commented on "My Basic Income": Michael Bohmeyer's Story
2014-09-05 15:46:47 -0600
The fundamental issue is that we need to stop relying on corporations to create jobs. That’s not what they do. They exist solely to create profit. They do this by lowering wages and/or decreasing the number of workers (jobs) required to get that profit. Yet both left and right leaning governments continue to try to manipulate corporations (through tax breaks and other programs) into creating jobs and/or raising wages. They WON’T create jobs OR raise wages. This is a MISGUIDED IDEOLOGY. Instead, corporations will take this ‘corporate welfare’ and hoard the profits in offshore tax havens, getting richer while the country goes deeper and deeper into debt. This ideology has NEVER worked, and it never will.
So let’s get real. It is a mathematical fact that corporations do NOT provide enough jobs (or wages) for the population . . . period. It is also a fact that CONSUMERS create jobs, not corporations, because NO jobs are created if no one buys products (consumer demand).
It’s time for the “Third Way”. The Unconditional Basic Income.
This one, simple economic change could solve inequality, homelessness, poverty, unemployment, welfare, pensions AND the minimum wage issue all at once, and reverse the recession almost overnight. It’s the ‘Third Way’ that can break the Left/Right ideological impasse. Trying to manipulate banks and corporations into creating jobs is an economic ideology that has proven itself futile. This new ‘Third Way’ supports innovation by allowing corporations (including small businesses) to focus on profit and frees them from having to provide social services and jobs. It also frees people from living under the thumb of government-run social programs such as welfare or oppressive work situations.
In an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) system, everyone gets the same amount, rich or poor, working or not, and there’s NO MEANS TESTING, so NO new government bureaucracies. People can choose to work and can make as much money as they want to ABOVE the UBI so capitalism remains intact.
If the Swiss referendum passes, it could herald a new day for humanity.
The simplicity of the idea is it’s beauty. It has been supported by both left and right leaning politicians as a way to eliminate poverty and avoid violent revolution. Both Milton Friedman and Martin Luther King supported the idea of a Basic Income.
It can be funded by diverting most present social service funds into this more efficient model and then shutting down large numbers of government departments EXCEPT education and medical. (Theoretically, the UBI can be run on a single computer that transfers the UBI into everyone’s bank account automatically every month.) Another source of funding could be a Financial Transaction Tax (a tiny percentage taken off every stock market transaction). (This would also address the out-of-control microsecond computer trading issue on the stock markets.) There is an estimated $21 trillion missing from the global economy because it is hoarded in off-shore tax havens for multinational corporations and the richest 10%. I think this is the place to look for missing tax dollars. If we tax these corporations properly, (i.e., stop giving them subsidies in the mistaken hope that they will create jobs) then we will force them to bring that offshore tax haven money back into the general economy.
But either way, businesses would not have to pay for the UBI. A UBI is different than a minimum wage because employers do not pay for a UBI. It is funded through taxes. Employers in low wage industries could retain those low wages because people would no longer NEED high wages if they are just working to add to their Basic Income.
There would be no inflation as long as the UBI is funded through taxes and not through ‘printing’ money. (Inflation is caused by money creation in excess of demand.) Employers also won’t need to inflate prices because they won’t have to increase wages. In fact, a UBI would be better for business as there would be more people buying products. Business would increase overnight. Instant consumer demand and instant stimulation WITHOUT government intervention! ADDITIONALLY, as proven in pilot projects, a UBI will cause a doubling of small businesses as people use the UBI as startup capital. This increases market supply and competition thus further reducing the possibility of inflation. The UBI increases consumer demand AND market supply together, thereby avoiding inflation while growing the economy. It’s a win-win.
Wherever a UBI has been tried, people worked more, not less, and started small businesses. That’s because the money was adequate enough that they didn’t need to go into debt to the banks to ask for a startup loan. For instance, in Dauphin, Canada’s “Mincome” experiment and in Omitara, Namibia, crime decreased, health care costs went down, and the overall economy improved. Two basic income pilot projects have been underway in India since January 2011 resulting in better food, better healthcare, better children’s school performance, a tripling of personal savings and a doubling of new business startups, all leaving the overall economy much healthier than before the UBI.
Because there is NO MEANS TESTING, no extra bureaucracy would be needed. We have many unpaid workers in our society. Volunteers, artists, musicians, homemakers, grandmothers, etc. It’s now time that they were valued monetarily by society. Most of them are shut out from being consumers because of poverty.
It’s time for REAL change – an Unconditional Basic Income! But politicians won’t do anything this radically positive without a grassroots uprising from the people DEMANDING a UBI. So tell your friends (copy and paste this blurb) and help make the UBI go viral!