Hi Steemit! Scott Santens here. If you've ever googled "basic income", you may have read something I've written.

in #introduceyourself4 years ago (edited)

I'm the first and so far only person in the world purposefully living with a crowdfunded monthly basic income.

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Greetings, everyone. I joined Steemit 11 months ago after learning about it on Reddit where I moderate the /r/basicincome subreddit, but only posted my first post here 12 days ago. Sorry for taking so long. Believe it or not, the idea of getting paid to post here was a turnoff, not a draw for me, but before I explain my reasoning, let me tell you a bit about myself and my work...

A bit about me

Back in 2013, a discussion hit the front page of Reddit about how most people have no fucking clue how quickly technology is advancing now. This was before the 2013 Oxford study came out about how 47% of US jobs are likely to be automated out of existence "in the next decade or two." Despite thinking I was somewhat on top of technology, I was surprised to learn how self-driving trucks were already driving ore from point A to point B in Rio Tinto mines in 2013, with the full intention of 100% automation of trucks by 2020. How many of you reading this right now knew that? How many of you knew that only two years later in 2015, Rio Tinto already hit 100% automation of trucks in two mines? Or that Suncor is looking to replace 800 truck drivers by 2020 (80% of all their drivers) who happen to currently be earning $200,000 per year, largely because they earn $200,000 per year? Or that in the US, self-driving trucks are already on the roads, and that the first commercial delivery has even already been made (and it was beer)?

Now ask yourselves how many politicians knew all of the above back in 2013? How many members of Congress even right now are talking about how quickly technology is advancing, and how we need to get our shit together to make sure massive unemployment and the collapse of the economy via loss of aggregate demand via loss of consumer buying power isn't a direct result of automation? It was this that got me looking into solutions, and in doing so, I came across the book "Manna" by Marshall Brain. If you haven't read this book, click the link and read that shit. It is spot-on and makes a compelling argument that we're looking at a fork in the road up ahead, where we can either choose dystopia or utopia. Things can be a lot worse, and or they can be a lot better, but the status quo is not going to continue. What happens in the years ahead is entirely up to us.

In my search for answers, I came across the idea of basic income, and in researching that idea, my entire life began a different path. I subscribed to the basic income subreddit when it had a few hundred subscribers, and was soon welcomed to become one of its moderators. Pretty much every day since then, I've read articles about basic income and posted them there. The community now has over 40,000 subscribers, and I've personally read thousands of articles/papers directly about UBI or indirectly related to it in the process.

After doing so much reading and research, I reached a point in 2014 where I decided I needed to start contributing to the discussion with my own writing to help expand, deepen, and popularize the discussion in a way everyone could understand as opposed to what was still mostly academic at the time. So in June of 2014, I published my first article about basic income on Medium, and it was one of the most popular on all of Medium that month. Its success helped give me the confidence to keep writing on Medium (where I now have over 20,000 followers), and to also start my own blog.

My next major turning point was with the publication of my article about self-driving trucks and basic income, which went even more viral than my first article. I suddenly found myself being asked to do interviews on the radio and elsewhere and was invited to begin publishing my articles to The Huffington Post. It was also translated into multiple languages and republished in quite a few places, including college course packets.

Before long I also found myself getting asked to give talks about basic income and to be part of panels at conferences. Public speaking was never a goal of mine, and yet here I am now being asked to travel not only across the US but also around the world to talk about basic income. I spoke at the First World Summit on Technological Unemployment, have spoken at dozens of events since, and will give my first keynote speech in Sweden later this year to an audience of around 2,000 people.

In late 2014 I got the idea to use Patreon to crowdfund a basic income of $1,000 per month to enable me to focus full-time on advancing the idea in the public consciousness. Unlike everyone else on Patreon, I would reach $1,000 and then pledge anything earned over that amount to others making the same pledge. I named it The BIG Patreon Creator Pledge. It took all of 2015 to achieve, but starting in January of 2016, I began receiving $1,000 per month in crowdfunded basic income. It's an income floor. Nothing prevents me from earning any amount of income on top of it, and in fact having a basic income means I'm more able to earn additional income because it functions as capital and bargaining power. By capital, I mean it takes money to make money, and by having money, I'm able to use that on things like marketing tools. By bargaining power, I mean I'm able to refuse people asking permission to publish something of mine for free, and instead ask for a fee to do so, or to refuse to write something for someone unless the pay and/or terms are sufficient.

That last part is a huge element of basic income that people don't see on first look, but I feel by having it. Basic income is the power to say "No" made possible by unconditional economic security. This really is about security. The fact I know I will start the 1st of each month with $1,000 instead of $0 means that I can say no to people I might not otherwise say no to, and it allows me to bargain where I might not have otherwise bargained. And it even enables me to work for free which has long been a luxury of the rich. It shouldn't be a luxury. Unpaid work should be a choice everyone should be able to pursue without worrying about survival as a direct result. If you'd like to read more of what I've learned, here's a piece I wrote for Vox, and one I wrote for Business Insider about my perspective on basic income thanks to having one.

In 2016, I wrote my most successful article yet. It was in response to the victory of AlphaGo, which I argued is a clear signal that we've gone from linear to parabolic in our technological advances. It was supposed to be impossible for an AI to defeat the best Go players in the world, and if possible at all, not for another decade. Everyone who thought that was wrong. I fully expect more achievements to absolutely shock people, including those in the fields working on them.

Here in 2017, I've been given a $29,000 grant by the Economic Security Project (co-founded by a co-founder of Facebook) to assist me in my research, writing, organizing, traveling, and speaking about basic income. I've also co-founded USBIG, Inc., a 501c3 created to advance the discussion of basic income in the US, where I serve on its board of directors. There's also a book out there now, with a chapter I wrote for it.

It's been four years since I first read about basic income, and in that time it's gone from something very few people even heard of, to an idea that has been endorsed by Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, The Movement for Black Lives, multiple Nobel-prize winning economists, entire think tanks like the RSA and the Niskanen Center, the co-founders of both the Tea Party and the Coffee Party, and celebrities like Penn Jillette and Joe Rogan. In fact, (here's a database I maintain of almost 300 UBI supporters you may know but may not know support UBI).

We've got a long way to go, but with places like Hawaii already looking to do something at the state level, and with experiments like Y-Combinator's already up and running in the US, and with experiments like Finland's and Canada's popping up internationally, as well as Give Directly's in Kenya, I feel confident we can achieve a basic income guarantee in the US before it's too late, which I think is somewhere around 2025 or so, at which point technology will be advanced enough and affordable enough to make a great deal of human labor unable to compete against machine labor, and most consumers no longer able to consume anything but what they need to get by.

Yes, technology makes stuff cheaper, but not all the stuff, and demand will continue to decline as discretionary income continues to decline. The collapse of demand is unavoidable without the creation of purchasing power, and thus the creation of customers. We can't have a consumer economy built on a base of consumers only able to purchase their basic needs and little else. On the other hand, if everyone started each month with enough to cover their basic needs, then just think of the discretionary income boost and what that would mean for the entire economy. If you're a business owner, this alone should make you want to support basic income - more paying customers.

Let's talk Steemit now

With all that said, I think Steemit represents an important step in the direction we need to go. All of us are increasingly global citizens within online networks. We're netizens. As netizens, we are the nodes within networked systems creating all the value of the networks. Think Facebook. If one were to copy Facebook and just change the name, but no one used it, how much value would it have? Nothing. Zero. A network with no users is worthless. So here we are creating all this value in our status updates on Facebook, but we don't see it as work, even though it is. It's work that's been atomized. An hour of hard work is easier to see as work. A few seconds creating a status update for fun is harder to see as work, but it is. And when that work is combined with the work of billions of others in a constant stream, there is a HUGE amount of value. The problem is that outside of rare exceptions like Steemit, it's all going to the few who created and maintain the network infrastructure instead of the network nodes comprising the network.

I therefore argue for the need of netizen dividends. Netizens should be compensated for the value they create. The trick is how to best go about that. Unconditional basic income recognizes this value by recognizing the value of all unpaid work everywhere, online and offline. Steemit is attempting this on one online platform, and that's exciting, but having observed it over the past year, and because of having a basic income, I think some adjustments need to be made to preserve/improve desired incentives. I also think that without even any changes, Steemit would be vastly improved if everyone on Steemit had a basic income independent of Steemit. Let me explain.

