I read a really interesting post on Live Otherwise the other day. It was talking about the idea of basic income, an economic theory where every adult is given a fixed yearly income, for example £10,000. This is in lieu of unemployment benefit, state pension etc. read her post for more on it here.
I like the idea, and it is a fairly radical and different suggestion. Yes, some people may choose not to work, but most people like to be occupied. Even most lottery winners stay working, even if they completely change their approach or start their own business. Most of us would be bored doing nothing, but it would give people freedom to pursue different ways of working – start that business you always dreamed of, study for a vocation you always yearned for but couldn’t afford, or simply carry on, knowing that you will always have that basic fall back.
Higher earners would still get it, but higher taxes at that end of the scale would see it clawed back that way. It is not about making everyone richer, just about guaranteeing that everyone has a certain income level.
Me and my OH were having one of our regular
rants discussions in front of Question Time last night, and this time we veered down the route of evolution. I proposed that the system we have, where 85 people have accumulated half the worlds money, is the inevitable conclusion of survival of the fittest.
Until fairly recent times, survival has meant that the natural drive has been to fight for resources for you and your family. This would have once meant the strongest had the best living area, the best food, and the best chance of fighting off a sabre toothed tiger.
In the first world perhaps this drive for the best resources has become slightly skewed into the drive for the most money. Money effectively equals resources these days, so are those 85 money greedy, incredibly wealthy people just the pinnacle of Darwin’s theory?
And if that is the case how do we shift evolution to a different path? Not just survival of the fittest, not just survival of our own genetic line, but the survival of humanity. Can we just over ride the fundamentally selfish drive of evolution by using our consciences to think of others? I would like to think so. And something like the basic income would be a good starting point wouldn’t it? Everyone gets at least a piece of the pie, and then it is up to them to decide if they want to increase that share and how they want to do that.
Of course, it is hardly socialism at it’s purest, there would still be huge gaps between rich and poor, but I like the idea that it would remove the ‘scroungers’ label. I like the idea that it may free up creative minds to magic up wonderful things that add to our culture, I like the idea that parents would have more freedom to decide when and how much they work around their families, I like the idea of everyone having dignity.
Of course really what I like is the idea that half the worlds population pop on highway men’s masks and turn up on the doorstep of those 85 with the famous ‘Your money or your life’ offer, and then we share the whole damn lot out fairly. 3 billion odd versus 85 seems like reasonable odds to me, but maybe they have spent all their cash on a robot army?! Plus, you know, robbery is against the law of the land, even if hoarding all the money for yourself isn’t.
I haven’t actually read Darwin, have you? Can evolution evolve too? I should hope so, then perhaps it can shift its aims a little now the rules have changed a bit. I spend half my day telling my two year old to share, he is learning the lesson, even if his genes tell him to keep everything for himself, perhaps we should send Super Nanny to the secret lair of the super rich (come on, if I had that much in the bank, I would totally build a hidden hang out in the basement of a volcano), and she can put them on the naughty step until they learn to share too.
Enough rambling, am off to hunt mammoths, and find a new cave – this one is very 1990s.
Love Miss Cisco XXX