sphere.
The trouble is delusions of “free-market” primacy and blank slate superstition prevent any constructive conversations about reality from taking place. The result is a choking algal bloom of strange dysfunction.
In the effort to keep up appearances only the squeaky wheels get the grease. So we end up with a perverse situation where the lumpenproles, single women, and low IQ ethnic minorities get never-ending generous help. This help comes at the expense of responsible people who are still trying to cooperate with society.
Smarmy talking heads have orgasms gloating about how “average is over” as the schlubs who keep the lights on and the trains running on time get steadily cut out of the game.
The funny thing is, for all their evangelism for a hyper-competitive, rootless technocracy, they never seem to have the slightest suggestion what is to be done about the average people who have no place in their shining ideal future.
Their shallow talk is just social signalling behavior tailored to associate themselves with the above average Elect. They don’t really care what happens to the rest of the “useless eaters” because once you let yourself think about it the problem becomes pretty obvious.
If you have no plan or intention to give people a role in society with no stopgaps to gradually phase them out, you pretty much have to starve or shoot them all sooner or later. The “average is over” geniuses seem to think everything will always go smoothly since the recycled aps and websites they make have been doing well for the last decade or so.
The way out of this dilemma, besides the ruthless culling of hundreds of millions is to accept the reality of where things are headed and try to deal with it constructively.
Ironically, many of the same SWPLs who barely flinch at the idea of exterminating everyone below the upper middle classes quail and shriek at the very thought that people are objectively unequal in just about every way.
To them, their fake piety is sufficient penance to handwave away any ill that may befall others.
It’s not until we confront the problem and get our hands dirty to divide people up decisively into categories that a realistic post-scarcity society can even be spoken of. Resources have to go to where they will do good in the long run, not just where the most urgent momentary flare-ups are. A ruling order that must play a more distributionist role has to discriminate.
Through one of history’s great social experiments, that lasted more than half a century, we’ve proven beyond any possible doubt that the hapless underclasses in ghettoes and trailer parks will never rise above their base misery.
We’ve proven the proles will never have the wherewithal think far beyond lotto tickets, smokes, and pickup trucks they can’t afford. When they get money beyond subsistence, it goes into jetskis that get used twice a year, junk that mostly sits in the garage, and trips to disney world.
We’ve proven that women dislike work that doesn’t have some kind of element of attachment to people and nurture no matter how much money and encouragement they’re given.
We’ve proven the middle classes will always fall for the next credential-boosting scam spending their life savings hoping to raise their kids up another little notch and tie their windsor knots that much tighter before meetings with the pointy-haired boss.
We’ve proven the values of the skilled upper middle class and upper managers are totally unfit to rule a society. They have decent intelligence but little heart or imagination. Under pressure they wildly swing between teary-eyed sentimentality and account-book callousness in the worst possible way, just like the French revolutionaries.
The Great Social Experiment has accomplished great good in the long term perhaps if it has shown our descendants for all time that all the wealth, power, and creativity in the world disappears as if down a black hole if it is not invested in people who produce and preserve wealth.
The goal is no longer an “even playing field.” We have to figure out who to give a head start based on their odds. Like a good casino owner, we want to keep our regulars and our high-rollers coming back rather than screwing them over, or even kneecapping them out of envy for their superior abilities.
In the supreme irony that marks for us the justice of inequality, if the house takes good care of its best, there’s enough left over for the rest to at the very least stay alive.