Human motivation is something most people misunderstand and have not studied. I think we assume that the natural state of humans is laziness, and that money is this great way of getting humans who would otherwise do nothing, to do something. This is extrinsic motivational thinking in action, and it is indeed a great way to get people to do tasks that people don't want to do, and are physical or routine in nature. But, and here's the rub, money as an extrinsic motivator can destroy motivation and also hinder creative thinking. Intrinsic motivation is far more powerful.

The power to say no is also key in this. Are you truly choosing to do something voluntarily if the option to not do it doesn't exist? In an experiment that looked at the option to decline, one group was given a choice to do one of two tasks, and the other was given the same two choices but also a third, to do nothing. The result? People spent 5 minutes on the tasks when they were not given the choice to do nothing, and 7 minutes when given the choice to do noting. If you do something because you want to do it, and it's fully voluntary, there's no beating that.

Another interesting example to consider is something in Israel that's like Halloween in the US, but instead of candy, it's charity. Kids go around collecting support for charities. A study took three groups of kids and tried different motivators. One group was given a small amount of money per success. One group was given ten times that amount per success. The third group was given nothing except an explanation beforehand that what they were doing was important to society. Can you guess who did best? It wasn't the group that was paid the most. It was the group that got nothing except for the knowledge that what they were doing was important.

Apply this to Steemit. Look at the posts here. Look at how people interact with each other. My perception is that a lot of what's posted here is in the pursuit of money. I don't perceive this at all on Reddit. I don't even know if it's true here, but the perception feels true, and that alters the experience. I expect someone to comment on this post, but because I know there's the potential you could earn money for it, I don't know for sure if you're commenting for the money or because you really wish to say something. It could also be both. It's also why there are so many bots.

I also get the distinct impression that despite this place being seen as a haven for free speech, speech isn't entirely free due to the combination of monetization and lack of basic income. What I mean by that is when you need money to live, and you can earn money for commenting here, free speech is infringed through the fear of not earning money that could have been earned, or even getting downvoted by someone with a lot of Steem power. Did you watch that episode of Black Mirror that involved the wedding? It feels kind of like that, with people being afraid to tell people to fuck off. Just as work isn't truly voluntary without the option to say "No!", free speech isn't truly free without the option to say "Fuck you!"

Now, if I knew that you and everyone else here had a basic income, then I would know that no one on Steemit is posting anything out of their need to survive, or withholding from posting something out of fear/worry. I think that would help cut down on people purely posting for money, bot creation, and also people coming off as fake in their responses. The quality of posts and comments would likely go up with the removal of posts and comments made purely in the hope of monetary reward. But at the same time, Steemit would still be operating on extrinsic rewards, which again is problematic. Imagine if Wikipedia paid people for posts and edits. Do you think the quality would be better or worse? I think worse. But what if the connection between post and income could be partially decoupled? What if Steemit involved something more like a true netizen dividend?

I think one possible way of going about that would be a percentage of Steem from every post and every comment going to the entire Steemit community as a flat dividend. Instead of 75% going to the poster and 25% going to the upvoters, it could be something like 70% to the poster, 20% to the upvoters, and 10% divided between all accounts on Steemit. Another option would be 70% to the reward pool, 10% going to STEEM power holders, and 10% going to all Steemit accounts. Either way there would be a stream of revenue entirely decoupled from actions that would better reward what isn't rewarded.

An example of something not rewarded is a post or comment that inspires a post or a comment. There is value being generated here on Steemit not being rewarded, even with the existence of rewards. It's a recognition problem that's impossible to calculate. Personally, I am massively thankful to the Reddit community. What I've read there, what I've learned, the discussions I've had, it's all responsible for helping me get where I am today. I would not be where I am without Reddit, but none of that value is recognized, nor could I ever recognize it. I don't know exactly where I got ideas to write about. That's not how ideas work. We influence each other in all kinds of ways. Everything is a remix. We kid ourselves into thinking we're all "original" in our ideas.

For the same reasons I so strongly support basic income simply for being a citizen, I think that if people here earned Steem for just being on Steemit, posts and comments would be less extrinsically motivated and a bit more intrinsically motivated. In my opinion a better balance should be sought, where people are rewarded for their work, but there's more work that's recognized as adding value to the whole, and there's an overall shift from quantity to quality.

In the pursuit of any attempt to divide a population into the deserving and the undeserving, we must face the reality of two error types. A Type I error is an error of inclusion, a false positive. This is giving something to someone we don't think deserves it. A Type II error is an error of exclusion, a false negative. This is not giving something to someone we do think deserves it. The question is which is more important. Is it more important to make sure someone who doesn't deserve Steem doesn't get it? Or is it more important to make sure someone who does deserve Steem gets it who otherwise wouldn't without the application of universality? Apply the same logic to money in society.

But again, even without any of my proposed payout structure changes, I think what's being done here on Steemit is important, and I think it's important this place succeeds, so I plan to start cross-posting my blogs here and in so doing, doing what I can to get more people becoming active participants of the Steemit community.

I think it's imperative for a network that rewards its users to become large enough that it threatens other networks. If this can be achieved, those other networks may feel inclined to start rewarding their own users so as to not lose them to competitors that do. This could lead to a potential tipping point from the old model of providing nothing to those who comprise networks, to a new model where all networks must provide a share of value to all users. In a world where AI is automating jobs, this could be the way of making sure technology works for everyone instead of only the few.

With that said, I guess that ends my intro post. I hope it's been informative and perhaps even thought-provoking. My thanks to you for taking the time to read it, and my thanks to the creators of Steemit for creating a platform that recognizes where the value of a platform arises from - those who comprise it.

One final note

I have a new puppy. He's a Long Coat Chihuahua. His name is Titus Sanchez. I was going to go with Rick Sanchez or Schwifty (because shit on the floor), but my girlfriend loves Titus Andromedon, so we combined them. You can find more photos of him on my Instagram.


Have a question about basic income? Here's a list of links that answers frequently asked questions.

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Welcome to steem nation

Wow, this post is so amazing I am not even sure where to start. I will try my best to organize all my thoughts.

I have heard about this idea from someone in Europe who was doing this too. He was saying that once he was able to have a guaranteed 1,000$ a month, that was when he was really able to start truly creating what he wanted for the first time in his life.

At some point when I was growing up, I gained the idea that money would solve problems. Every since then I have been conflicted creating and doing what I want Vs. making a lot of money to have the power to solve any problem that could happen.

I now know that this is a false truth that I have, but at the same time it is hard to change that within me. Through out my day to day life I am constantly distracted between what I want to create and what will make me money.
Which then ends up with me doing very little to nothing with my time.

When I first discovered about steemit I saw this as a way of accomplishing both. It helped motivate me to start creating again because of the monetary reward that came with it; I felt like I was fulfilling both my needs, instead of having to sacrifice one for the other.

Its has helped me grow with the focus of creating and making money. Yet lately I feel lost. I no longer know if what I am creating is good or if it is what I want to create. Mostly because I am letting other people decided the value of what I create for me based on what they judge the reward value should be.

I feel there is a lot of programming through propaganda to create these Ideas to make good workers. Like the phrase "what do you do for a living"? People who are desperate are easier to control. I feel education has been institutionalized to train and create good little worker with the right skills.

I fully believe basic income to be the answer. Although since the government(s) is running on a centralized debt system that fund something that is inherently evil, I do not know if it is a good idea for it to be generate through them.

Thank you for inspiring me with this post. It is now my goal to gain a passive income of 1,000$ a month which will serve as my basic income. I think this might solve my problem of not being able to focus my energy & attention on things were money is not present. Giving me the ability to say "no" or "fuck you" when I need to focus on what I want instead ^_^

Thank you, and I have to say your sentence right here is a key understanding:

"I am letting other people decide the value of what I create for me based on what they judge the reward value should be."

Those who believe markets are "perfect magical calculators" are taking a good idea, which is the concept of a market, and putting it on a pedestal it does not belong on. Yes, markets can indeed put a price on things, and in so doing function incredibly to leverage scarce resources to maximum effect in certain cases, but in other cases, markets can also fail miserably at determining value.

I think a prime example is any well-known artist who only became well-known after death, and died poor. A single painting that sells for $1 million dollars apparently reflects the art itself as a work of genius, but the work itself didn't change. It's the same piece of work that the artist couldn't sell during their lifetime, or sold for like $5 perhaps.

