The hard truth:
It’s a good joke, but it’s also a dark vision of the future to come. As I mentioned a couple years back, barring a technological or economic collapse, it is pretty much inevitable that robots capable of doing most human jobs will, within a generation or two, be almost universally cheaper than minimum wage employees. This will make a whole lot of people not only permanently unemployed, but permanently unemployable. Without those bottom-end crap jobs, a lot of people won’t be able to gain the skills needed for better jobs.
This issue is being discussed again:
The idea there is that we must accept that most people will soon be redundant. And the best way to prevent an uprising of the useless (and not, as the headlines suggests, of the robots), is a “Universal Basic Income.” A UBI is some level of cash paid out to people, weekly, monthly or annually that provides enough for all their needs, probably somewhere above what you’d get as a full-time min-wager. The idea is that this would free the useless to live lives of dignity while never actually having to work.
On the one hand, I really don’t have a better option.
On the other hand, if you give vast numbers of people all their needs and then some without requiring anything of them in return, what sort of people will you end up with?
1) Institute a UBI. But it mandates sterility treatments for those who accept it.
2) Institute a UBI. But if you accept, you lose the voting franchise.
3) Institute a UBI. But the checks can only be cashed in the Off World Colonies.
For me, if a poverty-level UBI was instituted and came my way, it’d be a big boon. Suddenly having that extra cash come in would be fantastic. But it wouldn’t stop me doing what I’m doing now… I’d still keep cranking out APR and USBP and whatnot. At least until some robot started doing it better. But let’s face it… a lot of people , if suddenly gifted with gobs of unearned cash, are going to blow it in a hurry. And then they’re get pissy that they don’t have *more.*