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31. TruthQuest, 20 Jan 2055

31. TruthQuest, 20 Jan 2055

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 The Following is a Transcript from the TruthQuest Personal Radio Broadcast, hosted by Tommy America, Live-streamed in VR on 20 January 2055 at 2000h.

Well, hello everybody.  And to those watching live in America, good evening.  I’m your host, Tommy America, and if you don’t know by now, this is the Truth Quest podcast, where we are, truly, on the quest for Truth.  Which is more than you can say for nearly all the other publications these days.

Now I know I don’t often get on the microphone this time of week, but every now and then there’s an event that I find just too important for me to keep my big mouth shut.  Today is one of those days, and let me tell you, I’ve got plenty on my mind to talk about.

Now, as many of you know, especially our listeners in New Idaho, today around 1500h, citizens from all over the city left their places of work and study to take part in what was, to my knowledge, the largest protest this town has ever seen.  I’ve been living here for the better part of twelve years, and the place   has been mostly peaceful.  There’s always the fringe to deal with, of course, but before today, well, that was mostly me! Hey, I’m self-aware enough to admit it, alright?

But today, a new fringe showed itself, and it proved itself loud enough to gather attention from all over town.  There was a large presence from the University of New Idaho, of course.  We should know by now that college students get aroused in half a second as soon as they learn there’s a new and easy way to signal their moral superiority.  In addition to the students, however, there was also a large presence from the FuTech congregation, including a rare appearance by religious celebrity Mr. Virtual Preacher himself, Papa Frederick Garland.  More on that very soon.

Before we get into all that, though, let’s talk about what exactly happened.  The protest started around 1530h, when a chant was started on the east side of New Idaho Park, right in front of the Government Building.  Now, as you might have been able to guess, this wasn’t a chant against the tyranny of government.  In New Idaho, that’s not really a problem.  No, this was a chant asking the government to get even more involved in our lives and our businesses.

The organizing body behind this protest was a group called NIANS, which stands for New Idahoans Against New Slavery.  This group apparently believes that allowing everybody in the city to work—voluntarily—is a form of slavery.  Yeah, I don’t get it either.

Anyway,  NIANS and friends chanted until about 1600h, and then Papa Frederick Garland himself comes out to address the crowd.  Now, anyone who listens to the show probably knows my feelings on FuTech.  If you don’t, well, welcome to the show.  Happy to have you.  The short of it is, I believe FuTech, like most large religious organizations throughout history, is profiting off the insecurities and vulnerabilities of its congregation.  It uses a spiritual carrot and stick to manipulate its followers into giving them money, then uses that money to promote a whole new theology, making it difficult for their followers to leave their cult, which is basically what it is, without going through a comprehensive mental delousing.

But most of that is beside the point.  Garland delivered his sermon, which, as expected, had plenty to do with how the poor people gathered there would conveniently find riches after this was all over.  He then requested that the poor be like Jesus and start “flipping tables,” which sounded like a call to riot if I’ve ever heard one.  Luckily for us, the crowd didn’t riot, and instead continued their chants after Garland finished preaching.  Not long after that Mayor Kiyoshi showed up.

Now again, our frequent listeners don’t need to be reminded of my thoughts on Mayor Krispyman, though they are a bit more nuanced.  To recap for the rest of you, I think our Mayor is a good guy overall.  I think he upholds many of the American Liberties that our country fought so hard for, and that New Idaho does better than anywhere else in the world.  All that being said, I really don’t think the guy is much more than a puppet for Lex Lucid and Aubrey Daskus, who created the town in the first place and effectively run this city behind the scenes.  Lucid and Daskus seem to have a pretty good philosophy of freedom, just as long as they get to conduct their experiments on the citizens of New Idaho.  I mean hell, they let me say whatever I want for hours on end.  So for now, sure, the mayor and the government seem to be doing things just right, as far as I’m concerned, though we’ll see how long that goes on for.  And, if worst comes to worst, I know our listeners are ready to fight for our freedom.

But anyway—Jesus, I knew this was going to turn into a longer rant than I had expected; welcome to Truth Quest, everybody!—anyway, Mayor Kiyoshi came out around this time and took to the stage.  He didn’t have much to say, really.  Basically, he just said that he still believes in the Guaranteed Basic Income that our city has, and that those who wish to dispute it were welcome to a meeting with him next Monday at 1300h.  Here’s hoping that the meeting gets broadcast on the Idaho Cam, but I’m not holding my breath.  He said that he had room in his office to meet with three representatives from the protest, and that they were welcome to approach him after he left the stage.  True to his word, he stepped down after that and waited while the crowd figured out who was going to officially represent the cause.  As of now, there’s no word on who those representatives will be, but one of them will likely be Paula Genoflaxis, the head organizer behind the NIANS movement.

