Could the Guaranteed Annual Income, once considered a radical notion, now be an idea whose time has come?
I think this a great idea and believe costs savings will be even greater then suggested as duplicate services at all levels of Government removed, It would strip down the costs of the bureaucracy substantially and less money would be eaten up by the same getting in to the pocketsof people that need it.
UIC would be another program dropped with this system and the overpayments made to that program for past many years would help to fund it. the current UIC system becomes a nightmare for people to negotiate.
One problem is that across Canada , dependent on location , the cost of living can be very much higher or lower. Something would have to be implemented that could address that. 25000$$ goes a lot further in Rimbey Alberta than it would in Toronto. A cost of living adjust would have to be tagged on depending on geographical area . (This does not suggest lowering the minimum base but upping it in certain areas)
costs, of course, would be partially recovered from the additional taxes paid by recipients
Plus the general improvement in the economy (multiplicative effect) generated by the fact that nearly all the newly dispensed money will be put right back in the economy (unlike, say, money thrown at bank bailouts).
Trump is also proposing a Guaranteed Annual Income. Will wonders never cease?
Wonderful premise. I’d take it a step further: imagine the SAVINGS if, instead of war, soldiers, and endless streams of endlessly heinous weapons, those citizens living in would-be enemy lands were instead offered THESE benefits. They’d quickly find ways to curb (or behead) any who might be bold enough to focus on aggression in lieu of a program that could heal this globe while substantially improving the lives of citizens.
After all, if the banks which fund and profit from war were handed how many trillion? And if the U.S./NATO war machine spent how many trillion on Iraq, Afghanistan, and surrounding nations? Wouldn’t those sums have proven substantial enough to have granted impoverished Arab citizens food, shelter, and local medical care? And who has any need to fight when their basic needs are met?
Currently, at least 8 nations are battered and there haven’t been this many (truly a staggering amount of) refugees since WW II.
What a success ratio, this Make-War apparatus! (NOT!)
In 1989 the Soviets exited Afghanistan in defeat, creating a void that was filled by self serving warlords that the US had funded to fight against the Soviets, ultimately providing an excuse for the US to invade Afghanistan.
1989 was also the year the cold war allegedly ended and discussion of a “peace dividend” surfaced briefly. Had the US taken some of the money they were about to save (from not having to continue the cold war) they could have given every Afghan citizen the means to rebuild from the destruction wrought by the Soviets and the warlords would have not gained the foothold they needed.
Instead, Afghanistan has become a bottomless money pit enhancing the fortunes of the military industrial complex, while the quality of life for most citizens continues to worsen.
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A recent post on YouTube…
Keiser Report Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert are joined by Guy Standing,
co-President of the Basic Income Earth Network and author of The
Precariat: The Dangerous New Class
This would have no chance whatsoever in the US – at least, not during this era. Complex issues, but this is the generation that applauded as Bill Clinton ended actual welfare aid (TANF is a short-term job program, exclusively for those with young children.) This year, Democrats agreed to virtually end food stamps to the elderly poor, the disabled and low-wage workers. Dems are currently on the verge of agreeing to extreme cuts in Social Security Disability – far deeper than those made by the Clinton administration. We already know this will cost lives. And the reaction from our bold progressives… right. In a country that applauds this barbaric agenda the Guaranteed Annual Income has no chance.
In the US, as long as the plan prohibited the poor from obtaining a penny, it might be considered. This is the generation that that decided our jobless poor, and many of our unemployable, are undeserving of basic human rights (per the UDHR) of food and shelter. We got very, very tough on the poor.
Please! why does everyone refuse to see the wood in the trees?
There is one, and only one, cause of all our economic woes. During the early 1900’s our stupid/corrupt politicians signed away our Sovereign “rights” , that allowed us to print and issue our own interest free, debt free money; and since then we have all become “debt slaves”. Our rights to print and issue our own money out of thin air were ceded to private banking Corporations, thus now, we borrow all our money from them, and they simply print it out of thin air, and charge us interest for the privilege. Given the nature of our economic cycles, the booms and busts, it is virtually impossible for us ever to repay all such debts, especially since, when they print our borrowings, they do not also print the money to cover the interest repayments. This particular economic consequence was recorded centuries ago in the well known fable about the boy who possessed a goose that laid “golden” eggs; he sold the goose for a paltry sum and forever thereafter he was destitute.
