The Basic Income

Anthony Migchels — Real Currencies Dec 5, 2014

basic-income1The call for a Basic Income is both old and mounting. Success of the scheme is dependent on funding. If it’s some sort of National Dividend, sharing the bounty of the Commons, it’s necessary. If it’s a Marxist tax based redistribution scheme, it’s worse than the disease it’s supposed to heal.
A Basic Income, in whatever form, is very much on the agenda at the moment. And it’s eminently transparent why: growing desperation for economic justice in the face of the blatant centralization of wealth in ever fewer hands. Through Usury, badly exacerbated by the crunch, which saw huge increase of wealth for the 0,001%, while the rest continues to suffer badly.
The idea is very simple: give every adult a guaranteed monthly income. On average proposals foresee an income of about EUR 1000 ($1300) per month, which comes down to about $15600 per year.
No means test, no requirements, for every citizen.
$15600 sounds like a big sum, but a Canadian study showed that the State at this point pays $7800 per head of the population in welfare, which is already half of what is required. Part of the Basic Income scheme is that it would replace all current welfare, including the bloated, humiliating, expensive and ridiculous bureaucracy that welfare has spawned.
The Basic Income would alleviate the worst excesses of wage slavery. In this day and age ‘finding a job’ is considered a success, but it’s not long ago that the common man scoffed at the idea of working for a boss. Men that did were frowned upon, suspected imbeciles. This was still the case in much of the US of the 19th century, for instance. It was certainly the norm in Antiquity and much of the medieval era.
Furthermore, with the now quickly escalating robotization, it’s becoming more and more difficult every day to conjure up more and more ‘bullshit jobs‘ to keep the illusion of ‘inclusiveness’ and ‘the American Dream’ and ‘the work ethos’ going. There is simply no way that we will have enough ‘jobs’ (as we know them today) in the decades ahead to have all able bodied men (let alone women, who are taking over the labor market anyway) work for 40 hours a week. Already many 40 hour jobs are sufficient for the survival of only one person.
Earlier this year, an initiative in Switzerland was launched, aiming at a referendum giving the Swiss a ‘guaranteed income’ (not exactly the same, but much in the same direction) of SF 2500,- ($2800) per month. A substantial amount in the world’s most affluent country. And while it’s unclear whether a referendum will take place, it was an important development.
The idea is at the moment widely discussed and promoted by many think tanks around the world, both on a national and global level.

The Good and Bad Basic Income

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