Absent a frontier, the dog-eat-dog version of capitalism simply does not work. One cannot pick up and move off to work the land (which some rich Kochsucker or the government owns). With humanity penned into urban areas for the most part in the developed world, it is only right to expand the social aspects of society into society itself (along with rolling back privatized governmental responsibilities). Capitalism should float on top of a solid base of socialism to find new ways to enrich the human experience. It should not eat away at the social safety net as the Randians would prefer. Furthermore, the hyper-financialized nature of capitalism must be dismantled so that real market values reflect real values added to the human/planet enterprise. Let's expand on this guaranteed income idea to add the environment and get going!
It's hard for me to believe that people are actually talking about this. Don't get me wrong, I think it's fantastic and one of the best things that could happen, especially since in after tax income the top 20% now take 48% of the national income. Source
I'd love to see some data on the savings such a program would provide as well. Would we need fewer homeless shelters? How much would the SNAP rolls be reduced? Would TANF be needed at all if we had this income? Could some of that savings go toward mental health care, something woefully underfunded in the US?
A guaranteed income opens up all sorts of possibilities, not only for individuals, but for society. This could result in a huge net positive for everyone.
I think this threat of massive job loss because of advances in robotics and computing should be taken seriously. Everything seems to indicate that we are on the edge of a technological revolution. The advances in robotics seem amazing and computer power is supposed to double about ever 24 months or so and therefore it has reached a point where it can duplicate many human functions. Taken to the extreme this type of progress will result in complete economic collapse because there will not be enough people working to buy the products and services from the machines. Our economic system can only work if enough workers are paid enough to make purchases to keep the system going. I don't see any obvious answer at this point and it is probably too soon to be sure what is going to happen. But this situation should be closely monitored. Another concern is that people's identities are usually closely associated with their jobs and usually they are happiest when working despite all the complaining. So just giving them money will not solve the problem of losing a sense of identity and self-worth. It sounds like we are entering a world that seems like science fiction and that we are totally unprepared for the consequences.
Liberals and conservatives are in favor of a Guaranteed Income. Billionaires have the power to buy politicians to support grotesque wealth inequality for their .01%.
How rich is rich enough?
Direct economic democracy.
I do not think there much opposition to this from the bulk of the lower middle class and poor, which constitutes an ever growing segment of the population. Those most vocally opposed are the BOSSes as they fear they will have less people over whom they can lord it over and continuously display their "superiority".
A guaranteed income promises some form of independence which the Dominator model will not tolerate.That model very much the same mentality that went into making it a crime to allow slaves the ability to read and write.
Go back and reread the article -- Buchheit says that with a guaranteed income their sense of identity and self-worth actually increased -- probably b/c they could take care of themselves and their needs w/o having to settle for some worthless job just to have a roof over their head.
My husband and I live on SS and VA disability payments and have never felt better about ourselves -- Mike was in an engineering company in Vietnam; they were the troops that went in and cleared out all the dead brush after the agent orange had been sprayed. Obviously he has earned the money that he is paid every month, (and please don't thank him for his service -- it's demeaning when it comes from someone who supports the head warmonger-in-waiting) but I would argue that just being alive and breathing should guarantee a beings' right to a basic living with the freedom to work at a job that really interests them, knowing that whatever job they do is just icing on the cake, instead of being necessary in order to simply survive.
There is always, and likely always will be, huge amounts of work for people to do. The problem is that with our current economic system these jobs do not have enough of an economic incentive to provide more than a relatively small wage. With a guaranteed income low paying jobs that provide a sense of satisfaction or accomplishment become possible.
Rich people all have guaranteed incomes. They receive dividends and "earnings" from the financial portfolios most of them inherited from previous generations, many of whom amassed their wealth from questionable means. For instance the vast wealth of the Perkins and Forbes families originated from trading slaves and later opium, then later magnified by investments in the railroads where "free men" were often worked to death to line the pockets of the wealthy.
