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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Zuckerberg Wants Public Funds

Zuckerberg supports UBI because it’s the best way for him to siphon off public funds into his own bank account. 

What will people on UBI do all day? Sit in Facebook and buy $3 bras and the rest of the crap off its ads. UBI is the best way to guarantee that taxpayers keep sponsoring the billionaires’ lifestyles. 

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20 thoughts on “Zuckerberg Wants Public Funds

  1. Stringer Bell on said:

    Off-topic: I really love this blog on Saturday mornings. L sleeps in, I get up around 6, make myself some Indian-style tea, hang out with the cats in the other room, and check out the new posts here along with other news/messageboards for a couple of hours. I love this ritual.

    Thank you for scheduling early morning posts on Saturdays.

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    • No, I actually write them on Saturday mornings while I wait for Klara to wake up to take her to the farmer’s market. I’m glad you enjoy the posts!

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  2. UBI is the best way to guarantee that taxpayers keep sponsoring the billionaires’ lifestyles.

    It is of course also the only possible way to prevent many millions of people who will never have a job from starving to death in the streets.

    Most people will do exactly as you suggest, but there will be a minority who will have the opportunity to be profoundly creative and achieve things which are today impossible for them. For example, I know an aspiring novelist who has to work at a menial job to support herself. This means she can work seriously on writing only one day a week. With UBI. She would be writing every day for hours.

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    • If the minority I mentioned is 3% to 5% of the population, the investment is worth it.

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      • “If the minority I mentioned is 3% to 5% of the population, the investment is worth it.”

        • The investment of public funds into Zuckerberg, you mean? Hasn’t he had enough already?

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        • I think you are deliberately misunderstanding what I wrote. It will be worth it for the whole society if the people who are freed from the necessity to make a living at a mind-deadening job are free to exercise their creative energies towards improving the state of the world.

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          • “I think you are deliberately misunderstanding what I wrote. It will be worth it for the whole society if the people who are freed from the necessity to make a living at a mind-deadening job are free to exercise their creative energies towards improving the state of the world.”

            • The most mind-deadening job is better than an existence circumscribed by social media and opiates that many people in this country are already leading. Because a job means you have a place in society, you are not excluded, not a reject. I have students who come from these little townships where everybody is out of a job and on disability. They all know dozens of people who have died of an overdose. Nobody is starving but it’s an enormous tragedy nonetheless. And the idea of even mentioning “creative energies” around these people is worse than the notorious “let them eat cake.”

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          • el on said:

            \ are free to exercise their creative energies towards improving the state of the world.

            But you need money to improve a single broken bench near your house, let alone “the state of the world.”

            To do anything regarding the latter, one needs lots of money, lots of education, lots of confidence and organizational skills.

            People who chronically can’t find a job typically don’t have those traits. And, I think, they lose those skills even if they had them after X time without a job.

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            • “People who chronically can’t find a job typically don’t have those traits. And, I think, they lose those skills even if they had them after X time without a job.”

              • 100% true. A relative of mine who is an ultra-educated, very highly paid and qualified fellow found a new job after a few years not even out of work but simply working from home. And inscribing himself into the new working environment and into being among people all day is very harsh. People are not machines. You can’t place a few coins in a slot and get a work of art to fall out of a dispenser in return.

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    • “It is of course also the only possible way to prevent many millions of people who will never have a job from starving to death in the streets.”

      • There is no UBI now. When was the last time yous aw millions starving in the streets? Let’s try to have a serious conversation here. Starvation is not the danger the poor people in the Us face. The danger they face is dying early of type 2 diabetes caused by obesity. We can’t solve a problem unless we actually state what it is. Fantasies about starvation obscure what is really happening.

      ” For example, I know an aspiring novelist who has to work at a menial job to support herself. This means she can work seriously on writing only one day a week. With UBI. She would be writing every day for hours.”

      • Writing is easy. The problem is where to find readers for some much writing produced by graphomaniacs who are springing up like mushrooms in the forest.

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    • Every time I come across this particular objection I quote this passage from Wilsons’s Schrödinger’s Cat trilogy:

      When moralists complained that this was a subhuman existence, Hubbard answered, “And what kind of existence did they have doing idiot jobs that machines do better?”

