Monthly Archives: July 2014

Job Losses, Basic Income, and EVE.

The modern person works a job to pay the bills and support their way of life and improve it, hopefully by doing something that they enjoy and find rewarding. I would like to ask what happens when you do not have an income and compare this to the MMO Game EVE.

A job is very important to the average person because it pays for the most important things you need like food, and shelter. I do not know anyone that can do without food, and most places are not sunny year round requiring shelter to survive. You might be luck and your parents, partner or to a limited extent governments can provide a limited coverage when you can not support your self. But if government support runs out or parents have issues how do you survive?

If you are luck to find a job you like and you are good at, you should not have many issues providing for yourself. Many people though do not know what they want to do, or have no support to test the waters and get the first job they can. Many articles have been written on the topic of job progression and how once you are in a job that only provides the basics of survival you do not have much ability to progress to better employment, you cannot risk what little you have. To progress you might need to take risks and the risks need to be balanced against what you might gain and what you might loss. If you risk losing your survival you will not take the risk and this would result in becoming trapped and unable to escape.

In most MMO games you do not need to survive in the traditional sense, in EVE you can sit in a space station forever and never pay for rent or food. Now this is not much of an existence but it does something very basic, you can fail at everything in the game and still have a second chance. You can start a company in game, you can explore the universe, you can do literally everything that is offered until you succeed. But the important thing here is that you can and will fail, and that is not a problem in the game world. Because of this safety net you can keep trying and learning from the mistakes and improving until you do something great, and when someone bigger takes it all away you can still try again.

This is where Basic Income would help society grow by giving everyone a guarantee of survival even if they lost everything. We need to provide the basics of food and shelter to all people with no restrictions if we want to encourage people to take the risks to do something great. We normally can not take the same risks we do in games, but if we could build a safety net like Basic Income then we would finally be able take many of the risks in life, imagine what we could accomplish.

If you would like to read more on Basic Income read the Wiki on the topic.
I also recommend keeping up with the reddit community.