Universal Basic Income.

If we're in IT we're fortunate. I've visited countries like Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Haiti, Cambodia, Cuba: We're very fortunate. Regardless of our financial security, there's always that nagging voice: 'what if I fail to produce, become obsolete, get sick, can't work' - the fear of death, loss of dignity. I believe Universal Basic Income (UBI) will act as an enabler and exciter for everyone that has access to it. A floor that you can't drop below. An end to that impoverishing voice.

I've found having a sufficient income stream facilitates growth and enables innovation and contributions. I've been able to explore music production, written a novel, learned about architecture and interior design, read numberless books - from Neandertals, singularity theory, global warming, xxx, xxx and of course - UBI. In many ways it feels like a second mid-life education, I now have time to pursue anything that interests me. I've learned that it's time that matters, not just accumulating vast plots of wealth to act further deadbolts from dreaded poverty.

But all around us are vast swaths of people that don't have the luxury of learning and exploring their own potential. UBI I believe is one way to help eliminate this. I don't believe people will "just kind of sit around reading and dancing all day" And really, what's wrong with reading and dancing? Can't wait for the first country to step up and start a large trial of this experiment.


“People have time to do other things, more complex things, more interesting things. [And they would have] more leisure time.”Elon Musk
There are, in every country, some magnificent charities established by individuals. It is, however, but little that any individual can do, when the whole extent of the misery to be relieved is considered. He may satisfy his conscience, but not his heart. He may give all that he has, and that all will relieve but little. It is only by organizing civilization upon such principles as to act like a system of pulleys, that the whole weight of misery can be removed.T. Paine

What if you got $1,000 a month, just for being alive? I decided to find out.

by Scott Santens

My father has a basic income. As a retired United States Air Force officer, he has received a paycheck from the US government every month for about 30 years now, since he was 42 years old. His government pension is a monthly starting point above the poverty line — an income floor — always guaranteeing that no matter what, he won’t starve or end up on the streets.

My grandfather had a basic income. His father built up a small fortune and put that fortune into a trust. Upon my great grandfather’s death, my grandfather received the income from the interest of that fund on a monthly basis for the rest of his life. That money was his guaranteed basic income floor. No matter what, regardless of anything that happened in the world around him, he never knew poverty.

I too now have a basic income. Mine is crowdfunded. Leveraging the Kickstarter-like platform called Patreon, I’ve grown a large enough base of patrons through my writing and talking about basic income to perpetually start each month with $1,000 in total monthly pledges. I chose $1,000 as my monthly goal because the poverty line in the US is currently defined as $11,880 per year and I wished to create a floor directly above it.

Since attaining my basic income, I’ve learned some things from this new vantage point. The very first thing I learned is possibly the most important of all, and one I guarantee you dear reader won’t fully appreciate, until or unless you feel it yourself: basic income is about basic security.

What is basic income?

Basic income is money an individual receives regardless of whether he or she works or not, sufficient to meet our most basic human needs for necessities like food, water, shelter, and clothing. It’s an amount sufficient to keep us above the poverty line, not living lavishly, but basically. And most importantly, it’s a stream of income independent of all other income that functions as a baseline. It enables, and never in any way prevents, additional income.

Take my father as an example: Did he stop working the day he retired from the Air Force? No--he went on to pursue multiple jobs before finally retiring, and even then, he started his own small business for the fun of it in his late 60s.

Basic income for all people is also a government policy idea being increasingly discussed worldwide, where it’s primarily seen as the way to make unemployment brought on by self-driving vehicles and machine learning algorithms work for us all instead of the few. By simply cutting every citizen a monthly check and getting rid of most of the welfare state and tax code complexities we use today, everyone could be better off tomorrow, rich and poor alike. If machines are laboring in our stead, and aren’t buying any of the fruits of that labor, should we not receive the paychecks that aren’t going to them or us, so as to buy those fruits?

Because these technological advances are driving so much of the discussion today, some think basic income is a new idea. It’s not, and goes back as far in the US as founding father Thomas Paine. And some fortunate people have received it for decades or even centuries, for example recipients of Social Security, and winners of genetic and state lotteries. Anyone who receives an income regardless of any work they do or other income they receive, sufficient to prevent poverty, has a basic income ...

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