Now imagine the person who sells such a painting. Perhaps someone who buys a painting for $500,000 and sells it later for $1 million... did they add $500,000 in value to the painting? Compare this $500,000 as being perhaps 10 times more than the artist who painted it earned off their painting during their entire lifetime. Is the act of selling on their painting more valuable than the act of creating that painting and every other painting that artist ever created? Of course not! But there are definitely those who will conclude that based on the numbers.

We do not at all value extremely important work sufficiently. Did you know 1/3 of Americans are putting in 1.2 billion hours per week of unpaid care work? It's value if paid is estimated as being about $700 billion per year, or 5% of GDP that's missing from GDP, if it were calculated into it.

Why is that work not considered work, and therefore not even valuable, when the same work that does get paid is considered as valuable?

Here's another question. Imagine a small community of five houses, each with one parent, each with one kid, where each parent pays one of the parents for daycare so they can work doing daycare for another parent. Economists would consider this as full employment. Every one has a job, and that job is adding to GDP. Now what if each parent stayed home and raised their own kid? This would be example of full unemployment, with nothing added to GDP, and yet the nature of the work and the time involved is exactly the same. But which example is most likely to lead to better adults decades later? The one where everyone was raised by someone else other than their parent? Or the one where everyone was raised by their parent?

I think society needs to look in the mirror and recognize what isn't being recognized, and redefine what it considers to be work, and what it values. I also think that forcing people to work with the threat of poverty looming over everyone, and even dragging and keeping people down in poverty, is preventing a great deal of work from being done and value being created.

Imagine if only one new Einstein is out there working three dead-end jobs 70 hours per week in the hopes of preventing their family from living in poverty or trying to get them out of it if they're in it... how do we calculate that loss of value to society? How do we even calculate what value Einstein himself added to society?

Once we start thinking about how poorly we judge value, and how much value is being hindered and prevented by a system not built on Level 3 of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs instead of Level 0, it's hard not to see the immediate need for implementing basic income.

Agreed. Time & wisdom & experience & skills and resources and many things are so valuable. Determining the level of value something or someone has is a tough thing to do. Facebook stole from people so much.

But which example is most likely to lead to better adults decades later? The one where everyone was raised by someone else other than their parent? Or the one where everyone was raised by their parent?

This sort of is one of the questions I have re GBI and that is who gets to make the decision to stay home or not?

I don't doubt that there will be a paradigm shift needed, it's just who is the one that's going to make decisions. If it is each individual without strings attached, sign me up.


It's no different from now, it's just that the incentives (both tangible and intangible) will be rearranged a bit. I could ask the same question about the current system: Who gets to make the decision to stay home or not? The individual does, of course. They weigh up the pros and cons and incentives and disincentives and make an informed choice (if they're lucky). And not to forget that the more precarious your existence is, the less real choice you have in the employment (and otherwise) marketplace. Giving everyone a liveable minimum wage means that people are actually freer to make real choices about how they allocate their time and resources.

I'm sorry, but $1,000/month is not a "liveable" wage in San Fransico, California - although it might be in rural Nebraska. Placing an artificial, sub-poverty income limit on all people is not "freedom," it's just a softer form of slavery than we have right now, but it is slavery nonetheless.

Basic income is not meant to be a complete replacement for income. Tell me if, for those working in San Francisco, a $12,000/yr or $1,000/mo increase in their after tax income would make a difference in their lives?

As far as cost of living differences, Scott address that concern in one of his articles.

I studied at home. My mother taught me. It helped. I wish my mom had Steemit 30 years ago.

"I am letting other people decide the value of what I create for me based on what they judge the reward value should be."

Yes, it is an easy trap to fall into; Since so many things can be bought with money, it creates a reality where those with the most money can manipulate that reality to the desires (even if it sacrifices someone else).

Yes, van gogh was a huge victim of this exact thing. Think how he would be if he received the support & acknowledgement now when he was actually alive

Yeah, it is weird how the ability to buy low and sell high is the one that is valued most in the society. But at the same time it adds no particular value to society, yet those are the ones running a high percentage of the market.

Yeah, there needs to be more recognition on supporting caregiver or raising kids. But who will provide that? Right now it seems that the government are controlled by people who love to focus the budget on war?

Even better example than Einstein is Tesla. He was broke most of his life and still created so many practical things yet his innovation was constantly stifled by his money backers focusing more on money that innovation.

Yeah I definitely see the need but I don't know how to make that happen. A lot of us don't even know where to begin getting a basic or passive income.

We love you @BallinConscious. Quite possibly the most interesting guy on Steemit!

Nice to see you on steemit :D have a great time.

@ScottSantens welcome to Steemit. I have seen your work across the web going back some time. I do believe Basic Income will be a part of life in the near future. I leave figuring it out to the economists.

For me I abide by Pareto's Principle in everything I do. Whether it is here on Steemit or in my business. I recognize that some will and some won't and the ones who won't will far outnumber the ones that will.

I do like the idea of giving a portion of awards to everyone but I would add a caveat, "they would have to be active at some level".

So I am going to leave you with an adorable gif and upvote myself at 100% just like I did your post. I also resteemed your post.

Thanks! I see nothing wrong with the caveat of some level of activity being required for a netizen dividend of any kind. I would compare that to the requirement of a pulse besides citizenship for an unconditional basic income. ;)

Question as a newbie here: what is the reasoning behind upvoting our own comments?

I am still not too sure how this all works exactly so hopefully someone else can explain it more accurately. From what i understand if you are the first to upvote and the post becomes popular you receive a higher proportion of the curator rewards than you would otherwise by being amongst the first to promote the post to others.

Welcome to Steemit!

Welcome to the community.

Welcome to steemit @scotsantens. Thanks for educating people on these changes affecting humanity as we speak.

In addition to basic universal income, I am hoping that there is more education on creating passive income via business and side hustles.

Welcome to STEEMIT, @scottsantens! Just out of curiosity, I was wondering how you came up with the $1000/month figure, because a few months back, @maryfavour was writing how the $10,000 she earned on STEEMIT was life-changing for her, and that she is now considered a "millionaire" in her country of Nigeria: "STEEMIT HAS MADE ME A MILLIONAIRE"! So at some level, the "correct", useful amount becomes rather subjective and arbitrary.

Furthermore, if everyone in the U.S. alone was given a "basic income" of $12,000 per year, multiplied by 326,474,013 (the 2017 estimated U.S. population), the price tag comes to near 4 TRILLION DOLLARS per YEAR, or over 20% of annual GDP!

And while it may seem like a very noble idea at first glance, my years of market experience suggest we'd see a rapid repricing of literally everything, to the point that the new "basic income" required would quickly rise exponentially.

A few months back, there was a bunch of thought-provoking discussion on this subject in the comment-section of the following post. It'd be interesting to hear your counter-arguments to some of the points brought up over there: "Universal Basic Income is our future, at least according to Mark Zuckerberg".

The $1,000/mo figure comes from the fact I live in the US, and $12,000 is the defined poverty line here. The amount will vary nation by nation depending on what is considered the poverty line in each nation.

I've recently written actually about how to calculate the actual cost of basic income, and even posted it here on Steemit as my first post. You can also find it on the World Economic Forum. Please read it to understand how you're doing it wrong by calculating the number of people by the amount. It's a bit more complex than that.

As for rising prices as a direct result of UBI, that too is a common misunderstanding based on an oversimplification and lack of study. It was one of the first things I ever wrote about UBI in great depth. Please read it in full to get a better hold of all the variables involved, as well as the applicable evidence to apply to the concern.

As for my counter-arguments to common arguments, please see my FAQ. There's a lot there to read but many people ask the same questions and have the same misconceptions.

You're sort of helping me make my point. From my perspective, everything is much more complex than what it seems you're outlining in some of your articles. Everything is a moving target. For example, you wrote "groceries might end up costing you an extra 1.4% per month", based on the following video about what would happen if Walmart paid a "living wage":

But, fast forward a year and a half later, and we got this instead:

Investors revolted after Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley lowered the boom at its annual investor day at the New York Stock Exchange (ICE), disclosing that profits will decline between 6 and 12% in fiscal 2017. The consensus was for a drop of 4%. He also stated that 75% of the reduction was tied to higher wages.

Link: Wal-Mart Lost $21 Billion Wednesday: What Really Happened?

