Worried about depressed NEETs with basic income? (edit: addressed related concerns)
A basic income does not remove the existential challenges that we face as humans. It just provides a solid platform. If people fail to see opportunities with their basic or college education, they might just have studied something not related to where they will ultimately seek to make an impact.
I for my part see a growing wealth of opportunities and challenges in ensuring the platform economy isn’t increasingly awful for everyone but a few, opportunities in political, community, deliberate democracy action. And opportunities in creating joy in, sharing joy with fellow people. But of course pushing the boundary of research too, regardless of how hard or easy it is to enclose and monetize, that I consider immensely important. There’s a reason holistic medicine hasn’t been in the focus for the longest time.
If people are free to look around, there’s so much to do that anyone can take part in!
(edit: made this less of an anime advertisement :D )
We all get old and die, we all end up suffering one way or another. The basic income doesn’t make it so that we don’t. We’ll want to create a world that is full of joy and opportunity to attempt to overcome a probably ultimately absurd reality. Whatever that means. Be it to come to terms with things, be it to struggle on, till the end of time. And come to terms with things along the way. I’m down for some of that!
Rather than a problem of depression over lack of existential struggles to manage or overcome, people might not work for others?
Now if the concern is that regardless of depression, ‘people might opt out from working when there’s no “absolute need” to work’
It might help then, to not conflate that point with fear of young people getting depressed. I see plenty young people eager to work and indeed working, but it doesn’t pay much, or they outright chose to not work dependently employed work as it doesn’t pay for what it’s worth. If you drop the notion of ‘depression’, you easily arrive at very real reasons to chose to not work dependently employed for pay for others. Reasons that are resolved by giving people money to spend (and taxing the Land), rather than increasingly having the spendable money aggregate with a couple (in part) lucky rich who also happen to have a lower marginal propensity to consume (less opportunity to earn; unless you take a loan and everyone else takes a loan, for some game of musical chairs of improving aggregate demand). I say spread some of the money because it’s a matter of fairness, and that way get people to work for each other, where mutually agreeable.
On the market, people sometimes chose to not work dependently employed for others in the production of commodities. That’s just how markets work. Also of course there’s more work beyond what’s on the Market, so the idea that people won’t work is not consistent with reality.
Unless the conversation is about “some people won’t work dependently employed jobs or on the market at all!”, but then again there’s plenty for society to gain from that. Like having a functional Market, and having more Commons (quite likely including greater political consent building. I mean what is this article? Was created in response to someone asking things on youtube, by the way! :D ). If the conversation is about “some people won’t work for others at all!” then I’d say that means that others fail to make compelling offers, or there’s a profound need for working on yourself before being able to enjoy working for others. And if you ask me, you surely won’t find a girlfriend to get a kid with, with that attitude.
People at least work on the creation of themselves and of joy itself. Some people who could get more value out of their work informally or in Commons or in entrepreneurship or research, for themselves or each other, they will chose more often to work on those projects, while people who value their labor less, they would work dependently more often for a monetary profit.
Today already, people can do all of this, if they get lucky. Might as well create a fair basis, rather than continuing to worsen the divide between lucky people (who admittedly also worked hard in conjunction with getting lucky. But that doesn’t mean they have moral high ground over people who’d work equally hard and smart if they got equally lucky. ) and everyone who has to say yes to poor pay. You just ruin market efficiency by structurally forcing people to work for below what they value their work.
We create and expand the basis for people to strongly reject working dependently employed today. Sure you can be worried about the long term issues of a basic income. But the immediate reality is doing a thing or two to lead us towards more and more rejection of dependent employment, right now. By systematically making it a bad deal.
If you want a modest but mandatory labor service for everyone, or else you go into prison, you can demand that of course. But it cannot be part of a two class divide where lucky people can opt out, not bearing the consequences of their political decisions, while everyone else increasingly gets worse and worse deals.
Now pilot projects have shown that this doesn’t seem needed. And it ignores that people often create massive value in Commons, while a Labor service much more lends itself to make-work or production of commodities in a hierarchy. If you ask me, when the objective is to stop people from working for themselves or on community projects with their humble stake in the Land (=economic opportunity, which to a good part is well expressed by simply having money), then the method of choice is to just offer em something more worthwhile.