How Basic Income Solves Capitalism’s Fundamental Problem

What stands in its way?

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by Tom Streithorst

The Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) is back in the news. The Finns are considering implementing it, as are the Swiss, replacing all means tested benefits with a simple grant to every citizen, giving everyone enough money to survive. Unlike most current benefits programmes, it is not contingent on being worthy or deserving or even poor. Everybody gets it, you, me, Rupert Murdoch, the homeless man sleeping under a bridge. Last seriously proposed by Richard Nixon in 1969, more and more economists and bloggers are suggesting that the Basic Income Guarantee may ultimately be the salvation of capitalism.  The BIG will eliminate poverty, lessen inequality, and vastly improve the lives of the most vulnerable among us. But that is not why we need it. It may seem impractical, even utopian: but I am convinced the BIG will be instituted within the next few decades because it solves modern capitalism’s most fundamental problem, lack of demand.

Technology and capitalism have largely solved the problem of supply. We are able to make more stuff, with fewer inputs of labour and capital, than ever before. We have the knowhow, we have the resources, we have the trained labour, we have the money. The only thing businesses lack is customers. Making stuff has become easy. It is selling it that keeps entrepreneurs (and central bankers) awake at night. Stagnant wages tell us that the supply of labour exceeds demand. Microscopic interest rates tell us that we have more capital than we need. Since the Great Depression most economists have recognised that demand is the Achilles heel of the modern economy.

Over the past 80 years, we have solved the problem of demand in three very different ways. The first is war. In 1938, US unemployment was almost 20%.  In 1944 it was barely 1%. Everybody knows World War II ended the Great Depression: but it is worth remembering that it wasn’t the slaughter of civilians or the destructions of cities that reinvigorated the global economy, but rather the massive fiscal stimulus of government borrowing. Had we borrowed and spent as much on building schools, homes and roads as we did on defeating the Axis powers, the economic effect would have been even greater.  The advantage of military Keynesianism is political: conservatives who loathe government spending are able to overcome their distaste when it comes to war.

The second, during the post war Golden Age, was rising salaries. Between 1950 and 1970, the average American worker saw his real wages double: since then, they have barely gone up at all. Back then, productivity improvements translated almost immediately into wage gains. As workers’ wages went up, so did consumer spending. Productivity increases meant each worker was able to make more stuff. Wage increases meant he was able to afford to buy it. Advertising transformed luxuries into necessities. Productivity gains combined with wage hikes gave the Golden Age the greatest GDP growth the world has ever seen.

In our most recent era, from 1982 until the financial crisis, the engine of economic expansion was ever increasing levels of private debt. After Reagan and Thatcher, median wages stopped going up, even as productivity maintained its inexorable rise. With wages stagnant, only by taking on more debt were consumers able to keep spending enough to buy all they produced. As long as banks were happy to lend, the economy managed to grow (albeit much more slowly than during the Golden Age) and the party could go on. But after the financial crisis, both household willingness to incur more debt and bank willingness to lend contracted, leaving us with the stagnant economy we are trapped in today.

These three old methods of stimulating demand have passed their sell by dates. Global war would reinvigorate the economy, but at an unbearable cost. Rising wages, unfortunately, are unlikely, with more and more of us replaceable by robots, software or much cheaper foreign workers. And higher levels of debt not only increase inequality, they also engender financial instability. What is to be done?

Every year, technological progress allows us to make more goods and services with fewer inputs of labour and capital. As consumers, this is wonderful. We can buy better and cheaper goods than ever before.  As workers, however, productivity increases threaten our jobs. As we need fewer workers to make the same amount of stuff, more of us become redundant. And it is likely to get worse. The rise of the robots may eliminate 47% of existing jobs within the next two decades. Unfortunately, even though a robot can make an iPhone, it cannot buy one. If we are hurtling towards a post scarcity future, only a Basic Income Guarantee can ensure sufficient demand to keep the global economy ticking over.

It is not just the poor that profit. The rich get exactly the same payment, in the form of a tax cut.  Corporations also win. With more money in consumers’ pockets, sales increase, raising profits. And since firms no longer need provide a living wage, labour costs could go down, which would give employers reason to hire. Meanwhile, workers, with a guaranteed income, no matter what, will have the freedom to tell an unreasonable boss to “take this job and shove it.” These benefits suggest that a Basic Income Guarantee could command considerable support from diverse sectors. But these are all merely side benefits of the BIG.

If technological progress continues to eliminate jobs, the Basic Income Guarantee may well be only way we will be able to maintain demand in a post-work future. By giving every citizen a monthly cheque, a Basic Income Guarantee will be as fiscally stimulative as World War II without requiring the murder of millions. The Basic Income Guarantee is economically sensible and politically practical. What then stands in its way?

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The first problem with the Basic Income Guarantee is that it sounds too good to be true. We have been told to be suspicious of anyone promising a free lunch, and giving people money for doing nothing certainly seems like a costless gift. Fear of scarcity is built into our DNA. For the Basic Income Guarantee to seem viable for most people, they need to learn that demand, not supply, is the bottleneck of growth. We need to recognise that money is something humans create, not something with fixed and limited supply. With Quantitative Easing, central banks created money and gave it to the financial sector, hoping it would stimulate lending. Today, even mainstream figures like Lord Adair Turner, Martin Wolf and even Ben Bernanke recognize that “helicopter drops” of money into individuals’ bank accounts could have been more effective. Technocrats are beginning to recognise the practicality of Basic Income.  We in the economic blogosphere need to bring this message into the public eye.  The rise of the robots, ever declining prices for goods and services, and disappearing jobs may ultimately teach this lesson more effectively than any number of well-meaning essays.

The second problem is sociological.  Most of us are still in employment. We feel, in some fundamental way, that our work makes us more worthy than lazy layabouts on benefits. This simultaneously makes us disinclined to raise benefits for others (or increase the number of people on benefit) and equally disinclined to think of ourselves as the kind of people that receive money from the state. Adam Smith, in The Theory of Moral Sentiments (the book he considered his masterpiece), said that we humans are motivated primarily by the regard of others. We want people to think well of us, and we want to think well of ourselves. The psychological pleasure of considering ourselves better than welfare recipients can trump genuine economic benefit. To overcome this objection, we need to recognise that defining ourselves by our jobs is very 20th century. If technological progress continues to kill traditional jobs, this objection too will eventually dissipate. As full-time jobs become harder to find, more of us will recognise the need for a Basic Income Guarantee.

