Unconditional Basic Income: The Pro’s

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This is a great interview with John Schmitt, a senior economist at the progressive Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Best quote from the article “So what are the merits of universal basic income?

“We have a system that has high unemployment, high underemployment. This would allow people to survive and to live, with dignity, assuming that other systems stay in place.

It puts a floor under wages — people could say, “I don’t have to do that job if you’re not going to pay well.” People could pursue a lot of activities that are not particularly well paid but that have a lot of social use or personal satisfaction: art, creative work, volunteer work, working with people who have disabilities.

So if we were a very rich world, which I think we are to a certain degree, it would be a remarkable way to make sure that people could maximize their ability to express themselves but also maximize their ability to participate in the communities that they live in in a full way.

Stay home and take care of kids if that’s what you want to do. Take care of your parents when they’re old and sick.

People sometimes refer to this as a kind of “Star Trek” economy — you just said, “Replicator, make me a ham sandwich.” There wasn’t any social conflict around production and consumption. And that, I think, is that kind of ideal in which this kind of a thing could play out.

We are probably there in terms of the economics. We are very, very wealthy — we could afford to do this. But we are not there in terms of the politics.”

Then there is this great quote in the comments section from someone with the name: “Aske Bisgaard Vammen ” …

“Basic income is not some speculated way to enslave you to the government. It’s a proposed way of fixing that the money sequence of value is no longer reflecting the interest of humans. Making money by trading debt, planned obsolescence, wasting resources and polluting the environment are some of the best ways to make money. Not only are these things not in the interest of human life-value: They will eventually ensure our extinction.”


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