But what's a few extra billion here and there among friends?! ;) Also sounds like taxpayers may have lost quite a bit more in tax revenue than they "saved" from this particular "debacle" as well.

Regarding inflation, the main reason all the Fed Q.E. really didn't work is because all the money they "printed" was not only hoarded by banks, but it still didn't make up for all the money that "evaporated" in the debt bubble collapse. Martin Armstrong has generally been one of the few who's gotten much of this correct. And he's also been right in that inflation shows up as interest rates rise, not when rates fall (as most mainstream news sources often claim)...

All of these gurus assumed that the Fed’s balance sheet would cause huge inflation because they just read headlines and do not comprehend how the system really works. Their assumption was that all this money would spark inflation, which they only see, and the 1970s demand inflation into 1980. The money never made it to the people. The bankers were paid to HOARD that cash, which shows that the Fed is really insane.

Link: Armstrong Economics: The Three Faces of Inflation

Link: Armstrong Economics: The Fed & Interest Rates: The Nightmare That Will Not End Nicely

Regarding Milton Friedman, I've seen that interview a few times and generally agree with what he says. However, he's also making the point that if you're going to have welfare, with all its double-thinking "conditions", and all the additional middle-men and overhead, why not take that money and give it directly to the people instead, where it can do the most good. In 2009, if the bailout money had gone more directly to the people as opposed to the bankers, it may have also had a much greater effect as well.

Finally, I'm always fascinated by how much more "bang for the buck" I seem to extract versus others who seem less able to "afford it" in the first place. As such, I'm intrigued by how some countries such as India are able to perform cataract surgery for $25 per patient versus $1000's of dollars in the West. Perhaps if we could find a way to bring more such competitive "price advantages" to Western cultures, it may go a long way in addressing some of these bigger issues.

I am a crypto-enthusiast who came from reddit too. I was a moderator for couple of early stage cryptocurrencies. Welcome here :)

Instead of 75% going to the poster and 25% going to the upvoters, it could be something like 70% to the poster, 20% to the upvoters, and 10% divided between all accounts on Steemit. Another option would be 70% to the reward pool, 10% going to STEEM power holders, and 10% going to all Steemit accounts.

I liked the idea. The blockchain tech is coming out of age. In near future, it is quite possible to implement a sort of UBI through blockchain. Other tech such as finger-tip id (Qualcomm's fingerprint sensor) with smartphone can help to reduce false identity. Grantcoin is a small step towards this idea.

I think Govt. may react or apply UBI at very late stage. But crowd-sourcing UBI can show the path to the future. Do you have any specific idea with blockchain that can help to build a crowd-sourced UBI? Or, is there any group working on that?

There are some really interesting ideas out there in the crypto-UBI space. Some are already out there, like Grantcoin (soon to be Manna), Circles, and most recently VIVA. There are those in the works like Cicada, Cubecoin, Musicoin and UBIcoin.

I know I'm missing some, but these are off the top of my head.

There are also some interesting platforms being developed around UBI as a concept. Personally, I'm most excited about the release of GroupIncome. Check it out!

As for my own idea, I'd like to see a cryptocurrency exchange apply an exchange fee that goes to every wallet on the exchange. It would be like a crypto-Tobin tax used to fund a netizen dividend for the exchange's users.

I brought up some of the Cicada ideas to @kyriacos on the post I had mentioned in my other comment, and I really couldn't disagree with the point he made. While it may offer some minimal level of UBI, if anyone can survive on that is another question entirely...

golem ["will?"] do this as well. the scenario about the mining is still sci-fi. heck it is like asking today someone to mind btc on their cellphone. the tasks won't be so easy to accomplish — and if they are — the rewards will be minimal.

Great work, great article, great idea. I think it is the future, or the possibility for a nondystopian future.

What do you think crypto currencys role would be? I don't really like the idea of a fed coin.

The basic income trials have been to created bank accounts to verified people. Crypto/digital cash makes the accounts and accounting a lot easier, but how do you see the verification working? It would be fairly simple in the United States, through social security numbers and accounts.

Perhaps the basic income payments could just be paid to social security accounts and withdrawn if the citizen chose to, of just save it there, and gain interest somehow, incentivising some people to work and save.

The problems I see with this are

Reliance on government, ideally the basic income system would be separate from the government, like a grassroots federal reserve.

And the ID verification system, used to track citizens and their spending, if the data could be anonymized so ecnomists/businesses/customers could have more data to make better decisions while the individuals information could be secure.

If there's only one thing the government is good at, it's cutting checks. Through the Social Security system, everyone in the system reliably gets their income, the overhead is about 0.7%, and the amount of fraudulent payments is about 0.4%.

I'm just not worried about this perceived "reliance on government" problem. I think the most empowered citizens in the US are seniors receiving Social Security. They vote in huge numbers and because of that, government works for them,not the other way around. I think the Alaska dividend shows another example of this, with people turning out in large numbers to vote when anything dividend related is on the ballot.

I think the role of cryptocurrency is two-fold. Because it can be immediately implemented without government in some form for sub-groups, it can function as a way of building support for the idea of basic income at the national level, and immediately make a difference in people's lives. And after UBI is implemented, crytocurrencies with UBI somehow implemented as part of them or using them will function as another layer on top of the basic income, to increase total incomes, and building stronger foundations for people on which to build.

Personally, I'd like to see citizens take back control of their currencies in the form of seigniorage reform, where private banks are no longer allowed to create and expand money supplies in the form of debt, and instead money is created debt-free directly in the hands of citizens. Perhaps the blockchain could be part of that. I don't know.

I'm going to start taking notes on all of this. It's all so interesting and eye-opening !

Indeed it is. All of us are generally smarter, and certainly more informed, than just one of us.

With upcoming finger/iris sensor on smartphone, personal data can be encrypted and processed in anonymized way through machine learning or AI. Then ecnomists/businesses/customers can have abstract/meta data to make better decisions and conduct research.

I think markets are wonderful (with a few exceptions like healthcare) at distributing goods and services efficiently via the decentralized widely distributed calculation tool we call the price mechanism using supply and demand signals via money. The calculation problem is not an unsolvable problem, but any attempt to centralize calculation will require sufficient computing power and vast data. I don't see us as being able to do that just yet, although I do see the potential down the road.

However, between right now and that unknown point in the future, I think it's mandatory that we sever the connection between work and income, so as to immediately improve how markets function thanks to everyone in those markets having the ability to signal demand, and also open the door to the future you seek by removing the fear of automation so as to accelerate our investments in it.

For more, please read this one of mine: https://medium.com/basic-income/cutting-the-gordian-knot-of-technological-unemployment-with-unconditional-basic-income-e8df7f8eaa16

And also this one: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-santens/humanity-needs-universal-_b_9599198.html

It's great to see you here, Scott. a few years ago you asked me to share my article on Basic Income on Medium in your Basic Income collection ("A basic guaranteed income in the context of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs", http://thedigitalfirehose.blogspot.com/2015/07/a-basic-guaranteed-income-in-context-of.html)). I've republished that article here on Steemit, too. It's great to see things come around again.

I really enjoyed your article. I think your article brings me up to date on the state of automation. I also really liked your point about intrinsic motivation. The studies you cite confirm what I've known for years: people are not born lazy. I know this from my own personal experience watching my own kids. I've found that whenever I want my kids to do a task, I frame it as a challenge, as something they want to do to prove they can do it. And they do it almost every time.

I also noticed your point about decoupling income from effort or performance. Few people talk about it, but it has been noticed by economist Dean Baker, that CEO pay is largely a matter between friends (http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/outlandish-ceo-pay-is-a-matter-between-friends). In other words, wealthy people have no problem determining pay based on something other than value added by the recipient of the pay for other people of the same class or status. For everyone else, determination of pay is an adversarial exercise. There is a certain amount of hypocrisy in their attitudes to be sure, but a UBI would ensure that productivity growth from technology would be returned to the citizens as a sort of dividend.

I have upvoted and resteemed your article, and I'm a new follower. I really look forward to further installments of your writing and wish you a very warm welcome here.

Thank you, and again, I'm a big fan of connecting basic income to Maslow. In fact, there's something that occurred to me recently that I tweeted about but I haven't turned it into a blog post yet. It's the realization that the most important levels of Maslow's Hierarchy are the top, and it's based on suicide. How many people kill themselves because they are hungry? If you're hungry, you're mostly going to do everything you can to find food to not die. Those who kill themselves are often those who find themselves only ever able to reach levels 1 and 2 of Maslow's pyramid. Day after day after day of just surviving... that's what leads to depression and hopelessness.

