Universal Basic Income: What Are We Waiting For?

Let’s cut right to it. Our country’s economy is in a gradual spin downward into an abyss of rising unemployment, stagnating wages, weakening social programs and all while we witness the rise of the rich becoming richer. There are a number of reasons for the decline in our quality of life. I’ve stated in a previous blog that a few of our societal issues stem from our technological advances in automation and computerization. Big businesses are committed in sending jobs overseas under the religion of globalization. The deadly effects of these elements have decimated the robustness of the American workforce. We also have to take into consideration corporate consolidation as well. Companies fusing into just 2 or 3 large entities contribute to the reduction of jobs. The eventual economic result of all these occurrences have led to the devaluation of the dollar.

Products and services. The price tag of products and services in the business market is trending upward. For goods, if it’s not becoming more expensive, the products are being sold in grocery stores in smaller sizes. In services, the fees continues to climb while customer service becomes non-existent. Sales is primary! EVERYONE is selling something but everything after that part of the customer experience is a gone. The expanding values of these mechanisms indicate the constricting social parameters that the architects of this system have imposed. If our financial condition goes uninterrupted, it will be the catalyst to push chunks of the populace to a level of anxiety that can only be expressed by lashing out physically in horrific and shocking ways. If it hasn’t already been happening, all it will take is one episode that will ignite a wave of disgust that will roar out of control like a raging forrest fire. In the grand financial scheme of things, on one side we have companies paying us less and on the other side we have companies continuing to offer goods and services at impractical prices. The converging walls of hyper-capitalism are crushing the breath out of the American citizen.

Despite the constant reminders of the imbalance of wealth surrounding their lives, the people continue to struggle day after day to make ends meet. How do we solve this? Well, we can face the problem in a number of ways. Communities across the nation can focus on re-education, job-training programs, improved social programs and finally a UBI (Universal Basic Income). Well, we all mostly know what UBI is, right? For those that don’t, it is a monthly cash payment for every citizen in order to improve the quality of life and enable better community participation. Opponents of UBI have said it would encourage laziness, weaken other social benefit programs, and become an immense drain on the federal budget. Some critics may have a point but not entirely. I believe otherwise.

Will jobs suffer from a UBI program? Will it encourage laziness?

Yes and no. Most workers do jobs they don’t like. A person receiving a UBI will be more critical of the jobs they choose and will be less accepting when dealing with intolerable bosses or sub-par job conditions. They will quit. People will stay home. They will stay home until they can figure out their next step in life. A portion of people will find the opportunity to go back to school to re-educate themselves. Slowly but surely, the American workforce will reorganize itself. The frustrated and hardened will find jobs that are more fulfilling and they’ll enjoy the daily tasks they freely chose for themselves.

Will UBI drain other social programs?

Yes, it will. However, by instituting a UBI, we’ll realize there will be no need to fund other welfare programs. Some programs can be reduced in funding and others can be totally eliminated. Ultimately, UBI will partially substitute or absorb the budgets of other programs. A single program will be sufficient to apply the American population with what it needs to live.

Will UBI become a drain on the national debt?

Good thing I’m not the accountant to count the beans on the cost of a UBI society. There are a few UBI proponents who’ve done the dirty work gathering the numbers. Some debate that America recklessly spends and loses trillions of dollars on “fighting” crime, welfare, healthcare, education, old methods of energy usage, etc. If we take the time to analyze what we inefficiently spend, we can “cut the fat” to make room for a UBI initiative for all to benefit. Some supporters of UBI say the cost would be considerably less than what the federal budget is today. If we take the time to do a comparison chart on the cost of both scenarios, I’m sure we all can make an objective assessment on what would be the best fit financially.

UBI is not a whimsical thought of a few dreamers. A number of countries have implemented some form of UBI in their region. Finland, Kenya, India, Japan, Namibia are some places that have created pilot programs for specific areas within their borders. Just recently, Hawaii lawmakers are considering a universal basic income for their people. On top of that, CEOs have publicly supported UBI such as Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Sam Altman, CEO of Y Combinator is also testing out a UBI in Oakland, California. A small group of people have received $1000/$2000 for a period of time as part of the experiment. The data should be ready sometime in late 2017/early 2018. It seems everywhere around the world people are very much aware of where we are today and what we’ll be facing in the near future.

The federal government is enormously reluctant on trying out a UBI. Honestly, it would be too much of a waste to pursue the mountain of whys to that mystery. What I can say is that the people can start their own UBI by giving to themselves. It would be much like the 1960s Black Panther breakfast program for young kids in school. All they have to do is give to each other. Whatever their passions, skills, goals or ideas a person develops, it can be financially supported. A UBI can also support any local institution of their liking. The masses can give micro-donations to support their own community in any county, town, city, state or country. It can potentially multiply to a global support system as networks become bigger. It could be supporting a group of entrepreneurs, financing local community organizations, local youth development programs, job-training programs, etc. The list goes on. It could be whatever the people decide it can be. As the local economy grows, communities can employ local financial advisors to assist in where to position their new revenue streams.

Today, there are many ways to make money in the technology that’s available. There is no excuse. It’s quite ironic that the tech/social media company’s key product is the human being yet these same companies lack focus on the one thing that can truly advance our society: Our humanity. How can we interact and grow as a species? How do we constructively change our physical surroundings and converse digitally amongst each other? Isn’t that partly what social media is supposed to do? Or perhaps maybe the way it exists today was not the original intention of the owners. Well, we can’t expect to wait for them or the government to come to that truth, can we? Now, the question is, what will you do?

Have you wondered what benefits could come to you and your community? Below is a list of things for you to ponder on. Read, think and discuss with others.

  1. Creates a better work environment for people not to be chained to an undesirable job or bad boss
  2. Extra income for food, clothing and shelter
  3. Allows opportunity to seek out volunteer work or to seek out a job that’s more fulfilling to people
  4. Stimulates the local/national economy by having more disposable income
  5. Reduction of illegal activities. If no one needs the money, the financial motivation diminishes considerably
  6. Allows individuals to seek out and find their true calling in life
  7. UBI will build a families savings; elimination of financially strapped lifestyles
  8. Eliminates families going lack of food
  9. Reduction of homelessness and need for halfway homes
  10. Ability to seek out more stress-relieving leisurely escapes


Written by Nova Phoenix