Guaranteed basic income to every citizen, whether or not they are employed to ensure their survival and that they live in a dignified, humane way, preventing poverty, illness, homelessness, reducing crime, encouraging higher education and learning vocations as well as helping society become more prosperous as a whole.
Wow. Forget raising the minimum wage. This is much much better idea.
The minimum wage could actually drop if we had basic income.
But Americans would never go for it. Miserably slogging through 12 hour days and having businesses open 24/7 is too engrained in our culture.
"BUT WHERE WILL THE GOVERNMENT GET THE MONEY?" screamed Joe Schmoe, slamming a meaty fist onto the table and getting mouth-froth all over the front of his greying tank top. "You libt*rds all think money grows on TREES!! HAHA!"
"But where will people get the incentive to work?!" Mindy Bindy cried, flapping her hands in front of her face. She’d had a fear of the unemployed lollygagging about ever since she was a child and her mother told her to be afraid of the unemployed lollygagging about. "You think people should get paid for nothing? I work hard for my money!”
"But who will serve me?" grumbled Marty McMoneybags. "Who will make me feel important? Who will do my laundry and cook my food and stand in front of me wearing a plastic smile while I take out all my stress—because I do have a lot of stress, you know, being this rich is stressful—on them?” He paused and straightened out the piles of hundred dollar bills on the desk in front of him, then raised his two watery, outraged eyes up to the Heavens. “Lord, if there are no poor people, how will I know that I’m rich??”
I laughed. This is perfect! Well said!
The thing is, while I’m sure you could scrape up a few people who’d be willing to just float by on a guaranteed minimum income? For most people the choice to work would be a no-brainer. “Hmmm. I can get by on 33k a year, or I can take that part time job and make 48k… enough to move to a better apartment, maybe take the family on vacation. Sold.” Hell, most people would want to work simply because it gives one a sense of dignity and something to do with one’s time. (Speaking as someone who’s been unemployed, on extended sick leave, etc. in her time, the boredom and sense of isolation that comes with not having a job is almost as bad as the humiliation of having to depend on other people for one’s survival.)
And with this system, part-time jobs and “non-skilled” jobs would be much more readily available because nobody would need to work two or three jobs just to stay afloat!
Which would ALSO mean that employers and customers couldn’t shamelessly exploit employees the way they can today, because if losing a job weren’t necessarily a financial disaster, more people would be willing to walk out on jobs where they weren’t being treated with dignity.
And if this also applies to students (and it should) then student loans would become much less of a problem, and fewer people would flunk out of school because of having to juggle studies and work.
Far fewer people would be forced to stay with abusive partners, parents or roommates because they couldn’t afford to move out.
And the thing is, all those people who suddenly had money? They’d be spending it. They’d be getting all the stuff they can’t afford now - new clothes, books, toys, locally-produced food, car repairs - and with each purchase money would flow BACK to the government, because VAT, also income tax.
The unemployed and/or disabled wouldn’t need special support any more - which would also mean the government could fire however many admins who are currently engaged in humiliating - *cough* making sure those people aren’t getting money they don’t deserve. Same for medical benefits and pensions. And I’m no legal scholar, but I somehow imagine less financial desperation would lead to less petty crime, and hence less need for police and security everywhere?
TL;DR Doomie thinks this is a good idea, laughs at those who protest.
reblogging for more top commentary
They tried something like this out in Canada as a sort of social experiment, called Mincome. What they found was that, on the whole, people continued to work about as much as they did before. Only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less hours.
But wait, there’s more. Because parents were spending just a little more time at home and involved with their families, test scores increased. Because teens didn’t have to work to support their families, drop-out rates decreased. Crime rates, hospital visits, psychiatric hospitalizations and domestic abuse rates all dropped, as well. More adults pursued higher education. Those who continued to work reported more job flexibility and more opportunity to choose employment they preferred.
Basically, now you can go prove to your asshole family members that society won’t collapse without poor people for you to feel better than.
Do you idiots even realize how much it would cost to pay each American that much a year. Lets round the number of Americans down to 300 million. And multiply that by 33,600. That’s $10,080,000,000,000 dollars. TEN TRILLION DOLLARS. Okay lets quarter that then for the families and whatnot. It’s STILL Two and a half trillion dollars!
