The call for a Basic Income is both old and mounting. Success of the scheme is dependent on funding. If it’s some sort of National Dividend, sharing the bounty of the Commons, it’s necessary. If it’s a Marxist tax based redistribution scheme, it’s worse than the disease it’s supposed to heal.
A Basic Income, in whatever form, is very much on the agenda at the moment. And it’s eminently transparent why: growing desperation for economic justice in the face of the blatant centralization of wealth in ever fewer hands. Through Usury, badly exacerbated by the crunch, which saw huge increase of wealth for the 0,001%, while the rest continues to suffer badly.
The idea is very simple: give every adult a guaranteed monthly income. On average proposals foresee an income of about EUR 1000 ($1300) per month, which comes down to about $15600 per year.
No means test, no requirements, for every citizen.
$15600 sounds like a big sum, but a Canadian study showed that the State at this point pays $7800 per head of the population in welfare, which is already half of what is required. Part of the Basic Income scheme is that it would replace all current welfare, including the bloated, humiliating, expensive and ridiculous bureaucracy that welfare has spawned.
The Basic Income would alleviate the worst excesses of wage slavery. In this day and age ‘finding a job’ is considered a success, but it’s not long ago that the common man scoffed at the idea of working for a boss. Men that did were frowned upon, suspected imbeciles. This was still the case in much of the US of the 19th century, for instance. It was certainly the norm in Antiquity and much of the medieval era.
Furthermore, with the now quickly escalating robotization, it’s becoming more and more difficult every day to conjure up more and more ‘bullshit jobs‘ to keep the illusion of ‘inclusiveness’ and ‘the American Dream’ and ‘the work ethos’ going. There is simply no way that we will have enough ‘jobs’ (as we know them today) in the decades ahead to have all able bodied men (let alone women, who are taking over the labor market anyway) work for 40 hours a week. Already many 40 hour jobs are sufficient for the survival of only one person.
Earlier this year, an initiative in Switzerland was launched, aiming at a referendum giving the Swiss a ‘guaranteed income’ (not exactly the same, but much in the same direction) of SF 2500,- ($2800) per month. A substantial amount in the world’s most affluent country. And while it’s unclear whether a referendum will take place, it was an important development.
The idea is at the moment widely discussed and promoted by many think tanks around the world, both on a national and global level.
The Good and the Bad Basic Income
Whether the Basic Income is positive or not is really all up to the way it’s financed.
If it’s to be done by ‘taxing the rich’, Marxist newspeak for gutting the Middle Class with income tax, it’s bad. ‘Tax the rich’ in reality should mean a progressive tax on wealth, including the wealth stored in special purpose vehicles like trust funds etc. This is most certainly not part of the plan.
But the good version, which is definitely necessary, is paying out to the people the proceeds of the exploitation of the Commons
For instance, a Georgist Land Value Tax all paid out to the commoners in equal shares. This hits two birds with one stone: we’ll have Land Reform and the basic downside of the LVT (empowerment of the State through extra taxation) is solved, because the proceeds are handed back to the people.
Such a tax would also aim at the proceeds of natural resources associated to the land, which are also part of the Commons. Enough of Transnationals bribing politicians to get their hands at resources and then ripping off everybody ‘ad perpetuum’! Just look at what they’re doing to Oil. We can do without all that kind of mayhem.
This is close to the idea of a National Dividend, as also promoted by Milton Friedman. Social Credit, printing money and giving it to the people to spend it into circulation, also has the practical effect of a ‘Basic Income’.
On principal, all profits acquired by exploiting the Commons, including Land, should be returned to its owners, the People. If people want to call that a Basic Income, that’s grand.
Is the Basic Income any good?
Some sort of National Dividend, provided by the wealth of the Commons is necessary, but financing of the scheme is not at the heart of the discussion and many Marxist/Globalist outfits are promoting the Basic Income. There is little doubt the Basic Income can easily be coopted by the Money Power to nuke the Middle Class with it. If a Basic Income comes with extra taxation for the Middle Class, it should be rejected.
While every individual has a right to his share in the Commons, he does not to the fruits of others’ labor.
