Monday, December 25, 2017

universal basic income

Universal basic income is, according to its many and various supporters, an idea whose time has come. The deceptively simple notion of offering every citizen a regular payment without means testing or requiring them to work for it has backers as disparate as Mark Zuckerberg, Stephen Hawking, Caroline Lucas and Richard Branson. Ed Miliband chose the concept to launch his ideas podcast Reasons to be Cheerful in the autumn.
But it is in Scotland that four councils face the task of turning basic income from a utopian fantasy to contemporary reality as they build the first pilot schemes in the UK, with the support of a £250,000 grant announced by the Scottish government last month and the explicit support of Nicola Sturgeon.
I wonder: If universal basic income were presented to trickle-down robbers and other one-percenters, would there be a collective case of cardiac arrest and send the likes of Donald Trump to a long-term rehab facility and hence obviate the need for impeachment or euthanasia?

One of the hardest things to realize, I think, is that human beings are not very good about the opportunity or stick-to-itiveness to be lazy. They haven't got the requisite imagination. And into that mix there is the satisfaction that is derived from work ... but not from laziness. The idea that anyone prefers laziness ... well, in serious discussion, I doubt it. How many lottery winners have either committed suicide or fallen onto discombobulated times in the wake of their winnings?


  1. I always preferred to have something to do. But not worrying that that something was enough to support me and mine would be nice.

  2. It's a communist thing, this universal basic income thingy, not really different from a minimum sum wage. The paradox of economics is that when applied, usually this results in lowered employment rates and more corruption - which already is common from a Buddhist perspective - in the ordinary ignorant person's level. In a real capitalist world where darwinism and meritocracy ultimately is deemed as imperative, flattening the labour market with a minimum threashold is quite against capitalist economics in the first place. Between the universal basic income versus what goes on in the real world, I rather we have a universal buddhist monarch and adapt fascism in a manner such that it freaks out the hell out of marxists. In a dualistic secular world, in as far as fragments of left wing East Asia are rising, far right ideals in America are never far away from the theories.