Universal Basic Income
The Rebirth of Roosevelt’s New Deal
for the 21st Century, and Beyond
By. Raimondo Graziano
~ Written in March, two years ago.
How is it that the world can fundamentally shift the way we view both work, and play as well as the furthering and advancement of learning and the dissemination of information and knowledge not for the purposes of simply attaining a grade, or meeting performance standards but for what it is – for learning, for learning’s sake. How is it that with the immense wealth of this world, unparalleled at any other time in our history, how is it that so many still suffer, where are the bold solutions and innovators of tomorrow and why aren’t more people involved in the process of shaping our world given the wide array of connectivity and technical distribution the world over. How can we make a more just, equitable, and passion drive world than before? The answer may lie in a concept that is not new, though I receiving more and more time for discussion in policy circles as the effects of automation, artificial intelligence and globalization take hold of the labor markets worldwide?
With so many jobs disappearing, and a wider array yet to come, how can individuals provide for themselves, if there is no work to earn their capital? The Universal Basic Income hopes to alleviate this; with corporate profits set to balloon – because with automation and other industry disrupting technologies there is no need to pay benefits, there is no need to pay overtime, there is no need for many of the intricacies that take away from corporate profit – thus with this influx of revenue – the Universal basic income will be able to be implemented. And the possibilities for individual growth and achievement are unprecedented, without the focus of having to work for some, artists and innovators will be given the latitude and security to pursue and hone their skills which otherwise may not have been as “marketable” as say an engineer, or a chemist. The potential for exponential human growth on an intellectual, artistic and spiritual level is astonishing – with more time, comes a greater sense of the task at hand, and in an ever increasing amount of time, the point of perfection is gotten to; closer and closer with each passing moment. It is only up until now, that the possibility for perfection among all is upon us. A truly daunting thought to ponder.
Many of the Western Nations of the world employ forms of welfare; a means to help those that otherwise may not be able to help, or lift up themselves for whatever reason. The champions of welfare argue that is the duty of a country that has great wealth and the means to do so, to help those who suffer from disability, unemployment, or others who cannot find work and sustain themselves in a world where jobs are quickly disappearing and opportunity is dwindling due to increasing populations, outsourcing for cheaper labor and automation. Detractors argue that it breeds a culture of governmental dependency. However, it is indisputable that as time goes on and populations increase and the share of the population who is elderly increases, entitlements and welfare tend to balloon and take up a great deal of the national budget of our country, and of others who employ a sizable welfare system.
In the United States Healthcare and Social Security account for roughly fifty percent of the budget; 25% and 24% respectively. And this number is almost certainly going to increase as the years go on; and entitlement reform is a topic seldom touched upon in the United States because of the precarious nature of such – it is considered political suicide to speak about cutting Social Security, or Medicaid or other Welfare programs. What we need to begin talking about is entitlement reform, and new concepts of welfare and how we can improve on capitalism moving forward in the 21st century as the economy, and our society changes.