Reviews for "Why Basic Income?"

Achronai, my question is what will happen when robots take everyone's job and no one can sell their labor in a way that makes economic sense? Your statement is the classic U.S. Republican response to changing a system that only allows the few to benefit at the cost of the many. As a guy with a degree in Economics, "adamanimates" is right.

The studies where basic income has been tried, it has been shown to work. It will not solve all the world's problems but it is a start. The only reason basic income has not been attempted on a large scale is because it would take power away from the few and give it to the them which is the opposite of the capitalism system.

Drain the swamp by adding in some billionaires...

3 stars for the video, well stated, good music, decent animation...

2 argument against the premise of the theory... If there was a Basic Income, then where would the money to support those individuals come from? Easy Answer, the government... harder answer, the individuals not on the Basic Income programs, yet another tax towards on those individuals that are working to support themselves and their families... this will cause their income to be lower, (Slippery Slope I agree; however...) and then they will basically get to the point where they see their friends/family who have all that free time to spend with family, to do what they want and will get jealous, and why not... they are getting the same without the hours spent at the office/workplace. After sometime (another Slippery Slope, I agree), 80% of the work will be done by 20% of the people... hmmm, this sounds awful lot like communism, a slightly different version I agree, but isn't this the start of what the USSR originally wanted (argument #2), and since it was already tried once and failed, do you really want to repeat that?

adamanimates responds:

I suggest reading the Basic Income FAQ from reddit which I linked under the video:


All of your concerns are addressed, and the idea has nothing to do with communism or the USSR. The policy was supported by Nixon and almost became reality for the US in 1970.

Basic income? So you're basically saying then that someone who doesn't work can earn a minimum wage while there are people, including myself who have to work their pants off for it??! Why bother working then! This is fallacy, total absurd rubbish, it will never work but if something were signed it would essentially be a tax on the poor and the idiotic folk who signed it. This to me just sounds like another step towards a welfare nation, nice going.

What we need are more incentives to get people trained and into employment, and more job opportunities created instead of blowing billions of tax payer dollars on lazy folk who don't want to work worth shit. As Rattower said in these comments, the genuinely poor are all too happy to change their situations and a little nudge in the right direction would be all they need, I would suggest a read of the book, "homeless to Harvard" it's a good read on the subject.

As i said, fallacy... Basic income will never work, but the video was somewhat well made, too bad the argument wasn't. 0/5

adamanimates responds:

I think that the evidence offends your ideology, so it gets discarded. The poor do in fact want to work. All of the studies cited saw an increase in entrepreneurship and new small businesses. More people finished school and so were able to train for new jobs effectively.

The design of basic income is what matters. Either everyone gets the same amount, including you, or there is a gradual reduction until you hit something like $60,000 so that there's no work disincentive.

The 'lazy poor' was a myth fed to America in the 60s so that the lower classes would blame each other for their shitty situations, and not the rich. It is propaganda and is extremely effective.

I might give that book that read, but it sounds to me like a rags to riches sort of thing. If this one person can do it, then maybe we all can go to Harvard by pulling on our bootstraps.

Good video.

It's obvious that as technology advances, a slow transition to a basic income system will be necessary. This is of course not the case with still-developing countries, at least not yet. But I agree that North America is coming to a point like that due to conglomerates such as Google (Alphabet) and Amazon investing more and more into automation.
When the technological peak of humankind aka our "singularity" era comes, we will have no option but to be an ultimate-left society. Of course I'm talking about hundreds of years from now on (if not thousands), but still it's really interesting to see this necessary movements towards the economic left today.

Wait, wait, wait, wait,wait....

Doctors are not gonna be replaced. Lawyers are not gonna be replaced. Writers are not gonna be replaced. And neither are animators gonna be replaced. The reason is, that no matter how good your machine, your machine learning algorithm, your vector machines, your evolutionary programming or your whatever is: When it comes down to creative input (even in the most abstract form, as it is the case with lawyers) a machine will always be limited by its programming. Of course it can outdo people in a lot of ways, but machines always have to comply with certain models of functionality, which limits their behaviour. Which is not just a technological limitation but a necessity for the deterministic completion of work.

