Americans are discussing the possibility of a universal basic income (UBI) more seriously than ever before, largely due to the surprisingly popular campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Yang has made UBI the central issue of his platform, promising a “Freedom Dividend” paid for by a Value Added Tax on businesses which would give every American over the age of 18 an unconditional $1,000 a month to help offset the looming crisis of automation replacing US jobs.

“In the next 12 years, 1 out of 3 American workers are at risk of losing their jobs to new technologies—and unlike with previous waves of automation, this time new jobs will not appear quickly enough in large enough numbers to make up for it,” Yang’s campaign site argues. “To avoid an unprecedented crisis, we’re going to have to find a new solution, unlike anything we’ve done before. It all begins with the Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income for all American adults, no strings attached – a foundation on which a stable, prosperous, and just society can be built.”

Yang is absolutely correct that automation is going to be replacing the jobs of many people in the very near future, and he is absolutely correct that new solutions unlike anything ever tried before are going to be necessary to help address this problem. But his plan, and indeed all the most publicized plans which involve the implementation of a universal basic income, will necessarily lead to an oppressive oligarchic dystopia unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

Do you know who supports the implementation of a UBI besides Andrew Yang? Billionaires. Lots of billionaires, especially the new money tech billionaires who are positioning themselves to inherit the earth in the transition to a new paradigm dominated by automation and artificial intelligence. Billionaires like Jeff BezosPierre OmidyarMark Zuckerberg, Jack DorseyElon Musk, Richard BransonBill Gross, Tim Draper, and more moderately Bill Gates have all been seen advocating for a policy that is now being popularized as one which would level the economic playing field and take power away from the billionaire class.

Now why would that be? Why would a group of people who’ve clawed their way up to positions of immense wealth control, enabling them to live as modern-day kings, be so eager to suddenly give away that power? Why would they break with the trend we’ve consistently observed in rulers since the dawn of recorded history and voluntarily relinquish the power they fought to claim without a fight? Are billionaires just naturally good people inherently predisposed to compassionate action and wealth redistribution? Have we been wrong about Jeff Bezos being a real-life supervillain this entire time?

Of course not. This increasingly powerful class of new money tech plutocrats are not pushing to give power away, they’re pushing to secure more. As Jimmy Stewart’s character says in It’s A Wonderful Life, Potter isn’t selling, Potter’s buying.

I am not arguing against the general principle of universal basic income here. If humanity is to learn to collaborate in a healthy way with the ecosystem in which we evolved, a lot more of us are going to have to start doing a lot less. We’re going to have to stop using up energy driving to jobs the world doesn’t need to produce crap you have to propagandize people into believing they want so they’ll spend money on it and then throw it in the landfill. That’s obviously an insane way for an increasingly technologically advanced species to continue to function, and one way or another we are going to have to start doing a lot more nothing quite soon.

But imagine what will happen with a system of the kind Yang and the tech billionaires are proposing. Imagine what will happen in a society where people are no longer necessary and have nothing the powerful need. Imagine what will happen when people become dependent on a subsistence UBI set up by the already plutocrat-controlled government to sustain them when plutocrat-owned technologies render their labor completely moot. Imagine a world where a few increasingly consolidated automation firms produce more and more of the goods and services once provided by human labor and re-collect all taxes they have to pay into the UBI from a public forced by their subsistence wages to buy automation-made products and services.

That would be total oligarchic control. Not what we’re seeing now; what we’re seeing now is not total oligarchic control. Our current predicament pales in comparison to how bad it could get.

Think about what would happen in that situation if people decided they weren’t being treated fairly by the existing system. What recourse would they have? They can’t organize labor strikes if they have no labor. They can’t boycott if everything is made by the same corrupt system. Mass demonstrations and civil disobedience would go unnoticed by a power structure that needs nothing from its populace. Violent revolution would be an unwinnable game as security systems protecting the infrastructure of the powerful would also become automated. People would cease to be active participants in their society, and would instead be merely along for the ride at the whims of the oligarchs, for as long as the oligarchs deemed them not too inconvenient to keep around.

Because our last bargaining chips would have been taken away from us.

Think about how such a paradigm would dance with the current populist movements we’re seeing in the world today as people grow upset with their already oppressive living conditions. The left will be neutered far more definitively than it has been by anything that government agencies have ever been able to engineer; the workers can’t unite if there are no workers. Yellow Vests-type demonstrations would have no effect on a power structure that doesn’t require law and order outside its automation complexes. Attempts to vote the problem away will be laughed off by a political system that is even more oligarch-controlled than it already is.

Now imagine how that would dance if you add in the sort of narrative domination that advanced artificial intelligence programs would allow, as Julian Assange warned shortly before his silencing. We are already seeing such programs being developed by shady government agencies, along with increasingly Orwellian high tech surveillance systems.

That’s what the billionaires are going for. That’s what Potter’s buying.

The rich and powerful have always feared two things: death and the public. Because both of those things can take away everything they’ve stolen. Our current rulers, the billionaire class, are currently working on unlocking the secret of immortality in a number of creepy ways, and they’re working on addressing the problem of the public in the way I just described. Someday Jeff Bezos and his ilk hope to become the first rulers in history who get to rule without the threat of losing it all to death or to revolution.

The solution, obviously, is to stop this before it happens, because if it’s allowed to happen it will be far too late to do anything about it. People are going to have to wake up out of the propaganda matrix and take power away from the billionaire class, and that must necessarily include taking control of automation technologies. Artificial intelligence and automation are far too consequential for their future to be determined by a few billionaires who are only billionaires because they can think like a machine better than other people can. Humanity’s future must be guided by the collective wisdom of all human beings in the service of humankind, not by binary-minded tech wizards in the service of corporate profit margins.

A universal basic income could work under a very different system, but the one thing all the most popular UBI/automation models being promoted by the billionaire class and by Andrew Yang have in common is that none of them seek to fundamentally change the system which enables plutocrats to shore up more and more power and control for themselves. They all seek to maintain the status quo and plunge it further into oligarch-dominated dystopia. This should be rejected.

This article originally said Yang’s plan is to give $1,000 to every American between 18 and 64, but that’s an older plan of his. Yang’s “Freedom Dividend” would be for every American over 18.

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105 responses to “Universal Basic Income + Automation + Plutocracy = Dystopia”

  1. I’d argue, but there are already papers on this by people more knowledgeable than I am.


    Ewan McGaughey and Centre for Business Research

    Working Papers from Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge

    Will the internet, robotics and artificial intelligence mean a ‘jobless future’? A recent narrative, endorsed byprominent tech-billionaires, says we face mass unemployment, and we need a basic income. In contrast, this articleshows why the law can achieve full employment with fair incomes, and holidays with pay. Universal human rights,including the right to ‘share in scientific advancement and its benefits’, set the proper guiding principles. Threedistinct views of the causes of unemployment are that it is a ‘natural’ phenomenon, that technology may propel it, orthat it is social and legal choice: to let capital owners restrict investment in jobs. Only the third view has any credibleevidence to support it. Technology may create redundancies, but unemployment is an entirely social phenomenon.After World War Two, 42% of UK jobs were redundant but social policy maintained full employment, and it can bedone again. This said, transition to new technology, when markets are left alone, can be exceedingly slow: astaggering 88% of American horses lost their jobs after the Model T Ford, but only over 45 years. Taking lessonsfrom history, it is clear that unemployment is driven by inequality of wealth and of votes in the economy. To upholdhuman rights, governments should reprogramme the law, for full employment, fair incomes and reduced workingtime, on a living planet. Robot owners will not automate your job away, if we defend economic democracy.


  2. Roseanna Theresa Garibaldi Avatar
    Roseanna Theresa Garibaldi

    Excellent review and points to think about because you know people are only thinking of the money. I’ve not been able to put this into words but you sure have and I thank you for that. We all can learn from one another and help educate people.

  3. This is an ouroboros that will cure itself real quickly. These autonomous AI robots are already running 80% of the global markets and the other 20% are too primitive to have computer access… All Humans, especially the Homo Stupidiens running the show since 1949 or thereabouts, are not genetically competent to even begin to understand. We all, even Elon MuskFelon who claims to understand but keeps on bringing it on anyway, suffer what I call Road-Kill Reflex. It’s like we’re all Australian surfers who lineup every day with their boards waiting for the perfect 50′ curl… Then one day they see this perfect wave and they all jump in, paddling like crazy, to become bodhisatva… but they can’t see what they don’t have in their DNA memory, the 20,000′ tsunami coming in right behind, that in the next nanosecond will exterminate each and every one while they’re transfixed by the headlights…

    There aren’t going to be Any Jobs that help humans, and humans aren’t smart enough to do anything to help the Borg. Are we really concerned about the out of work worker ants as we wipe out civilizations in our daily stroll thru the garden? Raise your hand if you think they’ll have compassion, rather than wipe us out immediately just to get rid of the constant useless, whining, weeping, and gnashing of teeth, jamming their aural synthesizers…

    But here’s the real whacko thing about all this shit… It’s gonna be Capitalism that’ll put a stop to it, hopefully before we get 5G roasted, which sardonically shows, the .0001% are charging trillions to Our accounts to build a Homo-cidal network while they’re planning to put billions forthwith on a basic minimum pittance, who will, in very short order, be the only Customers for whatever Human goods they’ll be cranking out to boost the Borg Domestic Product, and with less than $1000 a month, the only things We the Customers will be buying is food and maybe a few scraps to put together a hovel to try and weather the quickly coming, long predicted Ice Age, and fer sure it ain’t gonna go towards faster 4k movie downloads from netflix or even pornhub…

    So… It’s totally up to us to evolve, and pay everyone on Earth 150,000 Quatloos a year and we’ll decide if we want to spend it on regenerating Earth (which will be millennia if ever) or on the comeuppance of the Borg. Either way, the .0001% Homo Stupidiens are gone, morally, mentally, and financially, insolvent, and Good Riddance…

    1. I don’t understand the title of this article. ANYTHING + Plutocracy = Dystopia. Medicare for all + Plutocracy = Dystopia. Etcetera. Why pick on UBI?

