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INTERNATIONAL BANK$TERS > Universal Income (aka Basic Income)

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message 1: by James, Group Founder (last edited Dec 31, 2015 01:34AM) (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments An excerpt from INTERNATIONAL BANKSTER$: The Global Banking Elite Exposed and the Case for Restructuring Capitalism (book #5 in the Underground Knowledge Series):

“I have always said that I am in favor of a minimum income for every person in the country.” –F. A. Hayek, from Hayek on Hayek: An Autobiographical Dialogue

Thinking further on this need to look after the common people before worrying about whether the free market is operating efficiently enough, one intriguing idea is to establish a ‘universal income’ for all citizens.

Such a scheme would work in the same way as universal healthcare, which provides healthcare (and financial protection) to all citizens irrespective of their financial status or annual income.

The very definition of universal healthcare signals that a nation’s health and income go hand in hand, which leads to our next question…

Could a universal income actually benefit our society?

One city in the Netherlands seems to think so.

On June 26, 2015, one headline in UK newspaper The Independent read: “Dutch city of Utrecht to experiment with a universal, unconditional basic income.” The article describes how University College Utrecht, a town within Utrecht, is running an experiment to see if society can prosper with a “universal, unconditional income” for all citizens.

Excerpts from The Independent article follow:

“Basic income is a universal, unconditional form of payment to individuals, which covers their living costs. The concept is to allow people to choose to work more flexible hours in a less regimented society, allowing more time for care, volunteering and study”.

The reporter quotes a Utrecht spokesman as saying, “Our data shows that less than 1.5 percent abuse the welfare. But, before we get into all kinds of principled debate about whether we should or should not enter, we need to first examine if basic income even really works. What happens if someone gets a monthly amount without rules and controls? Will someone sitting passively at home or do people develop themselves and provide a meaningful contribution to our society?”

Utrecht is apparently looking to expand the experiment into other municipalities and is currently awaiting permission from The Hague to broaden the trial.

It turns out the Dutch are not the only ones to trial such a scheme.

In the mid-late 1970’s, all the residents of Dauphin, in Manitoba, Canada, also received a basic welfare income. Amazingly, poverty was all but eliminated in Dauphin, and most of the city’s residents and officials said it was a resounding success. However, when a more Right Wing government was voted into power at the end of that decade the experiment was immediately discontinued.

The Huffington Post is one of the few well-known media outlets to have run an article on this little-known but groundbreaking Canadian social experiment. The headline for its article, published on December 23, 2014, says it all: A Canadian City Once Eliminated Poverty And Nearly Everyone Forgot About It.

The article reads, “Between 1974 and 1979, residents of a small Manitoba city were selected to be subjects in a project that ensured basic annual incomes for everyone. For five years, monthly cheques were delivered to the poorest residents of Dauphin, Man. – no strings attached”.

The reporter states that “poverty was completely eliminated” for the five years the experiment ran.

The report continues, “The program was dubbed ‘Mincome’ – a neologism of ‘minimum income’ – and it was the first of its kind in North America. It stood out from similar American projects at the time because it didn’t shut out seniors and the disabled from qualification.

“The project’s original intent was to evaluate if giving cheques to the working poor, enough to top-up their incomes to a living wage, would kill people’s motivation to work. It didn’t”.

When Canada’s Conservative Government swept into power in the late 1970’s, it not only scrapped the project and refused to implement the project in other Canadian cities, it also prevented a final report from being released on Mincome’s impact on the residents of Dauphin.

Decades later, in 2011, a summary report of sorts was finally released in the form of a research paper. The paper specifically documented how Mincome affected people’s health using census data. It turns out overall hospitalization rates (for accidents, injuries, and mental health diagnoses) dropped in the group whose members received basic income supplements.

To summarize, by giving the community’s poorest residents sufficient income to comfortably survive there was a positive impact on Dauphin’s healthcare system.

It could also be concluded from the research data that a guaranteed annual income policy could actually save governments millions or even billions of dollars in social welfare spending, especially for poverty-induced healthcare.

Given the success of Mincome, and the trial now underway in Utrecht, it’s a mystery to us why the concept hasn’t at least been trialed elsewhere in the world – especially as numerous economists and big thinkers have reportedly wondered aloud whether a universal income could work for the benefit of society.

One such thinker was American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) who wrote the following:

“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”

On the one hand, we are supportive of these theories as they seem to protect everybody from extreme poverty. On the other hand, we are concerned implementation of such ideologies might be too socialistic, causing some – or perhaps many – individuals to lose their motivation, their sense of ambition or their entrepreneurial spirit.

Then again, the ‘basic wage’ we have in mind wouldn’t be so high that beneficiaries of the handout would become complacent or lazy. On the contrary, it would simply be the equivalent of a ‘retainer,’ or base salary, to keep people from going hungry, or becoming homeless or bankrupt, or falling ill because they can’t afford healthcare.

We concede that a sector of society would abuse the privilege. It’s obvious a percentage of recipients of a basic wage would fritter it away – be it on gambling, alcohol, drugs or other similar activities. Such collateral damage would need to be weighed against the benefits of a universal income.

Essentially, it would be a minimum income simply for being human, covering bare essentials such as food, education, shelter and medicine. If its use could somehow be restricted to cover bare essentials, or survival costs, then possibly this radical idea has great merit.

