Stormy Waters as the sun sets over the Mississippi River

Love, Loss, and a Greater Society

Scott Santens
Feb 25, 2017 · 11 min read

The Great Unknown

I can’t help but think of all the parents out there trying to do the best they can for their children on the tightest of budgets, faced with similar decisions every day and never knowing for sure the full ramifications of those decisions, just as I don’t know now.

Gifts of Love

The moment he died in my arms, I immediately sobbed uncontrollably. I didn’t even recognize my own sounds. I didn’t know I could make them. They were reflexive. In that moment I had no control over myself. No amount of conscious effort could override the overwhelming tide of loss I felt in that chair in that moment with my friend’s newly lifeless body in my embrace.

Basic Needs

I also consider myself extremely lucky that because of my crowdfunded basic income, I was able to control without any worry how my time was spent in the days directly following his death. He died on a Friday night and I realized on Monday how difficult it would be for someone to have no choice but to go to work, regardless of their emotional state. I certainly couldn’t think of anything else that day. Not only is that a nightmare to imagine how people are forced to work in such a state of grief, but I can only imagine how unproductive that would be anyway. Everyone needs time to grieve without feeling the taking of such time has the potential to end up impoverishing them.

Source: Our World in Data

A Greater Society

It is for all of the above that I assert a demand for both universal basic income and universal healthcare as the two primary pillars of a Greater Society. We all need, without any conditions, sufficient income to meet our most basic needs. No one should have to choose between food and rent. No one should ever have to look back after the death of a loved one, and wonder how much a lack of insufficient money to cover basic needs played a role throughout their lives. The basics should be covered for everyone as a bare minimum, with everything we earn from employment being additional income to cover everything else we may want instead of need.

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Basic income

Articles discussing the concept of unconditional basic income (UBI)

Scott Santens

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New Orleans writer focused on the potential for human civilization to gets its act together in the 21st century. Moderator of /r/BasicIncome on Reddit.

Basic income

Articles discussing the concept of unconditional basic income (UBI)