Unconditional basic income, a policy option that seems radical by American standards, is gaining new traction across Europe, Canada, and even a few places in the United States. Also known as “universal basic income,” the policy mandates a guaranteed stipend to every resident of a community, with no strings attached. It is promoted as a way to address rising inequality, protect against economic uncertainty, and replace increasingly austere and inadequate means-tested benefit programs.
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This is a great idea in the Age of Automation where 50% of all jobs will be lost by 2030, according to Nichols and McChesney on C-Span. They call this an event as important as the Cambrian Explosion, where higher animals suddenly appeared and took over the world.
Unfortunately, McChesney whom I admire, is against a BNI. He says it will only help “drug dealers”. Not having read their book yet, I suppose it also says that it would let conservatives get rid of all our “free stuff” like Social Security, health care, etc. I guess with a high enough BNI that could work, but chances of that happening are next to nothing.
The answer would be to have the BNI and keep our “free stuff” and “entitlements”. The alternative is mass impoverishment and a plutocracy out of the Hunger Games.
Good Idea–And you can bet that most of that money will start to circulate in the local economy and boost local business revenues. Good way to keep the local economy moving.
Good Idea also for one on the lower end of the economy… The uppers in this country already have a “given source” of income from the government, they is called tax breaks, loopholes, and subsidies.
Could this happen under the Trump-Clinton Ticket? I bet that Bernie would embrace it…
Just as the premise of “work” needs to be reevaluated, so does the premise of consumption and/or consumerism.
Realistically, while the idea of lifting all ships sounds great, just, and humane… the Earth Mother cannot afford the consumer patterns that are already underway.
Therefore, the idea of what constitutes a good life must be decoupled from material things. Otherwise, spreading lots of money around so that every poor person can aspire to a “Middle Class” lifestyle would literally burn the earth to ashes.
Living simply that others may simply live has a more enduring ring to it.
It’s certainly true we in the US live in the center of the bulls-eye for public relations and consumerism. That may be why it’s taking longer for americans to kick the consumption addiction, a suicidal behavior.
But a lifestyle free of avarice and artificial wants, yet not lacking in the rewards of accomplishments, that is stimulating and creative – which is the best definition of ‘human nature’ I ever came across, citation to a certain linguist at MIT – is both salubrious and normal. NORMAL. Meaning that given half a chance, even those in the ‘bulls-eye’, will make themselves and Mother Nature happy. These Universal Basic Income structures can be a leap in that direction. I say ‘structures’ and not ‘programs’ because they would be as fundamental and rational as food production.
And in giving people more freedom and choices it can perhaps become a major step in the elimination of fascism in at least some of its forms and in the promotion of democratic effectiveness. I’m sensing a positive pattern here. Interesting, isn’t it. Nature may not own us anything but it has endowed us the gift of potential. Both good and bad. Yet it’s a common understanding that the more people get freely involved the greater the chances for the positive potential. Big time. As the Sanders campaign has been saying.
I think people are just beginning to realize how insane the domination system is. Lives at margins, starving for opportunity, dreading the scorn reserved for those marginalized in the psychotic musical chairs - NOTE: that such constructs are hammered into one’s ‘socialization’ as a “game”. It is psychopatic to treat human life as something from which to carve out advantage. NOTE: It is and has always been necessary to HIDE the egregious realities of the extractive practices for expansion. NOTE: expansion, inanely called ‘growth’ by those who cook the books and scramble the lexicon of those who dominate, can always be identified by its colonizing sacrificial demands… Remember the demands of the big-box stores like Wallmart demanding 5-10 years of tax holiday in exchange for “jobs”??? WHY have TTIP et al been kept secret? So that the sacrificial zones, methods, objects and and RESULTING PROFIT MARGINS are NOT known!!!’’
Remember the 1960s scifi short called To Serve Man with an alien text of the same title? Suuurprrrriize… it was a cookbook
Wasn’t that from The Twilight Zone?