The remedy for our problems is simple; we abrogate any agreement previously made, reclaim our Sovereign “rights” to print and issue our own debt free interest free money.
This will enable us to stop income-taxing of individuals; we may pay everyone that needs it a social wage, based on a break even computation, this will eliminate poverty and deprivation; those in receipt of the Social wage will be encouraged into employment, without loss of this Social wage, and to work for any employer for additional income, mutually agreed between them. this gives control of work and income to the “workman”. Employers will gain a workforce of people willing to accept much lower wages than previously paid, thus making the employer production cost significantly lower; plus, the employer no longer collects taxes for the Government. The employer Corporation/business will pay tax annually as usual. The collection of V.A.T. or G.S.T., consumer taxes will cease.
All Government expenditures will be provided by the planned issue of our own debt free interest free money using legislation approved by Parliament. Health, Education, University courses, Infrastructure of all kinds, etc. etc.
Provided that all of these expenditures are actually “spent” into circulation they will not create inflation; inflation will occur, for instance, when too much money chases too few “goods”. The Government must own and run it’s own Bank, just like the original Commonwealth Bank. No Private Bank or Corporation will be permitted to create money, under any guise; our financial system will revert to one of "sound " money. Sound money is that which turns around sound borrowing and lending, controlled by being liquid cash, backed by the ownership of assets, and strict criteria keeping them in balance; borrowing and lending outside of these criteria, characterised as “high risk”, will be permitted between parties willing to accept such risk, and then, only when it involves their own wholly owned assets.
Interest rates in the private sector will be set by the private sector. The floating exchange rate will be converted into “fixed” rates decided by Government, and as decided between Sovereign Nations and embodied in trade agreements. Our currency will not be traded on “Exchanges”, our Nation will be immunised against the manipulated predations of the “Market”.
The foregoing explains the broad brush strokes involved, but in summary we would have a Nation with little or no foreign debt, a Nation whose domestic economy sits on a solid unshakeable base, a Nation better able to compete in the wider World, a Nation without poverty whose peoples are empowered to think and work for themselves, a Nation rescued from the avarice of the “Money Lenders”, and above all, a Government able to be free and Independent, instead of being owned by Corporate money and influence. This is named “The Universal Economy” because it will operate anywhere.
For those who doubt the efficacy of this proposal, I suggest they study the United States example. The clever banking Corporations engineered the U.S. dollar to be the Worlds reserve currency. Ever since the U.S. has been printing money out of thin air, the only Nation to do so, now they have military bases in more than one hundred and seven Nations, they have engineered regime change and wars in countless Nations, and recently have printed trillions of dollars, called quantitative easing, and poured it into foreign banks and financial Institutions trying to prevent the next meltdown; but it is not working because their printed money was not spent into circulation, instead it inflated the prices of shares and real estate, the bust cometh.
There sure is an awful lot of accusation going on regarding the post war generation as the pin the blame tail on the donkey meme. That stance is vacuous on many fronts, particularly in the understanding of power and money and just how it is used in society…and always has been.
The powers of propaganda and persuasion leveled upon post war society are beyond measure and comprehension unless one chooses to admit to oneself that we have never really lived under the auspice of our vote and chosen candidates.
All TPTB have ever done is groom a few chosen dupes, sock puppets and fellow power driven to front the lies and spin necessary to get to the next point on their agenda…seventy years ago, many intelligent folks pointed out the foibles of manipulated democracy, and, now, here in 2015 the end result of all that belief in mouthpieces on the tube has led us to this present muddy cesspool of small minded men, and women, believing that they can control the entire of humanity because they now manipulate over 70,000 SWAT actions a year and have over 50 million CCTV cameras all over the US, linked to some big brained computers that can influence the entire population or disappear one individual…get off the finger point of ‘this generation’ or ‘the boomers’ are responsible because all it does is show ignorance regarding how things really work.
There is the earned income tax credit for families -but whats interesting about this credit is that many of the people who receive it don’t vote and many I have known vote republican because of abortion. Its so ironic how capitalism is held so high but needs all these fixes to keep it going. The supporters of capitalism criticize the "safety net"yet it is the “safety net” that keeps this dis-functional economic system going. The bare bones safety net is to pacify people,not help people. Rubio is against raising the minimum wage but supports expanding the earned income tax credit. And then of course these giant billion dollar corporations that can’t give their employee’s a 40hr work week,a decent wage,and many of these employee’s dependent on government help. What a pathetic broken system. And the Fed here and governments around the world propping up their markets-this is not capitalism. There is something very wrong happening and the question is how long can the charade continue.