Hell, think of all the lives a universal income would save, not to mention all the crime it would reduce. To our way of thinking, from a humanitarian perspective at least, implementing such a system transcends other economic debates currently doing the rounds.

Although it could probably be classified a socialist measure, a universal income needn’t interfere with the free market system. After all, we are only talking survival monies here, and the vast majority of people would still want to improve their lives and would be prepared to work hard to achieve that.

Not convinced? We’d remind you of the off-the-radar wealth that exists in the world right now – wealth that could be partly channeled to cover social expenditures such as those we’ve outlined. Wealth like that exists. We know that. It exists in offshore tax havens and in the secret world of black money and in the elite banking sectors.

Beyond the examples of massive, undeclared wealth already given, it’s also worth mentioning another staggering example.

In 2012, Republican Alan Grayson questioned the Federal Reserve Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman as to where $9,000,000,000,000 (nine trillion dollars) had gone missing.

Coleman admitted she hadn’t a clue and also that her agency has “no jurisdiction to investigate, or audit” the Fed.

Incidentally, those missing monies would equate to $30,000 per US citizen.
And still politicians keep telling the voting public that social measures such as universal income or universal healthcare are unaffordable.

Go figure!

“The contemporary tendency in our society is to base our distribution on scarcity, which has vanished, and to compress our abundance into the overfed mouths of the middle and upper classes until they gag with superfluity. If democracy is to have breadth of meaning, it is necessary to adjust this inequity. It is not only moral, but it is also intelligent. We are wasting and degrading human life by clinging to archaic thinking. The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

INTERNATIONAL BANKSTER$ The Global Banking Elite Exposed and the Case for Restructuring Capitalism (The Underground Knowledge Series, #5) by James Morcan

message 2: by Elisabet (new)

Elisabet Norris | 486 comments sounds very interesting. ..what happens to education? why go to school and get a masters or PhD when they're is no monetary reward?
in Norway, parents receive money when their child is born, and then a monthly check until the child turns 18 to make sure the child's basic needs are met.

message 3: by Elisabet (new)

Elisabet Norris | 486 comments *there's

message 4: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments It's only a bare minimum income or enough for very basic survival money. Most people want to earn much more than that and that's why there's still just as much incentive to become highly educated. Trials in Canada and the Netherlands surprisingly revealed people become more motivated to further themselves when a universal income is in place.

message 5: by Elisabet (new)

Elisabet Norris | 486 comments sounds like UAE, actually...but they get more than just bare minimum. ..if I remember correctly, the ones who work choose to do so.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Health is understood, that the nation is ready to provide basic Health Insurance to every citizen of the country. But again think from the point of view of the country like India and China where population is superfluous. Now, India has come with the policies where you can get life insurance as low as 300 rupees.
Coming to the distribution of income, I see people everyday who are jobless and so many of them are jobless not because of lack of employment but they don't wanna work. I think, basic income can create more such people who wanna live on the income provided by the government. I think basic income should be applicable to the certain age and certain condition, for instance, retirement age or if the person is physically disable.
I think, a bar should be set for income. There are people who are working day in and out but their income is way too low. This is what I call 'unequal'.

message 7: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno Read the excerpt with interest. Agree that taking care of poverty should be one of the priorities. Like the proposed solution. I should probably read the entire thing -:) "Mincome" makes a lot of sense in those countries where the abuse rate would be relatively low (1.5% is extremely good, it can be even up to 5%) and the state budget would be solvent enough to finance it. From what I hear from the Dutch people, the social support in Holland used to be (don't know now) not that much inferior than the described experiment in Utrecht. But that has to apply to a mentality, where despite the possibility not to do anything and still live normally it's not an option. I bet if you offer Mincome in places like Russia/Ukraine, you'd have a much higher abuse rate. Knowing the mentality, many would just buy vodka and go fishing, as they don't have any other ambitions-:)
In general - I like the 'socialist', scandinavian version of the capitalism better, than 'stingy' American version. The difference is so huge in so many spheres, like minimal vacation period, maternity leave, unemployment pay, free/paid higher education and many more. If using the scale, the Scandinavians would be closer to the maximum social aid given to their citizens, while the States, Israel - to the minimum, yet both belong to same capitalist countries category. The downside of 'social capitalism' is probably higher taxes.
According to some theories, one of the functions of the state is to take care of re-distribution of wealth. And this function seems not to function in some places or to function pervertedly - benefiting the rich and taking more from the poor.
In some countries, the problem is even more acute, where both parents working can't finance the family's expenditure. That's a grave omission that just shouldn't happen.
And finally, in a fictional book that I write now, I suggest to consider additional solution, which should result in a better social justice (if you believe, it's a proper goal) and it's - to put a cap on enrichment. There are few examples, where billionaires proclaim donating most of their wealth, like recent Zuckerberg's letter to his daughter or something of a sort, where he claims he'd leave her 1% of his wealth and donate the rest, or something like that. Maybe it should be institutionalized? Here is my own abridged excerpt from the fictional novel that I'm working on at the moment (unedited yet), if someone would want to take a look (BEWARE EXPLICIT LYRICS, NOT FOR UNDERAGE):

