Universal Basic Income: How To Point, Fire, Aim With Macroeconomics
Greg Fish
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I’m all for an unconditional income that stems from considerations of justice, that all rational actors could agree to. We have a serious problem of how ownership of nature is justified right now, we have a problem of how ownership of disruptive change is justified, with everything being in a bargain bin, as long as people fear for their subsitence, it’s basically a rich man’s paradise.

I think we’re just in demanding money from established players, to buy customer awareness, to compete on a level playing field, just because they get all the good stuff on a silver platter the way things are going right now. People having to sell out their promising ideas just to get some stability into their lives, customers not interested in looking around if there’s no massive improvements to be had, and customers expecting the improvements from the established superfirms, superbrands, rightholder associations, as they have the money to put down for RnD and buyouts and enjoy the mindshare or network effect or both.

The monetary system too, is only a thing because we collectively agree to use it, so all processes of currency creation and some aspects of currency distribution are absolutely part of public, common, property, and if money is infinitely printed to guarantee a rich man’s speculation returns, one has to inquire why we effectively raise the rent for the people this way, instead of awarding people more money to pay rent upfront, while dealing with some rental property having been a complete misinvestment, if it can’t make generate a return even with people getting money handed.

“ Far from being close to death, capitalism is alive and well, just waiting for new societies with the education and skills to take advantage of its newest toys and useful tools.”

I agree with the first part here, however, the second part is debateable. What I see is people who lack the ability to purchase customer awareness, to compete on a level playing field, not at all access to the skills. If it paid to get the skills people would have all the options to obtain em right now. That’s a non-issue.

People need money to subsist, money also as a representation of land, nature (not just the things that are required to gainfully participate on the labor market), and to obtain customer awareness, if we want to enable a new society of people who much more often take part in the creative, chance based marketplace that we could create. But hey, a chance based marketplace is ultimately about working for a phantom customer. It cannot be done unless you can subsist somehow, and it won’t be very profitable if aggregate demand is in the gutter, if those phantom customers are increasingly non-paying customers.

So to recap, UBI can make sense as a matter of social justice, and it’s one attractive idea to create the circumstances for people to gainfully participate on the labor market, both by providing the foundation to individuals to do so, and by providing more pay potential via the customers.

Of course there might be better approaches to do this, though at least skill training or job guarantees are detractions from the problem at hand, so lets not get sidetracked by that here. We have a problem with rental incomes being out of control, rental incomes in the hands of a fortunate few, that cannot be justified solely by labor contributions when it comes to their size. This is not cool for anyone who wants to make money with their unique contributions. Let’s think about that for a second!

edit:

“ We just need to start electing people who understand that there’s such a thing as change and can implement policies that move us forward to meet the future, instead of pretending that tackling problems that either do not exist, or they refuse to understand, will somehow help restore a golden age that exists only in their nostalgic, rose-colored memories.”

Yes, this is pretty much it. And it is not the UBI check, but the understanding as to why a UBI check would could be a matter of justice and a matter of re-envigorating the economy, a matter of enabling the new workplaces, that make UBI a very compelling policy, if financed adequately.

“ And a new generation of leaders who understand that it’s the government’s job to help make sure its citizens are productive and up to date with their skills, instead of passively expecting everything to just sort itself out with game theory and kicking those who are already down just a little harder so they’ll be incentivized to suddenly stop being poor.”

Precisely, this is what giving money to people to be customers, and giving money to people to be able to opt out of selling out, can do. It’s a matter of redistribution of power from the top to the broad middle and below. A matter of establishing a new income and property right distribution system, that can easily function within capitalism. It’s not for nothing that sovereign wealth funds are frequently demanded by a known UBI supporter or another.

edit (sorry the edits!): Another point to consider is that the arugment with regard to some people being willed to let other people die with no need for such due to factors of nature, but merely due to factors of human will forced upon others, is a problematic one. Because I couldn’t yet find a morally defensible perspective for this, but right of the stronger in its most primitive form, so to attempt to base our policy choices on such perspectives, that’s nothing but asking for an all out civil war that is had in the name of justice, akin to the french revolution. Can’t say I’m a fan of going to war…

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