The third problem is perhaps the most central. By stimulating the economy and pushing it towards its production possibilities frontier, the Basic Income Guarantee will be growth enhancing, but it is undeniable that it will also be redistributive. The pie will be larger, but it will be sliced differently. For the past 30 years, we have stimulated the economy by shoveling money towards rich people. A Basic Income Guarantee shovels money towards poor people. And for many in the top 1%, that is anathema.

Conservatives generally favour tax cuts as a way of stimulating the economy. Although they don’t like to admit it, this is textbook Keynesianism. As long as the government does not cut spending, more money in consumers’ pockets will inevitably increase demand. Unfortunately, tax cuts generally favour the richest among us, and they, unlike the poor, are liable to save rather than spend their windfall. Stimulating savings is a waste of a tax cut. Today, we have an over-abundance of saving and a shortfall of investment and consumption. A Basic Income Guarantee can be thought of as a tax cut targeted to those most likely to spend it, which is what the economy needs.

The Basic Income Guarantee solves the problem of demand, stimulates the economy, increases corporate profits, gives workers more freedom, and provides a safety net to the most vulnerable. It is economically sound and politically savvy. But the very rich don’t fear unemployment, they fear redistribution and they will be the most significant force against the implementation of the Basic Income Guarantee.

Originally published here.

20 December 2015

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  • Ian Coyne

    I’m sympatheic to the idea of BIG. But isn’t the problem with it that, in a market system capital knows that the poor have it, thus they are able to extract it from them where demand exceeds supply, ie, the housing market. In other words, the BIG would work its way into the hands of landlords.

    • Tom Streithorst

      That is a very good point. Certainly with a continued housing shortage, some (but certainly not all) of the BIG would end up in landlords’ pockets. I don’t think that is a reason not to favour BIG but it is a reason to favour the building of more public housing.

      • Mark Pontin

        Another obvious problem from the capitalists’ POV is that with a BIG nobody can be incentivized to work for minimum wages at awful, health-destroying jobs.

        In other words: sure, global demand is falling and the system is breaking down. But while capitalism comes in many forms and is highly adaptable, immiseration has hitherto been a feature — not a bug — in almost all those forms.

        Hence, before a BIG, capitalist ownership of political institutions will likely produce more of what’s already happening with companies like Walmart, whereby Walmarts pays its workers crap and they have to collect benefits — which Walmarts instructs them on how to collect — to enable them to survive. Thereby, government taxes and spending subsidize the capitalists’ (Walmart’s) further profits and survival, alongside further immiseration of the average citizens who work for Walmart.

        In fact, aren’t we’ve already seeing this on an enormous scale with the bailout of the financial industry — trillions of dollars for the banks, foreclosures and immiseration for the rest of us — since 2008? And with the preemptive bailout of the U.S. medical-industrial complex — rising drug and insurance profits and industry consolidation, increasing costs and immiseration for the rest of us — since Romeycare/Obamacare?

        • Tom Streithorst

          Saying that immiseration is a feature not a bug of capitalism is, in my opinion, a profound misreading of history. China has led hundreds of millions out of extreme poverty, not through socialism but through capitalism. The world and most of its people is far richer today than it has ever been. That is at least in part due to the triumph of capitalism.

          Yes Walmart is able to pay its workers less because of government subsidies such as food stamps. And yes a Basic Income could allow firms to pay workers less. However, a Basic Income is also a “strike fund” for all workers. Today, if you have a crappy job and an unreasonable boss, you probably have to suck it up, if you want to pay your rent. A Basic Income allows you to tell your boss to “Take this job and shove it”. This is a truly liberating prospect.

        • Liv Iy

          You forget that to live you don’t need that employment at Wallmarkt.
          Two things can happen. Immigrants that are excluded out of the BIG system do those jobs. Or all full time jobs will split into part-time small jobs with a minimal wages.
          Don’t forget the upcoming power that are robotics. It’s that transport is expensive and therefore we have supermarkets. But in the next 30 years all (small) cargo transport are done by electronic drones/automated self driving cars.

        • Derryl Hermanutz

          If people with a BIG refuse to do miserable work for cheap wages, the “market” solution is to raise wages to make the misery worth workers’ while. For high enough pay, “somebody” will willingly do pretty much any kind of work. The worker pays misery, and is rewarded with money. The present injustice is that the people who do the most miserable inhuman work are usually the worst paid, while those who do the most pleasant work are the best paid. There’s something upside down about this income-incentive structure. A BIG could help turn it right side up.

      • And not just housing, Tom, but nearly every form of needed spending by the poor will be driven into higher prices as a form of rent-seeking.

        The higher education market already suffers from a form of this. Anyone can obtain low-interest loans to spend on tuition and fees. So what happens? Tuition and fees (and other student expenses) go through the roof as educational suppliers (both legitimate and illegitimate) absorb this ‘free’ money for their own profit.

        Surely then the level of BIG will attempt to increase year after year to keep up with this inflation in the cost of basic goods, until it becomes too difficult to keep within national budget constraints.

        I haven’t yet seen a reasonable working through of the problem with BIG that @ijcoyne:disqus has identified here.

        • Liv Iy

          That is a risk that needs to be taken care of by strong government influence.
          Money that seeks interest makes bubbels and drives prices up. I agree with you.

      • Thyphate

        A BIG would make that you don’t necessarily would have to live in a particular place, because your job is there. There are a lot more options to live elsewhere. And there would still be the typical matter of supply demand. People now also need a place to live. Why would the landlords be able to rise their prices so much? Giving people money directly is a lot more efficient then public housing, food stamps, …

      • Marty Woods

        Section 8 housing pushes rental prices higher than the private market would. In my anecdotal world, landlords set their rents based on what Section 8 pays, and this is usually quite a bit higher than they need to be profitable. I’m pretty confident the same would happen with BIG. Just like guaranteed student financing pushed college tuition through the roof…

      • Derryl Hermanutz

        As a fellow blogger-advocate of a BIG, I have also noted that the money would pass through the hands of poor people (spenders/buyers) and end up in the same hands (earners/producers) who presently have all the money. So what? The BIG puts money in the hands of people who will spend it, which creates demand for producer sales of their outputs, which stabilizes the capitalist production system. Poor people get richer in real goods and services (material wealth), and producers/providers get richer in profits and money savings (financial wealth). Indebted households can use their BIG to pay down their household debts, which bails out the financial system by bailing out the defaulting debtors rather than giving money directly to the insolvent creditors. Everybody gets what they want.

