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Friday, 6 February 2015

An idea for post-scarcity Britain

I have just had a rather radical breakthrough. We have 3d printers we have a form of holographic technology. We have a vast obesity epidemic and we have a society struggling to deal with capitalism in the age of the internet. Mass unemployment due to machines. Constant struggles with this idea of intellectual property on the internet and making money from it while there is enough people with enough time on their hands and access to a certain basic level of technology to create entertainment media for free, for kicks. What if we are in star trek post monetary society?

I mean think about it holograms, 3d printers, computers (and therefore books, tv, movies videogames etc)  all basically just need electricity and internet after an initial start up cost that is really quite cheap all things considered. To be honest almost everything on the internet is free or may as well be since it's ad sponsored or piratable. At the moment with the economy being so shit because all the money is being gobbled up by these few mega corps of course everyone is qubbling over a few pennies ad revenue but if internet and electricity was just free and hey you have 3d printers so you can download the latest action figure for your collection then maybe that wouldn't be such an issue.

I mean there would still be meatspace issues like the 3d printer "ink" and obviously technological industries and a movie industry of some sort because really great films need money for good effects and then there's the food and general housing maintenance  and obviously quite a lot of the world is nowhere near this point so money would still very much be a thing and jobs would still be a thing but bottom line there's too many people for the jobs available so you have the government give everyone, in whatever form, a healthy balanced diet, internet and electricity then  you won't have people working because they just need to put food on the table, instead everyone will go for the jobs they are passionate about and when inevitably there's still two many people for the jobs available that's okay because that just means that you get better and better as an individual at the job you want to do, thereby creating essentially a feedback loop of more highly skilled and trained people in these jobs and that is good for everyone.

To be honest there are only two major hiccups I can see with this extension to the benefit scheme and quasi experiment into a post scarcity society is housing a cars. The utopian in me is like "We will get rid of cars and save people money and the world at the same time" but the realist in me realises that the practicalities of moving food around the country mean  that either you make cars for the average citizen illegal then spend lots in good public transport and have some kind of deal with the people who provide the healthy food so that they deliver it to your door or a pickup point within however many miles of your location. The housing situation is the most unfortunate because unless we have homes standing empty there is just a limited amount of space on the island and I really don't want to go all orwellian in trying to fix that which unfortunately means that the people who truly have it the worst wouldn't benefit from this system.

I say all this when I at the moment basically already have this system (while I look for a job and deal with health issues, etc...)  because of my bloody lovely parents and I am at this point sent more than half mad by the lack of human contact and economic purpose so I do realise this won't miraculously solve everything.but I think mainly it can be done. How do we get the money to fund this? Tax the Megacorps, I know they are large and sinuous with good lawyers and technically based in places that don't require tax but google is a vast monolithic overlord, it can take some draining. Additionally fast food companies can be taxed heavily, as can petrol. Basically anything that we'd rather people didn't do, we can tax the crap out of and hey fuck it legalise and tax the crap out of marijuana.