The Case for a Basic Income

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Social activists and forward thinking economists are encouraging governments around the world to provide their citizens with an unconditional state salary. This salary would take care of peoples’ basic needs, making work optional rather than mandatory. The ambitious among us would still be free to earn more, but others would be free to pursue other aspirations such as activism and personal hobbies. In a society that provides a basic income, everybody can rest assured that no matter what happens, their elementary needs will be taken care of, freeing people from the worry of daily survival.

In the 21st Century, the highest earners have more wealth than they will ever need, while the poor and middle class often struggle to make end’s meat. When society is so wealthy, why are we not ensuring that everyone’s basic rights are met, such as healthcare, housing, food, internet access and a modicum of spending money? It is morally reprehensible that our society allows the rich to amass obscene amounts of wealth and spend their time pursuing the finer things in life, while others slave away in meaningless jobs to simply meet their basic needs.

Liberals dream of a world without risk. A world without guns, bankruptcies and homelessness, and a fixed, stable climate that stays within a desirable range. We dream of a financially stable world with a steadily rising stock market, and perpetually low interest rates. Gun laws, universal healthcare and quantitative easing all aim to eliminate risk from society, and the next stage in this journey is without a doubt, the basic income. Together, these policies will ensure that everybody gets to survive and thrive, not only those who happen to be gifted with the capacity to earn money in the dog-eat-dog free market.

Black Lives Matter

$200,000 per year is fair.

MillionDollarBonus_

Sounds reasonable to me. That should cover the basic necessities such as an iphone, macbook, wifi and daily meals from starbucks, in addition to essentials such as centrally located accomodation. Healthcare is already taken care of by the affordable care act. This would also leave enough left over as discretionary spending money, which is also a basic human right.

trav777

250,000 probably. Or more.

Why not just print it? It worked for Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

Why should only the rich have access to Bentleys and luxury vacations? It is the right of ALL people to have the same things! We’re ALL human beings, all EXACTLY, PRECISELY, MATHEMATICALLY equal.

Socialism should be instituted in elementary schools, where we provided failing students with “basic grades” where they can share the scores and points earned by the higher-scoring students.

We all now know from socialist and race theory that the ONLY reason that one student could perform better than another has nothing to do with intrinsic ability…it is ALL the teachers’ faults, the system’s fault, society’s fault, institutional or systemic racism, or just a failure to provide “access,” “opportunity,” or other concepts totally divorced from any real-world fact-based concrete entity.

Therefore, students should begin sharing EARLY. It is progress!

MillionDollarBonus_

Agreed. Education needs a complete overhall. The grading system is inherintly racist and sexist – and what do grades achieve anyway, other than propping up the white patriarchy? Higher education and salaries should be availabel to all, regardless of the grade that some bigoted teacher gave you.

We need a holistic education system that includes a variety of social justice subjects like critical race theory, gender studies and activism studies. We also need to teach real life skills like detailed sex education, which uptight conservatives have been blocking for decades.

Black Lives Matter

$250,000 is completely unacceptable. As Obama noted, anyone who makes over $200,000 is “rich.” We do NOT need more rich people in the world.

Grades should be abolished. How can a person grade another human being? Are we cattle?

Real Finney
Real Finney

How would you deal with the problem of consumers hoarding their fair basic income, potentially with the intention of buying socially disruptive items like productive assets, which could then be miss-used?

Cash ban and negative rates can only go so far in this area

David
David

You can impose a tax on “valuable” property. Just think of what our leader Ms. Hillary Clinton suggested: Impose a 65% real estate tax. You could do the same for (say) gold ownership. Make those paranoid gold bugs pay! Make it undesirable to have personal property. Or even better, maybe we could even create laws that would outlaw personal property. I mean, all the stuff we own is built from materials from the earth. Since nobody “owns” the earth how can we “own” stuff?

Even though I do agree that a ban of cash and a move to a completely electronic finance system will solve a lot problems.

MillionDollarBonus_

Those are good points David. I’ve written about the flawed idea of ‘private property’ here:

The Myth of 'Private Property'

Tribal societies outside of Europe had no concept of private property until the white man corrupted them with capitalism.

trav777

Agree; all of those wars where natives attacked and ran off white farmers, sometimes killing and even eating them, were not because the natives DID have some notion of who OWNS stuff, but because they were angry over their impending genocide and white supremacy. They had suffered so many microaggressions that acting out violently should have been expected.

MillionDollarBonus_

You would be forced to spend your entire basic income every month on non durable consumer goods. This will also have the added benefit of stimulating the economy by increasing aggregate demand and the velocity of money.

Black Lives Matter

Whoa, better stop — you’re making too much sense! You might make a Donald Trump supporter angry by citing basic economics. Next thing you know, they’ll come here and start denying climate change while ranting against Nobel winner Paul Krugman.

MillionDollarBonus_

It’s amazing that Donald Trump thinks he’s qualified to deny climate change. These Trump supporters are the same people who think They know more about the law than the head of the FBI and the attorney general regarding Hillary’s debunked ’emails scandal’.

Black Lives Matter

I’m just wondering when the indictments will start flying in connection with the Trump Foundation.

MillionDollarBonus_

That’s going to be the subject of one my next articles – the Trump foundation is an absolute cesspool of corruption.

Black Lives Matter

Praise be to Allah that we finally have someone who’s not afraid to cover the stories that that the corporate media refuses to cover.

RationalInvestor
RationalInvestor

Money should expire which would encourage spending and discourage capitalist hoarding.

If money were to expire, government taxation would likely become very efficient and there would be almost no tax evasion. Consider a scenario where a government renews your money if you disclose it and pay tax on it. In such a circumstance, there will be more incentive for people to renew their old money by paying a tax to have it renewed. Socialist programs would become easy to finance.

Negative interest rates could also have a positive result, for example if you have money in a savings account, a percentage would actually be deducted based upon the current (negative) interest rate. People would be encouraged to spend their money, since saving it would cause a loss. This should spur economic growth as people are forced to “spend it or lose it”.

MillionDollarBonus_

That’s an excellent idea. This would encourage spending and promote economic growth. We would also need to impose regular levies on assets, to discourage hoarding. Ideally everything should be owned by the state, and people should rent whatever they need using their basic incomes.

Black Lives Matter

Wow, this is an unbelievably great idea. We should also make it so that money can only be provided on a gift basis. We need to put logical incentives in place to transition to a sharing-based gift economy.

jfb
jfb

All those talented, creative minds at work here, a jeyser of practical solutions from people using their common sense, I am moved

Black Lives Matter

I hope Hillary brings Cass Sunstein back into the fold when she becomes President. If you want someone creative with great ideas, Sunstein is amazing. Xe’s the one who coined the phrase “libertarian paternalism.”

Libertas
Libertas

You governement trolls are totally crazy. How much does it pay to share this nonsense online?

Black Lives Matter

If Hillary is elected, hopefully $15 per hour at least.

nflsoapopera

I will admit, I fell for the troll job on the “America’s Identity is Outdated” post, a little to obvious here with the meals at Starbucks 🙂

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