Basic: A Solution To A Job Dwindling World

So, the question is: What do we do with a large population that doesn’t have a job? Do we, as a society, as a culture, simply watch people go hungry? Starve? Die? Or do we find a better way to do things.

This is a difficult concept for some people. They don’t believe the owners and rich of the world would allow this to happen, but I’m going to give you a run down of the one way I can see this working without the masses acting like the French and taking some heads.

Here it is.

The rich are rich because the consumer class–people like you and me–buy the product they’ve either made, or invested in. Those products give them a return either way. But what happens when the majority of people can’t afford to pay for the goods the rich have made or invested in? They won’t make any money. In fact, the poor will get pretty angry, which will spawn crime, because they want the things the rich people have/make. By doing nothing, by labeling the poor as takers and freeloaders, the rich alienate themselves from the people they rely on to buy their products and boost their stocks. If everyone boycotted just one Apple product at it’s release for a week, Apple stock would plummet. Which, in turn, would cause other stocks to plummet. It would be a crisis. Think about that.

So how do the rich appease the poor enough to stay rich? They provide social services to enough people, and give people enough so that they can be happy, content and don’t start taking heads, stealing, and other forms crime takes.

Look, this isn’t going to happen next year–and probably won’t happen at all–but it’s in the corporations and rich peoples interest to give everyone enough money to have ENOUGH. This not only creates a educated society, it creates a safer one. If people have enough that they don’t feel desperate they are less likely to commit a crime. That’s good business. Instead of stealing, they buy what they want.

Basic wouldn’t be for everyone. Nor should it be particularly beneficial to those who use it. But if we believe that people, even those who have seen their jobs disappear due to automation, have the right to live prosperous lives, we need to get them off the streets, off of drugs, and into the homes I know exist but sit empty. Those on Basic wouldn’t become zombies like so many people think (some might) but instead they would start a Renaissance of people unburdened from the monotony of the workforce. Instead they would be free to pursue their passions. People will do their best work when they can do the thing they love. Shouldn’t we, as a society, encourage that? I hope so. But I don’t know if Basic will ever arrive.

6/27/15 Imp

She was as old as the day the last remnants of the glacier melted, and she had a long memory. She was as old as the roots, and older than the fallen, washed up trees. She sometimes changed her tune and shape, but mostly stayed the same. Her cousin assaulted her daily. See how the waves hit the shore and recede, pummeling it with habitual nature. Sometimes only hanging to her with the smooth ripples of the low tide.

A cat scampered across the open beach. Its eye were deep in the night. Its tail a bushy mop of fur. He gazed up at the master–the moon. It was friends with the long beach and her bucking cousin the sea. Her paws were damp and and that infuriated her. It always did. But sometimes, when dealing with such powers as these, you had to make some sacrifices.

She sat on a dry sandbar and twisting herself licked the fur on her back. She’d almost had enough, then she turned and bent down and with her jaws, like a dirty dog shoveled some sand into her mouth and swallowed with effort. Her stomach began to boil immediately.

Not so fare, the world as this. The Witch she had learned from had used beakers and bowls, pots, pans, and other containers. The only thing the cat had was her own stomach for mixing such concoctions as this.

After a moment of wreching, she vomited. The taste of bile drowned out the smell of water and fish and decaying things. Then the smell of that hit here and she gagged some more, this time against her own volition. The pile of sick on the ground, illuminated by the moon, wasn’t hairy, and didn’t resemble the the sand she had just eaten. Instead it was bold and solid and scurried about in confusion.

It thrashed its limbs and yammered, rolling over onto its back and splaying out its little wings.

“Behave yourself,” said the cat, trying to ignore the hateful smell of the creature.

The imp looked at her. She looked at it. It was batty–she’d watched them fly before but never caught one–though this had more of a snout.

“Berimbo,” it said.

“You are no longer in the sad place you were born. You are now my slave,” said the cat.

“Is my favorite coffee,” said the imp. “Can’t do nothin’ ‘til I get me coffee.”

The cat knew coffee, but she’d never liked the smell, nor the flavor–once as a kitten she’d clawed open a bag of it her human had left out, and eaten some. It had made her sick on multiple fronts.

“There is no coffee,” she said. “You’ll have to do without.”

The imp rolled over onto its stomach. Sand was matted to its wings. Its ugly snout twitched in her direction. It was about half her size, she imagined she could kill it if it attacked her. She extended her claws–little daggers in the night.

“You’re isn’t the usual sort,” said the imp.

“No,” said the cat. “I don’t suppose I am.”

5/13/15 The End of Line

Nobody ever went to the end of the line. Not unless they’d done something real bad–like kill somebody or rape a woman. Hell. You could even stick up a few banks if you had the balls for it. You pulls some heists on some of the wealthy, take a couple of their shiners, and the police might do as much to put out a report on you. But really, in this city people are only punished for stuff that is really bad.

The tube station is dark and has a chalky smell to it from the grafita artists that busk everyday. Their drawings are left as smudged and ruined vistas on the walls. Where they get their ideas for those flowing colors and rolling hills stretching out onto a blue horizon, I don’t know. Nobody sees that within the city. Nobody cares to. The grafita reminds me of the stories my gran used to tell. But that was a long time ago. Down here, in the tube, with this warm chalky air that could have been as unattainable as Africa.

There are four other people on the platform waiting for the train. Business folk, by the look of them. long coats, sad ties for the men, sad makeup for the women. I could just pull out my piece and rob them all, and that’s what I would have done just last week–but I’m past that now. Now I understand what this sick experiment called humanity is suppose to teach us. Now I know what I’ve been waiting for and why gran had told me all those stories of fields and playgrounds she’d crooned about in her old age–she’d frolicked when she was a girl. And now there was the end of the line. The only place a person went when they’d committed a True Crime. That was what they called it true crime, like the genre, only weren’t all crimes true?–if they happened? The difference was the city didn’t bother with the bulk of them. What was the point when they were so widespread and—

A whoosh of hotter air than the already compact stuff around me comes from the darkened tunnels maw. The screech and clatter of the train on its tracks, the electric hum and subsequent slowing of the metal bull as it burst from the darkness. The wind would have once tossed my hair, but now I have no hair to toss. I’d been going bald anyway, like my old man, so I’d taken it all off and for some reason it’d hardly tried to grow back.

The doors sighed open. The metal bars and plastic seats were mostly open. The other people on the platform stepped into the train–late commuters, these, to be going home so late. Probably thought I was doing the same, though what kind of business person dressed the way I do, I’m not sure. I’ve never met them.

I take a seat leaving a space between me and the other occupant. No point in getting to close to strangers unless I have to. I’ve never liked people I don’t know being to close. Can’t trust they won’t pick something from you.