Proposals for a universal basic income are bringing out lots of arguments which show a lack of understanding of the UBI and the nature of money. Here is an example in an article from The Independent.
The author of the article claims a UBI will open the door for increased government control over people’s lives. This blogger figures the opposite will be the case and an income scheme will be a tremendous transfer of power to individuals.
The first and most important thing to say about a UBI is that it needs to be a part of a radical overhaul of the way in which we exchange goods and services and the way in which we create money. Probably the current economic crisis is the result of our having used up the most easily accessible of energy and mineral resources. There are lots of these left but they require lots of energy to extract. The fractional reserve way of creating money also has lots of problems and needs to be reformed.
There are lots of people who want to tell others how to live and those of us who value Independence will always have to be vigilant and assertive. This is separate from the UBI and will be an issue regardless.
Money represents purchasing power and giving it to people empowers them in that they can make purchasing decisions according to their values. This is different from food stamps in that stamps are for specified products and can hardly be the equivalent of money. A UBI will be a tremendous transfer of power to individuals and one would expect a lot of people to object to this. Some of those who object will likely be the bankers whose power derives from creating fractional reserve money.
Another UBI issue is dependency. Some people including the author of the reference article fear it will make us more dependent upon the state. I beg to differ because we should think of the UBI as an inheritance. We can have it because we have such large agricultural surplus which is based on hundreds of years of agricultural and technological development. We should all have a right to a share of the agricultural surplus.
The universal basic income will lead to a revolutionary change in the way we exchange goods and services. Many of the issues are discussed in my book Funny Money: Adapting to Down Economy. I encourage you to have a look at it. Details at the top of this blog.