"Ha-ha-ha, Misha. Don't ski tonight anymore. Don't feature a miner of yourself, wearing fancy clothes and watch that probably costs as 10 miners' annual salaries!"
"It bothers me. What do you think? You know I had a little argument with your former partner, the Puppet Master, before he perished in that unfortunate accident about communism versus capitalism? He was a fervent adept of the former. And you know what, I'm not sure he's completely wrong now when I'm thinking about it".
"Interesting. What's on your mind? If anyone overhears what crap we are talking about at five thirty AM at the after party at Space, he'd freak out." He burst laughing again.
"Sometimes you just need some good house music for a good talk. Anyways, what I was thinking is that the wealth distribution is not fair. Maybe communists also started from this thought. Think about it, I can't sail 15 yachts simultaneously, fly 15 private jets, I can barely do two chicks in your Jacuzzi even in my age."
Emil liked that one, as he nodded respectfully, while I continued.
"You know maybe 90% of the accumulated wealth of the superrich sits somewhere in the bank or invested through funds, constantly searching for this or that investment, so that the money would just work and bring more money. The only thing they care is that their wealth would accrue 5-6% a year. They would never use it for something that matters and it'll just pass further to the descendants and they would do the same and so on."
"So, what's wrong with that?" Emil frowned. "Why cannot I inherit after my family?"
"I'm not talking about you specifically, but few things are wrong. Imagine how many people are in need of cash like a breath of fresh air, a loan, a helping hand. How can I sit in the same car with my driver and exchange jokes, knowing that although he gets a high salary from me, he's struggling to pay his mortgage? You see, it doesn't look logical to keep all this money away, that would never be used for something special, while so many are so short of much smaller amounts. Think of trillions of dollars, tantamount to the collective budget of half of the world stashed away somewhere that don't do nothing. That's a huge ineffectiveness. That's infuriating, if you think about it. One of the functions of the society or state is to redistribute wealth more fairly and this function doesn't function. At Reagan times they said that it's necessary to help businessmen and then something would trickle down to the laymen. But it's not happening. Each penny gets stashed to those hidden, unidentified, non-reported accounts. Something must be changed and on the highest, core level."
"Misha, I start to see Lenin in you. Don't expropriate my yacht, please." Emil was an embodiment of sarcasm.
"You'd be the last one, don't worry, Emil. Let me finish. So what I was thinking is that we need to change rules. The capital should be allowed to be accumulated let's say till the highest luxury level times three, so you can always buy three yachts, three planes, whatever. Let's say 100 million bucks. The rest, unless you invest in production, industry or something helpful, you need to give away to the people of your choice that need the money. And I'm talking about considerable amounts, so you really help and change their lives. They, in their turn, should commit to pay you let's say 2 % of what they earn for the rest of their lives, so it won't be a totally free ride. Thus, each would have a sort of dependents, let it be 15, 20, 150 whatever, but you would know that you helped real people to get their lives better. Imagine, instead of so many people hating you for being rich and suspecting some foul play on your part while making your fortune, you'd have a devoted clan of your supporters, followers and dependents, which, if you are decent with them when giving them the money, may even die for you. What do you say?"
"I say drugs don't do you any good. This undermines the entire system we built and fostered for centuries. What about the sanctity of private property?"
"Just bullshit words. Nothing else."
"Ha-ha, really? But that's capitalistic communism what you suggest - to let people earn, but to redistribute evenly above certain ceiling."
"Ha-ha, nice definition, I see what you mean. Sort of. So what's wrong with that? You know, when I reminisce about my childhood before my father was taken away by KGB, it wasn't that bad. We were all equal, no one was rich. Although our life was quite modest, no one was starving. There were no beggars or homeless on the streets. There was no unemployment. The inherent competitiveness was not about money, but about sports, girls, audacity."
"Misha, don't be nostalgic. We are not gonna let anything of the sort happen. It's against our interests."
"But you do realise that the majority might support the idea?"
"Maybe. But do you think my driver, cook and bodyguard would decide for me how much money I should have and how much to give them?"
"No, but shouldn't the majority decide? Instead, what happens in the West is that a small bunch of superrich decides for all the rest. My theory sounds fair. We'll have a clear set of rules."
"Nonsense. Everybody would abuse them and you, Misha, I'm sure, would be the first."
"Ha-ha, true, but that's because I hate rules..."
"But, Misha, why anyone would care to do big business, to earn bucks, to compete and dethrone you from the Forbes, if you have a cap?"
"I'll tell you why. For the sport. To win. And also to help those people. You know, it's fun to help real people. Not to donate to charities for tax benefits where half of the money is stolen or wasted on fat managers' salaries. I'm talking about real people from your day-to-day circle. Think about it, Emil, it's even disastrous for the economy and business that so much money sits somewhere frozen, doing nothing when so much people need it. And what you think? If you don't offer a fair solution, they would come and take it without asking us, because they know where to take and from whom."
"Ah, you are afraid, my friend, that's why you think this way. You don't worry about that, Misha. We have the system running for centuries and we know how to steer it. Who's gonna promote silly ideas? You won't, I'm sure of that. Peoples' incumbents? Just a fallacy. When's the last time you saw a poor or working class lawmaker or parliament member anywhere, after USSR dissolved? Exactly, nowhere. Do you think a millionaire can truly represent steel workers? Only for pretence."
"That's a sad truth of our world." I sighed.
"Anyway, what's your vision, plans, Mr. Russian loving aristocrat?" I couldn't help being a bit cynical.
"Us? Oh, we plan to expand, Misha. Big time…"

