Post-Income Society, and How Capitalism may be Self-Defeating (Which is a good thing)

in #basicincome5 years ago

Allow me to paint a situation:

The Preface

Capitalism seeks to create the most profits. They seek to do so by capturing market share, or people willing to pay for a product or service. Some go the route of minimizing costs (Chinese manufacturing). Some go for the quality approach. All wish to provide the customer with an incentive, in some way, to purchase their product.

Some people may identify with cheap products, some with quality, and usually most will identify with a balance of the two.

Competition leads companies to try and increase their market share, or increase their competitive advantage in some manner. Oftentimes this means cheap products are of better quality, and quality products do, in fact, decrease in price over time.

Products made using modern techniques are often the same price, or cheaper, than older products and of better quality, more durable, better thought out, just overall better than older products. (There are some exceptions, and there is value in vintage, but for usability)

Now we begin to get to the point of my post.

The Body

If we extrapolate this into the future, an untold amount of time passing, companies have continued increasing their efficiency and reducing their cost of production.

It is not unreasonable to imagine a situation where production is so efficient and so cheap, products are so easily made they are essentially free.
We see this on the horizon with 3d printers working as replicators of Star Trek.

Products costing only what their base components cost, as computers will be able to create and reproduce products so cheap as to be almost free. The same computers can easily process and interpret the desires of the populace so as to create anything they need as soon as they want it.

Essentially you will have a population of people that can have anything they want at any time, for no cost to them. Capitalism will have defeated itself. People will no longer need to work to survive, as "fry cook" jobs and the like will be eliminated. People will be able to cook out of pleasure, or create as they please.

Support

You can see the idea that everyone deserves at least a living income as it is, with the basic income concept and that everyone should be provided the money they need to live. It is somewhat obscene to think we should force people to work 40 hour work weeks just to live, as many do.

That is not the primary point of the post though, it is only an example of how we are moving toward such a society where people no longer need to work mundane jobs and can focus on doing what they want. Creating, exploring, learning. The idea of basic income supports such a concept, as well as, I think, many of us knowing our financial structure may not be sustainable. Inflation is increasing, wages are not increasing in kind.

Of course, all of this can only happen if we manage to survive, as a society, long enough through these formative years to actually realize our potential.

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This is a good post and I appreciate your exploration of this issue. I'm not 100% convinced on Basic Income, but I am still learning about it, and your post helped me learn more.

There are new ways to create income. Steem incentivize intresting posts through rewarding authors. Like, Solarcoin promote global solar electricity throught rewarding Solar electricity producers, .... its a new paradigm.

I am a little puzzled, you say that capitalism is 'self defeating' by its ability to create wealth and surplus but surely this proves its success?

In a sense, it is self-defeating, since the accumulation of capital will no longer be necessary for most people.