I am one of “this generation of Boomers,” so I’m keenly aware of the power of propaganda, and the consequences of the lack of truly independent alternative media. When it comes to placing blame for the mess we’re in, my finger is pointed directly at the corporate takeover of media, and its impact on general public opinion. We’re dealing with some tremendously complex issues, but I do NOT blame Boomers precisely because I’ve been around long enough to have watched how the country came to this point.
You are unusually misinformed. To begin with, actual welfare meant cash benefits via General Assistance and AFDC, necessary to cover the costs of rent, bus fare, etc., providing just enough stability to enable people to get back in the job market. (Our “failed” AFDC had, for example, a success rate of enabling over 80% of recipients to quit welfare for jobs by the time their children started school.) Actual welfare is gone. For real. The last welfare check was issued back in the 1990s. All that’s left is TANF, a short-term, marginally subsidized job program, exclusively for those with young children. Employment is mandatory. We still have food stamps for the elderly poor, the disabled and low wage workers, though this year these were cut to the bone, leaving benefits of roughly $10-$20 per month per person.
Do you see the “the great savings” from ending welfare? Here’s a dirty little secret. Our primary former welfare program, AFDC, used a mere 6% of the federal budget at its highest, and that was way back in the 1970s.
As for “illegals:” It was always illegal to provide benefits to illegal immigrants. The application process for our former welfare aid was very complex and thorough, requiring proof of date/place of birth, educational and employment histories, citizenship status, etc. The application forms were several pages long. After submitting their applications, people had to wait up to a few weeks for all the info to be verified before finding out if they were determined eligible for aid. Also note that it is illegal for employers to hire illegal immigrants. Employers must be able to provide proof of reasonable effort to verify the citizenship of every person they hire. The only exceptions to immigration laws are for those who are legally determined to be refugees.
Your claims that a guaranteed basic income would cause everyone to stop working were long ago disproved. Stress the words, “basic” – just enough for food, shelter, basic needs. The overwhelming majority of people have a powerful need to live productive lives.They also want more than what a basic income can provide.For example, they would want a car, nice clothes, things for their children, vacations, etc., etc. This is just human nature.
Concerning Universally Guaranteed Basic Income for all, a possibility, probability, and unquestionably eventuality a reality, the following. UGI will follow, if only because of the general public’s increasing awareness of the always present but growing economic inequalities throughout every country, corner and continent of our potentially pleasant Spaceship Earth.
Socioeconomic Democracy is here offered as a peaceful, effective and democratic resolution to humanity’s present and needless systemic problems and sufferings. Socioeconomic Democracy will further be found to satisfy the increasingly acknowledged need for a “Next System Project”, advocated by, among many others, Gar Alperovitz.
The crucial question is whether humanity has yet evolved sufficiently to understand and peacefully resolve the utterly unnecessary obstacles to further healthy development and evolution.
It is here respectfully suggested that all of humanity seriously confront the multitude of needless problems created by the growing and unjust distributions of monetary income and far more importantly monetary wealth, within and among every country on this planet.
Fortunately, this appears relatively easily accomplished by simply recalling and reconsidering just a few insights and observations of writers and thinkers down through the decades, centuries and millennia, starting, somewhat arbitrarily, to be sure, in ancient Greece.
Plato, in his last and most mature Laws, preferred equality of personal property but realized that was difficult, if not impossible, to precisely define. He therefore thoughtfully suggested limits on both poverty and affluence. Plato’s attentive student, Aristotle, suggested, with admirable specificity, that “No one should have more than five times the wealth of the poorest person.” Prior to Plato, Thales of Miletus provided a reasonable assessment of the situation: “If there is neither excessive wealth nor immoderate poverty in a nation, then justice may be said to prevail”.
Reluctantly neglecting all too many other important contributors to the increasing understanding and advancement of an economically and psychologically healthy humanity, may it briefly be mentioned that a powerful sequence of thoughtful humans, down thru the ages, considered and contributed to the discussion.