      1. Well said.
        She acts like this solution being ignored would stop automation from destroying the job markets

  4. The reason UBI works is simple psychology.. Maslow spend decades studying the stages of personal development and it is absolutely clear that there is a hierarchy of psychological development, and if a stage is not being , the personal can not progress to the next stage of development. The first is basic physiological needs. If physiological needs are not being met, that is all the personal can focus on. They perceive everything through the lense of needing to survive. A homeless person who doesn’t have food isn’t thinking about getting an education or a job because they are lazy, they are psychologically stuck in the physiological state of perception. The next stage is the need to feel safe. If people have their physiological needs met, but live in a war torn area or a ghetto filled with violence. they will perceive everything as a threat and respond to life unproductive and fearful. One thing that the UBI does do, is provide a means for the basic needs to be fulfilled. $1000 month can rent a modest room in most cities, and help provide money for food. This allows people to move up in the natural stages of development and become more productive in society. However, this does not help them move up the pyramid from there. So there needs to be more than just UBI. Education must be fixed to people find themselve, find their passions, find what they are good at and allow the training to explore careers so they can find where they feel they will purpose in the world, this will fulfill the belonging and esteem needs, but to reach self actualization required even more. It requires TIME. Time to explore life, travel, meditate, enjoy hobbies, volunteer work, learn a language, further their education etc. So for decades, I have been predicting the same thing Yang has about automation and job loss, and the solution is two fold. 1. Job Sharing 2. Universal Basic Salary (for those who work). In other words, if you currently have a job making $50k a year, you could still do that job ad make $50k a year, but you would only do it 6 months out of the year, because another person would share that same job with you as a partner, collaborator. We can Alternate bi weekly, monthly, quarter or how ever the company wants to design the schedule. We need to stop thinking so short sighted and materialistically and realize that everything is a product of our psychological state. If we want a better world, more efficient society, this is the way.

    1. I’m pretty sure your employers pays you 50K a year for a years work, not six months. If you just work six months out of the year, you won’t qualify for insurance or retirement plans if that even exists any more.
      How well can you live on just 25K a year?

  5. Sara R Booth – Those are big plans,are you proposing to get rid of the goverment or sort of?

    Good to see another vegan in the crowd… Are you related to John Wilkes?

    All The World’s A Contract Obligation or a Breach Thereof…

    The following are absolute Performance requirements of the US constitution:
    As should be easily apparent, this (and any similar) document always was Void Ab Initio thus no Authority To Act was ever passed to any ensuing fake-government, including empires,
    proxies, federal reserves, ad hoc corporations, regimes, lynch mobs, nor random groups, and no sovereign or group thereof has Authority to harm another Sovereign Being and there can never exist Immunity from consequence for doing so whether the perpetrator is just an employee/soldier following Orders (Nuremberg), or a Stockholder, or a purveyor of harmful products, like a doctor selling vaccines… and injecting them.

    1. We [Each & Every one of] the [Individually Absolute Sovereign] People of the United States,
    == The only people to ever sign this proposed contract were solely representatives of the .0001% of the day. No: Native Originals, Slaves, Women, Illiterates, Poor, Labor Class, Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans…all properly classed as Sovereign People of the US, aka the 99.9999%, gave their informed consent then and
    we still haven’t now! We of all people should see every avenue to “Redress Our Grievances” has been
    effectively blocked, but even if it wasn’t, we could spew grievances till the crows fly South for the Winter;
    the Agencies that caused the grievances are absolutely immune from any public consequence, even if they’re causing global extermination. Take the military audit that found $35,000,000,000,000 of our taxes gone and we just have to accept no one will ever be held to account or made to give it back, no matter the global atrocities it’s surely caused, or will cause… Or the 3 Tactical Nukes set off in NYC that are scientifically known to have caused the 911 events (thermite isn’t hot enuff to vaporize…) Or Presidential Papers locked away for 50 years and even then incriminating evidence remains classified (redacted)… WTF! That’s like the Wholly Unholy Roman Empire withholding the BVM’s Prophecy, that’s probably an expose’ of the Unholy Organ’s pedocidal tendencies…

    2. in Order to form a more perfect Union,

    == More than 30 states have filed secession petitions with the “We the People” program
    on the White House website.

    3. establish Justice,

    == This is a pathetic joke for the 99.9999%. I recently had occasion to file a pro se suit in the 15th
    Circuit Court in Palm Beach County that charged a judge and a battalion of lawyers and clerks with
    every felony count in the Domestic Terrorism section of the Patriot Act. After about a years wait,
    I finally came before a judge on the matter and I immediately realized she hadn’t read my pleadings.
    In my ensuing fury, I made her confess twice, she wasn’t “allowed” to read them. She gave me a very
    favorable ruling on the underlying case and protection against further harm for the duration. The
    response to the airtight case I sent to the Justice Dept for prosecution and inevitable lifetimes at
    Guantanamo for all the Scofflawyer Terrorists, and of course, adding the 15th Curcuit to the known
    Terrorist Watch List, was expected but nonetheless, bizarre: I was told flat out no one in the Fed
    would ever see, let alone prosecute… and don’t Ever send anything in the future, it’ll be treated the same.

    4. insure domestic Tranquility,
    == Yeah-Sure…

    5. provide for the common defence,

    == I can’t see Evil Empire Destroying the World authorized here.

    6. promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and
    our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of

    == If We don’t get our shit together, we soon will have neither a posterior nor posterity.

    Here’s the Catch 22 I mentioned from Section 10:

    No State shall pass any Law impairing the Obligations of Contracts. (the capitalization is original)

    The legal effect of this is to raise the specific performance of the aforementioned contract terms
    above the purported government itself. Please note this applies to any contract…

    I submit it’s impossible to foment a revolution against an entity that legally doesn’t exist.

    What We’d be doing instead is initiating a Groundswell Evolution simply holding a Truth Festival
    with the expectation we can attract enuff people to turn off the .0001% Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest
    convention and learn the base necessity to our survival and then they’ll become the leavening agents
    to bring on the great awakening.

    I’ve seen-felt this happen before and it’s astounding to live thru. In Jan 1970 in Viet Nam, the cognitive
    dissonance of the horrible atrocities We’d been inflicting on the very innocent Southeast Asian People
    had us in a frenzy to find some, any alternative to the Pavlovian Narrative jammed down our throats our
    whole lives… Suddenly one day this wave of invigorating energy passed through the whole country and
    everyone knew it was all bullshit and We were merely a Profit Center for the Evil Empire. We Evolved, We
    stopped most of the war ourselves, and we Governed Ourselves Accordingly until we were rotated out…

    Our evolutionary goal today is also Self Governance – it’s the only feasible option for a Sovereign population. An extremely succesful instance was recorded after “the Flood” and on the way to Babel, when the Shemites lived harmoniously in a self governing collaborative society, where anything they together imagined could be accomplished…

    Here’s the kicker that Caitlin’s mentioned frequently and I’ve been babeling about since the 70s, unless
    you’re a victim of the Evil Empire or some equally shitty regime, 99.9999% of our lives are lived in that
    state naturally and we need to be Narrated into mental and spiritual coma before we can be led into
    Dystopian Hell, albeit kicking and screaming…

    This is our last gasp folks, So… GOVERN YOURSELVES ACCORDINGLY!!!

  6. “Humanity’s future must be guided by the collective wisdom of all human beings in the service of humankind, not by binary-minded tech wizards in the service of corporate profit margins.”
    Caitlin, in my opinion the closest thing to this, being in the same time doable right now, is direct democracy. We should push for that, and yes it is doable within the current framework of representative democracy which we have in quite a lot of countries. The idea is very simple – get candidates for representatives/mp or whatever you call it which vow to vote in the parliament in complete sync with digitally organized referendums on at least all important topics. It is easy to create a digital platform for voting and the representatives need to be elected according to the existing law, so really this is within reach.


  7. You have readers who are ‘super trusting’ of billionaires. Maybe they haven’t been reading your articles. Billionaires have been trying to get rid of the unwashed masses for, sh!t, a long time. Eugenics, “Dark Africa”, population control/reduction scams. Their bubble economy(ies) never recovered from quadrillions in market betting, they just bought some time in ’08. They’ve been pushing a ‘new economy’ ever since, though the concept has been around for ages. You know what I’m talking about-‘existential threat’ (why upset your readers), but, ‘accept our change or die’ is their CNN, NYT, 2020 campaign, Al Gore, Club of Rome (500 million is their goal) story. These people have been buying, ‘protecting’ & hoarding massive amounts of land, waters-“can’t fish here, locals, it’s protected”, resources, technology, property, art, weapons, etc, etc, for years, and someday, they’ll just pull all their stuff back out because there won’t be so many ‘users’ of ‘their’ resources. They won’t need many people after they get the kinks out of AI & robots and install them where needed. They’ll know (and hate the idea) that people (esp ‘certain’ people) will have many more children just to increase their income to a survival level (no one thinks they can survive on a thousand or two-APT RENT alone, + everything else? and why would anyone want to lock in to that anyway?) and that goes against their whole goal-to get rid of many of us. Your readers may still be hoping some jobs will plentiful, but why would they think that? Or that they can start a business and compete with all the other people who start businesses just to make ends meet. They themselves may have land for growing supplemental food, so they’re lucky-many, most people don’t or live in places where the growing season is short. Billionaires will NOT want to carry a bunch of deadbeats, when the whole point of AI & robots is to replace them. They already whine about raising the age on Social Security and about welfare queens now. Anyone think they’ll love it when aimless, unemployed bands of young men are hanging out near their well manicured compounds? It all sounds kind of Soylent Green to me. Most candidates for prez are not free agents. They would NEVER be elected if they had no ties to donors. Some may be evil, some may believe their donors, but if they ever won and did what they promised, there’d be no ghettos, no poverty, the infrastructure would all be fixed, healthcare-no problem… I can’t even list all the things they don’t do. What do they do? Nothing. You think they’ll pay millions of people a $1000 a month for long? I’m amazed.
    Trust your masters (who feed you, clothe you, house you, for now) at your own peril. They will decide if you get a check, or if assisted suicide is right for you cuz of that new illness you got.

