Will Bitcoin bring about an end to welfare?

Bitcoin may end the welfare state and solve the problem of basic income. The welfare state is not necessarily just a financial condition but it's also a state of mind and an unhealthy psychological state of dependency on government. The problem with the welfare state as a state of mind is that it gives the power of life and death to US politicians who on a whim can threaten to cut millions of people off of their lifelines of social security, disability, medicare, medicaid, food stamps, financial aid, and anything else. I do not have a problem with individuals who wish to receive any government benefits, or who genuinely need help to survive, especially in the current cut throat economic environment where healthcare costs seem to be on the rise forever, the cost of living seems to be on the rise forever, purchasing power seems to shrink a bit more every generation. The problem is the state of mind, not the social condition and Bitcoin is something which can solve both.

If cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are a success then it allows the free market to offer an asset which can compete with government programs and which can provide a basic income. To provide this basic income the entire notion of what work is has to change. We have to move away from the idea that individuals must “work hard” and do “physical hard labor”. We must move away from the idea that individuals must “go to work” or “get a real job”. We have to instead use cryptocurrencies to allow for telework, and virtual work to replace the 9-5 8 hr/day 40/hr week with the always on schedule.

What if each individual could have virtual workers, robot agents that can do work on their behalf? What if each individual could have a virtual office, and an avatar to represent them similar to Second Life? What if each individual never has to waste hours a day preparing for, traveling to or from work, but their job is where they are and all they have to do is log in to accept tasks specifically suited for their skill set? Any task which cannot be automated or completed by one of their virtual worker robot agents would have to be completed by them and their to-do list will be set up for them each day by their virtual assistant.

If each individual can have virtual workers, then similar to the concept of Proof of Work in Bitcoin mining the problem of basic income can be solved, even if you have no skill or talent at all, just by having electricity and a computer you should be able to run mining software or load up virtual workers and automated bot's to do virtual jobs which can generate money. The concept can most accurately be described as a process of rewarding activity itself. If each fully functional human being has intrinsic value in an economic system then any activity that a human being is doing online should generate some income. This means chatting with friends, this means posting on forums, this means whatever we identify as the most common online activities, we should reward people for it with coins. As long as those activities are legal and can only be done by a human (not by a virtual worker, bot, AI etc) then it should be rewarded. To simplify this to it's core we should reward human beings for being human beings.

If it can scale up then it could generate enough money to provide a source of basic income to co-exist (not replace) the current government benefits that people receive. This process over the decades can remove strain on the system because if people are successful enough with virtual currencies and virtual labor then they will no longer require government benefits and may actually be able to pay taxes and contribute. At the same time in the distant future we may be able to tax virtual workers instead of humor workers and use the money generated from taxing that to replace the social safety net system we have now.

If the virtual interview process is adopted racial and gender discrimination in hiring can be solved. An artificial intelligence or script can automatically hire virtual workers to do virtual work without the human individual having to really do anything except set his or her virtual workers to accept virtual jobs. However if the job specifically requires a human being then the employer can contact the individual through their avatar and hire the pseudo-anonymous individual. This process can work very well in cyberspace. The benefit to having a virtual office and never having to travel to or from work is that you can simply become a digital nomad. You'll be able to be in multiple locations at a time, do multiple jobs at a time, and with the right set of artificial intelligence, maximize productivity. If for instance you can attend two meetings at a time and have both meetings be recorded onto your hard drive then you not only do not have to worry about taking notes, but you don't have the problem of losing attention because you can rewind the whole thing and find the most pertinent details. Provided that Moore's law continues then eventually graphics cards will produce photo-real levels of detail and headsets like the Oculus Rift combined with motion sensors like the Leap Motion device could allow for new forms of communication, and benefits to a classroom environment would be that it can allow for a virtual education to be visual and in greater degrees of detail than even would be possible in person. The professor for example could split an atom and this could be seen in the Oculus Rift as a 3d visual experience to remember and of course it could be saved for students who do not have photographic memories.

If we want a world where human beings are taken care of then we should stop expecting or depending on other human beings to do it. We should build robot nurses to take care of the old, and to take care of infants. If we get it right then our technological innovation will care for us, will nurture us, will protect us, and our artificial intelligence will support us in ways that at this time we expect from our parents, or from governments. In the end we may not even need a government run by human beings, we may end up with a super-intelligent machines which take on the role of managing humanity in place of governments.

Bitcoin | Politics

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