        Adding more profits-savings to the investor class would further inflate the prices of investment assets, which would further reduce their rate of return to even closer to zero. The reign of financial capitalism would end, and restore productive capitalism. To make money from your savings, you would have to invest your money into building something “productive”, so you can “earn” profits by selling things that people are willing to buy. When money is no longer artificially scarce, it loses its power to tyrannize the world. Money loses its power to compel destitute people to do sh*t work for low pay. A BIG would actually create economic democracy: where nobody goes without basic material goods, and money income is truly “earned” by providing valued goods and services to people who have money to pay for them.

        Governments can create their own debt-free money to fund the BIG, rather than debt-financing their deficit spending by selling bonds to money-issuing commercial banks. In his 1948 paper, A Monetary and Fiscal Framework for Economic Stability, Milton Friedman advocated money-funding rather than debt-financing ALL government deficit spending. A money-funded BIG does not require increasing rich people’s taxes, or increasing government debt. Its “purpose” is to stabilize the capitalist monetary and production system, while in the process economically benefiting “everybody” (except finance capitalists whose power and unearned wealth is based on an artificial scarcity of money). You and Friedman make essentially the same enlightened rational case for providing a Basic Income to everybody

        • Darlene Hunter Archibald

          My daughter (23 years old) made an excellent point. She said that as long as they (the economic system) keeps everyone poor and struggling for money then no one will have the time or mental space to create anything new. Imagine what people could create if we didn’t have to struggle just to survive.

  • jmermels

    I like the idea. One objection I see that you didn’t deal with is how we would pay for it. Presumably, it would be financed by our semi-progressive income tax. That means people with large incomes will have their taxes raised by more than the BIG tax credit they will get. How do you answer that?

    • Tom Streithorst

      A BIG could be paid for by more progressive taxes but I think that would make it merely redistributive rather than stimulative. For it to be stimulative, it has to be part of a more expansive fiscal policy (which by the way, very mainstream economists, including Ben Bernanke, are calling for).

      A stimulative fiscal policy consists of increased government spending not financed by tax increases. In my opinion, the BIG should be financed either by increased government debt or even better by monetizing the debt. In other words, the government could issue bonds to finance BIG and those bonds be bought by the central bank.

      • BryanKavanagh

        Unfortunately, much of the benefit of a BIG must flow to rent-seekers via land prices, unless it is accompanied by a tax on economic rents.

    • Ian Coyne

      I think this whole “how would we pay for it” argument does not appreciate the stimulus effect of spending money on people, rather than corporations of financial institutions. Money that goes to people to survive will be mostly spent & therefore simply pass from one person’s hands to another around the economy. Indeed in this sense money spent on people isn’t spent at all…you get it back.

  • NaturalBornKieler

    Your site claims to be about economics, but this article does not waste a single word on the question HOW all this is supposed to work and be paid for. A spreadsheet with a sample calculation would be the least I’d expect.
    Money created by central banks is not created out of thin air, it is created as CREDIT. Credit only works if it is paid back, otherwise the financial system will collapse, as you should have learned from the financial disruptions in the last years. Greece is an example of what happens when you distribute credit over a long time without regard of the ability to pay back.
    And by the way, scarcity is not a thing of the past. True, industrial standard products can be produced increasingly cheaply and this will continue with further automation. But what about those things and services that a robot cannot create: like healthcare, childcare, care for the elderly; healthy food (and the healthy soil to produce it on), clean water, sustainable energy, and so on. All this comes with a price tag and the price will rise, not fall. Dealing out gift coupons to everyone so that they can have all this for free will just encourage waste and disregard.

    • Tom Streithorst

      Here is a spreadsheet from the Citizen’s Income Trust.
      eliminating all other welfare payments and also the tax free allowance,
      the CIT show that a BIG can be made close to revenue neutral.

      making BIG revenue neutral obviates its stimulative effect. Central
      Banks can and do create money out of thin air. After the financial
      crisis, the Federal Reserve created $790 billion and gave it to the
      financial sector. Since then, through the various QEs, by buying
      previously dubious debt, they have created even more money, again giving
      it to banks.

      The hope of the various QEs is those excess
      reserves on bank balance sheets would stimulate lending and thus boost
      the economy. It hasn’t worked as well as was hoped. A helicopter drop
      into individual’s bank accounts would probably work better.

      No one seems to bat an eye when central bankers create money and give it to
      banks. A BIG can be funded, at least in part by printing money. Even
      as mainstream an economist as Martin Wolf advocates that monetizing the
      debt should be in central bankers’ tool kits.

      You are correct
      that certain things do remain scarce: property in central London, beach
      front homes, beautiful art. But compared to a century ago, or even a
      few decades ago, more and more of us are able to consume things that
      previously were the sole domain of aristocrats. Today a man on a
      council estate can take a vacation in Spain. That used to only be the
      province of the rich. Even people in the favelas in Rio de Janiero live
      far far better than their parents or grandparents could have even

      Most of us remain locked in the notion that money is a
      fixed thing, as if the world money supply were still limited by the
      amount of gold that backs it. This is no longer true. Central bankers
      can and do create money out of thin air. They do it all the time. I am
      suggesting that they create some and put it in individuals pockets
      rather than into those of banks.

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  • BryanKavanagh

    Absolutely, Tom! I have no difficulty with a universal basic income – particularly if it is accompanied by switching taxes off productivity and onto rent-seeking in our natural resource rents. That, too, would get things going again. Good on Finland!

  • David_Ellerman

    There are at least a couple of basic problems with the BIG idea in spite of a number of attractive features. The real alternative to our current system is not some form of socialism (where the BIG idea also fits) but system that would finally implement the basic idea of private property (getting the fruits of your labor) through universal employee ownership. Then the people who work in each firm would finally appropriate the positive and negative fruits of their labor (the product they produce and the costs they incur for the inputs they use up); they would be the legal members of the firm instead of the current system where they are only rented, hired, or employed by the absentee-owned company. See my recent blog post giving this argument in the PBS Making Sen$e blog at:

    You emphasize the argument that a basic income would give an employee a better bargaining position vis-a-vis the employer (which may be true in marginal cases) but it further disconnects people from their rights to the fruits of their labor and thus to their whole sense of agency and responsibility–as one would expect from a universalized system of welfare payments.
    The second big problem with the BIG idea is that, at least in most presentations like this one, it is disconnected with the old idea that citizens should have an equal right to that which is not the fruits of anyone’s labor, namely the natural value of land which includes natural resources. This was the basic idea of the (Henry) Georgist Movement that would slowly tax away that the natural value (and community-added value) of land and natural resources so that other taxes could be replaced by that “single-tax” if not supply a basic income in the form of a negative income tax. One example of this today is the Alaska Permanent Fund which distributes a dividend to all Alaska residents from the North Shore oil. The person who has most developed these ideas in a modern and more general form is Peter Barnes, particularly in his recent book, With Liberty & Dividends for All.
    Since this presentation of the BIG idea is disconnected from the more basic issues of the renting of human beings in the employment relation (where employers appropriate the fruits of the labor of their “employees”) and with the past appropriation of what is not the fruits of anyone’s labor (natural resources), it is, at the end of the day, a distraction from and a salve replacing the discussion of more basic issues–although at best it could serve as an entry point to a more fundamental discussion.

