Blog Archive

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Artistic Appreciation Dividend:

The world is running out of work.  Most of the work done by people today is busywork, makework, that actually helps no one and provides nothing.  Even with this ridiculous employment situation, labor force participation is back to 1970's levels.  (So are wages, for that matter.)

Various futurists have predicted that half of these remaining jobs, such as they are, will be automated in the next decade or two.  So if you thought employment was dire today, just wait until tomorrow.

A basic income is the obvious answer, where people get money for no reason at all every month, and therefore stay above water no matter what.  This is the only fair and compassionate thing to do in an ever-changing world that just doesn't need so much labor anymore, through no fault of the workers themselves.

However, people don't like basic incomes for two reasons -- they don't want 'lazy' people getting money for 'doing nothing,' and the people themselves would rather have jobs doing something because they aren't actually lazy as depicted by their detractors.  Both of these problems can be solved by a clever twist to the citizen's dividend.

How about, instead, the 'Artistic Appreciation Dividend?'

Give people a giant list of books, video games, music, anime, tv shows, movies, operas, ballets, sports programs, whatever you want.  Musicals.  Broadway Plays.  Mangas.  Visual novels.  There's plenty of art to go around.  Select via a committee state-sanctioned best of lists.  Then pay people to go read them, view them, listen to them, or otherwise verb them.

You could set a price of $100 per item, for a maximum of 10 items 'appreciated' per month, with a maximum payout of $1,000 a month from the government to the individual.  To show that the 'appreciator' really did do his homework, he would have to write a facebook post, a blog post, or whatever social media is being used these days, demonstrating his understanding of the work he imbibed and explaining how he felt and thought about it in a lucid and comprehensive manner.  Since we're trying to increase employment anyway, there should be no problem with hiring government bureaucrats to give the essays a pass/fail grade to determine whether people genuinely appreciated their art assignments and are worthy of their $100 reward.

Now, here's the best part -- make sure that even if you lived to 120 years of age, there's enough for 10 artworks a month to be consumed.  In other words, the assigned list of art people can appreciate must be 14,400 strong.  Let me suggest, if people are having a hard time coming up with art the state should subsidize to be viewed, all of my hall of fame entries.

If you break the 'good books' segment into individual books instead of authors, that's thousands of works of art right there.  Instead of whole video game franchises or movie franchises, treat each entry separately and worthy of $100 a piece.  Both my great anime rankings and my runners-up series would be worthy of inclusion.  In the next 120 years, there's certain to be more good books, manga, video games and manga worthy of attention, so add them on as we go along.  For now, at the start of the program, all we need is the 1st year's worth of material, which is only 120 good things.  So long as we don't run out of our reserves while new entries are still adding to the list everything's fine.

If people don't want to appreciate art for a living, they don't have to.  But if they don't want to starve to death and want to be able to pay for their health care and rent while still not being able to find a job, then there's always the artistic appreciation dividend.

Not only is this an amazingly simple solution to poverty in America, but we can engender positive acculturation into our citizenry, which will end up helping them in a myriad of ways well beyond just getting the money they need to live.  The people who go through this program will learn everything they need to know about morality.  They will be better people at the end of their work than at the beginning, guaranteed.  Even people with jobs, if they feel like they just need a little extra money to pay for Christmas presents or whatever, the Artistic Appreciation Dividend can help them out on that, and make ends meet.  And then those people also will become better people through experiencing the wonderful artistic masterpieces that have been chosen out for them.

Once I become dictator of the world, I won't allow ignorance or poverty to exist.  The good things of this world will be enjoyed by all, in such a way that everyone has the material means to enjoy them.  The two forces will meet like anti-matter and matter creating a joyful explosion.  The elites get to know that their tax money isn't going to waste, because the masses are appreciating great art, which is the most you can ask from anyone.  The masses get to work at and complete projects and be graded on them for excellence just as though they were still working a normal job.  Everyone becomes a bit smarter, a bit nicer, and a bit happier day by day.  What could possibly go wrong?

No comments: