Berlin, 2013-11-14

Options for a Cumulative Unconditional Basic Income

On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 07:56:28AM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
> I think the basic income might be a good thing — I just don't think
> it matters whether we consider it socialistic or not.

Yes, it doesn't matter, but — actually — that wording is inappropriate since "socialistic" implies that everyone gets to have a job and thus that there continues to be economic growth on planet earth as it has been all the time since mankind started trading. Both is unrealistic for the future and any political party that is defined on this basis should have no long-term relevance (that is pretty much all).

Maybe "social-libertarian" is more appropriate, since a Cumulative Unconditional Basic Income (some call it a BIG, a Basic Income Guarantee, or an UBI, but I prefer to stress the notion of both Cumulative and Unconditional) gives you freedom to work how you think is right, takes care of your well-being and stops human society to grow itself to self destruction.

It can also be "liberal," but that depends a lot on the details of the implementation and there is a serious risk of it losing its social aspects if too much attention is given to the liberal ones. Some examples:

But as the Althaus and Friedman/Werner models show, there are plenty of ways to get it fairly or completely wrong, therefore WE MUST AT ALL COSTS ensure that it is the right and reasonable people fleshing out the details of the deal. It is not sufficient to just ask for "some kind of guaranteed basic income" and then let the parliaments work out the details. It is quite likely a recipe for failure.

The "Pirate New Deal" must come from ourselves, fully detailed and mathematically solid. Forgive me if it doesn't fit into the few paragraphs of a blog post.

In the coming age of automation, when people might eventually work ten or twenty hours a week, Man for the first time will be forced to confront himself with the true spiritual problems of living.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood, 1986

Update: The series on UBI continues and DiEM25 has adopted the "New Deal" wording in the meantime.


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