Humans were the biggest contributors to society. But now we have competition and we are losing our foothold. As human rights increase and the demands of the people increase, so does the cost of hiring a human. This trend will not reverse.
Meanwhile, the operating and running costs of machinery are only going down. As machines evolve, their capabilities can only increase.
The ideal of “earning your keep” may have been a good idea at one point, but increasingly we can see that it is losing ground, because in many cases, mechanization is simply more efficient.
Of course, right now machines are still ridiculously dumb. They need designers, operators, and maintainers.
But jobs are already decreasing, with factories of robots replacing thousands of sweatshops. In this society, without a job a person cannot have a humane life. Sure, you might live in a socialist country with welfare, but without a job you cannot own anything society deems “nonessential” or “luxurious”.
This is wrong. Jobs cannot be about survival. When you look at the supposed mission statement of every company, it is to provide a service. Of course we all know that their true objective – whether in greed or need – is to get money.
What if we made it so the purpose of an organization was actually about doing what we want to get done? What if the sole purpose of a job was to maintain the existence of a service or product, without the worry of your next paycheck coming in between?
Of course, if you’re any sort of skilled person, you will reject the idea. You have 10 years of college debt. You spent countless nights studying to gain your skills. Why should some lazy bum get the exact same income you do?
I’ll tell you why. Because soon you too will become uncompetitive. You can sabotage the efforts of engineers and programmers all you want, but because their survivals depend on their jobs too so they will keep building better and better synthetic subsitutes. NO job is out of the reach of machinery’s robotic grasp. Every year your employer is going to try to cut spending to save his own bacon, eventually when the technology arrives, it will be your job.
What will you do then? You can’t wash 100 dishes per second. You cost food and water and benefits. You cannot be fixed or upgraded, even performance drugs or implants or refresher courses will only help so much. Nobody wants a job. You want to help people, to make pottery, to teach, to organize, to create, to entertain – but nobody wants to do that for the sake of survival.
Something I find incredibly laughable is the government paying corporations to create jobs, so the unemployed don’t have to eat donation food. It’s funny because unnecessary jobs are an inefficiency. Having unemployed is a good thing: it means you have excess production capacity when there’s something actually worth doing. Plus, its a simple fact that we have more than enough food for everyone so don’t even try to tell me that we cannot afford to have an excess of labor.
Corporations are focused on efficiency. And that’s good because the less resources they use, the less of society’s resources are spent.
But then if everyone is guaranteed an income, what incentive would an employee have to work a back-breaking 40 hours a week?
You’re right, you wouldn’t. But there are a few compelling reasons:
1. If a service really is worth providing, someone will step up to the task and do what is necessary. But it won’t be because he wants to live, but because he wants the specific service or product to exist.
2. Without a job what would you do? Your basic needs are already fulfilled: you will have spent your allocated income intelligently and efficiently to secure your physiological and safety needs (and if you haven’t, then try again next month – there are no permanent monetary consequences in this system). The next step is love, esteem, and self actualization… and at least 2, perhaps all 3, can be attained through providing a valuable service or product.
3. Even with the promise of self actualization, you still probably won’t want to work 40 hours. Well, you don’t have to. Remember the other 40 candidates you beat during the interview by a hair’s breath? One or more of them will be able to fill in while you’re gone. They’re also professionals in your field, and since they’re already financially secure, they would love to apply their professional skills in helping to provide people with a service or product to feel and BE useful.
4. Let’s say you still hate your job even with humane working hours. Fine, then let someone else do it. Let’s say nobody wants to do the job, but the service is really important. Eventually you will start to feel the consequences of not having such a service, so you will be forced, by the lack of that service, to work that job to provide its service. See how it works? No artificial threats required.
(NOTE: MONEY is not an incentive: In such a theoretical system, you earn by existing, and there is no way to increase your own income except by increasing society’s overall net production. When you spend your income, it is simply converted into the good you receive and the value is entirely transferred into the good or service you buy, and is destroyed upon consuming)
A good representation of the problems with the earning mentality is Amazon warehouses. The people in Amazon warehouses are treated as machines, doing the job of machines. No, those jobs SHOULD be left to machines. Except, without those jobs, they would have no living. So they have to do those jobs, even if they hate it, even if Amazon would probably be better off with actual robots (as they are researching and considering).
People are not machines. Well, we are sort of a jack-of-all trades. But when it comes to a specialized task, the smartest nerd stereotype will not be able to out-calculate a calculator. Reason: His brain is 1000cc’s of porridge. its pretty shitty. In fact, as technology progresses eventually we’ll get to a point where robots are more of a jack of all trades than we are.
We will still contribute. The most human-like robot will not out-human a human – it lacks the history, the evolution, the organic makeup, it’s not real, not in the purest sense. But it will out-cook a human, out-account a human, and out-manage a human. Good. I don’t want a random person to be handling my food, to be perfectly honest.