As we pivot to a new world of economic equality, we’re looking at the Universal Basic Income as a means of bringing us towards that very Star Trek place of a post-money world.
It feels very utopian. We all get a UBI so we can subsist with dignity. Then we all get to do the things we really want to do: our calling, our vocations. And the economy still exists, goods and services are produced and the government generates revenue to fund our UBI. It’s these last 3 things that keep many people puzzled. And remember, until we create a post-money society, where our political ideology entrenches a social contract beyond the accumulation of wealth as a means of “winning” at whatever, the UBI doesn’t bring us there. We’ll still have money.
And not to be a cynic, but when Milton Friedman, Justin Trudeau and Elon Musk suddenly all see value in the UBI, it’s important to follow the money. That’s why this piece about motivation really matters:
If Musk does not, as he insists, care about ownership, then perhaps he could consider that a collective management of the companies built by the labor and innovation of the many is a better, more fulfilling, and long-term solution all around.
Elon Musk should turn Tesla into a worker co-op. And the Hyperloop. And Paypal.
Until he does, we need to follow the money. Click on that Musk link above to get thinking about the big picture. Because when the hyper-rich support a progressive policy initiative, it’s not because they haven’t had a team of brilliant people assessing whether/how it will affect their other interests. And they support it because it will have a positive effect.
There must be a political shift to a post-money society, which maybe the hyper-rich actually understand:
Imagine yourself growing up in a society where there is never any want or need or financial insecurity of any sort. You will be a very different person. You will be absolutely uninterested in conspicuous consumption. … You will probably be interested in things of a higher nature—the cultivation of the mind, education, love, art, and discovery.
Not to say UBI is a bad policy, but we really need to figure out why folks who aren’t the usual suspects support it.
So let’s do our due dilligence!