"It is now highly feasible to take care of everybody on Earth at a higher standard of living than any have ever known. It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary. War is obsolete. It is a matter of converting our high technology from WEAPONRY to LIVINGRY."
- Buckminster Fuller (h/t Suzy Waldman)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Helicopter Money

Social Credit (*) is mocked here as "helicopter money" here; based on this article it certainly seems likely that the Swiss proposal to go all in on a guaranteed non-means-tested universal income will be excessive and will backfire.

(* Historically in Canada this idea was called "social credit", which remains the name I prefer. Unfortunately the idea was premature and also it  picked up some cultural baggage by appealing to unsophisticated and xenophobic rural voters. But I think it's clear that "helicopter money" is not intrinsically a bad idea.) 

Work and wealth have to be connected, but work and survival with a reasonable level of dignity should not. And as machines end up doing all the substantive work, they increasingly cannot.

An otherwise thriving society based on the artificial necessity of enormous amounts of pantomime work has been tried before, I think, on Easter Island. It did not end well.

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