With increased automation and AI, that total will go up… within ecosystem limits.

I am not sure this is significant. Production doesn’t factor in labor costs. Your theory here is that automation can both dump the workers, AND turn a thousand widget a day factory into a two thousand widget a day factory. MAYBE. You’re assuming there is sufficient demand for the additional widgets. That’s not always going to be the case.

If all automation does is replace labor in the face of static demand, then gross profits go up, not income. And our tax system taxes income. No additional tax money and the whole idea falls apart.

Sharing economy innovations like Uber will increase the effective volume of products and services dramatically as well.

Not seeing the connection here. The sharing economy doesn’t give me anything I don’t already have. Before Uber, I had a taxi or a bus. Now, I’ve got Uber, a taxi, or a bus. Uber’s cheaper than the taxi but not cheaper than the bus.

All the sharing economy does is spread the cost of things that I am willing to share over more people. It has limited utility. Nor does it address the primary drivers of inflation in our society, which are things like health care and education, and necessities like food.

But what the heck, let’s do the math for money as well: ca. 300 million people in the US, ca. $15 trillion aggregate personal income (https://www.statista.com/statistics/216756/us-personal-income/) means $50,000 per person… today. Seems more than sufficient.

Basically, the world you’re envisioning is one where everyone on UBI is forced into some sort of high-density-living hovel while the 10% of us who are producers with STEM degrees live in mansions. That’s dystopic.

Interesting question: what is make-work?

The definition is not economic; it’s personal. The reason why I believe that UBI will fail is due to its social dysfunction. People need to feel productive. Thus, any job that is productive will suffice. And as I said before, there are plenty of jobs that need to be done that the employing entity can’t afford.

Whether valuing work is innate or learned is not critical. If you are right, then people will want to work (as volunteers) even if you give them UBI.

It’s extremely critical. A volunteer has no accountability; the requirement for accountability is well documented by decades of research in the educational psychology field. About 13% of individuals are intrinsically motivated, meaning that they’ll work without any requirement to do so. So, you’ll have about 13% of the people on UBI volunteering. The other 87% of indivduals are EXTRINSICALLY motivated, meaning they need accountability and an external stimulus. In a school, that’s a grade; in the workforce, that’s a paycheck.

In my view the UBI fans are ignoring this evidence. They’re envisioning a UBI-driven society where a few STEM graduates work, while everyone else is comfortably sipping lattes at Starbucks. Not going to be like that; a few STEM graduatde will do the work and run the corporations, about 13% of the population will engage in useful pursuits, and the rest will take their money and drive up the stocks of booze companies and give it to drug dealers.

So, based on the science we have today, the most logical solution is one where an (a) umbrella agency (in this case the government) (b) taxes and provides productive jobs to anyone who wants one, making sure that those jobs © properly augment existing functions.

Anyway, here’s a longer article on the Federal Jobs Guarantee as a preferred alternative to UBI.

Free markets, free minds. Question all narratives. If you think one political party is right and the other party is evil, the problem with our politics is you.