    • jayrayspicer

      I agree that workers deserve a cut of profits. They are, after all, investing their literal lives into the products and services they create, unlike the shareholders, who only invest capital.

      But how is profit-sharing with workers incompatible with a BIG? I can’t think of a reason why both could not be done. And with increasing automation, I think both will have to be done.

    • Derryl Hermanutz

      You can already enjoy the fruits of your own labor within the present system by owing and operating your own small business. Complex, large scale enterprises that bring togther globally sourced materials and technologies require “management” to organize all the factors. Democracy is not an effective way to manage large corporate productive enterprises. Small and medium businesses work with machines and materials and technologies that cannot be produced by small and medium enterprises. I have no ideological objection to worker-owned enterprises. But I don’t think they can work on a large scale, and I don’t think they can replace large corporations that produce the tools and commercialize the technologies that worker-owned enterprise need to buy and use.

      The Basic Income does not depend on “revolutionizing” the entire economic architecture of the world. All it does is add Incomes at the bottom, to make the big systems all “work better”.

  • George Marshall

    “Everybody knows World War II ended the Great Depression.”


  • John Halderman

    Some good points, but I think in order for this kind of change there is something deeper required. It has to do with our basic perceptions on money and human life, to which one do we apply most value? The current state of our society and economy seem to be based on money as having the utmost value, thus decisions are made from this premise. To be clear, money itself is not a problem, as it is a benign thing . . . rather the issue is in how it has become valued over human value, and life in general.
    As referred to in the article, most people have come to think a persons individual value is based on what they do, but even further, it is based on what a person does that has become socially deemed as worthy of being traded for money . . . the ultimate value. So, a person has little to no value unless they can do something worthy of money.
    This valuation of people and life based on money, is what is restricting change, as well as basic human potential . . . as human expression has become restricted by this valuation system.
    Money is certainly beneficial as an exchange medium, representing human value, but not as a barometer, and director, of it.
    Even one step deeper in this issue is found the root cause .. . all else are just symptoms. The basis of all human thought and behavior is rooted in one of two foundational operating perceptions, either Oneness or Separation.
    Separation is the mindset that we are alone, disconnected, each must fight for our own, and create our worth through comparison to others, as well as valuation from the outside.
    Whereas, Oneness, is the knowing that we are all part of One Something. As science is now finding, all made of the same “stuff”. Thus we are connected, whole and complete as we are . . . we have ultimate value as we are . . . not needing to create and prove value in terms of accepted money value.
    In Separation the ‘self’ is entirely separate from all of life . . . in Oneness, the “self” is part of all of life. Herein lies the basis for how we each see life and self, thus how we perceive it, think about it, and act in it.
    The interesting point is, operating from Separation or Oneness is a choice we can each make, once we realize we can.

    • Swami Cat

      I think you are kind of missing the point of economics.

      First,economics isn’t the only set of value. It is a single narrow domain. The rules and incentives of economics don’t dominate in the family, among friends, in the playground, in politics, in schools, in science, in sports, romance and so on. Each of these domains has other forms of currency (prestige in science, loyalty in friendships, for example).

      But within economics, which concerns itself with the domain of specialized networks of cooperative production of goods and services, money does have a special role. Markets are extremely complex with billions of actors cooperating and competing with each other in the creation and production of countless goods. Via the system of money, we can establish a price for any good and service, and the value of that price is that it acts both as an incentive and a signal.

      Within a market what do I do? Well, I can look at price signals and from this determine what others value most. I then compare it to what I am good at, capable of learning, interested in, enjoy, etc and based upon the tradeoffs I choose how to optimize my personal utility while serving my fellow man. Thus using prices in a properly functioning market we have a complex adaptive value creation system.

      So yes, as an incentive and signaling device, prices and money are essential. They are among the greatest cultural adaptations of all time, as exhibited conclusively by Hayek in his famous article on the role of knowledge in society.

      However, do note that nothing about money implies separateness. Money is a barometer of social value and is thus intrinsically a function of cooperation. It is in essence a decentralized system to assign value, exchange value and spread value, while creating cumulative value in the process.

      Money is to a complex market as prestige or social capital is to a small group of foragers. Indeed, it is ia form of fungible social capital. It is an institutional device for infinitely large systems of social cooperation.

      • John Halderman

        Swami Cat,
        I get the economics of it all . . . exactly where the problem is lodged, thinking our current economics should dictate human value. . . because it is as it is. Well, it is as it is because of the foundational operating mindset of the participants . . . where it is commonly manipulated for exclusively self-serving desires. Because most people have bought into it’s concepts of valuation, and have become trapped by it . . . thinking It is all there is, or just the way it is.
        Yes, people in the system primarily value themselves, activities, and commodities based on their relation to monetary value, not primarily on human value, nor honoring the planet. This is evidence of exclusive self-serving behavior, which is rooted in a Separation Mindset . . . I must get for myself . . . I must prove my value to myself and others.
        There are two basic operating mindsets with all people, either Separation, or Oneness. In Separation you are alone, fending for yourself, creating an identity for the sake of generating a value in the eyes of others . . . which money is a gauge of on society. . . it begets fear of other people and things – which has become a primary motivator feeding negative comparison, evilizing differences, one-upmanship, and lack of compassion.
        Whereas, in Oneness, you know you are part of the Whole of life, that everything including your self and all people has intrinsic value, that money is just a medium of exchange – representing human value . . . not the other way around.
        The economic system operates as it does because we set it up and allow it to do so . . it is not a natural phenomenon that occurs in nature. Yes, the system itself is not to blame as it is a human creation, it is the people, further the mindset of the people. . . . which is the only place real change can occur.

