Blog #4
(Part 2 of 3 on G.I.) More benefits of a guaranteed income and the fear of a Nanny State

Written by
Lory Kaufman

More benefits of a guaranteed income (GI):

What follows is a number of other ways a guaranteed income will benefit society. They are done in bullet points for brevity and are in no particular order:

– Those at the beginning of their adult lives can afford to work as an intern for a business, trade or arts and crafts operation. Because people have a guaranteed income, they can essentially work for free for others at the beginning of their careers. Perhaps there may be a need for intern laws, so people aren’t taken advantage of.

We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure
that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas”
— Mark Zuckerberg

-For those who want to start their own business, they will have some income until they develop momentum in their own startup. This is especially important in this time of conventional job loss due to automation. GI eliminates having to break through into the semi-monopolies and outright monopolies that exist today, where there are only so many places for talent to find employment in a system that wants to limit competition. Smaller and more diverse companies are also now possible because of the high quality technology that is becoming common and inexpensive. It will allow innovation to flourish in smaller and more diverse companies. But let us remember, technology only facilitates innovation. Innovation truly comes from human minds being set free to be creative. And the only way creativity works long term is if it is nourished in a safe and secure society, which a guaranteed income can be a significant part of.

-In both of the situations above, it would mean that young minds don’t have to spend their brain’s most plastic and creative years supporting themselves with menial, stressful jobs or climbing some corporate ladder.

-For those in the middle of their careers who may wish to change their work, a guaranteed income gives the ability to more readily do so. A society who gives such opportunities to their more mature workers is adding to the potential of driving innovation and invention. This is important for those who mature and come into their own later in life. To quote Joseph Campbell, a guaranteed income could help people “find their bliss.”

-With more local and home-based businesses, there will be less consumption from the process of going to work. Just going to a work place takes time and resources; roads, transport, infrastructure, etc. (this successful phenomenon of working from home is something we’re seeing through the pandemic) If you are one of the readers who is still saying that this extra consumption is good as it gives people jobs, you continue to miss the point. You are still thinking that any monetary activity is good because it increases the Gross Domestic Product, or GDP. With that thinking, natural disasters like tornadoes and floods are good because people get work rebuilding things. A building burning down is good because it allows people to replace it. And the greatest misery that creates the most opportunity to increase GDP? War! Do we really want more of that?

-A guaranteed income will allow a level of protection for professionals who feel pressure to do what they believe are unethical. Nowadays government workers, politicians, economists, bankers, researchers and teachers in universities are finding themselves having to support policies and plans which they find objectionable. But they can’t push back because of fear for their livelihood.

-Community leadership will be strengthened, promoting a greater variety in the personalities of communities. Over the last centuries, the increase in control from local government to regional, to national, and now to international superpower countries, and especially financial institutions, have made local leaders beholding to the larger governing body above them. A guaranteed income to all individuals will allow local leaders to be more responsive to their constituents and develop more varied communities. This means that new technologies may be used differently in different regions, and having more experimentation is always a good thing. And the way in which technology expresses itself will be more individual, most-probably reflecting a regions histories, traditions and customs. To my mind, one of the greatest losses 19th to 21st century modernity has brought is the cookie-cutter look of so many countries. A guaranteed income could help maintain regional diversity and maybe, just maybe, all citizens could learn to appreciate, promote and celebrate those differences.

-If a guaranteed income is introduced into an impoverished country, there would be a greatly diminished need for people to immigrate to a wealthier country for economic reasons. While many western countries have taken in a lot of poor over the last centuries, it is becoming harder for their welfare and social infrastructures to support them.
We are now leaning toward taking in only the more educated and brilliant immigrants from poor and over-populated countries, robbing the most talented from the work pool that is needed to help the poor country become successful.
-As mentioned before, a much lower human population is essential for our species thriving (not just surviving) in perpetuity, and humans having a secure lifestyle seems to be a phenomenon that promotes people having fewer children. A guaranteed income is a major part of giving whole populations that sense of security.

-It’s also important to understand that the idea of a guaranteed income is not a new idea. It has been discussed for years, although it has never hit the front pages of the public’s consciousness. Neither has it been offered as a firm plank in the policy of any major political candidate able to win an election. It’s a simmering idea on the back burner of society which the majority of the public still aren’t aware of. You may wish to bring this topic up with a friend or two.

There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation”
— Elon Musk

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