My position is that everyone is already sick and intoxicated at work and we don't notice or care most of the time.
I do not think this is true. I think that it is important that we clarify this point before continuing.
I'm willing to bet your town's average wages are terrible in comparison to what you get doing nothing.
No, it is not that the wages are low, it is that they can not be fired (both for legal and for cultural reasons). So they do not risk to lose their wage by not working.
To clarify your position, are you saying that if more people were sick/intoxicated then the quality of their work would deteriorate, but this does not really matter because there is sufficient slack in the system and nothing really bad would happen?
Coincidences are improbable, but improbable thing happens. Given any two events A and B, each one with probability 0.01/day, we expect that in about one day in 10000 both will happen. Seems pretty low, but what happens if there are several events A, B, C, ...., Z, each one with probability 0.01?
If we consider 25 distinct improbable events, there are 25X24/2 = 300 pair of events, and each of those pair has a probability of 10^(-4) of happening in a day. Therefore, in about 3% of days (that is, one a month) you will observe a coincidence, which is not anymore that low.
In some of your examples, you are considering things that must have a well-defined cause (someone must have damaged your couch; something must be causing your skin irritation), so if the only thing new is the other event it is reasonable to guess a causal link (but what if you have a new dog and a new cat? Or if you changed lotion and you are also allergic to your new dog?). But in real life it is usually very difficult to insulate only one possible cause.
The latitude of the Great Pyramid of Giza coincides with the value of the speed of light in m/s, and the pyramids are roughly aligned with theposition of the Orion's Belt constellation in 12500 BC, and both these things are very unlikely, but I do not think there is something to uncover.
I agree, and I would extend the advice to all the expressions which are short, fashionable, and somewhat opaque.
In Politics and the English Language, Orwell offered further arguments for avoiding ready-made phrases.
Basically, the fact that the sea rises not only in the directions of the Sun and of the Moon, but also in the opposite directions.
If you think that the Sun and the Moon attract just the sea, but that the Earth does not move, then you would expect the water to bulge only towards them, and not also in the opposite direction.
If you instead think that the whole Earth is falling towards the Moon and the Sun, you have to subtract the motion of the center of the Earth, and you will correctly predict to see the water rise in both directions. The center of the Earth is attracted more than the sea in the opposite side, but less than the sea on the side of the Moon/Sun, so when you subtract you see a high tide in both sides.
In the Placita Philosophorum (probably written by Aetius) it is written that (Ps. Plut. Plac. 3.17):
Seleucus the mathematician attributes a motion to the earth; and thus he pronounceth that the moon in its circumlation meets and repels the earth in its motion; between these two, the earth and the moon, there is a vehement wind raised and intercepted, which rushes upon the Atlantic Ocean, and gives us a probable argument that it is the cause the sea is troubled and moved.
Now, this is very unclear (and the English translation does not help - for example πνεύματος is not "a wind", the Stoichs used it to mean a much more abstract kind of influence); Galileo was confused by this passage too. But it looks like Seulecus assumed that the Earth moves in order to explain tides.
Business (and life) favours completion over perfection. You might have a feel for whether you are underperforming at work but the question is whether others can see that (and especially whether they can quantify it).
So you are saying that you can still pretend to do a good work if many people do a work just a bat as yours. This is different from saying that your work is decent.
In the town I grew up in, it is common for people to do not work at all (not because they are sick, but because they do not care). They "can" do it in the sense that they do it and they face no consequences - but we all pay the price, for our public services are terrible to nonexistent.
People are sick all the time. A third of the population is on antidepressants or other psych meds, and script drug addiction is massive. Work still gets done.
Do you think that the performance of a workforce on antidepressants would be the same as the performance of a drunk workforce?
In regards to you and B: If you haven't worked at breaking point then you don't know what you're capable of. I do not know, but neither do you. I mantain that my output would be terrible (I would not be fired, because of my contract, but it still would be terrible).
In regards to you and B: If you haven't worked at breaking point then you don't know what you're capable of.
I do not know, but neither do you. I mantain that my output would be terrible (I would not be fired, because of my contract, but it still would be terrible).
I am not really into the studies, but I know that in 1950/1960 virtually everyone smoked (also, if you read books from that period, is it taken as given that everyone smokes), while now it is quite uncommon for a young person in Italy to smoke.
I think that also in the USA tobacco consumption rate is plummeting, so why are you saying that it does not work?
It may be misleading to conflate all "addictions" together. I can see how this can not work with heroine, but addiction to candies is a different thing.
Maybe I am making confusion between two claims:
A) If it happens that you are sick one day, you can still (with pain) carry out an acceptable amount of work for that day.
B) You can work in a decent way, in the long run, while being sick most of the time.
Are you saying that (B) is true, or just (A)? I fully concede (A) - I also did it. But (A) does not imply (B). I work as a PhD student (which in Europe is a job: you do not have to attend lessons, but you have to do research), and I am sure that (B) is false for me.
Maybe there are jobs for which (A) implies (B), but my intuition is that they are not the majority.
Probably some of them do (at least in the popular imagination); I do not know if this can be checked.
Maybe it is possible estimate drug consumption in a geographical area by enviromental data, for example the amount of cocaine retrieved in the water, and attempt to infer a correlation with income. But I do not know if there is sufficient data available.
Surely not everyone would be like Ogodei Khan.
I think that Caplan is referring to a scenario in which the UBI is high enough to cause a significant reduction of the employment rate.
1000 $ per month would not achieve this effect.
By the way, here in Italy the state has recently enacted a law to give 780 € per month to unemployed people. The party which proposed this law has been mostly voted by southern Italy, whose ruling classes correctly predicted that it would have had the effect of increasing undeclared work.