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Wed Nov 16, 2016, 02:26 PM

What if you got 1,000 a month, just for being alive? I decided to find out.

Unconditional basic income. The future.

Source: Vox, by Scott Santens

Basic income is money an individual receives regardless of whether he or she works or not, sufficient to meet our most basic human needs for necessities like food, water, shelter, and clothing. Itís an amount sufficient to keep us above the poverty line, not living lavishly, but basically. And most importantly, itís a stream of income independent of all other income that functions as a baseline. It enables, and never in any way prevents, additional income.

Basic income for all people is also a government policy idea being increasingly discussed worldwide, where itís primarily seen as the way to make unemployment brought on by self-driving vehicles and machine learning algorithms work for us all instead of the few. By simply cutting every citizen a monthly check and getting rid of most of the welfare state and tax code complexities we use today, everyone could be better off tomorrow, rich and poor alike. If machines are laboring in our stead, and arenít buying any of the fruits of that labor, should we not receive the paychecks that arenít going to them or us, so as to buy those fruits?

Why should only the lucky few have any choice but to do paid work? What is our infatuation with work, and why is it only paid work that seems to matter so much? What about unpaid work? Why is it considered valuable work worthy of pay when two people are paying each other to watch each otherís kids, but not valuable work when theyíre each raising their own kids? If one concern is that people given basic incomes will work less, and another concern is that there will be half as many jobs due to automation, then everyone working half as much is exactly what we want so as to better share the available employment, isnít it? Plus productivity tends to increase as hours worked decrease, so weíd accomplish more with less as well.

If human civilization is a skyscraper weíve been building together for thousands of years, unconditional basic income is the foundation we neglected to place underneath it all. Our lives require a minimum amount of security. Our bodies require a minimum amount of access to food and shelter. Our minds require a minimum amount of access to knowledge, and to each other. Weíve created a system where money provides the most efficient access to all of these needs, and yet our system is missing the crucial component to accomplish it all ó a minimum provision of money.

Read it all at: http://www.vox.com/first-person/2016/11/14/13513066/universal-basic-income-crowdfund

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