I don’t I agree with Marc Andreessen’s points on Universal Basic Income which he made in his new piece “The Techno-Optimist Manifesto“.
In my view, UBI isn’t just a nice-to-have. Some form of UBI will become necessary.
Yes, the introduction of UBI will likely spark a crisis of meaning for many. It’s a significant shift, a redefinition of societal norms. But let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture – a world where abundance, facilitated by technology, is the norm.
Who cares if UBI makes some people lazy? The bulk of work will be done by robots and AI. A small human workforce will suffice. In such a world, the argument against UBI because of potential lethargy loses its weight.
Liberated from the constraints of economic survival, individuals will be empowered to explore, innovate, and contribute to societal progress in unprecedented ways. The creative and intellectual potential unlocked by UBI could usher in a renaissance of innovation and cultural enrichment.
The assurance of a basic income can alleviate the psychological stress and anxiety associated with financial insecurity. This enhanced mental well-being will translate into improved physical health, reducing the societal and economic burden of health-related issues.
As automation and AI continue to roll out, UBI offers a pragmatic solution to the displacement of human labor. It ensures that the benefits of technological progress are equitably distributed, preventing societal fragmentation.
Here in Switzerland, we had a national referendum to introduce UBI in 2016. Almost a quarter of the population said yes. In my home canton (Basel-Stadt) it was more than a third.
What exactly does he mean by „UBI would turn people into zoo animals to be farmed by the state“?
Throwback: Here are my thoughts on UBI from 2012.