Ask A Genius 296 – Universal Basic Income (6)
September 20, 2017
[Beginning of recorded material]
Rick Rosner: There have been arguments for some of these things. Or another thing could happen is if you don’t get people the guaranteed minimum income, then they get poor and then it’s a business opportunity for companies to figure out how to make things extra cheap for extra poor people.
It becomes an exploitable niche and its part of capitalism, like you go to the 99-cent store; I don’t know if you have one in Canada, but the dollar store where everything is a dollar or less; they have everything you could buy a hammer, a mop, flashlight, DVDs, I don’t know…
I haven’t seen a baby carriage there, fuck… but not out of the realm of possibility. You can get just about everything you need for everyday life at the dollar store because somebody figured out a way to make a really crappy version of something and they charge a dollar for it even if it’s some things normally ten bucks or 12 bucks or 30 bucks, here’s the crappy version and you’ll get the dollars to super sucky but it’ll do what it’s supposed to do maybe not long but there you go.
And it’ll become even more possible to do that with further automation, so I think the future will offer at least in America some combination of them. Some places have to set up systems that provide some kind of welfare, people who have a hard time finding employment, conservatives will try to limit that. People will pursue the black and the gray market, underground economies of people will find themselves able to get by buying really crappy stuff living kind of lives of the Teeter on the edge of disaster but at the same time or perhaps not as miserable as people a 100 years ago because streaming video and other freaking cheap food that tastes terrible as opposed to depression food which was in some instances made intentionally bland and barely edible to discourage people from eating too much because food was unaffordable.
So, it’ll be a combination of those things and the U.S being a semi-Yahoo country [laughing].
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: [Laughing].
Rosner: A sentence will be crueler in its approaches to automation-based job loss, economic dislocation, some fancy-pants liberal countries like Finland.
Jacobsen: You’re describing the end of the Roman Empire basically.
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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