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Such a plan would obviously incent low or non wage earners to locate in low cost of living areas.  Such areas are usually underdeveloped relative to the whole.  Were social services and medical care provided EU wide and independent of employment this could be a boon to underdeveloped areas.  They would get new residents, many of whom would be willing to work for relatively low wages  and who could afford to do so without suffering grinding poverty.

Given the rising importance of the individual in society as consumer I naively thought such a plan, which I called a National Minimum, would soon be adopted back in the '60s.  Not one in one hundred could see any virtue in such a plan.  The biggest obstacle is the common belief that people have to be driven by the fear of starvation and privation to work.  This view sees the world as a giant concentration camp run for the benefit of those who have money.

There will be individuals who will be only too happy to live on a subsistence income and do no further formal work.  That may well be the best thing to do with such people.  Most, however, freed from wage slavery, will be eager to do what they can to better themselves and will be able to bring their innate creativity to bear in their behalf and in behalf of the entire society.

With a more egalitarian allocation of capital to worthwhile enterprises we could see a flowering of economic, artistic, social and personal growth.  I believe that such a program is the key to a sustainable and humane future, thereby enabling us to morhp our current distopia into a true utopia.

It will, of course, be violently opposed by the beneficiaries of the current hierarchical power system. But it is those beneficiaries of that system who have brought us the calamity that is now upon us.  Things are likely to get bad enough that people will seriously consider fundamentally different social organizations.  It is difficult to see how the most likely alternative, fascist distopia, is likely to better provide for the prosperity of the society as a whole than would this system.  And there appears to be an evolutionary path from here to there without massive disruption.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 7th, 2008 at 12:54:43 AM EST
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Such an initiative, for which I'm entirely in favor, would have the benefit of decentralizing the employment hierarchy, in the sense that, with bare necessities met, the smart and inventive, if impoverished, among us, would be that much freer to create solutions to what are likely to amount to increasingly urgent, community needs, as the global economy unwinds.

Here governments are throwing billions if not trillions into farcical "rescue" missions when, if the broader population had been given greater, more supple enterprise-creating opportunities, the present financial déconfiture would be affecting vastly fewer numbers. International finance could have had its chronic greed fest, leaving local economies more or less intact.

As long as nations rely uniquely on the creation of jobs in industry and services, their populations will remain prisoners of stock market manipulation and lobby-influenced political policies.  

'Basic Income' proposals are unpopular among our (s)elected leaders but the time is likely to come when they're viewed as a necessity ... that is, if the 'wads are truly dedicated to saving themselves.

by Loefing on Fri Oct 10th, 2008 at 10:30:25 AM EST
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