I dont mean to be a Joe Schmoe here but I do wonder how we will get the ten trillion dollars when the government only receives about 3 trillion a year.
Theres also the problem of people not having that kind of money before not knowing how to spend it. Most people who win the lottery blow through the cash after a few months. This would not get rid of poverty, there will always be people who don’t know how to spend money right. Most of which are young people who have never had to do it before. Especially when the money given to them is free.
First of all, capitalism is failing. So is the current economy with wealth disparity. Giving everyone a basic wage is not “free money”, it is their basic human right to have something to live on.
Machines, automation and technology are replacing human labor and will soon render many jobs, careers and fields of study obsolete.
That means, a vast majority of human beings will find themselves permanently unemployed through no fault of their own.
We shouldn’t be haggling over basic human rights like the right to food, shelter, medicine, education, accessibility, transport among other things.
If we are to move forward beyond a dog-eat-dog competitive and corrupt capitalistic system where money buys more money and poverty results in more poverty, suffering and misfortune then this an inevitable step we need to to take.
It would be tiered so that the money goes in a rotary and circulates rather than just moving upwards and stagnating with those at the top of the food chain. It needs to circulate so that those at the bottom have a chance of contributing, of learning, of giving back.
You can’t give back when you have nothing to begin with. With that amount of money, people won’t “take advantage of it” or “not spend it properly” because basic human biological needs dictate that we will spend most of it on shelter, food, medicine and other necessities.
Any money left over will offer us purchasing power, something we need if we are to keep the economy circulating.
No one will “take advantage” of something that is meant to satisfy their basic human needs. To live in a dignified manner should not be a privilege to be taken advantage of, but a basic human rights.
Furthermore, let us for a moment assume that some people might use the left over money they have from this scheme, after they’ve secured themselves basic necessities, to purchase things you personally don’t approve of, like drugs or alcohol. That’s their prerogative. Employers don’t have a spending clause on the wages they pay their employees. They don’t go “well, here’s your pay check but I’m going to have to check up on you every day and make sure you don’t spend it on something I don’t like, otherwise I’ll stop paying you wages because I don’t like how you’re spending it”.
It is the same with basic income.
I agree with you that wealth disparity is a serious problem. However I do not believe that it comes from Capitalism. People DO have a right to a fair wage and this usually takes the form of minimum wage laws and negotiating with your boss. Capitalism is not failing, people are failing capitalism, as it were. This is a digression however.
There will always be structural unemployment, there has always been structural unemployment, it’s the automation of jobs by machines that took away most of the industrial jobs of the 1960’s. This is a good thing though, innovation leads to efficency.
"You can’t give back when you have nothing to begin with. With that amount of money, people won’t “take advantage of it” or “not spend it properly” because basic human biological needs dictate that we will spend most of it on shelter, food, medicine and other necessities."
Poverty isn’t simply not having money its a mindeset. Its a psychological condition. I know this. I live thousands of dollars below the poverty line. And I have personally seen many poor people waste the money they are given. My parents certainly did. Most of my fellow students wasted the majority of their financial aid. This is why almost everybody who wins the lottery ends up bankrupt. They DO take advantage of the money and they DONT spend it properly. To claim otherwise without any evidence is simple idealism. It doesn’t work that way. A subset of the population will always squander thier money, and find themselves homeless and poor again.
Simply giving people money is not enough to bring people out of poverty. They have to know how to use the money, and most of them quite frankly, don’t.
This has been shown time and time again.
I never stated I didn’t approve of drugs or alcohol. People may spend thier money on whatever they like. Which in the case of poor people can be a problem, since many poor people choose to waste money rather than turn it into human capital, through education or savings.
Simply giving people money with no strings attached won’t solve poverty. Poverty is not simply a lack of money it is a mindset. This doesn’t touch on the fact that the cost of this handout would be more than the US government makes every year, which simply isn’t sustainable. Even with a rotary circulation of money there would be many negative externalities (such as an increase in the cost of basic neccessities and goods, as well as a dependence on the source of this money which would make people complacent and take away the incentive to gain higher education and a higher quality of life.)