This isn’t a dogmatic Manifesto to Achieving Universal Income. It’s simply a scrap piece of paper with scribbled ideas, thoughts and Utopian daydreams that I’ve beautified and edited. It is part of an ongoing exercise called PICK-A-SIDE…
Money is a thousand-year-old concept that was created to replace the bartering system. The very concept of money itself plays an important role in the conversation of a universal income, so it too must be reconsidered. The structural disadvantages and obstacles that disallow equal ability for everyone (worldwide) to acquire the simplest amounts of wealth need to be analyzed and addressed, honestly; with a non-elitist, non-privileged bias. As we further invest – both private and tax-payer dollars – into the technologies and robotics that have already begun to phase out the need for mundane, human-investment in the entry-level, working-class, button-pushing jobs we are forgetting that billions of people worldwide rely on similar employment to feed, shelter and provide the basic needs of life for themselves and their families. Without considering the technological advances and automation – and many other contributing factors – of the near future we are slowly stepping towards a mass-unemployment that could possibly affect the majority of the world’s population and destabilize the government’s abilities to care for the newly dispossessed.
If we don’t hypothesis the solutions…
1) Man created money. Money was created to solve the shortcomings of a barter system, in which people had to mutually agree to an exchange of goods or services in order to carry out a transaction. It is time that we recognize money’s shortcomings – in regards to inequality and unfair distribution/hoarding of the world’s wealth – and rethink how to use it for the greater good.
Money is an imaginary concept that – I imagine – was created by entitled slobs who were tired of having to give in order to get.
Let’s be honest, folks; money is a piece of paper (or an electronic representation of the value that piece of paper holds) that we PRINT from an oversized office printer…
2) There is NOT equal accessibility to the opportunity of wealth. “Everyone has the opportunity to better their situation” is a blatant lie.
There is a tremendous difference in being born poor and disadvantaged in the Western world versus being born in a Third World country. In America, you do have an opportunity, so long as their are jobs with open positions for the unemployed to apply for. When the factory doors close and there are no longer positions of employment available, the unemployment line is the only option left to feed your kids.
World hunger, poverty and access to health care is a problem that our governments – that rely on the taxes of employed citizens and the corporations that pay their wages – can’t afford to remedy, as most are already burdened by massive, self-imposed debt; mostly war-related.
And, the mega-rich – who are said to own 99% of the world’s wealth – could alleviate worldwide hunger with their hoarded fortunes. They could invest in areas and provide opportunities to the disenfranchised in disadvantaged areas. They could re-invest in educating the future. But, they don’t.
And, that’s the problem.
The lie of free-market thinking is that owners are kind, generous souls who will reinvest in the well-being of the community that they pillage to make their fortunes, which is true until the resources have been depleted and the land becomes unprofitable and their mills and factories shut down.
3) The planet that we live on shouldn’t be owned by anyone. Therefore, it shouldn’t be possible for anyone to profit – privately – from “shared” resources. The only property we should own is the material possessions that rest above the ground. Anything below – natural gas, gold, oil, etc. – should only be extracted if doing so will benefit the greater good. Private enterprise would still be encouraged and it would still be profitable, but with the stipulation of if that wealth is created by harvesting, drilling, clear-cutting, etc. what was put on this earth before us (natural resources) then private profit must be capped and the excess profits returned to the community.
There is no reason we – as a planet – should allow corporations to profit off the destruction, pollution and depopulation of that which sustains OUR collective existence.
4) The Mechanization of Labor and Entry-Level Work. As technology advances, unemployment is going to become a universal problem for the working-class who rely on the low-paying retail and labor jobs to feed their families. As more and more machines are introduced into the workplace, unemployment rates are going to skyrocket and put a HUGE strain on families requiring Government Assistance, which will cost the taxpayers more to fund if solutions to this inevitable dilemma are not confronted, soon.
I believe the reason we’re so naïve to the problem of machinery replacing us into uselessness is our collective Utopian vision of the future; Machines are supposed to liberate us from the tyranny of a forty-plus hour work week.
But, the truth is that machines and technology are replacing the need to hire entry-level employees, right now!
Meanwhile, the companies employing the automated tellers are collecting more profit from decreased wages, no required benefits, no holidays or family emergencies, no sick days, etc.
Those who employ the machinery win, everyone who used to be that machinery loses.
So, here is my working solution to end the tyranny of work while actually liberating the working-class workforce by replacing all possible jobs with machines: tax the machines.
Any profit that would have been made by a human – but is replaced by machinery – is taxed at the rate of the employees lost wages. As more and more of the working-class is liberated by the machines generating a global profit, the taxes collected – worldwide – could generate the income required to create the beginning of a universal income.
Work will never end, it will just change, nor should those who want to work not be allowed to work.
But, we are born into this world free, so why should we be forced to sell our souls to men-of-equal and be wage-slaves to simply exist?
Plus, remember; we are building the machines that could lead humankind into extinction.
But, hopefully the machines work for us and help us create a worldly utopia where humans are free from external demands and encouraged to live a meaningful life that allows us to contribute to our communities and global society in our own humanistic, emotional, artistic and spiritual way that is focused on adding to the beautification of the world we – possibly with robots of superior build – share.
5) Once Artificial Intelligence has become smarter than us, humans will be less useful for intellectual reasoning. Simply put, it’s not just the Donald Trump supporters who are going to be of less use in an automated future.
