So UBI ( universal basic income ) is one proposed solution to dealing with growing wealth inequality and coming demographics and social changes that will make the notion of the 1950’s capitalistic “hard work” untenable in heavily automated world of tomorrow.
of course as the video above points out there’s a lot of challenges with this approach. Aside from the obvious one of where’s the money going to come from for UBI (Ie. who will pay for the government to pay for it ) . There’s also other worries, like will we enable a whole generation of slackers sitting at home waiting for a hand out, will we kill the work ethic etc.
In fact Marx predicated capitalism would lead to something like this happening , that this was the natural end result of capitalism, he saw this way back in the 1850’s during the last great industrial revolution . That is the business and land owners, ie those with social and financial power will simply attain and amassed more wealth and at the expense of the working poor. Until inevitably some breaking point (revolution, war, social disorder) occurs.
But UBI does have a bunch of difficult contradtications to deal with. such as
- Who will pay for it?
- How do you prevent landlords from raising the rent to capture that extra , or insurance companies from raising my rates to get a piece of UBI pie?
- How do you prevent employer from reducing wages since they already are factoring in this government payment for their workers.
- What about the value of work? who’s going to build my roads or fly my planes if everyone is not working.
Why not universal Basic Housing instead plus Universal health care.?
So what not offer UBH , universal Basic housing with social services (ie. food, health care), in other words by not just giving money away why not give the things that we need in live to be comfortable and secure setting. This will provide folks with a true safety net, yet allow them the opportunity and incentive to work and pursue their passions.
Housing is one of the biggest costs, followed by health care . So if the government can formulate and run a system of housing, say in areas of the country with plenty of land and offer quality universal health care we should be able to capture the best parts of the social safety net without some of its capitalistic risks.
This free housing would allow folks that qualify, That is folks that aren’t criminals, but are struggling to get by , to live essentially rent free and be able to find a path that will satisfy their pursuit of happiness knowing that they will not be broke and destitute.
Some folks reading this may roll there eyes and think we had this already it was called the projects (ie. the inner city ghettos of the 1970’s), but I’m suggesting a totally different form of free housing, not high rises to cram folks in like chickens in a coop, rather, real comfortable homes in places of the country where there’s enough land. Becauses the folks here won’t “need” jobs , where not constrained by the normal logistics and economics of city centers. And inevitably these areas will grow and develop their own local economies.
My conjecture is instead of giving away money, why not provide those services and housing , which is where most of the money would be spent anyways, and give people a true bottom, safety net, from which they can build the foundation of a life they want.