Can basic income and good karma/credit system provide a way to cope with AI’s automation?

In 2017, a lot people and various parts of different countries are talking and experimenting with basic income.  Automation — comes naturally and intelligently through artificial intelligence — is the new thing that has gotten people worried.  Some people argue that AI’s automation will replace human beings with robots/programs in all sorts of jobs.  Dumb automation probably has already replaced humans in many cumbersome, repetitive jobs/functions.  Intelligent machines/programs through AI can probably replace many white collar jobs already.  When too many people are out of work, this could become a huge bother for many powerful people who carry important positions in our society.  Displaced people would want to be able to survive and strive in a society in which they’re no longer productive, but this could mean standing up against the factory owners, corporations, and even the governments.  If not careful, a world of full automation could mean a bloody revolution.  Thus, basic income becomes an urgent question for many leaders in any country in our time.

Nonetheless, in the West, we have a thing that was being taught since the fall of Soviet Union is that communism has failed utterly.  We look at China as if Chinese communistic society is the new capitalist society.  How can basic income fit into a Western society in which communism has been taught to be disgusted upon?  After all, basic income is about rationing, splitting equal income for everyone in a single society.  Isn’t communism is also about rationing and splitting equal things for a community, a society, and in biggest case a country?  I guess, we could argue a mix of basic income with capitalistic values won’t lead to new communism, but it could morph into an entirely different beast.  I guess we should ask, can a strong supportive basic income be an uplifting element for the despondent citizens?  I guess we should consider the humming capitalistic tunes of the middle class in this situation.  Can basic income give the despondent ones a chance to reach the middle and eventually the upper classes within this beastly creation?

Perhaps, basic income may not be the only solution.  Perhaps, we require many more parts of a larger, more creative solution in order for us to tackle the AI’s automation revolution.  Imagine in a society in which doing good things promotes good karma, and this karma translates into real monetary credits.  Can this route take us to a Nirvana?  Basic income to support a crumpling foundation, and on the top of this reparable foundation we decorate it with good karma.  The double edge sword of a good karma/credit system is that the implementation of punishments, punishing the good people who have bad karma/credits.  Then the question should be asked such as what could be the punishments for the people who have bad karma/credits?  This won’t be a good thing if new harsh punishments are there to wreck havoc in lives of good citizens.  It could literally lead to a society in which looks very much like a Nazi one.  Perhaps, karma/credit system should be used for the implementation of a positive, credit/monetary system only and not much more, and no punishment should come along with this very system.  This way, good folks won’t be affected by stupid punishments.  Just imagine good karma/credit system provides even more basic income on the top of the basic income?

I couldn’t let this go. Imagine a society in which isn’t too different from a fantastical Star Trek’s one, because a replicator alone could conjure any item out of the thin air.  Perhaps, a replicator could replace basic income and money and credits altogether?  If such a society and technology exist, this could mean the end of being desperate in a more intelligent universe.  Perhaps, if this to occur, people won’t have the need for ancient money/credit system, because a replicator alone could conjure up anything.  It’s magical.  Anyhow, the summation of all is that an interesting time is upon us, and AI’s automation may be replacing us humans in all sorts of jobs.  The old system isn’t providing an answer to how to create new jobs in an AI universe.  A jobless society would be very different in nature, because people need money to survive.  Without providing jobs to a hungry population, a society could face an upheaval of all sorts.  Can basic income and good karma/credit system provide a way to cope with AI’s automation?

Advertisements

Cashless Society Encourages Monopoly Money

I’m not an economist, because I’m a nobody.  Thus, my experience in trained economics is a zero.  As a human being, I do have opinions.  By staying informed with everyday experiences, I do form opinions on facts that, I think, are real.  From these opinions and ideas, I can draw some non-expert conclusions.  In fact, right now I like to talk about one or two conclusions I have on cashless society.

I think cashless society is wonderful for governments, bankers, and whatever associations that have control over a society, because electronic traces are available 24/7.  What is scarier is that anybody in the position of power or any hacker who has enough knowledge can just shut you out of a cashless society by changing your electronic numbers.  This is very real, because without any cash on hand, your only option is to rely on the credit system and other electronic monetary forms.  When such a system cuts you out, you are basically helpless and powerless and cashless.  In such a situation, surviving becomes impossible!

