America’s New Political Revolution and Why We Need Basic Income to Unite Us
You may have noticed that America is in on the brink of a political revolution. While Donald Trump supporters and Bernie Sanders supporters may seem like polar opposites they really do have more in common than they realize. That commonality is that none of them trust the establishment.
People on both sides of the aisle are tired of seeing stagnant or declining wages. They are tired of seeing a booming economy where the corporations and the rich make all the money while they fall farther behind in purchasing power.
Republicans will blame it on Obama, welfare recipients, and unions. Democrats will blame in the top 1%, corporations and Wall Street. While they disagree with who’s to blame, all of them are fed up with business as usual no matter which party is in charge. The bottom line is they want change. Change at any cost and any risk.
But let’s be honest. If we woke up the day after the election and our political party won every seat that was open, would it really solve all of our major problems? This is where Basic Income comes into play.
What is Basic Income?
I was first introduced to the concept of Basic Income about a year ago. I was shocked I had never heard of it before even though it had been around since one of our founding father’s of the U.S. named Thomas Paine first proposed that everyone receive a basic income guarantee. Free market capitalists such as F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman called for a basic income to replace our current welfare system in a much more efficient manner. Richard Nixon almost implemented a basic income in this country. In fact it had passed through the House of Representative and was on the floor of the Senate until Watergate came up. After Watergate the bill died.
Why Basic Income appeals to Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians.
Republicans like Basic Income because it overhauls the current welfare with more efficiency. This reduces the size of the government and lowers the cost of administering welfare. Once this minimum floor of income is put in place, they would be able to make a good argument for more free market laws after that. They could present a good argument against raising minimum wage since the main purpose of minimum wage is to provide a livable income. But with a Basic Income already in place that argument becomes less valid.
Democrats like Basic Income because it provides an income floor to everyone. It lifts people up out of poverty and grows the economy since people have more disposable income.
Libertarians like it for all the above reasons, plus it’s the least intrusive way for government to administer welfare benefits. You don’t have government limiting how much money and assets you can have. Government won’t try to control your life by telling you what you can and can’t spend the money on. It’s all your choice.
How much would I get?
An Unconditional Basic Income Guarantee in the U.S. is based off the current poverty levels in the U.S. If every adult was given $1000 a month and every child given $400 per month it would be a way to wipe out poverty in the U.S. Just look at your own family situation. Whether you are single and received $1000 a month, a married couple without children receiving $2000 a month or a family of 4 receiving an extra $2800 a month, just think how that extra money would be a life changer for many of us. What would you do with that extra money? How would it change your life?
So what’s wrong with our current welfare system?
The biggest problem we have with our current welfare system is inefficiency. We have around 100 different government agencies involved in administering our current welfare system. Most of the money collected through our tax dollars goes to pay for the salary, benefits and retirement of government employees, and the buildings and systems to run it. This can result in as little as 20 cents on the dollar getting into the hands of the people who need it. A simple solution that was proposed was to just give the money to everyone instead and let them decide what is best for themselves.
The poverty trap.
Many people who get on welfare soon find themselves in a poverty trap. Sometimes things happen and people need a handout. This could involve someone receiving help with their food, housing, healthcare, and utilities. Most people want to work and get off the system, but find out if they make too much money they could lose all of their benefits. They are not allowed to work hard and save money to get off welfare without losing it all. This could explain why we have generations of people on welfare. A basic income would give money to everyone regardless if you’re poor and homeless, working a low, medium or high income wage. We all get the same amount of basic income and we’re not penalized for working hard, saving money and trying to better our lives.
This brings back dignity to people and reduces the size of government. Now there is no stigmatism to receiving money since we all get the same amount. If you choose not to work you aren’t guaranteed to live a great lifestyle but you will make enough to get by and have the basics in life.
When people have the money to take care of their basic needs studies have shown crime rates have dropped. An incentive is if you aren’t convicted of a serious crime you continue to receive your basic income. If you commit a serious crime you could lose your basic income on a temporary basis or permanently.
What can we do to promote the Basic Income Revolution
Obviously political action is one way, but it could take time. In the meantime it’s best to bring awareness by creating our own Basic Income study program and research project. This gives people real life examples to view and get first hand knowledge and feedback from those selected to be participants in this program.
That’s why I have created the Basic Income Revolution program to help raise awareness, educate, and spread the word about Basic Income. See more by clicking below.