Exploring how the basic income movement is dealing with Covid19, I found this link, which I recommend. but I couldn’t find a link to a video I watched. I think it was by Unconditional Basic Income Europe. It Included big hitters Barb Jacobson (2nd left, middle row) and David Graeber, but the only speaker who even mentioned the ecological crisis was the UBI sceptic, Anna Coote
The second link above includes an excellent explanation by Philippe van Parijs, of the economic ’first aid’ value of the universal basic income (UBI), but only a passing regret (10 minutes in) as to how short term the ecological benefits of the recession will be.
The separation of two groups worries me intensely. UBI supporters seem to have no interest in ecological meltdown, and XR activists in the main vice versa..
Ever since I invented the UBI (I didn’t know about Thomas Paine in 1973), I have had a vision of it facilitating a cultural shift from growth as the norm, to an ecological steady state economy. Many who see this transition as necessary believe that there will be clever ways of keeping up living standards with ‘green growth’. I am dubious, but even if they are right, it seems obvious to me that it would help to have a way to reduce economic activity generally, without frightening anybody. CV19 vindicates my reasoning, but from the opposite end: we could save the ecosphere if we maintain the lockdown indefinitely.
Philippe van Parijs regrets that the economic damage due to CV19 would have been much less if an adequate basic income had already been in place. Even now it would allow us to concentrate on medical priorities.
But I keep stressing that the UBI is dangerous. Economic activity blossomed in Otjivero. It was desperately needed there, but if prosperous nations, or simply more populous nations were to do the same, the world would resume its march towards ecological destruction
Therefore the basic income must be closely tied to the ecological agenda, with eco-taxation and redistribution.
Guy Standing makes a moral case for the UBI. It gives everyone their share of our common cultural human heritage. It is much more than an anti-poverty strategy. Milton Friedman, an arch neoliberal, was in favour of a negative income tax, which would have the same effect as a UBI if you already had savings.
The UBI is not as socialist as it looks. It gives everyone bargaining power, so that market forces make sense, instead of being used by the rich to oppress the poor. As Otjivero demonstrated, entrepreneurial start-ups are a natural result, but here I must repeat my warning: they must be ecologically sound.
On one Side I have Sandy Irvine, who clearly sets out the ecological danger, but if he sees the need for anything to make a difficult transition thinkable, he does not accept the UBI even as a part of that something. On the other side I have Philippe van Parijs, who only sees the idea he has done so much to advance as first aid in the CV19 context.
A key expression van Parijs uses is that the basic income is “A capitalist road to communism”. We must stop attacking capitalists. I do not defend them, I merely observe that they are more firmly in global control than ever, despite collapses as predicted by Marx, and all the efforts of their enemies to defeat them
Am I really alone here between two allies? A few individuals say my outlandish view (A Recession can be fun) makes sense, It may have to be, but no one has yet supported me publicly.