Take this with a grain of salt. I’m not going to talk in any depth about research, and I’m not going to talk about large or objective samplings of any sort of data.
I’ve read some interesting stuff recently about experiments in welfare. The kind of experiments where people are guaranteed a certain level of income regardless of whether they work or not. My impression is that the experiments that have been done have not suggested that everyone would suddenly stop working if they didn’t have to to survive. In some cases, they seem to have suggested that this guarantee enables people to be more successful by taking risks that they didn’t have the ability to take otherwise.
I’ve been thinking about this recently because I’ve been thinking about my own case. If I knew I could afford to do so, I would take a leave of absence from my job immediately. I would take as much time as I needed to recover from the repetitive stress issues I’m dealing with, and then I would either go back to the same job or apply for something more full-time. Either way, once I was recovered, I would be able to earn massively more money than I’m earning right now, and to put that money back into the economy.
Instead, I don’t have that guarantee. I don’t have the ability to take an indefinite leave of absence from work and still be able to afford basic necessities. Because of that reality, for the past year, I have contributed less to the economy and the world than I would otherwise have been able to. In my case in particular, right now, both I and the system in which I participate are suffering as a result of my inability to take the time that I need to be able to take to get better.
I’m just a data point. There are many others more extreme and demonstrative than my data point, but this one is mine, so I’m writing about it.