        • Swami Cat

          Did you read anything I wrote?

          I started by explaining economics is just one of many dimensions of how people are valued. In online shooter games it is the ratio of kills to deaths, and the amount of money in the player’s bank account is irrelevant to prestige.

          The reason we created money as the value mechanism for the economic domain is that it acts as an incentive and signal which guides human action in directions which enable them to cooperate into complex adaptive systems which create potentially infinite value.

          In other words, if we followed your advice, the prosperity created via markets would collapse, causing the deaths of billions and the immiseration of the rest. The oneness of mass starvation.

          The Oneness is fine within its place. However, accomplishing things as a part of that oneness requires a system of incentives and knowledge on what should be done, by who, to whom, when, where and how. These are not revealed by navel gazing. You need a system of incentives and communication similar to what we have with money in markets.

          I really, really think that you do not understand the role of money in organizing the complex adaptive behavior of billions of decentralized players. The question isn’t whether to become one, it is how to behave as one, and money plays an essential role in this question.

          • John Halderman

            Oneness is not some idea, it is what we are. Anything else is a concept, as in the separation concept most operate from.
            Oneness is not sameness, which has and continues to be tried by many groups thinking their ‘way’ is The ‘way’.
            In realizing our Oneness, that we, and everything is of the same “stuff”, we perceive life and self in an inclusive way, not from a separate perspective.
            It is this perspective of Separation that has our societies, and their economic systems, operating in ways that serve to satisfy the conflicting desires of many exclusively self-serving motives.
            Whereas, when a person knows their innate Oneness, with the Whole of Life, they do not loose any individuality, rather they gain all else, the rest of the While.
            So, whichever foundational perception we each operate from , determines what we perceive as the “self” . . .either, the exclusive ‘self’ which is alone and fending for himself alone against all others, or the inclusive ‘self’ which includes all others.
            When operating in a perception of Oneness what you and I think of as benefiting our self, includes the whole . . . but operating in a foundational perception of Separation, what you and I want for our self is exclusively for us alone as totally separate units.
            This foundational perception of life and self, is the crux, the root, of all human behavior and motivation.
            the primary economic system as we see today is rooted in the perception of Separation, driven by people thinking they must get for themselves at the expense and disregard for others, for the Whole of Life. . . . this is the only human issue!
            All other so called “problems” are merely symptoms of the basic operating paradigm of Separation, which is why humanity has struggled to correct them.
            Our economic systems, being the outcroppings of human behavior, as you have detailed so well, are the very evidence we ought to be noticing, as to how most people are operating in . . . me, mine, gotta get for myself, fear all other people and things, seek more security . . . even attempts at peace will not happen until the basic operating mindset is changed.
            Our continuing to blame others and anything outside of ourselves, of our thinking, perspectives, and beliefs, just perpetuates the grand misconception of mankind, that human nature is this basic self preservation thing . . . it is not.
            Yes, I do contend that we need to be subject to the economic system as it is presently, that it is not, “just how it is”, as IT is a function of the collective human perspective on life and self. . . which can change. . . but only if, and when, enough people stop using IT and this easy blame of “human Nature” as a crutch.
            Until then, most people will be subject to the influence of a few who have positions to direct and manipulate the system, for their exclusive self-serving desires.
            So, to me, these conversations about changing aspects of the system are possibly helpful, and interesting, but until the root of the issue is addressed, little will actually change. They way in which I see them as helpful are in that they can possibly move people into seeing the deeper issue, open up more curiosity, more inquisitiveness, about what they think are the problems.

            Consider, that all of the various concepts and definitions of economics are basically all based in the same premise, Separation. They may sound different in scope, as do all the various forms of psychology, but all are coming from the same root point, just various interpretations and perspectives . . . which is the only place where real change can occur. . . . human perception of life and self.

          • Swami Cat

            I repeat… Economics has absolutely nothing to do with separation. Economic activity is intrinsically a form of immense COOPERATION. The critical insight is we can solve more problems better via division of labor and exchange than we can as separate individuals.

            Talking about changing a system which keeps seven billion people alive with no understanding of how the system even works is a recipe for catastrophe.

          • John Halderman

            Oh but it does, as does all human activity. . . unless you think economics as is currently operating is some aspect of nature, or the Universe, under which we humans must function.
            Economics, and society, are the creations of man, set up, directed by, and participated in, all through a series of choices, based on certain perspectives . . .all of which are determined by our individual and collective operating mentality, our foundational perceptions, either Oneness, or Separation.
            ALL human thought and behavior is driven by our foundational perceptions, which form our perspectives, our thinking, our beliefs, our choices.
            Current economics is a natural outcropping of human behavior, and unfortunately much has been manipulated by people who have, and are, able to exert a level of influence which serves to satisfy their exclusive self-serving desires. And yes, most people, through action, are agreeing with such a system. . . or going along with it, thinking there is nothing they can do to alter it.
            This thinking we can’t change it leads most people to go along, and not think they can affect any change.
            And, any change which does not address the foundational mindset behind it will not really be a change, only on the surface. . . like taking a blue cover off of a book and putting on a red cover and calling it different.
            Everything has to do with our foundational perception of life and self, our further perceptions, perspective, interpretations, programmed thinking and reacting, conscious thoughts, judgements, declarations, claimed meanings, truths, feelings, actions, choices . . .
            And thinking just because people cooperate in the current system means that there is not a better way to cooperate, a better system which is actually based on more cooperation . . . is quite limiting. Currently, cooperation is not is not very well balanced, in fact power and influence are currently the greatest factors steering economics. . . which has veered people into honoring money value over human value, then making choices based on this. As you said earlier, students are looking at economics to decide what field of study to embark on . . . this is backwards! It is a money driven discernment, which will more often than not lead to unhappiness in their lives, if it does not honor their natural tendencies and interests. . . but the society and economy you are defending encourages this, as money has become the main goal, rather than how can a person best honor and serve themselves, as well as society, the world, life. . . . but now we are in an economic climate where money is the great determiner of what to do or not do.
            Rather, money should be a gauge of what people are choosing for their highest good and that of the while.
            Anyway, I understand your position, as it is held by many . . . which is why it still is the norm,
            Most have not followed the trail of every form of human discord down to it’s inception, the perception of separation of ‘self’ from the rest of life, and people. . . usually stopping at blaming someone or something else, and determining they have no choice or way out. This disconnect causes fear, hate, and exclusive self-serving mindset and behavior.