In my opinion, philosophers, politicians and all other intellectuals who make a living off memorizing, analyzing and debating the collected works of intellectualism may actually have a greater risk of firstly experiencing the ill-contemplated side-effects of artificial intelligence sooner than the working-class morons no one gives a shit about.
One morning – soon – we will wake up to the headline, “The First Robot to Score Higher on an IQ Test Than A Human” and then it quickly and continuously could double.
After that, there will be robots with godlike IQs who make the decisions that run our societies and they will decide if it is wise to build the machines that will then build the machines that could liberate humanity.
But, they might analyze our collective data and realize WE are the biggest threat to the sustainability of the planet and exterminate us.
My hope is that they will see there is one aspect of mankind that robotics can’t replicate; the creative arts. Melodies, murals, anthologies of poetry, fashion and design and all else that comes from the emotions of the human soul that is the human experience.
The corporations funding the technologies that are advancing workplace automation are the only current – and therefore current future – benefactors of machine’s replacement of manpower. The machines that we naively trust to liberate mankind are owned by those who we cannot trust to act in our collective best interest. They are not installing machines to create a world where the working class is unconstrained from the tyranny of a 40-hour work week, while being provided a living wage they no longer have the opportunity to work for. They replace manpower for machines to drive profit, not progress.
Allowing corporations to stockpile the wealth they generate by eliminating employment opportunities for the working-class is going to bankrupt governments, as unemployment becomes permanent as more-and-more positions become automated and there are less-and-less jobs to apply for. Less people working is less tax revenue for the government. Now the government has to do more for this perpetually growing class of permanently unemployed people with less tax-revenue because the corporations they give tax-breaks to – in order to install the new technologies – pull the plug on their workforce as soon as the machines switch is flipped on.
The liberation (aka: mass-unemployment) of the machine is going to force us to ask “how do we support a global population that no longer has an opportunity to support themselves, once there are no longer jobs to be worked?”
The answer is – in my opinion – we can’t afford it with our current conceptions of what money is. The concept of money needs to be rethought, because if billions of people are denied access to it – though it remains the standard form of acquiring goods and services vital to survival – then we are slowly programming ourselves into extreme global poverty and societal unrest.
And – in my opinion – a form of universal income could be slowly introduced to the world by limiting the unfettered profits of entitled billionaires who have – for centuries – raped and pillaged the resources of our land, devastated our waters and vegetation, plummeted resource-rich countries into war-zones, enslaved the working-class to a bare-minimum lifestyle, created imaginary bank loans on computer screens that required hard-cash to repay, left millions of people homeless or bankrupt with careless investments and pyramid schemes, etc.
With a universal income and a limit on individual wealth, classism would cease to exist.
Selfishness would become a derogatory label and those found guilty of trying to evade taxes would be seen as not just stealing from the government, but the community at large.
The definition of wealth would come to include contributing to the greater good.
Hoarding money after you die would become unnecessary, as you’d know – if universal income was introduced – that your grandchildren were born into a society that cared for the well-being of its children and supported them in (at least) the most basic of ways.
And, this could all happen by holding the owners of the machines accountable for their contributions to the future survival of mankind.
Them squandering the wealth will slowly tip civilization into instability, as unemployment fuels desperation on a large scale and the government bankrupts from a lack of tax revenue and can’t contain the hungry rage of a brewing social upheaval from the growing class of the new-poor.
Or, we could tax the machines and calm the some of the future shakiness.
How do we eliminate the drive for money in and of itself?
Enable humankind to learn the arts and become familiar with mankind’s most creative works and be liberated to think freely, create and beautify the world we that we live in.
Maybe I’m naïve to believe that the one thing technology will never be able to replace or mimic is creativity. The arts. Where emotions live and blend in a smudgy, humanistic fashion that resonate beyond logic and pinch the soul.
It’s a place – the only place, in my opinion – that technology won’t be able to touch.
Design. Painting. Humor. Story-telling. Music.
Wherever the heart of collected mankind breathes and the metallic shell cannot.
I know achieving universal income isn’t as easy and taxing the machines and understand that my vision of an artistically driven tomorrow is a possibly unshared vision of utopia and I’ll admit that the robotic revolution is probably further away than my argument wishes…
This conversation could go on forever and it should.
But, to wrap it up (ignorantly short), I’ll say this…
I am for a universal income in the sense that the basic necessities required to live should be provided for, equally and to everyone; worldwide. Food. Medicine. Shelter. Education. Clothing. All of those things – and surely more – should be a universal right of every individual who is simply born.
The “money” is available for us all to survive, but it is being hoarded.
And, if there ISN’T enough money in the world for every man, woman and child to live, it’s time we rethink money, itself.
So, What Political Parties Support Universal Income?
NO: Conservatives, Libertarians.
YES: Liberals, New Democrats, Communists, Greens.
PICK-A-SIDE RESULTS: the idea that I focus more-so on the basic rights (housing, food, etc.) is aligned with the Communist’s emphasis on provided the basics to citizens, over other leftist ideologies that seem to support some type of living-wage for the people that they would make their own decisions with what to do…
I guess my views of Universal Income, therefore, align with Communism.
Weird, that the idea of ensuring everyone has shelter, food and clothing is (on paper, at least) considered a value aligned with the boogey-man of communism.