It’s an interesting concept. People doing what they want with basic income, but if it isn’t tied to a sense of purpose I think that of course it would be destructively used among many, which is to say drugs, gangs, violence all that; and not just because people are naturally destructive, but because these behaviors and activities are very lucrative. Who would be satisfied with 20k a year, when a little criminal activity can turn it into 100? UBI can be a way to fund organized crime. So then, the next question is Who funds the UBI and under what circumstances and conditions?
And — here is the bigger question — if so few people will be working and earning money — who is going to buy all the stuff robots are making? Who will be buying the goods that driverless trucks are moving? Displacing workers from the workforce also displaces consumers.
Smaller local companies everywhere seems like a possible solution, but again back to the organized crime, they are extraordinarily lucrative business ventures — human trafficking is on the exponential rise just because it is so lucrative; and law enforcement dedicates very little time to stopping it, because the victims are usually young, poor and powerless, and often noncitizens. They can’t vote the issue onto the agenda, and even if they could, the resources needed to combat this sort of wealth redistribution (because yes, stealing people and enslaving them is a sort of wealth redistribution) are extensive.
So while it’s fine to consider new forms of wealth creation, there is the need to consider all of it, the darker side of it too; and how it will be checked. Even with UBI, the future can still be MadMaxian.