Some results from the universal basic income study in Stockton: Those who received unconditional monthly payments were MORE likely to work than those who did not.
Turns out that the foundation of our economic thought, that humans are basically lazy and no-good, is wrong.
There are way better reasons to explore UBI and other means of repairing our dangerous levels of inequality than increasing productivity, but since that’s what social safety net naysayers lean on, and they’ve been shown to be exactly wrong, why not talk about productivity too?
It’s intuitively obvious to anyone who has ever been stressed out with financial insecurity: Stress hurts productivity. The idea that it benefits productivity is absurd. Stress leads to avoidance, exhaustion, mistakes, self-soothing behaviors.
Extreme stress leads to paralysis.
Economic insecurity might be the #1 generator of productivity-destroying stress, and yet the establishment ruling class of the country thinks it’s a tool to be used to increase productivity.
And let’s eliminate stress from the conversation altogether. Having some money makes it possible to do things like:
Hire a babysitter while you take a shift or look for a job
Take care of health and family emergencies
I’ve never met a lazy human. I’ve met disempowered, self-doubting, stressed out, or otherwise paralyzed humans, but never a lazy one. Laziness is a concept invented by a disembodied, coercive culture with no interest in what humans are really like, only what it can get from them.
I don’t know what the right recipe is, if it’s UBI or something else, but I do know that opposition to a social safety net rests entirely on a foundation of dumb ideas created by self-hating people.
To have any chance of solving our problems, these ideas need to die forever.