In industrialized countries around the world, "work" appears to be something that most people try to avoid as much as they can, dreaming of winning a lottery so they will never have to work again -- and be free to do nothing or do what they like. Money serves as a motivator for work, because in these cultures you need money to stay alive, or at least to live well.
Many social welfare states pay a basic income to people unable to find work. Despite the fact that usually this basic income is not unconditional but a transitional payment only and bound to the receiver's attempts to find a job, there is quite a lot of hostility from those who force themselves to their jobs each morning, towards those who appear to be happy with having little and prefer not to work.
Around the world there are proponents of an unconditional basic income that would free individuals from the necessity to take up work. I don't want to go into the whys and wherefores of such a freedom, or into how such an income could be financed, but want to ask you:
If everybody received an unconditional basic income that was high enough to make their lives reasonably comfortable, what would incite people to do the work (like baking bread) that needs to get done?
I am not lookig for opinions or theories here, those already abound on the net, but for empirical evidence for:
- which percentage of a populace can be expected to busy themselves without need, and
- how those that like to laze around can be motivated to work without need.
B.F. Skinner in his utopian novel Walden Two attempts to design a society where no-one is required to work more than four hours a day and unwanted jobs result in more credit points than desirable jobs, so that some people clean the toilet and then have more free time than those working at their dream jobs, but this concept relies on a virtual currency of points that you have to earn, so there is a need to work to earn your living, even if it does not have a payment of traditional "money".
In my question, the motivator for work must not be anything that has to be fulfilled, but something that does not take away the freedom not to work. Something that makes even the least desirable job attractive. In the case of the toilet it might be something simple like this being your toilet, and if you don't clean it, you'll have to use it anyway. But there are public toilets. What would work there?