Supposing the gov't of your nation supported all your basic needs, would you still work?
Yes I would. I like having something to do, plus I don't like depending on other people to take care of me. I like my independence. I am uncomfortable depending on someone else for the simple fact that you never know when they will change their mind.
And where do you think the government would get the money to take care take care of our hypothetical basic needs? Government doesn't make money, it can only take it from those who do.
You are correct, I did not specify the means by which the gov't would supply those needs. But I also did not mention money either.
Not fully true. The USA government owns thousands of houses that have not had taxes paid or have been abandoned. These could easily be given away to help support basic housing needs. Or sold to help those needs.
A lot may depend upon how you define "work". If you mean doing work for somebody else in exchange for a wage, I would say my temptation would be to explore other possibilities.
When I was a claimant I was at my most productive in terms of voluntary and creative activity. I served as a school governor and as a rep in several other democratic organisations. I created and contributed to a number of outdoor music and arts festivals. I wrote two books and a screen play and released three CDs. Whether or not any of these ever hit the main stream (and are therefore considered to have "value") remains a moot point, but whenever I was/am in "work" I never had the time and energy for this sort of thing.
I think it was Stuart Copeland of The Police who said they would never have made it as a band were it not for the UK benefits system. He wasn't alone.
I've always felt that my unpaid contributions to society have far outweighed my salaried contributions. Pursuing possibility is frequently more fun, more fruitful, and more community-beneficial than pursuing profit - especially if you're pursuing that profit for someone else..
People on benefit don't do nothing. It is too stultifyingly boring to do nothing. Humans go mad if they are forced to do nothing.
Good question. Many thanks.
Yes and no. I think I would devote a lot of time to our farm. Trying to get it to where we could become 100% self sufficient. Long run I would no longer need their help and short term we would have an abundance of crops to be able to donate back to the community. Sadly our land will never become a fully operational farm because we will never have the time to make it one. We will be too busy working for a living to provide for our family.
All capital originates in the private sector. So the gov't cannot exist unless the capital is first produced privately. So having the gov't "provide" things is a very dangerous slippery slope that has led to economic chaos in the EU, and nearly destroyed the Nordic Nations in the early 1990's before they instituted a number of reforms. The problem with the question is that invariably, the more of these needs that the gov't meets, the less incentive there is to work, and the less productive society becomes. Eventually the system implodes. The implosion is not irreversible, because a society can become more self sufficient once again, if they realize collectively that the gov't should not be providing for all of your basic needs. The gov't should only be providing for those things that cannot be provided for privately in order to maintain a free society...aka courts of law to enforce legal contracts, national security etc.
Some interesting observations from some men who were well before their time.
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” Alexis de Tocqueville
“Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.” Alexis de Tocqueville
"When the people find they can vote themselves money,
that will herald the end of the republic." Benjamin Franklin
This is ultimately the problem with democracy. Unfortunately, democracy in the form of a republic or in the form of a pure democracy is still the best system on earth.
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