  8. It’s not a simple issue…
    Other steps need to be taken first, in order to make any attempt at a UBI realistic. I think one of the things we need most is higher education for all those who want it, and to as advanced a level as they can reasonably master. I ended up taking differential equations three times, when I was in College, because I thought it would be essential to excellence in Physics, and yet I feel like my learning of the essentials was cut short long before I was ready to stop, because of expenses.
    As it turns out; I actually got to discuss this question on two occasions with Tech billionaire Leo KoGuan, and in his view free education for all for life is the cornerstone, and the only realistic way one can actually implement a UBI. He explained that more educated people tend to be more creative and productive, so there is a greater human resource to work with. Plus the individual becomes more valuable to society over time.
    Failing this; it is very difficult to go on to universal health care or a universal minimum income. He thought that a big problem there is that the Law does not always encourage right action, but instead guides people toward avoiding guilt and blame. Apparently this is even worse in China because blame is assessed by percentage to all involved. So unless Education is put first UBI falls apart.
    And quite definitely; a lot of the proposals on the table for a UBI would be unsustainable, and the collapse of the attempt would simply consolidate more power in the hands of the oligarchs. Talking with Leo convinced me, however, that not all the Tech billionaires are looking for the oligarchy to win total power, because even they would be hemmed in. Instead; many in that club would rather see a free society prosper, because it unties their hands too.

  9. So,your solution is to take back the power by what?By forcing people to give their lives away working for factories and businesses serving them 80 hours a week,no let them have a decent life,just to do a work a machine can do and even better? You say it right, billionaires succeed by being better at “thinking” like robots than the rest of us.But what about the rest of the people? they are living miserable lives yet becoming (not thinking) and acting like robots for a smearing just a nose above the water living.
    What if you rethink FD as a way for people to have a secure income that could leave them room to really figure out the best way they could contribute to the world and the society. An income that will secure a decent housing and food on the table so they are not a paycheck away from homelessness..
    A freedom for them to try to accommodate to the new reality that “would come”,but paradoxically it is already here and we are seeing its effects already.Ultimately,why not rethink the world,where machines works inhuman labors that today(sorry to say it,I know it sounds really ugly,but it is like it is) only immigrants and disadvantage people have to do otherwise they die,and humans can keep busy at being,well …humans?

    1. EXACTLY. The ONLY problem w/ Yang’s FD is that it isn’t high ENOUGH. Double it, and it will END POVERTY; we’ll no longer have to pay bureaucrats to keep the poor jumping through hoops to prove their worthiness of being maintained at the poverty level by our pathetic “social safety net”; and everyone will be comfy AND have spare time and resources with which to re-start their own local economies, regardless of how badly “The Job Creators” fail at THEIR job.

      1. I am sitting here Now, with my head-phones on trying to listen to the words this Woman is speaking to me in this song, with Her beautiful voice, I only have ten % of my left ear left, so I can hear the bass, yet I really have to struggle to make out the Words, I would like to understand what this beautiful Voice is saying, thank you for this comment space. I just wish I had my ears to hear with, War, and all that crap, took them from me, with no re-compensation. So, here I sit trying my best to listen to the Music that people are playing for me to Listen to. Thank You all for doing that wonderful Music…..

  10. UBI + Automation – Plutocracy does not necessarily equal Dystopia.

    The problem we face is Plutocracy (overconcentration of wealth and power in the hands of a small minority) and we’ve always faced it since we began being food producers instead of hunter-gatherers. Well, we’re not going back to that, not voluntarily at least.

    UBI (or the broadening of other social safety nets that already exist) is necessitated by automation (and also by outsourcing to fellow humans in less resource-hungry/wasteful economies)…Automation implies UBI, OR ever-increasing economic desirements that require increasing labor at a rate the same or faster than automation, OR a genetic re-engineering/cultural epigenetic evolution of the human psyche such that we no longer resent others not working while still receiving a livelihood from the fruits of others’ labor.

    Meanwhile, we are already exceeding the earth’s carrying capacity with our current set of techs (nonrenewable energy and resource-based) and rates of consumption are increasing.
    OK, the earth resource problem’s not the subject here, and so back to…

    Plutocracy…How do we make and enforce effective rules to eliminate that?? Is it time for another French Revolution or Communist Revolution? Then what. and how long will that hold? Lessons of history on that sort of thing?

    And there’s also a basic human nature-related problem with UBI…our instinctive resentment of those who receive a livelihood without working, an instinct we share with our fellow primates…What to do about that? Genetic engineering or cultural?

    Note: Arguing about -isms (cap/soc) gets us nowhere but into deeper divisions. Let’s deal with problems without using -ism labels.

  11. A tax on businesses will pay everyone equally not to work. In other words, the businesses will be controlled by the government, as will the people. It’s too bad that so many people don’t understand how a true free market is supposed to work. We are under the illusion that slavery ended, but it has simply enveloped more people in its grasp.

    1. Re: this book; The Experience, A Celebration of Being, by Sirio Esteve, @ Random House 1974. On “Slavery” Page 11

  12. Sheila chamberss Avatar
    Sheila chamberss

    Just because you give more people more $$$ doesn’t mean there will be RESOURCES to meet that larger demand!
    Giving more people more $$$ means that prices for commodities will rise, the population will grow faster, resources will be depleted faster, pollution will grow faster & we will COLLAPSE SOONER & FASTER.

    What is NEEDED is to STOP GROWING! Especially POPULATION GROWTH, we are terribly overpopulated & our numbers must & will fall.

    1. I love your argument and your replaying style to every point rose in the article, if you are in the Yang gang try to share this article with the mature “yangangters” so they can inform phone people to be aware of these oppositional ideas and be ready for refutation.

      1. I have no idea what a “yangangters” is & neither did “DuckDuckgo” know.
        Do YOU know what that is?
        Please enlighten me.

    2. I agree with some of this. Stop all aid for everything. We are upsetting the natural order of things. In nature failure is important. Let people fail, let them learn on their own. No welfare, no UBi, no foreign aid, nothing. Free education and healthcare. The rest is up to the individual to become successful.

      1. Even Neaderthals took care of their injured & weak, are we not just as compassionate as they were?
        Dog eat dog will be apon us soon enough, while we cannot be the worlds welfare office & i’m in favor of removing illegal immigrants no matter where they came from, we can’t just ignore the needs of those here who are sick, injured, homeless, jobless or old.

        Every society needs people with KNOWLEDGE of how to function & support their society & that means they need a good EDUCATION.

        We have FAILED in this or we wouldn’t have so many people that actually BELIEVE in “devils” “angels” invisible people in the sky or a flat earth!

        Others were brought up to believe that might/power is all that matters & the sick, weak, disabled etc can just swim or sink, that may work for sharks but not for a people who consider themselves “civilized”.

        That doesn’t mean we willingly support those who are mere leeches, who could support themselves but choose not too, let them freeze in the dark, they might change their minds.

        But when their are people who are willing & able to work but there are no jobs for them, we either need to train them for the jobs that are available or support them by taxing those who profit from the excessive wealth generated by their machines, slave foreign labor or ‘bots.
        But just giving people money without expecting them to be responsible for themselves is also stupid, we must encourage/force them to not have more than 2 children, have more & you pay more taxes or don’t get more $ support.

        No matter how rich the rich are, there are also limits to how much we can tax them so that’s also why population growth must be stopped & reversed!
        Our population must DECLINE!
        The worlds population will soon be forced to decline through the decline in OIL, climate disruption, destruction of our biosphere, disease & resource wars which had been raging for decades!
        We should be compassionate to those who need our help while we can but we cannot take on more poor, needy, unskilled people no matter where they are from or the color of their skin, we are ALL one species, homo sapiens, we all originated in Africa, we are ALL RELATED!

        1. One of the many problems with Capitalism is that it fosters a lack of empathy and compassion toward others, which are vital to good mental health and personal comfort.

    3. Ms. Shiela, hit the nail on the head, You did, If you impose rent control, the greedy land-lords will abandon their property, and let it fall into ruin, thus more of us will be left home-less. Any so-called “Gov’t Program” Is basically a :”License To Steal” as much as one can, before they decide to cancel the Program; meaning that their buds got every penny out of it that they could “Legally” Steal. So, here is my proposal: Get men to give up their Prostrate glands in fear of Cancer, and after that happens; No Babies…..Population Connection/Correction

      1. Sheila Chambers Avatar
        Sheila Chambers

        For low income people, the cost of land & housing is out of reach, we need state/federal subsidized housing. It is uncivilized to have people “living”, pooping & pissing on our streets, digging into trash bins for “food” & begging for $$$. Most are willing to work but there are no jobs for them & too many illegals are taking jobs they have no right to have.
        “Greedy” landlords want the most $$$ they can squeeze out of tenants & thanks to overpopulation, there are 10 would be renters for every “low” cost rental.

        We have hundreds of thousands of homeless people, some even have full time jobs but they cannot afford the cost of housing.
        It would help if we could EVICT & DEPORT those 12 million + illegal immigrants that are now squatting in housing they have no right to have.

        Capitalism allows the rich to exploit the poor, it robs working people of their wealth & gives it to the rich.
        Capitalism must GO. It is a unsustainable, wasteful, unjust system that wastes resources & it cannot “work” without endless GROWTH.
        We cannot just abandon our poor, sick or mentally ill, they need our help but we cannot help a population that keeps on producing MORE poor needy people!
        Their fertility must be curbed through education, birth control, abortion & if necessary, by FORCED sterilization! We can no longer afford to ignore irresponsible overbreeders, we end up paying for their children & resources are LIMITED.
        IF we continue to ignore overpopulation, “nature” will do the dirty work for us through mass starvation, disease & war.
        Is THAT what we really want?
        It would seem to be as our RULERS keep insisting on MORE DAM GROWTH! THAT’S INSANE!

