a reply to: MiddleInitial
I've thought about if I wanted to reply to this and give my experiences as well for the past couple days, I was going back and forth but in the end
figured why not. I also get what you could consider to be a basic income, not a tribal payment but rather I get disability and a little bit of grant
money for attending school in addition to food stamps if you want to count them. All in all my income is equal to about $24,500 per year, broken down
by month it's $750 in disability, $65 in food stamps, $300 in education grants (beyond my tuition), and $920 in free tuition (I goto an inexpensive
school, specifically so that tuition is fully covered and that I'm not paying anything out of pocket).
My situation is not at all normal and I am extremely fortunate, but in a sense the government really likes people with disabilities who are furthering
their education, especially when the goal is to reach a respectable income from full time employment (or self employment in my case) so they're pretty
generous which I am very thankful for, as it has enabled me to learn and achieve much more than I would be able to do otherwise and ultimately gives
me a chance at having some opportunity in life. The opportunity to be self employed is a big one for me as my disability (without going into what it
is) is effectively a scarlet letter that makes me unhirable for any real job after a simple background check, which is illegal but also just how
business and human nature works.
You're a year older than me, so we're in a similar place in life, though we've had very different experiences. After graduating HS I went to college,
didn't put in the work and failed out destroying the college fund my parents put aside (that it was worth very little due to the 9/11 induced
recession didn't help matters). Then I got sick for a few years, and by the time I recovered enough to do anything I was 24 when I finally got
serious about going back to school. I still remember that day quite clearly: I was working as a delivery driver for a deli at the time, and was at
home on the weekend. I was sitting in my bedroom staring at my telephone and decided that I didn't want to continue working these types of jobs for
the rest of my life, and I didn't want to rely on the uncertain future of disability payments so I decided to go to the local community college. 4
weeks later my boss fired me for attending school saying it was a problem that I scheduled a class after work because it meant I couldn't work
overtime if required. I've now been in school for 10 years trying to get to the point where I can independently do what I want. In that time I've
picked up 3 Associates degrees and a Bachelors. I have 60 credit hours to go to finish my goal (I only take 12/semester for health reasons) having
already gained about 340 credits. The truth is, I could probably drop out and do what I want now with the skills I have but being so close I want to
finish, and I still have a (very) small amount of hope that I could open up the option of being hired by someone else one day, and finishing helps
I've met a lot of people on disability, which is like a basic income. Some are content to just coast through life on the meager amount they're given,
while others have taken it and worked for something greater instead using it as a tool to make that possible. I don't see what the problem is if
people don't want to take their low income and leverage it into something greater. No matter how hard people work, there is always going to be a
bottom 1% in society with the lowest income, and I think that if you're in the bottom few percent, the least society can be doing for you is in giving
you the freedom to have a lot of spare time and enjoy it. The world would be much worse if these people were in the bottom few percentiles for
whatever reason but also had to work dead end jobs to sustain that. In essence they would have no upward mobility and be receiving nothing from
society, but still contributing to it. If society isn't giving you anything, why should you give back?
I just don't see what the problem is with the freedom to "be lazy" as you put it. All that means is that those who don't want to be lazy will see
greater rewards because they'll have less competition in the work force. In an era where machines are replacing people, I think that reducing
competition for those who do want to work is a good thing. Additionally, people tend to compare themselves relative to others, a person living on a
meager income but seeing others living it up by working, is going to want to increase their own income and having a baseline allows them to support
themselves while learning the skills to do so.
You mention that you would have been better off pushing a mop. Are you sure about that? You would have much less income and much less time. You may
or may not have the talent to be a musician, but if you were working a job (or more likely 2 jobs) you wouldn't have had the time to get your music
skills to where they are now and if you're not good enough now, you definitely wouldn't be if you had 60-80 fewer hours available each week.