UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME
I was introduced to the concept of a universal basic income (UBI), for all citizens, in 1994 when I organised a series of community meetings across Manawatu through to Dannevirke and Pahiatua, to feed into Jim Bolger’s Prime Ministerial Taskforce on Employment.
The one common theme was the need for a UBI.
Of course unemployment then was high by New Zealand standards, but to hear on the news this month the estimation that half the present jobs in this country will soon be taken over by ‘‘new’’ technology, makes the coming situation very clear..
It is estimated that 30% of our current workforce does not know from one day to the next how many hours they will work, if any and therefore suffer chronic financial insecurity.
But obviously, ‘‘we ain’t seen nothing yet’’.
The world wide resurgence of basic income as a philosophy is indicative of the changing times, and it is thanks to a number of distinguished visitors, including Prof Guy Standing, that it is gaining talking time here currently.
This is a space we will all benefit from watching, as all sides of the political spectrum, here and overseas, are supporting the idea. Ian Ritchie
THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL
A little focus on the source of today’s problems rather than the results of them would be beneficial.
The money system of belief lies at the root of all our problems. ‘‘Freedom’’ means no accountability to human and world life; while competition means competing to externalise all costs onto the lives of citizens and environments.
Obviously, no recovery from the greatest economic disorder in history is possible if it is unseen.
If we are truly serious about problem resolution then we need to broaden our sense of possibility. Our incredible 21st century capabilities to create abundance and meet human needs and beyond, without a price-tag, is being denied due to our archaic method of scar citydriven social functionality.
The Money Free, Resource-Based Economy, without any type of trade, currency, credits, debt, barter or servitude almost instantly removes any kind of negative human motivation – freeing genuine altruistic human motivation to accomplish what is so easily possible today.
Nobody really wants to harm others or poison our environment; they just do it to get money – the current driving mechanism for survival.
The problem we are faced with is traditional thinking – the mindset of the way forward being ‘‘growth and jobs’’. When it becomes accepted that a system has failed, emergent ideas can take hold and be allowed to flourish.
The symptoms of failure are prevalent in the world around us, and to deny their existence or pontificate about superficial reforms could come at severe cost to our entire species. Money Free representation thus far sees 18 NZ mayoral candidates this October, and the NZ Money Free Party in the general election.
It is time to orient our system towards the interest of managing abundance rather than preserving scarcity.
The post-scarcity society we have all dreamed of is readily possible in the very near future, if we are vulnerable enough and sensitive enough to actually allow it to come to fruition.
Scott Andrew Palmerston North
The robots are coming – a robot milking machine demonstrated during a field day at Feilding Ag’s farm earlier this year.