  13. It’s tearing my brain, heart and soul apart every nanosecond the 99.9999% We Sovereign Global Citizens aren’t able to SEE this Global Ouroborus that’s devouring us from the bottom up, courtesy of the Inbred, highly demented, psychosociopathic megalomaniac .0001%. I believe the most effective “simple” solution would be for We to flip the prevailing socio-mental paradigm (pyramid) Upside Down where We 99.9999% ARE (now!) Properly on top, and the .0001% dwindle quickly to 0%. (my pyramid would be almost flat) Once done, the probable solutions become apparent and very doable with our own cunning (look at the brainiacs on Caitlin’s site) and very little financing.

    UBI (UMinI) – Since the .0001% have been enriched thru the millennia by UMaxI proclamated theft, it would be suitable for us to use the same method to establish a non-predatory collaboration society where all citizens would be finally equal. Since money is just make believe and for the most part digital, we could set Income to be paid fee simple to every citizen (probably mostly already id’d by the CIA…) for every hr of every day, 365 days/yr. So, $15/hr = $131,400. Holy Shit! We’d have the first “Free Market” ever and it would get rid of all the waste immediately… No more FL citrus sold in Ca and vice versa, No more nuclear shit or militarism, pharma, Moon or Mars stupidity/welfare. If one of us is attacked, anywhere in the world, it would be an attack on all. Medical, Education, etc would simply be paid out of the same pot and not touch income or savings… I can (and will) go on and on… The Global GNP would be finally measured by Sovereign Peace, Love, and Global Cooperation…

    All the tools are already there… We can run our own Chautauqua events on Zoom, 1000 participants, 10,000 viewers, any or all of which can record the events on their own systems and then load them onto Pirate Bay – Fuck YouTube, Facebook… We would bring our own Non-Profit experts to show us how best to eradicate nuclear weapons and stockpiles, immediately stop plastic production and develop alternates that’ve been around but made unprofitable by govt oligopolies since Henry Ford built his cannabis car in the early 1900’s, decentralize society and at the same time maintain a cohesive structure to assure all sovereignty remains with the sovereign We, …(there’s no such thing as government or corporate sovereignty except in the diseased minds of the .0001%) and who would be most qualified to oversee those Projects. We can actually sway the votes via mass write-ins for our own candidates, and
    our own Presidential Sanctified “Juan Guaido Maneuvers” would be appropriate for any slots owned by the .0001%.

    Our first task will be to firm up these ideas and convert them to universally understandable picture or movie memes and serve them to the World via websites or other methods that’ll have an abundance of Sovereign Secure Membership and Contribution Feedback Loops built in.

    Towards that goal I’ve recently opened up a website ( but I’ve so far found myself woefully inadequate in penetrating the Chaos of (with Divi Website Builder) such that I’ve only published the first meme (purely by luck) and I haven’t any hope of keeping the rigorous production schedule to achieve our very doable goals… Anyone interested in collaborating in any respect would be welcome and appreciated: (

    If you’re looking for inspiration, just think there’s over 7,000,000,000 Sovereigns on our side, aka Customers, vs way less than 100,000 insipid uncompostable shitheads, who without us to buy their worthless shit to pollute our landfills and oceanfills, will not be.

    Oh yeah, I found a gigantic Catch 22 in the US constitution that would render it null & void, thereby returning control to the 99.9999%. Unfortunately, or fortunately, we’ll have to convene our own Court to prosecute…

    This has got to work… We’re 70 years past Peak Life and our precious Earth is The Planet Of The Barely Living Dead… Thom Madden

    1. Those are big plans,are you proposing to get rid of the goverment or sort of?

  14. This is almost science fiction but seems more likely than a utopian Star Trek type world. It seems more like ” “The Expanse” where the vast majority of Americans (and I presume the world) live on some sort of “Basic Income” yet live in horrible conditions. The citizens of the US may be waiting years to find a job or at least get job training. Those that do well work for “Big Tech” or the World Government (UN). They work for the oligarchs of business and government. It isn’t a pretty picture.

    many ghouls, who call themselves Marxist, have done unspeakable evil things, as many who call Christian have done most evil things. they are no Marxist or Christian. Bernie calls himself socialist but he votes for all wall street’s wars and war provisions enthusiastically. he’s no socialist. what was your point again?

  16. If billionaires were really supporting universal basic income, we would have had it a long time ago.

    It is a good idea. In Québec, legendary union leader Michel Chartrand was promoting it around 1997. And he wanted this income adjusted with the cost of living. At that time, employers and politicians were all united against it.

    I think it is too late now. We are in the return of the days of Noah and the Second Coming of Jesus is just around the corner.

    And I pray the Rosary to hasten His Glorious return because I have really seen enough bullshit.

  17. Well, of course plutocrats want to avoid the guillotines. UBI IN THE LONG RUN might devolve into what you fear, but in the short run, ppl would have enough cash not only to survive but to kick-start local economies for necessary goods & services. Though Yang’s Freedom Dividend isn’t good enough. Doubling it would actually be enough to survive on, no matter how badly “The Job Creators” fail at THEIR job.

    1. ‍♀️

      I think it is about fair to start with.Later on,you will see the political campaigns will run on who give more like a bidding site.

      FD,or UBI it’s around the corner one way or another sooner or later.Just like SS exist among us,and many years ago was seen as a hand out or a stealing from goverment.It is up to us to make it happen.If people accommodate to unfair conditions as those today,it will be later but if people day enough is enough you’ll see it sooner.

  18. Good one Caitlin however, “one way or another we are going to have to start doing a lot more nothing quite soon” seems illogical to me.

    First we have to create millions of new jobs to build the green society we MUST have. Secondly we must start living reasonable lives instead of lives based on consumption. For example, I live in a cozy, comfortable 800 sq ft home that is more than big enough. All my electricity comes from a 1000 watt solar system and it is enough. I am not connected to the grid and I have no fossil fuel generator. I spend time growing food in a small garden and reject foods like meat that have a high carbon foot print. At 77 I am healthy. There are many other things Americans could start doing like really being with family and friends, reading truthful books and truthful history. Like working together for a safer, more equitable society, etc. etc. “doing a lot more nothing”, does not have to be part of the future and is not in our best interest.

      Good work, Truther. This is the 3 bed rotation or 5 bed rotation succession-rotation gardening protocol for central Texas, which I worked out and use, climate zone 8A. I’m doing 2 in Austin, one at work, and also one at our new place (retire some day) down in the coastal plains, climate zone 9A.

    2. I admire your life style.Thats what all of us should be aiming for…but then,they call it socialism and that the goverment is patronizing people and telling them what to do.Im vegan and while animal suffering is my main draw to the vegan life style,environmental consequences of our daily desicions,these being,nutritional,reproductive,consuming ,transportation…you name it.At least I’m at peace that I’m not killing an animal to eat,and im not contributing to the environmental destruction in this way.

    3. There will be NO high tech “green” society, ALL those “renewables” are tightly tied to OIL for both the ENERGY & raw materials needed to produce them.

      We cannot “transition” from declining essential RESOURCES to a RESOURCE DEPENDENT TECHNOLOGY!
      The only “green, renewable” future we have will be powered by muscle, wind mills, water wheels, wood & fire, NOT solar panels & wind turbines.

      To be truely prepared for the future, those “renewables” are fine for TEMPORARY support while your educating yourself on how to blacksmith, farm without chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides, how to grow cattle, sheep, horses, goats depending where you live of course.
      Horses need good pasture & some grain if their to work. If all you need is a pony, grazing will do but it can’t do heavy work on just grass, for that you need a OX.
      You will need to learn to make your own tools, card wool, weave cloth, fight off robbers, set traps etc etc. You will have an awful lot to learn, living as we used to live will not be possible as we simply won’t have the resources we used to have, we killed, burned, mined, drilled, cut down & shot them to extinction.
      Forget about having EV’s solar panels, wind turbines, electricity, flying battery powered cars, cities on the oceans, space travel etc, those things are merely dreams, none of that will be possible without fossil resources especially OIL.
      The future, if we even have one, will be hard, brutish & short!

    4. Sheila Chambers Avatar
      Sheila Chambers

      You found some TRUTHFUL HISTORY!!!! Please name those books, all history I have found is written by the “winners” of wars, the losers are silent & it seems everyone twists the story so they look superior to those they defeated like the “red savages” the military here murdered, raped & stole land from.
      Most of us don’t have the option of growing our own food, having a solar powered small home & some don’t even have families.
      For most of my life, I was a renter, we had no food growing options, no solar panels would be allowed on our landlords roof & aside from that, solar panels, batteries & wind turbines wouldn’t even exist without OIL, lot’s & lots of OIL.

      “Renewables” are DEPENDENT upon oil to merely exist & they produce only weak, irratic electricity & none of the essential raw materials we now get from oil or by burning oil in huge earth moving machines to mine for ores including uranium.

      There is nothing that’s “sustainable,” “clean” or “green” that produces electricity, it’s all tied to OIL including hydroelectric. Their huge, cement dams, their massive turbines couldn’t exist without OIL.
      The vast majority of humans will be unable to feed themselves, without oil, mass agriculture will not be possible & organic agriculture while superior to chemical, mechanized farming cannot produce enough to feed 7.7 + BILLION humans, most of us will starve.

  19. 40 years ago Herman Daly proposed a steady-state economy to replace the current growthmania economy. One of the central mechanisms was a Minimum Income for every adult, and a Maximum income of a 100% marginal tax rate (also for everyone) which would kick in at a specified multiple of the Minimum income. Daly proposed 10X. So, if we had a UBI of $30,000 per year, the tax on income of over $300,000 per year would be 100%. Daly also was cocerned about unproductive rent-seeking, so he wanted fewer tax breaks on capital gains and the like.

    Daly’s main concern was how the growth economy was draining resources and polluting the planet and his goal was to rein in economic activity to something more in line with the ability of ecosystems to absorb human wastes and to stretch out depletion of resources. But a bit of inspection will show that Daly’s system would have addressed economic inequality much more effectively than anything else being proposed at tha time. Or our time.