This idea that people who reach reach level 3 are just going to sit there doing nothing but surviving... it's ridiculous. Everyone wants to reach for more. Everyone wants to pursue something that's important to them, that provides meaning to life. If we just lift everyone up to level 3 as a starting point, we are going to see something not seen since the Renaissance.

Great post, It's good to see such forward thinkers in this sphere. Look forward to what you do with STEEM

Really good discussion about Basic Income. I think it is an idea worth experimenting with. I've been receiving BI from Grantcoin/Manna since it started last summer. I'm involved with what the VIVAconomy is doing in this area as well.

I think that the idea of BI on Steemit is interesting. There are already bots that up vote every single post made every day. It ran for a while but I don't think it is on the job right now. Would you propose a person gets their Steem BI just for being a member, or would it be based on their level of activity here?

How do you feel about BI as a government program funded by tax payers as opposed to programs like Grantcoin that distribute their payments from their Charity that people voluntarily contribe to? How BI would be funded is a big topic on some of the other Basic Income posts here, like the recent one by @heretickitten.

Up voted, resteemed, tweeted. Thanks for this post!

I'm okay with bots getting a dividend in order to make sure real people do as well, but I'd like to see some machine learning applied here to better filter out bot accounts. I think the dividend should require an extremely basic amount of activity, like perhaps one upvote per month or something extremely limited to receive that month's dividend.

How I would fund basic income is available here.

really interested. read part of it and saved to read more later.

can you give me more information on how the BIG PATREON CREATOR PLEDGE work?
does anybody can join regardless their campaign size?
I have a really small campaign there as well


one of my goals is to make it bigger so I can focus more of my efforts on creating creative content - more juggling and circus videos - but also steemit articles and many other things. why not?

thanks a lot.

Anyone on Patreon can take the BIG Pledge. Just set your goal to a basic income and pledge to donate anything over it to others making the same pledge, and let me know so I can add you to the list. ;)

just did it! this is my patreon page

made a copy paste, is it ok?

"The BIG Patreon Creator Pledge"
Taking a page from the Creative Commons concept of Share Alike, any and every patron dollar pledged above $1,000 per month I will consider to be greater than a basic income and will pledge away to other Creators here on Patreon also creating content in support of their own basic incomes by making the same pledge to limit their own final goals to $1,000/mo (plus $300/mo per kid for Creator parents) and pledging to give the rest to others making the same pledge. My goal here is to create a community of content creators all working toward their own basic incomes with the same shared goal of achieving basic incomes for others.

and added it to the $1,000 goal as well.

It'd be lovely to receive enough so I could focus 100% on the channel and creating juggling videos, and I'd more than happy to support other cultural projects with everything above $1,000 I received...


I see you're set up per video instead of per month. To take the BIG pledge you'll need to switch to per month.

Ok. I'm on phone now. As soon as i can i'll change it when i get a computer and i let you know ;)

it took a while cause I was travelling. just did it.

can i join the big pledge now? :D
what else can I do to help spreading this idea?

You dont know what you have done with this post.
All i can say is thank you. Please i dont know how to go about it, i sincerely need your mentorship on this.
Take a look at it. All i said is true and when day breaks, i will try to add video

Hi Scott, welcome to Steemit! Wow, what an introduction post. It took a while to read but it was certainly worth it.

Thank you so much for this fantastic idea of sharing the pool. I honestly believe that this would become the tipping point for Steemit to go viral. After starting about six weeks ago I quickly became a full time steemer and as you say my motivation was extrinsic at first. 100%. But that changed after the first few weeks because otherwise I wouldn't find the strenght to endure here since I haven't established a big followship yet.

I agree entirely on the idea of basic income since I heard about it the first time in 2007. In Germany it has been discussed by all major parties and was even program of the Pirate Party. I believe that Germany has a good potential to be among the first, when they see the concept working in the test areas. It must be on mankinds bucket list or we will surely create a dystopia. But I am very optimistic that there is a shift happening thanks to power of netizens.


Thank you. There's indeed a lot of potential in Germany. The existing safety net is readily convertible to UBI, and there's even an entire new party there that's specifically about basic income, which is awesome to see will be on the ballots in all 16 federal states this year.

There's even a Basic Income cafe there now as well!

I think Germany is one of those nations that may just surprise people in the race for UBI... ;)

Also, what are the best ways to help spread the word and fight the fight?

It depends on where you live. If you can find or start something local, that's a great step!


Hi Scott!

I have been pretty active in the idea of a UBI for many years but lately, I changed my ideas and am very wary of the notion (at least in our current economic paradigm).

Maybe you could help re-center me. My main point of contention is UBI in the context of private unequal (massively unequal) ownership of the means of production and our natural world.

To me, the notion of a UBI in our current paradigm would make people more dependent on their states and governing bodies for their livelihoods. This would give more power to the states over its citizens. Thus further centralizing the power versus the distributed (albeit very faulty as well) system of corporations controlling this economic power.

Further centralizing (opposed to decentralizing) the power over us to meet our needs.

What do you think about this issue?

Further, if you care to answer. What do you think about collaborative ownership of private property in order to provide a UBI for said parties?

Example to clarify the point:

All citizens of the states OWNING an equal fraction of the entirety of the states which owns all the land. Those with the willingness to produce for their personal gain would have to pay to access collaboratively owned assets and this pay (tax) would be equitably distributed.

Now, that idea is ridiculous as a direct shift from where we are today to that is very difficult to fathom. But, this same system on a smaller scale. A start-up society where UBI is built in and collaborative ownership is a central element...

Anyway, I'm glad to have you here! I also have my own UBI, a privileged position to be. But, it does allow me freely pursue my passions of designing a society that will better work for all of us!

I see unconditional basic income as the key to unlocking the doors you wish to open, and the unconditional part as primary.

For a basic income to be basic income, it must lack conditions. Without conditions, the state has no power over you. Your basic income would be a fundamental right to economic security. The unconditionality would allow everyone to say no in so many ways they currently lack the power to do so. Lack of conditions means better ability to be an informed citizen, to be active and volunteer in elections, to vote in elections. This is greater power to the people, not less.

The ability to say no also provides enhanced bargaining power to workers. It enables workers the kind of power only currently possible through unions, and it even better enables the ability to organize and strike. Additionally, as capital and as consumer buying power, it allows more startups to choose to go the route of worker-self-owned enterprises. UBI enables workers the power to get a larger share of the pie, and to own a larger share as well.

The true transformational potential of UBI lies in the funding. The best UBI will be funded in the smartest ways. Smart of course isn't entirely objective, and some may disagree with what I consider to be smart, but if you haven't read this of mine, please do. It describes the Alaska model of UBI.

In regards to your question, I'd prefer to see a land value tax, and have that help fund the UBI, which is also described in the above link.

Hi @Scottsantens Apologies for the extremely delayed response. I needed to take some time to learn more about your ideas and the UBI concept as a whole in order to better add value to this discussion. At the end of the day, I completely agree with most everything you are saying in philosophy and in spirit.

I noticed the goal that it appears that you have is to petition our governments to enact laws creating a UBI. I think this is marvelous!

I also believe there is another approach, this is a 'bottom-up' approach. Rather than dedicating my energy towards modifying the current systems I have been actively engaged in creating complementary systems that can be enacted at a community level to achieve similar results and start to transition society. This scale can impact a community on a monthly time scale opposed to the yearly/decade timescale of governments.

You mentioned in your Alaska article.

"economic rent could start to be diverted from rentiers directly to citizens before any of it reaches the hands of governments or corporations"

I couldn't agree more. However, I wanted a model that was even more direct than the one you detailed. So. Here it is!

This is all to say that I have been engaged in designing a new society model (called Our NeighbourGood) with an economic model centered on a Crypto-currency that would be able to begin to enact UBI-like policies. I would love some feedback from you on the functionality and methodology I have described.

Challenging the Old Money Gods (Including Bitcoin)! A New Crypto-Currency for a New Society!

If you have a moment to weight in on this idea. I would greatly appreciate any contributions you could make our insights you could offer!