  • Swami Cat

    Let me start by saying that I am open to testing a BIG, learning from the test what works and doesn’t work, and then either adapting it, expanding it or abandoning it. In other words, I am all for empirical tests, and inherently skeptical of rhetorical and ideological arguments one way or another.

    That said, here are the ideological aspects I would worry about:

    1). Because this replaces existing transfer programs, it is in effect a redistribution program. It takes from those who create value for fellow man and gives an equal amount regardless of how much value is added. The net effect is to subsidize NOT creating value for others and to penalize creating value for others. The net estimated effect is quite likely to increase free riders, and reduce the number and extent of production. Thus we are talking about more redistribution of a smaller productive pie. I am extremely hesitant to endorse activities which are likely to lower total human productivity.

    2). Even worse, once the BIG is created, there is no principled limit to how large it can become. Every year, forever, candidates can campaign on increasing the BIG in exchange for votes. The larger the BIG, the more people dependent upon the BIG, and the larger the clientele dependent upon using political to enlarge it. This is an extremely dangerous dynamic. Bread and circuses are nothing compared to the political prostitution we could see as an elite class of whores emerges to gain power by peddling larger and larger BIG to more and more free riders.

    Like I said, let’s try it various ways in various small places. My guess is most will be horrible disasters, but perhaps I am wrong, and all we need to find is one idea which works (perhaps by requiring gainful employment for capable adults to qualify) to make it worthwhile.

    • jayrayspicer

      Of course a BIG is a redistribution program. It’s impossible to disguise that.

      1). “The net effect is to subsidize NOT creating value for others and to penalize creating value for others.” Unlike the situation we have now, in which we subsidize billionaires with lower taxes, so they can sit on more money in order to not create value for others, while penalizing the working and middle classes, who actually create value, with higher tax rates and inadequate safety nets. Should we encourage free-riding whales (who can actually fend for themselves) or free-riding minnows (who probably can’t)?

      2). “Every year, forever, candidates can campaign on increasing the BIG in exchange for votes.” Unlike the situation we have now, in which billionaires are dependent on government subsidies and have captured the reins of government to ensure that remains the case. Should we fear the influence of a handful of oligarchs, who have every means to corrupt government, or the influence of millions of citizens, who have, um, the vote? Voters in the US could have gone down this path anytime in the last 230 years. They haven’t.

      And means testing a BIG defeats the purpose of it. The purpose of a BIG it to put our money where our mouth is. If we believe that human life has some minimal intrinsic value, then we need to financially support it to that extent. People who can and want to work can earn more, according to their contributions to the economy. Most people want to work. Increasingly, not as much of the population is capable of doing the work required that isn’t being done by automation. Ultimately something like a BIG is going to have to happen. If it makes people feel better, we could refer to citizens as shareholders.

      • Swami

        Ummm… I said we should test it and I said absolutely nothing in support of billionaire welfare. I could go into detail on how it could be tied to work, but what is the point?

        Live long and prosper.

        • jayrayspicer

          I know what you said, Swami Cat. And it completely misses the point of a BIG. If you tie it to work, then it *isn’t* a BIG. It’s what we have now, with the Earned Income Tax Credit. Which is terrific for people who work. Not so awesome for those who don’t. A BIG prevents people from gaming the welfare system and eliminates the stigma of it.

  • rorysutherland

    There’s something much more interesting about the idea of the BIG: which is the surprising finding that libertarians and conservatives often are surprisingly well disposed towards it, even though it is quite patently a form of wealth redistribution. My grandfather in the 1920s (a right-wing doctor in a Welsh mining town) was a very early advocate of the idea.

    What this suggests to me is that the emotional hostility of conservatives towards the standard model of wealth redistribution (qualifying for benefits, and begging at the teat of the state) may not principally be driven by redistribution per se, but on account of the perverse incentives it creates as currently administered.

    Unlike standard benefits, a BIG still rewards (punishes) personal enterprise (irresponsibility) in a proportionate fashion, it cannot be gamed, and does not allow government to bribe one tribe at the expense of another. My hunch is that early hunter-gatherers would have practised something similar.

    • Tom Streithorst

      I think you are totally right about hunter gatherers. It is not in our nature to let one of our own starve. Unfortunately, we keep shrinking who is one of our own. Here is a link to an article I wrote on the moral aspects of Basic Income and it discusses our hunter gatherer heritage.

    • Bongstar420

      Wait, issuing new currency equally into the bank accounts of all citizens by decree of government is “wealth redistribution?”

      There is no reason the Treasury can’t order printing sufficient to cover the physical monetary supply and have an organized, widely distributed production system greater than what exists for physical currency supply thus ensuring no cash shortages. There is enough system and cash in place to operate the expansion; new facilities could be built within years. If there were a total systemic collapse, the government doesn’t need money to get work done as far as power is concerned but would still have the cash to fund operations.

      Our real problem is the way the system responds. It seems the owners of the system will be upset with anything that results in other people becoming more competitive in life with them.

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  • AtomicZeppelinMan

    The zero-sum minded voters of the Grande Olde Confederate Party would never, ever allow such disguising Commie nonsense from ever happening. Unless it was only for White people, then maybe. Every Liberal advance that Conservative Americans deeply rely on was only produced with the compromise that the Blacks would get very little of it. For them it was always acceptable to be poor white trash, ’cause at least they wernt no nijjers!

  • Derryl Hermanutz

    money-funded Basic Income

    Re: how to pay for a BIG
    In a 1948 policy paper titled, A Monetary and Fiscal Framework for Economic Stability, Milton Friedman advocated a negative income tax to put a floor under incomes, which also stabilizes consumer demand. Poor people spend most of their incomes, which becomes business (and landlord) sales earnings. Businesses with stable sales demand stable production to restock their shelves, and stable production requires stable purchases of labor and other inputs. By adding spendable money at the bottom, you stabilize the whole edifice of production, income, and sales.

    The money ends up at the top, in the hands of those who produce, sell and earn the money that is being spent. But this is not at the expense of the bottom, whose Basic Income enables them to purchase all of the real economic goods and services they need. The bottom gets richer in real wealth and material standard of living. The top gets richer in money.