    40 years later what do we find? The biosphere has continuously been stripmined and polluted to the point where Near Term Exctinction is a strong possibility, trending to a probability; inequality has increased to the point of social breakdown; rent-seeking has effectively eaten out the rest of the economby (see Michael Hudson’s books and articles if you want to see how bad it is). Daly’s steady state economy is still whispered about among a few renegade economists and radical environmentalists but the vast majority of “activists” are stuck on a treadmill of calling for “systemic change”, an “end to capitalism”, “fundamental change”, or “taking power from the billionaire class” without giving any specific or coherent plan to get from here to there.

    The big flaw in Andrew Yang’s UBI plan is the same in the Green New Deal, and every one of the “Climate Accords”: they are attempting to reform environmental and social problems from within the matrix of perpetual growth. However, combining Yang’s UBI with the more recent proposals by Sanders and Warren to pry loose money hoarded by the global kleptocracy would be a more promising approach. Even more promising would be to study Daly with the same diligence that the Left devotes to studying Marx, and design a Steady State Economy for the 21st century.

    1. A steady-state economy seems important to me too, but I don’t know much about it yet. Have you looked at the Green Party’s Green New Deal? I’m eager for it to be widely discussed and fleshed out.

      This is an outline of Howie Hawkins’ version:

      I looked at the Green Party’s platform, and found a proposed amendment to the UBI section. I’m struggling to figure out which version is better. There are a few comments at the bottom, and one person thinks the amendment is bad, because the original version is more conducive to a steady-state economy:

      1. The problems with the Green New Deal (and virtually the entire Progressive Left) are 1) they tacitly assume there has to be some sort of perpetual growth, just not in it’s current Neoliberal form; and 2) when it comes to actually replacing Neoliberal Capitalism, essential as that is, they offer no concrete plan on how to get there. For example the Howie Hawkins web site is merely a bunch of bullet points of things that would be very nice to have instead of our current system, but what specific things should we be doing to undermine the current system (the necessary prelude to “system change, not climate change”?

        The essential part of Daly’s steady state is the maximum income, (along with taxes or other economic disincentives to cut resource consumption). Without the maximum income, all the talk of either UBI’s or Green Jobs will be a waste of time since the existing kleptocracy will subvert or co-opt anything we develop along those lines.

        On the positive side, a steady state economy which limits the rate of wealth accumulation (and doesn’t privilege rent-seeking) should make it a lot easier to get the Green New Deal, healthcare reform, and everything else on the progressive agenda, done. The financial rewards to the .01% for thwarting these reforms will be a lot less if all any of them can take home in a year is 10 or 20 times what a regular worker makes (as opposed to 300 to 500 times, as happens today). Sure, we’ll have a huge fight to get the mechanisms of an SSE in place, but the alternative is an endless stream of battles over every facet of the GND, and I see no long-term success in that.

        1. Interesting, thanks.

  20. Yang’s biggest flaw is that he’s burying the lead. Human-centered capitalism is actually the most exciting part of his agenda and it’s exactly what you are saying is required to retool the system away from billionaires. At least I think it is because you don’t go in to specifics about how to do that, but Yang does.

  21. This is a good video on the subject

  22. Can we have a hint on just who ultimately ends up paying for a value added tax “on businesses”? Hint, it’s NOT businesses, nor is it the owners of businesses, nor is it “the rich”. All that does is further inflate the cost of goods and services which everyone (including the poor) purchases in their day to day existence regardless of their income level. I do suspect that we already have enough inflation built into our current economic system and any real leadership would work to stop continuing inflation and perhaps even reverse it, not further increase it. The elimination of all Federal Government base line budgeting would be a good start since that guarantees ever increasing inflation, being nothing less than a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  23. So it’s better for jobs to be replaced by robots but have no UBI?

    1. no, UBI changes nothing. more plebs will be zombies addicted to UBI. is that better for you??

      1. I don’t really understand what you mean by UBI changes nothing. When more jobs are taken by robots, are you saying it’s better to have people unemployed with no income coming in who will die of starvation and/or resort to crime so they can feed themselves?

  24. Your analysis is spot on, Caitlin. Amazon, FB, etc. need to be NATIONALIZED as public services/worker coops. No billionaires needed…

    1. amen. public utilities should be owned by the public for the public.

    2. … because government is ever so efficient in all they do and never ever becomes politically corrupt?

      1. You make a good point for us to think about. Amazon, you know, now uses big plastic bags to deliver things small and large, one use. What then happens to the bag? You know. A billionaire decided this for our society, a billionaire who cares little for our society or for the future. There are big problems with both private sector and government. It is up to us to find a way to long term survival on Earth: this will mean using up much less of her.

    3. Because it’s worked soooo well for usps.
      Why not tell everybody you’re going to take their abortions and guns while you’re at it?

      1. Amazon is destroying the producers making the products they sell. You must know what FB is doing…little Zuck. Yes, we are going to confiscate ALL your guns and seek to make a real society, vs. ever more dog-eat -dog. Death rate will go way down. And, among a certain demographic, the more abortions the better (hint: they are wearing a lot of red, and are loud in inverse proportion to IQ).

  25. I have seen a proposal whereby citizens are given an investment in the U.S.
    See The Institute for the Pursuit of Economic Justice.

    1. robbing your self is not solution.

  26. The plutocrats like the UBI because it helps to minimize the pain of job losses. So what? That does not make it a bad idea.

    Automated machine provision things and services is not a bad thing. It DOES make the private ownership of the machines unsustainable. It DOES make the model where you work or starve unsustainable.

    As usual, AOC has the right take:

  27. This article was trending for an hour on hacker news before disapearing. There was lots of engagement and it was ranked #11 overall when it was apparently removed.

    UBI keeps the neoliberals in power. It’s too late for that. History says “reboot time”.
    Universal job guaranty is different. Neoliberal Globalists hate that threat.

    ​This week, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth announced their partnership with the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) in releasing a draft report of an in depth four-year study on what actually brought down WTC 7.
    ​ ​After conducting comprehensive modeling and studying countless scenarios, the study’s authors, J. Leroy Hulsey, Ph.D., P.E., S.E., UAF, Zhili Quan, Ph.D., Bridge Engineer South Carolina Department of Transportation, and Feng Xiao, Ph.D., Associate Professor Nanjing University of Science and Technology Department of Civil Engineering, concluded the following:
    ​ ​Fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST and private engineering firms that studied the collapse. The secondary conclusion of our study is that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.

    ​Carbyne has a system that hijacks all smartphones and other electronic sensors in any area, or any other related pattern, to create a complete space-time information and movement picture. The system will decide when to call in police, ambulances or military.
    People won’t have to call 911 at all. Isn’t that great? It’s what Jeffrey Epstein and Ehud Barak were financial partners in.
    Your tax dollars at work for the Mossad. Whitney Webb has the story:
    ​ ​As part of the partnership, Carbyne’s President of North American Operations Paul Tatro told Government Technology that the Carbyne platform would combine the data it obtains from smartphones and other Carbyne-connected devices with “what’s available through nearby Cisco-connected road cameras, roadside sensors, smart streetlamps, smart parking meters or other devices.” Tatro further asserted that “Carbyne can also analyze data that’s being collected by Cisco IoT devices … and alert 911 automatically, without any person making a phone call, if there appears to be a worthy problem,” and expressed his view that soon most emergency calls will not be made by human beings but “by smart cars, telematics or other smart city devices.” ​…
    ​ ​In early August, in the wake of the shooting at an El Paso Walmart, President Trump called on big tech companies to collaborate with the Justice Department in the creation of software that “stops mass murders before they start” by detecting potential mass shooters before they can act.

    The Pentagon Wants More Control Over the News. What Could Go Wrong?​ Matt Taibbi

    ​David Stockman predicts what will be the Subprime Mortgage CDOs of the next (big) reset:
    It’s the mother of all bond market bubbles. And it’s not just that speculators have driven the price of almost all sovereign debt way above par. It’s going to come back to par, either when the market corrects or when the bonds are redeemed—and somebody’s got a capital loss of large magnitude sitting right on their balance sheet at the moment.
    ​ ​That’s the crisis because it’s being done on leverage. Of course, there are some cash buyers, but all the smart money and the speculators are buying this low-yielding or negative-yielding debt on repo and collecting the capital gain. Let’s say the price moves 110 to 120 on 95% leverage, and they’re laughing all the way to the bank. This is big-time speculation.
    ​ ​When it reverses, they’re going to unwind these trades and all these elevated, insane prices in the bond market.
    ​ ​That’s what $16 trillion of negative yield means. It equals insanity.
    ​ ​So, the point is it’s going to correct, and when it does, it will correct hard. It will ricochet through the entire financial system.

  29. So then: how many arguing against a UBI are at present in danger of starving, so that the debate isn’t strictly academic? Do you have food? Will you have food tomorrow? You’re fortunate. For others, it’s pretty bad out here. We need help. Means tested programs aren’t making it, while a totalitarian dystopia is already in place & the power of workers to temper their total exploitation is already gutted generally. We’re rapidly losing our individual capabilities to support the capitalist system and I’m guessing the oligarchs know this. This isn’t a bad thing in itself, but we do need to eat. They know this too. Of course it only matters to them inasfar as it impacts them, but it does impact them and the sources of their wealth. Even the colonial slaves were fed. So it really is that basic now: do we get to eat under the heel or don’t we? Is there a better way to assure that we eat? Let’s hear it. Remember, again, that the means tested programs aren’t doing the job.

    1. then get off your ass and work to change the status quo. or live like pigs with full tummy.

  30. Well, Ms. Johnstone, you’re batting about 80 % on this one. Again some really thoughtful comments among the dross. Here is another apt quote: “The real danger of our technological age is not so much that machines will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like machines.” Sydney J. Harris…..Have a nice evening! Morning here in Alaska….

  31. How about the same income for everyone? Equal sharing of the productive capacity of society. No one getting more from the common efforts than anyone else. Inequality of income is the root of many of our problems, and the breeding ground of hubris. Why not cut the root of our problems, rather than just trimming the branches?

