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Universal Basic Income: Why it is Not Crazy and Not Going Away


Universal Basic Income: Why it is Not Crazy and Not Going Away

Gwynne Dyer

The Dutch city of Utrecht is developing a pilot project for a universal basic income that will launch in January 2017. The Finnish government is designing a trial to see whether giving low-income people a guaranteed basic income destroys their motivation to do any work at all, as critics allege. The idea is not going away because most “real” jobs are on the way out.


I am packing as I type this – i’ll be there by the end of the week!!!

Imagine living in a country where everyone was respected, and seen as being worth $2500 a month – most people on social security in this country don’t get anywhere near that – how much healthier would all of us be if we could afford to eat healthy, unlike how most of us have to eat now.


This proposition is good for individuals, for society in general, for local economies, the environment and the time for the Common Good to take precedence over vulture capitalism and greed - not profits uber alles with people seen as expendable, or serfs to a money dominated economy and the worship of Mammon.
A sustainable society and respect for the individual.


Not going to work in isolation.
Just like social security, Some big company is going to chip away at the idea till it is gone ( Dutch Shell?)
Just wait till the local Paul Ryan shows up.

fix the money system.
I am not for fixed dollar amount as gauranteed income.
certain cultures that sill love having fifteen children (try the evangalicals) would suck any virility out of this idea in a few years.


That’s where the Berlin wall came from - “entrepreneurs” were arbitraging the prices of goods across the demarcation line. We either need a revolution everywhere, or we’re not going to get it anywhere.


If everyone had open borders and the Universal Basic Income was adopted with a similar amount everywhere, then people would not be pouring solely into UBI countries.

Meantime, a way for the Swiss to keep people out is to make the UBI inversely proportional to population numbers. The more people, the lower the UBI. The less people, the higher the UBI. When the UBI goes global as it must, that would also address the global overpopulation crisis by giving a monetary incentive for people to have smaller families, without building fences.


You mean the Zero Population Growth (ZPG) movement could come out after four decades in the closet ?


The greatest barrier to consideration of the UBI in the US is ignorance. A common notion is that if we implemented the UBI, everyone would simply stop working. That’s absurd for a couple of reasons.

People want more in their lives than the most basic human needs. The UBI would provide enough economic stability to enable people to pursue needed education/job skills training, ensuring that we have a modern workforce to meet the needs of the nation. The idea that the masses would just stop working is crazy. Our jobs are an important part of our social lives, our means of interacting with others. The jobless have a sense of isolation that is miserable. Our jobs can give us a sense of worth, of value, of being a part of something bigger than ourselves. Each worker is a vital part of what keeps the country functioning. Anyone who has been out of work for a while can tell you how restless he/she becomes to get back on the job, regaining that sense of purpose that is fundamental to the quality of our lives. We don’t work only to earn money. People who aren’t financially compelled to work, still have a need to do so. It’s a part of being human.


The UBI would be available to the citizens of that country, not to those “pouring in” from other countries, with the exception of refugees. It’s a point that Americans never did “get” when it came to our former welfare programs. For years, we heard that people were racing from Mexico to the US to obtain welfare. Anyone could have checked to see that, with the exception of refugees/legal immigrants, only US citizens qualified for welfare aid. Every applicant had to fill in a pages-long form providing information from date/place of birth through education, job history, etc., all of which was checked/verified. That process of verifying the information took weeks. Illegal immigrants didn’t get welfare, contrary to common thinking. Applying for welfare would have resulted in them being deported.


The US went in the opposite direction. Congress kicked off 2015 by virtually ending food stamps to the elderly poor and the disabled (cut monthly allotments from roughly $115 to $10). Bill Clinton ended actual welfare, and took the first steps to similarly “reform” Social Security, targeting the disabled. There is no question that Hillary Clinton intends to pick up where her husband left off, phasing out Social Security in whole.


Possibly, but that’s the argument the Swiss public used to defeat the UBI.


Something does not compute here? I totally agree with a guaranteed basic income (not universal as with healthcare) but to an appropriate income level…earned. What doesn’t make sense are these corporate phony trade agreements, all having ISDS clauses, targeting taxpayers to cover the costs of public health laws and regs to protect the environment? In other words, the normal costs of doing business.

But corporations and their banks counterparts,are now seeing their way clear, to literally steal taxpayer monies at will. This, since the EU template of bank bailouts in Cyprus happened without too much public global outcry…
So why a guaranteed income if the public are going to be held for ransom by corporations and banks at their whim, protected by government officials, working more for them (and effectively ), than they ever did working for taxpaying citizens…their supposed employers…? If all of this corruption at the expense of public taxpayers isn’t bad enough, not one developed country has done anything more than acknowledge that real earned incomes, have not increased for almost 40 years…While corporations/hedge/fund/owners have, just in Canada, alone, enjoyed deferrals, grants, interest-free loans (joke) to the tune of 695 billion dollars since the late 70’s, according to a report by the Fraser Institute…No serious audits are done on these particular accounts, if they were. they would not be published…No, none of these facts indicate such possibilities —especially when one only has to watch, how inhuman the EU/NATO have treated the Greek or Ukrainian people. Or hovered in silence, at the barbaric invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and possibly Iran (if Israel has its way). No this is more probable as propaganda.


And then there is the fact that a UBI is the single most powerful way there is to diminish the power of capital over labor (and with that, the environment).


Why would companies in the first place use robots instead of people ? Robots do not form communties nor do they buy goods. They are not human. Period. That is the question. Univeral income in the US? No way basically because the one per cent is trying to get rid of us and succeeding. I do not want to live to 100 . Why bother?


In the US disabled people are not considered human unless they are children attending class in public school. In fact I believe in the US , the one percenters want to go back to eugenics.


Guaranteed income? Isn’t that what welfare is, and plenty of people abuse the system. A couple of years ago I saw a couple trying to buy jewelry on welfare. Yup folks , and when the cashier refused , the people got angry!