    The resulting glut of investible funds reduces returns on unproductive financial investments, and makes investment in real production more attractive because there is a stable demand market for consumer goods and services. Unless companies have anti-competitive monopolies on the supply of consumer goods and services, price competition will prevent producers from simply jacking up their prices (and profits) to absorb the additional demand money. Remember the fundamental virtue of markets is supposed to be consumers get the best products at the lowest prices. If that doesn’t happen, markets have failed, and laissez faire monopolists must be disciplined by regulation.

    In the same paper Friedman — who was a student of monetary reformer Irving Fisher at the Chicago School of Economics — stated governments should always issue, never borrow, the money they deficit spend. Friedman accepted Fisher’s radical monetary system reform proposal that governments, not commercial banks, should issue the national money supply.

    Governments would simply issue the money to fund the negative income tax. They would not have to “get” the money by taxing their people or by selling bonds to credit-issuing commercial banks. Fisher’s radical reform would transform the money system from the present commercial bank issued credit-debt system to a government issued fiat money system. The spendable, earnable, savable money supply would be issued by a public monetary institution as “money”, not issued by commercial banks as credits that are owed to banks as “debt”.

    Today Adair Turner cites Friedman’s 1948 paper while advocating “the policy that dare not speak its name”: overt money funding of government deficit spending. It’s well worth the hour it takes to read Friedman’s 1948 paper, pdf online. All kinds of macroeconomic policy options become available when governments are no longer beholden to the bank-dominated bond market. Governments could money-fund rather than debt-finance their deficit spending, to stabilize what is now a financially unstable economy.

    Except for a few mercantilist export surplus nations like Germany and China, every nation on Earth is suffering the same financial blight (savings-debts imbalances threatening to collapse the banking system) under the commercial bank credit-debt system. Even Germany has discovered that its exporters were not earning Greek “money”. They were earning credits that are owed to German banks by Greek debtors. If the debtors can’t pay, the credits are uncollectable. The bank-issued credits no longer function as “money”.

    This is inevitable within a credit-debt monopoly money system, where all of the spendable-earnable money supply begins its existence as a bank loan or bond purchase. The money savers “have” is the same money debtors “owe” to their banks as loan repayments and bond redemptions. If savers don’t spend their savings, debtors can’t earn their money back, so they can’t make their loan payments, and the credit-debt money system crashes.

    The fiat money option is needed globally, not just nationally in a few countries. A globally coordinated policy of fiat money creation could be overseen by the BIS where central bank monetary policy is already coordinated. There need be no violent swings in the fx values of currencies, if all currencies are implementing the same macroeconomic debt reduction and financial rebalancing policies.

    In a fiat money system (like Ben Franklin’s colonial scrip-money system), taxes drain money out of the money supply to control price inflation. Commercial banks create credit and lend it to people who debt-finance their asset purchases, which is why asset prices (houses, stocks, etc) inflate to the moon during “credit expansions” (and crash back to Earth during the ensuing busts). But name the economists who are blaming commercial bank credit creation for “causing inflation” (in asset prices), as contrasted with the shrieking howls of HYPERINFLATION!!! at the mere mention of government money creation.

    The commercial bank monopoly of credit-money issuance systematically inflates asset prices, while economists focus myopically on consumer goods prices, and so completely miss the effects of commercial bank credit-money issuance on “prices”.

    I agree with Turner. It’s not necessary to completely revoke commercial banks’ credit-money issuing privilege (as Switzerland and Iceland are considering) and convert to a 100% government issued fiat money system (like Fisher and Friedman-1948 advocated). Fiat money can (and should) be issued and allocated as a stabilizing supplement to bank credit-debt: a system which collapses when earners hoard all the credits as savings, spenders owe all the credit as debt, and arithmetically inevitable systemic debt default brings down the commercial banking system like 1929 and 2008. Probably the most economically beneficial and politically palatable way to allocate (at least a large part of) the debt-free fiat money is by money-funding a monthly Basic Income payment to “everybody”.

  • Gustavo Prista

    so your solution to fixing modern capitalism is to foster demand – no matter of what it is composed of.
    excellent suggestion in a world that faces global warming… make more trash.

    and fear of scarcity is a cultural trait. actually, it not even exists: if we were afraid of scarcity we would be trying to consume less, and not worrying about how to consume more.

    the real challenge for modern capitalism is not “how to create more demand”, but “how to keep developing economies without demand growth”

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  • Chris Nekvinda

    This is fascinating. I’m a Libertarian and will tell you that I’ve always been put off by this concept. This article made me consider how it could trigger demand. How are the funds raised? I’m assuming as this is meant to stimulate demand that this would then be funded by a consumption tax followed by cuts to federal programs and departments no longer needed?

    I’m also fascinated at this from the futurist perspective considering the amount of job loss over the next 20 years and forward.

    I’m not about continuing to steal from the producers at higher percentages. How could this work from a consumption tax position?

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  • Vivianne

    Lack of demand was never a problem, on the contrary, the lower the demand is, the less we waste resources and the higher the service to resource ratio can be, which is a GOOD thing. A UBI doesn’t really solve anything if its implemented solely to top up demand. The author of the article misses the point of an UBI entirely which is to eventually get rid of trade and currency as to maximize the service to resource ratio and thus ensure humanity’s survival.

    And then the author goes on rambling about how tech and capitalism solved the supply problem… -_- Capitalism solved nothing, tech did. And even then, because of capitalism, tech can’t solve this supply problem entirely as long as it needs to keep the service to resource ratio as low as possible to keep on going. Which in turn hinders the process of ephemeralization, the slowing down of entropy, which is what tech and science is all about and what we need to keep on going as a civilization instead of facing collapse and possible extinction.

  • Rodney West

    You all are cruel with your subsistence level BIG! If we are creating wealth out of thin air, which we do all the time as the article mentions, we should give every world citizen a Billion dollars! Think how much demand we will create.

  • Rodney West

    I just posted and it was deleted. Why?

  • AssHat900

    Can’t we just Fema camp 90% of the population already?

  • Bobby Lambert

    Universal Unconditional Basic Income is the really good idea. Fairly sharing our abundance in a small way and incentivising the creation of real value (as distinct from ‘jobs’ or ‘work’). It is straightforward – give the same amount to every citizen (or qualifying person) irrespective of income or other tested status. The Basic Income Guarantee is a shadow of that, and involves much conditionality, detailed accounting and a big bureaucratic oversight. Let’s not confuse the two.