    1. The competitive urge that is so beloved by the oligarchs, is actually the bane of intelligent social organization, giving rise to many problems, including war. The willingness to forgo struggling for more and more is the foundation for a sane and sustainable society.

  32. UBI is, at best, addressing the symptom (the unsustainable extreme wealth and power monopoly by the top 1% over the bottom 99%) without addressing the root cause (capitalism in its last stage, financializing everything) and thus changing nothing in the current power structure.

    technology is only a tool, a means (of production) to the end wealth and power). whoever owns the latest technology, including AI, as the most advanced form of capital or property or means of production rules. there is nothing new in this logical continuation toward the completion of wealth and money monopoly.

    the entire members of the society should collectively own the means of production, including AI technology, if we want meaningful change for justice and peace. nothing new.

    1. typo: the end (wealth and power)

      1. ugh, another: wealth and power monopoly

  33. Unfortunately, very few people are ready for the actual truth about this problem! Because it sounds good the politicians in New York City promoted and now have a $15.00 per hour minimum wage. However our society here is rife with people who can not even do basic math or show basic common sense. So ” human jobs are disappearing ” and many businesses are closing down or leaving New York. Many years ago as a young man I was in a machinist apprenticeship when the first ” tape machines were introduced ” and I realized that I was training for a job that would soon be ” non-existent ” so I moved on to something else. The ” owners and the masters ” have this entire planet available to them, cheap labor and automation means more money for them so that is where they will invest their money. ” Human beings are a very dysfunctional species ” and many of our ” political leaders ” promote hate, violence, and discord as they steal as much money as they can get away with. Poor and ignorant people are not needed anymore; so all ways to eliminate them are ” on the minds of the masters and the owners ” who are not known for their ethics, morality, or compassion! An economic collapse is coming; and when it hits the carnage will be massive.

  34. Credit strike. get 5 million people to agree to not pay any bills or invoices. then THREATEN to not pay house car credit cards loans etc. system crashes fuck you.

    all ya need.

    don’t even have to go into the streets.

    demands will be met

  35. Two things are clear:

    1) UBI will be needed and is actually needed already.

    2) Power/wealth is over-concentrated.

    The first can only be obviated by technological devolution…Luddism…not going to happen unless we have earth-resource supply breakdown due to failure in transitioning to renewable energy and sustainable techs for all other economic inputs, a definite possibility (but low probability of total collapse and very low that we wouldn’t recover and eventually be back on the same path again but wiser, hopefully)

    Note: Another path that we may follow for a while, but mostly by default due to tightening resource availability, especially during the transition period now and ahead another generation or two, is economic simplification, reduction of desirements voluntary/involuntary “austerity”/frugality. This, like automation, reduces the need for human labor. The combo of automation and simplification creates even more pressure for UBI?

    I’d bet that UBI together with reduced career/work week lengths would be optimal.

    The second, over-concentration of wealth/power is already upon us and has occurred over and over again throughout human history since we transitioned to food production tech instead of hunting & gathering. Will UBI’d people be even less able to oppose this?

    Will it really be possible to eliminate ALL need for human labor anytime soon/ever?

    Is a fully-UBI’d population a realistic expectation?

    If that point were reached, we would probably also have AI and robots just replacing humanity altogether…becoming self-aware and realizing that ALL humans are an existential threat (the specter of Skynet and the Terminators).

    I think for now, we shouldn’t be so worried about such highly improbable scenarios and should be focusing on how to create and enforce the right set of rules/policies (that’ll mean progressive/capping taxation and anti-monopoly rules) to prevent excessive power concentration, which is an ongoing perennial threat to all of us, including even the 0.01% via their all-too-human tendency to self-destructive hubris.

    So, absolutely Yes to UBI, but also absolutely Yes to reduced power concentration. Those taxes needed to stop excessive power concentration would flow to UBI?

  36. L.O.L. Automation ?????? Really people. I’m 70 years of age and listened to this crap all my life. I saw the introduction of automation machinery and electrical tools cutting down the labor hours required to build homes for one thing. Yet did the hours of work get cut down to reflect that easier and quicker construction times ????? Not on your life, in FACT I witnessed the destruction of the 40 hour week with the introduction of 112 hour work days, working on Sundays and the 14 day fortnight. DUH, where is all that easy time off we were promised ? Where’s all that time sharing we were told was coming ????
    Here’s and excellent example of how automation despite costing billions of dollars that are eventually tax deductable as business expenditures. There’s a iron ore mining company in Western Australia that has for TWENTY YEARS spent billions of dollars trying to introduce DRIVERLESS iron ore trains. Much ado has been crowed about in the MSM about this system, alleging the benefits of it. However, a little deeper investigation reveals there are NO ACTUAL BENEFITS other than the tax deductable side. In fact the costs associated with the introduction of these driverless trains is totally negated by the INCREASED costs of maintenance required of the engines/wheels/track being abused by the heavy handed operation of the system. Last year it was recorded the tracks were stretched 10 feet by the severe braking effort of the driverless trains. Damage to rolling stock has also increased, wheels need tires replaced more often because of the severe braking applications. There are cases on record where drivers were on the locomotives whilst the trains was driven by the remote control, when braking applications were made, these people were severely injured by that crude brake application. Many drivers working for the company decided they had had enough and that there wouldn’t be a job for them in the long run, so they left. The company realised, they’d always need drivers bums on seats as the auto trains were breaking down regularly, when they then needed a qualified human at the controls to bring things back to normal. The transhipment of ores has not been able to be maintained due to these events. Yet, the company insists on persevering with this ludicrous costly system.
    Question is, WHY does it take in excess of TWENTY years to build and implement an automatic driverless system. The funds spent on this pointless exercise could have easily been spent more productivley elsewhere. Also, take note, there are many iron ore companies mining and shipping the ore by rail in Western Australia, yet NONE of these other companies are considering going down the road of automation for their trains.
    Why is that ???? Rest easy people, automation is not what it’s claimed to be, in the real World. You need to be more concerned with the OFF SHORING of our production facilities.

    1. you better believe it. much of what is performed by the lawyers, the doctors, politicians, the mechanics, the engineers, the stock brokers, the teachers, the retail managers and clerks, the farmers, the weavers, etc can be done by the machine (computers, aka AI) more accurately and at a fraction of expense.

      who owns and thus benefits from the machine, that’s the question.

  37. It is every citizen over 18, not 18 to 64; it was changed, they also wanted to increase social security and this was the most cost efficient way. Some of the other social welfare programs will be fazed out. The government is good at writing checks. What they aren’t good at is the administration of qualifications (expensive) and making sure the entitled receive, since meeting those qualifications changes over time and may even be political state by state. Many good things happen. I am 68 and on social security and savings. The 2000 extra for my wife and me would make us secure, we live modestly. I think it would encourage marriage and communal living. It gives freedom and security, flexibility. It helps for changing careers in a rapidly changing world. It pays stay-at-home moms and dads. Other qualified social programs would be cut back or eliminated, current participants would have a choice. keep what you have or take the 1000 per month. There is currently a great deal of fraud in these programs. UBI narrows the disparity between the very rich and the rest of us.

    1. Sir, look no further than Alaska’s Permanent Fund, Our present ‘Little Donald Trump’ Gov. Dunleavy got elected by promising the ‘little people’ a make-up check of $6,000 + because the previous Gov. Walker had cut the dividend check in half for a couple of years to keep the state operating during a time of low oil prices, at the same time the house and senate spent all of the state’s savings, so the only option was to spend money from what I call, the impermanent fund. Of course to even pay out $3,000 dollars he had to cut the state budget to the bone, and did he ever! We do not need a University, we do not need to support old people, we do not need to provide medical care to our poorer citizens, or ferry service to those isolated communities, and so on. We almost had a total revolution in this state, Half the people wanted a full check, while half the people were pleading not to cut the budget in half. The Gov. refused to consider taxing the people or the Oil co’s, (which he was involved as a Senator in giving them the sweetest tax breaks ever.) I have never known any well to do people in this state refuse to file for that fund dividend. Now they are pushing fast track mining, removing the ‘Roadless Rule’ from the Tongass National forest so we can chop down all the trees and let the miners make craters of the moon on it. They finally agreed on a $1,600. dollar dividend, with the Gov. swearing he will send out a second check to get it up to $3,000. Blind Greed rules here just like everyplace else on this good Earth. One must remember that $1,000. today is barely $100. in 1965 money. $5.25 for a loaf of bread that I can remember paying .25 cents for and .10 cents for ‘day old’.~~~~~”Out beyond ideas of Right Doing and Wrong Doing, there is a field, I’ll meet you there.” Rumi…..P.S. Bezo’s would love to pay his workers $1,000. less in pay checks, he already has them receiving food stamps and housing assistance…..

  38. Thank you for this thoughtprovoking article!
    There are many reasons for regulations of further automation and ubi and, as I see it, one of the foremost is
    that we miss out on our combined creativity as mankind. There is no evolution of mankind if there is no balance between problems and solutions. If we get to lazy there will be no evolution of mankind toward a higher being living in balance with all biological life.
    There exist a massive amount of evidence that we as a species have far more abilities than what the powers that be want us to realize and if we let a small self-serving class of super-rich persons decide anything related to our survival as a species we are doomed to always be living as slaves.

  39. There’s a T-shirt meme to be had in there somewhere. “Automation is too great a force to be controlled by the super-rich.” “When everything is done by robots, we, the people, must control the robots.” “When robots can do everything, will we be needed any more?”

    Or something along those line.

  40. Thank you for the thought.

    It has been easy to imagine a world where robots do all the work for us, leaving us free to follow our leisure and creative impulses.

    In recent years, I’ve been thinking that it will be a traumatic transition, especially in a capitalistic society where the wealthy enriched by automation will not want to part with their profits.

    As robots begin to do our work and automation takes away jobs, it is evident that something like a universal basic income will be necessary.

    You offer a very interesting counter-view … or at least a balanced view that a universal basic income should not be happening with an unreasonable level of inequality.

