I believe the arguments in favor of a universal income scheme are overwhelming. The problem is this belief is not shared by everyone. I would go even further than an income scheme and say there is an urgent need to reform the way in which we create money and the two reforms should be combined.
Our survival and our enjoyment of life depends upon our being able to provide ourselves with food, shelter, clothing and smart phones. The way in which we do this involves a lot of complex relationships with people we do not know. As, for the most part, we do not understand how these relationships work, any attempt to change them will be a threat and arouse a lot of fierce emotions. On top of that a lot of people have a vested interest in the current way of exchanging goods and services and will resist change.
It may be impossible to overcome these problems, but is that a good reason to not discuss them and to not try? With current economic trends it could be that changes will be forced upon us and maybe we should try to influence them rather than just let them happen.
The essay “LETS go to market; Dealing with the economic crisis” on this weblog deals with a proposal for a guarantee income scheme and how it could be combined with a different way of creating money. Do have a look at it.
A major question around an income scheme is how much work needs to be done. Modern technology has reduced the amount of labor needed for survival. I think we are at the point where a lot of work is just for the sake of working to satisfy the work ethic. The work ethic allows a lot of people to build empires to fulfill their own ambitions. The work ethic is unnecessary and makes a lot of people into slaves.
A guaranteed income scheme would be a major transfer of decision-making power to individuals because having money allows people to make decisions. No longer would people be dependent upon an employer for their total income. No longer would we be slaves to employers. We would be able to decide what we want to do with our time.
An income scheme would deal with problems of poverty, inequality and economic inefficiencies. With an income scheme there would no longer be a case for subsidies to producers and this would remove a lot of price distortions from the economy. The result would be a more efficient economy.
Value is determined by supply and demand. As all of us have a limited lifespan time should be the most valuable thing we have. Therefore we should by trying to use modern technology to give us more time in which to do the things we most enjoy. Instead it seems modern technology is mostly being used to sell us more smart phones which are used to sell us more junk. That’s stupid.