I remember being forced to complete pointless homework assignments as a student, and vowing that I’d fight to end this literal torture when I became an adult.
I wanted to work on meaningful cutting edge research and make art, but nobody would pay me to do that. So I became an engineer, utilizing my skills to helping rich people make more money.
I still remember my first day working a 9-5 job, watching everyone else pretending to work for 8 hours per day, wondering why people put up with this bullshit. Office life is literal part-time slavery. I thought I’d be judged strictly on the merits of my work, but realized perception and bullshit office politics is more important than anything else. I thought if I kicked ass, then working my own hours or working from home wouldn’t matter. I thought it was a meritocracy where the best rather than the most politically connected backstabbing sycophants rise to the top. How naive I was.
I grew up being taught that America was founded on the ideals of freedom, liberty, and democracy, and so it came as a shock when I realized that the institution we devote the majority of our time and prime energy to – the office – is a totalitarian institution. I knew that there was a hierarchy, but I thought there’d at least be a pretense of democracy. Agile and Scrum is the management framework in vogue at tech companies, but it is just glorified micromanagement that reduces engineers to to factory workers on an assembly line, completely stripping the joy out of the job and life.
I started asking myself – why is it this way? My job in adtech does nothing to contribute to humanity – and if anything appears to actually be detrimental, so why do I have work a job like this merely to make a basic living? Why can’t I work on the more meaningful problems in the world – like, say, curing cancer? Why do I have to put up with this office bullshit? How come Office Space was released 20 years ago, but nothing has changed? It’s clear that automation is rendering an enormous fraction of the workforce automation, and this will only accelerate – so why aren’t we doing anything about this? Why is nobody talking about this?
So I started doing some research, and found out that we could literally end poverty in the first world today with something called a Universal Basic Income. So I started blogging about Universal Basic Income. The movement seemed to be growing, even some prominent entrepreneurs and startup incubators were looking into it, yet no politician was even talking about it.
Trump and Clinton sparred over manufacturing jobs without addressing the root cause (automation), and offering any real solutions (Universal Basic Income). Meanwhile housing, healthcare, and higher education costs continued to balloon past their already astronomical levels, yet nothing was being done about it. If we can’t even get healthcare and higher education fixed when the rest of the world already has, then what hope do we even have a Universal Basic Income?
I lost hope. I left the country. I wanted to talk about all this stuff, but what was the point? Americans can’t even agree on universal healthcare, what’s the feasibility of Basic Income in this decade? I can advocate UBI all I want, but one man can’t change the antiquated mindset of an entire country, all I’m doing is jeopardizing my job prospects (remember, there’s no freedom of speech as a wage slave). I basically gave up.
A friend of mine told me there was this guy running for President named Andrew Yang. “Sweet he’s got my vote” I said, but I didn’t pay much attention to it because I figured there was no chance of him actually getting elected.
Some months later I saw on Youtube that he’d been on the Joe Rogan podcast. Watching Yang speak completely blew my mind, and for the first time in my life, I had hope that I might actually see Universal Basic Income sooner than I thought. Yang had explained this more eloquently the problem (automation eliminating jobs, human suffering, fixation over meaningless metrics like GDP) and the solution (Universal Basic Income, better metrics) than I ever could. And maybe just as important, seeing the enormous support around him in the Youtube comments and online made me realize that he actually had a legitimate chance.
I started this blog because I want to fix the biggest human-made problem causing the greatest amount of human suffering. All we need to do is implement a Universal Basic Income. Once that is implemented, the wage slaves will be freed to spend their time how they choose, and the working class will finally have the free time to participate and stand up to the financial rape and pillaging that they’ve subjected themselves to from the top 0.1% since Reagan and neoliberals brainwashed them into submission.
As I write this, getting Andrew Yang into the White House is our only hope (or convincing the other candidates to support a Universal Basic Income). Of course having the right president alone isn’t enough, but once the masses realize that “yes we can have UBI and we won’t see hyperinflation and doom”, then there’s no going back. It’ll be the catalyst that starts a new revolution, and neoliberal status quo baby boomer politics will finally be nothing but a bad memory.
Humans created this disaster. Humans can fix it. The humans in charge are no smarter or better than you. Mainstream (neoclassical) economics is at best a pseudoscience.
We don’t have to take this bullshit any longer, prostituting ourselves out to corporations and commuting to bullshit jobs like the living dead.
Let’s fix this. Let’s implement a Universal Basic Income. Vote Andrew Yang for our 2020 U.S. President.