Why should the children of these criminals receive monthly checks while the rest of us are expected to work for a living?
Great imagery to explain it!
Absolutely it would work and it would lift people out of poverty, allow creativity and give the children a better expectation of life.
I raised three children alone. There were times we were so close to abject poverty I was terrified. I got lucky and got into a field of work that always provided an apartment or townhouse with the job. But I could have sold real estate and made a great deal more money. But it takes money to make money and there was never enough, though I got a license, never enough extra cash to invest in home sales the way I needed to, to be successful.
This extra income would have made the difference. Having just a bit more security would lift the yoke and free so many.
Poverty creates crime and they know that. With people stable and not in fear, crime would be much, much lower. This is a no brainer but right now it's hard to see who in the government would have the nerve to actually make it happen. Except Jill Stein.
I disagree. Having enough to pay for one's family automatically gives that person a sense of identity. From that point people will find creative ways to work and give back. I know many poor people with great ideas for new start-ups, but they lack the security and funds to do them.
Although Paul lists some forms of corporate welfare in his PAYING FOR IT bullet points, restoring the New Deal regulations, and expressly eliminating taxpayer funded corporate bailouts should be high on the list. Corporate welfare has been the economy's terminal cancer since the Raygun revolution and concurrent formation of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC).
Agreed. Many women also feel forced to stay in abusive relationships because they fear they will be unable to provide for their children without the Husbands income.
A Guaranteed income would make for less dependency than more,
I agree with you about why providing social benefits is the humane thing to do since the resources of the land has all been privatized. There are no commons out there for people to hunt/gather/garden. Its absolutely cruel to relegate someone to starvation just because they weren't able to land a job and get paid in a timely manner. Even if a person gets a job they'll have wait at least one week before they get their first pay check. What do they do till then? Starve?
Its totally true that people derive a sense of dignity from being productive. Its a myth that welfare only encourages people to not work. Most people want to work in order to gain a sense of self-worth.
True. Interesting, I was running from one. The ramifications of what it could do to help people and raise the standard of living are far reaching.
Taxes are unnecessary to fund such a program. Taxes always create organized opposition. The money could be created in the same way that Quantitative Easing gave the banksters $16 trillion essentially interest free. Have the treasury issue interest free bonds with no maturity date, have the Federal Reserve buy them and not trade them and the money could be distributed through the Treasury just like Social Security. The mechanisms are all in place already. Congress would not even have to approve since the Treasury is part of the Executive branch and could respond to an executive order. Since everybody, rich and poor, would benefit there would be less opposition.
On another tack, there is plenty of work that needs to be done that isn't. During the Great Depression the CCC planted 3 billion trees in nine years and did plenty of other beneficial work in our National Forests that has since been let to degrade. Many of the CCC participants considered that experience the most satisfying of their lives. Even those that went on to help defeat the Nazis and Imperial Japan. There are many young people that would love to do similar work. And of course there is the work to repair and improve the decaying infrastructure of the US. A good high speed rail system like the Japanese, Europeans and Chines seem to be able to afford would be of great benefit to reduce CO2 emissions and would be used more than Amtrak present system.
All could be funded with interest free bonds with no maturity date.
Not everyone is able to work (health, etc.) and there aren't jobs for all. The last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 jobless people who still have the means to pursue one (home address, phone, etc.). We're 20 years deep into our war on the poor -- and we're still ignoring the consequences.
Yes, there is abundant evidence that the guaranteed income works very well. Contrary to popular thought, a guaranteed income doesn't translate into people choosing not to work. Humans have a need to be productive, a part of something, to have a reason to get up -- and dare I suggest it, even a chance to spread their wings?
The catch: Think of it this way. When was the last time you heard even liberals call for restoring the basic human rights (UN's UDHR) of food and shelter to our own jobless poor?
What would you do with those who can't work? Real life is complicated.