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Post Reply Should a person's general welfare be guaranteed and unconditional?
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Posted 7/1/16
A while back, I was on a Q&A forum that I like to kill time on, and someone asked a question that, roughly, asked "Why do people have to work for necessities?" He worded it differently, though, and it was clear that he was not so much asking a question as putting forth an argument and challenge along the lines of "I don't think that I, or anyone else, should be required to work if we don't want to. Those that choose not to work should not, perhaps, be given luxury, but everyone, regardless of ability, character, etc., should be freely given basic necessities such as food and shelter. Prove me wrong."

I cannot agree with the poster. All things necessary for humans, including food, clean water, and shelter, are necessarily produced or gathered by work, often entailing manual labor. If you, or I, refuse to produce these for ourselves, and offer nothing in return to the people who do produce them, then those who labored in the production of said items are under no obligation to offer them to us. Additionally, if people were offered the choice, too many would refuse to work, and the few left over would be unable to produce and distribute enough goods for everyone else, even if they were willing.

Cases of actual disability, such that a person has NO service or good that they can provide to society, have less responsibility, of course. Unwillingness is different from incapacity.

Essentially, the point is, in my view, that those who claim no obligation to society, must not claim entitlement to society's benefits.

The person who asked the question messaged me, saying he would like to use my answer in a video he was making, presumably to argue his side. That made me wonder why he disagreed. Unfortunately, the video was never completed, as far as I know, so I thought I would ask everyone here what they thought.
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Posted 7/1/16 , edited 7/1/16
It's like people forget we have machines and automation nowadays. Not everyone needs to work to provide basic necessities anymore. Those jobs are quickly being overtaken by our superior mechanical muscles--and increasingly minds as well. You won't find a new place for unskilled labor. We don't need those people working anymore. You could force them to work pointless jobs to suit ego?

Hunger should be a thing of the past.

It's a different time. Ideally we will soon be able to provide basic necessities to all and to simply allow people to strive for more--to better their lives if they so desire.

...I fail to see what's wrong with that?

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Posted 7/1/16

PrinceJudar wrote:

It's like people forget we have machines and automation nowadays. Not everyone needs to work to provide basic necessities anymore. Those jobs are quickly being overtaken by our superior mechanical muscles--and increasingly minds as well. You won't find a new place for unskilled labor. We don't need those people working anymore. You could force them to work pointless jobs to suit ego?

Hunger should be a thing of the past.

It's a different time. Ideally we will soon be able to provide basic necessities to all and to simply allow people to strive for more--to better their lives if they so desire.

...I fail to see what's wrong with that?



Machines and automation require supervision, maintenance, and production themselves. A long time into the foreseeable future, humans will still need labor to produce even basic necessities. And yes, we could force them to work pointless jobs to suit ego, but it's not quite what you're imagining. Instead of allowing people to simultaneously claim no responsibility to others and reap benefits that were worked for, the labor could, as our need of it lessens, be spread more evenly among people, giving ALL of them more leisure time without forcing part to provide for those who just don't want to work.

Hunger should certainly be a thing of the past, in so far as people being incapable of providing for themselves.

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Posted 7/1/16 , edited 7/1/16

foraslan wrote:

Machines and automation require supervision, maintenance, and production themselves. A long time into the foreseeable future, humans will still need labor to produce even basic necessities. And yes, we could force them to work pointless jobs to suit ego, but it's not quite what you're imagining. Instead of allowing people to simultaneously claim no responsibility to others and reap benefits that were worked for, the labor could, as our need of it lessens, be spread more evenly among people, giving ALL of them more leisure time without forcing part to provide for those who just don't want to work.

Hunger should certainly be a thing of the past, in so far as people being incapable of providing for themselves.



Not by unskilled labor. That's my point. We are losing use for these people. We can't ship everyone to college trying to make everyone a skilled worker--that's one of our issues now.

You can't split a good engineer into 5 shitty engineers. It doesn't work like that. Doesn't even make sense. Split education too? I mean, how does that even work?



Why make people work for the sake of working?

If we needed them for that, that's one thing--but we really don't. That's like hiring people just to watch people order food from a machine.
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Posted 7/1/16
Eh? I fail to see why "hunger" and "starvation" are being used interchangeably. "Hunger" is simply the body hinting around that it wants a person to eat or drink (yes, a lack of fluids is known to cause the feeling of "hunger'"), not that the person necessarily needs food. It's the difference between an chick pestering mom to feed it for the umpteenth time and devouring food so fast that the body has yet to register how much it's eaten, and a skeletal chick dying. Otherwise, I agree with the OP.
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Posted 7/1/16

aeb0717 wrote:

Eh? I fail to see why "hunger" and "starvation" are being used interchangeably. "Hunger" is simply the body hinting around that it wants a person to eat or drink (yes, a lack of fluids is known to cause the feeling of "hunger'"), not that the person necessarily needs food. It's the difference between an chick pestering mom to feed it for the umpteenth time and devouring food so fast that the body has yet to register how much it's eaten, and a skeletal chick dying. Otherwise, I agree with the OP.


