Universal Basic Income

Above is an interesting video about the concept of Universal Basic Income (if you’re not familiar with the concept, I’ll leave you to Google that yourself), and the inherent problems with the existing debate. I think the application of UBI is inevitable, that it’s just a matter of how or when. The reason for that, as this gentleman points out early in his talk, is that our increasing technological advances keep displacing more and more jobs; as new ideas create more and more wealth, they do so while requiring less and less manpower. At some point, unless we want the majority of the population destitute and living on the streets, we’ll have to implement UBI to prevent that.

The problem with the current “debates”, as Mr. Pistono points out, is that we’re not debating the correct things, and/or we’re arguing apples to oranges with each other. What we need to discuss is: how do we pay for it, exactly how do we implement it, what will be the likely benefits, etc.? Then, we need to conduct a limited study to determine actual feasibility, figure out what tweaks we need to make, etc. As he shows in his talk, we do have some data from other nations that have implemented this on a smaller scale and that shows positive benefits; however, we need to test this in countries closer to our own to see how those benefits manifest in our own cultures.

Anyway, I found it an interesting speech, and I like that he’s telling us to look at the more practical questions. We need to get past ideological talking points and look at the practicality of this. I truly think it’s inevitable given our rate of technological progress, so let’s start doing the proper homework to prepare for it, or at least to see if it’s something we can do; and if not, figure out what we’re going to do instead. Because the current capitalistic labor model isn’t going to hold long-term…

Cheers,
R