  • Miguel Dias

    What is the difference between you BIG and the Negative Income Tax defended, although not created, by Milton Friedman? Why did not you name him? Oh yes, he is not keynesian…
    As a good concept being taken by a left-wing point of view, you transformed it into a panacea, a magic medicine for all our troubles. Flawless and guaranteed. But…no.
    We should give up every and each wellfare program before implementing such idea. And, no, working, whether it is full time job or not, is not going to change on being a basic value…
    You are trying to embrace a very good liberal idea, but in a shy leftist fashion. Not gonna work.

    • Derryl Hermanutz

      Read Friedman’s 1948 paper, A Monetary and Fiscal Framework for Economic Stability (pdf online). He advocates implementing Irving Fisher’s plan for conversion from a commercial bank-created money supply system to a 100% government-issued money supply and 100% reserve banking. A public monetary authority would create money to fund government deficit spending, and extinguish money when the government had a surplus. A system of automatic stabilizers — an early version of Friedman’s negative income tax — would “put a floor under personal incomes”: which puts a floor under local business sales and landlord rent collections, because poor people spend the money they are given, and the businesses who sell them stuff earn the money as sales revenues, service fees, rents, etc. Friedman understood that money flows “up” from spenders at the bottom to earners, savers, and capital accumulators at the top.

      Under 100% reserve banking, banks would become financial intermediaries who are no longer allowed to the create the deposit account credit balances that they lend. Banks would become deposit-taking institutions, rather than the deposit-creating institutions that they are now. Savers who want to earn interest would authorize their banks to lend out their deposit account balances to borrowers, so savers would earn a share of the borrowers’ interest payments.

      Friedman’s 1948 paper is a lucid exercise in financially literate fiscal and monetary policy that serves the money needs of the money-using economy. Streithorst’s Basic Income article is an updated version of finacially literate monetary macroeconomics that was well-understood in the 1930s and 40s, but which has been lost to all but non-orthodox economists since neo-classical “barter” economics gained dominance in the schools and in the minds of policymakers.

  • John Thunderer

    In answer to the question, “How can BIG be funded?”: have a land and property tax.
    Profits can be off-shored but not land and buildings.
    The Keynesian idea that distributing extra incomes to people in society would pay for itself by being recovered through additional direct income taxation caused by added effective demand in an economy – thus leading to increased employment and increased incomes/taxes – broke down in 1985 in France when then President Mitterrand adopted this approach.
    Most of the financial stimulus to the economy leaked out in the form of increased imports and people in France deliberately sending their money out of country to financial institutions like banks in Switzerland, where it did the French economy no good at all.
    The legacy of this reflationary effort was a much increased level of debt for the French government and a worsened balance of payments situation.
    Instead of a basic income guarantee, maybe a different approach is needed?
    During World War Two, rationing was introduced in Britain and a number of other countries.
    It has been said that the health of the average British person was better then than today.
    Instead of a guaranteed income, maybe a guaranteed home and other essentials could be supplied as of right to all in a society. It would need a massive home building programme (which is needed anyway) and the introduction of a system to allocate all other needed items, such as food, clothes, etc. up to and including health, education and social care services.
    Ultimately, this means moving towards a largely money-free economy and society.
    Driverless cabs, trains and buses – even aircraft – could be organised for transport needs.
    For the more green minded, free bicycles could also be available where ever needed.
    There is one potential problem: that – again – of leakage.
    Who exactly is entitled to receive these entitlements?
    Unless the whole world operates a similar – preferably identical – system, will not illegal migrants flood into any country offering these benefits and – in so doing – completely overwhelm it?

    • Blake

      Great thoughts highlighting the problem of articles such as this one treating an economy as a closed system when in fact any present real-world government that might implement a guaranteed income is NOT a closed system. Money might leak out (buying overseas stuff when the idea was to increase demand for things produced at home) and people might leak in (adding strain on a new cost-intensive system from people even MORE likely to send their money overseas.) Maybe the 2nd issue would be more easy to solve with side-legislation restricting immigration and/or limiting the guaranteed income to people living in country for a longish minimum length of time?
      The idea of guaranteed housing rather than income is interesting…

      • johndowdle

        Another form of allocation might be that – at least to start with – only UK BORN citizens would be eligible to receive BIG and other guaranteed societal benefits.
        It might be possible to extend the range of benefits later, based on experience.

  • AK47

    Ha , again bad economics . Let me say this if a software allows greater productivity from one worker then that means greater income for him and the owner , as far as I know wealth doesn’t disappears it is again reinvested so that generates more jobs . Right now the unemployment that workers are not able to shift sectors faster due to proper training .

    • Blake

      Mostly wrong.
      This may not be true in software development specifically, but in recent decades, in the economy as a whole, increased profits from increases in productivity have mostly gone to the wealthiest (e.g. enormous CEO bank accounts) rather than to workers. And, as this article said, the thing lacking in our economy is demand. Those CEOs aren’t going to create more jobs with their money because producing more of their product is a waste of money when there is limited demand. Hence this article’s suggestion that we generate demand by allowing everybody to be able to afford the product. Far from producing MORE jobs after increases in efficiency, what happens in reality is employers say “Oh! you ten people are much more efficient now?! i guess we only need eight of you! You two are fired.”
      Wealth disparity has been increasing for reasons such as that. Wealth disparity hurts economies for the simple reason that poor people spend extra money while rich people save it. A guaranteed income would give money to spenders.

  • Ranger

    Since when has wealth disparity become a desired outcome? Those who don’t need the basic income guarantee shouldn’t get it.

  • Steve

    The income guarantee should not be basic, but rather relatively abundant. It must also be DIRECTLY DISTRIBUTED NOT funded via RE-DISTRIBUTIVE taxation. Also, the real problem is that we have lost sight of the fact that the business model of finance has been allowed to dominate and manipulate every other business model and probably 96% of the general populace with its’s monopolistic monetary paradigms of Debt and Loan ONLY. These monopoly paradigms are curiously contradictory in what is considered a competitive free market system. So don’t be an idiot orthodox socialist and advocate re-distribution and don’t be an idiot orthodox capitalist and overlook the glaring monopoly paradigms of Finance. If anyone wants to deeply understand the philosophy and policies necessary for the West to survive and thrive they can read up on the new integrative theory of Wisdomics here:

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  • Patrick Tremblay

    “because it solves modern capitalism’s most fundamental problem, lack of demand.”

    That’s a big assumption.

    I would simply SAVE it all. I would not spend it. I will certainly not contribute to solve capitalism’s lack of demand.

    I would buy gold coins and set all this free wealth aside.

    Basic income is the miser’s wet dream.