Cashless society can also be wonderful for you, but as long the illusion of real efforts and real transactions are actually taking place.  I think bankers can just enter any number of money into a bank account for just about anybody, and the money will form instantly by the electronic means.  You could say money seem to be appearing out of thin air!  Growing on tree, or however you want to phrase this illusion.  I think cashless society will enhance this ability by an infinite time more.  What do I meant by an infinite time more?  Cashless society won’t use cash, because cash cannot be legal.  Thus, cashless society is all about the electronic, monetary numbers, and anybody who has the authorization to form these numbers can just make them out of nothing.  Or they can just delete these numbers whenever!

What makes cashless society humming brilliantly is the illusion of convincing people that real efforts and transactions are actually taking place.  Let’s say, if a doctor who got paid very well by treating his patients in exemplary manner would probably quit his job if the bank could instantly form any amount of money, into the infinity, without any effort.  Why even bother to go to work when you can just go to the bank for an easy loan, and the bank won’t care if you can pay the money back or not since the bank can form infinite amount of credits.  In the cashless society, if the bank isn’t going to lend you any credit, you have to acquire these credits by working for a job or doing whatever to acquire more credits.  But will you be working with a happy smile on your face knowing the bank can form any amount of credits out of thin air?  Demand and supply formula won’t be a good gauge anymore in cashless society, because unlimited amount of credits can flood the system forever.

Even better, why don’t you just form a bank where you, yourself, can electronically form infinite amount of credits?  Wouldn’t this make you an infinite-air?  Why would you bother with taking out someone else’s trashes and problems for a wage/fee when you can just hallucinating yourself with infinite credits of your own bank?  If everyone is into this, then the system got a problem.  The problem is not lacking of credits or money, but the problem is about — nothing will ever get done.  Because nobody will give any real effort in any exchange since credit is created out of thin air without any real effort.  This means the producers see no reason to produce products, because the infinite bank is giving out easy credits freely.  Basically, why produce when you can obtain free credits, right?  Without producers in the equation, the consumers won’t have anything real to consume.  The whole economic system would become meaningless, and so the system collapses.

I guess, the only real demand for cashless society is the demand for more credits, and the easy credits are plentiful available so the demand for more credits could be fulfilled.  Of course, the government and the powerful bankers can just create laws that make the illusion works for awhile.  An example would be you have to pay back the loan you want to borrow, or else you may suffer a consequence of being shutout of the cashless society system.   Knowing being shut out, it means you are not going to be able to buy the most necessities such as foods, and so you know you’re doom for good.

Nonetheless, in a cashless society — a shutout mandate or whatever rules a cashless society wants to impose on the people — the atmosphere can become very toxic for the powerful people.  How come?  If a society can only get poorer while the banks have unlimited amount of credits, the poor people will see this as the greatest injustice of all time.  This means if there is large amount of poor people who are thinking this way will have a king’s head rolls.  Thus, a cashless society needs to uphold not only the illusion of real efforts and transactions, but it also needs to uphold the income equality for the whole society.  As long the majority (e.g., 65%, or 75%, or 80% of the general population) is wealthier than a small percentage of the whole population, then nobody would be able to form a big enough movement to have a king’s head rolls.

If you’ve read thus far, I think you would probably have a notion that cashless society is the same thing as a credit society we’re living in today.  I would agree, but cashless society is more draconian since it outlaws the tangible cash.  With cash in the equation, people can still feel that transactions are real, because something gets sold something gets paid with hard, cold cash (i.e., it’s real).  Even with cash in the system, it’s all about maintaining the illusion that credits are properly distributed.  Taking the cash out of the current credit system to make a complete cashless society, the illusion of proper distribution and exchange will be harder to uphold when the going gets really tough.  Few good examples would be unemployment goes skyrocket, income inequality goes skyrocket, debts go skyrocket and so forth.

Of course, you can argue, when the going gets really tough, with cash in the economic system or not, the whole bubble is going to pop and a king’s head rolls anyway.  Nonetheless, with cash in the system, at least new problems of cashless society won’t be introduced to the general population.  Once cashless society is in place, some traditional problems plus new problems are going to continuously rain down on the whole society, especially when people can be cut off from the system altogether since only credit-like means are acceptable and real.

Cashless society would definitely help the controllers to see the nuts and bolts of the whole system more clearly, because electronic transactions are going to leave electronic traces behind.  Nonetheless, in bad time, this would aggravate people rather easily, because they feel their privacy are being invaded all the time.  When it comes to money, privacy matters!

