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posted by martyb on Thursday January 20 2022, @01:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the of-course-nobody-ever-gets-bored dept.

Study: Basic income would not reduce people's willingness to work:

A basic income would not necessarily mean that people would work less. This is the conclusion of a series of behavioral experiments by cognitive psychologist Fenna Poletiek, social psychologist Erik de Kwaadsteniet and cognitive psychologist Bastiaan Vuyk. They also found indications that people with a basic income are more likely to find a job that suits them better.

The psychologists received a grant from the FNV union to research the behavioral effects of a basic income. They simulated the reward structure of different forms of social security in an experiment. "We got people to do a task on a computer," says De Kwaadsteniet. "In multiple rounds, which represented the months they had to work, they did a boring task in which they had to put points on a bar. The more of these they did, the more money they earned."

The psychologists researched three different conditions: no social security, a conditional benefits system and an unconditional basic income. De Kwaadsteniet: "In the condition without social security, the test participants didn't receive a basic sum. In the benefits condition they received a basic sum, which they lost as soon as they started working. In the basic income condition they received the same basic sum but didn't lose this when they started work."

The basic income did not cause a reduction in the participants' willingness to work and efforts, say the psychologists. Nor did their salary expectations increase. "In the discussion on a basic income, it's sometimes said that people will sit around doing nothing if you give them free money," says Poletiek, who saw no indications of such a behavioral effect.

What would you do if you were to receive a basic income?

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Thursday January 20 2022, @03:45AM (3 children)

    by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 20 2022, @03:45AM (#1214054)

    It's worth noting about the arts in particular that a significant majority of people creating art good enough to get paid money for it either have day jobs that pay the bills, or a partner or parents or other family members or inheritance paying their bills. It's very much the dirty secret of the arts world.

    For example, I went to one of the top music conservatories in the country. I'm not a full-time professional musician ... and neither are any of the classmates in my major as far as I can tell. And it's not because they sucked: They were on average quite talented and creative people with good technical skills who made stuff I and many audiences of ordinary non-musicians genuinely enjoyed listening to, and none of it was worth a dime after graduation. I've known musicians of many stripes and styles, and maybe one of them makes a living (by teaching on weekdays, leading a jazz combo on Friday and Saturday night, and spending Sundays as a church organist good enough to have performed several times at the Vatican). For example, one of my acquaintances was the lead singer of this band [], good enough to rock one of the major metal festivals in the world, but not able to make enough to live on from it, so he's given up on trying to make it as a rocker and instead makes his living as a massage therapist.

    There are exactly 2 writers I know who've made enough to live on. One did it by writing werewolf erotica day and night for not great rates until she quit from the stress of trying to keep up with her publisher's demands. The other was born into relatively wealthy circumstances, inherited a home, and lived on her family money until she got relatively well-known.

    And you can get similar stories from most of the visual artists you'll encounter at arts fairs or colonies. A lot of them are producing stuff that would be at home in big-name art museums and galleries, but sells for maybe $500 a pop if they're lucky.

    And of course filmmakers and actors are far from immune to this as well. None of the people with IMDB profiles that I've ever known have ever earned enough from acting to make ends meet, and we're talking about folks about 3-4 degrees from Kevin Bacon.

    So yes, I'd expect one of the effects of UBI is you'd see more people focusing their time on making art. And I'd bet we'd all get a lot of really cool paintings, sculptures, novels, films, and music out of it.

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bradley13 on Thursday January 20 2022, @07:01AM (2 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 20 2022, @07:01AM (#1214089) Homepage Journal

    Here's the thing: basically everybody does art. Dancing, singing, drawing - these are very human activities that nearly everyone enjoys. Sure, some people are more talented than others, but being good is not a prerequisite for enjoyment.

    The aspiring wannabe professional artists I have known strike me as arrogant. *Their* art deserves money. What *they* want to express is more important than what some amateur has to say.

    Personally, I prefer the amateur to the professional. Art makes a great hobby for anyone - for example, the world created by a gamemaster is just as much art as the world created by an author.

    tl;dr: arguing that UBI would support wannabe professional artists is, IMHO, not a persuasive argument. Art is better, when it isn't professional.

    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20 2022, @08:38AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20 2022, @08:38AM (#1214097)

      The fascist isn't wrong. My libby libby fluffy bunny budget for art is $0.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday January 20 2022, @08:11PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday January 20 2022, @08:11PM (#1214320)

      The value of art, as far as I have been able to discern, primarily comes from marketing of said art - just as most less than essential things in this world find their "value points."

      Aspiring artists have various approaches, but if they are hoping to make a living from their art, they need heavy marketing to make that happen. This is usually self-promotion, but the lucky few have family / friends who help them, and the extremely lucky few "catch fire" just like sports / music and other mass-media stars.

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