Yup! It need be! We also need new leadership that isn't prone to cynical misanthropy; that understands that humans will engage positively when given half a chance with their basic needs met ( Maslow)....
I think the fairest way to do this would be to socialize the creation of money.i.e. Positivemoney.org......Crypto might do the trick, too...We'll see .....I'm calling for something like The Global Commons Society with Four Pillars taken off capitalist coercion and unnecessary exploitation:
3)education (re-ed. on ecology and economy).
4)health-care and a large part of that is teaching​ preventative techniques​....

I love the idea of combining Positive Money with UBI. I keep hoping that they will start talking a lot more about UBI as the way of creating money, because I think that makes far more sense to fully decentralize the currency creation, than it does to let government decide how it wishes to spend the money it creates for itself instead of its citizens.

Oh, yes, it's a very bad idea to have currency creation modeled on a debt pyramid scheme!
My Four Pillars will be difficult for hard core Capitalists for a number of reasons which I'll list below...

  1. they tend to deny pollution as a problem.
    2)they tend to deny that there are limits to growth.
    3)they tend to deny that scaling a new civilization without fossil fuels is hard...Very, very hard...
    4)they tend to deny that 10 billion people by 2050 practicing various types of narcissistic​ behavior​ is any problem at all....
    But, hey, one problem at a time, I suppose​, but​ my Four Pillars adequately addresses all these issues and still leaves room for a stripped down capitalist system.....

I'm not up on this basic income idea - it seems like the same theory as minimum wage, but maybe I'm wrong.

Does your project focus only on the US? If so does it take into account the soaring death rates of Americans? I'm in health care, and things are very bleak. I saw a projection of a dramatic decrease in US native born population by 2040, I think.

I did not keep a link to the study and I'm on the hunt for it, but it seems true to me. I'm in a lot of chronic disease groups and the people are getting sicker more quickly and dying like crazy.

In my weight loss groups 400+ pound people used to be rare and now they are common, just for one example. I think if the population decreases, this changes your scope maybe.

Followed you on Twitter and here and glad to connect :)

About min wage and UBI, please read this one of mine. The two ideas are quite different.

Because you appear to be coming from a health care angle, I also recommend this one and this one.

After having read those, whatever questions you have, you may find them answered right here. ;)

Thank you - I will take a look. I deal with a lot of people ending up homeless due to their disabilities, loss of family support, and inability to work or get benefits. It's a big mess for sure.

A basic income is a belief I have, except I am actively working to build it from passive income through real estate and business investments. Half way there. Having that minimum income come in gives the freedom to pursue whatever work you want, paid or not. :-)

If you missed it, you might really enjoy this post along those lines. ;)


That is a good article, it goes back to what I keep telling people. You must own things (assets, business, etc) if you ever want financial freedom. At least in the current economic and legal structure. If the rules of the game change one day (which they need many of) then this mantra may change, but until then I plan to create and own as much as I can.

@scottsantens - Wow! that's an amazing article. Lots of information. I like some of your suggestions related to reward system. Hope to see more post like this from you.

Thanks! I'm definitely planning on posting more. ;)

welcome to steemit! followed you pls follow back ;)
have fun!

Most people think of automation and robotics taking over minimum wage jobs or the McD job. The truth is McD jobs are even cheaper than robotics that are already in use at ports, warehouses, and even in software engineering. When most good jobs are gone and only service industry jobs are available then we have a problem - that's what most people who support Basic Income are trying to prepare for.

The concept of a guaranteed basic income is new to me and it's growing on me. One immediate concern that comes up is this: if everyone is getting paid a certain amount to meet basic needs, wouldn't that drive the prices of basic goods up to the point where that basic income was no longer enough to meet those needs? I'm sure this has been asked before, so what is the best article to read to address that objection?

That's possibly the most frequently asked question of all, which is why I wrote this one to answer it in great detail.


Welcome to Steem, @scottsantens. You seem to have a lot knowledge that I desperately need to learn from. Can't wait to see your future posts.

Thanks! And if you'd like to learn more without waiting, you can always check out my FAQ.

I like UBI, because people need food, clothes and whatnot. In a world where robots make these in abundance, people should have free access to them. That's because I like people. Better than robots anyway. I don't see how taking away money away as an extrensic motivator / economy is a good idea or even possible. Not because I think people are lazy but we just need it to value the things we do. Even your good hearted kids who raised the most charity understood money.

I don't suggest taking away money, so it's possible you misunderstood me. I'm suggesting that people start each month with enough money to purchase their basic needs, and that in doing so, they would be more able to pursue the work they find most valuable to them, which would either be paid or unpaid depending on what's important to them.

...money as an extrinsic motivator can destroy motivation and also hinder creative thinking. Intrinsic motivation is far more powerful. Well said!

Nice to see you :* have a great time

Welcome to SteemIt.

No offense meant here, but if Universal Basic Income was such a great idea, you would not have to dedicate your life & make Herculean efforts in trying to promote it.

For instance, take cryptocurrency - an idea whos' time has truly come. It will not be stopped, because it is a superior idea. Because of it's very nature - the intrinsic properties of blockchain technology - it will be adopted and implemented by free-thinking, freedom-loving, powerful individuals - and it will radically change the world. I don't have to "convince" anyone that cryptos are a good idea, because they will discover that fact for themselves over time.

UBI, on the other hand...? I'm not convinced at all, and neither are a lot of other people. What works really well in a small, poverty-sticken nation such as Nambia does not necessarily work well in a large, industrialized nation like the USA. UBI, by it's very nature, lends itself to a top-down process which will inevitably breed corruption. Blockchain technology is highly resistant to corruption.

We just had a "crisis" with BitCoin - and its' corruption has been avoided, for now, because of its' properties. UBI is an economic theory - a largely unproven one, at that. It may work well here or there, in a microcosm, but it is not by any means a proven system ready for worldwide adoption - I don't think. At the end of the day, it may have to be imposed upon people, against their will. That is not the hallmark of a great idea.

The reason you have to convince people on the merits of UBI is that Joe Public believes (rightly or wrongly) that it will cost him something. Creating a new cryptocurrency doesn't involuntarily cost anyone anything. There's also the reality that most people have no fucking clue how money or the economy works. If they did they might be far more amenable to the UBI idea. Finally, there's also the silly moral angle that it's somehow wrong to get something for "free". When most of the population are too thick to consider that morals may not be objective and absolute, it's no wonder that you have to convince people of this stuff.

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Excellent in everyway. Amazing that you have been a member here since last year and this is your 1st post. Looking foward to more you got my vote.

Welcome. It is my hope that Steem will become a place for journalists, scholars and philosophers to speak freely, build a voice and make crypto for their efforts. Followed, upvoted and resteemed.

Welcome to Steemit! Wow what a read. Interesting, very informative and thanks for sharing! :)

Hi Scott, love your writing and the value you consistently add to the basic income conversation. Also, I joined Steemit after hearing about it from you, so thanks for the recommendation! Cheers from a fellow chihuahua-parent :)

I really enjoyed the post... I will be following and hoping to engage in conversations of this sort. I think we have the potential to monetize a whole bunch of areas of the internet... it is only a matter of us 'voting' with our participation. By posting on Steemit instead of facebook I have chosen to see value in both what I write and what I 'like'. There are decentralized blockchain search engines, publishers, tweet machines... etc... all on the way that just by using, could move us closer to the utopia as opposed to the dystopia we can see attempting to solidify.

I really appreciate your perspective on basic income and human nature not being lazy and self serving... I am of the same mind in these respects.

I will leave it at that... thank you for sharing.

Apply this to Steemit. Look at the posts here. Look at how people interact with each other. My perception is that a lot of what's posted here is in the pursuit of money.
your full article is really written perfectly but I mention just this above statement as it is really right people need to interact with each other without any greedeness and encourage each other
and freedom of speech is really important factor for any social network
I must say downvoting is a negative point as according to your saying people get feered with it if they speek they will be downvoted with greater steem power so they will loose something hardly earned
first income is really need to be demonstrated to all over the world as here in our country people only depend on what they hardly earn with full day effort, every one need to awared of variety of ways to earn a good income without hard efforts as AI has made things possible now adays

The future is going to be one weird place that's for sure.

Fantastic post... I'm a newbie here also and still trying to find how I can contribute. This does give one the motivation and has some great ideas on what the future can hold.. if we choose the right path. Thanks, look forward to reading more from you @scottsantens

I just re-read this again because WOW there is so much here. So many though provoking ideas I freaking LOVE it! Also, side note: how did you get the text at the bottom or the article to change to blue / how did you get it to link to other things?