A valuable list of some of these people is available at “A Brief History of Basic Income” (see below). Of course, the rapidly increasing popularity of some form and amount of universally guaranteed income for all (by itself) leaves in question just how it is to be financed.
Nevertheless, this writer cannot constrain himself from explicitly mentioning two of the many contributors to this crucial conversation. First, the world-changing work and dedication of that Societal Engineer, Thomas Paine, who, in a later work following Common Sense entitled Agrarian Justice, proposed and discussed the virtues of a guaranteed income for all.
Then there was Henry George who, not unlike Paine, did time in a print shop to get his writings printed. One of Henry’s major contributions was to link financial assistance for the poor with a suggested tax or limit on personal wealth, then mostly being land property.
Over forty years ago this writer, and would-be Societal Engineer, was given the specific ideas of Socioeconomic Democracy. A history of the development and presentation of these ideas is available in our Bibliography (see below).
Socioeconomic Democracy (SeD) is a theoretically consistent and peacefully implementable psycho-politico-socio-economic system wherein there exist both some form and amount of locally appropriate Universally Guaranteed Personal Income (UGI) and some form and amount of locally appropriate Maximum Allowable Personal Wealth (MAW), with both the lower bound on guarantee personal income and the upper bound on personal material wealth set and adjusted periodically and democratically by all participants of a democratic society.
Socioeconomic Democracy is easily implemented with elementary Public Choice Theory. The median values of society’s preference distributions regarding these two crucial societal parameters peacefully, democratically and unambiguously resolve the matter.
Whether society realizes some appropriate form of Socioeconomic Democracy is a cogent question. Clearly, public dissemination and discussion of the suggestions presented here will prove determinative. An alternative to Socioeconomic Democracy as defined above would be where the two economic boundaries discussed here were considered and established by, say, the legislative branch of a “Representative” Democracy.
This planet’s trivially eliminated or significantly reduced societal problems, by realizing Socioeconomic Democracy, include but are by no means limited to, those familiar ones associated with Automation, computerization and robotics; Budget deficits and debts at the personal, national, regional and global levels; Contempt for much presently practiced politics; Costly crimes and costly prisons, both governmental and corporate profit-motivated; Corporate profit-motivated as well as general publicly expensive exogenous pollution; Inadequate public education for all ages, “races”, and both sexes of humanity; Oversights and confusions of some, but certainly not quite all, Economists and Politicians; Ignoring the elderly, to whom we all owe our very existence; International costly conflicts; national costly conflicts; Involuntary employment; Involuntary unemployment; Lack of access to necessary physical and psychological healthcare, causing unnecessary harm to the individuals themselves, their “close” relatives, and any “innocent bystanders”; Pay injustices to both sexes, all ages and all “races” of our human family; Corporately profitable yet publicly costly “Planned Obsolescence”; Political non-participation, carefully planned, designed, legislated and realized by some, but not all, power-intoxicated politicians; Population explosions; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) traceably caused by “patriotic” and/or pathetic human-killing wars, as well as all the PTSD created by all the other unnecessary societal problems; Voting district gerrymandering; Needless and obscene poverty, racism, sexism, and everything else that effectively opposes, neglects or negates the General Welfare.
Break Time: Consider and enjoy “Rapids of Change” at
Responses to this communication are welcome and sought.
“A Brief History of Basic Income Ideas”
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A Bibliography of Socioeconomic Democracy is available at
I can see why people would like the idea of a guaranteed income. Guarantees can be like double edged sword . When insurance companies, for example, determine annuity payouts, they end up paying less when more guarantees or longer payouts are wanted. When a company gives a salary plus commission, the guaranteed portion (the Salary) is pretty low. This could work for large corporations that have little likelihood of closing their doors anytime soon. You could get offered a choice between your current pay or a lesser amount that is “guaranteed”. Of course, the real question any market driven business would have is “are the company sales guaranteed as well”? Without customers, or sales, what company would survive? Can a company be guaranteed to stay in business? Will the general public, the consumers of the word, will they “guarantee” that they will keep buying enough to guarantee that the company can meet its payroll obligations? Will the employees guarantee that they will work hard, never get sick, always have a good attitude, and contribute to the profitability of the company at all times? In all reality, this is nothing more than a silly notion. You cannot guarantee annual incomes any more than you can guarantee an uninterrupted flow of paying customers.