We all know that politics these days for the most part is subject to the Capital markets of the world.
You can see from the English Referendum ( On whether to leave or stay in the European Union) that the driving arguments on both sides are mostly to do with the Economy.
The economy is put before the people or the nation’s aspirations.
The real question is, what level of wealth concentration is optimal for the economy or what is a human being to a business?
For many businesses a human being is perceived as ‘a consumer’ at the output end of the businesses and as ‘a worker’ at the input end of the businesses.
Therefore, it is in the best interest of the businesses to charge the humans as much as possible when they are consumers while paying them as little as possible when they are workers.
The end result of such duality is, the humans suffer, businesses make profit; wealth concentrates, the people lose completely their self-sufficiency.
This will get much worse for the humans in the near future with the Revolution of Technology and Artificial Intelligence.
Let’s just imagine a near future world (say about 50 generations from now) where automation has advanced to levels that resemble human-like Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).
In such world, workers will no longer exist in any meaningful sense, because nearly all work will be done by a super intelligent automation. The businesses will perceive most human beings only as consumers. In such future, most humans will be jobless and, majority of us will have no means of production that can make us self-sufficient.
Consumers without money are useless to the businesses thus can be “discarded” (it means, literally wiped out of existence). How are we going to survive then?
Perhaps, some of us could survive by reverting to violent redistribution of wealth (like war for example). Such approach creates too much suffering. The correct answer is we survive together, as one species, by introducing Basic Income. It must be sufficient to ensure the existence of a wide base of consumers who, in turn, will ensure the prosperity of the businesses and the society.
As the lever of technology gets longer and longer and it takes less and less human work to get things done, the wage will be replaced by a National Dividend, a share of the robot paychecks to buy the things produced that robots don’t need.
In our current society, humans without jobs (or income) become consumers without money.
Adam Smith predicated his vision for a free market economy on the understanding that some constraints must be set in place to ensure all members of the society are self-sufficient and also, that they exchange only the surplus produce of their labour.
Do we need to wait for a future that has a human-like AGI before we consider Basic Income?
Can we introduce it today and achieve great prosperity now?
I believe the answers is, “Yes, we can have Basic income today” and we can have it in a way that is independent of political or technological circumstances i.e. a way applicable to any historical period.
Let’s see how it can be done.
Who decides what a ‘dignified’ living is?
Perhaps, a bunch of people, called a government, makes the decision while driven by their own ideas about what is ‘basic’ and ‘dignified’? Governments change, therefore, if the amount of Basic Income is determined by some political process (e.g. government’s budget justified by some ideology) then it is likely that Basic Income will turn into another tool to exert control over the people by applying control over the amount of BI.
Much more powerful approach is to implement Basic Income by using the free market as a base for estimating BI.
Let’s call it Market Driven Basic Income (MDBI).
The meaning of ‘Market Driven’ is that Basic Income will be an opposing market force to the leverage businesses (and other manmade constructs) obtain over the people due to their natural tendency to treat human beings with double standards (e.g. as ‘workers’ and as ‘consumers’).
MDBI can be defined as, the ‘most common’ outgoing spending amongst human individuals when seen as consumers and taxpayers. MDBI has to be derived from metrics that ‘capture’ only transactions from a person to a business, from a person to a government and from a person to any other ‘man-made societal construct’ (i.e. those metrics should reflect only the personal outgoing spending of the human beings, not metrics like gross output or GDI, or CPI, etc.). MDBI is a figure indicated, in part, by the free consumer markets showing what most individuals purchased the most and ,in part, by any other outgoing spending the individuals have (including taxes, fees, etc.).
Think about it, the more they (various political and economic man-made constructs in the human society) charge us (the human beings), for the goods and services they try to sell us or impose on us, the more they’ll have to pay us as Basic Income. The less they charge us the less they’ll have to pay us.
With MDBI in place they (the businesses, the government, etc.) may even ask payments from us for the air that we breathe, it will make no difference to any of us as long as most of us have to make such payments, because such payments will become ‘common’ therefore “highlighted” to influence the MDBI.
Of course this can not be achieved within a club of nations called the EU.
This why unlike England or the EU Finland marks the first commitment from a European country to implement a Basic Income experiment and will be the first experiment in a developed nation since the 1970s.
Switzerland is another country looking at adopting as part of the Swiss constitution, citizens, regardless of whether they work, would receive 30,000 Swiss Francs (about $34,000) a year.
The idea, which has a long history dating back to the 1920s (at least), is increasingly popular in policy circles and the broader population.
The German and Spanish parliaments explored it.
There is a lesson to be learned from the Brazilian soccer player Pelé, the best ever, earned $1.1 million in 1960 (adjusted for inflation). The Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo made $17 million this past year. Pelé played for 350,000 television sets in Brazil. At the most recent World Cup, 700 million people watched Ronaldo.
Watch their crime levels go down and trading levels go up with more money in the hands of people ready to use it.
Just think of working for the Nations good.
We know there is a creeping colonisation of public life by corporations because we know a slow motion coup d’état is taking place by transnational organisations facilitated by our political leaders. The incontrovertible proof stares at us in the face every day with wave after wave of financial, economic, social and ecological crisis.
In the past few decades, economic growth lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. But, at the same time, the distribution of income became increasingly skewed in favor of wealthy individuals.
What could be achieved to remove, inequality, poverty, racism, corruption, and not to mention Greed to named just a few of the aliments plaguing our Societies.
It would replace all other social welfare programs with a guaranteed basic income to make government aid more self-directed and efficient.
An unconditional basic income is what is needed to be on the ballot.
Beliefs about the reasons for poverty are critical for the willingness to redistribute income.
So, will Europe provide a guaranteed income to its citizens?
My personal view is that this is unlikely. Differences in beliefs about the reasons for income inequality, however, will continue to drive redistributive policies.