I support the generous intention of Basic Income Guarantee: the notion of “sharing the wealth”, rescuing people from impoverishment, granting a cushion to help people pursue their dreams.
I am on board with all that but I have three hesitations. Quibbles that trouble me…
FIRST: I’m concerned that Basic Income Guarantee isn’t a step towards economic equity in the USA, it doesn’t have egalitarian aims. It is, instead, just a pacifier, a way to keep the poor, the working class, the lower middle class and impoverished youth - all these economically marginalized groups - Basic Income Guarantee is a drug to keep them docile, content, and obedient.
BIG will alleviate anger. Enough to prevent riots, uprisings, rebellion. BIG is a social placebo.
Economic disparity will remain entrenched. The disenfranchised will be fed and sheltered, but they’ll remain totally powerless. BIG will keep the 1% in control and the 99% complacent.
BIG - I’ll say it again - BIG is NOT a step towards egalitarian revolution. True equality would be acquisition of actual political, societal, and economic power. BIG won’t deliver any of that.
BIG reminds me of Caesar appeasing Roman mobs with free wheat and gladiator games. Superficial Appeasement.
SECOND: I don’t see BIG as the “priority” reform. I regard it as a contender for the Top 6 or Top 8, but no higher than that.
Free Education is the top priority IMO; its a societal crime to have higher education unaffordable for many, or creating a pit of debt. Free Health Care also ranks high on my list, as does Campaign Finance Reform, Obliteration of War Profiteering, and Secularization.
BIG is farther down the list because, as I stated in my first complaint, it doesn’t change the rigged system.
THIRD: I agree with Dutch Socialists who find fault with BIG; we both believe People SHOULD Work for the Common Good, We Must Labor for Each Other, It Is Essential for the Social Contract.
Many BIG advocates believe “work” will be extinct soon, due to technological unemployment. They view the “end of work” is a positive step. I disagree. I believe work is rewarding, work gives us meaning, work is healthy for our brains, work gives us value and connects us to each other.
I reject a future where humans have nothing to do. I reject any plan that gives people 30K to play anti-social video games all day or eat junk food and passively view idiotic TV.
I insist, instead, on a future where each individual is valued, performing valuable work, and paid equitably for their contribution. I suggest we create a just society where tasks are shared freely and profits from these tasks are equitably distributed. A society where everyone who is today told they are worthless, is tomorrow given worth with tasks that have value and are rewarded with livable wages.
Conclusion: These are my three hesitations. I am willing to be convinced they are silly concerns, but no one has argued my fears away, yet.