Cryptocurrency And UBI
We are entering an era where there is going to be a lot of upheaval. The existing system is breaking down for many reasons while an alternative is built. In the meantime, we see a lot of discussion about how to solve some of the problems that are being created.
It is said one cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that created it. Along the same lines, a system that creates the problems is likely ill-equipped to solve them.
We are facing a societal paradigm shift that few are even willing to acknowledge exists, let alone working on a solution. Hence, the establishment will fail over time since it will end up in reactionary mode, like always.
At the core is the advancement of technology. This is moving at an ever increasing pace.
There appears to be some debate, still, about whether this is going to happen. Many hang their hats on the old idea that "technology always created more jobs than it destroyed". While this is true, there are two problems with it:
The job replacement rate tended to take a number of decades to even out. Those who were affected found it difficult to get suitable work (ie blue collar factory workers).
We never dealt with technology of this magnitude or growing at a pace like we are seeing. The threat to white collar jobs cannot be overstated since that could spread like wildfire.
So what do we do as a society when people cannot earn a living? How do we deal with more people than there are jobs?
It appears our approach, thus far, is to create jobs simply so people have a place to go. Most of the new job creation over the past two decades came from the lower end of the spectrum; ones that provided little overall value to society.
This is changing. Technology is advancing to the point of making it easier to get rid of this people. Also, corporations now have cover due to COVID. They are using that as a reason to eliminate part of the workforce. Finally, as wages get pushed up, mostly due to increase in minimum wage laws, the ROI for automation becomes that much more appealing to CFOs.
Universal Basic Income (UBI)
A solution that is being bantered about, and is gaining some legs, is the idea of governments providing a Universal Basic Income (UBI). This is a concept that goes back decades yet it only really starting to be trialed.
For those unaware, UBI is a minimum amount of money that is paid out to each citizen of a nation, regardless of economic status. The amount is the same for all and is not meant to provide a life of luxury. Instead, it is a minimum stipend that is designed to cover some of the basics.
An example is the Andrew Yang proposal. During his campaign, he put forth the idea of $1,000 a month given to each adult. This could sound like a lot of money for many parts of the world but, in the United States, that is barely meeting the minimum requirements in most cities. There are certainly some less expensive areas that the money will go further yet most of the population lives within a 75 mile radius of a major city. This tends to push the cost of living higher.
The overall idea is that people have a safety net. Work is still incentivized since few are going to be living high on the hog as evidenced by those who are surviving on just their social security checks.
The Challenges For UBI
This is not meant to be an in-depth discussion of the merits of UBI. There are, however, some challenges which are worthy to cover.
The first that always pops up is how to pay for it. To me, this is not really a problem since governments are already in the business of giving money away. Corporate welfare is in every developed nation. The money is going to a small subset of the entire population, usually in amounts greater than what direct stimulus would cost.
Another issue that should not be looked at is the fact that it is the government that is putting it together. This is a challenge for a few reasons. To start, it opens things up to political winds and with the way things are polarized today, that is not a good thing.
The other issue is my theory that the life expectancy of governments in this new technological era is limited. The nation-state, as it exists now, is going to diminish over the rest of this century. As we rely more on networks, the physical side of life will continually be transitioning. We now have a government structure that was created when we were solely operating in a physical world.
UBI will actually be an appealing option to governments (politicians mostly) since that will extend its relevance. It also will by a hybrid solution, an attempt by a failing entity to handle something it is, quite frankly, ill-equipped to handle.
So what is the solution?
Cryptocurrency is not a stop-gap measure nor is it operating within the present system. Instead, it is laying the foundation for an entirely new economic system that will provide much higher growth rates along with a distribution mechanism that is not seen today.
There is equality in cryptocurrency. Since all of us were reared in a scarcity based economy, we are conditioned to not see it. However, it is there in plain sight.
Most want to focus upon the whales and how "lucky" they are. There are also accusations about how they behave as well as being selfish. Whatever the accuracy of those views, this is clouding the situation greatly.
The reality is that anyone can become a whale. There are new cryptocurrency projects opening up daily. Many are just garbage and likely not worth the time but there are things being developed that will be enormous successes.
We know there are many Bitcoin and Ethereum whales. These people are now multi-millionaires (some billionaires). However, that is not the end of the story. We can find projects all over the place that have great potential. In many instances, even if we do not have money to invest, we can start building through out actions.
The Age of Abundance is upon us. Through tokenization, we have the ability to take advantage of the radical technological progress that is being unleashed upon the world. Also, since we are facing a new reward mechanism, distribution is going to be radically different. Here is where people are free to determine where they invest their time (and attention), which has value. Tokenization allows for that to be compensated.
Cryptocurrency is inclusive whereas our present system is exclusive. The ability generate streams of revenue in all we do is going to provide an entirely new economic system. Couple with technological advancement, we are going to see radical steps forward in the economic output globally. This is something we witnessed in the past yet the distribution was awful. Now, we see the potential to operate in a different manner.
Of course, those who are benefitting from the way things are will do all they can to ensure they remain in power. This is going to be a battle waged over the rest of this decade and perhaps into the next.
Nevertheless, few can stop progress and it seems that cryptocurrency is moving forward. We are going to see radical changes in society, ones that end up providing billions with what they need. The road to arrive at that point is going to be bumpy. Many do not want to see things change.
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