In 2013 you wrote extolling the universal basic income (UBI)
I invented it, not knowing It already existed.
I agree with your explanation of the social justice case for the UBI, but my reasons were very different. I thought of the idea on the way home from a traumatic evening in 1973 when I joined what became the Green Party.
I listened to the founder members explaining the MIT report Limits to Growth. The gist was that although economic growth had given us the modern world, it had to stop, before it trashed the ecosphere. I agreed with every word.
But I had a discussion with one of the founders before I left, which went as follows:
Me: You are proposing a recession, possibly deep, and possibly long term. Recessions produce hardship. What if people riot because of shortages?
Founder Member: We shall call it a steady state economy. But if necessary, Martial Law. You have just come 100 miles to agree with us, right? So do you agree that if we have to shoot a few people in the street to get through the transition, that will be rather less nasty than what will happen if we do nothing? If you have a better idea, you had better come up with it fast.
I joined on the spot despite that conversation, but I am still traumatized by it. By the time I reached home, I had invented the UBI.
I had the vision that a new. post-growth narrative could emerge based on the UBI. But 46 years have not just been wasted, Silicon Valley welcomes the UBI’s ability to foster growth.
Meanwhile, a chorus of normal people who worry about the coming ecological breakdown think I am naive, and the UBI as a part of the salvation hare-brained.
Am I hare-brained, or far sighted due to my abnormal mind? We shall only find out if it is tried. Is there an eco-crisis about to happen or not? What I do know is that when I went Jehovah’s Witness style door to door in 1974 with the message,
The End of the World need not be at Hand,
one in 10 were relieved that someone was doing something in response to Limits. By 2007 (just before the Northern Rock crash) the number on the doorstep concerned about the threat to the ecosphere had risen to 1 in 4. The necessary mind set paradigm shift could have been already in motion. On that basis the Green New Deal would have been in place years ago.
George, you are probably among the normal 90% who think I am misguided. My wildest dream is that you give your public support to a book which would consist of a coherent arrangement of this jumbled weblog.
My minimum request is that you publish my weblog address
and invite readers to make up their own minds. Martial Law is beginning to look like the least we can expect when governments answer Greta Thunberg’s panic call.