Universal basic income


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   The universal basic income has been presented in the political programme of the MIPB (see the end of the post “presentation of the political programme of a small association run by some friends”). This idea would be another example (after the taxation of dysharmonious activities proposed in the post “new tax policy”) of the potential applications that can be derived from moral ideals (see the post “the moral issue”).

     We will not discuss all the details of this universal basic income, because it would really be too long, I give you for this two internet addresses : basic income earth network (@basicincome.org) and global basic income foundation (@http://www.globalincome.org). You will have on these two sites many links, ideas, discussions and details about the different ways to implement this interesting idea.

      This universal basic income would give the right to each human being to survive. It would in my opinion greatly improve the global human vibration by reducing the stress levels and the survival logics. The whole human society would become more relaxed and constructive.

      As a result, the economy would go out of the “production logic”. This “production logic” creates a strong link between “official work”, “money” and “survival” : no work (whatever this work is, even the most stupid, uncreative or destructive work possible) means no money, no money means no survival. This logic is one of the fundamental error of the modern-day economy (with the logic of the compulsory increase of the economic production that we described in the post “inventing a new philosophy”) because we have a too restricted opinion of what work is. To be housewife is also a work, to take care of one’s own garden is a work, to teach traditional tales to children is also important…

     Everybody should have the right to earn a minimum income. But this does not mean the end of the productive sector because this income would only be (at least at the beginning) a basic minimum income adapted to each country to avoid extreme poverty. It would not be wise to give 500$ each month to an indian farmer and 400 rupees each month to a japanese citizen. Each country would have to find the right income so that everybody can be free to work more, earn more and live in whatever appropriate comfort level they decide for themselves.

     Furthermore, what the world needs now is a) good quality production b) less wastes c) better cooperation between human beings (for example by getting out of the competition logic and thinking globally).  So we can suppose that the global worldwide production will go towards more useful and solid goods because precisely the need to produce tons of useless items just to survive economically will disappear. If we continue in the modern-day pressure to produce more and more and if the metallic and economic resources disappear, how are we going to produce in the future ? It does not make sense to produce just to make the global economic machine work, it is nothing but a waste of energy.

     Many small variations in the application of this system are possible (see the internet site addresses given at the beginning of this post) but personally I think that only the people who ask this basic income should have it (it will be more economical because lots of rich people would obviously not use this right), only persons of more than 18 years old should benefit from it (to avoid over-natality : I make a lot of children, like this I will have a lot of money…) and that the people in jail should not receive it. It would also make sense to begin this basic income by the poorest countries : in these countries, sometimes only 1 dollar by day can already represent a sufficient sum.

     What would be the possible consequences of the appearance of a basic income philosophy in the world economy ? First we can suppose that a great deal of violence linked to poverty would diminish (theft, violence, drug trafficking, illegal trafficking, environmental destruction…). We can also suppose that the survival logic that drives a lot of people to gather in the over-crowded urban slums would be reduced and that people would go back to countryside (it would also be a good idea to help this return to countryside with increased environmental knowledge and organic farming). 

      Finally this universal basic income would imply to totally redefine the international monetary system and money emissions. A world bank that would distribute this minimum survival income would also have to be created and we would have to think about the global effects of this kind of new deal/Keynesian plan directed towards the poorest rather than towards the richest (if you give 10 billion dollars to build bridges, roads or dams to activate the economy, is it the same thing as giving the same amount to poor people who would buy food, blankets or whatever items available ?). We should also compare the world ‘s military budgets and the price involved by this basic income tax.

     So we can say that the universal basic income would be a huge transformation in the world society, maybe as huge as the arrival of a new Buddha, but is it not what the world needs to escape from the deadly foreseeable consequences of the modern neo-liberal system ? I wonder sometimes if all our modern neo-liberal western philosophies are not consequences of the traumatic 20th century history. I personally hope that Hitler was the summit of human atrocities and that the modern-day problems, competitions and wars are nothing but aftermath of the brutal shock that this inhumane monster created on the collective human psyche. A french philosopher (I don’t remember which one) said : “the 21st century will be spiritual or will not be”.


About buddhananda
independent spiritual researcher, I find inspiration mainly into the buddhist, hindu and new age fields. I try to find connections between religions, philosophy, economy and technology. My aim is to contribute to the emergence of a better world. I also practice reiki.

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