Thanks! The links are created via markup language. Click the link for markdown styling guide that you should see as soon as you open up a text box.

@scottsantens I am starting a podcast where I interview other entrepreneurs, I would like to invite to the inaugural episodes.

The podcasts will be hosted on my youtube account: https://www.youtube.com/nantchev

We talk about what they are doing with their life, business as well as their journey. A casual conversation about entrepreneurship.

Please email me. You can reach me via scottsantens.com.

Your email does not work on your website, so I have sent you a message on FB.

It really is just a link to ornagse when your interview will be: https://calendly.com/adriannantchev/entrepreneur-podcast

That was a really amazing post. I've been really fascinated for the last year by both automation and a Universal Basic Income. After reading the post I'm definitely going to follow you and see what you have to say later on. Seeing your picture I think I've actually read a bit from you before.

I'm very new to Steemit myself and I've already noticed one thing about it is that there are a lot of people on the platform who really are careful with what they say, I've even caught myself doing it sometimes. I really like your idea about applying a type of UBI to Steemit because the reality is that by paying for upvoting there definitely are advantages but you also have so many people really pulling their punches and trying not to offend. I noticed right away that the way some people post here is very different than almost any other site out there and there's this big push for positivity which is alright for a while but it doesn't really leave any room for criticism and having an actual discussion over anything.

One thing that I'm very interested in with automation is really how it's going to effect money. I've heard a lot of things good and bad. One thing I haven't heard too much on though and would love to know your opinion on is that when we do see a massive movement towards automation and the cost of production on most items go down, will we also see a drop in price and is it going to significantly lower our cost of living? And could we one day live in a world without money?

Just joined steem. First example of introduce yourself was this...Initial reaction: overwhelm, is this the bar for basic introduction? Then I overcame this insecurity and realized steem must be a great place to attract people like you. Motivated to contribute!

Wonderful ! happy to meet you . I have seen you followers are more than 2 k on facebook. that's great. I @azizbd will be in touch with you and our school @SchoolForSDG4 also.
best of luck @scottsantens

If I remember correctly I have across your blog. Somewhere 2 or 3months ago, I was searching for a project which I had to search for basic income. Nice post by the way. Following you now.

♣♣♣♣♣I will follow back those people who will follow me, I just thought that's a fair deal.♣♣♣♣♣

Very good post! Glad i found you. Also, check out the work of Economist Professor Guy Standing on this subject. He has many presentations over at YouTube. Thanks!

I know him and we have spoken before. Cheers!

hi... nice to see you ..
welcome on steemit .. have a great time ...
follow me @mahr,, good luck.. :* <3

this is INCREDIBLE. Thank you , thank you, thank you for sharing all of this. I'm so excited to learn more from you and connect. So excited. Cheers mate! Followed, re-steemed.

First Welcome in steem Brother. Yes i agree with you most of the man googled basic income.

Welcome to Steemit, glad to see you here. Jobs Are for Machines is an interesting article. Gladly following for more interesting content.

Wow! This was incredibly interesting to read. I haven't heard about basic income before, and how you would apply it to steemit was really intriguing... Welcome and I'll be interested in following your posts.

Welcome to Steem @scottsantens I have upvoted and sent you a tip

I agree with you on netizen dividend. But equally I think people will have to pay for access to information.

I don't think you're on a basic income. You appear to be living off donations or something close to employment.

I don't believe in basic income because I believe there will be those who will never work. Economically it might make sense but from an ethical perspective I don't want to work and pay taxes for some people to do nothing. I think this is the biggest obstacle to basic income.

I've modeled my Patreon after a basic income by self-limiting it to $1,000 per month. The point is to simulate an income floor that is not connected to doing something in exchange for work. I don't get paid because I did something. I write stuff for free, do podcasts for free, and do a lot of other things for free, and receive an income from over 300 people each month that enables me to continue working for free or to earn additional income, which I also do.

If you have a classic job, one person controls your paycheck, and you must do your job to earn your check. Even if you do your job, you can be fired by one person. I earn an income from over 300 people, and there are no conditions whatsoever on that income. A true basic income would mostly only be different by virtue of being crowdfunded by 300 million people instead of 300.

Please read this about what I've learned having a secure income base as a starting point each month.

There are already people who "never work". They get on welfare. Welfare is targeted. Welfare is removed with work, which effectively punishes it. Would you work if the deal was that you got to keep 10 cents for every dollar earned? Would you work if you actually lost more than $1 for every dollar earned? That's welfare. There's no getting around it. Additionally you yourself are likely getting multiple tax credits. This is identical to not lowering your taxes and just giving you money. If we just provide UBI, we remove the disincentives to work, and can also simplify the tax code, perhaps even switching to a flat tax.

Also, income taxes are not required to pay for basic income. We have a lot of options. Here's how I'd go about it.

Finally, you can dislike the idea of UBI all you want, but I hope you're recognizing the reality of automation and the fact tens of millions of jobs are going to be automated over the next decade, and the new jobs created are going to be nowhere near that number in the same amount of time.

All your points are well taken but here is where I agree and differ.

Yes, the welfare system is way too complicated. Basic income would save a lot of national budget, through simplification alone.

There is indeed a disincentive to work if the marginal income gains are tiny compared to welfare. However, this is only because welfare is so generous in the West. I disagree with the current, what I regard as "high", levels of welfare in the West.

I still think there is a big problem with people getting paid with no need to work. What effect will this have on those who do work? I know a guy right now (in fact several) who scams the system and effectively gets a basic income. He hasn't worked for 20 years. He can only do this because people like me are paying for him. This will divide society with resentment if basic income becomes widespread.

Also, you overplay automation. I've looked into automation, machine learning, AI etc. Yes, many existing jobs will disappear but they will be replaced by others, as has happened ever since the industrial revolution. There are also many jobs that will never disappear, where machines cannot replace humans. I think you also seem to be worried about low value workers on minimum wage losing their jobs. I have always maintained that such people should not be on such jobs for life, these jobs are intended for the young - anyone who works a minimum wage job over the age of 30 is not investing in improving themselves and therefore the value they can obtain in the job market.

As automation and AI reduce available jobs for humans to do, it is inevitable that more and more people are going to have to be officially unemployed. I just put up a short article I wrote on UBI, and at the end I address this "ethical" issue. The reality is that capitalism can't sustain itself under the current trajectory. What's more important to you - maintaining a functioning society, or getting hung up over the fact that some people chose not to work in a traditional employment arrangement?

Like I said, we had the industrial revolution before and new job types were created.

Yes this won't be exactly the same but I have confidence. Just because advances are being made in automation does not mean that capitalism Is unsustainable. That's an ideological belief rather than a proven fact.

Under the current model it has to be unsustainable. If un(der)-employment is allowed to keep growing, then the consumer base falls out of capitalism. Without consumers capitalism can't function. We will need a mechanism to get money into the hands of consumers.

Regarding the analogy to the industrial revolution, it's fundamentally different this time. AI will allow computers to outthink us. Robotics and miniaturisation will allow machines to outmanoeuvre us. None of this was the case in the industrial revolution. And these processes have already started. And to be clear, this is a good thing in principle. Who doesn't want more time to spend with family and friends and doing things that provide them happiness?

These are your beliefs, I beg to differ. Who is right? Only time will tell. We can only agree to disagree.

I do agree that the current model is broken, however. Family units being broken up, kids being brought up in daycare instead of at home which is not really ideal, even though some great people work in daycare centers.

The question you ask: "Is it more important to make sure someone who doesn't deserve Steem doesn't get it? Or is it more important to make sure someone who does deserve Steem gets it who otherwise wouldn't without the application of universality?" is similar to the "Blackstone's formulation", "It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer". Liberals usually think it is preferable to let a guilty person get away with it than to risk putting an innocent​ person in prison, while authoritarians tend to think the opposite. The prison metaphor puts the contrast even more clearly I think. :) Check Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackstone%27s_formulation

Hey @scottsantens Welcome to Steemit!Nice to meeet You...!!!

Scott was it my post you saw on reddit about steemit? I posted it in r/basicincome as @themax37. I think the post was archived on reddit. Anyway I've been following you for a while and it's great to have you on here.