I think people won’t mind sharing who they’re having sex with, but when it comes down to money people are not that willing to share.  Thus, money is rather private!  So, cashless society is going to have a problem of allowing people to have some privacy with their money.  For an example, if everything is so connected in the cashless society, everyone would know how much credits you have available.  This would mean your local pizza parlor would refuse you a slice of pizza for they know your whole worth is zero or negative credit.  In a cash society, you can just hand over the cash, the local pizza parlor would careless if you have any credit, and off you go with a delicious slice of pizza.  In a cashless society, your shame would be revealed instantly.  Even worse, you will not be able to fill up your stomach when nobody is going to accept cash.  After all, it’s a cashless society!

In summary, I think cashless society can make bad economics worse, because new problems would be introduced to the general population.  These problems may become apparent rather quickly when the economy goes bad.  An example would be people may become less cooperative in making a living, because there are less incentives to encourage people to earn money the hardy way.  People may try to scheme the infinite credit/cashless society to make money the easy way, and economic bubbles would form into gigantic ones till they burst and collapse the economic system altogether.  Instead of really solving the problems of society such as poverty and whatnot, cashless society can only enhance the paranoia of lacking privacy.  Money is a very private matter to many people, and so these people are not going to be very happy about having to live in a cashless society when every known businesses and services out there know how much you are worth 24/7.  At least with cash, people can hide their shame of having less worth.  Basically, any society with a lot of insecurity can collapse, and so the same goes with cashless society.

 

Can Bitcoin Overtake The World Currencies And Change World Economies?

The bitcoin logo

The bitcoin logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t dare to say that I know enough about Bitcoin, but it seems to me that this digital currency is on the rise.  TheVerge ‘Bitcoin exchange gains clearance to operate as a real bank in France‘ article reported that Bitcoin digital currency platform has just now gained a foothold in France.  This means, Bitcoin-Central, a Bitcoin exchange, will be able to operate as a real bank in France.  Will this mean more similar banking services derive from Bitcoin digital currency platform in France?  I clearly don’t know since the whole Bitcoin digital currency is still so new to me and probably to the majority of the people of the world.  Anyhow, it seems though France is going to go ahead and let Bitcoin rises, becoming a more reputable mean of transactions within France.

Of course, if you never heard about Bitcoin before, you probably are scratching your head right now.  For me, I have heard about Bitcoin, and I’m still scratching my head.  Bitcoin isn’t so easy to understand as how cash would be.  Cash has been around for as long as I know it.  Anyhow, Bitcoin isn’t cash, therefore people have a hard time to compare it to cash.  Bitcoin is so new, therefore people don’t really understand it.  Nonetheless, people do understand credit and credit card.  Nonetheless, credit and credit card don’t behave like cash after the credit had spent in a transaction, but Bitcoin does (I think).  How is this?  When credit has already being spent, the creditor wants the debtor to pay back the spent credit somehow; when the cash has already being spent, no creditor is expecting any compensation unless the debtor actually tied his or her credit with cash somehow and then spent such cash for whatever needs.  To the best of my knowledge, Bitcoin behaves like cash since no creditor is expecting a compensation unless there is a Bitcoin lending service that actually lends out Bitcoin (also known as BTC) as credit.  Then again, one can easily somehow acquire BTC with real cash and then crazily went into debt through credit.  So, in a sense BTC can be included in a chain of transactions with mixed types of currencies.  The question is, will people trust BTC enough to start spending like those other types of currencies (e.g., cash, credit, etc…).  Let not get into what is real currency, because I think all sorts of people will have different definitions for what to be real currency.  Is it back by gold?  Is it back by the government?  Is it back by what?  It gets crazy really.  In this very blog post and for the sake of simplicity, I like to refer currency as anything that can be spent to acquire something else and to complete a transaction in a meaningful way.  Meaningful way I said?  Yes, because such transactions have to be legal in the eyes of the mass (i.e., people).

