Basic Income

Early retirements, indefinite pensions, and disability fraud represent the future of tacit socialism

No longer can socialism be married to welfare, which for decades was a dog whistle for welfare queens. As Trump's ascendancy makes clear, social programs are now everybody's business. The next step, then, is to de-politicize it with Basic Income. We have to get rid of our guilt about relying on machines to give us food, clothing, and shelter for life at the cost of about 1 month of human labor.

Early retirements, indefinite pensions, disability fraud, creative class passive income, and middle-class trust funds

All of this represents the culmination of unceasing GDP growth, and we can't withhold sharing the benefits that much longer.

Employment may be the last remaining force for cultural assimilation

Culture is so resilient that the only way to change it is through the threat of death. The standard approach is through colonization or conquest, but since those have fallen out of favor in the latter-half of the 20th century, all that remains is commerce. If your tribe's culture is intolerant of non-heterosexual people, then there is no incentive to change except through the pocketbook. If the only way to get a job and feed your family is to adopt the social and cultural norms of the company you work for, then you will adapt.

This logic is frightening though, because it gives credence to the idea that we should attach conditions on welfare or basic income. If people can automatically earn food, clothing, and shelter, they can form subcultures that are as hate-filled or joy-filled as they want. Without the contact with some sustaining group, whether it's a workplace or social affilition, like a church, then anybody can disconnect from mainstream society without consequences. Culture hegemony will have to come from somewhere else.

What will we do with Basic Income? We'll play games, we'll improve ourselves, and we'll build community

Not to survive, but to thrive.