Automation... now that is what I call life... Just relaxing on the beach while I have couple of robots to do the dirtywork! :D

A Vital, Lucid, and Evolutionary Post. Important it is to immunize ourselves to the virus of greed that continues to ravage our systems. Radar, you are on, friend. Continue the Mission.

Very Inspiring post. I want to do my introduce myself post now. You do have an awesomely interesting life.

Thanks for this really interesting post! I'd never heard of basic income before and it's certainly something I'd like to look into more. You make some really good points about steemit too. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts.

hey you're welcome to Steemit...
Nice to meet you...

Welcome to the Steemit Community @scottsantens , follow, upvote and resteem @lank

Hi @scottsantens, welcome!!!

Recognize the leaders and steemit founders HERE !!!

Welcome here, I hope you enjoy it. Congrats on all your success!

That was an interesting read.

My primary objection to UBI is who distributes it and who is entitled to it. The obvious answer is "everyone" - its universal ....right?

But if it is left to nation states to distribute, it becomes a question of who is a citizen. Citizenship then has a monetary value. And what of the "unpeople", who are undocumented, the sans papiers or those who have complicated histories...or even present lives.

Do criminals get it if they are on a life sentance, to be inherited by their relatives when they die?

Will those too young, too old or otherwise too incapable of spending it themselves get it...and what safeguards would there be for people being turned into units of profit - where care homes warehouse the elderly.

I tend to think of it as an interesting idea, badly throught though, centred around the needs and desires of able-bodied western adults.
Incidentally have you seen "Wages for Facebook", started life as an art exhibition in 2014.


How does the safety net work right now? Citizens get it, as do legal residents who have lived here for enough years to qualify. That's standard. I expect UBI to follow that.

As for the undocumented, no they don't get UBI, just like they don't get Social Security or Section 8 or TANF, etc. The fact they aren't on a register means they're not getting UBI because there's no record of them. If they want a UBI, they can get one from their own country where they hold citizenship rights.

As for criminals, as soon as your are not incarcerated, you get basic income. That's a very important element of UBI. As for during incarceration, that's up for debate. Because UBI is meant to cover needs like food and housing, should it go towards covering those costs to reduce the amount of taxes required to pay for the incarcerated? Or should their UBI just be paused while they are incarcerated so that taxes still need to pay for their incarceration? Or should their UBI get to build up while incarcerated so that they leave with a windfall amount? There's definitely a debate there to be had, but the fact there's a debate there does not make UBI poorly thought out, especially when it's far superior to our existing shitty system built on conditions.

As for your other questions, I suggest looking at Alaska which has the closest thing to UBI in the world. There's a lot to learn from there.

Additionally, if not UBI, what is your preferred solution to confronting the realities of the automation of human labor?

@hecate Keep in mind that all those concerns you raise apply to the current welfare system.

Well, not entirely.

For example to UK NHS provides free healthcare to anyone who needs it in the UK. In theory, you need to be registered and entitled, in practice no one is turned away.

In Egypt, basic foodstuffs like rice, tea, flour etc are subsidised by the government and you can buy them very, very cheaply, just by turning up and showing an ID card which is rarely checked.

In both those cases although citizenship might be a presumed requirement for assistance, mere presence and need is in practice sufficient.

Thw whole concept of citizenship is becoming obsolete in the modern age of migration and globalisation. Any UBI would have to be implimented globally for it to have any meaning.

welcome to steemit @scottsantens
and nice to meet you
following you

Great introduction. Will follow.

Thanks for this great article on GBI/UBI. It is something that's come onto my radar a few months ago, as it seems to be getting more press lately.
I think I started thinking more about this when I watched the Black Mirror series, which you mentioned in your post.
I will have to do a lot of catching up to​ on this idea.
One of my biggest concerns for this has to do with attached strings. I find it hard to believe that there would not come a time when someone spoke against "something" (where's the free speech in not be able to do that?) and the switch to their UBI gets turned off? Can you point me to an article on how this would be addressed?
I will be checking out the links you've posted and I hope to get up to speed on being able to contribute to this discussion.
Thanks again, and I'm glad I came across this post.
P.S. it is something I'm very interested in, not just posting this to look for monetary gain. : )

welcome Scottsantens ! hope you enjoy here as much as i do ! Nice post, i will follow your account, please follow me ...

Hi @scottsantens, thanks for the article, that was a very thorough introduction. Tom Vrba here, we met a few months back at the GET conference in Phoenix. Good to see you on Steemit! I'm in the same boat, reading things on Steemit here and there for about a year, but haven't really introduced myself or posted anything yet. Time to start!

Welcome to Steemit scottsantens.

Welcome scottsantens to Steemit.

Hello @scottsantens I would have to admit this is the first time I'm learning about "basic income". I've surfed and interacted in Reddit before but quit because it was too addicting! I've not had time to immerse in the web then as I was too busy "working" a job. Kind of ironic really.

I've read the entire post and I will be reading up on your mentioned article.

I agree on your observations on steem. There are posts and comments here that obviously are either generic responses, money-driven. But there are posts that are genuinely enlightening... like yours.

I'd love to write more and comment more but I have a "job" to attend to. :)

welcom to steemit my friend this is defently tha longes introducing blog on steemit lol keep it on the good work

Hi!!Nice to meet you and glad to see more people like you in this comunity Steemit! Becoming a steaminion is a great adventure, a good idea and a good hobby! Here you can win money while bloging and writing stories from your life! The start it wouldn't be easy, but it isn't impossible. So just write cool stories and everything will be verry good. Wish all the best!
Nice post, Wish you much luck! I Have upvoted and will follow your account. Don't hesitate to contact or follow me at any time :-) See you around @izwafauzi

Welcome to steem

damn! long read! welcome to steemit! we are the FUTURE! :)

Hi Scott, very informative intro. I'm an activist of sorts and a writer of sorts and universal basic income is a theme I'm starting to focus on more and more. I've come across a number of your articles online and it was from them that I found myself here on Steemit. Interesting concept that they've got going here. The idea of user-content and how it is used for free by big networks is something that has "bothered" me I guess, for a while now. Anyway, your post here convinced me to join up, and I will try and use this site as a vehicle to get more of my writing and ideas out there.

I was fascinated to hear that you are drawing a basic income from patreon. Great idea, particularly the way you've implemented the BIG network idea there. I'm long term unemployed for various reasons that I won't go into, and a basic income like that would be so enabling (and stress reducing) for myself and others in my situation. When I consider the idea that I could draw a basic income like that myself, it's interesting how the dynamic plays out. I can't help but feel an involuntary touch of guilt at the idea that I could get money for nothing. Even as a strong supporter of a UBI, for both practical and moral reasons, the ingrained social conditioning that we all suffer from to varying degrees plays out. This is the first time I've felt that. I think this might prompt an article from me in the future.

Anyway, welcome (even though you've been here longer than me by a week or two). Look out for me in your BIG network on patreon if I can overcome the ridiculous guilt of trying to "get something for free"... ;)

I have seen posts without any useful information go away with $1600 but this is full of life changing thoughts, yet it has $183.14 as at the time of writing this.
This just buttress your point "we giving things out to those whom we think deserve it and refuse to give to those whom we think do not deserve it"
I come from a country where our leaders have no interest of the masses, its every man for himself. Most nigerians u see here writes post because of the rewards not becuase they enjoy doing it. Every post, every coment centres on the reward. For us there is no hope in our country, thete is nothing the youths can do. We are suffering and there is no one to help.
Most times i cry, where will my help come from. I weep because i have no comforter, i shed tears because i am lonely. And i drown my sorrow on social medias, when i sleep i pray never to wake up anymore and when i wake up, fear grips my heart cos my daily meal isnt sure. I just live without a purpose.
And i ask myself, what can i do... If only i have a basic income

Scottsantens! You are much welcome to Steemit world. Your writing is powerful and the coordination excellent. Starting with the introduction of yourself, you moved into talking about Steemit and then, marketed yourself, sharing of your lovely relationship with your girlfriend and your puppy. I love you! And as a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I say God blesses you.

Welcome to Steemit :)

Welcome to Steemit. We love you ;)

scottsantens Scott Santens tweeted @ 24 Jul 2017 - 18:28 UTC

Hi @Steemit! Scott Santens here. If you've ever googled #basicincome, you may have read something I've written...… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.

welcome bro...nice thoughts

welcome to steem