Grant Williams: The End Of The Road


Well I wouldn't say you should, but if you did… I wouldn't grief you about it, its a big world.

…but tender moments with sea creatures aside, what's wrong with basic income ? How would it lead to a new serfdom ?

Most humans want and need meaningful work.  Do a quick Google search for "meaningful work" and you'll see that CEOs try to frame their company's work ethic around meaningful it, millennials are seeking it, a plethora of books and blogs have been written about it, life coaches will help you identify it…
Will robotics and automation end our ability to find meaningful work?  Yes, if we let it happen. 

Did tribes and "people out in the bush" have meaningful work?  Absolutely!  If your "work" for the day was to hunt a deer, harvest tubers, weave a basket, make leggings, care for children, or any other activity that kept the family and clan alive, it served the highest purpose (survival) and was therefore meaningful. 

The guaranteed income sounds like a horrible idea, coming down from TPTB to keep the people dependent (on handouts, drugs, etc.), to quell food riots or talk of revolution, and to keep the current system afloat for a little while longer.  Guaranteed income is as BAD as gardening is GOOD. 

Let's change our definition of work.  Work doesn't have to be factory work for the "borg".  I'm only halfway through Charles' book, but am already thinking about how to implement it in my community.  We can change the system - we have to change it - and we must begin now. 

Mate - I'm self employed and I've come within a week of bankruptcy in each of the following years: 1989, 1996, 2003 and 2010.  Each time I extended every line of credit available and each time saved myself at the last minute - stressful maybe, but I'd rather that than work for anyone else.

It was only this year that I noticed the uncanny 7 year pattern!  There's something cyclical going on here and that's why I reckon the iceberg is going to capsize in 2017…  It's as good an estimate as anyone else's but this time I'll be a lot more prepared, thanks to websites like this one!

Good luck in landing your next contract - use the time constructively and don't lose sleep about the "what ifs".  It might never happen!

your mare, fully employed, is settled. To work a draft team and sense their satisfaction from genetic fulfillment is a true joy.

I used Elance to hire a graphics designer to create a logo for a new B-Corp (a community capital group) about 2 years ago.  I was astonished at the low bids to do the work, and the number of countries/people competing for the tiny project.  I hired an online graphic designer from Romania and got a great logo for US$10. 
I thought that was a good deal, so did the same thing a year later.  This time, a graphic artist in Ukraine worked on the logo for our farm/market as Russian soldiers were invading/annexing Crimea.   The logo was great, the price was excellent ($60 for two logos, with all supporting files), but the experience was surreal.  And it felt weird to use "theoretical money" to compel someone to work from thousands of miles away.  Perhaps that's what we do when we buy sweatshop clothing, but we're removed from the feeling.   

In the end, I did not feel connected to these remote workers.  I felt bad that computer-savvy workers were scrambling to desperately make a buck.  The transaction was "part of the problem" not part of the solution.  Did the graphic artists feel like they did meaningful work?  Maybe, or maybe not.  It probably helped put food on the table.

Conversely, when I needed a banner to display our logo at the local farmers' market, I went to a local sign company (one of two in town).  They made a great banner for an excellent price, and put their sticker on back corner of my banner.  Anyone who passes our booth from the back can see that we bought the sign locally, and I'm really proud of that.  The money we spent stayed local, and I was able to joke with the sign shop proprietor when I picked up the banner.  And the shop employees can see the banner off Main Street every Saturday morning in the summer.  Meaningful work?  Yes.

Not to generalize, but I've seen people on disability, SSID, food commodities, WIC, native American funding, etc.  Many would be much happier with meaningful work, at a living wage.   

You are so right!  Even my golden retriever (the water dog) is happiest when he is carrying something in his mouth (bird, stick, mitten, anything!).  The dog is wired to work. 

Years ago, my dad used to take us to the National Western Stock Show for the draft horse competition and other events.  I'll never forget the year Mike and Chief won the team pulling contest.  When they completed the pull, passed the line, and the buzzer sounded, Chief stopped and Mike kept pulling - quite possibly for the joy and challenge of pulling.  I realized then that I'm wired like Mike, and I'm not alone. 

It's fun being "wired to work".  I get great joy in hard work.  And I get great joy in play.  So does my dog. 

I wish everyone could find meaningful work and the joy (or at least satisfaction) that comes with it.        

