Greta, you will find some (non violent) ammunition in reply in my weblog.
Up to now I have unsuccessfully tried appeals to Greta via Caroline Lucas. A chorus has suddenly seen the value of a basic income to counteract the CV19 economic downturn. Fine, but I still need to discuss it with Greta before I succumb to the disease.
I am grateful to Jane Tims for drawing my attention to the eventual massive problem of what will almost certainly be mainly unrecoverable debt. I was originally going to amend my last post, but this is too important and urgent.
No doubt the assembled wisdom of the Green Party, and/or Parliamentary aides, who in this emergency may be allowed access to powerful computers, will come up with a better solution, but here is my first bid:
An unconditional, universal basic income, immediately, at, or slightly above, the current JobSeekers Allowance level, to every adult with a National Insurance number. The amount may, depending on information not available to me, be higher, ideally up to the bare amount necessary to meet a single individual’s needs. Employers may deduct this amount from wages.
This will create a massive amount of debt. How on Earth can we deal with this in the aftermath? However, if we are to turn (return is not the appropriate verb) to the ecological emergency, it will be necessary, not just a good idea, to use this unexpected opportunity.
A package will be laid out to implement as soon as the Virus outbreak is deemed to be sufficiently under control, to institute a régime to keep the UK’s environmental damage to a minimum.
Caroline Lucas, and the two Green members for the House of Lords can present this, or some new, improved plan. Other countries could adopt the general plan to their specific welfare strategies. The basic income will of itself ensure that everyone has sufficient to buy whatever is available, and will also ensure that a certain level of economic activity happens.
All this will mean that at least economic activity remains as near normal as possible. But the risk will be that afterwards, we pitch ourselves from the CV19 frying pan into the coming ecological fire. Drastic redistribution must be a part of the package. Much of the debt will have to be written off. The basic income will ensure that no one goes without. It will also be possible to ensure that no one profits from this massive dislocation That will depend on the kind of wisdom shown in 1940. Boris Johnson must invite the new Labour leader to form a government of national unity. What could emerge is a new paradigm of sustainability. Is that too much to hope for?
It is not yet clear what will happen in the less developed world, but there are clues. It all depends on whether we are led by individuals to with sufficient vision, especially if the growth of numbers is to be addressed. Of one thing I am certain. The universal, unconditional world basic income must play a part.