Happy New Year to all!

message 8: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments Hey Nik, do you think the Universal Income idea could work in Israel?

message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno Hard to tell.
We r 2 heterogenic a society, probably. I'll give u 1 example. U c here we have a relatively large religious community that prays, excels in religious studies, but don't work or do the army (they say their prayers are more effective than arms) and still get substantial help from the state (courtesy of religious parties), meaning - from taxpayers money. There r many opponents of this among secular, working segment, which say - why should we finance these religious guys? The opponents argue: There are a lot of religious Jews in Brooklyn, but they all work, because they get nothing from New York State.
On top of that - with huge army expenditure, I'm not sure we can finance Universal income here, but with the embarassingly high poverty rate among OECD countries, I'm sure we can and should have much better mechanisms to help the needy that can't otherwise support themselves...

message 10: by Lance, Group Founder (new)

Lance Morcan | 2825 comments This topic is now the subject of a poll which asks members: Do you believe your country would prosper from having a Universal Income aka "Basic Income" (i.e. a bare minimum wage unconditionally granted to all citizens)?

Have your say here: https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...

message 11: by Erma (new)

Erma Talamante (eitalamante) | 55 comments James Morcan wrote: "What happens if someone gets a monthly amount without rules and controls? Will someone sitting passively at home or do people develop themselves and provide a meaningful contribution to our society?"

Something like this would definitely *positively* impact such unrewarded careers such as stay-at-home parenting and other care-takers.

As is, children are shoved into sub-standard, subsidized daycares so mothers or even fathers can go to work to pay for said childcare - it is a negative system that leaves little room for improvement, while benefiting too few.

message 12: by Lance, Group Founder (last edited Jan 09, 2016 06:40PM) (new)

Lance Morcan | 2825 comments Here are the results of the recent group poll which asked members 'Do you believe your country would prosper from having a Universal Income aka "Basic Income" (i.e. a bare minimum wage unconditionally granted to all citizens)?':

59.4% voted YES
33% voted NO
7.5% voted UNSURE

Check out the comments section beneath the poll for more info: https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...

Meanwhile, for anyone who missed out on the poll or has more to say on the issue, you can keep the discussion alive in this discussion thread.

message 13: by Lance, Group Founder (new)

Lance Morcan | 2825 comments “We have come a long way in our understanding of human motivation and of the blind operation of our economic system. Now we realize that dislocations in the market operation of our economy and the prevalence of discrimination thrust people into idleness and bind them in constant or frequent unemployment against their will. The poor are less often dismissed from our conscience today by being branded as inferior and incompetent. We also know that no matter how dynamically the economy develops and expands it does not eliminate all poverty.” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?

message 14: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments Regarding the aforementioned group poll...

As someone who believes in Capitalism, I previously would have voted NO on this subject. But having now researched it in depth and seen the success stories of trials done in Canada and EU countries, I can see the merits and therefore voted YES.

It is a socialist measure, but I don't think capitalism and socialism are mutually exclusive or cannot work in tandem at times. Such a measure would not negatively influence the free market model...at least in my assessment and according to economists I've read. I feel we desperately need socialist measures inserted into the capitalist system as the amount of misery for those without enough money to cover bare essentials is at an all-time high (and yet, curiously we seem to have a never-ending source of funding for financing wars or bailing out banks...Go figure!).

Finally, it's also worth noting this would only be a bare minimum income or enough for very basic survival money, that's all. Most people want to earn much more than that - to thrive rather than just survive - and that's why there's still just as much incentive to become highly educated and work hard or be entrepreneurial. Trials in Canada and the Netherlands surprisingly revealed people become more motivated to further themselves when a universal income is in place.

And here's another excerpt from INTERNATIONAL BANKSTER$: The Global Banking Elite Exposed and the Case for Restructuring Capitalism that relates to this topic:

Given at this point in time more and more countries are on the verge of economic collapse, more and more individuals are facing unemployment, bankruptcy and homelessness, and reports of the global elite not paying taxes and illegally stashing funds in offshore tax havens are ever-increasing, sooner or later the common people will demand a fairer economic system.

What form that economic system will take is anyone’s guess.
It is very obvious to us social reforms are needed to balance the cruel inequities that exist in a world where the 99% aka the common people have very little say on financial matters whilst that tiny but nevertheless powerful minority we call banksters thrive and grow ever more influential. Even more cruel when you consider those in the latter category thrive in a financial climate that exists because of economic decisions made, and legislation passed, by politicians they’ve either directly or indirectly bankrolled.

A common theme that seems to be emerging in the mass populace is the idea that capitalism and the free market should be allowed to flourish, but only after the people have been cared for.

In other words, basic human rights such as food, shelter, education and healthcare should be provided to all citizens first out of a government’s tax revenue. After those expenses have been taken care of, then and only then should the government step aside and allow the wonders of private enterprise and the free market to work their magic.