Now as a supplementary tool, machine learning is going to help these creative jobs. But that's it. As for the purely mechanical jobs - yes, there will be less of those in the future. But this is - and that is unfortunately the entire explanation - how progress goes down. And has been going down throughout the entirety of history. Electric lights made the candlemaker obsolete. And the automobile the horseshoer.

Now believing that the - admittedly large scale - automatization of jobs is a proper premise to argue for the additional taxation of the general public - in order to pay for those who lost their jobs - is a fallacy. As is arguing that you are just taking jobs out of the market via digitalization.
With the electric lights came the elictrician. With the automobile the mechanic. And it doesn't look much different in the digitalization age. With the medical recommender system comes the medical data researcher. With the self-driving car the office for regular software checks and updates.
And so on, and so on.

You can argue for programs that help people who lost their jobs to get into a new field. Hold that under my nose and I'll sign it. But as a premise for extra taxation/basic unconditional income? No.

I've actually seen a similar concept in action over here. I've held conversations with people who received this sort of income. As for the studies you quoted: Not the totally poor are the problem. Those guys are always happy to improve their situation and the results of those studies are no surprise to me at all.
The problem is the guy that's like "You know what? I worked enough for the last 3 years. Time to take a year off. I get 900 bucks a month. With what I've saved that's enough." I've in fact known a guy like this in person, who did exactly that with unemployment allowance. He drove a dodge. In europe those are expensive cars. And then the taxpayer pays for that? Without any condition?
That's not justice in my eyes. That's not even feasible.

Fancy animation though.

P.S.: Funny sidenote: The guy with the dodge actually migrated to canada.

adamanimates responds:

I appreciate the response, and I will try to explain more where I'm coming from.

The automation I see coming for the 'creative' jobs doesn't need to completely eliminate professions to cause a problem, just reduce the number of people required. As a Netflix animator, I've watched as the software we use gets better to the point of doing many things for us. My job used to be done by about six people, so a smaller workforce is required. I can imagine a day when software automatically poses character rigs to storyboards, and then uses machine learning to generate keyframes. Then animators would just check that they look okay, adding details where necessary, and hitting a button to build extremes and then inbetweens. The inbetween stage, which smooths out the animation, is almost entirely automated now.

Lawyers will still be around, but they'll need far fewer people to do all the research. Doctors can double check a machine-generated diagnosis and so see more people. Writers have already been replaced in generating business and sports articles. There will always be writers doing more creative things, but the more formulaic stuff will be computer-generated.

It should be a great that we can do more. (Newgrounds is certainly a better place for it.) My view is that those gains should benefit society, instead of just whoever happens to own the machines doing the work. There was a break between productivity and wages in the 1970s. I think we're all overdue for a raise... even the people that have been put out of a job.

Jobs are of course being created by technology, but an order of magnitude more are being taken away. I don't see how retraining is going to fix the problem. Maybe those displaced can be retrained to find something new, but it's the speed of change that will cause a lot of damage. Maybe you've seen how few people Netflix employs, and how many jobs were done away with when Blockbuster disappeared.

I'm guessing you live in the States. You might look at the low unemployment rate and think things are fine, but it's only the service sector expanding. This means that all other jobs are shrinking and people are forced to do more fast food jobs or things like driving for Uber. Automation tends to go for the highest paying jobs first... it's why there are giant robots in car manufacturing, while low-paid Chinese workers still put together our phones. As machines become cheaper than people, a lot of people are going to suffer.

In your view, and a lot of others, there is a nobility to work that enables us to become deserving members of society. If one does not work, they are freeloaders and deserve nothing, etc, like the person with the truck you mention. This puritan work ethic runs into problems once there aren't enough jobs for everyone. So the response is usually denial and saying that there will always be jobs, you can create your own job, etc. I found it interesting to read accounts from the Great Depression about how conservatives with such views came to accept government handouts as 'just the way things are now,' once they found they weren't able to get work.

I think that we have certain axioms about work and justice that we form in our teens, which lead to our overall political view. These things are deeply rooted and almost impossible to change. Whatever evidence we see in the rest of our lives, we tend to pick and choose to fit our worldview. It takes a long-term, conscious effort in order to expand our ideologies.

So maybe nothing I can say will change your view. But I hope you can keep an open mind and try to see where others are coming from.