August 30, 2017

Word: The case for universal basic income

Common Dreams - As some tech giants throw their weight behind the idea of a universal basic income, one anthropologist says it's a key component of a strategy to break the "addiction to economic growth [that] is killing us" and the planet.

Offering his views this week on BBC's "Viewsnight," Jason Hickel, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics and author of books including The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions, says "we can't have infinite growth on a finite planet."

That argument—which others have made as well—should be clear by evidence of the "climate change, deforestation, and rapid rates of extinction" taking hold, he says.

The primary blame, according to Hickel, rests with "over-consumption in rich countries," and addressing that entails "planned de-growth," which will put the reins on "our plunder of the earth."

Hickel stresses that he's not referring to austerity, as the goal of "de-growth" is to "increase human well-being and happiness while reducing our economic footprint."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sooo... Just how will this work?

In another article just posted on Undernews ( http://otherwords.org/what-happened-to-all-those-foreclosed-houses/ ) we see that investors have bought up forclosed homes and I assume plan to make a tidy profit in renting them out, when workers themselves can't afford them.

Social Security hasn't actually given an increase lately ( 0.04% doesn't count in my book ), while food and all other products have increased greatly.

Our government continues to support corporate investment overseas, and overseas investors here in the US; but not working people.

Also, just what would a 'Universal Basic Income' mean? A “Living Wage”? Or maybe some sort of Stipend for everybody? If so, would the stipend vary depending upon Property Values/Rents in the area of the worker's place of employment? Would it vary according to the number of a worker's dependents?

Would a company / corporation feel free to reduce an employee's income... after all, the government is giving these workers money that the employer feels comes out of the taxes that they pay. ( This even though the employer may be in a TIF, receive tax breaks for 'investments', 'research', and deductions for management salaries. )

I guess what I am driving at is that we live in an economic system that follows the Golden Rule, meaning Those With The Gold – Rule. And any kind of economic aid to anybody among the 'working class' will be met with derision and counter-measures.

Anonymous said...

Just saw this on Undernews:

Amount taxpayers spent in 2013 on food stamps, Medicaid, & housing assistance for Walmart employees: $6,200,000,000.

https://harpers.org/archive/2017/09/harpers-index-398/

greg gerritt said...

Ecolo0gical collapse and cliamte change are game changers, the economy is going to shrink. There are lots of things we can elimiante so that we can reallocate money to useful endeavors. Things to eliminate that would free up money to end poverty and heal ecosytems include the fossil fuel industries and the military industrial complex. Get ricd of those, and the FIRE industries and our society would work a lot better.

Anonymous said...

Another story is about progressive city ordinances being preempted by corrupt state legislatures. The US was designed as a republic but has never resembled that. It has always been dominated by Southern oligarchs except during Lincoln's first term. Our period has been compared to the 1850s which is when localities in the North rejected the federal fugitive slave law. But such progressive sectional rejectionism is unlikely to succeed with the current program of pacification of municipalities. The US is a lost cause as it was regarding slavery in the 1830s. Predictably it would take some sort of civil war to stop the forces of infinite growth that control the nation, and from this view point, always have and always will. As Henry Adams predicted, humans are not sufficiently evolved to stop the runaway thermodynamic determination of their history.