      Some of the unemployed were beginning to seek jobs again; after all, $48,000 or $53,000 is better than $30,000. Usually, they found that higher education was required for the jobs that were still available. Many were back in college; adult education, already a fast-growth industry in the 1970s, was now the fastest growing field of all.

      Hubbard was ready to launch Stage Two of the RICH Economy.

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      • Dang WordPress lack of comment editing feature. Paragraph before “When moralists…” reads:

        The majority of the unemployed, living comfortably on $30,000 a year, admittedly spent most of their time drinking booze, smoking weed, engaging in primate sexual acrobatics, and watching wall TV.

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  3. There is no UBI now. When was the last time yous aw millions starving in the streets? Let’s try to have a serious conversation here. Starvation is not the danger the poor people in the Us face. The danger they face is dying early of type 2 diabetes caused by obesity. We can’t solve a problem unless we actually state what it is. Fantasies about starvation obscure what is really happening.

    There are still safety nets, for the economically desperate. Of course, the right wants to take away all safety nets from the poor (for example, SNAP, aka Food Stamps). Starvation will indeed be the only alternative to employment if they get their way; and of course employment will be available for only a very few.

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    • Do you really honestly believe that there is a chance of mass starvation in the US? Really, honestly? Because I find that to be so out there that I don’t even know what to say.

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  4. Do you really honestly believe that there is a chance of mass starvation in the US? Really, honestly?

    I certainly do. I know people who do not eat for days because they have alm9st no income from any source. The conservatives are applauding, of course.

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  5. Stringer Bell on said:

    “The problem is where to find readers”

    Doesn’t UBI do away with exactly this problem? This need to find consumers willing to buy your product. Except now it’s not a product, just an personal artistic expression that is valuable in of itself. Who cares if I’m not a good enough guitar player, or writer, or painter?

    Slight tangent. I’ve never ‘gotten’ punk rock. We watched a nice movie the other day, which helped me understand that genre a little bit (though I still won’t listen to it, haha).

    “Okay so. They are not very good. And they know that, right? Yea, it’s like they’ve got this feeling, and they don’t have any skill, and they don’t want skill, because it’s really interesting what happens when your passion is bigger than the tools you have to deal with it. It creates this energy that’s raw. Isn’t it great?”

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    • el on said:

      \ Doesn’t UBI do away with exactly this problem? This need to find consumers willing to buy your product.

      I see two huge problems here:

      1) Clarissa described the new world as the one in which a few like her will be taxed to support the rest 60%-80% (?) . I do not see how it can work in the long term. Not at all. We are talking all the time about liquidity and freedom of capital to move, yet here it supposedly will be captured because a few politicians / people will tell it “come here and pay for all those surplus people.” It is a huge contradiction. Think about millions wanting to enter EU and America and live on Clarissa’s taxes, and the contradiction becomes even more glaring.

      2) People need some sense of purpose, of achievement in their lives. If you have been writing or creating music for decades, yet nobody wants it since it’s so bad, not even for free… well, most people will experience a feeling of failure and depression unless they contribute meaningfully in some other way to the world.

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      • “Clarissa described the new world as the one in which a few like her will be taxed to support the rest 60%-80% (?) . I do not see how it can work in the long term. Not at all. We are talking all the time about liquidity and freedom of capital to move, yet here it supposedly will be captured”

        • I;m not a capitalist. The people who will be taxed to give bigger profits to capitalists are not in possesison of any capital themselves.

        “Think about millions wanting to enter EU and America and live on Clarissa’s taxes, and the contradiction becomes even more glaring.”

        • Immigrants into the US wouldn’t be caught dead filing for the current version of the UBI.

        “well, most people will experience a feeling of failure and depression unless they contribute meaningfully in some other way to the world.”

        • A truly talented writer who will find an audience – even for free – is an exception. Most will feel like failures in this aspect of their lives, too.

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    • “Doesn’t UBI do away with exactly this problem? This need to find consumers willing to buy your product.”

      • Forget buying. There are crowds of these “artists” all over the place who can’t get anybody to read, listen or watch their creations for free.

      “Who cares if I’m not a good enough guitar player, or writer, or painter?”

      • You have the luxury of not caring because you have a lot going for you in other aspects of your life. Now imagine being permanently unemployable AND not being able to attract anybody to your website, blog, Facebook page, Instagram account, etc.

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