Basic Income's Bad, Umkay?steemCreated with Sketch.

in basicincome •  last year

TL;DR - Objectivists won't like it, but they will. Hilarity ensues.

Let's say that all of the technical features of Dan's hypothetical currency idea are perfectly implemented. Let's also assume the currency is wildly successful, and let's fast forward 20 years into the project.

Specific Hypotheticals:

  • BIC Price Stability - Works as intended; Widely accepted.
  • BIT Dilution - Pretty much in check.
  • BIC Bonds - Also wildly successful because it's used as a speculative instrument in future volatility. Comes in handy when platform blind spots are found (rarely).
  • Fraud - It's always a problem, but it's mitigated and frankly more efficiently policed than traditional solutions because there's an incentive to maintain trust for the platform.
  • Blind Spots - Every so often, a huge unforeseen exploit is revealed. It always challenging to deal with due to the nature of these exploit, but eventually the platform was adjusted and witnesses approved the changes.
  • Reserve Currency Status - People laughed at the idea for a while, but BIC eventually achieved functional reserve currency status.

Icing on the cake:

  • IMF and the World Bank collapse as a side effect because the "Third World" no longer exists.
  • People can show, with cryptographic verifiability, how productive they are. It's right there in the blockchain.

It's Not Perfect

Let's even be realistic and assume that even in this hypothetical, it's still not perfect, but it's way better than any of the traditional (non-voluntary) implementations. This is because as an alternative to coercive taxation, where only 20% of the funds taxed to power traditional basic income schemes, BIC investors enjoy a tidy profit.

In fact, in this hypothetical, let's assume no government tries to offer anything like a basic income anymore because BIC just does it better.

Anyone with a desire for altruism needs only to invest in and hold BIC. Want to see how altruistic someone is? Just check their portfolio.

So how can you be against Basic Income in this scenario where it's implemented like this?

Won't Someone Please Think of the Objectivists?

In this hypothetical scenario, anyone against the general idea of Basic Income cannot use any pragmatic argument because BIC works fine.

They have to use purely philosophical arguments. In fact, there's an objectivist argument that non-producers who get hand-outs will have a lower self-esteem, which will damage them. That makes Basic Income, no matter how it's implemented, immoral.

But all of these objectivists must invest into BIC because it's profitable for them to do so.

Why? Because the objectivists are outnumbered by the altruists, and BIC made altruism profitable in this hypothetical.

Will an objectivist intentionally hurt someone's self-esteem by supporting a successful investment instrument?

Or will an objectivist intentionally ignore a successful investment instrument in order to dismantle the only working Basic Income implementation?

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Good post. I was expecting a negative review hehe.

I was surprised to see UBI proposed by Dan in such an alternative manner as to make it actually supportable. I previously did not see UBI as supportable outside of voluntary donations, which I mentioned in a post on automation. You also did a good job elaborating on a scenario. Thanks for bringing more support to this idea. I now consider UBI to be doable in this manner.


Yeah, I'm pretty sneaky.

Tres bien inertia! Philosophy may often blind them but the material gain will be their incentive to see past limiting concepts! New ways of solving problems should be evaluated with new eyes! :)


Yeah, if it works, and people want it, what's the problem? The key is that it has to work, right? Wouldn't it be cool if there was a way to solve all of life's problems with the right config.ini?

Great Post, I also thought you would be more negative. I like the proposal and glad to see it sounds like there are more people on board that agree it could work out.
I think if we all do our part the world would be much better place to live, and people would be friendlier.

Thanks for upvoting my post just now. Upvoted this content.

Keep working, stop paying.
Here is a book from 1897 that lays it all out,...

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As an Objectivist, I'm not necessarily opposed to all forms of volountary UBI.
In fact, I'm closer to being a proponent.

If it works, it's volountary and it provide its users with greater value than they otherwise would have seen, then why on earth would I be opposed to it?

If it truly is a profitable investment, then it's not altruism.


It's possible to invest in bad art, even immoral art and make a profit. Would you do it?
I would not. Because I don't want to live in a world like that. Just like I don't want to live in a world where peoples self esteem and productiveness is undermined by free stuff.


First of all, it should be noted that by "truly profitable investment" I mean something that's of profit even "spiritually". Not just cash.

It's possible to invest in bad art, even immoral art and make a profit. Would you do it?

Such a decission would have to be based on a hierarchy of values, not just an opinion on what good art is.

Because it doesn't at a first glance look like a "spiritually" profitable venture esthetically speaking, in order for me to do it, it would have to somehow be a good deal in the long term. If the true (spiritual and material) short term cost of holding the art was small and the monetary profit large, it could for example be that in my particular case holding bad art in order to sell it at a profit, would enable me spiritually in the future.

I would not. Because I don't want to live in a world like that.

For example, would you invest time and/or money in Steemit?
Take some time to consider the fact that the platform hosts and even pays out money as rewards for the expressions of many different tastes and ideologies, a large portion of which are very clearly opposed to Objectivism. Yet here we both are. Why? For me, because the combined long term profit of supporting the system is so much larger than the short term cost of enabling some behaviours which I dislike.

Just like I don't want to live in a world where peoples self esteem and productiveness is undermined by free stuff.

In actuallity, nothing is or ever will be "at a zero cost". It would be an imposibility because the world runs on productive effort. But I agree, I would not want to live in a world with far less productivity and I would not support the implementation of a version of the UBI that would risk that.

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If this basic income would be paid in a cryptocurrency issued especially for this purpose, maybe it won't be such a bad idea. Remains to be seen what rate of exchange such a currency would have .

yes instead of Basic Income via inflation based consensus just allow people to locally just setup Ackjza and @mughat 's HEL-EOS smart contracts to replace taxes, u do what alexander the great did and replace income tax with mining and conquest, our conquest is just cyberspace, and we conquer things like cloud storage with EOS storage we conquer the world of zoning laws and of city council meetings, we do a Dash style Proposal system... that proposal system REPLACES current proposal protocols in small towns to big cities, when the city wants to hear proposals the stake holders are simply elected in, and are given the keys to vote on these issues as if they were Dash Masternode key holders about to vote on a Dash proposal.. remember a small percentage of Dash that is Mined or "Minted" (like mining coins but on proof of stake they call it Minting when in reality its all just Block Signing like you educated me on today) but that minting of these coins in dash is done via consensus controlled inflation where all dash stake holders agree to expand the supply of dash JUST enough to literally just pay for infrastructure projects FOR dash itself! SO imagine if city councils Adopt this to pay for THEIR local infrastructure OOOHW EEE

Look people dont need Universal Basic income they just need Basic Universal WORK lololol i think EVERYONE will start to agree that if there IS work u can do to make MORE than u need to eat and pay rent ... petty nice, we arebuilding the BEST future!


Machines are increasingly doing work for us. What are people going to do - dig holes and them fill them up again? Make work schemes are illogical and stuck in the last century. Why do you want people to be doing useless and probably menial jobs, when they could be doing something that personally satisfies them, is potentially creative, or benefits their local community?