Hm. I’m not sure that “moral hazard” is all that ambiguous to an economist. It is reasonably well defined as an incentive to do an undesirable thing.

At any rate, there are four alternatives to UBI that I can think of. All, including UBI, have pros and cons to them, which I acknowledge. My view is we’re going to have to craft a very crappy solution one way or another, so let’s craft it in the least crappy way possible.

  1. Cut the definition of “full time work” to 32 or 24 hours. If companies had to pay overtime after 24 or 32, then obviously they would start cutting off employee work hours at that point; but, the workloads wouldn’t go away, of course. So, if you cut to 32 hours, then you’d “create” 1 job for every four jobs worked; if you cut to 24 hours, then you create 1 job for every three jobs worked.
  2. Guaranteed Jobs. Idea here is that organizations always employ the bare minimum of people needed to deliver essential services. That doesn’t mean that more people couldn’t deliver those essential services better, and there are also non-essential services which are highly desirable to have. What school couldn’t use another dozen teacher’s aides. eh? Anyway:
  3. A “robot” tax. Idea here is that taxes are going to have to go up to cover new social services needed by those idled by automation. So, collect the money needed with a robot tax. This acts as a financial disincentive for a corporation to automate, creating an incentive to NOT automate and just keep the worker around; others may still choose to automate and pay the tax if they wish.
  4. Obviously, you can just keep the welfare system as it is, and have more people on it.

Hope that helps. Of course, before we go whole hog and start solving problems that don’t exist yet, we should probably fix the problem we do have, which is kind of free to fix:

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Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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