Not in a factory, but I've worked as a bank teller, in a major company's maintenance department, on an eviction crew, etc. I've been blessed to come from distinctly lower-middle-class roots, but I've come close enough to non-middle class work and workers to get a glimpse into the fact that we middle class have no freaking idea how hard the lower class works. It makes the middle class "value" of hard work seem laughably out of touch. Then again, we in the middle class like to think the lower classes are lazy precisely because it validates our own feeling of superiority.


Same story as always: lower others so that we ourselves (in whatever grouping we are talking about) can feel higher.

I also came from a working class background.  Although I'm part of the professional class now, my clients are largely working class and lower class.  My experience is that they are no more virtuous than any other part of the socio-economic strata. For every guy working three part time jobs to make ends meet, there is one in and out of jail and gaming the welfare system.  They generally appear to me to be habitual poor decision makers, though I am aware of the role poverty, ignorance, and broken families play in that dynamic.  
I attribute my rise from a child of a divorced, working class family to a father/husband in a married upper middle class household to my wife.  She is the daughter of Indian immigrants who instilled in her the values that are shared by all of the most successful sub-cultures in America (Jews, Chinese, Indians, etc.).  Those values being a devotion to Family, Education, and Thrift.  Now a days, an entrepreneurial spirit helps as well.

The foregoing not withstanding, the long emergency will probably upend most efforts at economic survival.

There's that drugs thing again. Most drug users are employed, including boozers and smokers. I can think of a few people who I know would come into work half cut every day, or drop acid, or smoke weed in the toilets to help a day on a production line go by. I think if you have a decent basic income some of the stress and boredom that drives drug addiction will go away. Not all menial work is boring anyway, often it's the easier things that are mind numbing, sometimes it feels good to have something you can put your back into. I guess we will see how the Finns do on this.

Going anthropological for a moment, people living in the wilds are notable for putting a fair bit of work into ceremony, drugs and getting entranced. Clean living is something of an moral anomaly. Can you imagine a world with no John Lennon's, no Jimi Hendrixes, no Byrons and Shelleys or Mozarts - solely populated by clean living middle managers ? Eww, no.

I don't know enough about the roots of the basic income idea to know if it's a con. I can't see how.


Several years ago, while assisting a Habitat for Humanity build, an irate neighboring homeowner sauntered over to us and began screaming about another G-d damn loser in the neighborhood.  The owner was a single mom with 2 daughters who was regularly beaten by her ex.  When I mentioned my astonishment at the outburst, the retired minister next to me said it was perfectly understandable.  His quote was: "There's always somebody lower than you to pin the BLAME on-and that's the easy way." I've never forgotten that moment and never will.


A proposed model for the scheme would see each adult paid £3,692 a year or £71 a week, with children also receiving a payment corresponding roughly to child benefit. Pensioners would be paid a citizen’s pension of £7,420 a year. Housing costs would be dealt with separately.
So, seventy quid a week is pretty much what unemployment benefit is. It's not something you can really do much on above surviving. People will argue that it's money for doing nothing, but we live in a competitive system in which success is often denying someone else work, so it's either let the losers starve or have some social safety. Some are OK with the Malthusian option, some aren't.

It would be interesting to know what the new ratio of recipients would be in relation to the old. Say for example 1/2 of the adult population currently receive the payment and now everyone gets it - well you immediately double the amount of currency chasing common goods. What does that mean? Well, crudely speaking, prices double to soak up the excess currency. Suddenly £71 a week isn't enough. As everyday items are now twice as expensive then £142 a week per adult is required. Now what happens? Prices double again. This is what happened in the Weimar Republic, with the subtlety that the government was printing money to keep its citizens employed - presumably to stop them from getting bored and rioting. Honestly, When Money Dies should be required reading for every economist.


Yeah what happens to all that extra currency ? Debt is humungus for one thing. Student loans, credit cards, the annual Santa bill, 5000% payday loans?
When the banks were bailed out did Cartier watches and Porsches suddenly inflate ?

Wanna build an orphanage in Gabon ? Fancy donating to Cancer Care ? Fuck that, get yourself Cartier watch and let the gold diggers know your sperm is the bestest sperm.

