I am really curious what those real resource limits might be. Labour is one, I can imagine, and energy. Maybe some specific rare metals for electronics. Apparently aircraft tires need real rubber. Obviously there are certain things where this is true.

But I feel like almost everything else can be produced in larger greater quantities and/or substituted out. And even with those things (labour, energy and rare earths) there seems to me to be a lot of headroom in terms of both efficiency and production increases.

Like if we switched to a hydrogen energy system, there’s almost no upper limit to the amount we could produce even just using renewables (you set up solar in the desert, or offshore wind, but rather than connecting it to the electricity grid you process sea water into hydrogen and pipe it out or compress it on site). And people are talking about fusion within 10 years — something governments could accellerate.

So then it becomes labour that we’re apparently short on? if so why are people waiting tables for tips (pick up your meal from the counter) or wearing suits and twirling signs to try and drive demand?

Best thing about UBI to me is once it approaches the subsistence level, it would start to properly rationalise the use of labour.

And that is, finally, the most valuable and finite resource, people’s time, attention and emotional energy.

Recovering journo. Still at war with bullshit. Cofounder of the Stone research transparency system. www.writeinstone.com

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