Keith Ellison. Credit to: The Boston Globe.
Keith Ellison, a member of the US Congress from Minnesota and Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee, has expressed an endorsement for basic income on Twitter. His tweet posted on the 17th August 2017, is straightforward: “I am for guaranteed basic income. Who agrees? Who disagrees? Why?”
This is relevant not only because Ellison is a prominent politician in one of the two major parties in the United States, but also because the tweet was liked around 4500 times, shared 850 times and commented almost 1000 times, in less than five days.
Ellison himself did not join the conversation on his Tweet. However, many other basic income advocates joined the thread, including well-known writer and activist Scott Santens, who wrote: “we didn’t invent technology to make sure we always had a job”.
Ellison’s endorsement was immediately noticed by the Economic Security Project (ESP), a two-year initiative supporting basic income projects in the US, which released a press release on his statement on the 18th of August. ESP co-founder Dorian Warren said in the press release: “we are thrilled that basic income has the support of a bold, progressive leader like Keith Ellison”.
That’s cool, especially after the multi billionaires from Mark Zuckerberg to Sir Richard Branson coming out one at a time to explicitly support UBI. Elon Musk didn’t personally support, but he sees it as the only thing that can happen. All of this combined with the pilots being done in several places and the next industrial revolution, it seems totally feasible to happen in some country by 2020. Technology probably won’t force it until maybe 2030. The catalyst will be the demand of the precarious itself.
When people like Zuck and our ‘usual’ politicians are FOR something, you KNOW there is a problem and they are avoiding a BETTER SOLUTION. In this case, the FAR SUPERIOR SOLUTION is the excellent federal Job Guarantee as proposed by professors of economics such as Pavlina Tcherneva, Stephanie Kelton, et al. And Bill Mitchell of Australia. And Ellis Winningham of the UK. The greedy elites want UBI to REPLACE all other social programs, and their version will NOT be a living wage and will leave many still struggling and desperate, and will retain the huge income inequality we have, PLUS subsidize the low wages they want to pay rather than forcing them to offer better wages!! No, no and NO!!!
Don’t assume basic income will be implemented by far-right extremists. If you don’t like what they think or do, then don’t support them. A left-wing, progressive basic income is probably what you would like to see implemented (complementary to the welfare state, not to abolish it; to reduce inequality, not to enhance it; to free people from bullshit jobs, not to chain them to jobs they hate). Then fight for it!
A job guarantee can never lead to a better social result than a basic income. That’s because coercion is no much worse than freedom. People need access to basic resources, and the necessary freedom to work in what is meaningful to them.
Check out: https://basicincome.org/news/2017/02/basic-income-superior-job-guarantee/
Not UBI, (Universal Basic Income) but UBM, (Universal Basic Money) – that’s the solution. Not funded by taxes, but used to infuse newly printed and minted money into the economy to keep the ever-increasing GDP, (gross domestic product) in motion.
It’s no coincidence that our national debt numbers and the GDP are nearly the same. Both have reached the $19 trillion range.
For as long as anyone knows, governments have been introducing new money into the economy by loans and debts that need to be paid back with interest. National debt appears to be a horrific bookkeeping “doppelganger” created by politicians: people who have long forgotten whatever they once knew about balancing a daily ledger in a businesslike manner. Business accountants know that posting the same new entry as both profit and loss at the same time results in the exact chaos and confusion that seriously disrupts the various world economies today.
UBM, distributed evenly at the grassroots to every person who is eligible to vote, as needed, without any other changes attached, in neutral money – not a loan to be paid back, not taxable as income until after it is first used in exchange for goods or services- would be a very easy fix that’s very easy to adjust.