No, I'm saying that running a social experiment 9 times and getting the same result (which you don't like), running it a 10th time is unlikely to get you a different result.
You really can't compare forced labour in a totalitarian state and an associated egalitarian income with a basic income in a (reasonably) free society, whereby you can earn as much on top as you want and are free to do whatever you want.
I'm predominantly Libertarian, and I'm all for a UBI -- and not because it makes the people more independent (although that may, in fact, have been what the documentarians wanted to hear in order to be willing to put a Libertarian on camera).
All the people they interviewed were people who have been studying or have been involved for basic income projects for years, and those people explained their reasons for why they thought it was a good idea. They didn't go to libertarian people to ask them what they think about it.
That said, I don't think any of them were predominantly libertarian, it was just one line of arguments that they used in favour. Others included
- necessity: due to automated production and gradual/"natural" concentration of capital, you need a different system to redistribute wealth
- mental health: more and more people get burnouts and depressions due to work and income related stress, to the point that their productivity reduces drastically or even become completely unable to work
- removing the welfare trap: if you are on welfare and start part time working, you may earn less than if staying 100% on welfare, or the added income is not seen as worth it
- getting rid of ridiculous situations and useless jobs: paying public servants to check that other people are /not/ working
- creating an actually functioning job market: right now, employers generally have much more bargaining power than employees
- giving people time and opportunities to do what they want and be creative
I'm doubting the veracity of the statement that it's resulted in more people working,
The most striking example is Otjivero, a ethnically diverse Namibian town in the middle of the desert. Before the basic income project, almost no one had a job. Virtually everyone survived on porridge made from corn flour donated by the government. With the basic income, pretty much everyone started their own business, because the basic income created a lot of local demand for goods and services. If people have money, they can spend it. If there is demand, supply will come.
and I'm doubting the speculation about the total job availability numbers, given that we are already in massive unemployment, according to World Bank numbers, since the U.S. Department of Labor only tracks eligible workers (those workers who are displaced, and eligible for unemployment benefits, whether or not they are receiving them).
I completely agree with you that there is a massive employment crisis almost everywhere, and that the actual numbers are worse than the ones reported due to the reasons you mention. The reason there are no jobs, is because many companies don't need more labour due to technical advances (fewer labourers needed for the same output) and lack of growing demand.
Basic income can increase demand in many ways, and not just from established companies. If people have more time (because they don't have to work two jobs to make ends meet) and more time, they have more money and time to spend. It's a bit like reinstating the Henry Ford model, but at a larger scale.
Don't get me wrong: I have *no problem whatsoever* with people on UBI *not* working. We have a looming "end to human labor" problem, and I don't think having a bunch of Unhappy Campers(tm), with nothing better to do with their time than smash things, is a sterling idea.
We agree that a UBI stopgaps that problem.
I think it may even be more than a stopgap. Several people have developed models on how to make a basic income sustainable in various countries. Of course, they still all need to be verified in practice, and many things can (and probably will at various points) go wrong there.
Where we disagree is whether all the economically disenfranchised people receiving UBI will rush out and work a bunch of non-existent jobs, or whether they're going to stay home with their cable TV, bong, and X-Box 360. I'm personally *fine* with them doing that; you don't have to make up happy little stories of them working jobs in order to satisfy the Libertarian in me. I'm not going to buy hat you're selling anyway, and you already have my vote in favor of a UBI, so you really need to stop trying so hard to make stuff up to get me on your side.
I'm just saying what the experiments in practice until now have shown. I don't know whether any of them included large communities of couch surfers, but several of them did include poor and disenfranchised people. I'm not trying to sell anything, just parroting what I saw and read (although maybe that's worse :)