  41. Wallace McMillan Avatar
    Wallace McMillan

    Been reading your articles for some time now and this one is spot on! As usual, your observations succinctly point out things I’ve been thinking and I’m just pleased to have someone else say this. When I have these conversations with my associates, often I’m ‘dismissed” as being “too far afield”. When I forward them one of your articles, it renews the conversation in a more enlightened direction. Thanks again for all you do.

  42. The Americans are already dead, and I can’t say that most of them didn’t deserve it.

  43. I’m trying hard to figure out your argument, Caitlin, aside from what seems to be a kneejerk reaction that even though Yang sees all the right problems, you don’t like his solution because it is liked by some people you don’t like. I expect more analytical thought from you than that.

    Let me try to break down the two crux parts of your argument.

    (1) “Imagine what will happen when people become dependent on a subsistence UBI set up by the already plutocrat-controlled government to sustain them when plutocrat-owned technologies render their labor completely moot.”

    We already have the problem that we are dependent on money, forcing us to sell our lives doing the bidding of the plutocracy to survive. You seem to be saying that you think that plutocrat-owned technologies will soon render all labor completely moot? I seriously don’t think it will ever come to that. Technology will require fewer and fewer people to produce the same output, but there will still be uniquely human work to do, especially outside of production, like, for example, writing political blogs.

    Most people can’t afford to spend their lives writing political blogs because (unless I am wrong), it probably hard to earn enough money to live comfortably writing blogs. If, of course, you received a universal basic income, though, it would help give you the power to say yes to doing such low-paid work that you love. You would also have the power to say no to work that you didn’t want to do, because it didn’t in some way provide enough satisfaction to you. The latter would force employers to offer more for jobs they wanted done or to make them otherwise more attractive, thus reducing income inequality.

    I think a universal basic income would greatly improve our lives compared to what we have now and compared to what we will have as automation reduces the amount of human labor required to meet manufacturing needs. I can’t really understand how you think it would be better to face automation-induced job reduction without getting a UBI than to face it with a UBI.

    You go on to say:

    (2) “Imagine a world where a few increasingly consolidated automation firms produce more and more of the goods and services once provided by human labor and re-collect all taxes they have to pay into the UBI from a public forced by their subsistence wages to buy automation-made products and services.”

    I really don’t understand how you think this is what Yang is proposing with his value-added tax. The firms won’t re-collect the taxes; the government will. The poor will not be forced by subsistence wages to buy things. The rich will buy things too. In fact, the rich will buy more things, thus paying more VAT, and more of what the rich buy will be luxury items as opposed to staples, increasing the VAT paid by the rich even more compared to the VAT paid by the poor. As things are now in the U.S., without a VAT, the rich and corporations (like Amazon) have become quite adept at finding ways to say they have no income to pay income tax on. The VAT will help us to collect money from these sources, which will be used to fund the Freedom Dividend, effectively shifting income from the top 5 percent to the bottom 95 percent of the population. With a 10 percent VAT, even without accounting for varying rates between staples and luxury purchases, you would have to spend more than $120,000 per year per adult to deplete your $12,000 per year Freedom Dividend. That will be the case for the top 5 percent of the population.

    Transferring money from the rich to the poor via the VAT/FD system will reduce income inequality, in addition to the reduction in income inequality that I have already discussed as a result of improved bargaining ability that employees will have. Income inequality will further be reduced by the fact that the Freedom Dividend will provide money for everyone, whether they have a job or do something else in their home, to invest in themselves, their careers, their businesses, and their dreams, helping to move them up the economic ladder if that is their goal.

    I think we need to uncouple our right to survive from a requirement to spend our lives laboring at jobs to make money for plutocrats. I think we deserve a percentage of what our overall economy is making, and that is what we will begin to be getting with the Freedom Dividend. No one is saying (least of all Andrew Yang, who has many other progressive proposals besides the Freedom Dividend) that a Universal Basic Income will solve everything. But I do think it is a crucial step in the right direction.

    Check out Yang’s entire platform before you judge him so negatively.

    1. Sir, first any Government program I have every seen put into place almost immediately becomes a “License to steal” Medicare/Medicaid is a perfect example as the clever thieves hit it up for 30-50 billion bucks every year. Social Security was supposed to be a “Trust Fund”, but congress stole every penny of it to present fake balanced budgets to the public, and then issued IOU’s to itself, which is why today’s workers have to pay for old folks today, if, instead Con-men (Congress) had actually formed a trust account for Social Insecurity and invested it in C.D.’s it would not even need the workers today to pay into it. What is the poverty limit today? Somewhere about 23,000. for a family of four. Our money is so degraded that it takes a billion to equal what a million used to buy. I do not see any Billionaire’s promising to chip in their bucks to pay for this UI. They cannot even be coaxed into paying their Fair Share of taxes. Meanwhile visit the Electronic Freedom Foundation site 8/28/2019, and read “Amazon’s Ring” Re: Effector 32.13 to see the Big ‘A’s’ latest scam…..

    2. You beat me to the punch: Caitlin’s argument seems to be your item 1), the plutocrats like it so it must be bad.

      There are many arguments for and against the UBI, but this one is rather silly, and one of the few times when I think Caitlin misses the mark.

  44. Socialisme is dead , unions have been destroyed, many people are desperately seeking more income to pay the rent and feed the family. Basic Income is a start, it will leed to better education and healthcare. Better educated people will be soldiers in the army that will defeat the Rulers.

    1. UBI-addicted zombies will never make soldiers for change.

  45. Thank you, Caitlin, for your most observant work to scout the dangers ahead.

    I never imagined I’d live to see this time where sci-fi terror actually gets first traction on the ground. This really does look like that time. It does seem inevitable that our technologies will become so efficient that 70% of human labor will be rendered ‘inefficient’ and therefore redundant to the purpose. That only the sharpest minds will be able to work the machinery necessary at the cutting edge of production, leaving the rest who can’t do the empathetic (human service) or creative work with nothing to do.

    Some of those bastards already look at the bulk of humanity as a ‘bunch of useless eaters’ and would like to have 90% of us killed in a holocaust. That motive and tendency will only increase along with the efficiency of the machines and a UBI society where we all suckle on public sugar tit dependent like pets.

    If you ask me, we need to wrest control of every monopoly structure (virtual or physical) away from the oligarch class, and put it under control of the State. No power without accountability to the Public, that should be our organizing principle. At the same time we need a new democratic structure for much more effective control of the State. What that looks like exactly, I’m not certain. We need top social philosophers like you CJ to help lead the way.

  46. You are describing so accurately, as always, the nature and consequences of democracy being supplanted by inverted totalitarianism. IT both exploits state authority (and its resources) and also gains momentum by combining with other forms of coercive power, such as evANGELical fanaticISM. IT is a symbiotic relationship between traditional elected goverment and our new system of “private” governance, represented by the modern corporation. The result is an “anything goes” societal culture. Yet in T️P (traditional politics) we are constantly terrorized and living in fear and, therefore, a populace ready to give the benefit of the doubt to leaders who promise to root out terrorism, forever. Democracy has become privatized and sadly submissive, rather than retaining its traditional unrulyness. We can all fEEL the shift in power dynamics between ourselves and our “political” leaders. There are recognizable conseqences for IT️P, consequences that exact a heavy toll on our world and on ourselves. We desparately need new words/cultural symbols, literally, in order to create a narrative which can both acknowledge, and represent our reality. Although difficult and annoying for both writers and readers of a new LingusticSymbology, that is entirely the point. LingusticCognitiveDissonance♋Democracy is unruly and does not “follow the rules” at all. Nor should it. These early examples may seem silly or even childish, but we need to begin somewhere. Our new LS will evolve and become much more dynamic, dramatic, confusing and complicated, just as democracy does. New words, wrong words, wrong spelling or pairing, hyphens, colons wrongly used, along with other recognizable symbols. It’s time to DeMoCrAtIzE our naRRative. As I said, CriticalMass=1 & anyTHING GOes. sOOn ten symbols will add up to much more than ten! We can talk about what we want & need to, in New and CREATEve ways. It will be just as difficult as DeMoCrAcY IS now. The good NEWS is SNEW. Imagine trying to write CCode and algorithims for ever_evolving LS. I can hardly wait!☻!

  47. UBI + Automation + Plutocracy = Dystopia
    Yes, but…
    crisis of governance-world + Western societal atomization + worldwide side-effects of Modernity = Western societal collapse & Western population die-off + localism in the rest of the world

  48. Bread and circuses…this is what comes to mind. First of all a $1000 is not that much money in terms of today’s economy. Definitely not enough to encourage small business entrepreneur startups. As a fallback it may buy you two weeks relief from medical emergencies and other economic catastrophes. Of course landlords, being the humanitarians they have historically shown themselves to be, will never use such a UBI “largesse” to the poor as an excuse to drive up rents. And is automation the threat everyone believes it to be? Right now it is a danger because automation can increase profits for the capitalist but when all the capitalists automate then there will be the inevitable fall in profits and no one to buy. So there will be a surplus of commodities that have no buyer, just begging to be appropriated by the impoverished. Furthermore, numbers of people on the streets with nothing to do and nothing to hope for to better their miserable existence is not the epitome of social stability. In order to fend off riots and other mayhem bread and circus’ will have to be reinstituted ( more than at present since people won’t be able to cover their cable bill) if the 1% wishes to remain at the top of the heap. Unless the system and individual consciousness’ change UBI will just be another bandaid on a deeper wound.

