Could a Seastead be the first country to implement a Universal Basic Income?

(Thibaut Labarre) #1

The idea of a Universal Basic Income has progressively made it to the center of the political and media stage over the last few years. Google trends shows that it is gaining general interest:

If you are not familiar with the concept of a Universal Basic Income, I recommend watching this TED talk:

Seasteading could realize its promise of political experimentation by producing the first country that implements a Universal Basic Income.

One way to start could be through the creation of a Carbon Dividend similar to what was proposed by Ted Halstead. That would sit well with the mission to make Seasteads carbon neutral or even carbon negative.

Anyone up to answer the WANTED poster from the Climate Leadership Council?

What do you think of this super fish farm?
(Matias Volco) #2

The colonization of the ocean is very connected with the increasingly rapid advance of technology: a physical platform for the digital world., where to essay different solutions


No. Seasteads will need people to work, not lounge around

(Thibaut Labarre) #4

Well, running that political experiment would validate whether or not people do lounge around in a country with a Universal Basic Income.

There is a crypto currency that is exploring this already by granting a daily universal dividend to all verified members of the network:

I’m curious to see what people use that crypto currency for.

(.) #5

Well, I was born and indoctrinated in a communist country.
After receiving extensive education about Marxism-Leninism,
I quickly escaped from them. But I attended some classes where questions
were encouraged. I did ask some questions and made some statements, and
the communist answer to it was: “We don’t like you, boy!”.
I did not know the communists well, but after that I started not to like them either.
One of my question was, if the capitalist western countries produce so
much goods so effectively, would not that lead to a better life?
So, actually capitalism is leading to a more ideal life, and into a
new way of distribution system.
And if the communist system is so ineffective through governmental
regulation of human life; would not capitalism outlive communism?

After stating some of these questions, I spent some time in re-educational
agricultural labor activity. The compensation , I received, for my labor
confirmed the fact, that it was of very little value. That was more than 32
years ago.

Listening to other people, I understand that I am not alone with these
questions and statements. I agree with Elon Musk; that it is a probable
future, like it or not.

(Bob LLewellyn) #6

Well, I have to disagree with Mr. Musk, we still have half the Earth to colonize and before we get toward the end of that, there will be space. There is more to do today even with all the robots than back in the 1950s.

Lets look at this fraction of history. My friend and I wanted to create an automatic income. We created a robot that trades the forex market like no human ever could. In the year of the crash, (08-09) the program made over 300% taking over 3000 trades with one loss for 8 Cents when the power went out. Guaranteed income right? With in 6 months the Federal government change the trading rules for the US so our new automatic income machine quit working. You see when you win in the forex market the banks are the ones that pay you off, they lose. Banks make the rules and the government enforces them.

What we can take from that is the universal pay check will come out of someones profit. They will likely try to get laws made that will basically make the system not work. In addition to that, what am I doing now? Not siting back and taking it easy. My wife and I are putting in 10 hour days to give the world a floating village before we die. So not only will a universal income not work, it isn’t even necessary.

(.) #7

I see no contradiction.
It is a philosophical, political and psychological problem. It is social too.

Games People Play: others struggle, because life is a struggle,
and people are equal, but some are more equal.
That is going to be the dilemma.
How am I special, if everybody is happy?
Lets make some governmental regulations to make things hard.
Easy life is against the law.

Yes, I am familiar with that.


We do not need any further validation that people lounge around on free income. You can already see that in urban areas around the world. The policy argument for UBI in countries with lots of economicly unneeded people is that UBI is preferable to letting them starve or creating make work that harms the productive. Seasteads will not have economically useless people because living at sea is too expensive to attract those types

(Bob LLewellyn) #9

I’ll have to disagree on the too expensive opinion, you can spend a fortune or you can get a fixer upper and do some work. Or get a combination of little work and nice discount.
Look around there is more than this.


If you build it, let me know …

… so I can run a charter transport business hauling homeless people from urban business areas to your island.

At no cost to you, btw … those businesses would gladly pay to permanently remove panhandlers from their sidewalks.

I might even start another business … of selling “Panhandler Free Zone” signs to those businesses.