It's just one of those cavities of English. We don't call it world starvation--just world hunger. It's a bit of a hand wavy difference.



Posted 7/1/16

PrinceJudar wrote:

It's like people forget we have machines and automation nowadays. Not everyone needs to work to provide basic necessities anymore. Those jobs are quickly being overtaken by our superior mechanical muscles--and increasingly minds as well. You won't find a new place for unskilled labor. We don't need those people working anymore. You could force them to work pointless jobs to suit ego?

Hunger should be a thing of the past.

It's a different time. Ideally we will soon be able to provide basic necessities to all and to simply allow people to strive for more--to better their lives if they so desire.

...I fail to see what's wrong with that?



Where would the energy for such a large amount of automation and reliance on machines come from? Humans convert food into energy, just like cars burn gas to create energy. A human's resource needed to create energy is easy to replenish, just have a garden. Machines do not have this. Solar, wind, and hydro power is nowhere near efficient enough to support the power machines need as is. Adding more to this many times over would be laughable to expect to use anything other than unrenewable resources, which obviously would run out eventually.
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Posted 7/1/16

foraslan wrote:

Machines and automation require supervision, maintenance, and production themselves.



Which is also cheaper than the humans they replaced, so overall gross labor earnings by workers is down. If they weren't cheaper than the humans they replaced, then they wouldn't be implemented. Moreover, some jobs (like maintenance) require such technical skill that someone else would need to replace the job. A maintenance worker, for example, can maintain five machines at once if they're a contractor, effectively replacing the work of five people.


A long time into the foreseeable future, humans will still need labor to produce even basic necessities. And yes, we could force them to work pointless jobs to suit ego, but it's not quite what you're imagining.


But can job creation keep pace with population growth? The answer so far is no: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobless_recovery#/media/File:US_Employment_growth_vs_Population_Growth_by_decade.jpg . The 2000s (2000 to 2010) is particularly bad, since there was a huge population growth but almost not net job growth, meaning there's still a hole to be filled.


Instead of allowing people to simultaneously claim no responsibility to others and reap benefits that were worked for, the labor could, as our need of it lessens, be spread more evenly among people, giving ALL of them more leisure time without forcing part to provide for those who just don't want to work.


However, using welfare is a more direct way. The only jobs that tend to pay excess are jobs that are highly tailored towards particularly people: either because of status or skill set. If multiple people have the same skill set, then there's more demand for a job then supply, sot he overall net earnings of the job go down. But it was the high earnings that made job "ideal" to have hours redistributed among multiple people in the first place.


Hunger should certainly be a thing of the past, in so far as people being incapable of providing for themselves.


But it isn't, which means if we wanted to "fix" a hunger issue, we can't keep doing what we've been doing.


Fundamentally, I feel welfare is the most practical way of solving the issue. Taking 5k from someone who earns 500k per year is almost nothing compared to taking 5k from someone who earns 10k per year (1% vs 50%). Having a graduated tax brackets reflects this reality. Society cannot function will without a safety net. People who tend to live along the poverty line cannot really participate in the economy if their choice is limited by how many meals they can have per week even if they are working. While some people may "mooch" off a welfare system, that is a penalty that must be accepted for having a societal safety net in place. The issue is figuring out how to nearly eliminate issues such as hunger, lack of healthcare, homelessness, etc. while simultaneously incentivizing people to participle in the economy. And even then, such a system works under the pretense that there is sufficient supply of jobs as population growth increases--an issue that automation seems to work against since automation is, at its core, implemented to reduce labor costs. To do away with welfare is to accept that we are okay with people lacking necessities, which in turn isn't a free lunch either (e.g. if a person ends up hospitalized because they couldn't afford food, who will pay their hospital bills?).

In short, we may not like an inherit inequity of people being able to use other people's money, but to say we want to do away with welfare because of said inequity is to imply there is a better system in place. Inasmuch as I can tell, there isn't one.
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Posted 7/1/16

Ocale wrote:

Where would the energy for such a large amount of automation and reliance on machines come from? Humans convert food into energy, just like cars burn gas to create energy. A human's resource needed to create energy is easy to replenish, just have a garden. Machines do not have this. Solar, wind, and hydro power is nowhere near efficient enough to support the power machines need as is. Adding more to this many times over would be laughable to expect to use anything other than unrenewable resources, which obviously would run out eventually.


I wonder if people back in the 1890's argued that not everyone could have light bulbs in their house and we should stick to torches because surely we'll run out of "light power".

What kind of argument is that...

I don't think you're quite grasping what I'm getting at. We don't need everyone working. We do not have a use for everyone. We need less people as machines and automation are continuously optimized.

Of course, let's just ship them to college and pay off all their loans even though we have no use for these people and they just sit on their ass trying to find a job anyway...

Or, maybe we reward people who can provide something to society and not put those that don't on death row for no reason?

I mean why just stop at cutting off their food supply? We should just shoot 'em and be done with the useless folk with that logic. They're just consuming our precious resources.


Sogno- 
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Posted 7/1/16
i dont wanna work, can i just be handed what i need? thx
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Posted 7/1/16
PLZ GIEV ALL STUFFZ KTHXBY

Really though, get off your lazy ass and get a job. These kids think having a smartphone is also a "basic necessity" anymore.
Posted 7/1/16
I hate working anyways
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Posted 7/1/16

foraslan wrote:

A while back, I was on a Q&A forum that I like to kill time on, and someone asked a question that, roughly, asked "Why do people have to work for necessities?" He worded it differently, though, and it was clear that he was not so much asking a question as putting forth an argument and challenge along the lines of "I don't think that I, or anyone else, should be required to work if we don't want to. Those that choose not to work should not, perhaps, be given luxury, but everyone, regardless of ability, character, etc., should be freely given basic necessities such as food and shelter. Prove me wrong."

I cannot agree with the poster. All things necessary for humans, including food, clean water, and shelter, are necessarily produced or gathered by work, often entailing manual labor. If you, or I, refuse to produce these for ourselves, and offer nothing in return to the people who do produce them, then those who labored in the production of said items are under no obligation to offer them to us. Additionally, if people were offered the choice, too many would refuse to work, and the few left over would be unable to produce and distribute enough goods for everyone else, even if they were willing.

Cases of actual disability, such that a person has NO service or good that they can provide to society, have less responsibility, of course. Unwillingness is different from incapacity.

Essentially, the point is, in my view, that those who claim no obligation to society, must not claim entitlement to society's benefits.

The person who asked the question messaged me, saying he would like to use my answer in a video he was making, presumably to argue his side. That made me wonder why he disagreed. Unfortunately, the video was never completed, as far as I know, so I thought I would ask everyone here what they thought.





foraslan wrote:


PrinceJudar wrote:

It's like people forget we have machines and automation nowadays. Not everyone needs to work to provide basic necessities anymore. Those jobs are quickly being overtaken by our superior mechanical muscles--and increasingly minds as well. You won't find a new place for unskilled labor. We don't need those people working anymore. You could force them to work pointless jobs to suit ego?

Hunger should be a thing of the past.

It's a different time. Ideally we will soon be able to provide basic necessities to all and to simply allow people to strive for more--to better their lives if they so desire.

...I fail to see what's wrong with that?



Machines and automation require supervision, maintenance, and production themselves. A long time into the foreseeable future, humans will still need labor to produce even basic necessities. And yes, we could force them to work pointless jobs to suit ego, but it's not quite what you're imagining. Instead of allowing people to simultaneously claim no responsibility to others and reap benefits that were worked for, the labor could, as our need of it lessens, be spread more evenly among people, giving ALL of them more leisure time without forcing part to provide for those who just don't want to work.

Hunger should certainly be a thing of the past, in so far as people being incapable of providing for themselves.



You say that those who claim no obligation to society should not receive benefits of that society. That anyone who can work has a responsibility to work, within their ability. This is all well and good, if there were jobs for all these people, which there should be, but for various reasons is not.

It goes beyond robots and illegal immigrants stealing our jobs. A person who loses a job in one industry often seems to have difficulty finding work in a new industry. They often are unable to acquire the re-education and retraining, or are shut out because of their age, or lack of experience in the new industry. New jobs are regulated out of existence before they ever form. The entire system seems to be hellbent on destroying itself through fear of failure and risk.

People have an obligation to society to reap the benefits of society, but society has an obligation to the people to provide opportunities to benefit society. Welfare, and the guarantee of general welfare, will only destroy society and civilization. Society needs to stop taxing the rich to tax the poor, keeping education opportunities out of the reach of people who are just barely making it, or aren't making it at all and are slowly drowning in the day to day problems that society burdens them with.

Governments can set 'minimum wages' and change nothing about the situation that necessitated it, or possibly making it worse than before.. People need to learn the value of their work, the value of their experience, and have some way to enforce it. Businesses need to stop requiring you to have 30 years of experience as you leave high school. Society needs to stop thinking that society's problems can be solved with government intervention.

So, no. General welfare cannot be guaranteed, unless you consider 'general welfare' to be the entire society dead and gone. It is only through direct action by individuals and groups of individuals that society's problems can be repaired.
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Posted 7/1/16 , edited 7/1/16
Really though we are nearing the point where more and more people will be jobless.

We need to start preparing for a post-job world.

There is going to be a point where humans can't work due to lack of work the system as it is now is poorly made for this future.

Of course this is far off but in the future don't expect humans to be working as much.


In saying this general welfare should be guaranteed however idiots run the world and it seems unrealistic at this point.
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Posted 7/1/16

VZ68 wrote:

PLZ GIEV ALL STUFFZ KTHXBY

Really though, get off your lazy ass and get a job. These kids think having a smartphone is also a "basic necessity" anymore.


It really is if you want to stay in communication for a job.

Also the whole get off your lazy ass part is becoming rather funny as i know people who have been actively applying for jobs for 2 years and been with multiple job finding centers in my town and they have not got a job yet due to our towns employment problem.

sometimes not even the proactive people can find a job
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