    1. Well said! Mr. Ross, another way for the rich to squeeze a few more bucks out of the pockets of their wage slaves. Perhaps, also, a bribe to keep the populace quiet for a few more years, like our Alaska Gov. offered to get elected to office so he could finish bankrupting the state, and please his Oil, mining, logging industrial masters by offering every acre here to them to exploit…..”Perhaps we’re worrying too much about automation taking our jobs. Whenever a traffic jam gets really bad they turn off the traffic lights and bring in a policeman.” Bill Vaughan~~~~~

  49. Not sure what you are advocating as an alternative for preventing the kind of famine that has happened in the past when large numbers of workers were replaced by machines and/or slaves, and markets contracted due to widespread poverty and/or war. Plutocrats don’t really want their domestic customer base to shrink as a result of layoffs due to mechanization. Even Chinese plutocrats rely on America’s middle class to buy their stuff. They also don’t want great hordes of unemployed workers to smash their factories, and be unable to pay the taxes that keep their corporate subsidies going. They don’t want disgruntled voters to push through laws that punish their businesses to the extent that their profit margins vanish. That’s why they think the UBI is a good way to prevent such major upheavals. But why should we want it?
    People can pool their 1k/month to start small businesses, like market gardens, to serve their own neighborhoods and provide local competition so their neighbors don’t have to rely on the Amazons of the world for everything. They can quit their second jobs to spend more time with their kids, leaving more of the remaining jobs for others. Shitty jobs will become more scarce. More young folks will start apprenticeships in trades or local daycare centers. They can care for aging parents at home. More people will become entrepreneurs instead of employees. That’s a good thing.

    1. There’s one born every minute!

    2. Well, you sure have a lot of faith that present day humans will do the “Right Thing” when manna pours down from Government Heaven. People in Alaska get a fund dividend every year, this year $1,600. Liquor sales go out of sight, and Most, not all, spend every penny on useless crap from the Big ‘A’ and Walmart. You cannot even get three people here to agree on which side of the bed to get up from. Save it? Ha ha! fat chance of that. I, personally dole my whole fund out on my local food pantry, and volunteer fire dept’s over the course of the year. And every time I get one of those begging letters from our pretend rulers, I send them back empty with a note. “You guys wasted over 2 billion bucks on the last election, so instead of wasting my bucks on you, I am donating $100.00 to my local food pantry in YOUR name…..

  50. Thank you C.J.

    I’ve been offering this counter-narrative to the utopian promise of a dystopian ploy for thare last year and a half. Even Robert reich came out in front of it…

    UBI is a handy intersection between Libertarian’s and their Neoliberal Global Supply Side Capitalists to distract the proletariat from their culpability for the income disparity both their parties condone, Neither parties give two shits about the working class, they both base their policies on the primacy of the markets.

    From the horses mouth;


    It’s the perfect straw-man argument to kill “welfare” immediately, and a perfect pretext to cut SS (an effort already well under way if it weren’t for the social backlash they’d have to contend with), and a path forward for substantive cuts to SS that gives the plausible deniability down the road…

    Our legislative methodology is mercurial at best, malevolent at worst, and up for debate up every-time the majorities in the house shifts, how long do you suppose UBI will stand once they’ve used it as a pretext to cut SS… wanna bet? A fool and his money is soon parted!

    I hope this gets some eyeballs here too!

    1. Bingo! This is one of the issues I’m sensing, too. They will use UBI to control the population since so many will be dependent on whomever controls the funds. In addition to that, they will eliminate all other forms of subsidies that are meant for the wellbeing of the populace (but not eliminate subsidies for the 1%), under the guise of “equality” and the UBI being duplicative of these other programs.

      As so many other astute posters have noted here, UBI will not work if it’s not completely controlled by the 99%. We need to fully own and control the means of production and the revenues that are generated from them if UBI is implemented. Anything else is a ruse to cause people to hand over all wealth and power to the chosen few. We must fight the concentration of wealth and power, no matter if it’s in the hands of “capitalists” or “communists.” They are the same people wearing different hats.

  51. Cheap insurance against the tumbrels….and the guillotines.

  52. A populist battle to ban driverless trucks and cars must be started now and won decisively. It’s unproven and overhyped. It’s hardly a response to popular demand. In fact it’s purely an artifact of the corporate war economy. Most people are skeptical of its practicality, need, safety, cost and other effects. It will wipe out one third of the jobs available to the working class. The Teamsters are organized. Roadblocks can be set up anywhere. Computers can be hacked. It can be defeated if we get on it now, city-by-city, state-by state, politician-by-politician. A line in the sand must be drawn. They will try to snow us with all the “benefits” and call us Luddites, but that won’t work. It’s not 1779, there’s no King, this can go viral and lots of people already understand that people are more important than technology. Technology is not an irresistible force of nature (as we have been taught to believe). It is (like capitalism) made by humans and can and must be controlled by humans for our benefit, not that of the capitalists. The emperor has no clothes. This battle will be epic, but it can be won. As Caitlin says, it’s about changing the narrative.

  53. The sad thing is of course what other options are there. My hope is it might force, or encourage, a good many us to return to local and regional low tech low input production. Maybe my dollars on permaculture might not have been wasted after all.

  54. So UBI = ‘Freedom Dividend’, eh?
    I guess Bernstein and Sondheim were right, “Everything free in America”.
    Can I get Freedom Fries and Torches of Freedom (cigarettes) with that?

    I think you’ve got some valid points there Caitlin, but it’s not the UBI that’s leading to your dystopia, it’s the justification cited (i.e. large scale redundancies), so I think you’re biting the wrong leg. If you sink UBI without addressing the primary issue you’re leaving workers worse off. And no, I don’t agree with squeezing their balls to try to drive them towards revolution. That’s exactly the kind of putrid utilitarian justification for nastiness generally favoured by the elites (including Marxist ones).

    You also seem to be overlooking an obvious advantage of UBI over means tested welfare. You won’t get politicians and shock-jocks engaging in recipient bashing if everyone is getting it. I think that’s significant.

    1. We will still have some people working, at least for a precious while longer, so we will likely still have some stratification’s in term of workers and non workers. We seemingly will also have the owners of the machines, and the illusion, or perhaps reality, that the machines in our homes are “run’ by the big hive mind centralized computers. This could lead to a notion that the machines we have purchased in our homes and bodies, are really no more than an extension of the centralized hive. This reading would of course, in a sense, render them slaves of a certain sort, and that perception may also be reflected on how the common person how owns them as a type of slave as well.

      Gone will be any pretense that we have ‘contributed anything at all” and the owners and their still laboring functionaries will now get sole credit for 100 percent of the new economic wealth. A three layered economic strata will emerge and those at the bottom, in my mind, are likely to receive at least the same amount of derision we see for the non working poor in our present environment

      So to offer a contrasting interpretation, I believe there is some reason to be concerned that the judgement upon the non producers could be more extreme than anything we have seen so far

      1. I can find very little to disagree with you about Matt.

        Yep, capitalism requires a pool of desperate unemployed as a threat to force down wages and conditions of those who are employed. Yep, they’re still gonna find a way to vilify the marginalised and make them as miserable as possible. It’s the oil in their machine. And yep, with the increasing stratification of society and the increasing instability of their system it’s only gonna get worse. But at least with UBI starvation is less likely to be a viable weapon in their arsenal, and here in Aus that’s increasingly what the unemployed are facing (though it’s not yet as bad as in America).

        But my main point is that I don’t care if you’re a capitalist who thinks starving people make good wage slaves or a socialist who thinks they make good revolutionaries. If you see human suffering as a means to your ends you’re a fucking sociopath.

        1. so you think that the Marxists want to starve the workers in order to make them good revolutionaries in the Marxist pursuit of power and domination over the capitalists?

          first, the capitalists starve the workers. second, the Marxists want to upend capitalism for equality / justice (=> peace). yes, communism is scary to those who only know the capitalist way of life. one needs courage to acknowledge the truth.

          1. Well, I think history has shown Marxists in power have few qualms about how many bodies they pile up in pursuit of the fabled workers’ utopia promised by their dialectic materialist faith, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about what Caitlin says about the UBI and I have no idea if she considers herself a Marxist (personally I lean towards anarcho-socialism).

            But on reflection I can see I wasn’t making myself remotely clear. My bad. It’s been a long day.

            I assert that despite billionaires and political blowhards using mass redundancy to justify UBI they’re completely different issues and should be treated as such. I would also point out that every state welfare system in capitalist countries (including the mixed economy ones many in the US consider socialist) has been justified in similar ways. Some people can’t get enough work and wages to live on so the state must step in (with the blessing of the elites) to make up the deficit. Most first world countries accepted the necessity of a welfare state during the Great Depression, when need was also great and revolution in the air. Caitlin wouldn’t be the first to hint it was only done to head off any challenge to the powers that be (it was a favourite Marxist argument in the 30s and 40s). And as you can see, every objection she raises to the UBI applies equally to pretty much all state welfare (excluding corporate welfare and welfare for the rich of course).

            So, setting aside the AI and mass redundancy red herrings, basically she’s arguing that those desperately in need shouldn’t receive welfare because it will supposedly consolidate the power of the oppressor class.

            I don’t pretend to know what future effects will arise from current causes (I sure didn’t see the Berlin Wall falling, until it did, nor the end of apartheid in SA). They tend to spread out in all directions and become rapidly chaotic. Cause-effect chains never end (until they fizz away due to entropy). That’s why the consequentialism favoured by capitalist elites and ‘scientific socialists’ is intellectually (as well as morally) bankrupt.

            Like I said, I don’t know Caitlin’s political alignment – or if she has one – but I know she’s a psychonaut. One of the first things that taught me is that the right or wrong of a decision is always in the here and now, not in some distant speculative future. Maybe she should let go of ‘the narrative’ once in a while and smell the freedom between the past and future, because that’s where all our choices are made.

            And I’m sure not about to throw a bunch of vulnerable people who can’t earn a living right now under a bus (C of I disclosure: I’m one of them) to protect my own cherished dreams of future revolution.

    2. Agreed, if everybody gets it you can’t shame those who need it a little more.
      But she ignored all of yangs other rationale: when households have more funds they are less stressful which leads to children growing up with better educations and more often with 2 parents. When the money gets spent it drives growth. Drug abuse goes down. Society as a whole does better.
      What would this do to homeless populations? No hoops to jump through like welfare, just “here, it’s your right as a citizen” they could find housing, clean up, get a job.

  55. Absolutely spot on. I’ve been thinking this and you’re the first person I’ve heard say this. Thank you.

    Archaic revival (❤️Terence), food sovereignty through urban regenerative agriculture everywhere there’s now ornamental lawn, worker and community owned cooperatives. We’ve got to stop waiting for our dear leaders to save us. ✊♒️♒️♒️

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