Christ, CB, will you do your homework before spamming the boards with your bullshit


The Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI) tracks the collector's car market with a number of indexes. Its broadest is the HAGI Top Index, which tracks vintage collectible cars from Porsche, Ferrari, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo and other brands. The Top Index was up 13.78% year-to-date through August and more than 500% over the preceding 10 years thanks to increasing global wealth chasing a limited number of super-collectible cars. The S&P 500 was up only 60% in the same period. Another classic car index is run by the insurance company Hagerty.





with quote;


In fact, data shows that classic cars overall have outperformed gold and the FTSE 100 since 2009, while some of the cars in the top ten list are up a whopping 218 per cent - the kind of enviable returns most fund managers would be very proud of.



[quote=Luke Moffat]

Christ, CB, will you do your homework before spamming the boards with your bullshit


The Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI) tracks the collector's car market with a number of indexes. Its broadest is the HAGI Top Index, which tracks vintage collectible cars from Porsche, Ferrari, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo and other brands. The Top Index was up 13.78% year-to-date through August and more than 500% over the preceding 10 years thanks to increasing global wealth chasing a limited number of super-collectible cars. The S&P 500 was up only 60% in the same period. Another classic car index is run by the insurance company Hagerty.





with quote;

Can't wait for that market to crash big-time.  

There's no need to cuss I was only asking, chill out.
Porsche website -

From 1997 to present, the first number in the units column shows combined sales for North America (U.S. and Canada). The second number represents the U.S. only.

Year Units
1997 13,731 (U.S. 12,986)
1998 18,207 (U.S. 17,239)
1999 21,915 (U.S. 20,889)
2000 23,698 (U.S. 22,412)
2001 24,143 (U.S. 23,047)
2002 22,511 (U.S. 21,320)
2003 30,028 (U.S. 28.417)
2004 33,289 (U.S. 31,473)
2005 33,859 (U.S. 31,933)
2006 36,095 (U.S. 34,227)
2007 36,680 (U.S. 34,693)
2008 27,717 (U.S. 26,035)
2009 U.S. 19,696
2010 U.S. 25,320
2011 U.S. 29,023
2012 U.S. 35,043
2013 U.S. 42,323
2014 * U.S. 47,007

I suspect that, on average, one's receptivity to the idea of 'basic income', as being implemented by Finland, correlates to the financial insecurity that is being experienced. It is easy to be against it while you can securely support your family, not so easy when your home is being repossessed and your kids are hungry. Right now we are raining helicopter money on the super wealthy, augmenting their income in a similar manner, and their baubles (collectable cars) are suffering massive inflation/appreciation. I suppose if the rest of us got in on the game then we'd see similar price changes for whatever we collect. Food's not generally a collectable, except for preppers, so it would have to be something else that saw the price inflation. I suspect that if the day comes when our 'humanitarian' government gives us all a basic income that it will not be for us to better subsist but for us to better consume. If automation continues to remove our employment and all of the profits fall up to the 0.1% then there will be no one left to buy the automaton-produced crap. The game will be to keep everyone at a high enough income level to prevent rioting/revolution while the wealthy continue to cannibalize each other. We used to talk of the 1%, now it is the 0.1%, soon it will be the 0.01% as wealth continues to concentrate. Who will be the last trillionaire standing? Owner of the world.

$60 is about 1400 Hrynia. In terms of liters of milk, that’s 300 litres; in terms of potatoes, that’s 350 kg=772 lb of potatoes.
That 772 lb of potatoes is about $350 here in the US. Don’t worry, you paid a fair wage for a day or two of work.

Hi Mark,

Yep, it's kind of looking like a distorted Marxism (for want of a better term) - the idea that industrial societies can retire their workers who then share in the profits due to the increase in productivity through common ownership will actually see workers retired to become beggars of the state. My question is, where does that lead? In short, dark places (I think). What happens to dissent? What happens if the local governor likes the look of your wife? We're now talking neo-feudal serfdom (at least in my opinion).

For what it's worth I get a real sense of pride and enjoyment from growing my own food. Granted, I don't produce much at the minute but the fact that I can hand over any excess to my relatives makes me feel like I'm doing something that matters, I also like the fact that I can do something which keeps them alive. A community that could do the same would feel empowered. By making people dependent on handouts you make them servile.

An alternative would be to divide up land and transfer ownership of agricultural technology to smaller communities (think of it as technologically aided decentralisation within LTG parameters). This would allow them to live in relative freedom and in a position to challenge the abuses of power. I think massive reforms are needed, and it'll be tough - much tougher than embracing this distorted Marxism - but what future do you want to pass on? Perhaps we'll all be remembered as the generation which gave up. Where Jefferson and Washington rallied, we surrendered, because we didn't believe we were entitled to our own greatness.