INTERNATIONAL BANKSTER$ The Global Banking Elite Exposed and the Case for Restructuring Capitalism (The Underground Knowledge Series, #5) by James Morcan

message 15: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments Nik wrote: "Hard to tell.
We r 2 heterogenic a society, probably. I'll give u 1 example. U c here we have a relatively large religious community that prays, excels in religious studies, but don't work or do th..."

Okay thanks for sharing that about Israel, Nik. I agree with your sentiments that different countries have different needs.

message 16: by Erma (new)

Erma Talamante (eitalamante) | 55 comments Ancient Greeks paid many of their unemployed great thinkers a living wage to *think*…

Perhaps an encouragement to become scholars would benefit these people as well.

message 17: by Elisabet (new)

Elisabet Norris | 486 comments Erma wrote: "Ancient Greeks paid many of their unemployed great thinkers a living wage to *think*…

Perhaps an encouragement to become scholars would benefit these people as well."

Actually, philosophy is supposedly not a bad major to get a degree in:


message 18: by James, Group Founder (last edited Jan 10, 2016 07:19AM) (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments I think philosophy will be crucial to the Earth's future.
There's a dearth of philosophical thinking in world leaders, which is leading to myopic decision making in my opinion.

message 19: by Elisabet (new)

Elisabet Norris | 486 comments "There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands."


message 20: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments Lisa wrote: ""There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers..."

He could go far this Plato guy...if he keeps this up, maybe one day this dude could have an influence on the world...perhaps even beyond his lifetime...

message 21: by Elisabet (new)

Elisabet Norris | 486 comments James Morcan wrote: "Lisa wrote: ""There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become..."

Brilliant man! "The Republic" is interesting. I thought it was interesting how he thinks the soul has the same three part structure as the three structures of society... very deep individual!

message 22: by Elisabet (new)

Elisabet Norris | 486 comments Erma, to your earlier comment...I lived in a place where women received about $5000 each time they gave birth and a certain amount each month until the child turned 18 (this may have changed)...after given birth, the mother had the option of taking off work for 1 year at 80% of her wages or for 9 months at 100% of her wages. She could also choose for the government to pay for childcare while at work or to pay her to stay at home. If desired, the dad could use 3 of mom's months to stay home with the baby.

I honestly did not feel that this made women more lazy than in other countries or abuse the system more than other places. I think it's a great way to make sure that the generation to come is being provided for...you can look at it in the way that the country is taking care of its future investments.

message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

I voted No, because this model can't be applicable everywhere. There are countries with debt, there are countries with many social problem. Suppose, in India I transfer 5000 rupees (Indian currency) to the bank account of the under privilege ones every month assuming that these people will try to uplift themselves, they will educate their kids, they will buy essential things. If I take a percentage after few months, say 6 months, only handful of the families will use these money for the purpose it is given to them. Although, under privilege they will utilize that money for the things that are secondary. Talking about your philosophical approach that you think world leaders should follow, I completely agree there however, these things should happen differently. For instance, there should be more and more institutes which should look after the education of underprivileged ones and the education should be mandatory with a little or no fees. Secondly, creating more working opportunities. I have seen people who are not ready to do small jobs and instead prefer begging, why? Because believe me, they earn more from begging than sweeping floor. Would you like to transfer hard earned nation money to such person? Would you like to transfer your hard money to some alcoholic or drug addict? I think, world leaders must create atmosphere or should encourage any jobs, it doesn't matter how big or small it is, plus there should be a way of uplifting those who are doing small jobs, maybe entrepreneurship. The third most important thing is, AWARENESS. There are literally 100 of schemes launched by the government and world leaders to help those who wants to start up their business, I am not talking about those big online platforms, but small stores which are still the basic necessities in the country like India. These schemes and institutes, help young entrepreneurs set up their business, they are financed by such organisation. The question arises here, is anyone aware about these institutes? Most of them, NO.

The most important thing government should provide is the Life and Health Insurance. Medicine facilities at reasonable prices. Socially, there should be healthcare facilities which should be treat for free of cost. I think world leaders should put more and more money there.

I think one doesn't need any help if all their limbs are intact and they have got no disease. I am saying this out of my personal experience, my father lost almost everything in 2008 market crash, somehow with lot of difficulties I finished my education. There were no jobs due to recession and with a management degree I was working with a call center just to feed my family. Currently, I am holding very decent position in a financial institute. Personally, I think I would have kept postponing my decisions to work and study if I was receiving any free income.

message 24: by Erma (new)

Erma Talamante (eitalamante) | 55 comments Lisa wrote: "Erma, to your earlier comment...I lived in a place where women received about $5000 each time they gave birth and a certain amount each month until the child turned 18 (this may have changed)..."

That really sounds like an ideal situation! I wish everywhere would adopt such a system.

Caretaking is not just a full-time job, be it for infants, the elderly, or the handicapped. It surrounds your entire life. I think in many places, this is taken for granted, and marginalized since it does not provide an income.

It all boils down to how much can you bring in. Staying home with the kids or the folks? You must be a blight on the system!