Digital age makes Bitcoin possible, I think!  With digital age, Bitcoin can deliver its complex algorithm to encrypt and decrypt its BTC units.  Don’t ask me the technical side of this as I’m scratching my head just to think about it.  Anyhow, Bitcoin allows the owners of BTC to transact Bitcoin digitally and anonymously.  I sure don’t know how anonymous this would be though, because I’m still trying to figure out how Bitcoin actually works in practice.  I have not yet ever tried to use Bitcoin in practice, therefore I’m just amused as you are on Bitcoin (i.e., if you haven’t yet being familiarized with how Bitcoin works in practice).  On reading about Bitcoin though, I think the anonymity of Bitcoin derives from how Bitcoin is being a decentralized digital currency platform.  OK, to explain this in layman term (I might be off by a mile in explanation though), a BTC transaction would occur between the payer and the receiver and that’s it.  So, in a sense the anonymity is all about there isn’t a centralized bank to be able to track down a Bitcoin transaction.  Isn’t cash also operating similarly to this, to allow some anonymity between the payer and receiver?  If you pay someone with some cash for a transaction that nobody knows about, nobody would care right?  I guess we can safely say that all banks will simply ignore what you will do with the cash you own, but the banks will try to track down the stolen cash from their vaults though.  You get this right?  So, in a way Bitcoin is allowing this sort of anonymity to BTC owners.

Besides being a BTC owner, a BTC owner can actually mine for more BTCs.  How?  I’m still very unclear about this myself to be honest, but let me take a jab at this anyway.  Basically, I think BTC owner can execute Bitcoin command lines to command Bitcoin software to act as a server service on a computer and then mine for BTC units.  Please correct me if I’m wrong on this, I think Bitcoin software I’m talking about is the official one that is on the official Bitcoin website and this very software is also responsible for allowing Bitcoin owners to generate a Bitcoin wallet.  Bitcoin wallet?  It’s like a digital wallet where you can tuck your BTC units away just so you can use these BTC units digitally in a transaction (most likely a digital transaction too).  Nonetheless, I guess that you might be able to use Bitcoin physically in some places in France if Bitcoin-Central (Bitcoin exchange) succeeds in providing banking services through Bitcoin digital currency platform.  My apology of being digressed, let me get back to how Bitcoin owners can mine for more BTC units.  Basically, BTC units can be minted as long Bitcoin owners are willing to spend money on setting up powerful computers (e.g., servers, server networks, etc…) to mine for more BTC units.  To know more about the technical side of how each BTC unit is actually being minted, I think you have to look this up on the Internet since I don’t have a good explanation for this complex process.  Nonetheless, it boils down to the setup of hardware (i.e., computer with the ability to utilize strong processing powers of graphic cards and CPUs) and software, the computer resources, the energy that needs to be spent (i.e., electricity), and so on to get a Bitcoin mining operation going.

Obviously, acquiring BTCs through other means and not through mining for BTCs — it is all about providing services and products and then demanding BTCs as the currency of exchange/transaction.

In conclusion, I sense that if more countries follow France to approve and allow Bitcoin exchanges to behave as banks, then Bitcoin might upset how the world is using its currencies.  This scenario is possible, because Bitcoin isn’t exactly a specific currency in which a specific government has controlled over yet.  In a sense, Bitcoin is behaving like cash, but this new cash has embodied some of the Internet characteristics.  You can say, at this stage there isn’t yet a single government which can claim ownership over the entire Internet.  For better or worse, different people value Bitcoin differently, therefore Bitcoin isn’t so easily to be controlled unless all governments of the world begin to crackdown on Bitcoin usages.  I guess people who reside in France don’t have to worry about this much since Bitcoin is gaining popularity in France; if not it’s at least gaining popularity with the French government.  For the people who think Bitcoin can’t do a thing to upset the world currencies and how people will perform transactions across the world, I beg them to not underestimate Bitcoin popularity.  Just think about how the Internet has evolved, and we can somewhat make a deduction about the possibilities of Bitcoin in term of making a foothold in world currencies.  The Internet had a humbled beginning, but not for long before the Internet transformed how people shopped, read, wrote, thought, studied, communicated, banked, voted, and so much more in the late 20th century.  Obviously, the Internet is still transforming how people do things in the 21st century.  Although the Internet was new back then and was plagued with security issues, nothing had stopped the the Internet from taking over the world.  So, when I look at Bitcoin closer, I feel as if Bitcoin is behaving similarly to the Internet.  Since I’m not an economist, I can’t be sure that I know if this is a good thing or bad thing for the world economies, but I can feel that Bitcoin isn’t going away soon.  Even if Bitcoin loses steam in the future, I think Bitcoin has already paved a road in which the future generations might use Bitcoin as one of the futuristic currency scaffolds to discuss and reform their currencies.  What do you think?

Source:  http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/7/3740136/bitcoin-exchange-bank-france-bitcoin-central