The Welfare State is a key Marxist goal. It comes with redistribution, centralization of power in the State and dependence. The idea that a man should be dependent on the State for income is clearly against Nature. The idea that another man should pay for it is even much worse.
Furthermore, ‘the State giveth and it taketh away.’ There is only one State guarantee that has stood the test of time: that you will be taxed.
In fact: there can be no Justice with ‘equality’. Some take a bigger place in life than others. The old precede the young and merit is what counts among men. With ‘equality’ the weak are empowered at the cost of the strong. With Justice, the strong take their responsibilities towards the weak and receive higher status in return.
It must be also understood that there is no ‘right’ to sustenance. So there is no ‘right’ to a handout, if someone else is sweating for it.
We have a clear mutual interest in making survival as easy as possible. We have a sense of Charity, wanting the best for all. The wealth of the Commons must be shared. But these are quite different issues.
In reality, Humanity is slowly erecting itself from the mud and this is associated with struggle, not with ‘rights’ as such. It’s not for nothing that the Bible rightly states that ‘he that does not work shall not eat’.
The Basic Income is very much about ‘equality’ also: everybody the same income. ‘Equality’ is contrary to Nature and Justice and very Marxist. Especially if it proactively hurts the Middle Class.
The Basic Income based on taxation does nothing at all against the ongoing plundering of everything and everybody through Usury and the wider monetary system. It does nothing against Plutocracy. A National Dividend through for instance the LVT would, however.
The main thing is, people are clueless about the kind of abundance we would create in an interest-free economy. We should think in terms of five times the current standard of living combined with a fifteen week working year. Combined with a Cultural and Architectural revolution that would be implicit in such a scenario.
Compared to this, the Basic Income just looks like a bone thrown to us by our betters.
There is also the issue, that all wealth is created through hard work. Every man should share in that. The fact that robotization is now replacing many jobs does not at all change that. The problem is not robots, the problem is that they are in the hands of the usual suspects, who get all the added value they produce.
Not only that, while it’s wonderful that much boring, dangerous and dirty work is being automated, this does not at all mean that there will be no work in the future: people by their nature are a creative force and creation is work. We will simply turn to different, more enjoyable and challenging fields of work. There will never be a shortage of work! Much remains to be built and undertaken.
That is: if we have a just monetary system that allows the commoner access to his fair share in society’s credit. Otherwise he will never be able to gain real independence from Plutocracy.
It is for these reasons that the Basic Income is widely promoted by all sorts of shady ‘Green’ and other leftist/Marxist outlets. These are typically funded by Globalist institutions like the UN, Governments and leftist ‘social justice’ funds.
The Marxist Globalist Super States that are now slowly manifesting everywhere in the world have little to fear from current Basic Income schemes.
The Basic Income in the form of a National Dividend based on the commonly held wealth of the Nation is definitely a very serious proposition. It would go a long way in the liberation of the Commons, although the need for interest-free credit would remain pressing.
Obviously, this is not likely the way it’ll pan out. The focus is too much on wealth redistribution and too little on the how and that’s why the scheme is easily coopted by the Bankers.
Too much on a ‘right’ to sustenance, instead of the right not to be slaves.
Currently, it mainly deflects from the core issue: the right not to be robbed from the fruits of our efforts. We lose up to 90% of our income to Usury, taxation, rents and high prices through Monopoly and associated artificial scarcity.
Ending that would see a hard to imagine and sustainable spike in living standards for all but the very richest.
From a Marxist point of view, the Basic Income is clearly designed to obscure this and replace this fundamental right not to be robbed with a handout by the State. It will definitely also reinforce the ‘useless eaters’ meme as many people, disenfranchised and without funds, will do very little to add value to the Commonwealth.
As it stands now, we should be very wary that the Basic Income is not going to be used by the Powers that Be to further gut the Middle Class by taxing them for this purpose.
Anthony Migchels is an interest free currency activist and founder of
the Gelre, the first regional currency of the Netherlands. His
articles can be found at http://realcurrencies.wordpress.com. Contact
him at [email protected]
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