It don't make sense to me, but what you described, Lisa, sounds pretty ideal.

message 25: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments Universal/Basic Income FAQ: https://www.reddit.com/r/basicincome/...

message 26: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments This video is well worth a watch...shows how this universal income idea (a basic minimum guaranteed wage for all) is now taking off with implementation in various states and nations around the world and trials elsewhere:

Universal Basic Income (Joe Rogan) -- https://www.goodreads.com/videos/1039...

message 27: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) Unless there's a connection between universal sponging...oops, universal income, and the creation of wealth, any such scheme is doomed from the start and will soon crater. Don't schools teach Economics 101 anymore?

message 28: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments Many economists are starting to disagree.
They remain in the minority, but like anything economics is still evolving so we just don't know for sure either way yet.
There certainly was a time I would have agreed with you, but I've come to realize universal income is a complicated scheme that would reduce a lot of govt expenditure like healthcare, welfare etc.

P.S. I note you posted on my Holocaust book's page "why did Hitler kill that many Jews?" So I have to ask - don't they teach History 101 anymore? ;)

message 29: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) James Morcan wrote: "P.S. I note you posted on my Holocaust book's page "why did Hitler kill that many Jews?" So I have to ask - don't they teach History 101 anymore? ;) ..."

And your theory is....? :)

message 30: by James, Group Founder (last edited Jun 04, 2016 01:02AM) (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments J. wrote: "And your theory is....? :) ....."

Um, er, official history that all mainstream WW2 historians accept i.e. not theory, but fact.

If you need someone to tell you why Hitler tried to exterminate all European Jews then refer back to my earlier suggestion: History 101

Unless of course you are referring to Hitler's psychological state - that would be more a discussion for psychiatry rather than history, however.

Also, not sure if you realize it, but it's a very common retaliation of Hitler/Nazi apologists to respond immediately to the Holocaust by replying "yes, but why did Hitler want to annihilate the Jews?" as if there might have been any justifiable reason for the genocide...and as if perhaps the Jews (and other victims of the Holocaust) deserved it...and as if the motivations actually matter more than the actual crime itself.

No doubt you are different, but that question (or fixation) about Hitler's reasons definitely has quite the history to it...So forgive me for reacting if you meant the question in an innocent way, as I suspect you did, but I receive a fair amount of hate mail from anti-Semites who deny or excuse the Holocaust and they always fixate on Hitler's motivations.

Anyway, there's a Holocaust section in this group and plenty of other WW2 groups elsewhere on Goodreads if you want to explain your ideas further. So even though I detoured this dialogue for a bit, I'd prefer this thread returns to the subject of universal income and to hear what others think.

message 31: by James, Group Founder (last edited Jun 04, 2016 01:14AM) (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments State handouts for all? Europe set to pilot universal basic incomes
Switzerland is poised to hold a referendum on introducing the concept, and Finnish and Dutch pilots are set for 2017 -- http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016...

Excerpt from this article follows:

To its acolytes, it is the revolutionary policy idea whose arrival is as urgently needed as it is inevitable. In a future in which robots decimate the jobs but not necessarily the wealth of nations, they argue, states should be able to afford to pay all their citizens a basic income unconditional of needs or requirements.

Universal basic income has a rare appeal across the political spectrum. For those on the left, it promises to eliminate poverty and liberate people stuck in dead-end workfare jobs. Small-state libertarians believe it could slash bureaucracy and create a leaner, more self-sufficient welfare system.

In an increasingly digital economy, it would also provide a necessary injection of cash so people can afford to buy the apps and gadgets produced by the new robot workforce.

Crucially, it is also an idea that seems to resonate across the wider public. A recent poll by Dalia Research found that 68% of people across all 28 EU member states said they would definitely or probably vote for a universal basic income initiative. Finland and the Netherlands have pilot projects in the pipeline.

This weekend the concept faces its first proper test of public opinion, as Switzerland votes on a proposal to introduce a national basic income.

The model on which Swiss citizens will vote on 5 June sits at the left-liberal end of the spectrum. The wording on the ballot paper is vague – it calls for the country’s constitution to be changed to “guarantee the introduction of an unconditional basic income” that guarantees “a humane existence and participation in public life for the whole population” – but the proposed scale is ambitious.

The referendum’s initiators suggest a basic monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs (£1,750) for adults and 625 Swiss francs for children as a “working example”. Given the high cost of living in Switzerland, the initiative’s co-founder Daniel Straub says this would be the rough equivalent of giving people living in central Europe between €1,000 and €1,500 a month, or between £900 and £1,300 in the UK.

In a book published ahead of the Swiss referendum, Straub and his co-authors argue that a basic income pegged at such a level would not only free people up to do important work that is currently not incentivised by markets, such as care and climate change research, but also lead to higher wages for unloved and low-paid “dirty work”.

“If these jobs are really indispensable, then they have a social value and should be appreciated more,” he says. “If no one else wants to do them, they should be more highly paid. Work conditions would have to be improved so that people do these jobs.”

Set at such a level, a universal basic income would require an increase in Switzerland’s current social welfare budget. Even if it were to replace some benefit payments altogether, the country’s federal assembly has calculated an annual funding shortfall of 25bn Swiss francs, which it suggests would have to be bridged by tax increases. Some basic income activists have proposed a financial transaction tax.

Straub rejects some of the federal assembly’s calculations, but acknowledges that introducing a unconditional basic income would cost around a third of the country’s GDP. Switzerland currently spends 19.4% of its GDP on welfare, less than the OECD average.

