I happily discovered a new treasure trove of podcasts. They focus primarily on the history of the UK, but also delve into world history, wars, etc., allowing me to further educate myself in an arena I am woefully ignorant in. But something interesting happened while listening to a podcast.
During one of the interviews you could clearly hear the interviewer and interviewee. But in the background you could hear a woman singing. Turns out the interview was being recorded at a cathedral of some sort and as part of the ambiance they had a woman singing. But then my rapid economic mind started thinking, thought through, and then concluded a thought in less than a second:
"Is that really a woman singing?
In the olden days I'm sure it was, but with technology it's likely just a recording being played on a stereo system.
So that woman only had to record he singing once.
I wonder what she does with all of her free time now.
God do I hate San Fransisco taxi cab drivers."
The last bit of logic may not make sense, but it does if you allow for a little bit of economic hand holding. For the woman singing in the church (either past or present), the taxi cab drivers in San Francisco and the call for a "Basic Guaranteed Income" are all highly related and provide for us a great lesson and insight into the economics and political motivation of the basic guaranteed income.
The argument for a "basic guaranteed income" (BGI) is that as technology and science progresses, more and more human jobs will become obsoleted and replaced by automation and robotics. This presents the paradox that goods and services are still being produced, but without jobs people have no income to buy said goods and services. Therefore, as robots replace humans (leaving them no income) we should guarantee all humans with a "basic income" allowing them to afford the basic necessities in life.
However, for this argument to have integrity there must be absolutely NO JOBS available for the displaced human labor. I've argued before that this simply isn't true as no matter how much technology advances there will be two forms of employment:
1. The "vanity services" where humans serve other humans (waiters, masseuses, prostitutes, authors, entertainers, servants, etc.) and
2. The robotic support industry (the STEM professionals who keep this progressively roboticized economy going).
However, my argument aside, history provides enough of an argument to debunk the pro-BGI claims. No matter how much technology advances, there are always completely new industries, replete with jobs that replaces the old ones.
Horse and buggy manufacturers were simply replaced with auto-manufacturers.
Phone manufacturers were replaced by smart phone producers.
And employees at the vinyl shop were merely replaced with IT employees allowing for MP3 recording.
In other words, this "creative destruction" didn't replace humans as much as it forced them to be innovative and creative in other endeavors as it replaced and obsoleted previous technologies.
But that's the key thing - forced humans to be innovative and creative. And a lot of humans plain don't like that.
Some humans, when facing obsolescence simply do the adult thing and accept this reality. They move on, learn a new skill or trade, start over again, reinventing themselves earning living. Some humans go so far as to become entrepreneurs, capitalizing on ideas and revolutions in the economy, providing employment and higher standards of living for others. But then there are some who are so delusional, so arrogant, so self-centered, they actually believe that the real world should not advance without their authorization. And if the world "dares" to progress to the point it obsoletes their careers, then the world indeed "owes them a living."
These people constitute a parasitic class that can only be described as lazy and entitled. The union worker who demands his pension despite the company going bankrupt. The person who gets laid off and decides to go on the permanent government dole. Or the pouty school administrator that gets fired by a gracious and generous early retirement severance. These people are economically worthless individuals, providing nothing of net economic value to society at all.
But while these people may be economically worthless, at least these people have the good graces to get the hell out of the way and let society advance. They just want their check and they're happy (or at least as happy as these miserable humans can be). Sadly, there's an even more despicable group of people that make these veritable economic parasites look noble as they are so arrogant, so self-centered, and so egomanical they not only demand recompense, but they demand the rest of the world stop and not advance without them.
And that's where the San Francisco taxi cab drivers come in.
Technologies like Lyft and Uber have obsoleted taxi cabs. They are now officially an inferior service. Like the record companies, the book publishers, and the horse and buggy industry they should accept this fact and either adapt by becoming Uber/Lyft providers themselves or find a new industry to work in.
However, taxi cab drivers are not only entitled, they're evil. And I'm not saying that as a pejorative, but as a descriptive. San Francisco taxi cab drivers are evil because instead of letting society advance, letting the people of San Francisco enjoy higher standards of living (which is what the whole point and purposes of technology and economic advancement is), they threw a temper tantrum and held the city hostage by causing traffic jams with their cars. In no uncertain words, these few people view themselves MORE IMPORTANT than the rest of society and have no problems holding back, nay punishing these people for daring to aspire for a better life.
Of course taxi cab drivers are not the only example of this. Chicago's infamous toll roads with their manually stationed tolls were so heavily unionized that the metro population of Chicago was held hostage WAAAAY past the point in time traffic scanning technology made such tolls obsolete. The public schools and higher education are another example of unneeded, worthless, obsoleted humans that have no moral qualms holding children hostage in ransom for "more money for schools." And I never tire of the dinosaur publishing houses stammer their little feet as they (futilely) try to stop self-publishers.
Regardless, the point is that human nature is pathetic. And the proponents of the BGI know this and are banking on it. For if a soon-to-be-obsoleted-human is given the choice:
a. Start anew, learn new skills and participate in the new and revolutionized economy
b. Collect a check
c. Not only collect a check, but demand society never be allowed to advance so I can save my ego by keeping my unneeded job
most humans are so lazy, and some so egotistical, they'll choose either b or c.
And that is what truly is behind the drive for the BGI.
The BGI is not something that is "noble" or "compassionate." It is not something that is "caring" or "kind." It is a blatant attempt by socialists and leftsits in academia and government to buy votes by placating the laziness, ego, and self-centeredness of a progressively worthless human population. They are merely presenting the false premise that "creative destruction" does not exist (ergo, there will be "no jobs"), while knowing full well the average American schlep is to proud, too ego-filled to work the menial service jobs that will exist, and too lazy to train for the STEM jobs that would also exist.
But where the real evil comes in is where I predict there will be a "third category" of jobs - "ego employment." Jobs that are not only unnecessary, but hold society back by either denying society the ability to progress, or at minimum taxing them to create make-work jobs, ALL of which are simply to save the ego of a voting constituent.
It does indeed make the parasite who merely collects a government check look noble.
Post post - a reader recommended this. "Player Piano" a book where in the near future everything is mechanized and there is a struggle between the scientific and management classes that keep the machines running and the unskilled people who have no jobs.
Post post post - looks like there's going to be some automation in the Bakken oil field with drones and roboticized trucks following a lead truck. How much you want to bet the teamsters will get in the way of you getting cheaper gas?