Brave New World

06/10/2016 //

I keep reading articles about the certain inevitability of a universal basic income being implemented, since technology is about to put almost everyone out of work and companies have to make money somehow. It’s such a great idea that even “Tricky” Dick Nixon thought about it, so clearly its time is almost upon us.

I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers

The big question is who will actually supply this income? The state’s ability to provide will obviously be somewhat impaired once, say, 75% of the workforce that pays income tax is no longer able to do so. And taking a wild guess, lowering the tax rate on the wealthy somehow won’t make up the difference. Yes, crazy, I know.

People, my friend

That leaves corporations, I guess. They have to sell us stuff, so they have to make sure we can pay for it. Of course, that would be the very same entities who hatefuck the tax code, who plunder the public wealth to hide it in tax shelters, who uses cheap child labor when possible, and who have been known to sponsor the occasional death squad to kill and torture people who might otherwise think about, say, joining a union. Among other things.

Lord, Mr. Ford

Yeah, but see it makes sense, because Henry Ford paid his workers a living wage! Well, yes, a hundred years ago. What we’ve seen in the recent past is that bankers don’t really need people any longer. Money can practically be spun out of empty air in arcane ways involving weird interest schemes and derivates and hot air. Many banks are starting to pivot away from dealing with commoners, focusing on the upper 1% who own most of the wealth and is busy amassing the rest. The average punter isn’t strictly necessary any longer.

And then is heard no more

So it seems to me that for these very simple reasons, the vaunted universal basic income will never come to pass. It’s a nice, utopian idea and pure spin from the ruling class, intended to afford them that last bit of time required to abscond with what’s left.