Latest polls suggest that more than 60% of Swiss voters are likely to reject the proposal, but Straub is optimistic that the initiative has already achieved some of its aims. “Five years ago, only about a hundred people in Switzerland had heard the term ‘universal basic income’. Now everyone is debating it, and acceptance levels are rising,” he says.

Unlike the Swiss initiative, Finland’s basic income experiment enjoys the political support of the government, a coalition of conservatives, liberals and the populist rightwing Finns party.

The framing of the Finnish initiative is also markedly different. The prime minister, Juha Sipilä, formerly a successful IT businessman, has commissioned the country’s social insurance body, Kela, to carry out experiments to establish whether a basic income could “make the system more participatory and strengthen work incentives, reduce bureaucracy, and simplify the now complicated benefit system in a way that ensures the sustainability of public finances”.

A preliminary report published at the end of March suggests the government is already scaling the initiative back from a full basic income model, which its authors note would be “quite expensive”, to a partial one. According to Roope Mokka, the founder of the Nordic thinktank Demos Helsinki, the Finnish experiment, which will take place in 2017, is likely to involve a maximum of 180,000 Finns being paid a basic income of €500 to €700 a month – considerably less than the average Finnish income of €2,700.

Given that Finland’s welfare state is comparable to that of other Scandinavian economies, introducing a universal basic income model similar to that used in Kela’s experiment would involve shrinking the country’s social security spending, which currently stands at about 31% of GDP.

Basic income experiments also scheduled to start in the Netherlands in 2017, and lie somewhere between the Swiss and Finnish models. According to Rutger Bregman, the author of Utopia for Realist: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, the appetite for such initiatives in cities such as Utrecht has grown mainly out of frustration with workfare programmes that turned out to be “hugely expensive and humiliating for those involved”.

In the Utrecht experiment, which will start on 1 January 2017, one group of benefit recipients will remain on the old workfare regime, under which people who live alone get €972.70 and couples €1,389.57. Another group will receive the same benefits unconditionally, without sanctions or obligations.

A third group will also receive the same benefits unconditionally, plus an extra monthly bonus of €125 if they choose to do volunteering work. A fourth group will be obliged to do volunteering work. If they fail to do so, they will lose their €125 bonus. A fifth group will receive unconditional benefits without the bonus, while being allowed earn additional income from other jobs.

Similar experiments will be conducted in other Dutch cities such as Wageningen, Tilburg, Groningen and Nijmegen, most of them with the aim of finding ways to get rid of the sanctions and the obligation to apply for jobs.

The fact that political intentions behind Europe’s basic income movements vary so wildly should not discredit the basic idea, Mokka says. He likens the idea to the space race during the cold war. “Moonshot was never about getting to the moon. There was nothing in the moon. Kennedy and his administration knew that. The point is that each generation must have their mission, something that encapsulates their vision.

“Unconditional basic income is best seen as a platform on which several different political views can come together to deliberate beyond tweaking of old systems and to create something entirely new.”


message 32: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments For those who think only socialists promote a Universal Basic Income, think again...Here are two articles by bastions of capitalism, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, in favor of the proposed measure:

Forbes: Universal Basic Income Is Not Crazy -- http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinomar...

Forbes: "The Universal Basic Income concept assures something that business needs, which is consumer demand. Could it not also give us the freedom to realize our personal best?

The Wall Street Journal: A Guaranteed Income for Every American -- http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-guarant...

WSJ: "Replacing the welfare state with an annual grant is the best way to cope with a radically changing U.S. jobs market—and to revitalize America’s civic culture."

message 34: by Lance, Group Founder (new)

message 35: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments http://theconversation.com/could-the-...

As per the above article, Finland implementing a universal basic income for all its citizens in 2017, with other EU countries to follow, while Australia also considering...Would obviously harder in places like Africa, tho not impossible at all in my opinion...

message 36: by Harry (new)

Harry Whitewolf | 1745 comments James wrote: "http://theconversation.com/could-the-...

As per the above article, Finland implementing a universal basic income for all its citizens in 2017, ..."

That's such fantastic news. It's most definitely the way forward.

message 37: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments Harry wrote: "That's such fantastic news. It's most definitely the way forward. ..."

Hell yeah, I think it's a big step forward for humanity.

message 38: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments Finland's upcoming basic income experiment is moving forward - here's what you need to know http://nordic.businessinsider.com/fin...

Scotland could trial giving each citizen a universal basic income http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/...

The case for a universal basic income (Australian version), no questions asked http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-cas...

message 39: by Jon (new)

Jon Roland | 22 comments In my new novel, Wayward World (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MPW3Y10 ) I briefly examine that scenario. The machines that then dominated the economy evolved to make the basic income worthless, thus relegating humans to subsistence living in the wilderness.

message 40: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments More on what Finland is up to (maybe not related to Finland's Universal Income implementation, but shows they seem to be thinking in revolutionary ways):

Finland Will Become the First Country in the World to Get Rid of All School Subjects https://brightside.me/wonder-curiosit...

message 41: by Jon (new)

Jon Roland | 22 comments No school subjects makes sense if no one works. But then the machines take over and humans are relegated to subsistence in the wilderness. Perhaps Finns can herd reindeer.

message 42: by Feliks (last edited Dec 12, 2016 11:34AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) The concept of 'credits' or 'ration cards' comes to mind. Government-issued monies which are only good for purchases of food & shelter; nothing else.

message 43: by James, Group Founder (last edited Mar 13, 2017 03:21AM) (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments Tied in with the Universal Income idea is increasing minimum wage.