So that’s the clean and dirty of it, and if I didn’t cover enough of my opinion during the synopsis, here’s my full perspective.  Now, my last name is America, and it just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t come at this from a purely American perspective.  So let’s talk about the Constitution, and what it says about the rights of each of these parties, and how this ought to play out in an ideal world that plays by the rules of this sacred document.

First, let’s talk about the Right to Protest.  Did NIANS have the right to come out, drum up interest, and yell and chant their hearts out? Abso-Freakin’-Lutely.  Is it ultimately harmful for society?  I lean toward yes.  Here’s my point of view—this is a group that basically thrives off hate.  Sure, it’s hate for the rich, and that’s an easy minority to get away with hating, especially if you’re young and/or poor.  But even if this group seems better off, I don’t think that a group that is so steeped in hate has any hope of a good outcome at the end of the rainbow.  But whatever the consequences of the protest may be, are, for this discussion, beside the point.  The point is, they have every right to protest.   Just like they have every right to be wrong.

Now, let’s talk about the Right to Work.  Do the people of America, and New Idaho specifically, have the Right to Work? Yes.  IF.  If there is somebody willing to hire them.  Do they have the Right to Work if they don’t have anything to offer? They do not.  A human is born with a natural right to exchange their work for profit.  They are not born with a natural right to a job.

In New Idaho, however, this is a tricky subject.  For the past few years, a precedent has been set that anyone who wishes to work can find a job.  This was made possible through removing the minimum wage, which I’m sure involved plenty of bribery to our federal government, who doesn’t seem to be looking at this at all.  The argument from the New Idaho government is that, since the government runs enough for-profit operations to make all taxes voluntary, there is no need for a minimum wage.  In addition to the fact that a dollar in New Idaho is worth more than anywhere else in the country, this law has made it possible for New Idaho companies like MineShaft and Mapper to open up as many jobs as the citizens are willing to take through their Virtual Reality programs.  Of course, they don’t pay much, but it’s always an option.  In addition to that, the New Idaho Government staffs plenty of their for-profit ventures with those who do not wish to work in the GBI programs of participating private enterprises.  These projects include, among others, the Government Building Cafe and the Museum of Oddities, the latter of which is an excellent choice for those with a higher-than-average waist-span.

So there is no natural human Right to Work, but the precedent of Guaranteed Income has been set in New Idaho.  Now, when you give someone a Right they haven’t earned, they are generally hungry for more.  When you get something for nothing, you want to trade in more nothing, or, in this case, pouting and whining, to get more something.  That’s how the math seems to work, doesn’t it? 

Well, speaking of rights, the NIANS crew has a Right to Bargain.  We are all born with the capacity for negotiation to some degree.  The employers, however, have a Right to Say “No”.  And if NIANS have nothing to offer, and I don’t think they do, then a “no” is probably what they are going to get.  After all, MineShaft and Mapper and friends could already automate most of their processes.  If they had to pay more for human capital, they’ll probably find their money is better spent invested in AI.

What NIANS will likely offer, if they have nothing to trade, are threats.  The protestors believe they have been wronged, so they have justified any attempt at playing dirty.  They’ll go in demanding the government enact a minimum wage like the rest of the country.  If this happens, the way I see it, we can expect one of two things.  First, a sharp and immediate raise in unemployment.  Or, worse, NIANS somehow forces the companies in question to continue to guarantee work at the new, higher rates, in which case the companies will either leave the city or go out of business.  In other words, a more prolonged increase in unemployment, with an exodus of innovative local companies to boot.

The worst of all cases, however, is that the Feds get called in.  As I said previously, I’m surprised and delighted that the Federal Government doesn’t even seem to know that we exist out here.  I’ve never seen a G-Man walking around the city.  Hell, that’s 80% of the reason I moved here.  Once they get invited, however, like a vampire, they’ll outstay their welcome and suck out all the greatness our city has to offer.

Now, if I had to hope for an outcome, it would be that Kiyoshi tells these prima donnas to take their crybaby asses back home and go beg on a street corner if his programs aren’t enough.  Before my platform took off, I was just fine working for GBI programs.  It wasn’t the ritziest lifestyle, but it suited me just fine.  Hell, I even liked living by the Jungle—still do!  I mean, sure, there are plenty of bugs, and it gets humid, but as far as I’m concerned, “wetter is better”.  Good for the skin, ya know?

But anyway, enough digressions for one day.  The pressure is on.  Is ol’ Krispyman gonna crack, or will he prove himself to be the diamond we all hope he is?  Personally, I have faith in the guy, but I’m an optimist.  In any case, his heart’s in the right place, and if anything major happens, you best believe Lex Lucid will be in that building faster than you can say Lucidity.

So that’s as far as I got on my Quest for Truth in this matter.  20 January 2055 will either be the historic beginning of New Idaho’s decline, or it will go straight into the wastebasket like so much other noise in today’s news cycle.  Once again, I’m Tommy America, and I wish you the best on your own search for Truth.

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30. The Protest, Pt. 3: Sermon

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