Opportunities abound in a free-market economy. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

(Bob LLewellyn) #11

Your business would be bankrupted before the year was out. You couldn’t force people to go and without that, no freeloader would come down. You may give them a free ride but there are no free lunches at sea. We all do our part. However, there may be employment for those that want it and certainly business opportunities will abound.

But back to the subject of a basic income, we already have that but it is not universal, An annuity is a constant source of income but it comes from insurance companies. Instead of relying on others to fund your retirement, you fund it yourself.

(Larry G) #12

Anther argument is that basic incomes reduce incentives to prey upon the productive through theft and violence; basically bribing them to ACT like citizens even though they produce nothing. Q: What happens when you subsidize something? A: You always get more of it.

I guarantee, any society that implements universal basic income, will also eventually subsidize and possibly mandate psychoactive chemical pacification and sterilization programs.

(Larry G) #13

If the freeloaders could get there for free, they would be there. It’s an inherently short sighted mindset and lifestyle. Often enough people put themselves into bad positions either deliberately (or at least systematically) and then appeal to charity.

Several cities actually do this- they give free bus tickets to homeless people to get them to go elsewhere. @BobDohse’s “business model” is not theoretical, it actually already exists.

If your seastead guarantees a basic income/lifestyle and has no barriers to entry, then you will be swamped with freeloaders. I was just in Baja California Sur (Los Cabos) last week listening to a successful beach bum talk about how they would camp on the beach in the 70s when the cost was 1$/day- and yet they still contrived to be absent when the officials came around to collect the fee.

(.) #14

This is not the business model I had in mind.

Those people need psychotherapy more than money.
They can be shipped anywhere they are the same.

I do not think those people represent the future seasteaders.


True that freeloaders don’t represent the future of seasteading.

The problem of how to handle the Free Riders has existed in economics since the first lazy person was born.

The only answer - ever - has been some form of punishment.

Follow 4 guys who start going to the bars together … with one of them never buying a round of drinks.

It doesn’t take long for the other 3 to start punishing the Free Rider. First they criticize … and ultimately they just don’t invite the Free Rider.

When US cities or counties ban panhandling (or “sales”) from the left-turn median at traffic intersections …

… the migrant Free Riders migrate to a more hospitable environment (e.g., San Diego city) and become entrenched.

Those places exist ONLY because certain politicians and politically-sympathetic judges mandate that society provide for the Free Riders.

Free Riders flourish ONLY when government mandates that the free-market economy subsidizes unproductive people.

Remove that imposed mandate and the free-market economy IMMEDIATELY starts to punish Free Riders.

That’s the nature of Homo Sapiens.

Even ‘The Little Red Hen’ figured that out. :open_mouth:

(.) #16

all right already then



This is the same issue as the mandated basic income. Those funds come from workers… Taxation. Provision for the handicapped SHOULD be a societal obligation. However, the handicapped should ALSO, where possible, be contributing members of that society and allowed to supplement their own lifestyles.

Take Kat and I for example… We are not allowed to earn a substantial income because of our handicaps. For different reasons, any earnings would be deducted from our incomes. If either of us even sold belongings on eBay, it would be reported.

For my own situation, the physical restrictions are bad enough, but I’ve had strokes, so there are also insurance liabilities to consider. I’ve done things, today, that I am not allowed to do for work, simply because I cannot be sure I can do similar things tomorrow. If I had access to the tools and supplies, there are many things I can do.

(.) #18

Meanwhile I write here, I bought a house close to a lake, and
as close to the ocean as possible ( lake 1 mile, ocean 25 miles)
The house needs inside paint, so I am painting when I am not at work.
The next thing is to build something that floats. I have some ideas, and
I bought some high density foam from Home Depot. I will build too, and
I am planning to make the process available for others too.


It’s just an economic principle, Spark. Not “name calling”, but simply identifying a variable that describes a category of people whose modus operandi is to habitually ride for free.

Aka … “Those who partake, but don’t pay their fair share.”

Without any analysis of Free Riders and a calculation of the cost (to those who do pay) of Free Riders upon the system, there could not possibly be an accurate projection of future costs. Period.

So such a calculation MUST be made in any economic analysis. There is no other way to accurately calculate projected costs.

If a farmer kept hens that never lay eggs … or kept cows that never yield milk … then the farmer would eventually go broke.

Same with a society.

Ditto for a seastead.

(.) #20

all right already then

No is a no.