Here's an online petition someone sent me on this subject:

Bring about a living wage https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/bri...

To be delivered to President Donald Trump, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate

Cut poverty in half by paying a living wage. End the subsidies to businesses that pay poverty wages.

There are currently 39,525 signatures. NEW goal - We need 40,000 signatures!

PETITION BACKGROUND Paying a living wage would solve many problems in our country. Over half of the poor in this country work, yet they need government services such as food stamps and Medicaid. Turn these folks into taxpayers rather than people needing our tax dollars. Stop the subsidies to business that pay poverty wages. Give work dignity by paying people a fair and just wage. We all do better when everyone is doing better.


message 44: by Ray (new)

Ray Gardener | 11 comments It's safe to say that people cover a broad spectrum of behaviors, attitudes, and capabilities. So if UBI were to be implemented, there would definitely be those who slack off and enjoy the extended vacation.

However, after a while, motivation to do something would emerge, because not only is boredom painful, but deep down, even the most relaxed person wants to do something meaningful. It could be something as simple as looking after children, or testing oneself in sports, or helping build a house. In this respect, the promise of UBI is to let each person naturally do the things they care most about. We could all finally "get a life", as they say.

The drawback, of course, is that too many of us might pursue the same goal. Maybe that would sort itself out, but the only way to know for sure is to experiment, so I applaud UBI projects for that. Until we collect more data, it makes little sense to either worry about or prematurely champion UBI.

message 45: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments Sounds like a balanced perspective to me, Ray.

Also, I wonder if AI will replace so many jobs in future that a universal income could become a necessity? Or at least necessary to at least trial to see if it can be part of the solution?

message 46: by Ray (new)

Ray Gardener | 11 comments I suspect that something gradual and natural could happen. As automation increases, employment dips while productivity rises so high that companies lower the cost of goods until they become effectively free, and bit by bit, money starts disappearing from most equations. For example, if I showed a smartphone to someone in 1990 and told them that they ranged from $150-$800 in price, people would shout "wow so much bang for the buck!" So just as UBI becomes critical, it also becomes moot. If we still use money, it will be more to prevent people from overusing services and overpurchasing goods (maybe that's how they prevent obesity on Star Trek :) ).

As this transition occurs, companies would also shift from being profit earners (and advertising clients) to caretakers, producing goods to keep people comfortable. There could be a healthy competition to see which caretaker can produce e.g. the better fleece jacket, the better electric car, etc. but by and large a lot of those ugly marketing billboards could come down.

In the nearer term, UBI might be necessary as part of a transition strategy, but not perhaps global, just in various hotspots where the organic trend toward "too cheap to meter" occurs more roughly.

message 47: by James, Group Founder (last edited Apr 10, 2017 03:36PM) (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments This excerpt from Coast to Coast is all the more reason we may need a Universal Income measure... http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/20...

American industry has been gutted, with wages and benefits stagnant or
reduced, thanks to disastrous trade deals, outsourcing, and the
crippling of unions, according to researcher Donald Jeffries. He joined
Richard Syrett to discuss the widening income disparity in America, how
more and more people are struggling economically and realizing that the
system is rigged against them. We've witnessed a massive transfer of
wealth into the hands of the people at the top, along with them getting
all the perks, benefits, and freebies, even though they don't need them,
Jeffries pointed out. The average salary in America is about $44,000 a
year, whereas CEOs make around $22 million, and there is nothing in
their work performance, he commented, than can justify this gross
imbalance. Even CEOs that fail miserably are given huge "golden parachutes."

The effect is global, with the 62 richest people in the world having
more wealth than the bottom half of the world. America was insulated
from this effect for a long time, he remarked, but now that factories
and manufacturing have disappeared, there are fewer and fewer good jobs
for those without college educations, and the skyrocketing costs of
college have made attendance difficult for all but the wealthy. People
get more upset about the poor getting welfare than say a wealthy sports
team owner getting city funds to build a stadium. They just don't see
the big picture, he added.

We talk about companies and banks that are "too big to fail," but the
mass of humanity has been resigned to being "too small to succeed," said
Jeffries, noting the lack of opportunities for people to earn a living
wage. We hear that raising minimum wage will cause the price of products
to rise, but why don't they apply that argument to the exorbitant CEO
salaries and corporate pay outs?, he pondered. Jeffries cited the career
of Louisiana senator Huey Long as someone who tried to turn things
around. A genuine populist, his motto was "every man a king, and no one
wears a crown," and his 'Share Our Wealth Society' had 10 million
members at the time of his assassination in 1935.

message 48: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments Video: We Should Explore Universal Basic Income | Mark Zuckerberg Speech At Harvard | CNBC https://www.goodreads.com/videos/1210...

Mark Zuckerberg calls for universal basic income at Harvard speech http://www.independent.co.uk/life-sty...

message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

why experts are in favour of universal basic income


message 50: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 11246 comments Krishna wrote: "why experts are in favour of universal basic income


It's the only way to go, Krishna, and it will happen.

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