Thursday, September 8, 2011

Interesting jobs article

Here's a post about jobs that I found interesting.

The guy is basically saying that we should use technology to establish a sort of baseline quality of life with free food and housing, and then nobody would have to work except to buy entertainment and luxuries.

Biggest issue I see is that food and housing have to come from somewhere, even if it's the guy who maintains the robots that do the actual farming, or the engineer who developed the system in the first place, or the people who pay taxes so the government can do it. By saying that you have a right to free food and housing, you're basically demanding that someone else work for you without you doing anything to compensate him. You can pass the forced labor around, saying that the guy serving you is getting paid by a government who collects taxes, forcing the taxed to work for no compensation 15-30% of the time, but in the end it comes down to you getting something for nothing so someone else has to do something and get nothing. That's immoral, an injustice.

The function of society is to protect the autonomy of individuals. That means you have a right to not be hurt by others, to not be aggressed upon, to not be cheated or scammed from broken contracts, to not be coerced, to not be enslaved or held. These are negative rights, protective rights. Rights that keep others from making your life worse when you haven't done anything to merit it. As for positive rights, the right to be given free food, free healthcare, free housing, the right to free cable and internet, the right to your own yacht and personal butler, you don't deserve jack shit. Taking anything from someone who earned to give it to someone who did not is simply theft.

So how can we make it work? You can't get something for nothing, but people don't want to work and produce anything to trade for that 'something'. The only thing they can trade away is some of their autonomy. I can easily imagine some sort of system where there were 10-20 manors or houses that people could declare themselves for, and be subservient to, in exchange for health, food, and housing. Shrug, a back step towards monarchy, perhaps.

In the end, there are people who add a lot to society and end up becoming very wealthy, and there are people who mostly have to be supported by society and they live in poverty. We've chosen to deal with this by forcibly stealing from the wealthy and giving to the poor. An immoral, unjust choice, I would say. If you want a fair system, you need to give something to the wealthy that they would view of equal value to what is taken from them.

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