The Price of Universal Basic Income
Universal basic income (UBI) is the idea that everyone should be provided a baseline salary for food, education, and shelter. I don’t think I need to get philosophical to explain why this is a dangerous idea. There is no such thing as something for nothing. This is a law of nature that can never be violated.
There is a reason why some politicians and tech moguls like Mark Zuckerberg are in favor of it however. The ruling class wants a UBI because they see a gap forming between our rapidly growing technology and the education level of the masses. This observation is correct!
Future societies will not be ruled by warlords, politicians, or bankers like they have been in the past. Society will be ruled by a technical elite. How do I know? Well… if you look around you, you will notice that technology is slowly taking over our infrastructure. As the years progress, software will run our water treatments, sewage system, communication grids, power plants, our bridges, even work such as farming will be done entirely through software and robotics.
A clever person may realize that all this technology will result in work that deals with maintaining and improving this complex infrastructure. This implies that a majority of the employment available in the future will be technical work. However, as machines get smarter, the engineering labor required to maintain them will also be less. The small amount of work that do remain however will be highly technical.
Since machines never get tired, and are exponentially more efficient than humans, we will have an abundance of goods despite the largely unemployed population. This excess of material wealth will then be distributed amongst the population, hence a universal basic income.
Now if you recall the beginning of this article, I mentioned that there is no such thing as something for nothing. What then is the price of this seemingly gratuitous wealth? One word answer- Control! The small elite that do know how to maintain and enhance technology will also control the population. Now is this good or bad? That’s where this article ends and your own thinking begins!
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